Alan Warnes discovers varied and historically important exhibits at the Pakistan Air Force Museum

Located on the southwestern edge of Faisal Air Base is one of the best-kept collections of aircraft and artefacts in Asia. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Museum is not just a place portraying the epic history of the PAF, it also acts as Karachi’s largest nighttime attraction. Arguably the cleanest, greenest and most secure part of Karachi, the facilities act as a sanctuary for many after dark. You simply can’t miss it, because the exit off the busy Shahrah-e-Faisal Road is marked by a Shenyang F-6 on a pole. Besides security personnel guarding the 100-acre (40.46ha) facility, there are around 50 groundsmen ensuring the site is kept tidy. Most weekends there are around 5,000-10,000 people sitting among the 50 or so exhibited aircraft, many enjoying picnics with friends and relatives. That number of visitors might seem a lot, but it is nothing compared with the 40,620 people who enjoyed the facility on June 7, 2019 – the third day of the Eid holidays.

The Archives Gallery hosts some of the most iconic aircraft - the Vickers Viking, F-104A Starfighter, Sabre with mannequin of fighter ace MM Alam and the captured Indian AF Gnat/Ajeet. The hangar is soon to receive a facelift, ensuring it keeps up with the times.

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