Bhubaneswar : The dust has settled after the unveiling of Biju Babu’s Dakota at the Bhubaneswar Airport named after him. The agencies have done a very good job of restoring the Old Gooney Bird to its former glory. It is a big draw for visitors to the Airport and will remain a grand sight for days to come.
No t all the details have been properly researched on Biju Babu’s Kalinga Airways. Very few will know that there were two registered logos of Biju Babu’s Airline, one, the jumping deer, and the other, a round logo with the Lingaraj Temple in it.
Both logos were prominently painted on the front of the aircraft, just below the cockpit. They also featured on the tickets, timetables, and stationery of Kalinga Airlines. On the letterheads, they were embossed in gold.
In all my research I could only get photographs of two Dakotas which bore the logos. The prominent one was on VT-CRA (Serial No 12505-Dakota C-47 A) last parked outside the hangar at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai. It was photographed by Jimmy Wadia in July 1978. The aircraft has been since scrapped. I could find no trace of it when I made a search two years ago.
The parked aircraft at Bhubaneswar Airport should have these logos in the right place. The size of the font used to paint Kalinga Airlines too is twice the size that was originally painted. These corrections should be made.
I have a big collection of memorabilia from Kalinga Airlines which includes letters, stationery, tickets, maps, time-tables, etc. If the powers that be are interested, I will gladly give them to the Ananda Bhavan Museum at Katak after I have completed my book. Quite a few photos that are displayed at the Museum were given by me, which is duly acknowledged in the captions.
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