Air Force Technical College, Bangalore

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Air Force Technical College, Bangalore
Established 4 July 1949
Type Military college
Commandant Air Commodore M K Guleria VSM
Location Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Nickname AFTC

Air Force Technical College is situated in Bangalore, India.


Air Force Technical College (AFTC) was established on 4 July 1949, in collaboration with Air Service Training Co. (Hamble), U.K. with Gp.Capt. J Beaumont CBE, DFC, as the first Commandant. The college was then named as Technical Training College (TTC). The entire staff of the College were officers and technicians from the Royal Air Force (RAF). Judged by their civil attire and gentle behaviour it was conjectured that some of the instructors were civilians. TTC was the first College in India and in the whole of Asia which trained aeronautical engineers for military aviation. The first principal of the college was Gp.Capt. Vaghuan Phillips to be succeeded by Gp.Capt.Thripps,who was also the co-designer of HT-2 with Mr.Ghatge, of the first HAL produced single engined trainer aircraft.The other notable technical staff included Sir.William Houghton - the co-inventor of Radar, Mr.B.H.Middleton of Smiths Aircraft Instruments U.K., Mr.Holbon of the Rolls Royce and Mr.Sturggeon of de Havilland. Mr.Porter headed the Department of Basic Engineering Technology.

The scheme for training world class technicians for the IAF on the lines of Air Force Technical College Cranwell in U.K. to replace the RAF Ground Engineers who left after independence,commenced in 1949, by selecting the cream of youth drawn from all over the country, after series of psycho-technical tests conducted at various centres in India. The youths were aged between 15 to 17.5 years of age, fresh after passing their matriculation examination. The streams were divided under seven important categories namely : Airframes, Aero Engines, Aircraft Instruments, Electricals, Wireless,Radar and Armaments, and allotted according to the individual's aptitude. The ab initio training was for a period of two years as aircraft apprentice followed by 1-year practical training at the various air force flying and maintenance establishments in the country after which they returned to the college for advanced training in their respective disciplines for another one year. However this was modified after the 6th entry of apprentices passed out and the later batches were trained for the entire 4 years at the A.F.T.C., after the completion of which they passed out as full fledged aircraft technicians in Group I trades with a liability to render 15 years regular and 9 years reserve service. Some of them later qualified and rose to the position of Air Marshal in their respective branches of specialization or branched off to other flying arms like, Pilots,Navigators, Flight Signalers, Flight Engineers, Flight Gunners while many left the IAF to become leading Engineers,Technocrats and Managers in civilian establishments.Some of them joined the Indian Army during the Indo-China war and rose to the rank of Colonels in technical branches. The first Apprentice who graduated from the college in 1951 carrying the service No. 400001 by name G.K. Pillay belonged to the Aero Engines group.Most of the graduates from AFTC during the course of employment in the IAF were trained in foreign countries like UK, US, Germany, France and Russia on specialised equipment and aircraft, which enabled them to play a leading role in the building of a modern Air Force. However, this prestigious scheme which was originally intended to form the edifice on which modern Air Force for the independent nation was to be built, was botched by bureaucratic muddle when the highly trained aircraft engineers, frustrated with the lack of promotional avenues left the service after initial engagement. This was a gigantic loss that the nation could ill afford but the planners at the Air Headquarters and the Ministry of Defence did not initiate any remedial action and exposed their lack of long term vision besides ruining the career of bright young men, who dreamt of a long term involvement in the service of national defence. In commemoration of completion of 60 years since the passing-out of the I batch of technicians, an alumni association called "AFTCIANS" was formed in 2011 under the dynamic leadership of G.Sivasankara Pillai (14th Rad.) who is now a practicing lawyer and Notary public, at Quilon (Kerala). Reunion meetings have been regularly arranged in different regions across the Nation with appreciable attendance, where the former Apprentices along with their families savour their collective memories and indulge in nostalgia - during their sun-set years, with deserving pride ! The National co-ordinator keeps track of all the events and up-dates the members periodically to sustain the cohesive relationship ! After holding Reunions at Calicut & Trichur (2012),Chennai,Poladpur (Maha) & New Delhi (2013) and Pune & the last meeting (2014) was held at Bangalore with a memorable visit to the Alma Mater.! The next meeting is proposed to be held during Nov.,2015 at Hyderabad. The zeal and passion displayed by the local members at the respective places to make the function a great success is highly commendable and is an adorable characteristic of the vanishing tribe, ably lead by Mr.G.S.Pillai ! The Commandant of the college Air Commodore. M.K.Guleria V.S.M. and his team of esteemed officers hosted a reception in honour of the veterans which was a momentous occasion. The present Commandant of AFTC is Air Cmde P K Shrivastava VSM.

After TTC was renamed as AFTC on 1 January 1957, Gp. Capt M.J. Kriplani MBE took over as the first Indian commandant of the college. (After retirement, he was appointed as the Director of Regional Engineering College at Warrangal- A.P.) AFTC is also the alma mater for all technical officers of the Indian Air Force. The instructional staff of highly trained Indians took over the baton from A.S.T.(Hamble) (UK) and the entire team of foreigners withdrew after handing over the responsibility.In Dec 1962, during the national emergency, the Apprentices' Training Scheme was terminated with the 22nd Entry and the Direct entry officers' training was accelerated. In Dec 1971, the four technical branches of Tech (Engines),Tech (Elect),Tech(Signals) & Tech (Armament)were integrated into two i.e., Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) and Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) designated as AE(M) and AE(L). The first batch to graduate under this scheme commenced their training in Jan 1972.The college is equipped with many Engineering and Science laboratories,fighter, bomber,and transport aircraft besides an air field of its own !

The crest of the College depicts a mechanical gear and emanating electrical waves superimposed by torch bearing an eternal flame. The President of India approved the crest on 08 Aug 62. The crest sympolises the flame of knowledge, which gives rise to the fraternity of mechanical and electronics professionals engaged in pursuit of excellence in aeronautical engineering. The motto printed on the crest 'Gyanen Shobhamahe' means 'it is knowledge through which we find pride in ourselves'. With its multi-faceted growth, the College has lived up to its motto and continues to impart high standards of training to military Aeronautical Engineers. The College was awarded the "Presidential Colors" by her Excellency Smt Pratibha Patil on 12 Nov 08.


Some of the important events in the history of AFTC are given below:-

(a) Mar 1958 - 1st Foreign Officer (Indonesian) Joins AFTC

(b) Aug 1962 - President of India approves Crest of AFTC �Gyanen Shobhamahe'

(c) Apr 1993 - Ist Batch of 25 Women Officers� are inducted

(d) Jul 1999 - Golden Jubilee Year celebrated

(e) Aug 2003 - Establishment of Software Development Centere

(f) 26 May 05 - Chief of Air Staff inaugurates Back- drop to Parade Ground

(g) 01 Apr 06 - Commencement of Ist Distance Education Course

(h) 12 Nov 08 - Presidential Colors awarded to AFTC


The aim of the college is to educate and train engineers from various disciplines on the current technologies of aircraft, weapon and support system held by Indian Air Force and also to instill qualities of military leadership, managerial skills, values and ethos of an Air Warrior, to enable them to function effectively as Aeronautical Engineers and contribute to growth of knowledge through research and development as members of officer cadre of the Indian Air Force. The college in Addition to training engineers of Indian Air Force and its sister services has also trained officers of DRDO, HAL, Air India and many foreign personnel from friendly countries in South East Asia and Middle East.


The crest of the college depicts a mechanical gear and emanating electrical waves superimposed by a torch bearing an eternal flame. The President of India approved the crest on 8 August 1962. The crest symbolises the flame of knowledge, which gives rise to the fraternity of mechanical and electronic engineering professionals engaged in pursuit of higher goals. The motto printed on the crest "Gyanen Shobhamahe" means 'It is knowledge through which we find pride in ourselves'. With its multi-faceted growth the college has lived up to its motto and continues to impart a high standard of training to military Aeronautical Engineers. This has enabled the college to strongly support the Indian Air Force to "Touch the sky with Glory".

Commandants of AFTC
Rank Name Dates
Gp Capt J Beaumont CBE DFC July 1949 - July 1956
Gp Capt MJ Kriplani MBE July 1956 - June 1961
Gp Capt K Narshiman July 1961 - August 1965
Gp Capt HD Mehra July 1966 - September 1966
Gp Capt RJ Hermon November 1966 - January 1970
Gp Capt JN Jungalwalla January 1970 - June 1972
Air Cmde SS Sehgal June 1972 - January 1977
Air Cmde Satinder Singh January 1977 - June 1981
Air Cmde SK Verma July 1981 - January 1983
Air Cmde S Venkatraman January 1983 - November 1983
Air Cmde S Roy December 1983 - March 1985
Air Cmde CL Kotwal March 1985 - September 1986
Air Cmde JP Dhir October 1986 - July 1988
Air Cmde S Srinivasan VSM August 1988 - January 1990
Air Cmde PN Bajaj January 1990 - April 1991
Air Cmde SS Gupta VSM April 1991 - February 1992
Air Cmde K Badrinarayanan VSM February 1992 - August 1994
Air Cmde SKS Sitaram VSM September 1994 - May 1996
Air Cmde DS Gotra November 1996 - December 1997
Air Cmde SK Jindal January 1998 - September 2000
Air Cmde RC Kakar VSM September 2000 - July 2002
Air Cmde SL Sharma VSM July 2002 - July 2004
Air Cmde Kamal Singh AVSM September 2004 - September 2006
Air Cmde Rajiv Mital VSM September 2006 - November 2008
Air Cmde P Kanakraj VSM December 2008 - August 2009
Air Cmde AK Paul VSM August 2009 - Feb 2012
Air Cmde Alok Singh Feb 2012- Dec 2013
Air Cmde M K Guleria VSM Dec 2013- Dec 2014
Air Cmde P K Shrivastava VSM Dec 2014- Till Date


Coordinates: 13°3′6.04″N 77°31′16.42″E / 13.0516778°N 77.5212278°E / 13.0516778; 77.5212278