Nepal’s first aircraft museum is going to open in Dhangadhi from September 17.

“The museum will display 200 miniature aircraft models or designs of aircraft, including Wright brothers’ airplane of 1903 and modern aircraft,” said promoter of the museum Captain Bed Upreti, who served as a commercial pilot for domestic airliner Necon Air — that is currently no more in operations — and India’s Kingfisher Airlines.

The project that cost Rs 12.5 million took almost six months to complete, Upreti said, adding that it will provide information on flying and the world’s aviation history, which is expected to attract students and tourists alike. “The money collected will be donated for the treatment of cancer patients and offer scholarships to students in the far-west.”

The museum will provide visitors a chance to learn more about aviation, is the world’s first miniature aircraft museum in a jet aircraft, said Upreti, who is currently a senior instructor pilot with Indonesia-based Lion Air.

On the occasion, an 11-day aircraft museum expo has also been planned from September 17 to showcase photos of 30 famous tourist destinations across the world. The expo will also showcase historic and archaeological items collected from the far-western Nepal. The entrance fee for the expo has been set Rs 100 for general visitors and Rs 50 for students.

The museum inside a 100-seater Fokker aircraft is a new concept unlike open space aviation museums.

The Fokker – once belonged to Cosmic Air that has been closed long ago – is 35.53 metres long and 8.50 metres tall. Its cabin is 3.10 metres wide and 2.01 metres tall.

Inside the Fokker aircraft a 60-inch TV will showcase documentaries on the aircraft museum.

Upreti also informed that the initiative to ‘change the trash into cash’ came into his mind after he saw a notice – of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) – to auction the old Cosmic Air aircraft. According to Upreti, the dumped aircraft cost Rs 7 million and it took five days to take it to Dhangadhi at a cost of Rs 500,000.

Earlier last year, CAAN had also decided to open an aviation museum at its Radar Training Centre at Sano Thimi in Bhaktapur and exhibit old aircraft including Fokker, Dornier, and Avro as it failed to sell them after repeatedly attempts.

The plan failed, the authority claimed, as it didnot get estimated Rs 4 million for the museum from Finance Ministry.

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