IAF welcomes World War II-era Dakota DC-3 plane as it lands in Gujarat

A large fleet of Dakota DC-3 served in the IAF till 1988.

IAF welcomes World War II-era Dakota DC-3 plane as it lands in Gujarat

New Delhi: A Dakota DC-3 aircraft of 1940 vintage landed in Jamnagar, Gujarat on Wednesday. It has been gifted by Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar to the Indian Air Force. 

Earlier, the IAF had tweeted:

The World War II-era aircraft was obtained from scrap in 2011 and was restored to flying condition in the UK by Chandrasekhar for gifting it to the IAF. His father Air Commodore (retd) MK Chandrasekhar was a Dakota pilot in the IAF.

The Chief of Air Staff, BS Dhanoa, had ceremonially accepted the aircraft into the force from Chandrasekhar in February 2018. The IAF also signed a contract with Reflight Airworks Ltd London for upgrading its navigational systems. Chandrasekhar's father was present at the ceremony.

The aircraft commenced its journey from the UK on April 17 and was flown to India by a joint team crew of the IAF and Reflight Airworks Ltd. 

The Dakota, christened 'Parashurama', will bear the tail number VP 905, the same as the first such aircraft in the Indian service that transported the troops in 1947 during the 'Kashmir conflict'. The induction ceremony of the Dakota is scheduled to take place on May 4, 2018, at Air Force Station Hindan. 

A large fleet of Dakota DC-3 served in the IAF till 1988. Hailing the qualities of the aircraft, the Chief of Air Staff had said earlier, "They were introduced in the 1930s. As part of the 12th squadron of the then Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF), Dakotas were the main workhorse in Ladakh and Northeast region. And, they intervened in time to save the Valley of Kashmir (in 1947)."

"Military historian Pushpindar Singh had said that Dakota is the reason why Poonch is still with us. They helped in hastening the fall of Dhaka and liberation of Bangladesh. And, in 2014, we had given a shell on the Dakota to the Bangladesh Air Force," he had added.