World war II-era Dakota, acquired from scrap, set to join Indian Air Force - See Pics

World War II-era Dakota underwent a six-year-long restoration in the UK and will join the vintage fleet of IAF at the Hindon Air Base in Uttar Pradesh.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Feb 14, 2018, 00:14 AM IST
 World war II-era Dakota, acquired from scrap, set to join Indian Air Force - See Pics
Pic courtesy: Twitter/@aMcGeechan

New Delhi: A fully-refurbished World War II-era Dakota is all set to be flown to India in March 2018, to become a proud possession of the IAF.

The plane underwent a six-year-long restoration in the UK. It will join the vintage fleet at the Hindon Air Base in Uttar Pradesh.

The aircraft is a gift from Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekar to the India Air Force. At a function, the Bengaluru MP ceremonially handed over the papers and deeds to Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa.

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.

Chandrasekar's gift, will make it the first vintage Dakota for the IAF, which currently, has a Tiger Moth and a Harvard aircraft stationed at the Hindon Air Base.

According to a short film screened at the function, the aircraft was acquired from scrap. Following are some of the pictures of the Dakota (courtesy Livefist, which reports on defence and aerospace):

Hailing the qualities of the aircraft, the Chief of Air Staff, said, "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," Dhanoa added, as per PTI.

The IAF has helped the Rajya Sabha MP in getting the aircraft registered and an upgrade of the navigation system. "Since it has to fly through multiple foreign airspaces, we helped them in getting permission," the IAF chief said.

Chandrasekhar's father Air Commodore (retd) MK Chandrasekhar, who was present at the function, was a Dakota pilot in the IAF.

(With PTI inputs)