Air Force Day: Vintage Tiger Moth plane steals the show
New Delhi: A fly-past by vintage Tiger Moth aircraft was the main attraction at the Air Force Day parade here on Monday in absence of aerobatic display by the grounded Suryakiran planes and Sarang helicopter squad.
On the 80th anniversary of IAF, the 1930s Tiger Moth biplane, the first resurrected aircraft of the vintage squadron of the force, was the only new addition to the flying display team for the event.
As soon as the yellow-coloured aircraft, which saw action during World War II, took off, it was welcomed by a thunderous applause from the gathering which included families of air warriors and school children.
IAF is planning to resurrect around six old aircraft for the vintage squadron that will include a Wapiti, Howard, Spitfire and three other planes.
The indigenously-developed Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AEW&C) along with the Russian-origin Mi-17 V5 choppers were showcased for the first time as part of the static display.
The aerobatics were curtailed due to the grounding of the Suryakiran Aerobatic Display Team (SKAT) as its Kiran Mk-II aircraft are now being used for training rookie pilots.
The Sarang helicopter display team, which comprises four ALH Dhruv choppers, also did not take part in the display.
"Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is adding some safety features in all the Dhruv choppers and that is why they are not here. In next two months, they will start aerobatic practice," IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne told reporters here.
IAF is in the process of raising a new aerobatic display team with Advanced Jet Trainer 'Hawk' aircraft and a 'request for proposal' (RFP) has already been issued to the British BAE systems for supplying 20 new planes for the purpose, he said.
The other aircraft which took part in the aerial display included the frontline Su-30MKI, Mirage 2000, Jaguar, MiG 21s and C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft.