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.
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.
Update on #DakotaHomeBound : Indian Air Force welcomes the Dakota DC-3 #VP905 , home. The Aircraft #VP905 got airborne from Muscat International Airport, Oman & touched down at home grounds, Jamnagar, Gujarat at 16:30 hrs, today. pic.twitter.com/NJgZREyQxE — Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) April 25, 2018
#DakotaHomebound : The #Dakota #VP905 aircraft was received with lot of splendour at AFS Jamnagar, today. The crew is seen posing with the beautiful machine along with the Commander-in-chief SWAC, team Jamnagar & Mr Rajeev Chandrasekhar MP Rajya Sabha. pic.twitter.com/6Qm0EjwwhZ — Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) April 25, 2018
#DakotaHomebound The @IAF_MCC #Dakota #VP905 ac was escorted from Muscat till Jamnagar by @indiannavy P 8i Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance & Anti Submarine Warfare aircraft which provided airborne surveillance & SAR cover over sea @SpokespersonMoD @DefenceMinIndia @rajeev_mp pic.twitter.com/ydy9cjrD3X — SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) April 25, 2018
#Dakotahomebound : The Dakota #VP905 carried out an overshoot & familiarised with the airfield, before touching down on the home ground. To honour the old war horse in its new residence, induction ceremony is scheduled on 04 May 18 at Air Force Station Hindan. pic.twitter.com/ETHEx0kxmN — Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) April 25, 2018
Under the watchful eyes of @indiannavy P8i pic.twitter.com/e4bUbDCUvi — SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) April 25, 2018
Earlier, the IAF had tweeted:
Update on #DakotaHomebound : On 23 Apr 18, #VP905 got airborne from Bahrain at 1300 h & landed at Muscat International Airport, Oman. A short flight of 3H30Mins. Today the aircraft will land at Jamnagar. The Planning is done, Aircraft & the Crew is all set for the last lap home. pic.twitter.com/IBrr1exunj — Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) April 25, 2018
Update on #DakotaHomebound : On 22Apr18, #VP905 flew the longest leg (1598.47 Kms) of the ferry from Aqaba Royal Jordanian Air Force Base to Bahrain International Airport & carried out its first Night Landing. The homebound lap from Muscat to Jamnagar, India is planned on 25Apr18 pic.twitter.com/RpwhaFdPbk — Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) April 24, 2018
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.
Legendary Aircraft #Dakota being gifted to #IAF : The CAS ACM BS Dhanoa, along with VCAS Air Mshl SB Deo, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Member of Parliament & Air Cmde MK Chandrasekhar (Retd) during the gift deed signing ceremony at AkashOffrsMess, NewDelhi, today. pic.twitter.com/jrvlNAh4Vu — Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) February 13, 2018
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.
#DakotaHomebound : After successfully completing all test flights, aircraft commenced its homebound journey on 17 Apr 18. Its being flown to India by a joint team crew of #IAF & M/s Reflight Airworks Ltd.
Details on https://t.co/JieqVhzAYa@DefenceMinIndia @rajeev_mp @ReflightAW — Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) April 23, 2018
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.