Press Esc to close

Acquired from scrap, restored Dakota to join IAF fleet in March

Press Trust of India, New Delhi, Feb 13 2018, 22:36 IST
The restored WW2-era Dakota. Photo: aMcGeechan

The restored WW2-era Dakota. Photo: aMcGeechan

A fully-refurbished World War II-era Dakota, belonging to the vintage of the iconic military transport aircraft that played a crucial role in the 1947 Indo-Pak War, is all set to be flown to India next month, to become a proud possession of the IAF.

The plane, which underwent a six-year-long restoration in the UK, 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, and at a function held here on Tuesday, the Bengaluru lawmaker ceremonially handed over the papers and deeds to Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa.

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 said.

Douglas DC3 aircraft, better known as the Dakota, carried the troops of the army's 1 Sikh Regiment to Srinagar on October 27, 1947, during the first Indo-Pak War, besides carrying supplies and refugees.

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 during the 1947 war to Jammu and Kashmir.

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.

"The Dakota is currently kept at Coventry airfield in the UK. It is set to fly next month. The vintage plane will traverse over 4,800 nautical miles. From the UK, the route will be through France, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Oman, in that order. In India, the first stop would be Jamnagar, from where it will fly to Hindon," he said.

According to a short film screened at the function, the aircraft was acquired from scrap and underwent six years of painstaking restoration in the UK, and the IAF had technically accepted it late last month.

The IAF has helped the MP in getting the aircraft registered and in upgrade of the navigation system.

"Since it has to fly through multiple foreign airspace, we helped them in getting permission," the IAF chief said.

In his address, he had called the gifting of the Dakota to the IAF a "great gesture" for funding the acquisition, repair and eventual ferrying of the aircraft.

The MP said, "I acquired it around 2011 and this gift is a permanent way of honouring the men and their machines, who make us all proud today as a nation," adding, "finding and restoring this bird was a huge challenge".

Chandrasekhar's father Air Commodore (retd) M K Chandrasekhar, who was present at the function, was a Dakota pilot in the IAF, and the lawmaker said, "the seeds were sown perhaps very young".

"My father is 84 now. And, I grew up seeing him flying Dakota. So, my passion for planes is natural. And, it is on behalf of my father that this gift is being made to the IAF, in dedication to the air warriors. And, I hope it will inspire future air warriors," he said.

Go to Top

More from this section
Most trending stories
Photo Gallery
Actress Tamannaah Bhatia during a promotional event...

Actress Tamannaah Bhatia during a promotional event...

Girls take selfie near a classic car at the 8th edition of the 21 Gun Salute...

Girls take selfie near a classic car at the 8th edition of the 21 Gun Salute...

A man feeds langurs at Khandagiri in...

A man feeds langurs at Khandagiri in...

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau...

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau...

Dancers perform during celebrations of the 10th anniversary of Kosovo's independence...

Dancers perform during celebrations of the 10th anniversary of Kosovo's independence...

Police guard a demonstration during the Munich Security Conference in Munich...

Police guard a demonstration during the Munich Security Conference in Munich...

Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women Round Robin - Olympic Athletes from...

Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women Round Robin - Olympic Athletes from...

Ventilation pipes are seen at a Korean barbecue restaurant at the Yongpyong ski...

Ventilation pipes are seen at a Korean barbecue restaurant at the Yongpyong ski...

A view of Lok Bhawan, a government building housing Uttar Pradesh...

A view of Lok Bhawan, a government building housing Uttar Pradesh...

School children perform during 'Pariksha Par Charcha', an interactive session...

School children perform during 'Pariksha Par Charcha', an interactive session...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.