Fond memories of India's first warplane

HAL celebrates: Nothing similar from its stables after Maruts success

maiden pride: The file picture of Marut, the first India-made fighter plane. The VIPS at the HAL Marut’s first flight.

That the first India-made fighter plane was conceived as early as 1956 might give an indication of the foresight the country had, but at the same time, it has been disappointing there has been nothing similar from the HAL stables after Marut’s success.

Nevertheless, HAL will rejoice on Friday, recollecting the moments India’s first fighter plane took shape in the hands of the legendary Kurt Tank, who also designed planes for Germany during World War II.

Tank begun his work in 1956, and after five years, on June 17, 1961, to be precise, the
HF-24 tail number BR 462 took to the skies on its maiden flight with Group Captain Suranjan Das at the controls.

The first of the HF-24s was handed over to the Indian Air Force on May 10, 1964, and HAL, then Hindustan Aircraft Limited, later built 129 single seaters and 18 trainers between 1964 and 1977.

During their service, the three Marut Squadrons had earned four Vir Chakras.  The last of the Marut was flown in October 1984 and is now on display at the Air Force Academy, Dindigal, Tamil Nadu.

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