Hindan, May 4 (UNI) A fully-refurbished World War II-era Dakota has been inducted into Indian Air Force’s (IAF) vintage squadron at Hindan air base on the outskirts of Delhi in Uttar Pradesh on Friday in the presence of IAF chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa.
The aircraft underwent a six-year-long restoration in the UK. The aircraft is a gift from BJP Rajya Sabha lawmaker Rajeev Chandrasekar to the Air Force.
The Dakota, christened ‘Parashurama’, bearing 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 aircraft commenced its journey from the UK on April 17 and was flown by a joint crew of the IAF and Reflight Airworks Ltd.
The aircraft flew a total of 9750 km during its flight to India and made en-route halts in France, Italy, Greece, Jordan, Bahrain and Oman. The aircraft landed on Indian soil at Air Force Station Jamnagar on April 25 and reached its final destination at Air Force Station Hindan on April 26, said Indian Air Force Spokesperson Wing Commander Anupam Banerjee.
The plane was escorted on its final leg of the journey, which was over the sea from Muscat to Jamnagar, by a P-8I aircraft of the Indian Navy, a C-130J and the Su-30 MKIs of the IAF.
It was received with due ceremony by Air Marshal RK Dhir, AOC-in-C South Western Air Command and Mr Chandrasekhar.
Air Cmde MK Chandrasekhar (Retd) was granted special permission by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to fly on board the aircraft from Jamnagar to Air Force Station Hindan.
His presence on the aircraft commemorated the contribution and sacrifice of a multitude of veterans who have successfully operated this aircraft in times of peace and war, the spokesperson added.
The unique journey undertaken by the Dakota to its homestead, the Vintage Aircraft Flight of the IAF, was keenly followed the world over and its arrival has scripted an indelible mark in the rich legacy of the IAF.