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World War-II era Dakota joins IAF’s vintage fleet (See Pics)

New Delhi: A restored Dakota aircraft has joined the Indian Air Force more than four decades after the fleet was phased out following an illustrious service record.

World War-II era Dakota joins IAF’s vintage fleet (See Pics)

The Dakota DC-3 VP 905 was formally inducted at a grand ceremony held at Hindan air force station last evening. The aircraft was accepted by Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal B S Dhanoa from the Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar in February this year.

The aircraft was flown back to India from UK by a joint crew of IAF and Reflight Airworks. During its journey, the aircraft flew a total of 9750 km and made en-route halts in France, Italy, Greece, Jordan, Bahrain and Oman.

An official release said, this historic flight across seven countries, was a commemoration of the service provided by this venerable aircraft to the nation.

The restored aircraft, named Parashuram, has been given a registration number—VP 905. Built in 1944, the aircraft had served with the Royal Air Force and was also operated by various civil airlines.

It had also transported the troops of the 1st Sikh Regiment to Srinagar on October 27, 1947, during the Kashmir conflict.

In the early morning of 27 Oct 1947, 1 Sikh with 2 company strength took off from Willingdon Airport in a Dakota aircraft. It was a historic moment when the first #Dakota aircraft landed on the dusty airstrip of just 600 metres. It was the first Indian Army Unit to land in Srinagar. Never in the history of warfare was such an airlift undertaken with so little notice & planning. (Image Source: IAF Twitter)

The Dakota popularly known as the Gooney Bird was the first major transport aircraft inducted in the fledgeling Indian Air Force. It was at the forefront of operations from 1947 to 1971.

Rare pictures of Dakota Aircraft operating from the World’s Highest Operational Airfield (LEH) in early 1960s. (Source: IAF Twitter)

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