Republic Day 2024: 'Gooney Bird' Dakota flies over Kartavya Path (WATCH)
The 75th Republic Day fly-past featured the Tangail formation, showcasing the "Gooney Bird" Dakota aircraft leading two Dornier Do-228 aircraft in a 'Vic' formation. The Tangail formation pays tribute to the historic 1971 Indo-Pakistani War airdrop, symbolizing India's triumph
In a spectacular display during the 75th Republic Day fly-past over Kartavya Path, the Tangail formation took to the skies, featuring the iconic "Gooney Bird" Dakota aircraft leading two Dornier Do-228 aircraft in a 'Vic' formation. This formation, famed for its pivotal role in the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War, showcases the legendary Dakota aircraft flanked by modern Dornier DO-228s flying on a blend of Aviation Turbine Fuel and Biofuel.
Produced by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research's (CSIR) Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), the Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) used in the Dornier aircraft is a blend of 10% hydrotreated esters and fatty acids (HEFA)-based alternative fuel mixed with regular commercial jet A1 fuel. This move aligns with the global initiative to achieve net-zero aviation by 2050.
Revisiting The Audacious Airdrop at Tangail
The Tangail formation holds historical significance as a tribute to the audacious airdrop executed on December 11, 1971, by the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment. This military manoeuvre played a crucial role in India's victory during the Indo-Pakistani War, leading to the surrender of the Pakistani Army on December 16, 1971.
The Tangail airdrop, a landmark moment in military history, involved a fleet of aircraft, including six AN-12s, 22 Dakotas, and 20 Packet aircraft. Over 750 highly trained personnel were parachuted into action, aiming to disrupt the retreat path of Pakistan's 93 Infantry Brigade and impede their advance towards Dhaka.
The battalion swiftly captured the Poongli bridge within four hours, successfully thwarting counterattacks by the Pakistani Army. By December 12, their strategic collaboration with the Maratha Light Infantry further disrupted the plans of the 93 Brigade, positioning the 2nd Battalion as the first Indian troops to enter Dhaka.