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'Parashurama' ready for Rajpath glory

Vintage aircraft Dakota, rechristened as 'Parashurama', will participate for the first time in the Republic Day parade.

Jan 24, 2021, 4:28 PM IST

Vintage aircraft Dakota, rechristened as 'Parashurama', will participate for the first time in the Republic Day parade.

As per Hindu mythology, "Parashurama" is the sixth avatar of Vishnu.

'Parashurama' the aircraft made its maiden appearance on 86th anniversary of Indian Air Force on October 8, 2018. 

Rajya Sabha MP and BJP spokesperson Rajeev Chandrasekhar gifted the revived vintage aircraft to IAF. Chandrasekhar's father Air Commodore (retd) M K Chandrasekhar was a Dakota pilot in the IAF.

As part of the fly-past at this year's Republic Day celebrations, the Dakota DC-3 aircraft will be flown in Rudra formation, flanked by two Russian-origin modern Mi-17s helicopters. 

Inducted in the 1930s as part of Royal British Air Force, the Dakota served in the IAF till 1988 and it was considered one of the most versatile transport aircraft of its time.

Former IAF officer Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (Retd) told Asianet Newsable, "Dakota was the main workhorse of the Indian Air Force for airdrops for our troops in forward areas of the northeast and J&K. It was the first aircraft to land in Srinagar in 1947 when Indian Army was inducted after the accession of J&K to India. Transport pilot remembers it fondly for its reliability and ease of flying."

During the 1971 Indo-Pak war, the transport aircraft played a crucial role in liberating Bangladesh from Pakistan. The troops were airdropped in Bangladesh's Tangail during the war.