IAF Vintage Flight Unit- Dakota DC-3: Homebound to India

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Indian military aircraft, which played pivotal role in 1947 - 48 India-Pakistan war, is fully restored to its original glory & is set to begin its flight back to India on 16th April. WWII aircraft has undergone extensive £ 580,000 refurbishment in UK by Reflight Air Works Ltd.

IAF Vintage Flight Unit- Dakota DC-3
  • Plane will fly to India in short legs thru multiple airspaces from Monday, stopping in various countries enroute, w/specially trained Indian & British pilots, as well as plenty of spares, on board.
  • Current, heritage aircraft in Vintage Flight are Howard & Tiger moth w/plans afoot to add wider variety of military aircraft which forms part of our rich ancestry.


  • Gifted to IAF by MP & industrialist Rajeev Chandrasekhar, it is named ′Parashurama′ after 6thavatar of Vishnu in Hinduism. Chandrasekhar՚s father Air Commodore (retd) M K Chandrasekhar was Dakota pilot in IAF.

Dakota History

  • Dakotas were introduced in 1930s as part of 12th Squadron of then Royal Indian Air Force & were main workhorse in Ladakh & Northeast region.
  • They didn՚t carry weapons, rather troops & supplies during WWII. Significantly Dakotas helped carry troops of Army՚s 1 Sikh Regiment to Srinagar on 27th Oct, 1947, during 1st Indo-Pak War.
  • Aircraft of this generation being flown to India from across World after its restoration, is unprecedented event in history of IAF & joins our vintage flight which was raised in Palam in 1988.
  • Plane now has tail number VP 905, same as 1st DC-3 of IAF which airlifted troops in J&K operations.
  • Induction ceremony of Dakota VP-905 is scheduled on 4th May 2018 at Air Force Station Hindan.

Future of Dakota DC-3

  • Refurbished DC-3 Dakota will become 3rd aircraft to join Indian Air Force (IAF) vintage fleet at Air Force Station Hindon Ghaziabad, UP when it arrives on 25th April, joining Tiger Moth & Harvard aircraft.
  • It will be used in aerial displays.
  • IAF decided to build vintage flight unit in 2012 inspired by RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight & is gradually adding assets.
  • IAF Vintage Flight Unit
  • IAF Vintage Flight Unit consists of 3 aircrafts. The Tiger Moth and Harvard were both restored by a direct IAF contract to HAL, the latter carrying out the restoration in partnership with British company Reflight in Coventry. Dakota DC-3 is third in the series.

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