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.
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 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.