A Dakota DC-3 aircraft of 1940's vintage was inducted into the Vintage Aircraft Flight of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in May. A large fleet of Dakota DC-3 served in the IAF till 1988. It was one of the most versatile transport aircraft of its time.
To honour the first Dakota, which transported troops of the first Sikh Regiment to Srinagar in October 1947, during the Kashmir conflict, the IAF has allocated the aircraft with a registration number. Built in 1944, the aircraft served in the military with the RAF and was also operated by various civil airlines.
The aircraft was obtained from scrap in 2011 and was restored to flying condition in the United Kingdom by Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) Rajeev Chandrasekhar for gifting it to the IAF.
Subsequently, the IAF signed a contract with M/s Reflight Airworks Ltd London for upgrading its navigational systems. The CAS ceremonially accepted the aircraft into the IAF from Chandrasekhar in February.