Biju Patnaik’s Dakota Aircraft to take part in Aero India 2019


Bhubaneswar: Former Odisha CM Biju Patnaik’s Dakota Aircraft will take part in the Aero India-2019, the biannual airshow, scheduled to be held from February 20 to 24 in Bengaluru.

According to reports, as many as 47 aircraft will participate in the airshow this year.

Among the aircraft, HAL’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, French aerospace major Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), multi-role fighter jet Sukhoi Su-30MKI and National Aeronautics Laboratories’ (NAL) Saras PT1N will be flying during the event.

Dakota, which was part of the Indian Air Force, had remained abandoned for years. It was closely associated with the Odisha and the former CM, legendary Biju Patnaik, who was known for his daredevilry act as a pilot. The aircraft was flown by Patnaik to rescue Indonesian freedom fighters.

Legendary Biju Patnaik had formed the Kalinga Airline in 1947. The Kakinga airline had 15 Dakota planes parked in its headquarters in Kolkata. The aircraft were mostly used by the army for transport of jawans deployed in Kashmir.

Kalinga Airline’s DC-3s were also used to drop supplies at the north-eastern area of the country and providing services to the army personnel in the north-east areas of the country.

Patnaik came to the glare of publicity after he rescued former Indonesian Vice President Muhammad Hatta and Prime Minister Sutan Sjahrir. He was credited with making the landing at Srinagar on October 27, 1947.

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