Biju Babu’s Dakota to take part in Aero India show

Bhubaneswar: Legendary Biju Patnaik’s Dakota among the vintage aircraft will be taking part in the upcoming Aero India 2019 in Bengaluru.

The aircraft will be the eye-catcher at the biannual airshow scheduled from Feb 20 to 24 in to be held in India’s IT city.

Around 47 aircraft will participate in the much-awaited Aero India show 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 IAF, had remained abandoned for years. It was closely associated with Odisha and its late Chief Minister Biju Patnaik.

The aircraft was flown by Patnaik to rescue Indonesian freedom fighters.

Worth mentioning, former CM Biju Patnaik, who was known for his daredevilry act as a pilot, had formed the Kalinga Airline in 1947. The airline had 15 Dakota planes parked in its headquarters Kolkata. The aircraft were chiefly 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 area of the country.

Patnaik came to limelight after he rescued former Indonesian Vice President Muhammad Hatta and Prime Minister Sutan Sjahrir from their enemies on July 22, 1947. He was credited with making the landing at Srinagar on Oct 27 in the year.

Later, the Indonesia government acknowledged Patnaik’s contribution by honouring him with ‘Bhumi Putra’ title for his chivalry.

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