New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday celebrated its 86th anniversary in a grand ceremony. The main attraction of the flypast was the vintage Dakota DC3 aircraft which made its debut at the parade this year. 

The Indian military aircraft, which played a vital role in the 1947-48 India-Pakistan war and other wars, was restored to its original glory, made in flying condition by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, and was inducted into the Vintage Aircraft Flight of the IAF on May 4 this year.

This aircraft was gifted to the nation by Chandrasekhar and was named Parashurama.

Rajya Sabha MP Chandrasekhar is an aviation enthusiast and is the son of an Air Force officer, Air Commodore (retd) MK Chandrasekhar, who served as a trainer on the fighter aircraft. He flew the Dakota and was part of several sorties of the Dakota as well.

“I am delighted to see the Dakota participating in its maiden flypast. The Dakota is an important part of the Air Force’s history - and Jammu and Kashmir's history. If it was not for the Dakotas and the troops it airlifted in 1947 — Srinagar would not be with India today,” Chandrasekhar said on the Air Force Day.

The restoration took over six years.

The Rajya Sabha MP said he was “motivated mainly for my father and many others who served, and the need to remind country of the bravery of the IAF and Army in 1947 which kept young, independent India together with Jammu and Kashmir.”