Republic Day Flypast: Bio-fueled aircraft AN-32 to soar through the skies

By: |
New Delhi | January 21, 2019 6:31 PM

According to the IAF, the flypast will be conducted in two phases – leading the parade would be the ‘Ensign’ formation comprising four Mi-17 V5 helicopters in an inverted ‘Y’ formation also referred to as the "Wineglass formation".

Republic Day Flypast, Bio fueled aircraft AN-32, Indian Air Force, Advanced Light Helicopters, Narendra Modi, Mi17 V5 helicoptersAccording to the IAF, the flypast will be conducted in two phases – leading the parade would be the ‘Ensign’ formation comprising four Mi-17 V5 helicopters in an inverted ‘Y’ formation also referred to as the “Wineglass formation”.

The flypast this Republic Day will comprise 33 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and four helicopters of the Indian Army’s (IA) aviation arm. The aircraft types include 18 fighters, eight transport aircraft and 11 helicopters.

Also on display will be IAF’s initiative keeping in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to reduce crude oil imports and dependency to the tune of 10% by 2021. It will be showcased by the formation of AN 32 aircraft flying in ‘vic’ formation in the skies.

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According to the IAF, the flypast will be conducted in two phases – leading the parade would be the ‘Ensign’ formation comprising four Mi-17 V5 helicopters in an inverted ‘Y’ formation also referred to as the “Wineglass formation”. They will fly past, trooping the National flag and the ensigns of the three services.

Followed by ‘Dhruv’ formation comprising four Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) of the Army Aviation including two armed ALH- Rudra.

The second and the main phase will commence after the end of the surface parade immediately after the Dare Devil display. This will be led by ‘Rudra’ formation of three ALH Mk IV WSI helicopters of IAF in ‘vic’ formation, followed by three C-130J Super Hercules ac in ‘vic’ formation.

Thereafter, a new formation of ‘Sutlej’, comprising of three AN-32 transport aircraft with lead aircraft using Biojet Fuel blend will be flown followed by mixed formation comprising a single AEW&C flanked by two Su-30s called ‘Netra’.

The lead aircraft of the formation of the AN-32, piloted by Sqn Ldr Mehtab Sond of the Aircraft Systems Testing Establishment, will be flying utilizing Aviation Turbine Fuel blended with 10% BioFuel. This BioFuel has been extracted from Jatropha plant seeds using a technology patented by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun. The successful trials will lead to significant reduction on India’s dependency on imported crude oil. The other two aircraft will be captained by Sqn Ldr Gautam Bajaj and Wg Cdr Arun Chandan.

Thereafter, another mixed formation of C-17 Globemaster flanked by two Su-30s in Vic formation called Globe formation will fly past the dias. This will be followed by pure fighter formations.

The first fighter formation is Jaguar formation consisting of five Jaguar aircraft in arrowhead formation. This is followed by five Mig-29 Upgrade ac in similar formation, with callsign ‘Fulcrum’. Subsequently, ‘Sukhoi’ formation comprising three SU-30 MKI aircraft, will execute the famous Trishul manoeuvre.

The lead Su-30 would execute a vertical manoeuver on reaching in front of the dais while the flanking ac would split outwards forming a Trident. The end of the parade will be marked by a single SU-30 MKI ac of the IAF, carrying out the signature ‘Vertical Charlie’ in front of the dais. All aircraft will fly-in from the Rashtrapati Bhawan side and exit towards the India Gate at heights between 60 metres to 300 metres above ground level.

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