In a first for the Republic Day parade, the IAF on Saturday flew an An-32 aircraft in 'vic' formation, whose lead plane used a mix of traditional and biofuel during the grand event. The An-32 (Satluj) formation also exhibited India's quest to seek alternative sources of fuel. The lead aircraft of the formation was flown using Aviation Turbine Fuel blended with 10 per cent biofuel, a senior IAF official said.
The biofuel has been extracted from Jatropha plant seeds using a technology patented by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, the IAF said.
In a significant move, the use of indigenously produced biofuel for military aircraft has been cleared after months of exhaustive ground and flight trials, officials said Thursday. The Indian Air Force is expected to use biofuel for its transport fleet and helicopters following the clearance given by the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC).
During the flypast segment, towards the end of the parade, An-32 aircraft flew in a 'vic' formation, whose lead plane was flown using a mix of traditional and biofuel for the first time during the parade, he said.
The 'vic' formation is devised for military aircraft and comprises three or sometimes more aircraft flying in close formation with the leader at the apex and the rest of the flight en echelon to left and right, the whole resembling the letter 'V'.
A host of country's air defence capabilities were showcased during the Republic Day celebrations here.
This formation followed the swashbuckling main flypast which left the crowd at the ceremonial boulevard spellbound.
The end of the parade was marked by a single Sukhoi aircraft Su-30 MKI of the IAF performing the signature 'vertical charlie' in the air.
The theme for IAF's R-Day tableau was 'Indian Air Force: Safeguarding Indian Skies'.