IAF to fly an aircraft on biofuel on Republic Day

On Republic Day 2019, the IAF will create history by flying an AN-32 transport aircraft on biofuel over the Rajpath. This will be the IAF’s second biofuel flight and comes more than a month after the successful maiden AN-32 sortie in Chandigarh. A part of the Republic Day parade flypast will be a three aircraft-vic-formation of AN-32 aircraft, considered the workhorse in Indian military transport. The lead aircraft, to be piloted by Sqn Ldr Mehtab Sond, will be flying utilising aviation turbine fuel, blended with 10% bio-fuel. The bio-fuel has been extracted from Jatropha plant seeds using a technology patented by the Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun— one of the constituent laboratories under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, said an IAF official. Last year, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa announced that the force’s plan to fly one of its aircraft with bio-fuel on the Republic Day, 2019 in tune with the government’s plan to use fuels with low carbon footprint more. The test flight took place on December 17 2018 when pilots from Aircraft System Testing Establishment, Bengaluru, took to the skies with metal birds carrying 10% biofuel along with the ATF. However, the credit to fly the first Indian aircraft with biofuel went to Spicejet, which last August flew a 75-seater Bombardier Q400 aircraft that took off from Dehradun’s Jolly Grant airport and successfully landed in Delhi with 25 people on board… The IAF flypast on the Rajpath will have 33 aircraft including 18 fighter jets. The combat aircraft participating in the parade are Jaguars, upgraded MiG-29s and Su-30 MKI.


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