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The Indian Air Force: At Eighty 19322012 Rs.1,500.00/-



Military aviation in India has come a long way since the early days of flying by the Cranwell trained pilots. It was a humble beginning for the youngest fighting arm of India, with the second great war thrust upon us, in the north-east. Great fighting aces were produced who have shown to the world in a very short span of time that, we are no less that anyone, if our honour and pride is at stake. Indian Air Force pilots won the highest awards given by the British many times over. War was thrust upon us as soon as we won our freedom; The Royal India Air Force proved its strength with the sweet smell of the blood of our freedom fighters and saved Kashmir. The world looked upon us with awe and doubt, no nation was willing to give us fighters or bomber aircraft.

The highly motivated officers and men of the Indian Armed Forces carried the nation on its shoulders as we became a Republic. Expansion in all spheres took place, new aircraft arrived, new training centers and bases were established. The Indian Air Force fought the 1965, 1971 and 1999 air battles against the might of western equipment and won on all occasions. The Indian Air Force, has completed eighty years of its existence, and is moving rapidly to becoming a 45 squadron strong fleet with an equally dedicated force of air warriors. This book is an updated edition of "The Flying Machines 1933-1999" the first produced in 2000. It has a complete list of all the aircraft with background details of all the aircraft types in use from the Wapiti in 1932 to the latest AW 101 waiting to be inducted in the Indian Air Force.

My encounter with military aircraft was just after the 1971 Indo-Pak War, I was a witness to the small Gnat aircraft that were on display at Dum-Dum aerodrome after their heroic deed over the skies of West Pakistan. A small lad of eight was mesmerized by the aircraft which looked big to me, but in today's comparison to the Su-30 are very small. Images of military aviation of all the services was a regular sight at home, since my father a Senior Photo Officer with the Ministry of Defense, posted in Calcutta during the 1971 War, he was also a witness to the surrender ceremony at Dacca on 16th December 1971. I was introduced to military aviation in 1985, and have been documenting it, visiting various air bases for official functions and documentation of the Indian Air Force.

The eighty anniversary artwork celebrations rekindled the urge to work again on the topic of aircraft of the Indian Air Force. Since 2000 the force has inducted various types of new aircraft and numerous activities have taken place. Encouraging support was extended by Air Marshal DC Kumaria PVSM AVSM VM VSM ADC, Vice Chief of Air Staff. I was once again in the thick of military aircraft, after having just released a book "Victor Tango" on the Indian Civil Aviation scene in 2011, when the nation complete 100 years of civil aviation.

Numerous aviation experts like Phil Camp, Pulak Sen, PVS Jagan Mohan, Anuradha Reddy, Sqn Ldr (retd) Rana TS Chhina, Simon Watson, Rahul Devnath, Tim Brown, Wg Cdr (retd) Rakesh Chauhan have provided me with valuable information and photographs from their personnel collections during the compilation of this book. I am grateful to the Gp Capt R Maheshwar, Director (Directorate of Operations - M&PR) who has always been patient, to all my queries for the book.

Finally my sincere gratitude to Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh DFC for penning the foreword for my second book, which is the best form of encouragement and support I ever expected. Sincere thanks to Shri JR Nanda, CEO Avi-Oil lndia Pvt Ltd who is the best source of inspiration for Indian Military Aviation. His support has brought me where I am in aviation today. I request all readers to send in their comments and suggestions for making the next edition more comprehensive.

VIJAV SETH, Indian Aviation Historian & Aviation Photographer

Author: Vijay Seth
Pages: 160
Features: HB, Full Color
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 20 February, 2013.
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