“Night Witches” – The All Female Soviet Night Bomber Aviators of WW II

“Night Witches” was a World War II German nickname for the all female military aviators of the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, known later as the 46th “Taman” Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment, of the Soviet Air Forces. Though women were initially barred from combat, Major Marina Raskova used her position and personal contacts with the Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars, Joseph Stalin, to obtain permissionContinue reading ““Night Witches” – The All Female Soviet Night Bomber Aviators of WW II”

Single Pilot Resource Management: the Need for Formal Training

There is no one right answer in aeronautical decision-making. Each pilot is expected to analyze each situation in light of experience level, personal minimums, and current physical and mental readiness level, and make his or her own decision. Single-pilot resource management (SRM) is the art of managing all onboard and outside resources available to aContinue reading “Single Pilot Resource Management: the Need for Formal Training”

MiG 21 and IAF: A Developmental Perspective

This is a story that traces MiG 21’s history with Indian Air Force (IAF) and impact from a developmental perspective rather than an operational one. How the legend was born into IAF. Due to the large number of types inducted, IAF had an important role in developmental cycle of the plane and hence, had impactContinue reading “MiG 21 and IAF: A Developmental Perspective”

The Strategic Bomber – Necessity or Luxury – Hello India

With Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) H-6 bombers positioned in large numbers at Kashgar, and also a few at Hotan, both in Xinjiang, not too far from the Ladakh border, it is time to understand the importance and role of strategic bombers. The major world powers have had strategic bombers  since World WarContinue reading “The Strategic Bomber – Necessity or Luxury – Hello India”

Messerschmitt – The Great German Aircraft Maker of World War II – Bf 109, Bf 110 and Me 262

Messerschmitt AG was a German share-ownership limited, aircraft manufacturing corporation named after its chief designer Willy Messerschmitt from mid-July 1938 onwards, and known primarily for its World War II fighter aircraft, in particular the Bf 109 and Me 262. The company survived in the post-war era, undergoing a number of mergers and changing its name from Messerschmitt to Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm before being bought by Deutsche Aerospace (DASA, now part of Airbus) inContinue reading “Messerschmitt – The Great German Aircraft Maker of World War II – Bf 109, Bf 110 and Me 262”

IAF in Ladakh – All Set For Extended Stay and Winter Operations

With little follow-on action by China after the marathon Corps Commander level talks, the two armed forces continue to be eye-ball to eye-ball across the Line of actual control (LAC). Indian Army (IA) and Indian Air Force (IAF) have always had a yearlong active action in Ladakh region ever since the Siachen glacier became theContinue reading “IAF in Ladakh – All Set For Extended Stay and Winter Operations”

Sukhoi – The Great Aircraft Design House – Some of The Best Airborne Platforms

The Joint Stock Company (JSC) Sukhoi Company is a major Russian, formerly Soviet, aircraft manufacturer, with its headquarters in Moscow, that designs both civilian and military aircraft. It was founded by Pavel Sukhoi in 1939 as the Sukhoi Design Bureau (OKB-51). In February 2006, the Russian government merged all Russian major aircraft design houses, the Sukhoi, Mikoyan, Ilyushin, Irkut, Tupolev,Continue reading “Sukhoi – The Great Aircraft Design House – Some of The Best Airborne Platforms”

Resurrecting the Super Marine Spitfire MV 459 at Air Force Station Ambala, India

          Finding of a wreckage of an old aircraft was reported to the Ambala air base Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Air Commodore SK Sofat by the Ambala  Superintendent of Police, Shri Hardeep Singh Doon, late in the evening of 05 Feb 2003. Sofat was AOC Ambala from 01 Oct 2002 to 30 Sep 2003. ImmediatelyContinue reading “Resurrecting the Super Marine Spitfire MV 459 at Air Force Station Ambala, India”

IAF’s Training Aircraft Requirements and Indigenous Development Status – A Comprehensive Picture

With a renewed emphasis on “Atmnirbharta” (Indigenisation) it is nice to see that the two trainers under development by Hindustan Aeronautics Lt (HAL), the HTT-40 and the IJT have taken centre stage again. A country that has successfully built the modern Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’ and is now flying in Indian air Force’s (IAF) combatContinue reading “IAF’s Training Aircraft Requirements and Indigenous Development Status – A Comprehensive Picture”

India’s British Origin Military Aircraft – A Historic Connect

Most British origin military aircraft have seen through India in a great way during the various wars, and during peace. The Lysander, Hurricane, Spitfire in World War II; the Tempest in Jammu and Kashmir in 1947-48; the Vampires in 1962 and 1965, the Canberra in 1962 Sino-India war and subsequent in all actions with Pakistan;Continue reading “India’s British Origin Military Aircraft – A Historic Connect”