India once used an “elephant-shaped helicopter” to fly in the sky

India once used

In essence, this is an IAF SA 316B Alouette III / HAL Chetak helicopter disguised as an elephant. Interestingly, this modified helicopter is handmade by a tailor, the elephant’s body including trunk and legs are all made from different colored fabrics. These fabrics are carefully sewn together over a period of two or three weeks.

There are many sources that say that these elephant-shaped planes officially appeared in India in 1977, but there are also many opinions that it appeared earlier. However, to find the origin of these “flying elephants”, we need to go back to India in 1969.

In that year, India started building and developing licensed versions of the famous French Aérospatiale Alouette III helicopter. It is manufactured by HAL and is named Chetak – after a war horse belonging to King Maharana Pratap in the 16th century. The name means dedicated, brave and resistant to occupation.

By modern standards, the Chetak is a light utility helicopter at its best. But at the time it was an impressive machine. More than 300 of these were built – excluding the original French Alouette IIIs that India purchased – primarily for the Indian Air Force (IAF), and only in the 2010s the force This is just starting to consider replacing them. Having participated in many local conflicts, this aircraft has become an icon in India.

However, it was not until the annual Republic Day parade, held in New Delhi at some point in the 1970s, that Chetak rose to stardom.

On January 26, soldiers marched along Rajpath Avenue, tanks rumbling and trucks carrying performers displaying all sorts of dramatic stunts. However, this did not really attract everyone and it was not until a strange plane appeared that the public got excited and really excited – it was an airplane in the shape of an elephant.

It is one of the helicopters of IAF Helicopter Unit No. 116. According to some documents, the entire fuselage is covered in richly decorated textiles, complete with four hollow legs, two ears. , a pair of tusks and a massive body.

India used to use

The modification was made by one of the IAF tailors by attaching pieces of fabric. Even the glass is enclosed, leaving only narrow slits to see through, and pilots are not allowed to accelerate beyond 110 km/h (70 mph) for fear of losing their decals and potentially damaging them. may damage the machine.

The plane created a fever in the crowd at that time. Elephants are one of India’s national animals, and a powerful symbol of strength, and the helicopter’s transformation into elephants is something to behold for the people of India. time – although these “flying elephants” can only fly slowly in a straight line.

India once used

Under a licensing agreement between Aérospatiale and Indian aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the Alouette III has been built under license by HAL in India. Known locally as HAL Chetak; majority of these were acquired for military purposes by the Indian Armed Forces, who used them to perform various mission roles, including training, transport, CASEVAC (evacuation). casualties), communications and communication roles. As of 2017, the Chetak is arguably the most widely used IAF helicopter for training, light utility and light attack roles.

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