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11:57 AM, January 18, 2019
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IAF To Fly Biofuel-driven An-32 Aircraft At Republic Day Parade

The Indian Air Force will fly an aircraft operating on aviation turbine fuel blended with 10 per cent biofuel for the first time at the Republic Day Parade to be held on January 26, New Delhi, India.

The parade will see An-32 biofuel-driven aircraft in formation lead by Squadron Leader Mehtab Sond of the Aircraft Systems Testing Establish-ment. According to IAF, the biofuel is extracted from katropha plant seeds using a technology patented by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and the Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun.

"India's quest to seek alternate sources of fuel towards reducing its dependence on crude oil will now be showcased by the... formation of An 32 aircraft flying in 'vic' formation. The lead aircraft of the formation, piloted by Squadron Leader Mehtab Sond of the Aircraft Systems Testing Establishment, is flying utilizing Aviation Turbine Fuel blended with 10 per cent biofuel," the IAF said in a statement.

"IAF's initiative is in line with the Prime Minister's vision to reduce crude oil imports and dependency to the tune of 10 per cent by 2021," it added.

The main flypast will comprise 33 aircraft of the IAF and four helicopters of Army’s aviation arm. The end of the parade will marked by the single Sukhoi aircraft flying in ‘vertical Charlie’ formation.

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