Hyderabad: For the first time, the 32 Indian Air Force aircraft that will be showcased at the Republic Day Parade in Delhi will operate on aviation turbine fuel blended with 10 per cent biofuel.
The lead aircraft of the formation will be piloted by Squadron Leader Mehtab Sond of the Aircraft Systems Testing Establish-ment. 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.
The theme of the IAF is ‘Indian Air Force: Safeguarding Indian skies’. It will showcase four models on a 50-feet platform. The models include Su-30MKI and Tejas, the Light Combat Aircraft, with air defence specific attachments, the Akash missile system launcher with three missiles and Ashesha, the low level lightweight radar.
In August last year, SpiceJet operated a Bombardier Q400 aircraft that was partially powered by biofuel from the jatropha plant. The plane flew on the 45-minute route from Dehradun to Delhi. The aircraft has a mix of 75 per cent aviation turbine fuel and 25 per cent biofuel. India is one of the few countries to have used biofuel to fly aircraft.