Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik unveiled his late father Biju Patnaik’s refurbished Douglas DC-3 Dakota aircraft on Saturday for public viewing at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar.
The aircraft, which was flown by Biju Patnaik in the 1940s and 1950s, has been restored by the state government and was unveiled to mark the 105th birth anniversary of the former chief minister.
The DC-3 Dakota aircraft played a significant role in India’s history, particularly in the aftermath of the 1947 partition of the country. It was used to evacuate refugees and transport military personnel during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947-48.
Biju Patnaik was an accomplished pilot and served as an air force officer during World War II. After India’s independence, he went on to become a successful businessman and politician, serving as Odisha’s chief minister twice.
The refurbished aircraft will be open for public viewing at the airport’s museum, which has a collection of vintage aircraft and aviation memorabilia. The museum is a popular tourist attraction in the city and is expected to draw even more visitors with the addition of the DC-3 Dakota aircraft.
The unveiling ceremony was attended by several dignitaries, including Biju Patnaik’s family members and senior officials from the state government. In his speech, Naveen Patnaik paid tribute to his father and praised his contributions to India’s aviation and political history.
The restoration of the DC-3 Dakota aircraft is seen as a fitting tribute to Biju Patnaik, who is widely regarded as a pioneering aviator and visionary politician. The aircraft has been carefully restored to its original condition and is a testament to India’s rich aviation heritage.
In conclusion, the unveiling of Biju Patnaik’s DC-3 Dakota aircraft is a significant event for aviation enthusiasts and history buffs alike. The aircraft’s restoration is a tribute to a pioneering aviator and a reminder of India’s rich aviation history. The addition of the aircraft to the airport museum is expected to draw even more visitors to the city and is a testament to the enduring legacy of Biju Patnaik.