From the Archives January 20, 1970: Russian Sukhois for Delhi fly-past

The Indian Air Force will be introducing the Russian ground attack aircraft Sukhoi, for the first time in this year’s Republic Day fly-past over Rajpath. Air Marshal M. M. Engineer, Chief of the Western Air Command, said at a Press briefing here [New Delhi] to-day [January 19] that a total of 152 aircraft would participate in the air display which “will not be as large as last year’s in which 168 planes took part.” The Mysteries were being dropped from the fly-past while supersonic Sukhois were being added to it. The 8-minute fly-past, which marks the finale of the Republic Day parade on Rajpath between Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate, will comprise different types of aircraft and helicopters divided among subsonic transonic and supersonic blocs. Air Marshal Engineer will be leading the fly-past in a supersonic Sukhoi along with 23 others coming in at 630 miles per hour and zooming past over the parade in diamond-like formation. Another new attraction of the fly-past would be two helicopters draped like elephants hovering over for amusement of the crowds for 15 minutes before the arrival of the President at the saluting base, while massed bands would play tunes from the ground.

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