The Peacock (‘Sarang’ in Sanskrit) is India’s national bird, and is associated with grace. Here at ILA, the Indian Air Force Sarang team aim to display their four HAL Dhruv (North Star) helicopters in a routine characterized by grace, and that shows off the aircraft’s power and handling qualities.
The Sarang team was formed at IAF Yelahanka, near Bangalore in October 2003. Initially flying three HAL Dhruvs, the team made its international debut at the Singapore air show in February 2004, subsequently adding a fourth aircraft. Pilots were posted to the team from frontline squadrons, most coming from the HAL Cheetah and HAL Chetak. Though display flying is the team’s primary role, it has already been used for supporting humanitarian missions, including flood relief.
The team suffered a setback in 2007, losing one aircraft during rehearsals for the Aero-India show. The pilot was seriously injured, and the co-pilot killed.
Sarang remains one of a handful of full time military helicopter teams, and is appearing at Berlin to launch a major tour, which will also take in the airshows at Fairford and Farnborough.
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