n October 8, 1932, a motley crew of cadets was assembled to form what was called the Hawai sepoys. Yes, five pilots, a Royal Air Force officer and a fleet of four Westland Wapiti Biplanes was all that the Indian Air Force began with.
From then there has been no looking back.
In the 1950s, the Vampires became the first jet combat aircraft in the IAF's fleet.
In the 1960s the first supersonic jets, MiG 21s were acquired.
In the 1980s, the MiG23, 25, 27 and 29 were inducted.
In 2000, the Jaguars and Mirage also became part of what is today the fourth largest air force in the world.
This October, as the Indian Air Force turns 75, come join rediff.com in saluting the our heroes in the skies.
From the Rediff Archives
Kalam on wings of fire