India - Air Force Ilyushin IL-76MD KI2901
Pavel Bezrukov - AviaPressPhoto
Image ID: 1508127
Operator: India - Air Force - KI2901
Aircraft: Ilyushin - IL-76MD
Airport: India - Yelahanka AFB (VOYK)
Category: Main database
Photo taken on 2023-2-13 by Vaibhav Shah [Contact]
Camera setting: Canon EOS R5, 1/200s, f/5.6 at 300mm ISO 800
(2.3.2023, 07:49 CET)
Starting off my AERO INDIA 2023 photo series with one of my favorite aircraft in the Indian Air Force's fleet, the Ilyushin IL-76! Popularly known as Gajraj (Hindi for King Elephant), this Strategic Transport Aircraft was ordered from the Soviet Union in 1983 and was India's main heavy-lift aircraft until the arrival of the C-17 Globemaster in 2013. She was designed to deliver heavy machinery, troops, and cargo to remote, poorly served areas. The IAF has 17 Ilyushin IL-76MDs in its fleet. It also operates 7 IL-78MKIs (Refueling Tanker) and 3 Beriev A-50s (AEW&C) which are based on the IL76 aircraft. I have spotted dozens of IL76s in my 13 years of plane spotting journey, but due to sheer bad luck, I never got a chance to get a good photo of the Gajraj. The Hide & Seek finally ended when this airframe arrived at Yelahanka on the evening of the Day 1 of the Air show. This was a lucky moment for me as this flight was meant to be operated by the C-17, but as the IAF's C-17s were busy with post-earthquake relief operations for Turkey, this old workhorse was called back into action. Needless to say, she alerted everyone at the airbase during her arrival and departure with her loud and screechy Soloviev D-30 engines. IL76s are unique, versatile, and capable of operating in and out of high-altitude, rugged airbases in any weather. Not to forget they are favorites amongst aviation enthusiasts and plane spotters like me. I hope these beautiful beasts will be in operation for many more years. KI2901, a 35-year-old airframe, is seen here taxiing toward Yelahanka AFB's Runway 09 during sunset.
1 Radim Tylecek
(3 March 2023 - 14:12 CET)
Lovely pic, bro. Well done!
2 Vaibhav Shah
(4 March 2023 - 05:30 CET)
Thanks a lot! :)
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