Sarang is the first Indian Air Force helicopter formation display team. The team flies three HAL- ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter) Dhruv (North Star) helicopters from Bangalore. The word "Sarang" means Peacock in sanskrit and is chosen for it is the national bird of India. The Birds beauty and grace is legendry in Indian mythology. The crew and aircraft belong to the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment of the IAF, which is facilitating the entry into service of this new helicopter.
The helicopter, also in service with the Army, Navy and the Coast Guard is a state of the art composite hinge less rotor design and is powered by two turbomeca TM 333-2B2 engines allowing sufficient single engine performance and cat'A' take off capability. The helicopter's civil variant is also built to FAR-29 specifications.
Three aircraft are currently painted in this new scheme, which represents the colours of the peacock. The team also practices with its non-painted ac and also with the only wheeled variant with the IAF (originally only the Navy and the Coast Guard are to get the wheeled variant). The team's first public display was at the Singapore Air Show between 24th and 29th of February 2004.
The Indian Air Force was the only participant to field aerobatic teams. No other organisation fielded any formation aerobatic teams, whether fixed wing or helicopter. Photos by G R Reddy
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