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The Hindustan Aeronautics HF-24 Marut
: "Spirit of the Tempest") was an Indian fighter-bomber aircraft
of the 1960s. It was India's first jet aircraft, first flying on 17 June 1961. The wooden mock-up
of the aircraft was flyable as an air-launched glider
The Marut was designed by the famed German designer Kurt Tank
, but never realised its full potential due to insufficient power. The basic design was developed by Kurt Tank's team during Tank's days developing jet aircraft in Argentina, which was to be called Pulqui III, as a follow on for the Pulqui II. Tank departed Argentina for India carrying the Marut's concept with him. Although originally conceived to operate in the vicinity of Mach 2, the aircraft in fact turned out to be barely capable of reaching Mach 1
, due to the lack of suitably powered engines for the airframe. After the Indian Government conducted its first nuclear tests
, international pressure prevented the import of better engines, or at times, even spares for the Orpheus engines. This would be one of the main reasons for this aircraft's early demise.
It was used in combat in the ground attack role, where its safety features such as manual controls whenever the hydraulic systems failed and twin engines increased survivability.
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