Dr. Kurt Tank and Indian Fighter Aircraft
Dr Tank was a scientist from hitler's era and helped launch indian military aviation
A German Who Headed Indian Military Development
Many people in India may have never heard of Dr Kurt Tank. Who was he? He was a German Aeronautical designer during the Second World War. He had a distinguished record and after the end of the war, he surrendered to the allies. Thankfully Kurt Tank was not touched by the Allies as a war criminal, though he had been part of Hitler’s aviation industry.
Dr Tank while in Germany during the Second World War, made a significant contribution to the Nazi war effort He was instrumental in designing a string of German Fighter bombers for the Luftwaffe. Dr Tank had a distinguished record during the war and designed a number of planes like the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter aircraft.
At the end of the war like other German scientists he negotiated with number of countries and finally opted to work In Argentina. But Tank soon moved to India where he headed the Indian institute of technology at Madras. It is interesting to note that one of the students of Dr. Tank was Dr Abul Kalam who later became the president of India.
Kurt Tank later joined Hindustan Aeronautics, where he designed the Hindustan Marut fighter-bomber, the first military aircraft constructed in India. The first prototype flew in 1961; the Marut was retired from active service in 1985. Tank left Hindustan Aeronautics after a decade but his pioneering work stood the Indian aviation industry in good stead. The Marut also known as the HF 24 was a subsonic fighter bomber. It was the first jet fighter bomber made outside the developed world.