The Sukhoi Su-30MKI Flanker-H is currently the most advanced multirole air superiority fighter in Indian service. Exceedingly successful at the air-to-air mission, and more than capable in the air-to-ground role as well, the Indian Air Force chose well when they decided to procure the curvy aircraft back in the late 1990s. But fighting apparently isn’t all the Flanker-H can do… According to The Golden Sparrow, an Indian newspaper published in the city of Pune, the IAF used one of their Flankers to transport a liver and a kidney for two patients at a military hospital in New Delhi, both in urgent need of the transplanted organs. The flight was just around 80 minutes in duration, mostly thanks to the Flanker’s speed, and both patients were saved. You can read more on the story by clicking the link below:
Back in 2002, the US Marine Corps air wing performed a similar mission with a group of CH-46 Sea Knights from HMX-1, the squadron tasked with flying the President of the United States. Colonel John Ripley, one of the most celebrated Marines in history required a liver transplant as a result of an illness due to his service in Vietnam. Very close to death, with Last Rites already administered, the Commandant of the Marines Corps ordered the CH-46s to fly to Philadelphia to pick up a liver that was deemed a proper patch for Ripley, then had them fly back to Washington DC with the liver, setting down on a special landing zone in the city. The ensuing surgery was successful, and Ripley’s life was saved. While these stories aren’t ground-breaking developments in military aviation, nor are they anything classified in the realm of “big news”, I still like sharing them from time to time for a daily smile or two!