Imran H. Khan

Yousaf_Khan

In order to get a much deeper understanding of the capabilities of F-86, I had a unique opportunity to have a candid discussion about its performance in actual air combat with a  Pakistan Air Force officer, then Flt. Lt Yousaf Ali Khan. He shared his experience in the F-86 in the video below. His praise of F-86 is specially noteworthy as he can objectively compare it with other contemporary fighters like the Hunter and Mig-21 which he also flew.  Besides his insights into the noteworthy aspects of the F-86, his story is a compelling one from a number of different aspects. While the video was made in very informal circumstances, I thought that it worthwhile sharing it as it was a unique opportunity to capture some very important historical events that shaped the 1965 war of the Indian sub continent.

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Imran H. Khan

F-86_dayton_FrontSome stories take a lifetime to develop. Sometimes an incredibly capable concoction of aluminium, rubber and electronics ends up reminding you of its significance from time to time all during ones life. One such very exquisite piece of technology is the F-86 Sabre. Most recently I came across it standing in the National Museum of USAF in Dayton Ohio. It belonged to Bruce Hinton who became the first US pilot to shoot down a Mig-15 in the Korean war. My earliest childhood memory in Mauripur PAF base, Karachi are filled with the sights and sounds of this new aircraft that would shake the windows of our house, as the pilots were flying them low like the propeller driven planes that they had been used to. One of my fondest memory is of my father taking me to the F-86 that he had just ferried from the US. He had hidden an inordinate number of toys in all possible compartments that he opened one after the other to my unending joy. It was quite a heady times for a newly formed nation with such state of the art planes. I can only imagine what a high it would have been for my father from being a refugee ,with the only belonging being the clothes on his body a few years earlier after partition, to being able to fly these shiny airborne chariots. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) ended up acquiring 240 Sabres that stayed in service from 1956 to 1979.

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Imran H. Khan

Today on a sunny but windy winter morning, I took off runway 35 on Norwood Memorial Airport with my instructor Kevin Baird in a Warrior III tail number 244ND on a pre-solo check ride. I had a little over eight hours of flying under my wings and was convinced that I was far from ready to do anything as reckless as a solo. But my new instructor liked my flying enough to consider my soloing today. Even though it was crisp and sunny, the winds were picking up. I had been flying two other Warriors in my previous flights, but found this plane to be handling a little bit better.  My first touch and go went surprisingly smoothly even though there was considerable turbulence on the approach created by a combination of marshes and highways just prior to the touch down.  I am not sure whether it was the stress of flying or that it was getting really hot, I was beginning to really heat up as I had forgotten to take the jacket off. The instructor had to take over the controls and I struggled in the tight cockpit and took it off.

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Air Cdre Kaiser Tufail (Retd)

This is the second part of the post. It is from one of the chapters of the upcoming book “Air War-1971″

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Air Cdre Kaiser Tufail (Retd)

Looking at the grotesque disparity between the Air Forces arrayed against each other in the Eastern wing – one PAF combat squadron versus twelve of IAF – one cannot but agree that the idea of ‘defence of East lies in the West’ reflected a realistic appraisal of the grim situation by the Pakistani military strategists. With the PAF’s air element not expected to last beyond a day or two at best, and the outnumbered Pak Army hopelessly encircled by the Indian Army and Mukti Bahini, strategic compulsions demanded that a front be opened in the West at the earliest to capture Indian territory and redeem some lost honour.  Occupation of Indian territory was no less important from the point of view of bargaining the release of POWs that were bound to be captured in East Pakistan, en masse.  Sadly however, this line of thinking meant that the Pakistani forces in the East were sacrificial lambs and, would have to submit to the inevitable sooner or later.  The only challenge for the unfortunate soldiers, sailors and airmen was to delay the impending disaster as much as they could, in the dim hope of some miracle occurring on the geo-political front at the eleventh hour.  If ever there was a pathetic and despondent situation at the outset of a modern day conflict, the one faced by Pakistani armed forces in East Pakistan was beyond compare. Read more

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Javed Sultan

Fig. 1

The need for affordable building technologies is obvious to most of us who come from countries that are poor and are often victims of natural calamities. Housing for the poor receives only limited funding and takes a backseat to other economic priorities. What the poor often do not realize is that there are no affordable technologies that can meet their need. The only way to meet their housing needs is to be an active part of the building process. Read more

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Imran H. Khan

The recent US mission to get Osama without the knowledge of Pakistan Air Force was a success because of PAF’s lack of investment in sensors that can detect low flying aircraft in undulating and hilly terrain. This is not the first time that PAF has been caught in this embarrassing situation. Indian Air Force was able to penetrate deep into Pakistani territory in 1971, knowing that PAF did not have low level radar coverage in many areas.  At that time PAF depended on mobile observer units (MOUs) for human visual and aural detection of planes.  This man power intensive brute force effort only worked in limited areas and only during war. Despite investing in limited low altitude radars and airborne radars it is obvious that there are gaping holes in the air defense system as exemplified by the unscathed operation of multiple large rotor helicopters for hours in Pakistani airspace deep into its territory.

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Imran H. Khan

President Obama’s state of the union focused on investments into education and innovation as the key engines for maintaining USA’s leadership position in the long term. The same is equally applicable for developing countries like Pakistan. OPEN has been facilitating entrepreneurs in America for over ten years. OPEN joined hands with MIT to conduct Business Acceleration Plans as a way to doing the same in Pakistan.  It was felt that rather than focusing on start ups it would be socially more effective to take companies whose sales were $1M-$5M to the next level. This is the reason for naming it as an acceleration plan. BAP has impacted 120 companies over the last four years that it has been conducted.  The four finalists of the BAP were in Boston today and interacted with OPEN’s New England Chapter members.

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by Imran H. Khan
When I first heard of the pervasive use of the body scanners or the alternative aggressive body pats it made me cringe as this would make air travel even less attractive than what it currently is, with the many security checks. It seems that the Homeland security has already deployed 400 hundred of x ray back scatter type scanners across over a hundred airports in the US. The choice that is now being offered to a passenger is either get yourself scanned over undergo the humiliation of an aggressive pat down, an euphemism for a stranger touching your private parts. These procedures are now in place in 450 airports and 800 million passengers will experience it over the course of the year. Read more

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by Imran H. Khan

Jadoo2 is the latest offering from JadooTV which allows you to view multi media content streamed off the internet on your TV screen. I had written about the first Jadoo offering earlier under the title of  “Connecting Diasporas with HomeLands” . I recently got the opportunity to experience Jadoo2 to see for myself what improvements have been made by the company since the last two years. I have tried to capture both the installation and the viewing experience of the product in this post, that could potentially help those trying to make a decision to buy, as well as show a few new features. It is an informational faucet for the mind and a source of pleasure for both the eyes and ears. Read more

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