Children waved the tricolor and the Air Force band played a colorful note to welcome 43 aircraft, from a Cessna to Chetak choppers, which touched down at Sonegaon airport in Nagpur on Saturday after completing the last leg of the Air Race India 2003.
Flying crisscross, 51 aircraft were flagged off simultaneously on Thursday from Barrackpore in the East, Bangalore in the South and Goa in the West to mark the centenary of powered flight under the Aeronautical Society of India's aegis.
The race was held to mark the world's first flight by the Wright brothers in 1903 in their Wright Flyer in Kittyhawk in the US.
Senior Indian Air Force officers were also present at the airport to receive the fliers.
Seven aircraft failed to take off from their bases while one civilian plane dropped out of the race at Thiruvananthapuram due to a technical snag, an IAF spokesman said.
Most aircraft sailed through without major problems.
There were three women co-pilots besides two girls from the National Cadet Corps air wing from Bangalore and Belgaum respectively.
The cynosure of all eyes was a diminutive Audrey Maben, who took off on a solo flight from Bangalore.