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Aero India takes off on spectacular note
Fakir Chand in Bangalore | February 05, 2003 17:46 IST
Spectacular display by the magnificent flying machines of the Indian Air Force marked the inauguration of Aero India 2003 in Bangalore on Wednesday.
In an azure blue sky, the India Air Force pilots displayed the awesome power of their fighter aircraft ranging from Sukhoi-30 MK1 to the agile Advance Light Helicopter Dhruv, and Surya Kiran jet trainers dazzling a mammoth crowd with their breath-taking aerobatics.
Interestingly, in the memory of the 7 astronauts, including the Indian-born Kalpana Chawla, who perished in the Columbia explosion last week, the Surya Kirans flew in a bowing formation in the shape of the space shuttle, to pay tributes to the departed souls.
The majestic flying display of the supersonic Light Combat Aircraft, designed and developed indigenously by the Aeronautical Development Agency and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, signaled the entry of the Indian aerospace industry in the global aviation market.
After the inaugural formalities, including an address by defence minister George Fernandes, three ALHs flew over the VIP enclosure in a wing formation, displaying the copter's maneuvers with ease for all kinds of exercises, including main battlefield and rescue or relief operations.
The three variants of the ALH, which have been inducted in the IAF, army, and the navy last year, have also performed feats undertaken by the defence services in real-time battlefield and rescue or relief operations.
In a rare display of aerial maneuvers, the IAF pilots took off in different aircraft to fly together in an arrow formation, demonstrating their skills in handling simultaneously fighter jets such as 5 Jaguars along with low-speed AN-32, MI8 helicopter, and 2 Dorniers.
Witnessed by a dozen high level defence delegations from various countries, including Italy, Czech republic, Namibia, and South Africa, and hundreds of delegates, the multiple aerobatics conducted by wing commander Nirmal Singh from the supersonic Sukhoi-30 MKI clearly stole the thunder of the aero show.
Taking off from a low range of 300 feet at 200 km per hour speed to dizzy heights of 3.5 km at a speed of 650 km per hour, the fighter pilot demonstrated the super agility of SU-30 MKI.To the delight of over 5000 people, who gathered for the inaugural show, Singh performed spectacular feats such as box turn maneuvers and vertical Charlie, making skilful u-turns and semi-radius loops.