All eyes set on the skies

Aero India
Last Updated 04 February 2013, 20:49 IST

The most magnificent of the metallic birds will dot the skies this week. The ninth edition of ‘Aero India 2013’, scheduled to be held at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, from February 6 to 10, is evoking tremendous response from the aircraft industry. 

A lot of people will miss the Surya Kiran aerobatic team this year but the brand new addition, that is set to soar the skies, is the ‘Russian Knights’ ­— the­ Russian ­Air ­Force ­aerobatic team who will vie for space along with ‘Flying Bulls’ from Czech Republic and IAF’s Sarang aerobatic team.

Metrolife spoke to the organisers and the people who are all set to go to the aero show. They have, in fact, booked the tickets well in advance.

This aero show is estimated to have over 600 companies and 78 overseas delegations accommodated over an approximate area of 1,25,000 sq m. The largest overseas participation will be from the USA followed by Israel and Russia, France, UK, Germany and Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy and Ukraine just to mention a few.  

People who have bought tickets for the aero show have been following the developments in the industry very closely. Aviation enthusiast Sanjay Simha has never missed a single edition of the aero show in the City. He not only watches the show but takes plenty of pictures, for aviation photography happens to be his passion. Sanjay feels ‘Aero India’ has always been an aviation enthusiast’s delight and this edition would also no doubt be a feast for aircraft spotters. “Massive modernisation taking place across the Indian defence forces has attracted exhibitors from all over the world to showcase their hardware. Air displays have always been a highlight and a crowd puller,” reasons Sanjay. He confesses that he is looking forward to the performance by the famous ‘Russian Knights’, the aerobatic team consisting of five Su-27 aircraft from Russia. 

“‘The ‘Knights’ have rarely performed outside their country and I was fortunate to photograph them last year at Zhukovsky air base near Moscow and their flare-emitting manoeuvre will be a treat to watch,” he adds. 

Neha Muralidharan is in the medical profession but that has never stopped her from regularly going for the show. She says the show always evokes mixed feelings of patriotism and thrill but she’s a little disappointed that the Surya Kiran will not be there this year. “This time, I am a little disappointed as the Surya Kiran is not a part of the show. Their absence is definitely going to bring down our enthusiasm a bit. I wish the bearers of the tricolour return owing to the enormous public request,” observes Neha.  

Being a student of engineering, Neema N has always made it a point to witness every aero show. She feels that the show is a blend of marketing strategies and aerial theatrics. “Aerial displays by the homegrown Tejas and Sarang are a real feast to the eyes. But this year, it is disheartening to know that Surya Kirans are not there,” says Neema and adds, “nevertheless, I am eagerly waiting to see spellbinding manoeuvres, sharp turns, rolls, and spins by fighter jets from all major manufacturers from across the world.” 

Seventy four-year-old Aravindakshan is all set to watch mind-boggling manoeuvres. “The absence of Surya Kirans this year is a big disappointment. But nevertheless, the show has to go on and even at this age, I am thrilled to watch the daring stunts in the skies,” he sums up. 

(Published 04 February 2013, 14:43 IST)

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