Monday, February 16, 2009

Bangalore: The signature manoeuvres of the Surya Kiran and the Sarang teams enthralled thousands of spectators below and marked the last day of Aero India 2009. After five days of business meetings and several rounds of aerobatics by combat aircraft, the largest event in the Indian defence sector drew its curtains down until the next Aero India two years later.
The five-day show saw the largest number of business and other visitors ever in any Aero India event -- a 30,000 increase in both categories. There were over 500 domestic and aviation companies plus all the big names from the aviation sector. The first three days saw hectic business meetings, deals that will culminate in the weeks and months to come.
Combat aircraft from major contenders for the Indian Air Force's requirement of 126 fighter jets stole the show, with every company vying for India's attention. The Eurofighter Typhoon, participating for the first time, wowed the crowd, so did the F-16 and F-18, LCA Tejas, Sukhoi 30 MKI and others.
To give the show its glamour quotient was present Ratan Tata on the first day, although he did not fly this time. This year, Olympics star Abhinav Bindra, India's first astronaut Rakesh Sharma, and MP Naveen Jindal flew the F-16. Journalist Suman Sharma became the first Indian woman to fly both the F-16 and the MiG-35.
Towards evening, after Aero India 2009 ended, many eyes were still glued to the sky and people clicked more pictures. The roar of the Sukhoi-30 and MiG-35 and dozens of other aircraft from across the globe, was hard to shake off.
16/02/09 Times of India


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