Friday, January 30, 2009

Bangalore: Scenes of the world’s best air warriors indulging in dog fights and aerobatic displays will be a common feature during the Aero India 2009.
Locking horns with these fighter and display pilots will be celebrities from India attired in G-suits and co-piloting some of the most lethal fighter jets during the bi-annual aero show to be held from February 11 to 15 at the Air Force Station, Yelahanka.
Foreign participants who will be displaying their most potent aircraft are keen on having celebrities in their aircraft cockpits and also taking them on sorties during the aero show.
US aviation major Lockheed Martin which will have the F-16 and the C130J aircraft on the flying display side during Aero India, has said that it is keen to invite a few guests to co-pilot its aircraft.
“We have invites right now to some special people, but have no firm names as of yet,” Lockheed Martin Officials in India confirmed to The Express.
The US Embassy in New Delhi is said to have already sent invites to a few guests to fly the test or co-pilot the aircraft of some of the American companies which will be taking part during Aero India.
While the list of Indian celebrities is awaited, the speculation is that flying enthusiasts and industrialists, including those involved in the aviation industry, will don the G-suits.
Among the companies and aircraft which are keen to have the guest pilots on board are those which are lobbying hard to bag the contract for the 126 multi-role combat aircraft which the Indian Air Force (IAF) plans to acquire.
During the last edition of Aero India in 2007, Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata co-piloted the F-16 and also Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet. Both the companies are in the race for bagging the contract to supply 126 multi-role combat aircraft, as IAF plans to conduct flight trials in March.
29/01/09 Hemanth CS/ExpressBuzz

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