Asia's largest aero show takes off Wednesday
As India's aerospace hub, Bangalore is abuzz with hectic activity
for the south Asia's largest air show, AeroIndia 2011, from
Wednesday at the Yelahanka air base on the city's outskirts where
A spectacular flying display and breathtaking aerobatics in
formations by Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots marked the launch of
Asia's biggest air show Aero India-2011 here on a sunny Wednesday.
Soon after Defence Minister A.K. Antony declared open the eighth
edition of the biennial aerospace and aviation trade expo at the
air force base near Yelahanka on the outskirts of this aerospace
hub, VIPs and invitees were treated to an hour-long fly-past
involving supersonic and sub-sonic fighters, trainer jets and
India's indigenous and world's smallest light-weight combat
aircraft (LCA) Tejas in an arrow formation and aerobatics was the
star attraction at the inaugural event for the fighter's agility
After the transport aircraft AN-32 flanked by two Dornier flew
past the runway in a small boy formation, nine Surya Kiran
sub-sonic trainers took off for various formations and aerobatics,
belching a trail of smoke in Indian tri colours.
Even as the select gathering waited for the return of Surya Kirans
to perform dazzling feats, including rollovers and signature
tunes, the indigenous Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) of the
state-run defence behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) flew
over, followed by five Jaguars in arrow formation and three Sukhoi
fighters in trident ('Trishul') formation.
Among the choppers were the HAL's light combat helicopter (LCH)
and its flagship product advanced light helicopter (ALH), which
flew in formation as a Sarang team.
The awesome flying and aerobatic display of the medium multi-role
combat aircraft (MMRCA) by five of the six global aerospace majors
- which are in race for the IAF's multi-billion dollar order for
126 metal birds - held the audience spellbound and kept them
gazing at the sky despite a beating sun.
The fourth generation supersonic fighters that displayed their air
prowess are European consortium EADS' Eurofighter Typhoon, US
majors Boeing's F/A-18 and Lockheed Martin's F-16s, Swedish SAAB's
Gripen and Dasault's Rafale.
The sixth contender -- Russian MiG-35 -- was conspicuous by its
Hosted by the defence ministry's exhibition organisation in
partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the
five-day event has attracted about 40 international delegations
and 675 exhibitors.
This number includes 380 from 30 countries and 295 domestic firms
which will showcase their latest aerospace technologies and
products for Indian and international markets.
Official delegations from the big five - Britain, Germany, France,
Russia and the US - have also come acalling to promote their
global aerospace majors for collaborations, partnerships and joint
ventures with Indian state-run and private enterprises.
"The US delegation, led by Assistant Secretary of State for
Political-Military Affairs Andrew J. Shapiro, is the largest with
250 members, including officials, chief executives and experts in
the field at the aero show," the official said.
Other major delegations will be from Germany with 35 members and
Eight countries -- Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Israel,
Italy, Russia and the US -- have put up dedicated pavilions for
their respective aerospace companies and organisations.
About 70,000 business delegates from 70 countries are expected to
make a beeline to the military and civil aviation trade show,
while a whopping 275,000 general visitors are set to throng the
venue for witnessing the static and flying display.
About 100 military and civil aircraft, including 47 foreign planes
and different helicopters, have landed for static or flying
The revival of the civil aviation post-recession is evident from
its participation, overtaking military aviation 54 percent and the
defence sector accounting for the remaining 46 percent.
This year's air show will outnumber all previous figures in terms
of participating countries, companies, space and business, with 70
percent increase in gross exhibition area to 75,000 square metres
from 44,000 square metres in 2009.