BANGALORE, India—It was a show of acrobatic skills, vintage aircraft displays, and breath-taking maneuvers; Indians were enthralled by the grandest of all Asian airshows at the 9th Biennial Aero India 2013.
The 5-day extravaganza, from Feb. 6-10 showcased the best in Indian, American, French and Russian aircraft.
“The airshow was marvelous. There were airplanes, jets, and helicopters. The maneuvers were very good”, said Prakash Asrani, an ex-businessman from the city.
According to Asrani, the aerobatic performers exhibited commendable control and it was a grand display by the skilled pilots.
Indian Aircraft Display
The best Indian aircrafts were displayed at the show. The Sarang Indian aerobatic display received everyone’s applause and was ranked as the favorite by many.
“I enjoyed the Sarang aerobatic display at the air show the most,” said Prakash Madhwani, a businessman from Bangalore.
Team Sarang began its entry in an “inverted wine glass” formation. The heart-stopping signature maneuver, “The Sarang Split,” in which the four helicopters cross each other vertically and horizontally to form a knot, was mesmerizing. The name, “Sarang” is derived from Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language, meaning peacock which is the national bird of India.
The Indian Army also demonstrated their superb skills. “Army personnel hung onto a rope with no other support and were flown around. It was thrilling to watch them hang there like that,” said Manish Asrani.
International Aircraft Displays
The Boeing C-17 Globe-Master III from the United States appeared in the show for the first time. A high-wing aircraft with multiple-service capabilities, the C-17 can carry large equipment, supplies, and troops directly into small airfields situated in harsh terrains anywhere in the world, day or night. The massive, sturdy, long-haul aircraft has the capability to tackle distance, destination, and heavy, over-sized payloads in unpredictable conditions.
Boeing also announced that India’s Ministry of Defense has signed a deal with the U.S. government to procure 10 Boeing C-17 airlifters for $4.1 billion.
The “Russian Knights” aerobatic team performance did not allow anyone to take their eyes off the sky even for a moment. It is the only aerobatic team in the entire world that has a team of fourth-generation Sukoi 27 aircraft. This was their first performance in India and the patterns they formed with the stunts were the highlights of the show.
“The Russian Knights aerobatics were magnificent! Their co-ordination was the best,” said Pratap Karan Suhaas, a 10-year-old, class 4 student at the Army Public school. “It looked extremely dangerous. The aircraft was blue, white, and red, resembling Russia’s national flag. My father, all my friends, and I enjoyed it the most.”
Another round of daring feats were performed by Red Bull’s Zlin 50LX single-engine, single-seat aircrafts from the Czech Republic. They were extraordinary throughout the five days, with their colorful sheen.
“It was amazing. They made fascinating formations, especially when they [flew] upside-down, and toward each other, like they would crash into each other,” said Sejal Kulkarni, a 14-year-old girl at the airshow.
The 10th event is set for Feb. 18, 2015. Although the wait may be long, people will welcome the show again with equal zeal.