About 55 static and flying aircraft from different countries will beckon aviation enthusiasts at the Aero India 2013 to be held at the Yelahanka Air Force Station from February 6 to 10.
The aircraft include Su-27 used by Russian Knights, the aerobatic demonstration team of the Russian Air Force; Tejas, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA); Dhruv flown by the Sarang team of the Indian Air Force; the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, an aerial refuelling military aircraft; Zlin 50 LX flown by the Czech Flying Bulls Aerobatic Team, and IAF’s Sukhoi Su-30.
French Dassault Rafale, which has been selected in the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal for bolstering the IAF, will also be there.
While initially five LCAs were planned to be displayed at the country’s premier air show, it was decided to bring down the number to two as three LCAs are participating in the four-day fire force display of the IAF at AFS Jaisalmer from February 27, DRDO officials said. Two LCAs will be flown on the inaugural day when Defence Minister A.K. Anthony will be present, while one LCA will be flown as part of the air show on subsequent days.
However, the number of aircraft participating in this year’s show has come down. About 90 aircraft participated in the Aero India 2011.
“The number of aircraft for aerial display has come down due to the restricted time slot for the air show due to operational difficulties for the Bengaluru International Airport at Devanahalli, which is near the Aero India venue,” a source said, and added that the finalisation of the MMRCA deal in which Rafale was selected, could have reduced the participation.
Air Marshal Rajinder Singh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of IAF Training Command here, however, disagreed with the common perception that Aero India 2013 would not be as good as the previous one.
“The fact that 100 companies could not get stalls due to lack of space despite increasing the exhibition area explains the popularity.”
Aero India 2013 would be as good as the previous edition, he said.