Large crowds thronged the Air Force Station, Yelahanka, on the penultimate day of Aero India 2023 to catch a glimpse of their favourite metal birds and view various defence products from around the world displayed at the exhibition areas.
The last two days of the biennial airshow are open to the general public. Though this time, they are on Thursday and Friday (traditionally, they were the weekends), aviation enthusiasts of all ages turned up in large numbers.
This year, the showstoppers are the two debutant F-35s of the United States Air Force (USAF). While the F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team was part of the flying display demonstrating its unique aerial capabilities, the F-35A Lightning was on static display on the tarmac.
As expected, the crowds were eager to catch a glimpse of the F-35A, a 9g capable multirole fighter boasting stealth, supersonic and multirole combat capabilities. The F-35A Lightning II did not disappoint the crowd as it performed a scintillating aerial display.
Despite the scorching sun, the visitors had gathered in large numbers at the Airbase and the Air Display Viewing Area (ADVA) to watch the flight display by various aircraft from India and abroad.
What was missed this time
During earlier editions, the public was treated to breathtaking displays by the Indian Air Force’s Suryakiran Aerobatic Display Team, the Sarang Aerobatic Team, Flying Bulls, the Scandinavian airshow team and the Evolvkos aerobatic team.
Only the nine-aircraft Suryakiran team and four-helicopter Sarang performed at the airshow this time. The hugely popular foreign display teams decided to give a miss, much to the disappointment of the visitors.
Nevertheless, many said they were happy to see the airshow in full glory. The last edition was a hybrid one wherein the business element was physical and virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The visitors will have access to the exhibition area and the Air Display Viewing Area (ADVA) during the general days. The ticket price for Indian visitors is ₹2,500, and for foreign visitors, it is $50. The ticket for the ADVA area is ₹1,000 for Indian visitors and $50 for foreign visitors.