Spectacular display of air power in store

BANGALORE Jan. 28. Billed the biggest air show to strike this part of the world, Aero India 2003 has entered its final countdown stage. The stage is set for a spectacular display of air power, modern civil and military aviation technology, and more at the Indian Air Force Station, Yelahanka. From February 5 to 9, Bangalore will be taken over by this aerial fever.

Organised by the Department of Defence Production and Supplies attached to the Union Ministry of Defence, Aero India 2003 will be formally launched by the Defence Minister, George Fernandes, at 10 a.m. on January 5.

Running parallel to the mobile and static display of flying machines from across the world will be an international seminar on "Aerospace technologies-Developments and strategies'' scheduled between February 6 and 8. The seminar will focus on the problems in all areas of military and civil aviation in today's world.

In participation and display area, this year's show will be much larger and grander than Aero India 2001, the organisers say. "Keeping in view the increasing demands of the exhibitors for more area, a new hall designated as Hall-D (1,824 sq. metre) has been added to the three existing halls which were part of the 2001 air show. The total indoor area available now is about 8500 sq. metre.

Here is a list of the participating aviation companies from across the world: Beltech Export JSC, Belarus; AECMA, Belgium; Embraer, Brazil; Bombardier, Canada; Aero Vodochody, Eldis Ltd., Letecke Zavody, Omnipol A.S., Czech Republic; ATR, CFM International, Crouzet, Dassault Aviation, Dassault Consortium Mirage, GIFAS, MBDA, Prospace, Thales, France; Israel Aircraft Ind Ltd., Sibat, Israel; Aerea Spa, AIAD & MOD, Alenia Aeronautica Spa, Alitalia, ASE/Elettronica Aster, Galileo Avionica, Marconi Mobile, Italy; ADJ, Malaysia; Airbus, EADS, EADS Eurocopter, Netherlands; Cenzin, TRI, Poland; Janes, St. Training and Simulation Pte Ltd., Singapore; Avitronics, Cumulus, Reutech Defence Industries Private Ltd., South Africa; Starrag Hackert Technology AG, Switzerland; Media Transasia, Thailand; GAMCO, UAE, and S.C. Ukrspets Export, State Enterprise Plant Arsenal, Ukraine.

Among the aviation majors from Russia are Aero Space Equipment Corporation, Airfleet, AS Yakovlev Design Bureau, Avia Export, Aviation Military Industrial Corporat (Sukhoi), Aviazapchast PLC, Irkut Corporation, Knaapo, RAC MiG, and Rosoboronexport. The British companies are BAe Systems, Chemring Countermeasures, DESO, DRS Hadland Ltd., Rolls Royce, SABC, Signature Industries and Honeywell.

The American aviation majors who have confirmed participation are: Bell Helicopter Textron, Boeing, GE Aircraft Engines, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Ratheon, TEAC America Inc., and United Technology.

Official delegates from Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Namibia, Oman, Poland, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Africa, South Korea, Syria, Sudan, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, the Netherlands, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, the U.K., the U.S., Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe, and Mexico are also expected to participate.

In addition to the five days of static exhibition of aircraft, the show will feature flying displays twice a day. The timings are 11 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., and 3 p.m. to 4.30 p.m..

Besides Sukhoi-30 MKI, MiG-29, Mirage 2000, Jaguar, ALH, Chetak, Cheetah, and other aircraft from the IAF repertoire, the aerial displays will showcase the L-159 B, ATR 42 MP, Hawk, Bell 407 Helicopter, SCRJ 200, Learjet 60, Falcon 900 EX, Ecureuil Helicopter AS 350 B3, Legacy 103, MiG 29 M2, and MiG AT.

February 5, 6 and 7 will be the trade days, while February 8 and 9 will be for the public. Entry tickets for the public are priced at Rs. 200 for exhibition and air display on February 8 and 9. Tickets are being sold at select branches of Canara Bank.

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