Aero India 2021 takes off with fewer participants

Surya Kiran, the acrobatic team of Indian Air Force (IAF), put up a scintillating show along with Sarang, while Rafael, the latest acquisition of IAF, made a thunderous debut at the inauguration of the 13th edition of Aero India in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

The integrated flight display of 9 BAE Hawk Mk132 trainer jets of Surya Kiran and 4 Advanced Light Helicopters was touted as unique since the two teams came together for the first time. Surya Kirans put up breathtaking high-speed manoeuvres while Sarangs made dexterous sub-sonic moves to enthral the limited audience.

The people of Bengaluru, who show enthusiasm for the biennial air show, had turned up outside the Yelahanka Air Force Station to catch a glimpse of the metal birds.

Close to 600 exhibitors, including 78 foreign ones, are participating in the three-day aerospace business show. According to the organisers, about 40 aircraft are participating in the air display. Unlike the earlier editions that saw participation of several aircraft manufacturers, this air show was restricted to the display of hardware in the IAF’s stable. Tejas, the indigenously built world’s lightest Light Combat Aircraft, was part of the air show along with Jaguar, C-17 Globemaster and Embraer carrying the Airborne Early Warning and Control System.

Other highlights included the flight of refurbished Dakota aircraft for the first time in the air show. The aircraft was the first to land with supplies to support soldiers in Srinagar during the 1948 war.


Accompanied by a Tejas, a B-1B Lancer, the multi-role long-range heavy bomber of the 28th Bomb Wing based out of Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, U.S.A. flew past in the inaugural air show. The aircraft had arrived after a 26-hour flight from its base.

HAL came out with an Aatmanirbhar formation flight in which Light Combat Helicopter, Light Utility Helicopter, Advanced Light Helicopter, and a host of trainers, including HTT-40 and trainer jets, took part.

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Sagar Biswas

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