Hindon Air Force Station, Oct 8 (IANS) India’s indigenous Tejas fighter stole the show, leaving spectators enthralled with its manoeuvers at the 84th Air Force Day parade on Saturday.
The Air Force Day, celebrated at the IAF base at the Hindon Air Force Station in the presence of the IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, was marked by a glittering flypast and parade.
The event also was the first Air Force Day to have a foreign Air Force – the Red Arrows of UK’s Royal Air Force, scheduled to perform.
However, the Red Arrows, who fly Hawk jets, could not perform due to a haze that caused poor visibility.
The haze did not however come in the way of the IAF’s acrobatic team on Hawks, the Surya Kiran, which was at stand by and later staged a captivating performance.
The static display included a Sukhoi jet with air version Brahmos missile, MiG-29 armed with a 30 mm cannon, close combat and radar guided missile.
Also present was strike aircraft Jaguar, Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer, Mig-21 Bison, which have been upgraded and Mi-17 V5 choppers along with transport jets and radars, displaying the IAF’s strike capability to its full — at a time when India’s border with Pakistan is tense.
The event started with the Akash Ganga Para jumping team. The air display, which included all advance fighters, choppers and transport aircraft, also included vintage Tiger Moth and Harvard.
The hero of the show remained the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, which made its debut at the Air Force Day after being inducted into the IAF in July.
Of the two Tejas fighters inducted, one was placed in the centre of the parade ground, while the other took to the sky flown by Group Captain Madhav Rangachari.
A steep pull right after the takeoff demonstrated the aircraft’s ability to climb rapidly to desired altitude, with the aircraft standing vertical in air to the awe of the spectators.
The pilot then performed a loop, took a fast turn at a rate of approximately 20 degrees per second, and took turn at a speed as low as 160 knots.
According to the team, the Fly By Wire of the aircraft ensures complete protection at high angles of attack.
The air power display included C-17 Globemaster, Su-30 MKIs, Jaguar, Mig-21 Bisons, Mig-29 and Mirage 2000.
Also a part of the air display were IAF’s acrobatic team on Dhruv helicopters — Sarang.
Spectators faced some disappointment as UK Royal Air Force’s acrobatic team Red Arrows could not perform due to low visibility.
‘The aircraft come at great speed, low visibility may lead to collision,’ Commanding Officer Group Captain Fin Monahan told IANS.