Aero India

Aero India

Aero India is a biennial air show held in Bangalore, India at the Yelahanka Air Force Station. The first show was held in 1996. It is organised by the Ministry of Defence (Department of Defence Production) in association with the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the Indian Air Force, the Department of Space, India and the Union civil aviation ministry.

It is 4thlargest air show in the world. The show includes both air displays and static exhibitions of various aircraft of the Indian Air Force, along with displays from vendors, suppliers and production organisations.

The 4th edition, 2003

176 companies from 22 countries participated in the 4th edition of the event from February 5 to 9, 2003 in Yelahanka at the outskirts of Bangalore. It was inaugurated by the then Defence Minister of India(seen in first thumb of photograph), George Fernandes. About 50 delegations from the United States, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Africa visited Bangalore for the event. The French delegation was led by the Prime Minister of France, Jean-Pierre Raffarin.

The 5th edition, 2005

The 5th Aero India 2005, the beiennial air-show-cum-defence exhibitions, was held at the Yelahanka Air Force Base in Bangalore from February 9-13, 2005. The Aero India 2005 attracted record 380 exhibitors from the world's leading industries in the field of civil and military aviation, aerospace and airfield upgrade. The show included both air displays as well as static exhibitions of military and civil aircraft. A total of 80 aircraft including Fighter jets, Light Combat Aircraft, Advanced Light Helicopters, Intermediate Jet Trainers (AJTs), Maritime Surveillance Aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) displayed their flying skills and capability during the Aero India 2005 show. The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy also displayed their various aircraft. There were 32 official military delegations and over 250,000 people enjoyed the Aero India 2005 show, which is considered Asia's premier air show.

The major attractions of Aero India 2005 were certainly the leading fighter, advanced jet trainers and unmanned aerial vehicles from Russia, US, France, Britain, Israeli and India who took part in the flying as well as static displays at the show. The visitors enjoyed the spectacular flying performances and static exhibitions of the Russian MiG-29K,Su-30MKI and Il-78 tanker; the American F-15 E, C-130J Super Hercules and P-3C Orion aircraft; the French vintage Mirage 2000 and Falcon 2000; the British Hawk 100, Jaguar and Sea Harriers, and the Indian Dhruv (Advanced Light Helicopter) and Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT). The colorful aerobatics performance by Sarang- the Indian Air Force's Advanced Light Helicopters, made everyone spell bound during the inaugural function. There were magnificent views of Il-78 tanker and Mirage 2000 aircraft performing mid-air refueling and fighter trainers making beautiful formation in the clear blue sky.

Other major attractions in Aero India 2005 were the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The Israel's Orbiter and SkyLite mini UAV impressed their visitors with beautiful look and features. The lightweight Orbiter just weighs 4.5 kg features an advanced data link system transmitting all the data and video in real time. The SkyLite mini is capable of making vertical flights from the canister, and can be launched even from narrow alleys.

The U.S. maritime surveillance aircraft P-3C Orion and C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft attracted the attention of visitors with their beautiful designs and large size. The P-3C Orion is generally used in anti-submarine and anti-surface ship warfare, over-water and over-land surveillance missions, and network-centric warfare missions. The U.S. Hawkeye 2000, known for its airborne early warning and battle management command and control system, were another attractions in the Aero India 2005 show.

The Aero India 2005 also proved good for passenger aircraft manufacturers, as number of inquiries, especially for the smaller and low-cost aircraft were made during the show. Visitors also had a chance to get a glimpse of advanced missile systems, avionics suites, radars, and simulators.

The 6th edition, 2007

This event was held from 7 February 2007 to 11 February 2007, at the Yelahanka Air Force Station. The attractions of the event were the MiG-35 and Lockheed-Martin F-16, as well as the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, all contenders for the Indian Air Force's 126 aircraft MRCA requirement. The spellbound displays by the Surya Kiran and Sarang teams were really enjoyable. The Surya Kiran team consists of nine Indian pilots, and have displayed skills by flying as close as 3-5 mts at high speeds and have exhibited various formations like the arrow, diamond and concluding with the hearts. The Sarang team displays maneuvers of Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).

During the rehearsals for the show, one of the Sarang helicopters crashed on 2 February 2007. The co-pilot was killed in the incident. However, the team performed the displays in the show.

During the show, a HAL HJT-36 skidded off the runway when a tyre burst after the pilot aborted take-off as the aircraft's canopy inadvertently opened up. However, there was no fatality.

The 7th edition, 2009

Nearly 600 foreign and national companies will participate in Aero India-2009, one of the largest international aerospace exhibitions, to be held in Bangalore next year. Armament majors from several countries, including the US, Britain, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, Belgium, Brazil, Spain, Ukraine and the Netherlands, will participate in Asia's premier show starting February 9, 2009.

"Nearly 330 companies from 50 countries abroad and 230 from India will set up their exhibits at the seventh edition of the Biennial International Aerospace Exposition, popularly known as Aero India-2009 to be held at Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bangalore," a defense official said on Monday.

Around 100 different types of civilian and military aircraft will be on display in the show, whose event manager will be the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Defense Minister A. K. Antony chaired the first meeting of the apex committee of the exhibition here Friday. "Addressing the top officials from several ministries and organizations, Antony said Aero India-2009 should be conducted in such a manner that it provides a benchmark for similar shows being organized in various parts of the world," the official said.

The Indian Air Force will bring out some of the vintage aircraft from its stable and fly them. The defense ministry will also facilitate interaction between the overseas original equipment manufacturers and Indian business houses.

"Similar interactions will also be encouraged between small and medium enterprises from home and abroad. Efforts are also being made to give exposure to students of technical and engineering colleges to encourage them to be part of the country's aim of becoming a design hub in aerospace technologies in the foreseeable future," the official added. The central government will spend nearly Rs.200 million to augment the infrastructure in and around the Air Force Station Yelahanka.

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The seventh edition of the Air show is scheduled at Air Force Station Yelahanka from 11 February to 15 February 2009. The participation of foreign ac is expected to increase largely as purchase of 126 multi role ac by the Indian Air Force is on the cards.

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