Bengaluru: Asia's biennial Aero India premier air show took off in this aerospace hub on Tuesday with a spectacular flying display of fighters and helicopeters in various formations, including breath-taking aerobatics.
Being held at the Yelahanka base of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on the city's outskirts, the 11th edition of the five-day aerospace and defence event has included civil aviation and airport infrastructure for the first time to showcase products and technologies and unfold opportunities in both the sectors.
Fighters of India's indegenous Tejas, Russia's Sukhoi SU-30, Sweden's Gripen, the French Rafale and the US F-16 stole the show with awesome manueveres and daring feats that held about 5,000 spectators spellbound.
The hour-long flying display of military aircraft, choppers and aerobatics of Surya Kiran team on Hawk trainers, Sarang team on Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and two civil aircraft by British and Scandinavian teams in a parially cloudy sky under salubrious climate enthralled the audience.
The maiden flight of the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) prototype of state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and the first indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) on board the Brazilian Embraer-145 jet (Netra) were among the highlights of the thrilling air show.
The fly-past, which included three IAF MI-17 copters in a vic formation and solo flights of HAL's HTT-40 trainer, the Swiss-made Pilatus trainer and the vintage Tiger Moth had the audience glued to the skies.
About 70 military and civil aircraft have flown into Bengaluru for flying and static display at the expo, which has also attracted about 549 firms, including 279 foreign and 270 Indian exhibitors to showcase their products and technologies for buyers and collaborators.
Delegations from 109 countries across the world are also participating in the event.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the chiefs of the Army, Navy and IAF and Karnataka Industry Minister R.V. Deshpand were among the dignitaries who participated in the inaugural event.