Sukhoi sortie: Prez Patil to fly into record books

Posted By: Staff
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Pune, Nov 25: President Pratibha Patil is all set to fly into the record books as the first woman President in the world to fly a fighter jet when she undertakes a sortie on the Sukhoi-30 MKI from the Lohegaon air base in Pune on Wednesday, Nov 25.

“It will be a basic flight, not the kind of combat manoeuvres that fighters generally do. It will more or less be similar to President Kalam"s flight in 2006 — except it will not be going supersonic," said IAF spokesperson T K Singha.

The president's pilot Wing Commander S Sajan will be flying the Su-30 in the rectangular pattern of navigation route as chalked out by the Indian Air Force. The sortie will last 30 minutes.

With the aircraft touching a maximum speed of 0.9 Mach or 700-900 kmph and flying in formation with two Su-30 MKIs on either sides, the 75-year-old President will be exposed to gravitational force up to level 2G.

While President APJ Abdul Kalam was the first Indian President to fly the fighter jet, Pratibha Patel will not only be setting a record as the first woman President but also as the oldest women to fly what is often referred to as the pride of Indian Air Force.

Before Kalam, defence minister George Fernandes had flown the Sukhoi in May 2004

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