Aerobatic display by fighter jets, copters to be major attraction of Aero India 2011

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Bangalore, Feb 8 (ANI): Aero India 2011, Asia's biggest air show, which gets underway at the Yelahanka Air Force base near Bangalore from February 9, will be the largest ever with 29 countries bringing their aerospace products, including fighter jets and transport aircraft.

This year's show has been oversubscribed in terms of exhibition space and the Defence Exhibition Organisation has had to refuse further bookings.

The flying displays will see some of the latest fighter planes, including Eurofighter Typhoons, Sweden's Gripen, the French Dassault Rafael, Boeing's F-16 Super Viper and Lockheed Martin's F-18 Super Hornet, besid besides unmanned aerial vehicles and helicopters.

India will display its indigenously built supersonic light combat aircraft and light combat helicopter, which will be on the display for the first time.

Apart from the daily displays by IAF's Surya Kiran aerobatic team and Sarang helicopter display team, a major attraction at Aero India 2011, will be the debut by Flying Bulls Aerobatics Team at the air show. With its precise and impressive performances, the team has managed to secure a fixed place in the global aerobatics scene and has an outstanding international reputation.

The show will aim at bringing under one roof, exhibitors and other stakeholders from all around the globe to showcase the best in aviation and related technologies and products.

Civil aviation has been introduced in Aero India 2011 along with aerospace sector and comprises 55 percent participation of the exhibition.

The Aero India 2011 will showcase the latest international technologies in the field of military and civil aircraft, vital components for aircraft engines, avionics systems and sub-systems, airfield radars in the defence and aerospace sectors.

Country wise participation of top eight countries includes the USA,France, Germany, the UK, Russia, Italy, Belgium and Israel.

A total of 93 domestic and international aircraft will participate in Aero India 2011. The expected number of business visitors is 70,000, double from the last edition.

The organizers estimate 1,75,000 general visitors, a growth of 29 percent over the last Aero India in 2009. Air Display Viewing Area (ADVA) has been significantly increased to cater to growing number of the public viewers.

The air displays will be held twice daily between 1000-1230 hrs and 1430-1700 hrs.

The air show would also have 350 official business delegations from countries such as the US, Germany and Italy visiting the event with about 1.75 lakh visitors. Among the countries that will participate are Afghanistan, Israel, the Maldives, Mongolia, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

All contenders are trying hard to woo the Indian defence players as the big deals which await clearance include an order for 126 combat jets worth 1.2 billion dollars, six mid-air refuelling tankers for two billion dollars, 197 utility helicopters for 750 million dollars, 22 attack choppers for 600 million dollars and a fleet of trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force.

The USA is leading the list with 250 companies participating in Aero India, Germany-35, Italy-10, and 35 from remaining countries.

The event will see the largest US participation to date. Top of the line aircraft like the F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18 Super Hornet, C-17 Globemaster III, C-130J Hercules (recently procured by India) and KC-135 Stratotanker will be on display and participate in numerous flight demonstrations.

Around 100 types of civilian and military aircraft would be on display compared with 67 in 2009. by Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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