Aero India 2019 Timeline: From Rafale, Hawk-i to Tejas, how the event unfolded

ZeeBiz WebTeam | Feb 25, 2019, 02:22 PM IST

Curtains came down Sunday on the five-day Aero India 2019, Asia's premier show, which saw the indigenously developed light combat aircraft Tejas being given the Final Operational Clearance. The mega event began on a sombre note on February 20 as a mid-air collision between two Surya Kiran jets of the IAF aerobatic team during rehearsals, left one pilot dead and two injured. Following the mishap, the team was taken off the air show on the inaugural day.

 

 

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The Surya Kiran team

The Surya Kiran team

The Surya Kiran team took to the skies on Saturday, drawing cheers from visitors as they flew in an incomplete diamond formation, known as "The Missing Man" (aerial salute), as a mark of respect to Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi, who died in the accident.  Image source: twitter.com/aeroindiashow

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Rafale team

Rafale team

The Rafale team also paid tributes to the pilot by flying at low speed during the air display.  Image source: Reuters

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Fire at Yelahanka Air Base

Fire at Yelahanka Air Base

The event was hit by yet another tragedy after a fire erupted at the parking lot of Yelahanka Air Base here Saturday, gutting about 300 vehicles. However, the show went on as per schedule after a brief delay.  Image source: Reuters

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Nirmala Sitharama at the event

Nirmala Sitharama at the event

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the site and took stock of the situation this morning. On the inaugural day, the Minister had invited investors to capitalise on the ecosystem prevailing in the aerospace and other sectors and pitched for joint venture partnerships, saying it offered a big market in Defence manufacturing.  Image source: twitter.com/aeroindiashow

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P V Sindhu flying Tejas

P V Sindhu flying Tejas

During the five-day event, ace India shuttler P V Sindhu created history by becoming the first woman to fly the Tejas. Image source: twitter.com/aeroindiashow

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Tejas

Tejas

The aero show witnessed the handing over of the FOC certificate and Release to Service Document (RSD) relating to Tejas Dhanoa on the opening day.  FOC involves addition of key capabilities to the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) aircraft which are Beyond Visual Range Missile capabilities, Air-to-Air Refuelling, Air-to-Ground FOC earmarked weapons and general flight envelope expansion.  Image source: twitter.com/aeroindiashow

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Rafale- the star attraction

Rafale- the star attraction

Combat aircraft Rafale was the star attraction at the show as the breathtaking display of manoeuvres by the aerobatic team cast a spell on the aviation enthusiasts. Around four lakh people who attended the event were treated to a spectacular flying display of fighter, civilian aircraft and helicopters.  Image source: Reuters

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Women in Aviation

Women in Aviation

As part of the women's day celebrated Saturday, five women flew high in the skies. Mohana Singh, one of India's three women fighter pilots, flew a Hawk-i while flight lieutenants Amardeep Kaur, Sindhu Reddy and Second Lieutenant Khushboo Gupta, flew Chetak.  Image source: twitter.com/aeroindiashow

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Aerobatic team of Sarang

Aerobatic team of Sarang

The aerobatic team of Sarang that comprised four Dhruvs, included one chopper piloted by Second Lieutenant Sneha Kulkarni.  Image source: twitter.com/aeroindiashow

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F-21 fighter jets

F-21 fighter jets

Also, French aviation giant Airbus and American defence firm Lockheed Martin displayed their H225M helicopter and new F-21 fighter jets, respectively.  Image source: YouTube

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HAL's Dhruv aircraft

HAL's Dhruv aircraft

In yet another development, HAL delivered three Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv aircraft to the Indian Army. The Indian Army had placed an order for 40 Druv aircraft- 22 ALH Mk III and 18 Mk IV Rudra, with HAL in August of 2017.  Image source: AP

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F-16 fighter aircraft

F-16 fighter aircraft

F-16 fighter aircraft fly past on the last day of the 12th edition of AERO India 2019 at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru, Sunday, Feb 24, 2019.  Image source: IANS