UK Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows which flies BAE Systems' Hawk planes, could not perform due to a haze that caused poor visibility at the 84th Indian Air Force Day parade, held at the Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad on Saturday.
The haze did not however come in the way of the Indian Air Force (IAF)’s acrobatic team, the Surya Kirans, which also flies Hawk aircraft, from staging a captivating performance, various media in India reported Sunday.
Spectators faced some disappointment as the Red Arrows did not stage a flying display. "The aircraft come at great speed, low visibility may lead to collision," Commanding Officer Group Captain Fin Monahan was quoted as saying.
India has also exhibited various military hardware at the show including indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas , which was inducted into the IAF in July.
While one Tejas make a fly-past by Group Captain Madhav Rangachari, another one was placed in the centre of the parade ground. A steep pull right after the takeoff demonstrated the aircraft's ability to climb rapidly to desired altitude, with the aircraft standing vertical in air to the awe of the spectators.
The pilot then performed a loop, took a fast turn at a rate of approximately 20 degrees per second, and took turn at a speed as low as 160 knots. According to the team, the Fly By Wire of the aircraft ensures complete protection at high angles of attack.
The air power display included C-17 Globemaster, Su-30 MKIs, Jaguar, Mig-21 Bisons, Mig-29 and Mirage 2000. Also a part of the air display were IAF's acrobatic team on Dhruv helicopters -- Sarang. On the other hand, the static display included a Sukhoi jet with air version Brahmos missile, MiG-29 armed with a 30 mm cannon, close combat and radar guided missile.
Also present was strike aircraft Jaguar, Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer, Mig-21 Bison, which have been upgraded and Mi-17 V5 choppers along with transport jets and radars, displaying the IAF's strike capability to its full.
The event started with the Akash Ganga Para jumping team. Apart from all advance fighters, choppers and transport aircraft, the air display included vintage Tiger Moth and Harvard.