Sunday 10 February 2013

The Aero shows of Bangalore

Over the last two decades, Bangalore has become synonymous with Aero shows.
Aero India, as it is actually called, is a biennial air show and aviation exhibition held at the Air Force Station in Yelahanka, Bangalore.
It has been a regular feature since 1996 when it was first held. It is jointly organised by the Ministry of Defence, Indian Air Force and the Defence Exhibition Organisation.
Other organizations such as the Department of Space, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Union Civil Aviation Mnistry also actively involve themselves in making the Aero show a success.
This is the largest air show in Asia and it draws participants from across the world.
The first edition of the air show was held in 1996. During this Aero India Show, many manufacturers and service providers from the Indian aerospace and aviation industry met potential buyers of their products.
The second edition started on December 8, 1998 and it was inaugurated by the then Defence Minister, George Fernandes. It included fly pasts by three Jaguars, three MiG-23s, three HAL Tejas, 9 HAL Kiran aircraft of the Surya Kiran aerobatic team, Hawk 200, Mirage 2000 and the Sukhoi Su-30s.
This was followed by a breathtaking display of sky diving by nine sky divers of the Akash Ganga team. The exhibition stalls included displays by Boeing, Allied Signal, Bell Textron, Airbus Industries, Aerospatiale, Dassault, British Aerospace, HAL, DRDO, ADA, BEL and NAL. The French and Russian made their presence felt.  Boeing displayed all models of its commercial aircraft starting from Boeing 717 to Boeing 777.
Bangalore's third air show commenced on February 7, 2001.
The fourth edition  in 2003 saw 176 companies from 22 countries participating  from February 5 to February 9. This too was inaugurated by George Fernandes.
In all, 50 delegations from the United States, Russia, Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Middle East came. The French delegation was led by its premier, Jean Pierre Raffarin.
The fifth edition  in 2005 was held from February 9 to February 13 and it saw 380 exhibitors from the world's leading industries in the field of civil and military aviation, aerospace and airfield show their products.
This edition of the Aero show included both air displays as well as static exhibitions of military and civil aircraft. In all, 80 aircraft including fighters, light combat aircraft, Advanced Light Helicopters, Intermediate Jet Trainers (AJTs), Maritime surveillance aircraft and unmanned aircraft displayed their might. The IAF and the Indian Navy showed their aircrafts. There were 32 official military delegations and over 250,000 people enjoyed the Aero show.
The flying performances and static exhibitions of the Russian planes like MIG-29K, Su-30MKI and IL-78 were superb. The Americans, French and British too displayed their wares.
India showcased its Dhruv- its Advanced Light Helicopter and Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT).
The U.S. maritime surveillance aircraft P-3C Orion and C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft were the cynosure of all eyes.
The sixth edition  in 2007  was held from  February 7 to February 11. The main attraction was the Lockheed-Martin F-16, as well as the Boeing F/A-18 E .F and Super Hornet.
The Surya Kiran and Sarang teams displayed aerobatics.The Surya Kiran team consists of nine Indian pilots, and have displayed skills by flying as close as 3-5 metres at high speeds and have exhibited various formations like the arrow, diamond and concluding with the hearts. The Sarang team displays maneuvers of Advanced light helicopters (ALH).
During the rehearsals for the show, one of the Sarang helicopters crashed on 2 February 2007, killing the co-pilot. However, the team performed undeterred.
During the show, a HAL HTJ-36  skidded off the runway when a tyre burst after the pilot aborted take-off. He did so as the aircraft's canopy inadvertently opened up. There was no fatality.
The seventh edition of Aero India was held between February 11 and February 15.
In all,  289 Indian firms and 303 foreign companies participated,
Armament majors from several countries, including Australia, United States, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, South Africa and a host of other countries graced the show, making it a grand success.
For the first time, there were country pavilions from Australia, Belgium, Germany, Israel and Romania. The show saw China participating for the first time.
The show, for the first time, was preceded by an international seminar on aerospace technologies and applications. Nearly, 330 companies from 50 countries abroad and 230 from India showcased their exhibits.
Thirty military and civil aircraft gave flight demonstrations. The IAF, for the first time, flew its vintage planes.
The eighth edition was held from  February 9 to 13 February.
The Chinese made their presence felt. The HAL Tejas team gave a  flight display in which several aircraft performed intricate maneuvers. They flew in a formation in public view for the first time, performing a vertical climb and then a belly turn right in front of the podium.
This year was the ninth edition. Over, 700 companies and 78 overseas delegations participated.  
These shows are one of the largest displays of combat and civil aircrafts.


  1. It sure is a wonderful experience, we Bangaloreans are really lucky :)

  2. Yes, the aero show is an experience in a lifetime. Bangaloreans are fortunate to experience the winged birds at such close quarters.