During her maiden flight in a fighter aircraft, President Pratibha Patil would be airborne for 30 minutes in a Su-30MKI, flying at sub-sonic speeds and at an altitude from where she would be able to see the earth.
"The President will be flown in a Su-30MKI of the Pune-based 30 Squadron flown by its Commanding officer Wing Commander S Sajan at a height from where she would be able to see the earth," IAF Vice Chief PK Barbora said briefing the media on the President's scheduled flight on November 25.
"The aircraft will be flying at speed of around less than super-sonic speed of .9 Mach (less than 1,000 Km per hour) for around 30 minutes," he added.
Asked about IAF's back-up plans in case the President felt uncomfortable during the flight, the IAF Vice Chief said the sortie has been planned in such a way that the supreme commander of the armed forces will not feel any discomfort when in the air.
He added the sortie was an opportunity for the President to see IAF operations closely.
Asked why was the President flying in a Su-30MKI and not in the MiG 21, which was the mainstay of the IAF, he said, "We would like to show where our capability has reached because we would be able to indicate to her in the cockpit what technology has brought into fighter aviation. This gives us an opportunity that where we have reached."