The race between two US aircraft majors to hog the limelight at the Aero show in Bangalore on Thursday got intense with Lockheed Martin deciding to fly ace shooter Abhinav Bindra in its F-16 war plane while Boeing will fly India's cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma in its F/1-18 Super Hornet.
"For this show, we wanted to fly somebody who was associated with the field of aviation and had made some significant contribution to Indian aerospace sector and Wg Cdr Rakesh Sharma was the best choice for us," Boeing officials told PTI here.
"Not only is he the first Indian to go to space, he has worked in India's indigenous fighter aircraft development programme also," they added.
Wg Cdr Rakesh Sharma went to space in 1984 as part of a joint space program between the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Soviet Intercosmos space program.
The rivalry between the two American giants to fly celebrities started during the last Aero India when industrialist Ratan Tata flew in F-16 and later on in the Super Hornet.
European aviation major EADS has joined the race in this edition of the show and is expected to fly Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh in their Eurofighter Typhoon.
While Bindra will take to the skies today, Sharma will fly in the Super Hornet tomorrow.