Ace shooter Abhinav Bindra is on the verge of experiencing the same adrenaline rush that he felt enroute to winning the Olympic gold in Beijing last year.
Bindra will feel the extreme G-forces of combat manoeuvres when he flies aboard Lockheed Martin’s F-16IN fighter jet on February 12 at Aero India 2009, the biennial air show organised by the Ministry of Defence in Bangalore.
Bindra sounded upbeat. "I was instantly excited when the offer to fly on F16IN came. I have heard about the adrenaline rush and I am looking forward to experiencing it. I guess it will be an encore of what I felt when I hit the target at the Olympics. I thank Lockheed Martin for giving me this honour," he said.
It has become somewhat of a trend for aerospace companies to fly celebrities. Boeing had flown prominent industrialist Ratan Tata in the F-18 at Aero India 2007 as part of their brand building strategy.
Bindra enters the exclusive club of personalities including Tata and former President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (he flew in an Indian Air Force fighter), who have had this privilege.
The F16IN designated Super Viper, is one of the contenders for the IAF’s $10 billion tender for 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft. An experienced test pilot will fly Bindra for about 45 minutes to give him a feel of fighter flying. He will undergo the mandatory medical fitness tests before take-off and will also get a ground briefing before going on the sortie in the aircraft.
Orville Prins, vice-president, business development, India said, “We are very pleased to have Abhinav Bindra fly in the Super Viper. It is a perfect fit. Both share the same commitment to integrity and have achieved excellence in performance.”