Aero India offered Air chief-designate Air Marshal Fali Homi Major the toothsome opportunity of flying the American CH-47 advanced multi-mission helicopter and he decided to go for it.
Shortly before his flight on Thursday, Air Marshal Major told Hindustan Times: "I am looking forward to it. I have never flown the Chinook before".
The Boeing Chinook is a tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter that meets the tactical and combat support requirements of military forces around
The peculiar looking helicopter is involved in logistics supply and ferrying troops in Afghanistan and Iraq for the allied forces.
Aerospace and defence firms are in Yelahanka for the airshow are offering demonstration flights to senior officers in their frontline fighters.
It's not uncommon to see air marshals strapped in the cockpits of aircraft like MiG-35, F-16, F/A 18 and Gripen.
But Major just proved helicopter pilots also enjoy doing their own thing -- never mind if it's a fighter-dominated airshow.
The Chinook is one of the contenders for the 40 heavy-lift helicopters that the IAF is seeking to acquire in the near future.
When Major takes over as the air chief on March 31, he will become the first helicopter pilot to lead the air force.
It is a coincidence that during his tenure, the IAF will witness large-scale induction of helicopters.
The proposed acquisitions include 197 high-altitude observation and assault helicopters, 80 light attack helicopters, 80 Mi-171V medium lift helicopters and 40 heavy-lift helicopters.
Deputy Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal AK Nagalia flew the F-16 on the second day of the airshow. Air Marshal PV Naik, who heads the Central Air Command, is scheduled to fly the Gripen, which is among the contenders for the IAF's 126 multi-role combat aircraft.
Boeing IDS has flown several senior officers from the Air Headquarters in the F/A 18 Super Hornet.
Chris Chadwick, vice president, Global Strike Systems, Boeing IDS, said the idea behind demonstration flights was to give the IAF top
brass a feel of the aircraft and its capabilities.