One of the major features of the Indian Air Force’s 84th anniversary celebrations was the aerial display by IAF’s latest acquisition, the light-combat aircraft ‘Tejas.’ The aircraft featured in a major air display at the Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad on Saturday. It was Tejas’ first participation in the air force’s annual celebratory event.
The dark grey Tejas thundered as its engine was started behind the main display ground and it soon zoomed past the air inventory lined up at the Hindon airbase field. It is the first advance fly-by-wire fighter aircraft to be designed, developed and manufactured in India. It was inducted into the IAF’s squadron number 45, known as ‘Flying Daggers,’ on July 1 this year.
In its air display, the aircraft performed a variety of manoeuvres such as loop, minimum radius turn, aerial spins and negative G-turn to showcase its agility and quick response during combat situations.
Apart from its high-speed capabilities, the aircraft also displayed slower manoeuvres, flying at a speed of 230km per hour.
“The aircraft looked quick and can turn within a minimum radius. I have seen several aircraft flying at different air shows, but Tejas seems to be the fastest among all of them. What is more encouraging is that it was developed in our own country... I can only say it is ‘bemisaal,’ said advocate OS Puniya, a visitor at the Hindon airbase.
While one Tejas aircraft was involved in the air display, another one was on ground display and attracted a lot of attention from visitors. Youngsters, air force personnel and their families seemed keen to take selfies with the aircraft after the event ended.
As part of the ground display, the aircraft was lined up in the middle and was flanked by fighter aircraft such as Mirage 2000, MiG 21, Hawk advanced jet trainer, and Sukhoi-30MKI, among others.
Visitors got Tejas’ first glimpse on October 8 itself. It was not on the ground or the air display during the full dress rehearsal held on October 6.
“I had a range of queries about the fighter aircraft on how the pilot would eject in emergency situations, what is the range within which they can shoot down enemies and the type of weapons the aircraft can carry. The fighter aircraft display was a major attraction of the day,” said Hritik Yadav, a young visitor at the airbase.