Colouring the afternoon skies bright red and white, ‘Surya Kiran’, the aerobatics demonstration team of 52 Squadron of the Indian Air Force lived up to its name yet again at the Aero India show 2017.
Taking no time to infuse complete awe amongst the audience, the flying manoeuvers of Surya Kiran were a definite show stopper at this year’s air show in Bengaluru.
Hours of preparations before the show and lots of post arrangements later, the Surya Kiran team welcomed Rajya Sabha TV to their operational complex for a closer look and understanding of the BAE Hawk Mk132.
“I feel proud to be a part of the Surya Kiran team representing the best of Indian Air Force. The Surya Kiran team is the Ambassador of not only the Indian Air Force, but also of the entire country” says Wg Cdr. Akhilesh Singh, a senior member of the team.
Returning with a new aircraft after 6 years, the IAF’s aerobatics team performed at the Yelahanka air force station with superior precision, setting a new record with this one being its 500th public display, since its formation in 1996.
This daredevil aerobatics SKAT (Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team) team of the IAF is known for its formation flying, spectacular feats and manoeuvres. This year too was the team was no different. They flew in unthinkable formations, displaying turns such as wingovers, loops and barrel rolls, and manoeuvres like splits, rolling crosses and inverted runs. The flypast was unarguably a treat for the onlookers at the Yalahanka Air Force base. The team stood firm to its Squadron motto, “Always the best”.
After being disbanded for 6 years in 2010, the show was a much cherished endeavour for the entire team. The team carries out 35 to 40 displays during September to March. The training season from April to September witnesses the team pilots working hard in building up new manoeuvers and perfecting the display profiles for the coming season.
“In future, we are looking forward to expanding to a nine aircraft team and adding more dynamic manoeuvres” says an elated Wg Cdr Ashwin Thakare, deputy leader of the team after the show.