Tata Group chairperson Ratan Tata Thursday took a spin in the Boeing fighter F/A-18 Super Hornet at the eighth edition of the Aero India military-cum-civil aviation trade expo here.
“I am excited. I will fly again. It’s a great aircraft,” Tata, one of India’s top industrialists, told reporters after he flew in the supersonic fighter and held controls for a while during the 45-minute sortie. The aircraft was flown by Boeing test pilot Mike Wallace.
Tata, 73, who holds a commercial pilot’s license, also flew the Lockheed Martin F-16 at the 2009 air show.
The Super Hornet and F-16 are the two American aircraft in the race with Eurofighter Typhoon of European consortium EADS, the Dassault Rafale of France, the Saab Gripen of Sweden and the MiG-35 of Russia for an Indian Air Force (IAF) tender for 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA), estimated to cost $10.4 billion.
“We are demonstrating the Super Hornet with a flying display involving aerobatics and maneuvers to showcase its potent air prowess and strike capabilities to the aerospace community and the Indian public,” a company spokesperson told IANS.