Mission Udaan was an unexpected trip. After planning to visit Nandi Hills again with my collegues, I was all set to zoom on my bike on Sunday. But then, on saturday, a friend on mine called up and said that he had obtained passes for Mission Udaan.
So, what is Mission Udaan? Mission Udaan is an air show organised by Nat Geo in collaboration with Indian Air Force. You can watch the same on Nat Geo from November 20th, every sunday at 10 P.M. (Well, they were shouting this out atleast once every 5 minutes).
An air show? WOW !!! You dont get to watch air shows everyday. So, I called up my collegues to tell them the situation. And it was decided that Nandi Hills had to wait.
Sunday 8 A.M. Three bikes. Six people. Destination: Yelahanka Air Force Station. The road towards Yelahanka was good. And because it was sunday morning, the traffic was thin. So, all the three bikes were zooming at top speeds. We reached there at 9:20 A.M. And we had a situation at hand. We had only 5 passes and there were six people. Finally, after talking with one of the people from Nat Geo we managed to obtain the pass and we were in.
And it was a divine experience for aeronautical fanatics like me and my room-mate. There were quite a number of war-planes on display. Jaguar, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), the MI-8 transport helicopter, DORNIER a light transport plane and another heavy transport plane were on the display.
At 10 A.M, our long wait finally came to an end. The air show began with a formation flight by the transport aircrafts. The formation called "Small-Boy" included two Dorniers and a heavy transport plane (I cant remember the name). It was a simple pass-by flight with no aerobatics. But you cant expect aerobatics from transport aircraft.
Next came the IJT or the Intermediate Jet Trainer. And this was mind-blowing. The IJT flew past us even before we realised. It was zooming at tremendous speeds. And the aerobatics it performed was also jaw-dropping. It finally landed and came to halt right in front of us. And it was a beauty.
And as if we had not had enough, next came the LCA a.ka. Tejas. And this time, it was... well, i dont have any words to describe it. If IJT was fast, LCA was super-fast. Zooming at great speeds and performing mind blowing aerobatic feats in the air, it left us wanting for more. Even this aircraft landed in front of us and came to halt next to the IJT.
This was not the end. Next came Sarang. The aerobatic team consisting of four ALHs. This team performed great fly-bys and showed awesome formations rivalling manouvers rivalling that of an aircraft. This team performed for a long time and I had to stop myself from finishing the film roll of my camera.
And then came the cherry of the ice-cream. The main attraction. The Surya-Kirans. Nine aircrafts flying like one entity. The aircrafts took off in a formation. Three aircrafts at a time. Each group representing one color of the Indian flag. The aircraft in each group fired gas resembling the Indian tri-color, Orange, White and Green. The Surya-Kirans displayed awesome manouverability. Various formations like Diamond, Tango, Sukhoi, etc were displayed. Aerobatics like peel-offs, fly-bys etc were also displayed. All the planes were flying as if they were one single entity. All of them flying in one spatial plane. AWESOME !!!! But, some things are too good to last long. The Surya-Kirans finally landed when we were hoping to see more action.
Then came the grand-finale. The paragliding team. The paratroupers jumped from MI-8 from the height of 7000 ft. After a free fall for 10 seconds, the parachutes finally opened. We could see small mushrooms flying in the air. Then, when they were closing on the ground, they started performing aerobatics. Some were circling horizontally in the air. They landed one by one, and the landing was like a piece of cake. Smooth and slick.
We managed to drag ourselves away from the display area and moved on to the display booths. Me and my friends bought a T-shirt and a couple of posters. By the time we started from there it was 12:15 P.M. We reached back at 1 P.M.
Now I am waiting for the snaps to get developed. I hope to post the snaps soon in my photo albums. So, keep an eye on my photo album too.