An impressive line-up for aviation enthusiasts

V Rishi Kumar Ashwini Phadnis Hyderabad | Updated on March 08, 2018 Published on March 08, 2018

The Honda jet   -  Nagara Gopal

HAL’s Dhruv helicopter   -  Nagara Gopal

Hindustan Aeronautics’ Dornier 228   -  Nagara Gopal

The interior of Dassault’s Falcon 8   -  Nagara Gopal

HAL’s Dornier 288 and Dassault’s Falcon 8 among aircraft on display

From the home-grown Dornier 228 developed by the Kanpur-based Hindustan Aeronautics for promoting regional air connectivity to the ultra-luxurious three-engine Falcon 8 produced by the French company Dassault Aviation, an array of aircraft line up on the tarmac at the Begumpet Airport, the venue of Wings India 2018.

The Falcon 8 has leather seats which double up as beds apart from two king-sized beds to sleep on while one flies from India to the Northern part of Canada.

These two are among the 15 aircraft on display till March 11 as part of the airshow. “The Falcon 8X is a real investment for those people for whom time is money. It is common for Chief Executive Officers and Chief Financial Officers. It is not uncommon for this aircraft to be in the air for up to 200 days a year to help people conduct their business,” said Vadim Feldzer, Head, Falcon Global Communication. Incidentally one Falcon 8 was acquired by an Indian customer late last year. This ultra-luxurious aircraft likes to market itself as being “so quiet inside you can actually hear yourself think.” The aircraft which retails for about $29-58 million can fly non-stop from Hyderabad to Melbourne, Johannesburg and Anchorage.

Then there is the $20-million Embraer Legacy 500 which is a fly-by-wire aircraft. “It ensures safety and a more comfortable flight,” said Sean Northern, Senior Demonstration Pilot. The plane can fly non-stop from Hyderabad to Nairobi or Seoul. And there is also the Gulfstream private jet which can fly non-stop from Hyderabad to Fiji and Auckland.

Next to it stands the US-registered Thailand-based Honda Jet which can fly a maximum of 2,200 km non-stop and is making its first “introduction” to India. “No Honda Jet is in India yet, but we hope to see one here very soon. This aircraft is ideal for high net worth individuals and to be operated as an air taxi,” said Patrick McNulty, Assistant Manager, Technical Sales, Honda Jet. Towards the end of the static display stands the civil Dornier 228 which has Uday Desh Ka Aam Nagrik painted boldly on one side. This is the second time since the aircraft was certified for civilian flights that it is being exhibited to the public. Abhinav Kumar, Deputy Manager, HAL, pointed out that a number of state governments have shown interest in acquiring the aircraft.

Published on March 08, 2018
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