How was Dr. Kalam’s experience in co-piloting the Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft?

It was Dr. Kalam’s childhood dream to join the Indian Air Force, but he was ranked ninth in a test conducted to select eight officers! Anyway, he must have felt his old dream coming true, as he took a 30-minute long flight in a Sukhoi-30MKI when he was president.

On July 28, 2015, on the 50th anniversary of the Lohegaon Air Force base, he co-piloted the Sukhoi-30 MKI with Wing Commander Ajay Rathore, who was the commanding of ficer of the Lightning Squadron based at Lohegaon. Before setting out on this flight, Dr. Kalam received a guard of honour. He then met senior defence officials in the air base and changed into the G-suit that was required on the Sukhoi. The G-Suit is an anti-gravitational suit that helps in proper blood circulation when the aircraft flies at supersonic speeds. Wing Commander Rathore took the jet to about 7.5 km above ground level and flew at 1.25 Mach (one-and-a-quarter times the speed of sound).

The Wing Commander took Dr. Kalam on a full fledged experience by stalling the plane mid-air, and by making twists and turns in the sky. When told to comment on what he saw from above, he jokingly said, “The sky was looking blue everywhere. The plane was travelling at a great speed. During the twists and turns I too had to help out in operating the flight, so the only thing I remembered in mid-air was that the colour of the sky was blue.”

The Wing Commander also showed how the planes spot and shoot enemy targets both in the air and on the ground. Dr. Kalam set the record for the oldest person to co-pilot such a plane and he was 74 years old, when he performed this feat.

Picture Credit : Google

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *