Shahid to fly in F-16 fighter jet at AeroIndia

Saturday, February 5, 2011

MUMBAI - Indian film actor Shahid Kapoor, who is essaying an air force officer’s role in the yet-to-be-released movie “Mausam”, will fly on a US F-16 fighter jet at the AeroIndia show starting in Banglore next week.

Kapoor will take a joy ride on the fighter jet of US aerospace major Lockheed Martin, with a pilot giving him company in the cockpit Feb 12 at the show, a company official said here Saturday.

“It is a huge honour and privilege and at the same time probably the coolest thing I’ve done yet in life… I am super excited about it,” Shahid said in a statement.

“Shahid Kapoor, who is playing the role of an Indian Air Force (IAF) officer in ‘Mausam’, will be flying the F-16 at AeroIndia Feb 12,” a spokesperson for Lockheed Martin said.

“Mausam” is an upcoming Hindi film directed and written by Pankaj Kapur, Shahid’s father and actor, under the Vistaar Religare Film Fund banner. The film would also feature actress Sonam Kapoor.

As part of his role in “Mausam”, Shahid has got acquainted with the various aspects of fighter planes and the IAF life by meeting air force personnel over the last year.

Tata group chief Ratan Tata has been the only other Indian personality to have flown the F-16 earlier. He flew the plane for 20 minutes in a twin-seater F-16 at the 2007 air show.

This year’s air show will begin Feb 9 and go on till Feb 13. While the first three days of the five-day event at the Yelahanka air force base near Bangalore will be for business visitors, the last two days will be for the general public.

During the air show, there will be flying display of several fighter aircraft, including major contenders for IAF’s 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft tender.

Among them are F-16s, American firm Boeing’s F/A-18s, European consortium EADS’ Eurofighter Typhoon and Swedish firm SAAB’s Gripen aircraft. Only Russian MiG-RAC’s MiG-35 will be missing among the flying displays in this edition of the biennial event.

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