| Gopal Sutar
Bangalore: Notwithstanding the summer rains which were quite heavy on the first day itself at the 50th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget exhibition centre from June 17 to 23, Air India made is impact with the display of new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The giant bird was nicely parked on a large space at the world's prestigious Air Show. It attracted the attention of large visitors. It was the only Indian aircraft on display.
In fact, the dreamliner display at Paris was first of its kind in any air show and was significant considering that the aircraft was grounded in January by carriers worldwide due to faulty batteries. "These batteries have been replaced with the new ones and necessary certifications have been obtained. Other teething problems too have been resolved", said the company sources at the Paris Air Show.
Many carriers around the world including Air India have started re-flying the aircraft. AI at present has six such aircraft and eight more are expected to be inducted by December this year. The carrier had placed orders for 27 such planes in January 2006. The showcasing of the flying capabilities was the need of the hour not just for Boeing but as well to clear the doubts over its safe flying.
Touted as the next generation flying machine, Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the latest acquisition of Air India and is expected to shore up the fortunes of national carrier as the aircraft is fuel efficient and is armed with new technology "It is comfortable flying experience" for most of the flying passengers including this writer.
Over-all Indian Presence: On the other hand India's largest defence public sector company, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited made its presence felt through its chalet which was often over crowded by the visitors.
The highlights of the show was several B2B meetings that took place between Indian representatives with the global aerospace companies, the presence of Civil Aviation Minister, Mr. Ajit Singh, and the Minster of State for Defence, Jitendra Singh. The other Indian companies present at the show included Avaana Software and Services Private Limited,
MicroMet-ATI Private Limited, Offset India Solutions Private Limited, OIS Advanced Technology Private Limited, SAP Media Worldwide Limited and Wipro.
(The author is the Chief of Media Communications, HAL and based in Bangalore He had recently attended the 50th Paris Air Show at La Bourget).