Badminton ace PV Sindhu became the first woman to do a sortie in the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas at the Aero India show in Bengaluru on Saturday, PTI reported.
“I am very happy about being the first woman to fly the Tejas. This day is dedicated for women. Hence I will remember this day forever,” she told reporters here after the 40 minute sortie.
Showering praise on the Tejas, Sindhu said the real hero was the aircraft. “It was definitely a great experience and a great opportunity. I feel very honoured that captain Siddharth showed me all the stunts,” she said.
Captain Siddharth was the main pilot. Replying to a query, Siddharth said Sindhu pulled 5G force. G-force stands for either the force of gravity on a particular extraterrestrial body or the force of acceleration anywhere.
It is measured in g’s and 1g is equal to the force of gravity at the Earth’s surface, which is 9.8 meters per second.
The army chief flew the sortie on February 21, a day after the HAL-made fighter jet received the Final Operational Clearance at the air show, signalling it was combat ready. The Initial Operational Clearance was given in 2013 and IOC standard aircraft were inducted into IAF No.45 squadron in July 2016. The Tejas will replace the aging Jaguar and Mig-21 fleet in the Indian Air Force.