India’s best Olympian aids Lockheed’s F-16IN bid

Fighter manufacturers are seeking out celebrity endorsements this week. First, Brazil reached out to Tom Cruise to turn Top Gun tricks on the Super Tucano (see item below). Now, Lockheed Martin has signed up Abhinav Bindra, India’s first Olympic gold medalist — for shooting, of all sports — to fly around the Aero India air show next week in the F-16IN Super Viper, according to the Hindu Times.

Making the announcement, OrvillePrins, vice president (Business Development-India) said: “LockheedMartin is very pleased to have Abhinav Bindra fly in the F-16IN SuperViper. It is a perfect fit. Lockheed Martin and Abhinav share the samecommitment to integrity and the F-16IN and Abhinav have achievedabsolute excellence in performance.”

Bindra will be flown by a highlyexperienced test pilot with Lockheed Martin. The flight will lastapproximately 45 minutes. He will undergo the mandatory medical fitnesstest before takeoff and will also get a ground briefing before going onthe sortie.

Bindra said: “I was instantly excited when the offer to fly onF16IN came. I have heard about the adrenalin rush when the aircraftsorties in the air and am looking forward to experience it. I guess itwill be an encore of what I felt when I hit the target at Olympics. Ithank Lockheed Martin for giving me this honour”.


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One Response to India’s best Olympian aids Lockheed’s F-16IN bid

  1. thomasbartonjd 7 February, 2009 at 5:24 am #

    I am puzzled by the seeming air of superiority that this entry elicits. I just finished watching a popular series on U.S. television about great fighter plane duels. The name escapes me but it has its host flying in a Yellow Texan while he describes the reenactment of a famous duel between, Invariably, a U.S. pilot and an opponent of the Axis or other enemy force. This episode featured a P47 tangling with one expertly flown FW190. The host is a dashing F-22 Raptor pilot we are told and he is effusive in his praise of the skill and daring of the pilots and sometimes nearly breathless as the depicted battle culminates above his observing aircraft. It is done with panache and cinematographic flair. How is this fundamentally different than employing a gold medalist or a Hollywood icon to punch up a sales presentation of today’s fighter candidates ?

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