Then, we loaded onto the little Kingfisher tram that was to take us out to our Airbus A320 “puddle jumper” (though it’s still a jet, so the “jumping” happens pretty fast) to Bangalore (our next waypoint on the journey to “Trichy”), and on the way, as we turned a corner, I felt a surging rush of recognition. “That’s a SEPECAT Jaguar!” I beamed! And sure enough, it was. Sitting less than 25 yards from our little tram stop, just being fueled and readied for takeoff was a familiar, streamlined shape from my childhood fantasies (hey, most kids fantasize about being professional athletes… I fantasized about being a fighter pilot… or a ninja… it was a toss-up most days). Then we turned another corner and a Su-27 (one of the Sukhoi’s advanced next-gen fighter aircraft – but not as next gen as the new Su-33, mind you!) sat just another 100 yards or so away.
I’m sure I looked like one of the monkeys from 2001, jumping and hooting on the little airport tram and pointing and shouting and spewing nonsense about operational parameters and weapons loadouts, but we have a great team and they just sort of humored me. Want to know what was really kind of funny, though? The picture attached here are NOT of the actual aircraft we saw today. Want to know why not? When we tried to get said photos, airport officials very quickly and very sternly warned us that photographs were not allowed. Bummer!