ALSO READIndia's growing stature on show as Asean leaders attend Republic Day parade Republic Day Parade ends with air show; BSF women bikers win hearts Fortress Delhi: Snipers, hit teams, 60,000 personnel deployed for R-Day Republic Day 2018: BSF refuses to exchange sweets with Pakistani rangers Google Doodle marks Republic Day 2018, designed by Delhi-based illustrator
The roaring flypast by Indian Air Force planes drew a huge applause from the people gathered at Rajpath to witness the Republic Day Parade, even though the visibility in Delhi remained low due to dense fog early on . All eyes rolled skyward as the pulsating hum of the approaching Rudra formation, including three weapon system integrated choppers, reached the ears of the spectators. The Rudra choppers made their maiden appearance at the Republic Day Parade this year. The Hercules formation, comprising three C-130J Super Hercules, roared past the Rudra helicopters, with people yelling and cheering the mighty aircraft. The airborne early warning and control system aircraft 'Netra', with a host of advanced electronic warfare equipment indigenously designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), also made an appearance at the parade. Other aircraft that participated in the flypast were C-17 Globemaster, Su-30 MKI, combat fighters Tejas, Jaguar and MiG-29. The flypast culminated with a lone Su-30 MKI, flying at a speed of 900 kmph, split the sky with a 'vertical charlie.' The restless crowd was stunned into silence as the aircraft ascended in the sky over Rajpath with a deafening sound and vanished in seconds. Not a single eye appeared to blink as the jet, piloted by Group Captain Harpreet Luthra, took a sudden perpendicular turn and vanished behind the clouds. But before one could even anticipate, it started swivelling downwards at a breathtaking speed, setting everyone's hearts racing as thrilled cries filled the air on the spectacular sight.