“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” - Commander Neil Armstrong as he became the first man to walk on Moon after the Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle landed on July 20, 1969.
The biggest aerospace event that has made headings this year and being celebrated across the globe is the 50 years of Moon landing. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) also is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the very first landing of a human being on the surface of the Moon. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) also is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the very first landing of a human being on the surface of the Moon. The mission to the Moon designated as Apollo 11, was launched on July 16, 1969, by a Saturn V rocket from the Kennedy Space Centre on Merrit Island in Florida, USA. Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin were the American crew that landed the Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle on the Moon on July 20, 1969. The momentous event was described by Commander Neil Armstrong as “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” has been and will always be remembered. The successful mission also fulfilled a national goal set in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy to land a man on the Moon before the end of the decade. This issue of SP’s Aviation carries a detailed and comprehensive coverage by Ayushee Chaudhary, of this achievement five decades ago. Of special interest would be the interview with Brian Odom, the historian at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre in Huntsville, Alabama.
Another major venture that celebrated its 50th anniversary is the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica or Embraer for short. It was in August 1969 that the government of Brazil took a decision to set up a facility to design, develop and manufacture aircraft both in the military and civilian segments of the global market. In 1994, Embraer was privatised and now it is ranked as the third-largest manufacturer of commercial aircraft in the world. This issue of SP’s Aviation includes the journey of Embraer over the last 50 years.
Closer home, the operational capability of the Indian Air Force (IAF) received a huge shot in the arm with the formal induction of the first batch of eight (from a total of 22) AH-64E Apache attack helicopters contracted with Boeing of the US. This platform is regarded as one of the most modern, versatile and lethal rotary wing weapons platform in the world today. The induction ceremony held at IAF Station, Pathankot on September 3, 2019, where one squadron of the Apache attack helicopters will be based, was presided over by Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff, IAF. This issue of the magazine carries a report on the event by Vishal Thapar.
Exactly a week after the meeting in Paris between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Emmanuel Macron, President of France, the Indian and French National Security Advisers met in New Delhi on August 29 to push forward the proposals to scale up Defence and Strategic sector cooperation between the two nations. A widely reported proposal relates to the French offer for a second batch of 36 Rafale fighter jets at an estimated cost of about Euro six billion. The first contract for 36 Rafale jets was concluded in September 2016 and the aircraft are expected to begin arriving in September this year. A report by Vishal Thapar on the interaction between the Indian and French officials has been included in this issue of the magazine.
All this and more in this issue of SP’s Aviation. Welcome aboard and we wish you many happy landings!