Ratan Tata takes to the skies in F-18 Super Hornet

Bangalore: Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata on Thursday took to the skies as he co-piloted US aerospace major Boeing`s F-18, the Super Hornet, at the eighth edition of premier airshow, Aero India 2011.

Boeing is one of the six competitors bidding for the 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft deal touted to be valued at USD 10 billion from the Indian Air Force.

An aviation enthusiast, Tata, who has also flown aircraft at earlier air shows, was in the air for around 45 minutes before the aircraft landed.

"I am excited", he said and described the F-18 "as a great aircraft".

The other competitors eyeing to garner the deal are Lockheed Martin`s F-16 (US), the French Rafale, Swedish`s Gripen, Russian MIG 35 and the European Eurofighter Typhoon.