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Old 21st July 2009, 14:53   #1
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Default Speed thrills but...what a way to go!

I am 50 years old and was flying fighters in the Indian Air Force for over two decades. I came across Team-BHP on the net. My current interests are adventure sports, photography and long drives. My first car was a Maruti 800. I currently own a Tata Indigo LX and a Ford Endeavour Thunder+. Five years on, I’d like to own something fast and fun to drive - let’s see what the market has to offer then.

Its all about speed and risk – my flying instructor once told me that the riskiest job in the world was that of a professional race car driver. Next in line was military fighter flying. All of us harbour that desire for speed when we are young – few of us follow it up to fruition. I wanted to be a race car driver, but ended up being a fighter pilot - second in risk but way at the top for speed! For most of my life I flew the now much maligned Mig-21. It’s one of the best fighter designs ever, regardless of what you may hear. Now that fighter flying is no longer an option, my passion has come full circle - to cars.

In the services you come across a variety of vehicles, most of which would not be owned by the average Joe. The most popular one was the Nissan Jonga which was the first four wheeler I ever drove. That was followed by more of the same ilk – Willys Jeep, Mahendra’s 540 D both of which I got to drive on my brother-in-law’s coffee plantation in Coorg. I guess that is one of the reasons why I ended up picking an Endeavour 4x4 – good for long drives and can still tackle some of the rough country down South.

Cars like the Indigo are good for Mumbai - comfortable, cheap and you couldn’t care less if the odd auto-rickshaw/motorcyclist bumps into you! Like I say, who needs all that “great power” when you are stuck in bumper to bumper traffic? I feel sorry for all the Beemers and Mercs of this city (and a touch of envy, though!)

A word about my old Maruti – it was with me for almost 15 years and I found it a very reliable car. In all the time that I drove it, literally, from Kashmir to Kerala, it had never broken down leaving me stranded in the middle of the road. Maruti cars were the first ‘modern’ entrants to the car scene and I found them great fun to drive.

Recently, I got my hands on my sister’s Swift VDI as against her older Octavia Rider 1.9 TDI that I usually borrow on vacation. I found it surprisingly good. For one thing, it is a light weight. The other factor is it's better ground clearance. The combination gives you the confidence to take it around tight undulating roads without fear of grounding it on a camouflaged speed breaker. That is why for my next car, driveability will be the main consideration.

Let me conclude by saying that it feels good to be a part of Team-BHP – there is a huge data bank of automobile information among these archives and all backed up by a great support team. I have learnt a lot since browsing this site and am sure the process will continue. Cheers!
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Old 21st July 2009, 16:41   #2
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Hey welcome aboard Jimmy, I guess the saying " I'm not driving fast, I fly Low" could be literally applied to in your case. Happy motoring.
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Old 21st July 2009, 16:51   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy_iaf View Post
... I wanted to be a race car driver, but ended up being a fighter pilot - second in risk but way at the top for speed! ...
Sir, I always wanted to be a fighter pilot (but ended up being neither a fighter pilot nor a race-car driver ). Hence I envy you !!! (I have cleared the PABT during the SSB selection process)

Hope you will share your high-speed experiences in the air with us. I would definitely be reading them all.

Thanks.

Last edited by Blue Thunder : 21st July 2009 at 16:57.
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Old 21st July 2009, 16:56   #4
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Am sure Top Gun would be a ideal call name for you. Welcome aboard and hope you have loads of fun on Team BHP.
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Old 21st July 2009, 17:16   #5
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Welcome to the forum, and it is an honor to meet someone who has flown the Mig 21. Seeing them take off from Pune with afterburners lit was always a great experience. Particularly for another frustrated/failed fighter pilot. My tale of woe was getting glasses at 10.
You will find the wild blue yonder was a lot safer than our roads.

It is good to hear someone talk for the Bison, but I think that all those who actually fly it, do just that. I met a younger squadron commander last year who was passionate about it. At the risk of crossing a boundary here, maybe it is like the guys and gals that drive Fiats..enough said on that one!!

You will have a lot of fun sifting through all the well meant advice that you will get here on how to select your driveable car - and that may well be the greatest fun part of the whole selection process. My two cents - it all starts with the environment in which you want it to be driveable. Define that well, and the important half of the task is over.
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Old 21st July 2009, 18:18   #6
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First, I would like to salute you !

Always been in awe of fighter pilots and will be. Please spend some time on the forum and narrate some of the interesting experiences/encounters/anecdotes from your career. You could begin by telling us about the Mig-21 - why is it maligned and why is it good, according to you? Please create a separate thread for the same, so it will get visibility.
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Old 21st July 2009, 18:34   #7
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Welcome Jimmy! How about a test report of the Mig21?! We already have a testdrive review of a Boeing 747 & a 73M RR Ship.

The torquey 3.0 engine you got in the Endeavour ought to keep you happy when cruising on land.
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Old 21st July 2009, 18:35   #8
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I have great regard for Pilots of any kind and Fighter Pilots top the list. The amount of G's you guys have to undergo is tremendous and awe-inspiring.
Hope you enjoy your stay in this forum and learn as much as I do on a daily basis.
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Old 21st July 2009, 18:46   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy_iaf View Post
was flying fighters in the Indian Air Force for over two decades.
Its all about speed
Welcome to the team-bhp family sir.

I'm not sure why no one asked you this till now.

How fast have you gone till date ?

Also, how about a write-up on you experience as a pilot.
I'm sure many of the folks around will be interested in reading a first hand experience.

How its like, what it takes and all that...
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Old 21st July 2009, 19:49   #10
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Jimmy,

Welcome aboard Sir! It is indeed a privilege for our family to have such a distingushed member on board!

A lot has been debated on the Mig 21 but I have been one of the few ones to have actually witnessed the landing of a Mig 21 fighter up close on the tarmac and the raw power of its engines simply left me gaping in awe! Thanks to my dad's friend who was with the IAF.

I am certain you will enjoy your stay on T-Bhp!

Cheers,
gpa
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Old 21st July 2009, 21:31   #11
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Welcome to the forum, Sir. Am a great fan of the IAF, and had desperately wanted to be a part of it. Unfortunately, the folks at the SSB centres in Dehradun and Mysore thought otherwise :-)

Like everyone else here, I too am eager to read your exploits in the air, i.e. if they aren't classified. Also, if you've had any exposure or know any episodes/anecdotes involving the MiG-25 (Foxbat), those would be great to read too.

Looking forward to your posts!

Cheers,
Vikram
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Old 21st July 2009, 23:04   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuttapan View Post
You could begin by telling us about the Mig-21 - why is it maligned and why is it good, according to you? Please create a separate thread for the same, so it will get visibility.
Why 'maligned' is easy - just Google "mig-21" and use the options 'pages from India' - pretty much self explanatory! There are certain facts you can't avoid: it is an old generation aircraft, it has only one engine, and it is designed as a high speed interceptor. Most of the accidents on this aircraft stem from these facts.
Why 'good' not so easy..somebody mentioned a Fiat up the thread..I guess the answer is close to that. Unlike most of it's modern counterparts it is basic - which makes it a challenge to fly well. You get a sense of achievement just from that. There is no 'Auto pilot' you can engage for combat! The only engagement is with the enemy.
Re: the separate thread - I am not sure there is a forum for that on Team-BHP

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
How about a test report of the Mig21?! We already have a testdrive review of a Boeing 747 & a 73M RR Ship.
Personally, I feel that a review of the Mig - 21 would be quite out of place here, on a site dedicated to automobiles. Besides with almost everything on the internet, a mere statistical analysis would be repetitive. All the information for public consumption is right here Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
Originally Posted by yzfrj View Post
How fast have you gone till date ?
Also, how about a write-up on you experience as a pilot.
I'm sure many of the folks around will be interested in reading a first hand experience.
How its like, what it takes and all that...
Theoritically the versions I flew were capable of Mach 2.2, but if I remember right I have only taken it up to Mach 1.85.
Too short a space for write ups, I am afraid, yzfrj! If there is anything specific, I could clarify.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpa View Post
A lot has been debated on the Mig 21 but I have been one of the few ones to have actually witnessed the landing of a Mig 21 fighter up close on the tarmac and the raw power of its engines simply left me gaping in awe!
I guess the landing and the take-off would be equally impressive! Used to get airborne at close to 340 kmph (185 knots ~) which was also the landing speed. That used to look pretty fast to a ground observer, especially in view of it's small size.

And to all of you who have accepted me into your group - thank you!
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Old 22nd July 2009, 10:43   #13
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Hello Sir,
Welcome to TBHP. MIG-21 pilot sharing his experiences would be on my watchlist now. I really would like to know how it feel to be at Mach-1.85. Looking forward to a detailed report. Must be kind of hard to take your foot off the gas pedal once your used to going at 1225km/h and thats just Mach 1 .
Rgds
Vikrant
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Old 28th July 2009, 18:04   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vikrantj View Post
Hello Sir,
Welcome to TBHP. MIG-21 pilot sharing his experiences would be on my watchlist now. I really would like to know how it feel to be at Mach-1.85. Looking forward to a detailed report. Must be kind of hard to take your foot off the gas pedal once your used to going at 1225km/h and thats just Mach 1 .
Rgds
Vikrant
Thanks Vikrant! The MiG 21 thread is available under 'Shifting Gears'. Let me assure you, you will take your 'foot' off the gas when you see the fuel guage winding down!
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