Storming the bastion of aerospace design

Symbolism was evident at the Aero India 2007 air show that concluded in Bangalore on Sunday.

Looking out from the plush Boeing Aircraft Corporation stand, the view accurately reflected the choices before the US major in cracking India’s air force and civil aviation markets.

On one side was the exhibit of public sector firm Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with a huge plastic mock-up of a helicopter that existed only on drawing boards.

The slick Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) stall dominated the rest of the landscape, a 12-projector cyclorama catching the eye with images rotating on a circular band.

Despite strong backing from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for its defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs), the more high-tech, nimbler and innovative software companies like TCS, Satyam Computer Services and HCL are cornering a growing share of the business from aerospace giants like Boeing and Airbus.

And it’s not back-office work like inventory management; Indian software majors are directly involved in cutting edge design work including airframes, engine components and aircraft interiors.

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