“To find us you must be good, to catch us you must be fast but to beat us….you must be kidding”
By the Indian Air Force
A feeling of loyalty and allegiance for the country awakens within us when we see our mighty fighter jets touching sky high during the Republic Day celebrations. India’s undisputed domination, power and sovereignty, in both land and air are truly showcased along with the glance into the cultural practices and traditions of the states which are an integral part of our nation.
The meticulous flying formation is truly enchanting waiting to be captured on the mobile phones and the one exemplar of India’s pride is the supreme and majestic, Sukhoi-30 MKI beguiling one and all with its immense thrust note.
The adventure is truly confined to the last part when three examples fly off in a jiffy and at a low altitude, so as to be visible, set against the background of a beautiful sunny day. We as true automobile enthusiasts have always inspired to be fighter pilots and fly one of our cherished and beloved jets and leave behind the horizons with sheer confidence and determination.
But our enthusiasm is not limited. Finding an eager and vigorous machine on ground comparable to this enormous fighter on air was always a difficult task for in the quest for satisfaction and gratification. We were successful and the one machine which came to our rescue was a grand Italian masterpiece exuding a class and sophistication of its own, known as the Lamborghini Huracan.
The modern age and novel Roman does beckon to be looked and admired when parked in tandem with the Russian fighter. The red shade on the Huracan perfectly complements the outer orange shaped circle emblem of the Air Force inscribed on the Sukhoi.
The low slung front appearance with wide air dampers and a stylish rakish nose of the Huracan does give the eagled eyed statured plane some discerning competition, but can be dwarfed by the latter’s immense presence on a closer inspection. The energetic and compelling stance of both these technological marvels conveys an aura of instinct and conviction to take on all challenges whether be the breathtaking maneuvers in air or the amazing unleashing of raw power on a twisty race track. A head on challenge awaits us on an open runway where the Sukhoi twin L 31F turbines at idle can be heard with the intent that something explosive is yet to follow, while the Huracan in all its glory and triumph takes up the starting point on the parallel taxiway road.
The renowned 5204 cc V10 producing a mammoth 602 bhp and 57.10 kgm of torque exhibiting propulsion is ready to diminish all our speculations and apprehensions with its ballistic performance and credentials. The state of the art ergonomic interiors do give us a racer pedigree impulse and quickly we acquaint ourselves with the cutting edge mechatronics and toggle switches that will be of great help in this much awaited drag race. The empty stretch of road lies ahead of us, with the wind blowing in our direction much to our advantage and counting on our zodiac predictions we get set for the countdown.
A last minute thumbs up sign to the pilot seated in the Sukhoi-30 who is ready with the launch control signifying all set to go. He has a full control on the high pressured cocks and double brakes while running the engine to full dry thrust.
We quickly advance, take the lead and release the unadulterated power of this Italian beast, Lamborghini and accentuating this was the brilliant 7 speed dual clutch automatic gearbox inspiring us to push it further and giving us the initial gratification from the very start. The blissful moment when we thumped the accelerator pedal and got pinned back to our seats was extremely pleasurable, followed by a beautiful scintillating aural bliss from the exhausts. The motor is pulling continuously and still is not showing any signs of hesitancy but on a slight glance we happen to see the Sukhoi catching up quickly. The 0-100 kmph timing of 3.2 seconds being put through its paces and the top speed of 325 kmph was not far away with the throttle pinned to the extreme.
A thunderous and fierce sound expelled by the afterburners of the Sukhoi which had nearly completed the half runway mark, took us by surprise. The twin engines screamed with exhilaration and can be heard a mile away. Seconds later, the adorable fighter points its charming nose upwards and plunges into the open sky while retreating it’s marvelous claws, a beholding sight for all.
We were instantly reminded of the movie ‘Behind Enemy Lines’ in which the F 18 Tomcat takes off from the NATO warship with the brilliant song ‘It’s a brand new car’ playing in the background. The 25 ton fighter jet was within the vicinity showcasing overwhelming maneuvers and impressive turning capabilities midair. We in the Huracan were not to be left behind and got the chance to demonstrate the competency of this bull on the runway on the go ahead from the runway official.
We were very well on the course to leave a remarkable impression considering this eventful drag race. And here we go again with the sports mode engaged and traction controlled disengaged. The hair-raising acceleration is stupendously quick and the demonic howl from the engine is giving a strong competition to the Sukhoi-30’s turbine blast in the background.
The ground hugging dynamics enables us better to perform a zig zag and underlining that is the brilliant magnetorheological damper control system that makes the ride quality pliant and not too harsh. These characteristics can truly be brought out on an open twisty race track similar to the Buddh International Circuit.
A chassis combination of high-tech aluminum and carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) gives it better stability over its arch rivals while reducing the overall weight significantly. A meticulous four wheel drive system is incorporated in the new Huracan which is a radical departure from the mechanical one used in the Gallardo, which sends 50% of the torque to the front wheels through a wet clutch on sensing loss of traction at the rear wheels.The Russian fighter boasts of a 21st century ‘ fly by wire’ technology in which the pilot controls all the functionalities and mechatronics by issuing digital commands. This indeed truly transforms the airplane’s character.
The aerodynamic center or point takes precedence over the plane’s center of gravity thereby allowing the fighter to cater for deviations and turn tighter and harder much on the lines of the Joint Strike Fighter game by Eidos Interactive. The computer then starts setting benchmarks and shortlists that what actually the fighter is capable of doing and meeting the expectations to the fullest while avoiding fatal flying mistakes and as a guiding principle for pilots in case of emergencies and war times.
The real technology in automobiles that comes closest or replicates the ‘fly by wire’ system is the Electronic Stability Program that incorporates a series of different braking levels to prevent a vehicle slide. One can set the Huracan in the Corsa or the Track mode and show your sporty intentions before the system kicks in to safeguard the spinning of wheels. The Sukhoi further portrays its agility by the thrust vectoring nozzles and the use of canards and winglets near the canopy. Both of them come handy on taking tight turns and steering the aircraft on the prescribed path without any room for error.
The capability of one engine running at a time is an added feather because it helps in controlling the thrust independently and at optimum levels and thereby doing some intense air movements. The famous Cobra move cannot be missed as the Sukhoi’s nose goes up at an angle of 110 degrees and it truly defies the law of physics with its legendary controlled flat spin and double twisting.
The torque vectoring system on the Lamborghini gets activated only at extreme cornering and allows for extra power to be sent to the outside wheels so as to pinpoint for better stability and sharpness. Skillful aero aids in the form of spades under the nose upfront which helps control the airflow and splitter at the rear helping this beast to take up a low stance, immensely helps in improving overall dynamics
But alas! All good things must come to an end. It was an extremely satisfying and an eventful day for us. We could draw the parallel between two newfangled wonders and what more could a car enthusiast ask for. Hopefully this should satiate the appetite of the passionate car lovers.
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