Monthly Archives: September 2019

Grand Central Fun Rally 2019

Grand Central Fun Rally – 14 Sep 2019 by Rob Jonkers

This year’s SAPFA Fun navigation rally had its challenges in getting off the ground, the date initially set for the 7th September, where two other events entered the fray, that being the Children’s Flight and the SAAF Museum Airshow, and then the weather conspired to also be against us with fould weather on both the Friday and the Saturday.

In any event the date was moved by a week to the 14th September which coincided with the RV day and the Tedderfield Sling Fly-in, it seems everybody was getting into the spring feeling to hold events…. This Fun rally event is run in conjunction with Superior Pilot Services (SPS) who provide the facilities and sponsor a great breakfast at the Harvard, and an opportunity to allow their students to get to grips with rally flying.

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The teams busy plotting the course from the task sheets

For a number of years now Rob Jonkers planned and plotted the course for this event, catering for Open class and a Fun class, where the fun class introduces newbies to the sport. Entrants were planned to be around ten crews, with four from SPS and six from other airfields, and with the Protea teams still in Portugal having just completed the ANR World Championships were not available to take part. Eventually on the day only four teams could take part, thus it was a small field, with two in fun class and two in the Open class.

Most competitors arrived by 8.00 on Saturday morning to first enjoy the Harvard breakfast, thereafter briefing and plotting. The weather forecast looked promising with clear skies with 10+ kts wind later in the morning, which proved to become somewhat blustery closer to midday.

The route was planned to go out north, into familiar territory for the competitors as most of the legs were in their GF backyard. The start and finish points were just north of the N14 in the narrow Special Rules corridor between the Waterkloof & Lanseria airspace, and from there the route went out over the Hartebeespoort dam, across the Magalies ridge and into the scenic Crocodile river valley, then east across to Soshanguve and back across the ridge to the finish.

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Matthew French & Mike Blackburn plotting their course

From the GPS logger plot results, it could be seen the teams were struggling to slow down enough on the eastern & southern legs with many zig-zags being evident to counter the stronger wind at altitude.

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The Apron of Grand Central with competitor aircraft

There was one photo per leg that needed to be recognized, some of them were at least spotted by the crews, including a bonus photo which was one of those irresistible features (Stadium) that had to be found somewhere along the route, and which many crews did find in Attridgeville on the last leg.

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Approaching the Crocodile Valley – Landscape still wintery

After all the scores were tallied, first in Fun class was Matthew French with navigator Michael Blackburn in their very fast Mooney, second was father and son Jan and Max Coetzee in a C182. In this class the navigation accuracy allows 15 seconds at each gate before penalties are applied, one penalty per second.

In Open class in first place was Nick Christodoulou with navigator Andre Kluyts in a C172, and for this event a Route Planner class…. Rob Jonkers with his trusty navigator Martin Meyer in a C182, and being the route planner was expected to return with a perfect zero, but could not find the all the photos…., memory not that good it seems. In this class the navigation accuracy allows 2 seconds at each gate before penalties are applied, three penalties per second.

The navigation tracks – all seems fine until the eastern & southern legs

This event was for sure enjoyed by all, getting an understanding of flying with more precision, especially in the slower flight regime, and having to deal with wind variation. Many thanks extended to SPS for making all the arrangements with Grand Central Management, and for the fantastic breakfast and for Franz Smit and Ashley Loynes for joining at the start and providing the teams with much needed water refreshments.

Kitty Hawk RV Fly-In 2019

Kitty Hawk Aerodrome once again held their annual RV Fly-In. The apron was jam-packed with light aircraft of all sorts. Everything from yesteryear general aviation types, to the RVs and even a few Cessnas, Bathawks and Gyrocopters. The morning started with a lovely breakfast at the Kitty Hawk Restaurant. The flying started at around 10h00 with 15 RVs getting airborne.

They formed for two formation flybys. After the mass flybys have concluded, the Raptor Aerobatic team started their display. The team’s display consisted of a couple of barrel rolls, loops and solo flybys. After the Raptors RV Team had landed, the skies filled with a familiar roar of radials.

The Puma Energy Flying Lions Harvard team came in to land. The fans really enjoyed chatting to Scully and Arnie. The Bell 206 Jet ranger also made a few passes with a journalist from eNCA inside. Following the helicopter trend, was the two Gyrocopters. I unfortunately missed the Flying Lions display as I my day ended shortly after their arrival.

With the big SAAF Museum Airshow held only a week prior, events like these often get over shadowed by the bigger shows, but they must not be underestimated. Having a chat with some of the airshow pilots is something that you don’t normally get to do at the bigger shows. Because the aircraft park right on the grass in front of the restaurant, it provides a unique opportunity for the future aviators to get up close and personal with the aircraft.

2019 has been a rough year for airshows in South Africa. Many have been cancelled or delayed, leaving the aviation fans longing for some action. That is where many of these smaller events have shined this year. We look forward to next year’s edition of these lovely event!


10 Years – Aviation Central 2009 to 2019

Aviation Central celebrates 10 Years

10 Years Long

Adrenaline Show

Adrenaline Show – Wonderboom National Airport

Aviation Central was founded in September 2009, just days before the 2009 Swartkop Airshow.

The drive behind the team that makes up Aviation Central, the time and effort spent in taking photographs, traveling across multiple countries to report on events, is all about the love and passion that the team has for aviation.

We have managed to see and witness some incredible moments in aviation in Southern Africa, and even witnessed some incidents we wouldn’t want to see again.

From the ups and the downs of regional air shows, to the fantastic Africa Aerospace and Defence show we eagerly attend every second year,

Race for Rhinos at Sua Pan in Botswana, The Botswana International Airshow and other neighbouring countries airshows around Southern Africa.

Gaborone International Airshow 2017

To flying in some exotic aircraft with friends we have made in the industry, to all the people behind the airshow scenes and fans we have met along the way.

We can’t thank you, all our fans and supporters, enough for all the positive feedback we have received on all our social media sites and our webpage, which was introduced in 2017.

Our team has all visited shows in their youth, but it started at the Wings N’ Wheels Airshow that was held at Airforce Base Swartkop in 2009, where we got to see a number of fighter aircraft display including

The SAAF Museums Mirage IIICZ ‘Black Widow’ and Aerosud Mirage F1AZ. To see those aircraft in formation at the end of the day, will stay in our memories for years to come.

It was also an opportunity to see the New Gripen and Hawk Fighter jets display as they were put through their paces for the Pretoria crowds for the first time.

Aviation Central’s mission is to bring as much information to the public about upcoming airshows and aviation related events that take place in Southern Africa.

We get messages from all over the world when it comes to airshows and people want to know more about the event before attending.

As a non-profit organisation, our purpose is not to make money, but rather to bring the joy of aviation pictures and stories to the public to their mobile phones, PCs and now even on YouTube. We will now be

posting aviation videos from airshow MOs and events so you can also witness the sights and sounds of the magnificent aircraft.

We look forward to continue providing everyone with up to date news on all aviation events in Southern Africa, for many, many years to come.

Aviation Central Timeline

  1. Formed 13 September 2009 by Elan Hoffman
  2. June 2011, Flippie van Emmenis joined as a Follower to Aviation Central
  3. March 2012 Flippie van Emmenis was granted admin right to help run Aviation Central
  4. Sep 2012 John James joined Team Aviation Central, John is currently inactive.
  5. Dec 2013 Aviation Central had it 1st 1000 likes
  6. Dec 2013 Lettie van Emmenis  Joined Aviation Central  (Admin) 
  7. March 2014 Trevor Viljoen Joined Aviation Central
  8. May 2015 Jarryd Sinovich joined Aviation Central, Jarryd has become one of the most active members of the team.
  9. Feb 2016 Aviation Central passed all other Aviation Media related pages with followers on Facebook
  10. September 2018 Alan Richert joined Aviation Central
  11. March 2019 Niel Swart Joined Aviation CentralJuly 2019 Aviation Central reached the 30 000 likes mark on Facebook

The Team

Team AC AAD2018

Team Aviation Central AAD2018

Elan Hoffman
I love flying. I love watching the aeries soar, the smell of jet fuel in the morning, the feel of the throttle in my hand.

I remember the internet boom and wanting to catch into that. Long ago, in a land down under, I built a website that could connect flyers, enthusiasts, aviation businesses. I left that land back home to South Africa and started that idea again.

And then Facebook happened and with it came a fast moving need that I could not manage on my own.

Fortune brought a good man to Aviation Central who had assembled a great team. They have taken Aviation Central to heights I only dreamed of. Their photographic prowess on display, their service given to this idea now showing in an Aviation Central Calendar on as many digital channels I know.

May an idea taken from humble beginnings keep on ascending!

Alan Richert

Since as a young lad watching Vampire’s, Hawker Hunter’s and Alouette III’s of the then Rhodesian Air Force flying over Lake Kyle returning from their missions, I have always been fascinated by aircraft.

However, it was only in the 1990’s that I got to experience air shows, and then trying to photograph them with my trusty old 35mm film point and shoot automatic camera! It was around 2012 I decided to do something about my interest in taking photographs, got myself a proper DSLR and dived head first into the world of photography. It was a natural progression to then bring the two passions together.

With a stressful day job in the Information Technology world, the relief of getting out and doing photography is very rewarding and helps keep me focused.

My passion is aviation photography, but I do enjoy shooting most types of action sports. To keep sane and when I want some me time, I indulge in a bit of landscape photography.

Having joined the Aviation Central team late 2018 I am still learning the ropes of all the behind-the-scenes activities, but I thoroughly enjoy the privilege of being able to share with you my photographs of these magnificent flying machines.

Niel Swart

Niel has been a member of Aviation Central since March 2019. He is based in the Cape but travels to events when and where possible and has actively been taking photos since 2007.
Niel has covered events like AAD and air shows at Swartkops, Stellenbosch and Rand. Some of his other work cover the Coca Cola World Cup B737 visiting South Africa as well as the first landings of the three British Airways reto B747’s.
He also has a fond love for trains, both big and small. His fondest memory is of chasing a train in a 1953 Chipmunk as a passenger by taking air to ground photos with the cockpit filling with the amazing smell of burning coal while banking and experiencing the sensation of flying.

Jarryd Sinovich

From the day my father brought home a toy 747 from his business trip to Cape Town,i have been devoted to aviation in South Africa. I attend my first ever airshow at the tender age of 3 that being DEXSA that was held at Airforce Base Waterkloof in 1998.To this day I remember sitting in the then Shurlock  Sponsored Pitts Special Aerobatic aircraft and the R=roar of thundering jets from above as my ears took a beating. I was hooked!

As the years went on I attend airshows all over the country from Cape Town to Polokwane, but one of my favourite shows I attended was the only and lets hope not the last fighter meet at Airforce Base Makhado in the Limpopo province. It was where I got to see a number of fighter jets fly as well as hear the then cheetah fighter jet break the sound barrier. I also got to witness Ivan “Viking” Pentz display the new Hawk Mk120 for the first time.

Since then I got my PPL in 2013 and continue to travel and enjoy the South African Airshow circuit. I look forward to a big celebration in 2020 with the South African Airforce 100th anniversary  and the Aero Clubs 100th too.

Flippie van Emmenis

Flippie Van Emmenis

Aviation Central’s Flippie Van Emmenis receiving an Honorary Membership Certificate from Eagle Air

I use to be the guy attending air shows sitting on my camping chair form the start of the show until the end of the show, without moving from myspot even if it caused dehydration as I did not want to miss a thing. At first I did not own a camera, nor did I ever consider getting one as it was about my love for air shows, the aircraft, the fuel and smell from the vendors all while listening to Brian doing commentary.  Facebook started to gain popularity in 2009 and in order to find out more about upcoming air shows, I started following aviation pages to.

I joined Aviation Central as a normal follower which had about 140 likes at that stage. Soon afterward following, I started commenting and asking many questions. Elan Hoffman, the creator of Aviation Central, asked me if I would like to help him with the admin the page. This totally caught me off guard as I never expected myself to be doing something like this. I thought that my writing skills were not up to standard for this but this will not stop me! About one year later the page had grown to over 1300 likes. Elan phoned me and offered me to take over the ownership of the page, once again shocked, but I accepted. So yes, I never planned something like this let alone dreamt about it. Now, my love for air shows has also grown into a passion that my wife and I as well as the rest of my team can share with all air show lovers all over Southern Africa and abroad.

Trevor Viljoen

My passion for Aviation started as a young boy going to the Virginia Airshows and from there it was just aviation that was in my head and all I could think about and still up to today, Flippie ( Boss Man) and I got to meet each other for the first time in 2014 after being chatting to each other and sharing our passion and love for Aviation on Facebook for sometime. My first post for Aviation Central was the first Sky GO held at North Beach in Durban and from then it has been one Fantastic ride with this team!

To be apart of this team is something that I never ever thought would happen but when Flippie asked me to join the Team I was not sure if i was good enough to be apart of Aviation Central but just took it by the horns and said yes for the love of Aviation and I have never looked back, it’s hard work but it’s an Honour and I am truly greatful and blessed to have been given the opportunity to share my passion for Aviation!

Lettie van Emmenis (Admin)
Since I met Flippie he took me to the first Air show. I saw the Vampire flying and the Silver Falcons I could not wait for the next airshow just to see them flying again. My love for Aviation was triggered by Flippie and I enjoy it a lot.

Thank you!

We would also like to Thank all the Guys and Gals that helped us with phots and stories over the last ten years, below is a list of Some of them!
Dries Beetge, Pieter Cronje, Ryno Albrecht, Koos Smit, Andre Nel, Andre Venter, Michael Combrink, Mark Mansfield, Annette Visage Nel, Russell Dixon-Paver, Ben van der Walt, Bennie Henning, Justin de Reuck, Brent Best, Ruan Du Rand, Dian Townsend and Charmaine Oliver.

We Would also like to send out a BIG thank you to Mr Brian Emmenis form Capital Sounds that was always willing to guide us and advise were we can improve, Brian, Thank you and please continue with your valuable input.

Mark Mansfield, Your guidance and Support to the Team is also very much appreciated, You opened many doors to Team Aviation Central and always supported us!

Thank you to all our Fans and Followers out there. To Our Critics, Thank you for showing us where we can Improve

Some Birthday Messages

Air Show South Africa – ASSA

Many happy returns to all our friends at Aviation Central on their 10th anniversary – Congratulations on the huge success and we look forward to continuing relationship for another 10 years at least

Trevor Cohen

Congratulations Aviation Central on achieving your first 10 years. You guys have provided the greater flying community with awesome up to date info pertaining to flying and flying events. Flippie you have guided this ship expertly and you should be proud of your achievement. Keep up the good work and loads of respect.

DJA Aviation

DJA uses Aviation Central to ensure that it stays up to date with all industry events and happenings.

DJA applauds Aviation Central on the availability and accuracy of information on their platform.

Simone Helen Stoop Lekker FM

Happy 10th birthday Aviation Central. This community has given me a platform to get updates about airshows, aviation news and to be part of a community that share my love for avaition. Thank you for your hard work and sharing your passion with all of us. Here is to another 100years of Aviation Central

Puma Energy – Flying Lions

Congratulations to Aviation Central on a decade of authentic aerobatic news. Although I have not worked with Flippie van Emmenis and his flaring team for the longest time, I am truly impressed by their dedication to the flying scene. Self-funding excursions to capture the greatest airborne photographs and creating emotional stories about our beloved pilots http://bit.ly/ArniesLoveStory. Aviation Central is our loyal Airshow support, without them, fans wouldn’t know about Airshows happening across our African skies. We are sincerely grateful to the Aviation Central team for collaborating on events to ensure we all experience the love for flying with the Puma Energy Flying Lions! We continue to praise you for your amazing work and together we bring you the roaring action from above.

Brian Emmenis Capital Sounds

What started out as a dream has now become an essential part of our everyday life. Congratulations FLIPPIE, you and your team are doing sterling work to promote aviation in South Africa. We at Capital Sounds are proud to be associated with your on-line forum.

Omphile Mutloane, Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team Leader

In an ocean of negativity, AC is a glimpse of what we can be in the professional world of aviation in SA, their professional approach to all that involves the saaf ,GA and corporate is highly appreciated! Carefully over the years you guys chose to highlight and promote the saaf and the Silver Falcons aerobatic team to the general public Cheers 🥂 to the next 10 years . Thank you so much for y’all professionalism.

Elvis Manene Capital Sounds

Well am proud of Aviation Central as the online magazine, they keep us updated with what’s happening in the aviation circle and they always accurate with the news they give us, one can rest assured when reading the news you guys give to the people that those news a correct as you get your story straight you don’t just head the bush, as for me am over the moon the be associated with Aviation Central.

Justin du Reuck

Wishing Flippie and the team at Aviation Central a very happy 10 year anniversary. Love what you guys do for aviation in SA. Keep up the good work.

Dian Townsend

Wishing Flippie and the team at Aviation Central a very happy 10 year anniversary. Love what you guys do for aviation in SA. Keep up the good work.

Team AC and Falcons

Team Aviation Central and Silver Falcons – Wonderboom 2016

Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team 82
Wishing Flippie and the team at Aviation Central a very happy 10 year anniversary. Love what you guys do for aviation in SA. Keep up the good work.

ADDRESS BY DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS, ON THE OCCASION OF THE OFFICIAL AAD2020 LAUNCH

Programme Director;
Chief of the South African National Defence Force, General Solly Shoke;
Chief Defence Materiel, Dr Mthobisi Zondi;
HE High Commissioner Nomathemba Tambo and the SA Embassy office;
Armscor Deputy Chairperson, and members of the Board;
AMD Chairperson and members of the Board;
Representatives of the dti;
South African exhibitors;
AAD international agents and partners;
Captains of Defence Industry;
Members of the media;
Ladies and gentlemen

Under the theme “Unlocking Africa’s Aerospace and Defence Potential”, I welcome Ministries of Defence of various countries present here today, our International Partners and agents, captains of the global defence industry, members of the media and other distinguished guests.

AAD is the largest aerospace and defence exhibition in Africa and the ONLY one of its kind, boasting a successful combined exhibition of air, sea and land technologies, a static aircraft display and an air show. Significantly, AAD is the largest assembly of African leaders and decision makers, undoubtedly a gateway to doing business in Africa and a key catalyst and partner to unlocking business potential and partnerships.

In his opening speech at AAD 2018, Hon President Cyril Ramphosa highlighted the significant opportunity that the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition offers in identifying and converting areas of synergies into joint ventures. These business ventures invariably translate into technology growth, employment, skills development and economic stimulus.

By hosting this event, South Africa showcases its interest in growing
the economy and that of its neighbouring countries through leveraging intellectual property into tangible products and export contracts.

Planning for AAD2020 is well underway, with 40 % of the space booked and the organisers are working tirelessly to ensure that the 11 th edition of AAD is a resounding success for all the exhibitors, key partners and trade visitors. Testimony to this is that just in the last 2 days, the organisers have successfully signed up both Belgium and the USA as national pavilions and we await all other defence producing nations to do the same in the
next few weeks.

AAD is expected to attract over 400 exhibitors from at least 35 countries, over 10 00 000 visitors a day to AAD – many of them decision-makers in the global Defence, security and aviation sectors. The 2020 edition will also offer participants strategic platforms to engage in dialogue and discourse on international aerospace and Defence and other related best practices.

In closing, you may have noted that in his address at the Swartkop Air Show on the 7th of September, the Chief of the SA Air Force – Lt Gen ZF Msimang – noted that AAD 2020 takes place not only in SA’s Heritage Month of September but also in a year that marks the centennial commemoration of the SAAF as the second oldest Air Force in the world.It is no secret that for a very long time, the history of the SAAF has been one dimensional
and has often been told from the perspective of our erstwhile predecessors who sadly were also our colonisers and oppressors. Such an approach to our history has managed to diminish and undermine the cold weight of oppression and humiliation that was felt by the majority. In the interest of advancing the SA nation building project, we therefore are duty bound to reconfigure the SAAF and SANDF heritage landscape to ensure that it
reflects the diversity and the incredible efforts all South Africans and especially those who fought for the liberation of SA from the clutches of apartheid. It is in this context that the SAAF has chosen the theme of “100 years of Air Power, through 25 years of Democracy”. Commencing on the 1st of February 2020, SAAF 100 will culminate in the spectacular displays of air superiority in the 2 public days of AAD 2020 and we invite all Air Forces to bring their assets in celebration of this momentous achievement.

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, I now declare AAD2020 officially Launched, and I invite you save the dates September 16th to 20th of September 2020 at the AFB Waterkloof in Tshwane. South Africa is open for business and partnerships to mutually benefit us all.

Thank you

“Our Collective Heritage” SAAF Museum Airshow 2019

D-Day for the annual South African Airforce Museum Airshow 2019 had finally arrived at the worlds second oldest operational airbase in the world, Airforce Base Swartkop which is home to the South African Airforce Museum and 17 Squadron a operational helicopter unit also active at the base. The Theme for this years show was “Our Collective Heritage” this is to celebrate and recognise the procurement of our past and present in the SAAF.

Both Umkhonto we Sizwe ( MK ) and Azanian Peoples Liberation Army (AMPLA) sent their pilots abroad to train on aircraft including Cessna 150s and L39s.Helicopter Pilots were sent to Russia for their rotary wings course flying both the MI24 Hind and Mil Mi8 Helicopters.

Former homelands in South Africa known as the TBVC Sates, which were the Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and the Ciskei had their very own Airwings which operated light transport aircraft, helicopter and turbo prop trainers including Pilatus PC7 MKIs just some of the few of their air assets. This was also a perfect occasion to celebrate the theme our collective heritage as mentioned above.

The SAAF Museum Airshow was opened by the Chief of the South African Airforce Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande “Zakes” Msimang. Who flew in one of the Museum Alouette III, General Msimang a former helicopter pilot mentioned in his speech “The purpose of the Museum Air Show is primarily to celebrate our collective heritage, as well as a build up towards the Aerospace and Defence Expo in September 2020.”

The South African Airforce Band, choreographed some beautiful sets of instrumental music for the opening of the show and kept the public entertained during the course of the day with sights and sounds of military men and women putting together their talent of music.

With the low cloud base in the morning of the show, the Golden Eagles Parachute display team were unfortunate not allowed to jump out of the 44 Squadron Casa 212 based at Airforce Base Waterkloof.

Air boss for this years show was Lieutenant Colonel Rodney King a former leader of the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Display team. Capital Sounds Brian Emmenis had a huge deployment with at least a kilometre of speakers, so that the strong 30 000 plus crowd could hear commentary from both Brian Emmenis, Leon Du Plessis, Colonel Lance “Lancelot” Mathebula,Colonol Catherine “Siren” Constable, Major Dale Naddison,Lieutenant Colonel Iwan Robbertse, Captain Tiisetso “Lego” Legodi and Major Mandisa “Comet” Mfeka.

The Silver Aerobatic Display team opened he show with their flat display with Major Omphile “Biggy” Matloane at the lead. The Museums Helicopter’s were next with a aerial ballet from both the Alouette II and Alouette III.A solo display by the Puma, flown by General John Church.

The First jet display for the day was the Museums Vampire T55 flown by Colonel Glen “Gringo” Warden. Glen also flew the Rand Airport Based L29 and L39 adding to the eastern block jet age.

South African Airforce Displays consisted of a Hawk MK120 flown by Lieutenant Colonel Craig “Shark” Leeson, as he gave his last display as 85 Combat Flying Schools display pilot. Major Rehan “Kaine” Venter will be taking over as the Hawk display pilot. Major Geoffrey “Spartan” Cooper put the Gripen JAS39C through its paces with a flare drop at the end of his display.41 Squadron provide a formation display of a Pilatus PC12 and two Cessna 208A Caravans.17 Squadron provided a Oryx Capability demonstration with fast roping and troop extracting. A combat air routine was also carried out by two Hawk MK120s and a JAS39D Gripen fully loaded with ammunition was surly a favourite to see flying in that configuration.

The South African Airforce Museum put on a mini war re -enactment with two Alouette IIIs, Puma,two Cessna C185s,A Kudu and Bosbok. The Museum and Harvard Club T6 Harvard’s flew a mass radial display with a mass shutdown at the end of their slot.

Team Extreme were also present on the day as they have delighted more than hundreds of thousands of people at airshows in Southern Africa this year already. Other Aerobatic teams that were present were the Goodyear Eagles Pitts, The Cows Pitts Specials and the Puma Flying Lions. The MAD Microlight display team also closed the show with LED lights and smoke added to their trikes.

Singleton displays consisted of a Magni Gyro Copter flown by Andre van Zyl, The Nashua Extra 300 flown by Andrew Blackwood Murry. Menno Parsons made a welcome return to Swartkop this year with his P51D Mustang.The radial formation made up of ‘Little Annie’ an Antonov 2 flown by Jon-Marc and Mark Hill as well as a Boeing Stearman flown by Ivan van der Schaar and Riaan Prinsloo in his Yak 18T.Each of the radials then provided a solo display. The Classic Formation made up of a De Havilland Tiger Moth and two Chipmunks added to the De Havilland Aircraft heritage. Anton von Willich flew a display in his Aerospatiale Gazelle. General Des Barker flew a demo flight in the Wonderboom based Atlas Angel.

As the Gripen closed off the show with a sunset display, ending off with flares into the dark blue skies. Another successful and safe Swartkop Airshow had come to an end. With the short amount of time the SAAF Museum and the SAAF had to pull off a great show with a variety of aircraft on display, a big well done to all involved from Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande “Zakes” Msimang Chief of the SAAF, Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Bruintjies Officer commanding SAAF Museum, Lieutenant Colonel Trish Schoeman Officer Commanding Airforce Base Swartkop, Lieutenant Colonel Rodney King Flight Director for the show, Major Ntokozo Ntshangase as the media liaison for the SAAF Museum, Capital Sounds and to all display pilots, ground crews ATCs and all other role players behind the scenes that made the show a success.

Until we all meet again at the 2020 SAAF Museum Airshow and celebrate 100 years of the South African Airforce “As the SAAF Museum like to say Keep them up where they’re belong!”

Watch some of the highlights below from this years SAAF Museum Airshow 2019!

https://youtu.be/dN8xcu63kLc

SAAF Museum Airshow Youth Development Program 6 September 2019

The South African Airforce Museum Airshow 2019 hosted a Youth Development program on the Friday before the show the following day. One of the exhibit hangers to be precise, Hanger 4 was furnished into a career hall where the youth could get involved and put into the aerospace world with lots of information from all different forms of aviation from the South African Airforce, Private Flight Schools and other aerospace industry’s including Paramount Group, Civil Aviation Authority, Denel and Mango Airlines.


At the same time, learners from different schools got to witness some validation flying from both the SAAF and civilian aircraft that were taking part in the show the following day. This also encouraged learners to be back at the base the next day for the airshow. The enthusiasm from learners expression are sure to be going into the right career path, as the future will have future aviators, technicians and ATCs. 

SAAF Hawk MK120 during a validation flight
Rand Airport based Extra 300 duo

Learners got to have a small piece of flying an aircraft with the SAAFs Impala MKI Flight simulator, where they got to taste the thrill of flying a fast jet.

Impala MKI Simulator
Future Aviator


The Museums display halls were also open for the learners to visit the past SAAF aircraft that are preserved by the museum and friends of the museum. Learners were also informed on the development on locally manufactured aircraft including the Cheetah and Rooivalk projects. 
These days surely invest in our youth in South Africa and will surely make a mark in encouraging the youth to get involved with Aviation. 2020 will be a bigger year for Aviation in South Africa and in the SAAF as our Airforce turns 100 years old.

SAAF Museum P51D Mustang “Pasty Dawn”
Silver Falcons PC7MKII

Click on the link below of the days SAAF Museum Airshow Youth Development Program 6 September 2019

https://youtu.be/iGL6VKef-c4

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The Chief of the South African Airforce Opens the SAAF Museum Airshow 2019

Address by Lieutenant General Fabian ‘Zakes’ Msimang at the opening of the South African Air Force (SAAF) Museum at Air Force Base Swartkop on 7 September 2019.

Lieutenant General Fabian ‘Zakes’ Msimang flies in one of the SAAF Museums Alouette IIIs

It is with great pleasure that I open the SAAF Museum Air Show during this Heritage Month. I would first like to extend a big thank you to you all for your presence.

One of the fundamental elements in nation-building and cultivating a cohesive society, is the reconfiguration of the heritage landscape to ensure that it reflects the diversity and the incredible efforts of the unity of our society.

Our interventions are guided by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, the supreme law of the land, whose preamble partly reads as follows: “We, the people of South Africa, Recognise the injustices of our past; Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.”

In line with these constitutional imperatives, the SAAF is committed to the preservation and promotion of our Air Force heritage.

Let us take a moment to remember and analyse the father of Zimbabwean liberation, Tata Robert Mugabe on his passing away. Some may hold various views on him, but again this is all part of our African heritage – in its entirety.

Let us take a moment to also reflect upon the rise of femicide in our country and ask ourselves as parents how are we raising our sons. What example are we setting in our homes. Where are we going wrong? A brave man treats women with respect and appreciation. A coward abuses women emotionally and physically. I do hope that no SAAF member will ever stoop that low, if anything I expect us to be more conscious and exemplary. I call upon the men and boys of our motherland to be human, to find Ubuntu, to show compassion for the girls, for the sisters, friends, mothers and grannies. Please let us do better as a nation. Let us not squander the fruits of our hard earned liberation.

The purpose of the Museum Air Show is primarily to celebrate our collective heritage, as well as a build up towards the Aerospace and Defence Expo in September 2020.

The history of the South African Air Force goes back to 1920, and our democratic and all-inclusive Air Force is 25 years old. So, next year we will be recognising the centennial history of the SAAF, through a post apartheid outlook. The theme of the SAAF on the 1st of February 2020 shall be “100 years of Air Power, through 25 years of Democracy”.

Beyond the display of our air power and expertise, what marks this event today, is the need to begin to embrace our collective history with an element of sincerity and compassion. For a very long time, the SAAF history has been one dimensional, told from the perspective of our erstwhile predecessors. Such an approach of our history has managed to diminish and undermine the cold weight of oppression and humiliation that was felt by the majority.

The roots of our collective story spread far wider and much deeper than we can imagine. We all have an obligation to better understand ourselves and each other if our nation is to heal. We have to embrace and be accountable for our collective heritage, if our children are to be more forgiving, more understanding and compassionate.

A maturing democratic nation should not embellish the truth of its past. A true reflection of our history shall make us understand the mistakes and violations we have made. Yes, it can make us uncomfortable, but the discomfort is meant to make us learn, grow and help us mature. The discomfort is meant to help us begin to respond with integrity to the causes of poverty, femicide, crime, grime and greed, to be able to look holistically at the main challenges that face us.

We have to be at ease speaking about our history of suffering and victory. Our history of fear and faith. Our history of triumph against all odds. Our history of a desired deep sense of unity in the face of deliberate divisions.

It is in the ability to embrace and to celebrate our collective heritage where the power of real patriotism lies. To speak of collective heritage is indeed an act of patriotism.

So compatriots, as you enjoy the air show today, please do make time to visit our modest museum. It is yours to learn from, it is yours to reflect upon and also please do make further suggestions on how our museum can be one of the best military museums in the southern hemisphere.

We all have an obligation to foster social cohesion, nation-building and economic development as an engaged and committed citizenry. Let us stop complaining, let us turn the litany of excuses into nation-building results. This is our country. This is your Air Force – “An Air Force that Inspires Confidence”.

Have a fantastic day – the weather a bit chilly for now. The children look happy. As always, under-18s enjoyed free entrance – which makes this the perfect day out for aviation enthusiasts and families alike.

Thank you all and be blessed. Wishing you all a Heritage Month of self-reflection and self-awareness and your best contribution to our nation-building efforts.

Thank you.

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Pegasus Universal Aerospace Signs MoU With Callen-Lenz Group

Pegasus Universal Aerospace signs MoU with Callen-Lenz Group as partner for flight control systems development.

Veteran aviator Captain Andrew Dietrich appointed as Chief Pilot

South Africa’s Pegasus Universal Aerospace, pioneer of the Vertical Business Jet (VBJ®) Pegasus One, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UK-based, technical aviation consultancy, Callen-Lenz Group. The agreement brings the two companies together to exclusively collaborate on the design and development of the flight control systems for the Pegasus One aircraft.

The flight control systems are integral to supporting the aircraft operations in all phases of flight, including transition from vertical take-off and hover, to forward horizontal flight. The merging of these functions, into one unique system, will be a key technology, enabling Pegasus One to deliver its powerful performance capabilities. Pegasus selected Callen-Lenz as its development partner owing to the team’s reputation for creating innovative solutions, required core competencies and experience, in realising complex technologies in the aerospace sector.

Dr Reza Mia, Pegasus founder and Chairman said, “We believe that Callen-Lenz is the ideal partner for Pegasus. Their inventive approach to aerospace challenges, their expertise, and their willingness to embark on this exciting journey with us to deliver a unique proposition determined our selection process. We are excited to be working on this game changing project with them.”  

“We have been invited to work with a number of new aircraft programmes, but were extremely impressed by the ambition, vision and quality of the Pegasus VBJ project. As the race hots up to deliver new aircraft technologies, we are pleased to join forces with one of the most exciting airframes in development,” said Jonathan Webber, CEO, Callen-Lenz.

The Pegasus team has already made great strides over the past year in developing multiple scale models, completing comprehensive studies into the drivetrain and thrust fan systems to support a true hybrid-electric propulsion power source. Pegasus is in ongoing discussions with two leading powerplant OEM’s to ensure the best performance capability is achieved.

The signing of the MOU with Callen-Lenz Group ushers in the next significant phase in the programme. Under the terms of the MOU the Callen-Lenz team will work closely with the Pegasus executive team, engineers and newly appointed chief pilot Captain Andrew Dietrich, whose appointment was also confirmed in August. Captain Dietrich joins the expanding Pegasus team with some 16,000 hours flying time spanning a 26-year career operating ultra-long-range commercial airliners and corporate jets. Familiar with numerous flight-decks, working with a variety of avionics systems and aircraft simulators, Captain Dietrich brings valuable knowledge to Pegasus. Reporting directly to the executive team, his hands-on experience will deliver vital input to the aircraft operational capability, performance and safety requirements.

As an integral part of the Pegasus technical team he will work alongside Callen-Lenz and Pegasus Chief Engineer Matthew Buttle and be responsible for overseeing compliance, safety procedures and the co-ordination of test pilots during the official test flight phase.

“We want to build an aircraft that pilots know is responsive, safe, reliable, efficient and above all fun and straight forward to fly. Captain Dietrich will help us achieve these goals and more. We are excited to add his extensive skills and enthusiasm to our team,” commented Dr Reza Mia.  

“I’m aware there are many eVTOL projects in development, but I wanted to work with the dynamic Pegasus team. The concept is brilliant, the team is solid, and I believe it will make a dramatic difference to the way executives and high-net-worth individuals think about flight in the future. There is also huge potential in the oil and gas platform, (OGP) sector. Being involved with the Pegasus project allows me to use all my accumulated experience on one of the most exciting new and innovative aircraft programmes on the market, it’s a superb opportunity,” added Captain Dietrich.

Construction of a full-scale VTOL demonstrator to show in Europe in 2020 has already begun and a series of investor evenings in South Africa starts this month.

The MoU with the Callen-Lenz Group and the appointment of Captain Dietrich will ensure Pegasus development continues on the right trajectory.

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SAAF Museum Airshow Saturday 7 September 2019 Programme

Please take note that aircraft can withdraw from the program at any point due to serviceability & operational requirements and weather!

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SAAF Museum Airshow Media Briefing 2019

The morning of Tuesday 3rd September 2019,corrospondents from different media houses were invited for a media briefing presented by the South African Airforce Museum Officer Commanding Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Bruinjies and Major Ntokozo Ntshangase at Swartkop Air Base West Auditorium.

Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Bruinjies

The Theme for this years show as mentioned in the briefing is “Our Collective Heritage” this meaning all types of Airwings during the Liberation movement, Homelands Venda, Ciskei ,Bophuthatswana and past SAAF Aircraft celebrating their former centenary over the years.

Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Bruinjies addressing the media

Colonel Bruinjies mentioned that full SAAF Museum Aircraft inventory including Harvard’s, Cessna C185, Puma, Alouette II & III, Bosbok, Kudu and much more would take to the skies on Saturday, including a number civilian types and as well as a number of current SAAF Aircraft.

SAAF Museum Alouette II & III validated on 2019-09-03

Gates will open at 7am on Saturday morning for the public and paring will be made available around the Bases surroundings. There are 90 vendors that will be at the show, which will range from food stalls to memorabilia etc.

SAAF Museum Alouette III

Tickets available at Computicket , Click here

R80 Adults

R30 Children between the ages 12-16

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