Category Archives: Pilots and Aircraft

The Work Horse of the SAAF-The Oryx Helicopter

The Oryx Medium transport helicopter, is the upgraded version of the puma helicopter which served the South African Airforce for many years and saw the helicopter take part in the Angola border war. The SAAF were the largest operator of the then Aerospatiale SA330 Puma. The Oryx Helicopter named after the Oryx antelope or Gemsbok in Afrikaans. The first flight of the Oryx helicopter was in
1986 .

A 330L Puma, no. 177, was converted to Oryx configuration and used as a prototype and as the results exceeded all expectations the Oryx programme was launched. The sanctions era encouraged the local aviation industry to become self-sufficient in producing helicopter components and, with the knowledge to assemble pre-manufactured helicopters, led to the technical skill for producing complete Puma helicopters, should the need arise. This included complete airframes and dynamic components such as gearboxes, rotor blades and turbines and hot section parts. The engine intakes are fitted with locally produced dust filters and ensure higher efficiency and reliability.

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SAAF Museum Puma
17 Squadron Oryx-a big difference compare to the SA 330 Puma
Two Oryx Helicopters with Bambi Buckets

The Oryx is an upgraded and remanufactured version of the SA 330 Puma equivalent to the Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma now known as Airbus Helicopters, and offers a performance improvement over the original, in addition to cutting the operating costs by 25 to 30%. First examples were fitted with the latest dust filters as were then in use on the SAAF Puma. These units had a moveable auxiliary air intake on the front. A newly designed dust filter was later fitted without the auxiliary air intake. Should one of the engines fail, the remaining powerplant has sufficient power for the Oryx to complete its mission. If an engine fails in flight, the management system automatically advances the power setting on the remaining engine. This ensures the Oryx sustains flight with very little crew input, during such an emergency.

The basic airframe is still that of the original Puma, but the structure was modernized by extensive use of locally produced carbon-composite materials. These materials result in an airframe that is lighter and more rugged, which increases the Oryx’s endurance and maneuverability. The obvious external difference is the new modified tailboom which is slightly longer (50 cm), than the Puma.


The Oryx is a multi-role helicopter. Its main uses in the SAAF are: medium to heavy transport and communications flights, task force rapid deployment operations, fire fighting, and search & rescue missions. It can carry up to 20 fully equipped troops, or 6 wounded on stretchers with 4 attendants, or 3,000 kg freight carried in the cabin, or 4,500 kg freight on an external sling. Tasks for the South African Navy include transport, replenishment at sea, force multiplication, reconnaissance, search & rescue, etc.

Oryx Helicopters
Oryx helicopters at De Brug weapons range February 2018

Most Oryx are equipped with a 50m hydraulic hoist, rated for up to 2 personnel, for use in rescue operations. Additionally a large metal A-frame structure can be fitted in the cargo bay which allows up to 4 personnel to rappel or abseil from the aircraft simultaneously. Oryx operating from coastal squadrons are fitted with emergency flotation gear on the sponsons and nose.

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Oryx during hoisting exercise
Oryx with flotation gear on

The Oryx offers a number of advantages and this was further developed from an early stage in the program. With the Denel Rooivalk of 16 Squadron now in service, this combat helicopter will escort the Oryx in a high threat environment. However, as an interim measure an Oryx with door mounted machine guns did appear. Oryx helicopters are constantly refined and updated. A full glass cockpit is planned for a future update. The latest addition is the fitting of flare dispensers and the update of the Threat Warning Receivers.

Oryx with flare release
Oryx Cockpit view
Photo Credit Marriane Eksteen

There is an electronic warfare (stand-off communications jamming/radar jamming) version of the Oryx that is equipped with the Grinaker Systems Technologies (GST) GSY 1501 jamming system, among others. The first Oryx variant with a large log periodic antenna on the starboard side was regarded as quite an effective EW platform. This platform is capable of disrupting key communications during various stages of modern, air-, land-, and sea battles. In addition it is used as an effective training aid to the SANDF, to test their function as an effective fighting force, despite any EW methods employed against the SA Forces. A further advantage is, EW equipment in use by the SA Forces can be effectively evaluated and calibrated under simulated battlefield scenarios. One variant has its main cabin doors replaced by dome shaped antennas.

Oryx Helicopters have flown many rescue missions over the past couple of years including The 2000 Mozambique flood which was a natural disaster that occurred in February and March 2000.Other rescue missions include offshore tanker vessels to mountain rescues in the Drakensberg.

Oryx at the Rand Easter Show 2018

Operational Flying of the Oryx in the DRC

During the Burundi conflict the SAAFs Oryx’s and Alouette III Helicopters were deployed on peace keeping missions. As times have changed the SAAF are now in the DRC on peace keeping missions!

The Oryx has come under small arms fire since it has been deployed to the DRC. All incidents have been minor and helicopter crews have managed to get the aircraft back to base.

Since the end of October 2013, the South African Air Force has deployed three Rooivalk combat helicopters to the DRC, and these have also been shot at by rebel groups in the restive country. However, the aircraft have not sustained serious damage.

“The Oryx and Rooivalk also supply armed air escorts, fire support, search and rescue and extraction operations. The unit is on standby 24/7 and boasts a reaction time of 45 minutes.”

General characteristics

  • Crew: Three
  • Capacity: 20 fully equipped troops
  • Length: 15.45 m (50 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 5.14 m (16 ft 10 in)
  • Empty weight: 3,600 kg (7,937 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 8,000 kg (17,637 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Turbomeca Makila IA1 turboshaft engines, 1,400 kW (1,900 hp) each
  • Main rotor diameter: 15.6 m (51 ft 2 in)
  • Main rotor area: 191 m2 (2,060 sq ft)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 306 km/h (190 mph; 165 kn)
  • Combat range: 303 km (188 mi; 164 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 2,000 km (1,243 mi; 1,080 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 7,162 m (23,497 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 15.25 m/s (3,002 ft./min)
Oryx Helicopter
Oryx during night flying sorties

Armament

  • Guns: 2 × door-mounted 7.62 mm machine guns (optional; either the FNMAG or Denel SS-77

The Oryx AS32 operates with the following Squadrons in the South African Airforce:

87 Helicopter Flying School-AFB Bloemspruit

22 Squadron-AFB Ysterplaat

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Credit: Ashley Mills
Credit: Ashley Mills
Credit: Ashley Mills

17 Squadron-AFB Swartkop

Credit: Ashley Mills

15 Squadron-AFB Durban

19 Squadron-AFB Hoedspruit

Test Flight and Development Centre-AFB Overberg

Oryx 1200 of TFDC in 2012-Image by Dean Wingrin

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Eagle Air’s State-of-the-art Flight Simulator

Eagle Air’s new State-of-the-art Flight Simulator

SACAA approved Simulator was launched by Eagle Air Academy based at Wonderboom National Airport South Africa.
The Simulator was acquired at a Cost of few million and has four Aircraft modules build in:

  1. Piper Warrior
  2. Piper Arrow
  3. Piper Seneca
  4. Cessna 425 Turbines

Video courtesy of Fly Media team and Eagle air

5 benefits of flight simulator:

  • Flight simulator allows students to exercise and master specific flight conditions without leaving the ground at all
  • Training that takes place in a simulator is predictable without the interruption of unforeseen delays such a poor weather or mechanical difficulties.
  • When comparing costs, plane simulator training can be more affordable than live flight time, saving costs for fuel, wear and tear and aircraft rental.
  • Student safety is secured during flight simulations allowing flight instructor learners to train under emergency conditions as well as bad weather and technical and mechanical failure.
  • Flight simulators allow students in training the opportunity to practice until perfect, mastering technique and decision making and various stress factors during flight.

The Simulator arrived at the Eagle air facilities at Wonderboom National Airport on 4th October 2018 followed by assembly, Testing and SACAA testing and certification.  The official opening of the new flight simulator was on 25th October 2018 and Percy Rudman that the Rates will soon be announced. South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) certificated the FNTP 2 Flight Device with RNAV and MCC.

 

Bennie du Plessis, a well-known figure in the South African general aviation industry and a keen aviator checking out Eagle Air’s new Simulator.

Eagle Air

Eagle Air also recently add a new Aircraft, a Piper Cherokee registration ZS-KIM to its fleet, This surprising many with the addition of the Simulator shortly after. Read more on How to become a Pilot in South Africa

 

Falcon 1 gets his Gold Wings

Falcon 1 gets his Gold Wings

Omphile Mutloane who is currently the leader of the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team.The team is the official aerobatic team of the South African Airforce, the team is 51 years old in 2018. The team celebrated their 50th Anniversary last year with an airshow at their home base at AFB Langebaanweg .Originally formed in 1946 as the Bumbling Bees and flying the T-6 Harvard and then the de Havilland Vampire.

 

Major Omphile Matloane receives his golden wings from Major Sivu Tangana

The Bumbling Bees flew a 4 ship formation and made a name for themselves by regularly taking part in South African airshows. The team disbanded in the late 1950s leaving a gap in South African aviation. The introduction of the Pilatus PC7MKII in 1995 put the team back to a 4ship and then in 2008 the team went back to a 5 ship and painted in the Silver Falcons livery.

OG short for Omphile was born in a small village just outside the town of Zeerust in the North West Province. His interest of flying started back in his Primary School days, when a SAAF Alouette three landed on the Soccer field. “It was so cool to see it so close up. All of the kids that’s day ran towards the chopper to get a better look, I still remember the pilot saw us and hovered at a medium height level just above our heads. The noise and dust from the down wash from the spinning rotors were awesome”. Says OG

He has flown the PC7MKII,Oryx and Agusta A109LUH during his time in the South African Airforce and is currently a instructor at the Central Flying School down at AFB Langebaanweg. He is also team lead for the famous Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team.

The 15th September 2018,OG earned his gold wings for reaching 2500 flying hours. With the arrival from AFB Langebaanweg, on the Capes West coast to AFB Waterkloof with a total of 10 Pilatus PC7MKIIs from the Central Flying School. The Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow is surely ganna have the crowd on their feet!

Below 10 PC7MKIIs arriving for AAD2018

 

Central Flying School Pilots and Instructors after arrival at Airforce Base Waterkloof 2018-09-15

 

 

AAD 2018 Aircraft List

AAD 2018 Aircraft List

For all those airshow Fan’s out there, we are compiling an unofficial list of aircraft to attend AAD2018.  Please not that this list is unofficial at this stage and can change at any time. 
We will soon be indicating if they will be flying or static.

Note:

#AAD2018 preliminary Aircraft list. We will update the list as we get closer to AAD.
Please note this is not the final list. The list currently excludes normal SA airshow aircraft that will be added later. More international aircraft also to be added once confirmed.
To view list on the official AAD2018 site click here

Aircraft Company / Air force/CountryFlyingStaticNumber of Aircraft
Harbin Y-12Zambia Airforce1
Hongdu L-15Zambia Airforce2
MA-60Zambia Airforce1
ParagliderVarious TBC
Seeker SB7L-360AUSA1
Boeing C17 GlobemasterUS Airforce1
Boeing KC135 TankerUS AirforceCanceled
Boeing P8-PoseidonUS Airforce1
C130J-30US Airforce1
LC-130 SnowbirdUS Airforce1
RQ-7 ReaperUS Airforce1
Extreme Air XA41Team Extreme/Century Avionics1
MX2Team Extreme/Century Avionics1
Cows Pitts Specials S2sTaillifts Cows RSA4
H125 'Squirrel'SV Aviation1
SAFAT AK-3SAFAT02Sudan1
SAFAT03Sudan1
Bell 212Starlite Aviation1
MD500EStarlite Aviation1
Douglas DC4Skyclass1
Enstrom 280FXSAFAMOR1
Enstrom 480BSAFAMOR2
MD500SAFAMOR1
PA28-180SAFAMOR1
PA31-310SAFAMOR1
Alouette IISAAF Museum2
Alouette IIISAAF Museum2
Atlas C4.M KuduSAAF Museum1
BosbokSAAF Museum1
Cessna C185SAAF Museum1
SA330 PumaSAAF Museum1
PC7MKIISAAF CFS5
Silver FalconsSAAF CFS5
Hawk MK120SAAF 85 Combat Flying School5
CASA 212SAAF 44 Squadron2
Beechcraft King Air 250SAAF 41 Squadron1
Cessna C208A CaravanSAAF 41 Squadron2
C47TPSAAF 35 SquadronTBC
C130BZSAAF 28 Squadron3
LynxSAAF 22 SquadronTBC
Gripen JAS39C/DSAAF 2 Squadron9
RooivalkSAAF 16 Squadron3
BK117SAAF 15 Squadron 'c' Flt2
Agusta A109LUHSAAF3
OryxSAAF3
Agusta A119SA Red Cross1
Antonov ?Russia1
Russian HelicopterRussia1
Motor GliderRSA2
Robinson R44RSA1
Robinson R66RSA1
Sling 2RSA1
Aerospatiale GazellePrivateTBC
BathawkPrivate7
Boeing StearmanPrivate1
Glider JS1Private2
Hot Air Balloons Private3
Impala MK1Private1
Jet GliderPrivateTBC
L39Private1
Raven 500Private1
Slick 540Private1
Wagtail GyroPrivate1
AhrlacParamount Group RSA2
FennecParamount Group RSATBC
T6 HarvardsMuseum,Puma,Harvard Club RSA12
Antonov 2 Just Love Mission1
Mahindra Aerospace GA AirvanIndiaTBC
Gulfstream G600Gulfstream USA1
Dassualt Falcon 8XFrance1
Bell 230Execujet1
Gulfstream IIIExecujet1
King Air 200 GTExecujet1
Diamond 62MPPDiamond Aircraft Austria1
Diamond DA40NGDiamond Aircraft Austria1
Denel Cheetah DDenel RSA1
EmbraerBrazilTBC
Bombardier Global 6000Bombardier Canada1
CASA 212Airforce of Zimbabwe1
K8Airforce of Zimbabwe2
Airbus A320neoAirbus 1
Airbus H125Airbus 2
Airbus H135Airbus 1
Airbus H215MAirbus 1

 

 

Media Excursion to the Kruger National Park August 2018

Media Excursion to the Kruger National Park August 2018

Sunday the 19th August we were kindly invited to join up with SANPARKS officials to embark on a media excursion to the Kruger National Park.We were privileged to see certain things that the average person doesn’t experience as a visitor in the Kruger on a daily basis.There are major behind the scenes personnel and equipment that keeps the Kruger National Park flowing to protect most certainly its Wildlife,which brings many foreign visitors to see aninals,plant and birdlife face to face!

The conservation efforts in the park are extremely well underway to Anti-poaching operations,where we all know the brutal rhino poaching is taking part in the Kruger and many other Game Reserves around Southern Africa.The Kruger is not just suffering from losing its Rhinos,but aswell as many Elephants,Pangolin and other sort after game.

After a 3am wake-up call we were in convoy from Kruger Gate near Skukuza(The main camp in the Kruger National Park) and home to many operational centres of the park,such as the Skukuza Airport,Veterinary Clinic,ect.We made our way in OSV(open safari vehicles) towards Tshokwane picnic spot which is a half way house to Satara,we continued to the east of Tshokwane where we found the game capture unit waiting to conduct a game capture operation.The chossen area the ramgers and vets sort out for to capture Wildebeest to relocate them to The Mozambique’s Zinave National Park, over the years suffered a major loss of their wildlife and even having most of their wildlife extinct in certain areas,from many years of war.

A Airbus H125 “Squirrel” Helicopter was also part of the capture of game as the helicopter is equiped with a sound device divert the game into the “Boma” to Capture for relocation.The time spentbin the air for diverting game into the “Boma” is alot more quick and versitle then a diversion from a land vehicle.This operation takes alot of personal working as a team to insure the capture of atleast 20 animals that were saw captured are not over stressed or hurt as well as the members of the operation.

Once completed and all animals have been allocated to the trucks,they were transported through the border for a 26 Hour journey to the Mozambique’s Zinave National Park.

The journey continued towards Satara,we were buzzed over by a Bathawk as light sport aircraft manufactured in South Africa,many of these aircraft have now been delivered to the Kruger National Park.The Bathawk is supplied as a complete ready to fly aircraft. The aircraft complies with the ASTM2245 Build Standard rules and regulations as well as South African Civil Aviation Type Approval.
It features a strut-braced high-wing, a two-seats-in-side-by-side configuration open cockpit, fixed tricycle landing gear and a single engine in tractor configuration.

As a conventional 3-axis light sport aircraft LSA, the Bat Hawk does not rely on pilot weight shift to affect control. Twin seats are positioned side by side for full dual control and both crew members are well protected from the weather by an aerodynamic fibreglass pod and large wrap-around windshield.We were able to get to know pilot and section Ranger of Letaba,Andrew Desment who  was injured in 2013 during shootout with poachers in the park.

Satara Airstrip is also a private charter hub for aircraft bringing guests to the park and Singitas private lodge not far from Satara.We were welcomed by a Pilatus PC12, another Pc12 arrived shortly after and a Cessna Grand Caravan.

We then made our way to Skukuza Airport where we got a tour of the Majoc area and the SANPARKS airwing home to four H125 ‘Squirels’ and 2 Cessna aircraft.Our final day saw us at the K9 unit near pretoriuskop,There are currently 54 working dogs based at Kruger National Park’s dog unit trained in tracking firearms and animal products such as pangolin scales, ivory, and rhino horn, says Pretoriuskop section ranger Craig Williams.

Large Presence of US Air force Aircraft at AAD2018

The United States Airforce have confirmed a number of aircraft that will be attending the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) at Airforce Base Waterkloof from the 19-23 September 2018.We can expect the following aircraft from this point of time.

The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft. It was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas. The C-17 carries forward the name of two previous piston-engined military cargo aircraft, the Douglas C-74 Globemaster and the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II. The C-17 commonly performs tactical and strategic airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo throughout the world; additional roles include medical evacuation and airdrop duties. It was designed to replace the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter, and also fulfill some of the duties of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, freeing the C-5 fleet for outsize cargo.

The C17 will be coming from the The New York Air National Guard.The New York Air National Guard (NY ANG) is the air force militia of the State of New York, United States of America. It is, along with the New York Army National Guard, an element of the New York National Guard.
As state militia units, the units in the New York Air National Guard are not in the normal United States Air Force chain of command. They are under the jurisdiction of the Governor of New York though the office of the New York Adjutant General unless they are federalized by order of the President of the United States. The New York Air National Guard is headquartered at Stratton Air National Guard Base, Glenville, NY, and its commander is Major General Verle Johnston.

C17

The Lockheed LC-130 is a ski-equipped United States Air Force variant of the C-130 Hercules used in the Arctic and Antarctic. Ten are currently in service with the 109th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard.

LC-130

The Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The C-130J is a comprehensive update of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, with new engines, flight deck, and other systems. The Hercules family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history. During more than 60 years of service, the family has participated in military, civilian, and humanitarian aid operations. The Hercules has outlived several planned successor designs, most notably the Advanced Medium STOL Transport contestants. Fifteen nations have placed orders for a total of 300 C-130Js, of which 250 aircraft have been delivered as of February 2012.The C130J-30 will be coming from Ramstein Airforce base in Germany,Europe.

C130J-30

The Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker is a military aerial refueling aircraft. Both the KC-135 and the Boeing 707 airliner were developed from the Boeing 367-80 prototype. It is the predominant variant of the C-135 Stratolifter family of transport aircraft. The KC-135 was the US Air Force’s first jet-powered refueling tanker and replaced the KC-97 Stratofreighter. The KC-135 was initially tasked with refueling strategic bombers, but was used extensively in the Vietnam War and later conflicts such as Operation Desert Storm to extend the range and endurance of US tactical fighters and bombers.This aircraft will be from the US Airforces in Europe.

KC135R Tanker

The Boeing P-8 Poseidon (formerly the Multimission Maritime Aircraft or MMA) is a military aircraft developed for the United States Navy (USN). The aircraft has been developed by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, modified from the 737-800ERX. The P-8 conducts anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and shipping interdiction, along with an early warning self-protection (EWSP) ability, otherwise known as electronic support measures (ESM).[8] This involves carrying torpedoes, depth charges, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons. It is able to drop and monitor sonobuoys. It is designed to operate in conjunction with the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle.The Boeing P-8 Poseidon will be making its South Africa debut for the first time ever. This aircraft will be coming from the US Navy Forces based in Europe.
We will also see the Airforce Band ‘Touch-n-Go” preform at #AAD2018.

P-8 Poseidon

Stay tuned to our website for more updates on aircraft participation  for the next weeks to come.

 

 

The Aero L29 Delfin-The Soviet Trainer

The Aero L29 Delfin-The Soviet Trainer(English: Dolphin, NATO reporting name: Maya) is a military jet trainer developed and manufactured by Czechoslovakian aviation manufacturer Aero Vodochody.The jet trainer is a dual seat trainingaircraft. It is the country’s first locally designed and constructed jet aircraft, as well as likely being the biggest aircraft industrial programme to take place in any of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance  countries except the Soviet Union.

In response to a sizable requirement for a common jet-propelled trainer to be adopted across the diverse nations of the Eastern Block, Aero decided to embark upon their own design project with a view to suitably satisfying this demand. On 5 April 1959, an initial prototype, designated as the XL-29, performed its maiden flight. The L-29 was selected to become the standard trainer for the air forces of Warsaw Pact nations, for which it was delivered from the 1960s onwards. During the early 1970s, the type was succeeded in the principal trainer role by another Aero-built aircraft, the L-39 Albatros, heavily contributing to a decline in demand for the earlier L-29 and the end of its production during 1974.

During the course of the programme, in excess of 3,000 L-29 Delfin trainers were produced. Of these, around 2,000 were reported to have been delivered to Russia, where it was used as the standard trainer for the Soviet Air Force. Of the others, which included both armed and unarmed models, many aircraft were delivered to the various COMECON countries while others were exported to various overseas nations, including Egypt, Syria, Indonesia, Nigeria and Uganda. Reportedly, the L-29 has been used in active combat during several instances, perhaps the most high-profile being the use of Nigerian aircraft during the Nigerian Civil War of the late 1960s and of Egyptian L-29s against Israeli tanks during the brief Yom Kippur War of 1973.

 

L29 ZU-AUX based at Rand Airport,JHB

L29 ZU-DNW

L29 ZU-VLL

The Aero L-29 Delfín was a jet-powered trainer aircraft, known for its straightforward and simplistic design and construction. In terms of its basic configuration, it used a mid-wing matched with a T-tail arrangement; the wings were unswept and accommodated air intakes for the engines within the wing roots. The undercarriage was reinforced and capable of withstanding considerable stresses. According to Fredriksen, the L-29 was relatively underpowered, yet exhibited several favourable characteristics in its flight performance, such as its ease of handling. The primary flying controls are manually operated; both the flaps and airbrakes were actuated via hydraulic systems.Current Airforce operators of the L29, National Air Force of Angola – 6 L-29s were in service as of December 2016 and Georgia Army Air Section – 4 L-29s were in service as of December 2016.

L29,L39 and Atlas Impala MK1.Lowveld Airshow 2016

L39,L29 and Atlas Impala Mk1.Newcastle KZN Airshow 2017

General characteristics

Crew: 2: student and instructor
Length: 10.81 m (35 ft 5½ in)
Wingspan: 10.29 m (33 ft 9 in)
Height: 3.13 m (10 ft 3 in)
Wing area: 19.8 m² (213 ft²)
Empty weight: 2,280 kg (5,027 lb)
Loaded weight: 3,280 kg (7,231 lb)
Max. takeoff weight: 3,540 kg (7,804 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Motorlet M-701C 500 turbojet, 8.7 kN (1,960 lbf)

L29 Powerplant

 

L29 Cockpit

 

L29 ZU-AUX late 90s.Nelspruit Airfield

 

L29 ZU-AUX 2003

L29 ZU-AUX June 2018

Performance

Never exceed speed: 820 km/h (442 knots, 510 mph)
Maximum speed: 655 km/h (353 knots, 407 mph) at 5,000 m (16,400 ft)
Stall speed: 130 km/h (71 knots, 81 mph) flaps down
Range: 894 km (480 nmi, 555 mi) with tip tanks
Endurance: 2 hours 30 min
Service ceiling: 11,000 m (36,100 ft)
Rate of climb: 14.0 m/s (2,755 ft/min)

Armament
200 kg (440 lb) of various guns, bombs, rockets, and missiles on external hardpoints

L29 ZU-AUX.Newcastle KZN Airshow 2018

South Africa have 4 airworthy L29s

ZU-VLL-Virginia Airport,Durban

ZU-AUX-Rand Airport,Johannesburg

ZU-KGB-Cape Town International

ZU-DNW-Middelburg Airfield

 

L29 ZU-KGB

 

Race for Rhinos 2018

Race for Rhinos 2018

The 2018 edition of Race for Rhinos finally arrived for all the eager competitors taking to the skies of Sua Pan in Botswana from the 28th June -1 July.The Sua Pan or Sowa Pan is a large natural topographic depression within the Makgadikgadi region of Botswana. It is located near the village of Sowa, whose name means salt in the language of the San.The Race for Rhinos in now in its forth year running and this year was the biggest amount of aircraft taking part in the race, a new world record.


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The vision for the race came from veteran pilot Chris Briers who has planned all four races to date, with the help of the Botswana government ,Botswana Tourism and the Botswana environmental Department.This is all to help stop the poaching of Africa’s most majestic animal the Rhinoceros . These animals are being poached on a daily rate and need to be protected before they’re are extinct.

Air racing is a highly specialised type of motorsport that involves aircraft or other types of aircraft that compete over a fixed course, with the winner either returning the shortest time, the one to complete it with the most points, or to come closest to a previously estimated time.

After arriving from Wonderboom National Airport in Pretoria on the Thursday before day1 of the Race. We were greeted by all of the known faces in the Southern African Region of the aviation community,while many aircraft were still arriving over head the pans above us. We had a fun-filled flight from Pretoria to Pilanesberg to clear customs and from their on to Sua Pan on ‘Little Annie’ An2 piloted by Jon-Marc and Mark Hill.We were allocated to our accommodation in comfortable  tents that were placed up before arrival. Each day our tents were cleaned, beds made and all our valuables all in one place!


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The oldest aircraft in the race was the Navion, 1046, race 38
A few of the rarest aircraft; Race 14 a Rockwell’s Collins 112, first time in the Race for Rhinos, possibly early 70s model, a Rockwell Collins 114 Race 105 first time racing in the Race for Rhinos, and very rare to have both a 114 and a 112. Another rare aircraft was Race 40, the Dornier DO 27, also a first time at Race for Rhinos, the Harvard also rare as well as Little Annie
Biggest air race to date was in Bloemfontein in central South Africa with 111 entries, The 2018 Race for Rhinos is 117 entries.


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The huge marquee that was put up just in front of Race Headquarters where Brian Emmenis and his team were Broadcasting from and was our daily alarm clock playing music from 6am in the morning to get the competitors up and amped for the day ahead.At the Marquee we were served three meals a day,obviously that being breakfast,lunch and supper.The bar area was also placed there where we could enjoy many of the sunsets on shores of the pan and the evenings entertainments from various musicians. Most of the competitors were busy with their plotting’s and race briefings before everyone made route for the tents quite early before the start of day one of Thursday evening.

 

Day 1- Friday 2018-06-29

With our daily alarm clock getting us up nice and early thanks to Capital Sounds, we headed off to freshen up in the portable showers, straight after that to the filling breakfasts and Cappuccinos on tap to get all competitor’s ready for day 1 of the race. Pilots and Navigators then made their way to their aircraft while the Bathawk and Bantam took off for the Telstar mission to communicate with Race authorities if their had to be a emergency from one of the competing aircraft along the route. Chris Briers took media up in the Agusta A119 to get some aerial shots of different competitors. The chopper was donated 20 hours of flying during the race days.

The Kingdom of Sua Pan had its own non-radio station from Capital Sounds, filling us in with any information for the days proceedings with most of the base having sound equipment reaching far and wide into the distance. To make sure no one couldn’t miss out what was taking place. The team comprised of Brian Emmenis, Leon Du Plessis, Rodger Coetzee, Ricky Fouche, Eric Nkomo.

At 10am saw the first takeoff from race 74, a Aerostar/Piper 600A ZS-PCV flown by JZ Moolman and his navigator Jannie Moolman of the 114 competitors with ex President of Botswana Ian Khama waving the Botswana National flag of the start of go time!

Just after mid day the first of the aircraft made their way back to base,once landed and checked back in at Race HQ,Then treated to lunch and competitors getting ready for day 2.We were then treated to some fantastic flying displays from a T6 Harvard flown by Dion Raath, Extra 330 flown by Nigel Hopkins who also led Team Extreme with Jason beamish in the Rv7,Mark Hensman in the RV8 and Mark Sampson in the Sbach XA41.Neville Ferreira flew a great show in his Kitty Hawk based Slick 540,The Raptors RVs were the up next in their tight formation flying and then joined up with other Rv owners in a mass RV formation that has not been seen before in Southern Africa,with a total of 12 RVs in one formation. What a sight it was!

 

Raptors Rvs


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Team Extreme

Dinner was served and a short race briefing was presented and some of the daily loggers were shown. Day 2 was slowly upon us.

Top 40-Day 1

 

Day 2- Saturday 2018-06-30

The day once again with our daily alarm clock, shower Breakfast and go time. Day 2 saw all the slowest aircraft getting off the ground first and the route being more difficult then the day before. The flag was waved and the first aircraft was off the ground, that being Race 108 a Piper PA-22 ZS-CET flown by Pilot Richard Fair and Navigator Timothy Fair. At lunch time all the aircraft arrived back and a sight it was to behold seeing many aircraft arriving back at the same time. Not long after that the Puma Flying Lions Harvard’s arrived from Rand Airport. The first four aircraft arrived back and the long wait for who was the winner of this years Race for Rhinos. The late evening airshow took place as like the day before plus the Puma Flying Lions doing their display plus water skiing on the water in front of the marquee was unbelievable, something we don’t see everyday.

The evening saw a dress up of the early fifties of pilots and crew, where some of the beautiful ladies dressed up like cabin crew and some of the men taking the part of early fighter pilots.The Minister of Environment, Conservation, Natural Resources and Tourism Affairs Mr. T.S Khama greeted the competitors of the final results and presented why everyone has to work together to protect Botswana’s wildlife and still keep the country as a tourist attraction for many. He also addressed many with a joke or two, not many ministers one can interact with without having body guards swarming the place!

Mr. H.T Khama

Stephan Fourie nd Derek Bird in Race 99 finished in 3rd place.

 

 

Richard and Timothy Fair took 2nd place in race 108.

 

Overall winners in race 25,Michiel and Greylingh Jansen.

Race 25 at turn point two

Race 25
CENTURY AVIONICS TROPHY Best handicap Performance on day 1
THE RACE FOR RHINOS TROPHY To the aircraft and crew placed first overall
ZU-NKC
KLN / Aveko sr VL-3, 100HP, 3-bl CS, N
Handicap speed: 134.79
Michiel Jansen and Greyling Jansen


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Chris Briers was up next to thank all that took place and made the forth Race for Rhinos take place without any incidents involved, he thanked the Government of Botswana for all their hard work and finance’s put into the race, without them tis race would not be taking place. We would like to thank Chris Briers and the Botswana Government for hosting the media and to Mark Mansfield for organising everything for Aviation Central from all the updates and making sure we were taken good of. We were then treated to again some of the various musicians and Diner .The next day we set sail back to South Africa in ‘Little Annie’ flown by Father and son Jon-marc and Mark Hill. We thank them for getting us to and from Sua pan safe and sound.

We look forward to the 2019 Race as every year gets bigger and better!

Overall Results-Top 43

 

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SAAF Museum Airshow 2018

SAAF Museum Airshow 2018

The long awaited annual SAAF Museum Airshow was held on the 5th May 2018,on some what perfect airshow weather.The show was conducted under the theme:Our Indomitable Spirit,both Civilian and Military aircraft and pilots showed off to the thousands of people that arrived early on Saturday morning at Air force Base Swartkop along side old Johannesburg Road in Valhalla, Pretoria. The SAAF Museum Airshow is designed to offer aviation enthusiasts, aviation institutions and publications ,the general public and as well as former and current SAAF an opportunity to reflect and or reminisce on the memories and presentations on history.

Youth exhibition Friday 2018-05-04

The day before the SAAF Museum and the SAAF hosted a career expo for learners around the Gauteng area. 14 different schools and a total of 1000 learners were invited to Hanger 4A to interact with some of the exhibiters including the south African Air Force.


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The Airshow Saturday 2018-05-05

The show started with paragliders who filled the skies with much colour to their bright chutes they were using as well as a single gyrocopter all operating out of the Grasslands field not to far from Swartkops. Next up the 28 Squadron C130BZ from AFB Waterkloof landed with a special surprise in being the SAAF Band that entertained the crowds until the show was officially opened, This has never been done at a airshow before in South Africa. The C130 then took off from the base to  climb to altitude to drop the several  parachutists from both the Golden Eagles Parachute team and member’s of the special forces.The landed just in time to meet and greet the Chief of the South African Air force Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande Msimang and Officer Commanding Airforce Museum Swartkops Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Bruintjies.


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Capital Sounds provided sound equipment for the large crowd line, excellent commentary from Brian Emmenis,L eon Du Plessis and Elvis Manene. SAAF commentators that provided information for the ever eager public was Colonel Lance ‘Lancelot’ Mathebula who also provided commentary from one of the Hawk Mk120s during simulated top cover during the mini war.A first for a airshow. He was also joined by two new hawk pilots Captain ‘Comet’ Mfeka and Tiisetso ‘Lego’ Legodi.

Airboss for the show was Colonel Keith Fryer and also commentated during some of the display slots, Colonel Keith Andrews was ramp Boss and some of the best SAAF ATC’s were present keeping the airspace safe for display routines.

The show was opened by the Hawk Mk120 ‘Gannet’ flown by officer commanding of 85 Combat Flying School Craig ‘Shark’ Leeson,showing what the lead in fighter trainer is capable of and training the new generation fighter pilots on the type. The SAAF Museum heritage flight were straight after the Hawk landed,first up the helicopters consisting of the Alouettes II and III and Aerospatiale Puma.The Cessna 185s were soon over head the field followed by the formidable sound of the Atlas C4.M Kudu and Bosbok and Harvards.Glen ‘Gringo’ Warden flew a gentle solo display in the De Havilland T55 Vampire.


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The Rand Based Pitts Special teams flew their high energy display being the new Cows Aerobatic Team and the Goodyear Eagles Aerobatic Team led by Glen Warden, Johan Von Solms both ex fighter pilots joined Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish.  Team Extreme performed their first airshow as a four ship led by Nigel Hopkins,Mark ‘Sammy’ Sampson,Mark ‘Bugs’ Hensman and Jason Beamish. The Mango 737-800 was flown out of Lanseria International Airport to display  at the show by Captain Scully Levin and Captain Rodney Chinn.The Puma Flying Lions also flew a great display and were part of the 12 Harvard mass shutdown towards the end of the day!


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Andrew Blackwood Murray Displayed the Nashua Extra 300L and other aerobatic  slots saw Patrick Davidson who flew up from Port Elizabeth in his Red Bull Sponsored Sbach 342, it was great to see Patrick at a airshow on the Highveld, he was joined by unlimited aerobatic class pilot Barrie Eels in his new Extra 330sc in a dual display of intense aerobatics.


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Ex Russian Jet trainers that flew at the show was Ex Sasol Tiger L29 ZU-AUX and L39 ZU-TEE in its new colour scheme,both flown by  Glen ‘Gringo’ Warden.He definitely kept the photographers happy with his display passes.

The mini war that the crowd got to witness was a absolute treat to see the new and the old from the choppers,that being the Puma and the Oryx helicopters. The gunships saw the Alouette III and Rooivalk and two Agusta A109LUHs.The bosbok was also flown in the demonstration simulating airstrikes as well as two Hawk MK120s flown by Simon ‘Seraph’ Theunissen and Jabulani ‘Cyrax’ Mabona. The C130 was  used to drop parabats on the far side of the field and the 44 Squadron Casa 212 was utilized for a supply drop, while the army engineers provided pyrotechnics in the background.


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Major Geoffrey ‘Spartan’ Cooper showed off the JAS39C Gripen from 2 Squadron, he definitely  shows the aircraft well and in its limits. The crowds were on their feet during his famous dump and burn. The Pilatus PC7MKII was put through its paces by Major Bheki ‘Swaziboy’ Shabungu. 15 Squadron pilot Major Diaan Grobbelaar flew a awesome display in the Agusta A109LUH as well as Paul ‘Raccoon’ Kempthorn in the 16 squadron Rooivalk,great display from the chopper boys.


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The youngest airshow participant on the day was Ger-Drie de Beer flew his RC MX2,what a great display he did for the thousands of people he displayed for. Retired Gen. Des Barker few the first airshow display in the Atlas Angel, which is a upgraded Kudu with a Pt6 turbine engine, Gerrie ‘Sparkie’Pretorius flew a brilliant tight display in the Museum Cessna C185.

‘Little Annie’ an Antonov 2 showed why its the worlds largest Bi-Plane piloted by father and son team Mark and Jon-marc Hill. Jeff Earle flew his Vereeniging based De Havilland DH. 82 Tiger Moth.The Randolph  sponsored Boeing Stearman flown by Comair Boeing Captain Ivan van der Schaar.28 Squadron flew their usual low-level routine in the C130Bz from 28 Squadron flown by Clint Hawtrey and Caro Duven.


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The SAAF Museum Puma dropped a car that apparently parked where it shouldn’t of been ,the public made sure it wasn’t their vehicle at the end of the day.At the end of the last act being the Gripen,Captain Mark Kelbrick proposed to his wife to be in front of of a large crowd who waited until the last slot of the day had been flown.

Gripen stopping in-front of the crowd at the end of the show… all for one reason…

Photo credit Niel Swart

Big congratulations to Mark and Megan that stole the show when as went down on one knee and proposed to her before the whole of the crowd in front of Gripen

Photo credit Niel Swart

This Museums show was definitely a winner, to Colonel Trish Schoeman, Colonel Melvin Bruintjies, Col. Keith Fryer and their team, we salute you on a great show and to all the spectators who attended the Airshow, till next year

Keep them Up where they’re belong

Click to enlrage

SAAF Museum Airshow Program

SAAF Museum Airshow Program

The Program is divided into two, Morning and Afternoon. The Program can change at any time due to Aircraft and / or Pilot availability.


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Morning Program

Slot TimeAir Display ItemAircraft Type
8:00ParaglidersPPG
8:15C130 - SAAF Band ExitC130
8:30Golden Eagles ParadropCasa 212
8:45Opening CeremonyCavalcade
9:00CAF Opening Address Oryx/A109 Flags
9:30Museum Aircraft FlypastMuseum Aircraft
9:40Cessna 185C 185
9:50VampireVampire
10:00Nashua ExtraExtra 300L
10:15Tiger MothDH82A
10:30The Cows Pitts TeamPitts S2
10:45Alouette DisplayAlo-II and Alo-III's
11:00Red Bull AerosSbach 342
11:15GripenGripen
11:30Syncrho HarvardsMuseum Harvards
11:45Team XtremeExtra 330/Sbach
12:00MangoB737-800
12:10Flash Mob and RC JetsRC Vampire


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Afternoon Program

Slot TimeAir Display ItemAircraft Type
12:20Mini War Various
13:00Aerobatics Unlimited L-29L-29
13:15Puma Car DropPuma/Oryx
13:30Red Bull AerosSbach 342
13:45Little AnnieAn-2
14:00Goodyear Pitts TeamPitts Specials
14:15Randolph Boeing StearmanStearman
14:30Angel Kudu and ParadropTurbo Kudu
14:45PC-7 Astra SoloPC-7 Astra
15:00Unlimited AerobaticsExtra 330
15:15Harvard FormosMuseum/HCSA
15:30Puma Flying LionsLions Harvards
15:45HawkHawk 120
16:00Team ExtremeExtras/Sbachs
16:15L-39 AlbatrossL-39
16:30RooivalkRooivalk
16:45C-130-Angel WingsC130
17:00Gripen - FlaresGripen


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