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“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

Bethlehem Airshow 2019

Noted as one of the coldest airshows on the South African Airshow circuit, this years Bethlehem Airshow was definitely the hottest. The Eastern Free State town of Bethlehem hosted their annual airshow and this year was most probably the best they have ever had, with a large variety of aircraft including the South African Airforce making a welcome return.

The Friday before the show, Little Annie an Antonov 2 took local school kids for some of them their first flight in an aircraft around the town of Bethlehem. At the same time many aircraft arrivals and validations took place to be suitable for the following day.

“Little Annie” AN2

Saturday morning we arrived at the airfield to get some sunrise shots of parked aircraft, not long after that we attended the pilots briefing with Dihlabeng Municipal Mayor Lindiwe Makhalema thanking the pilots and wishing them well during the course of the day. Stephen Fourie was the organiser once again of the fantastic show who also briefed the pilots on the days proceedings in conjunction with Lieutenant Colonel Keith “Fulcrum” Fryer as airboss for the show. Lieutenant Colonel Francois “Hosepipe” Hanekom was Flight safety director and Lieutenant Colonel Keith Andrew was ramp director.

The show opened up with the South African Airforce Golden Eagles Parachute Display team, their jump ship was a 44 Squadron Casa 212 with Lieutenant Colonel Sammy “Guru” Mabidikama, Major Ashley “Sensei” Naxhe and loadmaster Flight Sergeant Manny Ramajela at the controls.

44 Squadron Casa 212

The Cows Pitts Specials added an Extra 300 to their display led by Scully Levin, The Goodyear Eagles performed both a four-ship pitts display in the morning show and the afternoon show with a three-ship. A solo aerobatic display by Andrew Blackwood Murray in his Nashua Extra 300 and a Pilatus B4 Glider was flown by Gary Whitecross.Orsmond Aviation provided a Turbo Thrush for aerial spaying demo. A provincial EMS Bell 222 demonstrated a car accident scene showing off the emergency services and the every day call out scenes around South Africa. Another Bell 222 from Henley Air at Rand Airport flown by Andre Coetzee showed off the helicopter skilfully.

Cows Pitts and Extra formation
Goodyear Eagles
Nashua Extra 300
Pilatus B4
Glider Tug Lambada flown by Derek Hopkins
Free state EMS Bell 222
Free state EMS Bell 222
Henley Air Bell 222

The South African Airforce (SAAF) provide the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team flying Pilatus PC7MKIIs with Major Omphile Matolane as lead ,Major Tian Stander at number two, Major Sivu Tangana at three and the soloist Major Bheki Shabungu.

Silver Falcons Team 82
Major Bheki Shabungu does a dirty roll in the Pilatus PC7MKII
Lieutenant Charlene Brown and Captain Xander Albasni made sure the Bethlehem crowds could get their Silver Falcons memorabilia

A 2 Squadron Gripen JAS39D flown all the way from Airforce Base Makhado in the Limpopo province, the squadron demonstrated a flat display by Major Mohau “Dobaman” Vundla and Major Kevin “Safron” Chetty as his navigator. This was the first appearance of a Gripen in Bethlehem. An Agusta A109LUH from 87 Helicopter Flying School in Bloemfontein, which was on static display among some of the other visiting civilian static aircraft. Adding to the jet action Pierre Gouws flew Richard Lovett’s Aero L39 and also led the Raptor RVs.

2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen
2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen
Agusta A109LUH
Aero L39 Albatross
Raptors RVs

Andre Van Zyl displayed the Magni Gyrocopter to its full potential Radials were a common sound at this years show with Little Annie An2 flown by Jon Marc-Hill and Juba Jourbert dropping skydivers and later joining up with Ivan Van der Schaar in his Boeing Stearman for a formation display and both their singleton displays. The Puma Flying Lions led once again by Scully Levin flew their three-ship routine .Menno Parson’s Douglas Dc3 gave a brief display flown by Derek Hopkins and Ivan van der Schaar. Menno displayed his popular and only flying P51D Mustang in South Africa. SAA Pilot Trevor Warner also gave a Solo Rv7 display, this being the most homebuilt aircraft in the world.

Magni Gyro
Radial Formation An2 & Boeing Stearman
Douglas DC3
Puma Flying Lions
P51D “Mustang Sally”
P51D “Mustang Sally”
RV7

Capital Sounds provided commentary to both the display line in front of the crowd line, behind the crowd line and by the aircraft parking area across the tar runway at Bethlehem. Brian Emmenis, Leon Du Plessis and Elvis Manene kept the crowds posted on each display on the day.

Menno Parsons & Capital Sounds Brian Emmenis
Silver Falcon Major Sivu Tangana & Capital Sounds Elvis Manene

Bethlehem Airshow well done on a fantastic show this year, to all the organisers, display pilots and ground crews on making the show safe and successful. Looking forward to next years show already.

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Breaking News-SAAF Museum Airshow set for 7th September 2019

Days remaining to Swartkop Airshow 2019

The South African Airforce Museum Airshow is set to take place at Airforce Base Swartkop in Pretoria on Saturday 7th September 2019.The Officer commanding of AFB Swartkop confirmed with Aviation Central the official date has been set for the 7th September and NOT the 31 August 2019.

Join the Facebook event page, click here 

We look forward to working with the SAAF and the Museum as we get ready for another successful airshow that will once again take place over Pretoria skies.

Tickets this year will cost R80 over the age of 16, ages 12 to 16 will be R30 and under the age of 12 free.

Keep an eye out on our social media pages for more information on the upcoming Airshow.

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Freedom Day Celebration Flypasts

The sound of thunder of jets rocked Port Elizabeth residents as Gripens, Hawks, The Silver Falcons, two BK117s and Lynx took part in Freedom Flypasts over event in Makhanda, formerly Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape.

The 27th April marked 25 years of democracy, following decades of apartheid rule and segregation in which the majority of the country’s citizens were marginalised.

JAS39D Gripen

Local residents in Grahamstown got to witness the flypasts and brought joy to the youth as some of these aircraft are not usually seen in the area.

The Silver Falcons showed why they can restore national pride as known as the cockpit ambassadors to the South African Airforce. Falcon 5 Sivu Tangana grew up in the area and it was surely a proud moment to display in front of a home crowd.

Silver Falcons Team 82
Silver Falcons

It was also a photo opportunity for some of the local aviation enthusiasts to capture the Test Flight and Development Centre JAS39D Gripen ‘3901’.This was the first gripen delivered to the SAAF.


Test Flight and Development Centre JAS39D Gripen ‘3901
85 Comabt Flying School Hawk MK120 ‘262’
Hawk MK120
Pilatus PC7MKII

We would like to thank Patrick Davidson for allowing us to use a certain platform to gain access to get this incredible photos.

2 Squadron JAS39C Gripen ‘3918’

Another big presence of South African Airforce Aircraft will be seen over Pretoria end of May 2019 and no its not an airshow.Keep an eye on our social media pages.

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SANDF Capability Demonstration and Arena Displays- Rand Easter Show 2019

The 125th Rand Easter Show has once again entertained Gauteng residents with raw power of the South African National Defence  with the South African Navy, Army, Airforce and Military Health Service all present at the Expo Centre Nasrec South of Johannesburg.

SAAF Silver Falcons fly overhead the arena

The Capability demonstration was once again a major draw card to the Rand Show as it always is and run for the first four days of the opening of the show. Unfortunately with the absence of South African Airforce helicopters as the choppers were still on operational duties in Mozambique and Malawi.

15 Squadron Agusta A109LUH on static display

We were blessed with great weather for the first 3 days of the event including the validation day before the opening of the event as their was predicted rain showers and overcast weather for the duration of the morning shows. The final day was unfortunately rained out.

2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen flown by Major Lee-Roy ‘Shinobi” Goosen and Major Kevin ‘Saffron’ Chetty

2 Squadron didn’t disappoint  with the presence of two Gripens opening the event. Major Mohua “Dobaman” Vundla with navigator Kevin “Saffron” Chetty and in the second Gripen was Major Lee-Roy “Shinobi” Goosen kept a tight formation flypast as the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula arrived on the podium to address the public on the official opening of the Rand Easter Show 2019.

2 Squadron Gripens flown by ‘Dobaman’ and “Saffron” in the first gripen and “Shinobi” in the second gripen

“I am delighted and honored to be amongst the men and women in the uniform-our country’s armed forces – during the official opening of the 2019 Rand Easter Show. Our soldiers have been patriotically exhibiting and showcasing their capabilities at this crowd – pulling event without fail since 2011 and endeared themselves to visitors from all walks of life, educating our people about the miltarys role in society and towards the defence of our constitutional dispensation.”


Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula

” The platform that the Rand Easter Show affords the South African National Defence Force is key to exposing the citizens of Gauteng and the country at large to the capabilities, state of the art technologies and the career opportunities the abound within our national defence force.”


Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula

” It is through the participation of the SANDF in events such as this one that the aspirations of young men and women–from Eldorado Park, Soweto, Tembisa, Diepsloot, Brynston, Alexandra and Dainfern- in fact throughout the country, ignites them to serve the country. “

” The Rand Easter Show has over the years been a gathering place for visitors who have proven to be owerawed by the dedication, hard work and precision with which our soldiers carry out their duties as showcased through the various capabilities demonstrated in these arena lawns.”

The capability demonstration se the theme this year as a deployment of reaction forces to support a convoy ambushed in a foreign territory. Two Ratel 90 ammoured vehicles gave support fire power as well as a lone 2 Squadron Gripen with simulated airstrikes. Simulated mortar strikes echoed in the arena as the crowds were awered of the pyrotechnics set off by the army engineers. All while this was happening a bridge laying was complete during the mock attack.

Simulated IED Mine
Ratel 90
2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen
Simulated Mortor Strikes.
Bridge Build

A 44 Squadron Casa 212 flown by Major Ashley Naxhe and  Major Nick Green and Loadmaster  Flight Sergeant Ramajela who
dropped skydivers from 44 parachute battlion with a designated landing zone in the arena. The Casa 212 then gave a beautiful fly past over the arena as they excited the special rules west area of Johannesburg.

44 Squadron CASA 212 Paradrop
44 Squadron Casa 212

The cockpit ambassadors of the South African Airforce, Silver Falcons of team 82 led by Major Omphile Matloane, Tiaan Stander, Corne Deventer, Bheki Shabangu and the soloist Major Sivu Tangana flew their 5 ship Pilatus PC7MKIIs.

Silver Falcons in the ‘Vixen’ Formation
Silver Falcons in the ‘Cobra’ formation
Silver Falcons in the ‘Starfighter’ formation

Other arena events on the program included presion drills from the SA Army and Navy. The now popular Navy gun run, a Military Police anti hijacking display, SANDF Marshal Arts demonstration. The SANDF K9 unit and field patrol. And finally the new act on the SANDF the Land Drover of the Army Technical Corpse which is demobilised and mobilized under 10 minutes. Also a favorite at this year’s event.

Thank you kindly to the Rand Easter Show organizers. We look forward to next year’s 126th event.

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SAAF Prestige Day Parade

The South African Airforce celebrated 99 years of its historic air force.
The SAAF was established on 1 February 1920. The Air Force has seen service in World War II, Korean War and the Angola Border War.

SAAF Band

The parade held on the 1 February 2019,started with a flypast by two Agusta A109LUHs,one from 19 Squadron and 15 Squadron. Shortly After we had the mass flypast by most current SAAF types. From the helicopters we had 3 Agusta A109LUHs,4 Oryx Helicopters,2 Museum Alouette IIIs and one 16 Squadron Rooivalk. The Museum flew a Cessna 185,A Bosbok and 3 Harvard’s. Two 41 Squadron Kings Airs flew overhead before the start of the jets howling overhead with two 85 Combat Flying School Hawk Mk120 jet trainers and the final flypast was by four 2 Squadron Gripens.

Agusta A109LUH Flag Flypast
SAAF Helicopter Flypast
SAAF Museum Harvards
41 Squadron King Airs
Silver Falcons
85 Combat Flying School Hawk MK120s
2 Squadron Gripens

Air Force Base Ysterplaat in the Western Cape was named as the prestige unit of 2018.Airforce Base Ysterplaat is home to 35 Squadron,22 Squadron and part of the SAAF Museum.


Colonel Carl Moatshe receiving the prestige unit Trophy for 2018

Lt General Msimang mentioned “The South African National Defence Force remains mandate driven to deliver safety and security to its people and to strengthen regional, continental and international peace and stability.”


Lt General Msimang

“I salute each and every women and man of the South African Airforce,uniformed and civilian, permanent force and reserve force, who through their commitment and passion to serve, ably met the challenges of 2018 with a high level of purpose.”

“Our successful outreach programs, namely: Siyandiza, Young Falcon and the winter and summer camps, continue to ignite young peoples passion in aviation through science and Mathematics. This year we shall introduce cyber awareness and robotics in our programs.

“As an Airforce we remain committed to the full integration and deployments of the A-Darter Missile whilst the future of the Rooivalk remains positive with possible upgrade continuing to be addressed and drawing interest from various partners. The relationship between ourselves and our industry remains a firm footing and we have no doubt that as part of South Africa’s “New Dawn” we will emerge even stronger. Through the National defence Industry Council, plans are afoot to implement significant interventions that will ensure the continued sustainability and survivability of our defence industry.”

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