Monthly Archives: April 2018

Destruction is our business, 85 Combat Flying School

Destruction is our business, 85 Combat Flying School

85 Combat Flying School located at AFB Makhado (Airforce Base Makhado) in the Northern part of the Limpopo province of South Africa.The town is known as Fighter Town South Africa,and keeps two of South Africas prime fighter aircraft that the SAAF (South African Airforce) has to offer to protect our airspace. The BAE Hawk Mk120 and SAAB Jas39 C/D aircraft, took over the the role of the Aermacchi MB236 Impala Mk1 and Mk11 and Denel Cheetah C/D from the begenning of 2006 and 2008.

Photo:Franz Dely,Impala MkII ‘1085’

The Bombing Gunnery and Air Navigation School (BGANS) came into being a Langebaanweg on 1 August 1946 following the re-designation of the Air Gunnery and Navigation School.The unit was equipped with Avro Ansons,this was to train pilots in the secondary roles that comprised the original observer qualification.

Photo:SAAF

During the Korean War, South Africa’s commitment of 2 Squadron flying P51 Mustangs and F86 Sabres of the United Nations,Air Operations School(AOS) assumed the operational training of both permanent force and short-service commission pilots for service in the Far East as its primary role. Sabre’s were then sent to 85 Combat Flying school on 31 Octerber 1975.

Photo:Doug Drysdale

In October 1952 the School was introduced to the jet age when the first four de Havilland Vampire FB.MK5s,Seven FB.MK6s and solitary T.MK11s trainers were taken on strength to be used for type conversion.

Photo:Stefaan Bouwer.

Photo:George Wiehehn, Spitfire MkIXes ‘5591’

At the end of World War Two, the various flying, bombing and gunnery schools were disbanded and a single Bombing, Gunnery and Navigation School was established at Langebaanweg in 1946. In the 1950’s, the name changed to Air Operations School, flying Harvards, Spitfire MkIXes, Vampire T11s, FB52s and T55s. The unit moved to Pietersburg in October 1967 and in 1970 the Vampires were replaced by the Impala Mk I.

Photo:Franz Dely,Impala MK1 ‘585’ over AFB Hoedspruit 2004.

Known for its flight-training and combat operations school,85 combat flying school was formed in 1982 at AFB Pieteresburg,now Polokwane Gateway International Airport,at that time the unit was operating de Havilland Vampires MK52s and Mk55.South African Airforce Museum has still got an airworthy Vampire T55 flying at AFB Zwartkop in Pretoria that can be seen at Museum Flying Days and Pretoria Airshows.The Impala MK1  replaced the Vampires 1972.The Mirage IIIEZ/DZ/D2Z were added to the unit in 1974 and Sabres from 1 Squadron in 1975.The Sabre was withdrawn from service in 1980 and replaced by the Impala MK2 aircraft.

Photo:SAAF,Airforce Base Hoedspruit 85 Combat Flying School Static display.


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Photo:SAAF,Dassualt Mirage IIID2Z.

Photo:Jarryd Sinovich,de Havilland Vampire T55 SAAF Museum Flying Day February 2018.

85 Combat Flying School recieved its Unit Colours at a parade on 4 October 1988,the 21st Anniversary of its formation and National Colours a year later.On the initiative of then Officer Commanding(OC) Cmdt John Bayne Impala MKII 1063 was painted up in the Units familiar Gannet Badge in blue and white for the 25th anniverasry of its Establishment in September 1992.The aircraft was a regular preformer at Airshows around South Africa.

83 Jet Flying School Langebaanweg was also closed and has become part of 85 Combat Flying School, previous home to the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team. The Silver Falcons Aerobatic team is now part of Langebaanweg Central Flying School,flying the PC7MKII.The Silver Falcons operated from Langebaanweg until the early 1990s, when all the Impala training was moved to Air Force Base Hoedspruit, in the Lowveld region of South Africa, and formed part of 85 Combat Flying School. During 1994 with a new national flag, the aircraft were repainted to represent the colours of the SA Air Force: blue, light blue and white.

Falcon 1 of the Silver Falcons at an Airshow 2000

Falcon 1 Photo:Russel dixon-paver

Top: Atlas Impala MKII 1063 ‘Gannet’ 1992.

Below:BAE Hawk MK120 267 ‘Gannet’2017.

The unit was then relocated to AFB Hoedspruit on January 1993 due to the closure of AFB Pietersburg.During this period the unit was using the Impala Mk1 and MkII aircraft,all mirages had been withdrawn from service..The Squadron carried out its role in the South African Airforce until the Impala both MKI and MKIIs were retired from service in 2005 and soon we had the introductory of the latest Hawk MK100 from BAE systems that got showcased to South Africa during the SAAFS 75th Anniveary Airshow at AFB Waterkloof in 1995.

Photo:BAE Systems,Bae Hawk 100 Demostrator seen in South Africa during 1995 and up to 2002.

BAE Systems Hawk is a British single-engine, jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft. It was first flown at Dunsfold, Surrey, in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk, and subsequently produced by its successor companies, British Aerospace and BAE Systems, respectively. It has been used in a training capacity and as a low-cost combat aircraft.The Royal Airforce Aerobatic display team,The Red Arrows also use the Hawk as part of their aerobatic display assests and a training role.The Hawk MK120 is an upgraded Hawk T1,Aircraft number SA001, which was manufactured through to Final Assembly stages at Brough and flight-tested at Warton, successfully flew in South Africa early in 2004. Final Assembly of the remaining 23 aircraft was undertaken by Denel in South Africa, with flight-testing taking place in the South African Air Force’s Test Flight & Development Centre (TFDC) in Bredasdorp.

Photo:Franz Dely,first SAAF Hawk ‘250’ part of the TFDC unit in Bredasdorp.

Photo:Jarryd Sinovich, Hawk Mk120 ‘269’ landing at Airforce Base Zwartkop Pretoria May 2016,making use of the aircrafts drag chute.

Hawks ‘273’&’269′ airborne out of AFB Waterkloof September 2016

Today 85 Combat Flying School still lives up to its vision ‘Fighter Training Excellence’where some of the best new generation fighter pilots are trained before moving onto the SAAB Jas39 Gripen.The equipment for pilots training, the unit has a state of the art simulator,Ground school Falicities and so more to offer.To this day the OC of 85CFS is Lt Col Craig’Shark’Leeson,who is also the Squadrons Hawk display pilot during South Africas Airtshow season.Shark last year celebrated his 1 000 flying hour achievment on the Hawk Mk120 on friday,20 January 2017,he has flown 9 different types of fighter jets and is a A-category instructor on Hawk and Gripen.

Photo:Jarryd Sinovich,Hawk MK120 ‘271’ at AFB Zwartkop May 2017.Lt Col.Craig ‘Shark’ Leeson,Officer Commanding 85 Combat Flying School Currently.

Photo:Jarryd Sinovich,Silver Falcons Hawk formation,Kishugu Lowveld Airshow 2015.

Some information on the Hawk MK120

Aircraft Stats:
Powerplant: 1 x 6,500 lb (2 950 kg) Rolls-Royce Adour 951 turbofan

Speed: 1 038 kph, 645mph mph

Range: 2 594km, 1,612miles

Seats: 2

Length: 12.43m, 40ft 9in

Span: 9.94m, 7ft 7in

Empty Weight: 4 400kg, 9,700lb

Max T/O Weight: 9 100kg, 20,062lb

Period of Service: 2006 – Current

 

Weapons:
12.5 kg Practice Bomb, 120 kg Fragmentation Bomb, 120 kg Low-Drag Bomb, 145 kg Bomb, 4.5 kg Practice Bomb, 460 kg Bomb, Aden 30mm cannon, IRIS-T, Vicon 18-601E recce pod.

Photo:Jarryd Sinovich,Hawk ‘272’ making use of its 30mm Aden Cannon at Roodewal Bombing Range September 2016.

Hawk Mk120 ‘273’ AAD2016

We  wish 85 all the best for their future,Flying the flag and continuing to train world class fighter pilots..Noise from above is always a welcome  in Gauteng skies,The sound of freedom fighter pilots would say!Below are some pictures of Hawk taken all over South Africa and a Video featuring Craig ‘Shark’ Leeson during his display at the Saaf Museum Airshow 2017 taken by Shawn Herbst.

Click to enlarge photos below

 

Aerobatics Unlimited-The Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials

Aerobatics Unlimited-The Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials

The Goodyear Eagles Aerobatics Team has been in the forefront of bringing aerobatics excitement to the public for the past 29 years. Over this period the team has had several major sponsors, but Goodyear Aviation became the official team sponsor at the beginning of the 2009 season and we are both proud and honoured to be associated with this great company that have been in the forefront of Aviation Tyre technology since the very beginning of manned flight.


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Dennis Spence the founder and owner of the team, who is an ex SAA Captain on Airbus A340s and Boeing 747s. Deniis also landed both 747s at Rand Airport that are now on static display at the SAA Museum at Rand Airport. He was also a regular display pilot for SAA on the A340 and 747.

The team has also been a regular performer at air shows in Swaziland, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and in 2008 were privileged to be invited to perform at the Al Ain International Aerobatic Show in the United Arab Emirate where we performed as “The Wizards” and our display included 2 Extra ES300’s, becoming, we think, the first team to perform with not only two different types of aircraft, but also incorporating two skydivers into the aerobatic display.

The Goodyear Eagles Aerobatic Team continually strive to enrich and improve our displays, not only to entertain but also to educate the airshow public of the full capabilities and manoverability of the wonderful aircraft we fly, namely the Pitts Special S2B and we strive to keep the skies full of thrills for the entire duration of our display.


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The Pitts S2B

General characteristics

Crew: Two ( ONLY ONE DURING AEROBATIC DISPLAYS) • Length: 18 ft 9 in (5.71 m) • Wingspan: 20 ft 0 in (6.10 m) • Height: 6 ft 7⅓ in (2.02 m) • Wing area: 125 ft² (11.6 m²) • Empty weight: 1,150 lb (521 kg) • Max takeoff weight: 1,625 lb (737 kg) • Powerplant: 1× Textron Lycoming AEIO-540-D4A5 flat-six air cooled piston engine, 260 hp (194 kW) Performance • Max speed: 182 knots (210 mph, 338 km/h) • Cruise speed: 152 knots (175 mph, 282 km/h) (max cruise) • Stall speed: 52 knots (60 mph, 97 km/h) • Range: 277 NM (319 mi, 513 km) • Service ceiling: 21,000 ft (6,400 m)
• Rate of climb: 2,700 ft/min (13.7 m/s) • Wing loading: 13.0 lb/ft² (63.6 kg/m²) • Power/mass: 0.16 hp/lb (0.26 kW/

The team

Glen Warden: Team Leader

 

Former fighter pilot of the South African Airforce,Glen Warden is the team leader of the team.He has flown the Aermacchi MB326, Mirage and Cheetah jet aircraft, and remains active in the South African Air Force Museum Flight, displaying the Mirage CZ III , the Vampire T11 and the  T6 Harvard. He also spent time as an exchange pilot with the Chilean Air Force flying Mirage 50’s, F-5 E Tigers and A-37 Dragonfly. He is also a civilian jet instructor and display authorisation examiner on the L-29 Delfin, L-39 Albatros, BAC Strikemaster, and T-2 Buckeye.

 

Dennis Spence: Team Owner and Reserve Leader

 

 

Dennis Spence the team owner,an ex SAA A340 senior Captain, with in excess of 26000 flying hours, of which over 3500+ is on the Pitts Special alone. He has been the owner and operator of the Team since 1985, and represented South Africa in the first Advanced World aerobatic championships in 1995, obtaining South African National colours.

Johan Von Solms: Wingman

A South African Airways Captain, with over 16500 flying hours. He served in the South African Air Force as a fighter Pilot flying the Aeromacchi MB326(Impala) and the Cheetah. He was the 8 Squadron Impala display pilot in 1993 and a 2 Squadron Cheetah display pilot during 1995 and 1996. My father was best mates with David Stead. As a kid growing up near Mooi River on a dairy farm, David would lead simulated attacks on our farm using Harvards and later Impalas from Durban. It sparked a dream that none of my other talents could detach and I thus pursued a flying career that I am very grateful for and proud of.


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Nigel Hopkins: Wingman

 

Nigel Hopkins Is a training Captain at South African Airways on the Airbus A320, he has flown all types of aerobatic aircraft and warbirds including the T28 Trojan and L29 Delphin.He is alsp part of the Team Extreme team.

Paul Coetser:Soloist

Paul Coetser is a SAA Cargo 737 pilot,he is also a former 85 Combat Flying School MB326 Impala display pilot and SAAF Instructor. He has flown the Pitts,Piper Saratoga, MB326 Impala and Pilatus PC7MKII.

Jason Beamish: Reserve Soloist

Jason Beamish is a Aircraft Engineer at Absolute Aviation based at Lanseria Airport. His father Larry Beamish taught him to fly at a young age.He has been surronded by avaition his whole life,he has also flown AN2s,Piper Cub,KingAirs,Pc12s and Caravans and much more.His Total Flying hours: 2,700+ hrs.He is also part of Team Extreme Airshows and a reserve dispaly pilot on the AN2 ‘Little Annie’.

The team will be flying the SAAF Museum Airshow on the 5th May 2018,and the team also has a L29 Delphin that will also be flying at the SAAF Museum Airshow.

 

 

 

Aircraft Marshalling

Aircraft Marshaller

A person trained to direct by visual or other means the movement of aircraft on the ground, into and out of landing, parking or hovering points. Also called aircraft guide.

Marshalling is one-on-one visual communication and a part of aircraft ground handling. It may be as an alternative to, or additional to, radio communications between the aircraft and air traffic control. The usual equipment of a marshaller is a reflecting safety vest, a helmet with acoustic earmuffs, and gloves or marshalling wands–handheld illuminated beacons.

At airports, the marshaller signals the pilot to keep turning, slow down, stop, and shut down engines, leading the aircraft to its parking stand or to the runway. Sometimes, the marshaller indicates directions to the pilot by driving a “Follow-Me” car (usually a yellow van or pick-up truck with a checkerboard pattern) prior to disembarking and resuming signalling, though this is not an industry standard.

At busier and better equipped airports, marshallers are replaced on some stands with a Visual Docking Guidance System (VDGS), of which there are many types.


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The role of the Aircraft Marshaller is an important element of managing the aircraft in the vicinity of the ramp. The aircraft Marshaller provides the essential visual link to assist the flight crew in positioning the aircraft correctly.

The responsibility for the safe operation of the aircraft on the ground rests with the flight crew, however the ground crew including Marshaller’s have a duty of care to provide the flight crew with the correct guidance information.

In addition to ensure that the possibility of accidental damage is mitigated with the use of best practice behaviour at all times.

The usual equipment of a Marshaller is a reflecting safety vest, a helmet with acoustic earmuffs, and gloves or marshalling wands, handheld illuminated beacons.

*This article is based on international standards and may differ slightly from hose used in Southern Africa

Aircraft Marshalling




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Helicopter Marshalling


Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_marshalling
https://sassofia.com/course/aircraft-ramp-safety-and-basic-marshalling-theory-practical-course-1-day/


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Team Xtreme Airshows

Team Xtreme Airshows

With their high energy aerobatic manvureves, Team Xtreme is surly a display to watch  at airshows, Led by SAA Captain Nigel Hopkins and South African World Aerobatic champion,the team is internationally renowned for displaying in China. Team Xtreme Airshows is a Formation Aerobatic Team flown by South African aerobatic pilots. The Team was started in 2010 by Mark Hensman & Nigel Hopkins flying two MX2 aerobatic aircraft in a high-energy duo display. Click here to goto the Team’s website

The team fly high performance aerobatic aircraft ranging from the Walter Extra 330SC and the Extreme Air XA42 Sbach,both aircraft are built in Germany. Team Extreme is a four ship Aerobatic Team,the pilots perform manures  which includes formation & freestyle aerobatics, cross-over passes, synchronized maneuvers and solo gyroscopics.


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The team members often take part in regional and international aerobatic competitions and are regular performers on the airshow circuit, if they arent flying aerobatic aircraft at an airshow.They flying warbirds or jet airliners, each member having different flying experience.Each pilot is an active member of the Sport Aerobatic Club of South Africa and holds an Advanced or Unlimited Aerobatic Rating in addition to the required Display Ratings. The pilots have a combined experience of 47,700 flight hours.

This year already the team has displayed at the FAW Ermelo Airshow in Mpumalanga. Next show on the cards is the SAAF Museum Airshow at Airforce Base Swartkops in Pretoria.The Pretoria airshows are always big and large crowds gather to see some of South Africa’s best pilots perform both civil and military.

The Aerobatic Team has performed nearly 100 displays in South Africa, Southern Africa and China since 2010, Team Xtreme is voted in the top 3 civilian Aerobatic Teams at the inaugural Formation Aerobatic Challenge (FAC 2017) held in Zhengzhou, China.


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Pilots

Nigel Hopkins#1 (Leader) 

Is a training Captain at South African Airways on the Airbus A320,he has flown all types of aerobatic aircraft and warbirds including the T28 Trojan and L29 Delphin.
Total Flying hours: 18,500+ hrs

Mark Sampson#2 (RH Wingman)

Mark is a Captain on Boeing 747s at Cathy Pacific,he is an Ex South African Airforce Pilot.His total Flying hours: 11,500 hrs

Jason Beamish#3 (LH Wingman)

Jason Beamish is a Aircraft Engineer at Absolute Aviation based at Lanseria Airport.His father Larry Beamish taught him to fly at a young age.He has been surronded by avaition his whole life,he has also flown AN2s,Piper Cub,KingAirs,Pc12s and Caravans and much more.His Total Flying hours: 2,700+ hrs

Mark Hensman #4 (Box & Solo)

Is the Team Manager & Aircraft Technician,he was recently Nigel Lambs Aircraft Technician on the Red Bull Air Race Series.He also has a helicopter PPL. His Total Flying hours: 15,500+ hrs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Airshow Aircraft, Pilots and Teams

2018 Airshow Aircraft, Pilot and Teams

Every year we see Airshows across Southern Africa. Some teams we see at every show and others we don’t see that often. Aircraft we get L29 & 39’s to Gripen and Cheetah, From Harvard’s and Pitts Specials to Little Annie. The Military aircraft is always a winner at any airshow.

Every 2nd Year with AAD, we all hold thumbs and our breath in hope for some international aircraft, however due to South Africa being on the most southern tip of Africa the cost to bring aircraft to SA is very costly and not always feasible. We are hoping for something spectacular with AAD2018, however our, Aviation Central’s hope is on 2020.

2020 is a big year for Aviation in South Africa. The Aero Club of South Africa and South African Air force will be turning 100 years old. At this stage only the Aero club indicated interest in Centenary celebrations and planning is already in progress. We will Keep you updated on any Centenary celebration planning!

The lists below is 1st, Display Pilots and Teams and the 2nd list is for Aircraft listed per Airshow for 2018. We will be running a list for every year from now on!


Popular Display teams, Puma Energy Flying Lions, The Cows Aerobatic team, GoodYear Eagles Aerobatic team, The Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team and the High Energy Team Xtreme are some of the popular display teams on our Airshow circuit

Southern Africa also has some Farther’s and Son’s flying in Airshows, Larry and Jason Beamish, Mark and Jon-Marc, Scully and Ellis Levin, Derick and Nigel Hopkins.

Also see our Airshows and other Aviation Events Calendar

If you feel we missed any Airshow, Team, Pilot or Aircraft, please let us know, Flippie@aviationcentral.co.za or Jarryd@aviationcentral.co.za

Important Notice:

We will only add Aircraft as we get conformation to the buildup of an show, this the listing my not be complete when its added prior to show date!
Where Aircraft is added prior to an Event, does not guarantee that all aircraft is added nor that all Added aircraft will be flying!


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Teams & Aircraft

For #AAD2018 Aircraft click here

Aircraft / TeamsMiddelburg Stellenbosch LowveldMatsiengNewcastleRand ArishowBethlehemSwartkopTotal 2019  
Raptors RVs44513
Team Extreme2349
Flying Lions347
Goodyear Eagles437
Fying Cows235
Extra 3301225
Kishugu Huey235
Silver Falcons55
Boeing Stearman1113
Hot Air Balloon33
L391113
Aerospatiale Gazelle213
Extra 300112
Little Annie An2112
Gyrocopter112
Pilatus PC11112
Air-Tractor11
Kishugu AT8211
Harvard Solo11
L2911
AerospatialeAlouette II11
Boeing 73711
Embraer 19011
Impala MK1 ZU-IMP11
Tiger Moth11
Beech 1811
P51 Mustang11
Bell 40711
Piper PA-4611
AM3-C Bosbok11
JS1-C Glider11
Howard DGA-1511
Piper Aerostar 600A11
Christen A-1 Husky11
Cessna 19511
Cessna 21011
Airbus Helicopters H14511
Shock Cub11


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Pilots (to be updated)

 

The Noisy Bushbuck,The AM.3C Bosbok

The Noisy Bushbuck, The AM.3C Bosbok

The AM.3 used the wing design of the Aermacchi AL-60 utility aircraft, strengthened to incorporate two hardpoints. The fuselage was a new design.
The first prototype, constructed by Aermacchi, flew on 12 May 1967, and it was displayed at the Paris air show in June that year.The second prototype, constructed by AERFER, flew on 22 August 1968, but the aircraft lost the Italian Army contract to the SIAI Marchetti SM.1019. Nevertheless, Aeritalia continued development.

Above-Bosbok over the bush

The third prototype used a more powerful Piaggio-built Lycoming GSO-480-B1B6 in place of the original Continental GTSIO-520-C, and this variant was designated AM.3C
Pilot and observer are accommodated in tandem positions, and the craft features dual controls. Aft space is utilitarian, providing space for two stretchers or seat space for additional passengers. Additional configurations include freight transport.


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Above-Bosbok Cockpit

The Bosbok came to the fore during military operations in SWA and Angola during the late 1970s and 1980s. The aircraft was used extensively on the border and several were shot down during the course of the war. One of the best known exploits by a Bosbok and its pilot was that of Captain Danie Laubscher when he was awarded the Honoris Crux medal for bravery. After several unsuccessful attempts to neutralize a particular anti-aircraft emplacement which was hampering the Army’s advance captain Danie Laubscher dived down low on the target to make sure it was effectively marked with his 68 mm smoke rockets. Despite being fired at by 23 mm anti­aircraft cannon, he actually wiped out the site with his own marker rockets.

Above-Bosbok ZU-ADM Nylstroom 2016

The 40 AM.3C’s were delivered between May 1972 and December 1974 and were allocated the serials 920 – 959. The aircraft was given the name Bosbok by the SAAF. The first Bosbok to be produced for the SAAF made its debut at the Turin Air Show in 1972, although it still wore its Italian civil registration (I-TAM). The variant operated by the SAAF was the AM.3CM version which had provision for four NATO M-4A stores attachment points. The inner points were stressed for 375 lb (170 kg) and the outer points for 200 lb (91 kg) loads. During its service with the SAAF the Bosbok was operated by 41 and 42 Squadrons, usually operating from Potchefstroom but also from Lanseria and numerous airfields in northern SWA.

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Difference between the Bosbok and Atlas C.4 Kudu

The original aircraft were delivered in a matt light grey finish with dark grey serials and anti-glare panel. This was soon replaced by a wrap-around olive drab and dark earth scheme. The defense cuts of the early 1990’s lead to the retirement of the Bosbok from SAAF service in 1992.

 

Above-SAAF Museum Bosbok with 41 Squadron markings.

42 Squadron

The squadron was first formed in Bari, Italy during World War II on 23 January 1945. Many of the pilots were selected from the South African Air Force and given extra training to prepare the pilots for their artillery-spotting duties. The flight flew Auster aircraft in Europe. The flight relocated often as they moved from base to base in Europe as the German forces retreated from Italy until the end of the war. At the end of the war, 42 AOP Flight and their Auster aircraft were shipped back to South Africa and were based at Potchefstroom, home of the SA artillery. The flight’s first two army pilots that were not taken from the SAAF were trained at Central Flying School SAAF during 1949.

n the 1950s, the SAAF was given control of 42 Flight and the flight became 42 Squadron SAAF. 42 Squadron received Auster AOP9 and Auster AOP6 aircraft between 1953 and 1957. In May 1962, the Cessna 185 aircraft entered service with 42 Squadron and the Austers were phased out. In 1974, the Atlas Bosbok was added to the fleet, and later, the Atlas Kudu was then added to the squadron.


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Today

with the Atlas bosbok being withdrawn from service in 1992,most of the aircraft were sold to private individual’s.The SAAF Museum operates two aircraft which are seen at the regular flying days and Pretoria based airshows. More aircraft are flying across the rest of the country for fun flying.

See the Bosbok at the SAAF Museum Airshow 2018 click here

 

 

Mercedes-Benz Club Day at Brakpan Airfield

Mercedes-Benz Club Day at Brakpan Airfield

horseless carriage

Horseless carriage

The first car that ever-set wheel on South-African soil was a Benz Velo.
Although the “horseless carriage”, which had been imported by a local businessman, John Percy Hess, arrived in SA at the end of 1896, it did not run under its own power until January 4 of the following year. This was due to the fact that there was a delay of a month in the arrival of the benzene fuel for the engine! The first public demonstration of the Benz Velo took place at the Berea Park sports ground in Pretoria in front of Paul Kruger, the President of the Transvaal Republic. The publicity blurb urging Pretorians to attend this “red letter day” event proclaimed that “the motor car, like the bicycle, has come to stay and will be the craze of the century.”
Hess went on to become the sole agent for the Benz brand in South Africa. The car was subsequently driven in Johannesburg as part of his initiative to promote “a revolution in locomotion.”

The Mercedes-Benz club convoyed to the East of Johannesburg,to join up with more members owning a Mercedes vehicles and sharing the same passion in the culture of cars that members and some of the public own today from the older class Mercedes to current models.


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Mr Hilton Wolff and some of the other members of the Brakpan Aero club hosted a fun filled day for members of the Mercedes Club of the Gauteng Region as well as some public member’s visiting the airfield on a lazy Sunday. Brakpan Aero Club which was founded in 1953, the  great club house offered  guests refreshments during the day as well as a swim in the clubs swimming pool for the brave hearted people out there as we soon go into the winter weather of the year.

 

Many pilots flew aircraft in to give flips to the public all for free and for a good cause, most passengers who got to fly in aircraft had a great smile for the rest of the day. The busy bees for the day, taking most pax up were Rob Osner in his Alouette III and Father and son team Mark and Jon-Marc hill in Little Annie AN2 and  a Cessna Caravan.Other aircraft we also had the privilege of seeing flying and taking pax was the D-27 Dornier, Yak52, Bosbok, Boeing Stearman, Mushak just to name a few.

By the afternoon the approaching weather scared off most of the public,the ones that stayed on were blessed with beautiful weather as the storm changed direction and missed the airport with thunder showers. By 3HooPm the public were treated to a formation of aircraft that took part in the day.And a flypast by Ivan Van der Schaar in his Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman.Well done to a great event hosted by the Mercedes Benz club and Mr Hilton Wolff and all other members that took the time and event to make the day a success.

 

Indian Airforce Museum ,Palam

Hidden away on the far side of Delhi’s International Airport is a significant collection of historic aircraft,The Indian Air force Museum is an excellent and is one of the lesser known museums in the world today.

The Indian Air force Museum located at the  Palam Air force Station in Delhi, India.This particular Museum was the only one of its kind in India until the opening of the Naval Aviation Museum in Goa in 1998 and HAL Aerospace Museum in Bangalore.

Above TS-11 Iskra

The museum entrance is free to the public,and the entrance features an indoor display gallery that contains historic photographs and other sorts of memorabilia of the Indian Air force from its inception in 1932.The Gallery leads to a hanger exhibiting small aircraft and Air force inventory including anti-aircraft guns,vehicles and etc.

Helicopters are also a welcome sight at the museum on the outside exhibits area including a Russian MIL Mi-4 and a Sikorsky S55.The S55C had a 600hp(472) R-1340 engine.

Above Mil Mi-4

Above a Sikorsky S55C

Larger aircraft are exhibited outside of the hanger due to space needed for the bigger are the larger aircraft take up.The outdoor gallery contains aircraft that also display several war trophies,radar equipment and captured enemy vehicles.

Above C-119 Flying Boxcar

The vintage Aircraft Flight services that have some rare aircraft that are maintained in a airworthy condition,these aircraft are off limits to the public to view.Large aircraft are also  stored on the apron of the airbase due to the lack of space.These aircraft are only displayed on the annual Air Force Day.


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Above Westland Lysander

Above HAOP-27 Krishak

Above Supermarine Spitfire

The jet age is also on display at the Museum from the early Mig models to the super Mig-25R of number 102 Squadron IAF on display.

Above Mig 21

Above Mig 25R

Its an awesome sight to see the rest of the world looking after their aviation history.Some of the rarest aircraft can be seen at this museum,when in India make a stop at the museum to see some real Indian Air force Hardware from years gone by.


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Ermelo Airshow 2018

The great Ermelo Airshow has finally returned to the Airshow circuit once again, after an absence since 2011. The show made a welcome return on the 7th April 2018 under the Gert Sibanda Local Municipality. Ermelo is situated 210 kilometers east of Johannesburg. It is both a mixed agriculture and mining region of South Africa.The airfield sits at 5700 feet MSL, pilots took the proper precautions as this was not a usual airfield pilots are used to flying at.

I was fortunate to fly into Ermelo airfield the day before the show with the Hill family in their beautiful strong Russian Antonov An2 “Little Annie” from Wonderboom National Airport in Pretoria.We arrived at the field with full of smiles from organisers and marshals,welcoming us and providing us with some of the best hospitality one can ask for.

That evening we were again treated to a lamb spit braai for all the pilots and VIPs that were invited to the braai.At this point of time the next day would see most display pilots and other aircraft just flying inn for the show.

Apon arrival at the airfield on Saturday the 7th April,we were blessed with beautiful weather for flying.As aircraft after aircraft arrived.The show started off with a parachute drop with SANDF Special Forces ,their jump ship was the An2 “Little Annie”. The An2 was then showed why it is the worlds biggest single engine bi-plane flying in the world today flown by Jon-Marc and Mark Hill.

Ensuring the airshow ran smoothly during the course of the day, safety officers Pete Graham and Trevor Wilson and display directors Kishugu’s Johan Heine was show boss for the day.The Capital Sounds team arrived the Friday before the show to set up for the show, Brian Emmenis and Leon Du Plessis provided excellent commentary and ensuring all information on aircraft and pilots flying on the day.

The Ermelo RC Club was next with two RC aircraft, while Neville Ferreria was soon up after the RC display. His sequence showed part of what the unlimted Aerobatic team level is sitting at. The Magni Gyrocopter flown by Matthew Zalewski from 303 Squadron flying school from Brakpan/Benoni airfield.Johan ‘Juba’ Joubert flew the only helicopter display for the day in the Aerospatiale Gazelle.

The show was a first for Team Extreme made up of Nigel Hopkins, Jason Beamish,Mark ‘Bugs’ Hensman and Mark ‘Sammy’ Sampson. The team flies a range of high performance aerobatic aircraft from the Extra 330, MX2 and Sbach 341. Two aircraft were ferried up from Cape Town just for the show. Andrew Blackwood Murray flew his Nashua sponsored Extra 300 in two spirited displays during the day.

The Rand Airport based team including the Puma Flying Lions T6 Harvard’s led by veteran airshow pilot Scully Levin who still flies for Mango airlines. He also led the new Cows Aerobatic team sponsored by ‘Taillifts SA’ flying the Pitts Specials who were sponsored by Torre for some years. The Goodyear Eagles put a 3ship display,also flying the Pitts Special led by former fighter pilot Glen ‘Gringo’ Warden. The team is also made up of Paul ‘Cruiser’ Coetzer former 85 Combat Flying School Impala display pilot. And lastly Johan von Solms a former Cheetah pilot. Glen Warden also flew the solo L39 ‘ZUTEE’ display and later paired up with Richard Lovett in his L39 ZU-IBN which both L39s are almost identical.

Ivan van der Schaar flew is beautiful Boeing Stearman with gentle aerobatics and also flew his stearman into a immaculate sunset at the end of the day. Denel test pilot Mike Weingartz flew David Laas Impala ZU-IMP, Mike has the highest hours on the type in the world. The kishugu AT802 demostarted simulated fire bombing just as the sun set.

The South African Air force provided an Agusta A109LUH from 19 Squadron AFB Hoedspruit which was on static display. The 2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen flew all the way from AFB Makhado to provide a mini display. The Gripen was flown by Mohau ‘Doberman’ Vundla, this was his first airshow display and in the back seat Marc ‘Bluebird’ Wilson.

The show was tasked by Andre Van Rooyen who had support from most of the members from the Ermelo Aeronautical Society and the support of the sponsoring of the show from FAW Trucks Ermelo. We hope to see the Ermelo Airshow as a regular on the airshow circuit.

 

The next Airshow on the calendar in South Africa is the SAAF Museum Airshow 2018

From Soloist to Lead-Omphile Mutloane

Omphile Mutloane who is currently the number 5 in the Silver Falcons Aerobatic  Team, known as the soloist in the team with the call sign “Biggy”.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 on the Capes West Coast.Originally formed in 1946 as the Bumbling Bees and flying the T-6 Harvard and then the de Havilland Vampire. 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 indroduction 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

 

 

Aircraft were  always flying high overhead the village Omphile stayed,but never did himself and the children around him at the time get the opportunity to get up close and personal with  the real thing. That one moment of the SAAF helicopter crew pretty much changed Omphiles life, from that time on he was determined not to have a plan B in his career. Plan A was to wear the green overalls and the well know green chopper helmet.

“I joined the SAAF in January 2005 and reported for basic military training at Air force Gymnasium in Valhalla Pretoria. I qualified three years later in December 2007 at AFB Langebaanweg on the Pc7mkII Astra.Completed Rotary Wings Course Starlight aviation under the guidance of Mr A.C. Hunter (best instructor I have ever flown with) in April 2008,From there I was sent to 87 Helicopter Flying School in Bloemspruit and from there onto 17 Squadron as a Oryx Helicopter co-pilot.”

I served as an Oryx co pilot at 17 squadron in Pretoria from Jan 2009 until November 2012. I did my command course on the Agusta A109LUH in 2013.In 2014 I was posted back to AFB Langebaanweg to become a instructor and subsequently did the famous falcon ‘fly-offs’. The fly offs are basically a selection of instructors who want to join the Silver Falcons and I was able to join the team in October 2015 as the number 3,then moved to the singleton as falcon 5″.

My flying hours are currently sitting at a total of 2200 of both fixed wing and helicopter hours:

750 hours on Oryx Helicopter
300 hours on A109LUH Helicopter
800+ hours on PC7MKII

Omphile will take command of leading the team from the 2018 SAAF Museum Airshow on the 5th May.This will be team 82,as we saw Mark’Katana’Gentles leave team once again after Armed Forces Week in Kimberly in the Northern Cape earlier this year as the former leader.

Some of falcon 5s hobbies interests include him being a serious book worm who loves history and a avid marathon runner. He will be competing in his second comrades Marathon in KZN in month or so time. Wish him all the best of luck!

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