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Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow 2018

Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow 2018

The 10th edition of the Africa Aerospace and Defence trade and airshow has come and gone, what was definitely the most exciting show we all looked forward to panned out to be a great success once again. The event took place over the 19th-23 September 2018 at Air force Base Waterkloof, Centurion, City of Tshwane.

AAD2018 Crowd

Static Park

The apron was full of aircraft and most of the hangers were full of all different companies showing off their technology to the world. The crowds were kept busy with all the walking through the halls and interacting with aircraft and pilots.

Crowds flocked to the gates around the base from the 22-23 September to get the best seat along the crowd line,this to insure they don’t miss any part of the exiting program Colonel Keith Fryer(flight director)  and Keith Andrews and their team put together to excite and show off air capabilities of the South African Airforce (SAAF). The Saturday show started off with the Sound of Freedom, that been the sound of jets, six Gripens from 2 Squadron and 3 Hawks from 85 Combat Flying School took to the skies and put a formation flypast over the crowds.What a way to start a airshow!

AAD2018 Crowd

With Airforce Base Swartkop down the road from Airforce Base Waterkloof, Swartkop was used as a second base for aircraft including the new microlight display team known as the Misasa Aerial Display-MAD Team. The team is made up of Adrienne Visser as lead, Pieter Kriel at the number two, Gary Heyenreich at number three, Gavin Van Der Berg at four and number five Marius Nel. It was great to see a microlight display team after the absence at airshows for some years now,we hope to see them on the regular airshow circuit in the future. There was a Airplane Factory Sling 4 and a Raven 500 formation Flypast.A mass Bathawk display was put on show, and is shown why its a great aircraft for Anti-Poaching missions.A light sky jeep was also thrown into the formation as well as the wagtail gyrocopter, all aircraft not shy to the African bush!

Raven 500

Wagtail

Capital Sounds once again had their ever hard working team at the event and this has to be the longest line of speakers that Capital has at a airshow in South Africa. Brian Emmenis and Leon Du Plessis informed the crowd of each aircraft taking to the skies and brought a lot of the airshow vibe to Waterkloof.

Capital Sounds Team AAD2018

Capital Sounds

Lieutenant colonel Craig “Shark” Lesson once again did 85 Combat Flying School proud,as he put the Hawk Mk120 through its paces.The Officer Commanding 85 Combat Flying School displayed both one of the Flag Hawks’271′ and one of the grey aircraft during the course of AAD2018.Andrew Blackwood Murray flew his Nashua Extra 300 and Neville Ferriria flew his Slick 540 with a combined aerobatic sequence with high energy aerobatics and low knife edge passes so the crowd could capture the sleek lines on both aircraft. Neville Ferreria had just returned from Hungry where he is flying the Geneavation Aerobatic aircraft for the country. He is surely doing South Africa proud!

Hawk MK120 ‘Vlaggie’

Hawk MK120 ‘262’

Andrew Blackwood Murray Extra 300

Slick 540 Neville Ferreira

Paramount Groups AHRLAC aircraft did some tight formation flying and was defiantly a way to show it off to the worlds market of defence. Staying with the locally manufactured aircraft the 16 Squadron Rooivalk was put through its paces in the UN white livery by Major Paul ‘Raccoon’ Kempthorn, at the end of his display he released a large amount of flares,a great end to a display!

Paramount Group AHRLACs

Paramount Group AHRLACs

16 Squadron Rooivalk

16 Squadron Rooivalk

The Rand Airport based Puma Flying Lions  Harvards and Taillifts Cows Pitts Specials flew their usual display infront of the 45 000+ crowds.The SAAF Museum and Harvard Club Harvards and a single Douglas DC4 did a couple of formation Flypasts over the crowd and brought back many memory’s of the former SAAF trainer before the Harvard was replaced by the Pilatus PC7MKII. The DC4 then went onto doing a solo display flown by Captain Bill Good.

Puma Flying Lions Harvards

Taillifts Cows Aerobatic Pitts Team

Mass Radial Display

Harvard Club

Harvard Club

Douglas DC4

Douglas DC4

The cockpit ambassadors of the South African Airforce The Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team 82,put on a great display led by Major Omphile Matloane who received his Golden Wings  a couple of days before the start of AAD2018.Lt Colonel Glen Wraden flew the Aero L29 from AFB Swartkop, The Airforce of Zimbabwe K8 was also flown with a support CASA 212 on static display.

Silver Falcons

Silver Falcons PC7MKIIs

Falcon 5 Sivu Tangana

L29

L29

K8

K8

There were two mini-wars on the day of the show,both from the SAAF Museum and from the current SAAF inventory of aircraft.A vast amount of pyrotechnics and armored vehicles were used during the show.

SAAF Museum Bosbok and Cessna C185

Ratels

Oryx Helicopters

Top Cover Rooivalk and Hawks

Ivan van Der Schaar and Jon-Marc Hill, Juba Jourbet flew the Bi-plane formation that being a Boeing Stearman and Antonov 2 ‘Little Annie’.Later in the day Little Annie escorted by the Stearman dropped a large amount of Manhattan Marshmellows for the crowds.

AN2 and Boeing Stearman

AN2 ‘Little Annie’

Annie Drop AAD2018

AN2 marshmallow drop

2 Squadron was well represented at the show once again,we were able to see six Gripens in formation,two Gripens in the mini-war and a solo gripen display flown by Major Geoffrey ‘Spartan’ Cooper and a 2v1 combat routine.

2 Squadron Gripens

Gripen JAS39D flown by ‘Midnite’ and ‘Bluebird’

Gripens being flown by ‘Cipher’ and ‘Doberman’

28 Squadron was busy during the mini-war delivering troops into the simulated battle-zone, Lt Col Clint Hawtrey also gave one of the best C130BZ displays to date. What a display it was to witness!

C130BZ

C130BZ dropping flares

C130BZ during the mini-war

A huge of congrats must go to the organisers of AAD2018

Florence Musengi-AAD Chairperson

Simphiwe Hamilton-Excutive Director

Leon Dillman-CEO CAASA

Leona Redelinghuys-Exhibition Director

Marketing and Public Relations-Nakedi Phasha

Youth Development Program-Kholisile Khumalo

General Fabian Zimpande “Zakes” Msimang-Chief of the South African Airforce

The 11th Edition of Africa Aerospace and Defence, AAD2020, will take place 16 – 20 September 2020. 2020 SAAF and the Aero Club of South Africa will be celebrating their centenary birthdays and this creating lots of expectations among young and old to see a Super Show. All we can do is wait and see what they deliver and how many Countries except the invite to join South Africa on this centenary celebrations.

 

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Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow programme

Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow programme

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AAD Airshow Programme 22 Sept 2018

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AAD Airshow Programme 23 Sept 2018

 

 

Air Power Capability Demonstration 2018

Air Power Capability demonstration  2018 

One of the more exciting events the SAAF invites media and VIP guests to is the Air Power Capability demonstration, this year the event was in conjunction with the Africa Aerospace and Defence show which is currently been held at Airforce Base Waterkloof in Pretoria.The purpose of the exercise is to invigorate the SAAF’s combat readiness and its role in peace support operations.

Media and guests were once again flown up to Polokwane Gateway International Airport before been transported by bus to the Roodewal Bombing Range around 40 minutes drive from Polokwane.On a arrival SAAF Fire and Rescue Services had already been fighting ranging fires in the area as well as some Oryx helicopters who were working hard with the assist of the choppers capabilities of using a “babi’ bucket to put the fires out.

A safety briefing was followed by the Chief of the South African Airforce General Fabian Zimpande “Zakes” Msimang and other military personnel,the demo started off with pathfinders who excited an Oryx Helicopter and landed in the simulated battle zone.A recce run was then carried out by a Gripen and Hawk,the Gripen continued to orbit before exciting the battle area.Two Oryx Helicopters then came in for a water drop again assisted with their bambi bucket.

Path finders exciting the Oryx

Pathfinders

Hawk and Gripen Recce run

2 Squadron JAS39C Gripen

Two Oryx Helicopters with Bambi Buckets

The sound of thunder was then echoing the skies of Roodewal with a mock dog fight between a enemy hawk and two friendly Gripens. The fighters then joined up for a friendly flypast. A single C130BZ and a CASA 212 performed a cargo drop before the return of the helicopters followed by a single A109LUH and a BK117 landed in the battle zone bringing in the first of the troops. At the same time two 16 Squadron Rooivalks provided top cover.It was unfortunately not long after that a Oryx had a hard landing resulting to the end of the exercise.The crew and troops were lucky to have light injuries from the landing.

Gripen and Hawk Formation

C130BZ Cargo drop

Agusta A109LUH

15 Squadron ‘C’ Flight BK117

16 Squadron Rooivalk

Oryx Helicopter

“The crash landing happened in front of invited guests, foreign diplomats and the media. As the aircraft hit the ground part of the tail rotor and wheel collapsed. When the helicopter came to a stop quick thinking by the crew saw the engines cut,” he said.

Colonel Eugene Motati of SAAF Corporate Communication said: “The unfortunate incident occurred and as you all know details are not clear. We can confirm the pilot was Lieutenant Colonel King, we are thankful there were no fatalities or major injuries, just a minor ankle injury to one person. You witnessed this occurrence during the trooping manoeuvre, at the moment we do not suspect mechanical failure and we don’t want to speculate further. We hope the board of enquiry will give more details and the cause of the accident.

“I want to emphasise we are happy with the reaction of the aircrew controlling the aircraft without any further damage. It could have been worse if not correctly handled. So we are proud of the performance of our airmen, they displayed excellent airmanship in that space of time, because it happened so quickly.“The crew and troops were able to extract safely from the aircraft.”

The event ended by a c130BZ dropping flares and a single Gripen passing overhead the guests going into a vertical at the same time dropping flares.A quick supper and we were off back to Polokwane and a 40 minutes flight back to Waterkloof.

C130BZ Flare drop

2 Squadron Gripen

Official Opening of AAD 2018

Official Opening of AAD 2018

The Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) is Africa’s only aerospace and defence expo that combines both a trade exhibition and an air show. Held biennially in the City of Tshwane – South Africa’s administrative capital, the AAD Expo is one of South Africa’s largest contributors to the country’s GDP in show years, and is regarded as a national asset.

This show dates back to when DEXSA 1975 ,The Africa Aerospace and Defense (AAD) Expo was born from the Aerospace Africa civilian exhibition that originates from the 1975 Lanseria Air Show and the DEXSA military exhibition.
The first in the series of aviation exhibitions titled “Aviation Africa.”

The show was opened by a 21 gun salute and a flypast by three Agusta A109LUH,the president Cyril Ramaphosa then addressed the crowd with the following:

Agusta A109LUH flag flypast

Agusta A109LUHs

“South Africa views the role of the military in the modern context as a developmental force, both nationally and continentally”, this is the view from President Cyril Ramaphosa in his opening address of the 10th Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition, taking place from 19 to 23 September at the Waterkloof air force base in Pretoria.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

According to the President, the show brings defence agencies and defence industries together in reflections on the evolution of security – and how they must each adapt to the requirements of the future.

“Improved security attracts investment, encourages growth and promotes development. In support of continental economic development, the SANDF forms part of the continental military intervention capability, in the form of regional intervention forces, as well as the centralised capability under direct control of the African Union. He argued that the South African National Defence Force ought to involve itself, with African partners, in peace missions to improve security in strife-torn regions. These intervention capabilities can reduce the risk of major interstate conflict and civil war.”

“From a national perspective, the development role of our defence force implies involvement in border safeguarding, adding that South Africa’s border safeguarding operation, Corona, also focuses on preventing the illegal exploitation of national resources.”

As far as internal security is concerned, the defence force must always be ready to provide additional capacity to maintain order and stability within the relevant governance framework.

“A defence force that is a developmental unlocks substantial peace dividends for states and effectively reduces the investment required in defence over time.”

Whilst the government continues to prioritise socio-economic objectives that provide the best possible future for the youth, he was adamant that the economy is under pressure pointedly saying the means available in the fiscus are finite.

The President acknowledged that the South African National Defence Force was adapting to this economic reality.In this regard, the SANDF was prioritising within the implementation of the Defence Review by focusing on the core roles of the defence force. He said several ideas were being explored to modernise the funding model of defence and reduce its dependency on the fiscus. Still, for both security and developmental reasons, South Africa was looking after its defence industry.

“It is a national asset that has value for many departments and agencies of government,” he said. “It innovates products for the greater economy, such as systems that improve the safety of railway lines or improve the efficiency of shark nets. The common TV decoder in widespread use in South Africa is based on the intellectual property from a military technology project.”

The President noted the industry’s role as an important employer and an incubator of scarce skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Some of our aircraft-related businesses are expanding in a highly competitive environment as suppliers to the biggest players in the global aircraft industry.” The industry is a steady earner of foreign exchange by delivering to the world leading products such as the Husky vehicle for detecting explosives and improvised explosive devices.”

In support of the industry, he outlined the many initiatives to maximise the value of the defence industry, notably the Defence Industry Strategy developed by the National Defence Industry Council, a Defence Sector Charter developed to open space for private participation by small and medium black enterprises and a defence industry fund that was launched in June this year as a funding mechanism for industry.

Government intends to support the industry to become export-driven on the back of international investment, by having a policy stance favouring international joint ventures with local industry. He noted defence industry investment destination, South Africa combines many unique factors.

Local industry still tends to own the full supply chain necessary for conceptualising and manufacturing their end product. Unlike many international ventures, defence production in South Africa does not imply multinational interdependency.

In terms of intellectual property, South Africa is one of less than ten countries that can manufacture missiles of a certain level of sophistication. He used this as an example, saying the development of intellectual property into technology demonstrators is very cost-effective due to the exchange rate between the rand and the major international currencies.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and General Solly Shoke Chief of the SANDF

“Many nations, from different parts of the world, have recently expressed interest in becoming involved in joint ventures with our industry. The African Aerospace and Defence exhibition offers a massive opportunity for all present to identify areas of synergy and convert them into joint ventures.”
The President concluded by saying that South Africa is interested in leveraging intellectual property into tangible products and export contracts. “We assume that the interest of our visitors here is a good return on investment and we are confident that it can be achieved.”

A flypast from nine PC7MKIIs from the Central Flying School concluded the ceremony.

Nine PC7MKIIs from Central Flying School Langebaanweg

Air Total Newcastle Airshow 2018

The 8th annual Newcastle Airshow, the only show in Kwazulu-Natal took place on the 2 June 2018 at the Newcastle Airport on the outskirts of the town of Newcastle. With this show being the only show on the circuit in KZN, members of the public traveled far and wide to the norther KZN town of Newcastle to witness the ever vibrant Airshow.  This years theme was ‘Give your dreams some Wings’.

Show day saw some early morning mist around the skies of Newcastle,but didn’t last long due to the sun creeping  through the hills in the distance,some early morning arrivals from display aircraft from Gauteng and other parts of the country was a welcome sight like every other airshow as the excitement cannot be hidden before the start of an Airshow.An Aviation Career expo was held in the morning before the days proceedings took place.Other talks from pilots took place during the day.


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The show started with a Para drop from SANDF and Golden Eagles parachutists from a 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter flown by Altaaf Sheik, Warren Jobe and flight engineer Lazola Vumazonke,once the last skydiver had landed safely the Oryx crew then began giving flips to the youth who have never flown in a aircraft ever.The Aerobatics Unlimited L29 ZU-AUX flown by Glen’Gringo’ Warden showed off the eastern block aircraft the to crowds who love seeing a jet in the sky especially in Newcastle.Major Lee-Roy ‘Shinobi’ Goosen and Lt Col Johannes ‘Boerboel ‘Mashaba flew the JAS39D Gripen all the way from Air force Base Makhado in the Limpopo province ,this was the 2nd time the Gripen has flown at Newcastle,the last time was in 2012.The frontline fighter was put through its paces before its final maneuver ,a ‘Upper Charlie’ and disappearing into the blue sky.Major Lone Nel was the GLO for the SAAF Aircraft.

 


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Major Diaan Grobbelaar put the 15 Squadron A109LUH through its paces,one of the great A109 displays one can see at an airshow these days. The Silver Falcons Team 82 with the leadership of Major Omphile Matloane,  flew the first official airshow display as team 82 flying out of the Central Flying School of AFB Langebaanweg along the Capes West Coast. Other team member’s consists of Major Bheki Shabangu at the number 2,Major Corne van Deventer and the soloist Major Sivu Tangana. It was great to see how hard the ground crew for the Silver Falcons, they’re  are the ones who keep the aircraft maintained at all time. A big salute to all of them!

Radials that were present on the day was Menno Parsons Dc3 flown by Derek Hopkins,a first to see a DC3 at the Newcastle Airshow.The Puma flying Lions flying the T6 Harvard’s led by Captain Scully Levin. Ivan van der Schaar flew his Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman.

Brian Emmenis from Capital Sounds provided the sound for this Airshow once again.commentary for the day was professional provided by Leon Du Plessis and Brian Emmenis, keeping the public informed of all the aircraft and pilots during the course of the day, and always bringing the vibe to the airshow and getting the public excited for each act during the display slots.


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South Africa’s top aerobatic pilots from the likes of Patrick Davidson flew all the way in from Port Alfred in his RedBull sponsored Sbach 342,a first at Newcastle to have him display at this particular show.He will soon get ready for his next Redbull Air Race series in Russia in August this year. Team Extreme  two member’s, Nigel Hopkins flying his Extra330 and Mark’Buggs’Hensman flying Mark Sampson’s yellow Sbach in high energy aerobatic sequences. The Goodyear Eagles Pitts Team flew their three ship display routine under the leadership of Glen Warden, Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish flying the other two Pitts.

Neville Ferreira flew his newly painted Slick 540 from Kitty Hawk aerodrome to the East of Pretoria, He then raced a AMG Mercedes later in the day. Matthew Zalewski flew the Magni Gyrocopter, becoming one of the best and only Gyrocopter displays to watch at airshows.


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A big well done to the organizer of this years Newcastle Airshow, from the entire Airshow Committee and Johan Pieters and Christo van der Vyver from Champ Marketing. Johan Neilon, Pete Graham and the ATCs kept the show safe and on time.To all the emergency services that were on standby during the whole day if any incidents had to occur. Thanks to Charlie Hugo for organising the media accreditation and to Capital Sounds for providing commentary and sound during the show, to the South African Air force providing aircraft and promoting and restoring National pride to our country.To all the stakeholders who sponsored the show, this last paragraph is all for the unsung hero’s mentioned above he make these country Airshows possible.We look forward to the 9th edition of the Newcastle Airshow next year.

Please browse through our gallery below

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

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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

SANDF De Brug Weapons Capability Demonstration Feb 2018

With the build up to the Armed forces day parade being held in Kimberley, the following day Wednesday the 21 February, much of the public have been getting up close and personal with both SANDF members and assets that have been put on showcase to the community who haven’t had the chance to interact with these forms of assets in this particular area with the major presence of SANDF.

On Sunday the 18th February, members of the public were able to attend the De Brug weapons demo, at the De brug weapons range outside of Bloemfontein. This also had a major impact on the public to witness live ammunition being fired in front of their faces from armored vehicles,ati-aircraft Guns and aerial support just to name a few.

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On Tuesday morning 21 February ,Aviation Central had the opportunity to be flown down from Air force Base Waterkloof in Pretoria to AFB Bloemspruit situated at the Bram Fisher International Airport in the Free state town of Bloemfontein.Air force base (AFB) Bloemspruit is home to 87 Helicopter Flying school, operating the Denel Oryx Helicopter, the Agusta A109LUH and the Bk117 for training and operational duties in the South African Air force(SAAF).

We were then allocated to buses that would be taking us out to the De brug weapons range a few kilometers outside of the City of Bloemfontein. With the advantage the SANDF had the Military Police and other security squadrons escorting the buses,which onboard was members of the various media houses and Invited guests ,who got to the weapons range in no time. At this point this have many of the media who haven’t been to De Brug Weapons Range to explore the ‘Koppies’ behind the marquee that was specially put up to provide shade and refreshments.

 

This is also showed how big the range was compare to other bombing ranges that Aviation Central has visited in previous years.What we had been hearing and seeing on Social media from the demo a few days before we knew we were in for a treat that not many people can say they have ever witnessed in their lifetime.

The days proceedings started with a drop of pathfinders from a 44 Squadron Casa 212,the jet action started immediately with a 85 Combat Flying School Hawk Mk120 and being escorted by two 2 Squadron Gripens,both fighter assets operating out of AFB Bloemspruit.

The program then continued sticking with the fighters, when the airspace in front of the crowd, got very busy with a 2v1 dogfight,using the Hawk Mk120 as the bogey(Enemy Aircraft) and two Gripens  intercepting the Hawk.

The Army engineers of the South African Army were next in line to show off the earth shattering explosions that were set off.The Air force was then overhead again, this time with Two 28 Squadron C130BZs dropping a parachute cargo drop and 64 paratroopers.

As soon as the area was clear from the Para drop and troops were brought out of the weapons zone, Ratels drove into the firing zone and engaged with small arms fire.

The battlefield was then kicked up with the roar the big guns the Olifant Mk1 Tanks and Rooikats kicking up dust from their cannon fire.

The air force was at it again, with two Agusta A109LUH performing a search and Rescue situation of a “simulated downed aircraft,”with 3 Oryx helicopters bringing troops to and from the batttlezone.At the same time Rooivalk atttack helicopters from 16 Squadron provided top cover.

Fast movers were then sent in to drop bombs ranging from the Mk81 and Mk82 bombs released from Gripen and Hawk fighter aircraft. It was also the first time seeing Gripens shooting their cannons.The usual 30mm Aden cannon from the Hawk was also put to use on the battle zone.

The two Rooivalk attack helicopters in attendance demonstrated the type of flying they sometimes do during peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, raining 20 mm cannon fire down and unleashing 70 mm rockets onto the battlefield.

The demo was slowly coming to a close, the various aircraft that took part gave fly pasts which included 4 Hawks,5 gripens,3 Oryx Helicopters,2 A109s,2 Rooivalks and a C130.The main battle tanks and armoured vehicles then proceeded to give a salute to the Chief of the SANDF in a parade.

The guests and media were then treated to a display from the Silver Falcons of team 81,led by Major Mark”Katana”Gentles.Solo displays from the Hawk Mk120,flown by Lt Col Craig”Shark”Leeson and the Gripen flown by Major Geoffrey”Spartan”Cooper released flares during the course of their displays.

The night shoot then took place just after dusk showing off from the smallest arms fire to the biggest arms fire in the SANDF,this included assault rifles, machineguns, RPGs, mortars, Ratel 90 mm rounds and Olifant tank rounds.

Rooivalks then engaged the battlefield again with 70mm rockets and 20mm gun fire. The aircraft then closed off with flares over the battlezone

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Chief of the SANDF General Solly Shoke said the capability demonstration was part of normal training but was held in the run-up to Armed Forces Day to show the public what the armed forces do. “We train to be ready at all times,” he said, and added that the response from the people of Kimberley who previously came to witness the demonstration was “overwhelming”.

The next day being a early start of the Armed forces day parade in Kimberly, which saw new South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the parade.

More photos Below, click to enlarge

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