Tag Archives: Aviation Central

Airbus to produce 3D-printed hospital visors in fight against Covid-19

Getafe, 1 April 2020 – The majority of Airbus sites in Spain have joined forces to produce 3D printed visor frames, providing healthcare personnel with individual protection equipment in the fight against Covid-19.

More than twenty 3D printers are working day and night. Hundreds of visors have already been produced and dispatched to hospitals close to the Airbus facilities in Spain. Airbus leverages a patented design to manufacture the visor frames, using PLA plastics.

“One of the reasons I love my job is the capability we have for advanced design and quick manufacture. Overnight, we have gone from making aerospace concepts to medical equipment. This genuinely makes a difference in the fight against the pandemic and I couldn’t be prouder of our teams working day and night on this Airbus project,” said Alvaro Jara, Head of Airbus Protospace, in Getafe, Madrid.

Despite the pause of the majority of production at Airbus’ sites in Spain following the Royal Decree of 29 March, Airbus employees are allowed on site to continue with this essential activity.

In addition, Airbus in Germany also joined the project. The Airbus Protospace Germany and the Airbus Composite Technology Centre (CTC) in Stade, together with the 3D-printing network named “Mobility goes Additive,” are now supporting this project in Spain, also coordinating the collection and transport of visors to the Madrid region.

WesBank Botswana International Airshow back in 2021

The organising committee is pleased to announce that the 2021 WesBank Botswana International Airshow will be held on Saturday 29th May, 2021.


This airshow is the 10th planned edition of one of the favourite weekends on the Southern African aviation calendar. Starting with a simple ‘fly day’ in 2012, it has grown into a major Botswana outdoor event, drawing crowds of 15,000 and regularly attracting more than 100
aircraft from neighbouring countries.

From the very start, the airshow has been used as a fund raiser for local charities, with last year’s show raising more than P150,000. The main recipients of these funds have included the Sir Ketumile Masire Foundation, the Lady Khama
Charitable Trust, and the Motswedi Rehabilitation Centre for Handicapped Persons.

In addition, various other charities have benefitted through running car parking facilities and shuttle services. The impact on the local community has also been significant, with new guest houses and camp sites springing up, local entrepreneurs being involved in selling various goods on the day, and a massive after-party with local musicians and DJ’s.

We hope that these organisations will again be part of our 2021 airshow.
While our thoughts are with the people of the region as we battle Covid-19, we hope this announcement gives our community and aviation fans something to look forward to.

ICAD Polokwane Airshow -set for this Saturday 7th December 2019

Saturday 7th December will see the International Civil Aviation Day taking place at Polokwane International Airport in the Limpopo province. This particular event will also see an airshow taking place with both civilian and South African Airforce types.

Goodyear Eagles Pitts S2B

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula will be making a keynote address at the International Civil Aviation day Commemoration. ICAD 2019 will be attracting over 1600 learners from around the Limpopo Province to the event.

ICAD 2019

Two airshow favourites from the SAAF side, The Hawk MK120 from 85 Combat Flying School and a Gripen from 2 Squadron will be displayed at the show on Saturday, as well as other types of the likes of the Goodyear Eagles Pitts, Flying Lions, Team Extreme, Little Annie and much more!

Hawk MK120 from 85 Combat Flying School
a Gripen from 2 Squadron

The show is free to the public and the flying displays start at 10am.

Ladysmith Aviation Career Expo & Airshow 2019

Kwa-Zulu Natal got to see their second airshow in the province this year after Newcastle Airshow during the early period of the South African Airshow calendar . Ladysmith was the chosen airport to host the Aviation Career expo and airshow on the 25th and 26th October 2019,with the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) supporting the whole event.

The Ladysmith Airfield goes back many years and with the Ladysmith Hotel in close proximity, the actual hotel was the airfields old terminal building which was opened by Brigadier C.G Ross,C.BE.,D.F.C on the 26th October 1950. The airfield is home to a small flight school and hangers other small aircraft for private use.

Friday 25th October youth from surrounding school in Ladysmith and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province got to know more about the aviation industry through the help of Civil Aviation Authority providing an Awareness drive to the children with talks by pilots, engineers and getting to network with display pilots in preparation for the following days airshow.

Free to the public was this years Ladysmith airshow, with the South African Airforce Silver Falcons Aerobatic team 83 in formation with Major Geoffrey “Spartan” Cooper in a JAS39D Gripen. Major Omphile Matloane possibly completing his last airshow display as Falcon one as he will be moving on to instruct on helicopters at 87 Helicopter Flying School in Bloemfontein next year.

The Silver Falcons completed their display with two training livery aircraft from, Central Flying School at Airforce Base Langebaanweg in the Western Cape.Falcon 8 Capital Sounds Brian Emmenis produced the commentary for their show and all other display acts of the day.

The three jet display were part of the exciting program with the roar of the might 2 Squadron Gripen in which we saw two different gripens during the course of the day. In the morning we had ‘3905’ JAS39D dual seater and in the afternoon the solo display with ‘3916’ which was again put through its paces by Geoffrey “Spartan” Cooper. The Gripen operated out of Airforce Base Waterkloof in Pretoria as made it to Ladysmith within 20 minutes of flight time!

Glen Warden flew the L29 Delphin, an ex eastern block jet trainer and Airlink displayed one of their Embraer E190s which made brilliant photo opportunities as one doesn’t see a airliner fly in Ladysmith everyday .

The Goodyear Eagles Pitts display team flew their four ship display, Team Extreme was present with 3 aircraft and once again showed off their famous knife edge passes before heading back to Rand Airport as large thunder storms closed the show off.

The South African Airforce also had a 17 Squadron Agusta A109LUH on static display. A 44 Squadron Casa 212 flew some of the lucky youth on Saturday morning before the show by Major Nick Green, Major Ashley Naxhe and Flight Saregent Jaques De Kock.

“Little Annie” an Antonov An2 flown by Jon-Marc Hill and Ryan Smith were the jump ship for this show and dropped some of the Adventure Skydiving members, with Ralph Ridge flying South Africa’s biggest flag.

André van Zyl flew his Magni Gyrocopter display and most probably the best Gyrocopter display. André has now displayed both in South Africa,Botswana and recently Mozambique!

Flying Display Director from Airshow South Africa “ASSA” Rickus Erasmus,Safety director Colonel Francois “Hose” Hanekom, Ramp Controller Cliff Lotter and Louise Hofmeyr as airshow programme director.

Well done to Ms Poppy Khoza and her team at the South African Civil Aviation Authority on providing a great variety of aircraft for a CAA Airshow. We look forward to the last show of the year at Polokwane as part of International Civil Aviation Day ‘ICAD’,which will also form part of an airshow.

TU-160 Strategic Bombers Land at AFB Waterkloof

A pair of TU-150 Blackjack variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bombers landed at Airforce Base Waterkloof yesterday afternoon after a 13 hour flight from Engels Air Force Base which is strategic bomber military airbase in Russia located 14 kilometres east of Saratov.

TU-160 Blackjack on final approach into Waterkloof Airforce Base

The aircraft were originally scheduled to arrive in South Africa on 22 October but were delayed by 24 hours due to technical issues. The aircraft finally departed for a 11 000 kilometres non-stop to journey to South Africa.

The aircraft routed down the East coast of Africa, with the help of some Aerial Refueling from a Russian Airforce IL78 Tanker over the Caspian Sea. The historical visit if the bombers landing at Waterkloof South Africa is part of developing bilateral military cooperation and work out issues of interaction between the Russian Aerospace Forces and the South African Airforce.

The Bombers were escorted from Durban with 3 Hawk Mk120s from 85 Combat Flying School while two 2 Squadron Gripens conducted a Combat Air patrol during the flight into Airforce Base Waterkloof.

85 Combat Flying School Hawk Mk120s escorting one of two TU160s
85 Combat Flying School Hawk Mk120s
2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen

The SAAF’s deputy chief, Major General Innocent Buthelezi, said on Wednesday it was a privilege to host the Russian aircraft especially as it was the first time such bombers have landed in Africa. He said the visit was part of military-to-military cooperation between Russia and South Africa and looked forward to strengthening relations between the two defence forces.

Siphiwe Dlamini, Department of Defence head of communications, said the Russian visit had been planned long ago and is part of the bilateral defence ties between South Africa and the Russian Federation. He added that South Africa has had exercises with the Russian Navy and competed in Russia’s Army Games, whilst South Africa has military personnel training in Russia. In late November, Russia, China and South Africa will take part in a joint naval exercise in South Africa. Dlamini said the Russian Air Force visit has been in the making for the last five to eight years.

Department of Defence head of communications, Siphiwe Dlamini

The aircraft are due to depart back to Russia on Monday 28th October 2019.Please feel free to keep an eye out on our Facebook page for updates of the aircrafts movements.

Click to enlarge photos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you

“Our Collective Heritage” SAAF Museum Airshow 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://youtu.be/dN8xcu63kLc

Silver Falcons Ready for Annual Bethlehem Airshow 2019 this weekend

The South African Airforce Silver Falcons Aerobatic team will be making their way to the eastern Free State this Wednesday as they get ready for the Bethlehem Airshow this Saturday the 24th August 2019.The aircraft and crew are based at Air Force Base Langebaanweg in the Western Cape.

The team made up of five Pilatus PC7MKIIs which will grace the skies over Bethlehem. Their last show in Bethlehem was in 2017.The team is lead by Major Omphile Matlone, Major Tian Stander, Major Bheki Shabungu and Major Sivu Tangana. The teams GLO Captain Xander Albasini.

A new member of the team is also in training at the moment and will be made public to the media soon. Other aircraft that will be taking part in the show will be a SAAF Gripen from 2 Squadron,44 Squadron CASA 212 and Oryx/A109 and the Golden Eagles Parachute Display Team.The likes of Little Annie AN2,Puma Flying Lions, Raptor Rvs and a lot more.

2 Squadron Gripen
44 Squadron Casa 212

Bethlehem is a large town in the eastern Free State province of South Africa that is situated on the Liebenbergs river along a fertile valley just north of the Rooiberg Mountains on the N5 road.

Radio Station OFM will be broadcasting live from the spectacular Bethlehem Airshow on Saturday the 24th of August 2019.

Bethlehem Airshow 2019

Venue: Bethlehem Airfield

Date: 24 August 2019 (08:00 – 16:30)

Cost: R70 (adults), R20 (children 3-12), Free (kids under 3);

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Brakpan Aero Club Celebrates Women in Aviation

Saturday the 17th August 2019,Brakpan Aero Club celebrated women in Aviation at the East Rand Airfield this past weekend. Women as pilots, groundcrew, cabin crew and Air traffic controllers congregated at the airfields club house for cake and tea. Some of the lucky ladies were awarded with a bouquet of flowers for their contribution in the South African Aviation Community.

Newly paved runway at Brakpan Airfield as seen from a Alouette III

Santjie White provided a short talk on Search and Rescue in South Africa as she explained more in detail as the Chief of Aeronautical Search and Rescue coordination centre.

Santjie White

Santjie started at the Aeronautical Search and Rescue coordination centre in April 2008 and received The Director civil aviation special industry award for exceptional individual contribution to the Aviation industry. Santjie White is responsible to Establish a Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCC) to co-ordinate all participating search and rescue unit’s facilities within her area of responsibility. Ensuring effective and efficient co ordination of SAR processes and operations.

SkyRaider work in progress in full swing

Amelia Mary Earhart one of many women in aviation ,who was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences, and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots.

Brakpan Aero Club House

The rest of the day, saw some of Brakpan’s local aircraft take to the skies, an Alouette III owned and flown by Rob Osner ,A Mushask MF17 flown by Hilton Wolff, Boeing Stearman flown by Ivan van der Schaar and a visiting Yak 52 flown by Wim Kotze were some of the favourites seen during the afternoon period.

Alouette III
Savannah
Cessna 152
Sling 4
Piper J3 Cub

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