Tag Archives: AviationNewsSA

SAAF Museum Flying Day May 2022

And so we were already into the May edition of the South African Airforce Museum Flying day at Airforce Base Swartkop in the city of Tshwane.

The flying days at the SAAF Museum are to keep some of the flying exhibits airworthy, keeping pilots currents, generating funds to keep the museum ongoing and encourage the public to visit the museum and grasp the 102 years of SAAF airpower.

This months flying day was definitely a busy one with a number of public visitors and a number of aircraft flying. The base Officer Commanding Lieutenant Colonel Trish Schoeman, Major Ntshangase and all the faces behind them can be very proud of the Base and the behind the scene people including the friends of the Museum.

Flying day safety director Lieutenant Colonel Keith “Fulcrum” Fryer. Colonel Fryer also provided some good commentary during the morning on each of the aircraft both flying and static.

Lieutenant Colonel Keith “Fulcrum” Fryer

The flying started at 9am with the rotary exhibits, that being the Alouette II and Alouette III flown by various helicopter museum pilots that being Lieutenant Colonel Billy Port, Lieutenant Colonel Dave Keijer and General Piet Burger.

General Piet Burger in the Alouette II
Alouette III ‘624’

The sounds of Lycoming engines that were a familiar hum over the field, by two Cessna C185s, two Bosboks and the single Kudu.

Cessna C185 ‘748’
Cessna C185 ‘718’
Bosbok ‘959’
Bosbok ‘920’
Kudu ‘969’
Lt Colonel (ret) Abri Stoman

Three of the handful of Harvard’s flew including the most well known Harvard that was in SAAF service, that being 7111 known as “Nelson”.

Harvard 7111 known as “Nelson

It was great to see the de Haviland Vampire T55 that soaked up the basking sun and the museum ground crew did a engine run providing the photographers with a wet start flame as she whistled to life.

de Haviland Vampire T55

A word of thanks goes to the ground crew that keep the exhibits in airworthy condition. We are sure we will have a number of SAAF Museum aircraft that will take part in the AAD airshow in September this year!

AAD 2022 Media Launch

We are exactly 137 days to go until AAD 2022 officially opens its doors to the world and it is indeed an exciting occasion to be launching AAD 2022 during Africa month as Africa’s largest aerospace and defence exhibition and only one of its kind, which boasts a combined exhibition of air, sea and land technologies, a static aircraft display and an air show.

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AAD 2022 OVERVIEW

The 2018 edition ended on a positive note, and the organisers have been preparing for the 11th edition which was deferred in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  

With that said, I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the plans and theme for AAD 2022.

Static display AAD 2018

The upcoming AAD will be hosted from the 21 – 25 September 2022 at the AFB Waterkloof in Tshwane. The format will again comprise of three trade days and two air show days which will consist of elements:

  • Indoor and outdoor exhibitions
  • A hospitality chalet line
  • Static aircraft park
  • Capability demonstrations and displays
  • Parallel events with conferences, seminars and B2B meetings.

AAD will once again give exhibitors and trade visitors a unique opportunity to interact directly with various stakeholders over the trade days and allow for the public to witness the spectacular display of the Aviation Sector and Airforce.

The planning for AAD 2022 is well underway, with over 50% of the exhibition space booked. We are happy to announce the following National Pavilions confirmed namely, USA, Turkey, Italy, UK, Belgium, China, India and Pakistan —- and we look forward to announcing more country pavilions.

AAD 2022 THEME

The disruption and resounding impact that covid caused the world was on  a large magnitude we never imagined-……….

This  was the driving force for the organising team to relook at the strategy for AAD future exhibitions……..

AAD is coming from an era of unlocking the aerospace and defence potential and we are now moving into a new era

Theme for AAD 2022

Exploring New Paths, Sharing Solutions and Showcasing Innovation and Capabilities.

And as part of our diversification strategy, AAD will expand the Exhibitor, Trade Visitor, Delegation and Stakeholder profiles which focuses on entering new markets and exploring new paths.

We invite new players in the Oil & Gas, Mining and Energy sectors to participate at AAD 2022. 

Returning to AAD 2022, is the African Unity Pavilion and we are engaging with our partners in the African Union to make this a reality, with more countries and an improved partnership. The African Unity Pavilion is crucial as we work towards implementing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement which was launched in January last year.

AAD will create significant opportunities for manufacturers to interact and share solutions with potential clients, generate business 2 business linkages and form strategic partnerships between countries, institutions, and stakeholders. As part of the exhibition, we will be hosting three conferences over the three trade days in parallel to the exhibition. 

And topics will include: 

  • Cyber security
  • UAVS
  • Medical

Lastly we will,

Showcase Innovation and Capabilities…The global aerospace and defence industry has developed cutting edge technology over the years and is Apex to the ecosystem. AAD will afford exhibitors locally and internationally the platform to showcase their innovative capabilities.

And as part of this, AAD will be launching Innovation Hubs.

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YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

AAD 2022 will present a world class Youth Development Programme which supports the strategic intent of AAD in creating awareness about careers in the aerospace and defence sectors to the youth of South Africa. The YDP Chairperson will give an update this morning on the plans for AAD 2022.

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COVID – 19 

As more and more people are getting vaccinated globally, with South Africa having passed the 30-million-mark, we welcome the announcement by the President of South Africa to lift the national state of disaster on Covid-19 in April. 

— All health and safety standards will remain top priority for the organisers to ensure that we deliver a safe and business conducive environment for exhibitors and stakeholders.

CONCLUSION

We are confident that the 11th edition will  allow  participants to maximize their potential and bring even more trade visitors and delegations which are a crucial factor in the exhibition’s success. 

We anticipate that AAD will contribute over R1 billion to the South African economy and create over 2, 000 new jobs. The 2022 event is expected to kick start the industry’s recovery programme and the recovery will translate into jobs,  more opportunities for  SMMEs  and contribution to the GDP.

Exhibition bookings are open and we invite you,… exhibitors, sponsors and stakeholders to secure your place at Africa’s largest gathering of decision makers, innovators, government, manufacturers and buyers on the African continent. 

On behalf of the AAD organisers, we look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful City of Tshwane on the 21st of September to the 11th edition of AAD 2022.

SAAF & SAPS Airwing in KZN Flood Relief Efforts

15 Squadron “Charlie Flight” based at Airforce Station Port Elizabeth are assisting in the flood relief efforts in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The PE based helicopters as well as an A109 and Oryx made their way to Durban Virginia Airport during the week as KwaZulu-Natal province has seen some serious rain resulting in flooding.

The Durban Airforce Station of 15 Squadron, which is located in the Southern side of Durban at the old Durban airport, was heavily impacted by the floods, leaving them displaced and unable to effectively assist in the relief operations. Thus “Charlie Flight” from Port Elizabeth was tasked with assisting in the relief operations.

The two Bk117’s and Oryx helicopters, are joined by an Agusta A109LUH from 19 Squadron AFB Hoedspruit. They are assisting two SAPS Eurocopter AS350 now the Airbus H125 Écureuil (Squirrel) helicopters, SAPS Pilatus Porter aircraft, SAPS Search and Rescue ground units and eThekwini Metro Search and Rescue ground units, in various relief operations around the flood damaged areas.

Search and Rescue ground units had K-9 units as well that flew in some of the rotary assets.
The ground units all deployed from Virginia as well after a briefing with the aircrews.

Using Durban’s Virginia airport, which is ideally situated for the efforts, as the base of operations, they have already been flying on many missions and will continue to do so over the coming days. This is also the reason Virginia Airport must stay and not be demolished for a housing development when it is the main hub in the middle of search and rescue operational area. The airport was opened in 1959 and was home to the annual Durban Airshow .

South African Airforce SAAF has always come to the rescue in times of natural disasters and provide a welcome sight to the people needing help.

Oryx Helicopter “1212”

SANDF at the Rand Easter Show 2022

After a two year absence it was the return of the Rand Easter show at Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec.

One of the big attractions of course would be the South African National Defence Force which has been taking part in the demonstrations or static exhibit since 2011.

This year unfortunately there was no capability demonstration as previously reported on. We found our self’s in the static exhibits and just thanking that we can attend these outdoor shows once again.

We found ourselfs at 16 Squadrons exhibit with a Rooivalk Attack helicopter and found our good friend and former Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team leader Lt Col Omphile “Biggy” Matloane. Biggy as he is known is now part of the big guns at 16 Squadron flying the Denel Rooivalk.

Was good to see a 15 Squadron Agusta A109 also in the static park. We hope next year we will see the return of a capability demo as it was a crowd favorite. Until next year!

AIRLINK CONFIRMS SELECTION OF ROLLS-ROYCE TOTALCARE FOR ENGINE SERVICING

Rolls-Royce and Airlink have signed a TotalCare® service agreement for the AE3007 engines that power the South African airline’s fleet of Embraer ERJ135 aircraft. The agreement, which covers 28 aircraft, is an extension of service for a further 10 years, continuing the airline’s drive to maximise aircraft availability.

Airlink CEO, Rodger Foster, said; “Airlink and Rolls-Royce have worked hand in hand since the introduction of the ERJ135 to our fleet in May 2001. We operate 28 ERJs with a pool of 64 AE3007-A1/3 engines. We are proud of the phenomenal reliability we have achieved from these engines which have underpinned Airlink’s industry leading on-time performance, which has consistently been above 97%. Our TotalCare service agreement has been key to the management of engine maintenance costs and to ensuring the economic sustainability of the ERJ135 type for the foreseeable future. We are delighted at the dependability of the Rolls-Royce team and their engines.”

In 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Airlink carried more than 2 million customers on more than 63,000 flights. Airlink currently operates a reduced route network to more than 45 destinations in 12 African countries, whilst remaining agile to the effects of Covid-19 and associated travel restrictions. Airlink was proudly the most punctual South African airline for 2020; its year-to-date performance up to August 2021 has been 98.1% on-time.

“Our partnership with Airlink goes back to 2001 and this TotalCare extension is a testament to our strong working relationship and mutual trust of one another,” said Stewart Evans, Rolls-Royce, Vice President, Customers Europe Middle East & Africa, “I’m especially proud of the way both teams have worked closely together during the pandemic to manage maintenance costs effectively for both parties whilst enhancing our service offering at the same time. The entire team at Rolls-Royce is honoured to be able to serve Airlink and their customers for many more years to come.”

TotalCare is the flagship integrated engine service cover provided by Rolls-Royce. It is designed for predictive maintenance planning, as well as off-wing repair and overhaul activities for operators of Rolls-Royce aero engines. TotalCare transfers both time-on-wing and maintenance cost risks back to Rolls-Royce, as well as offering advanced engine health monitoring and future product enhancements.

Aircraft covered by TotalCare achieve higher availability, increased long-term residual values, and benefit from the global Rolls-Royce Care Network; a large, capable and competitive engine service network that caters for the needs of engines at every point in their lifecycle.

About Airlink

Airlink is an independent privately-owned, full-service premium regional airline, serving a comprehensive network of destinations throughout Southern Africa. The airline is the largest in Southern Africa when measured by flight movements and emphasises reliability of service whilst maximising choice and travel opportunities for its customers. Airlink has more than 50 commercial jetliners operating throughout Southern Africa. Airlink is a member of the IATA (International Air Transport Association) and is IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit program) accredited.

Major-General Wiseman Simo Mbambo is appointed as Chief of the South African Air Force

From the President’s media release: Major-General Mbambo began his military career in Umkhonto we Sizwe, where, among other things, he served as a training instructor in the Kibaxe Camp in Angola and was Commander in Charge of the former MK Military Aviation Group that underwent training in the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991.

He has served in several positions in the South African Air Force, including General Officer Commanding Air Force Base Waterkloof and Chief of Staff Air Operations Major-General Mbambo is currently Deputy Chief of Staff of the SANDF.”

New York Air National Guard Capt. Patrick Gillen leads South African Maj Gen Wiseman Simo Mbambo on a tour of a US Airforce C-5M Super Galaxy cargo bay undergoing refurbishment at the base during 2015

President Cyril Ramaphosa has also announced that from 1 June 2021, Lieutenant-General Rudzani Maphwanya will take over as chief of the South African National Defense force SANDF from General Solly Shoke, who has been chief of the SANDF since 2011.

SAAF Helicopters from various squadrons ,Lynx,Oryx,Rooivalk and A109s

Air BP scores a hattrick of sustainable aviation fuel projects at three new locations in the UK

  • Air bp has recently completed projects resulting in SAF supply to three UK locations: London Biggin Hill, Hawarden and Centreline FBO Bristol. 
  • Air bp has now supplied SAF to over 20 locations globally.
  • These latest additions to Air bp’s growing list of SAF available locations demonstrates the importance of collaboration to help drive demand and meet industry lower carbon goals.

Air bp, the international aviation fuel products and service supplier, has recently supplied sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to three airports in the UK: dedicated business aviation airport, London Biggin Hill (BQH), Airbus owned Hawarden (CEG) airport in Flintshire, North Wales, which will be used for fuelling of the Beluga aircraft, and Centreline FBO, in Bristol (BRS). All three locations expect to have SAF available on an ongoing basis. These latest supply agreements demonstrate the importance of collaboration between fuel supplier, airport and customer in driving demand for SAF and ultimately help to meet the industry’s lower carbon goals. 

The SAF supplied by Air bp is made from waste based sustainable feedstocks such as used cooking oil which is blended with traditional jet fuel. The SAF blend supplied is around 35% SAF and the SAF component provides a lifecycle carbon reduction of around 80% compared to traditional jet fuel it replaces.

Andreea Moyes, sustainability director, Air bp, said: “We are excited to see these ongoing commitments to SAF supply. Stakeholders’ willingness to invest in SAF and collaborate with us will help drive demand and deliver carbon reductions compared to the traditional jet fuel it replaces. We are committed to working with stakeholders to explore the viable sale and purchase of SAF, which we believe is one of the aviation industry’s key routes to reducing carbon emissions.”

Stephen Elsworthy, manager of fuel services at London Biggin Hill Airport, says: “By offering Air bp’s sustainable aviation fuel to all our customers and resident businesses, we are helping them to meet their sustainability goals too, and vitally, contributing to our industry’s aim for a net zero carbon future”.

Gus Paterson, chief operating officer of Centreline’s parent company Pula Aviation Services Limited, says “In response to growing demand, we’re delighted to be able to offer SAF to our customers and to support global efforts to decarbonise aviation. Air bp is fully committed to supporting its FBOs in understanding SAF and the impact and opportunities it can have for their business and ultimately identifying opportunities for SAF supply.”

Air bp was involved in fuelling the first SAF flight by an airline in February 2008 and since then has been enabling ground-breaking test flights and investing in sustainable alternative fuels.

Denel Cheetah C ‘376’ flies again since 2001

The Atlas Cheetah is a South African fighter aircraft designed and produced by the aviation company Atlas Aircraft Corporation. It was developed at the behest of, and principally operated by, the South African Air Force. It was known many ex SAAF Mirage IIIs were converted from the help of the country of Israel using other airframes from Kfir and Nesher delta fighters to name a few.

Denel Cheetah C ‘376’

The South African Airforce retired the Denel Cheetah in April 2008 as the new SAAB JAS39 Gripens were slowly entering service and replacing the Cheetah at 2 Squadron ,Airforce Base Makhado in the Limpopo province.

Draken International has acquired 12 Cheetahs to be utilised as aggressor aircraft flying against some of the worlds most deadly fighters jet the US Airforce and other forms of arms.

Pre 2003 SAAF Insignia still on the aircraft

Draken International, LLC is an American provider of tactical fighter aircraft for contract air services including military and defense industry customers. The firm is based at the Lakeland Linder International Airport in Lakeland, Florida and also has an operating base at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

On April 9 2021 Denel Cheetah C ‘376’ took to the skies piloted by Denel test pilot Ivan “Viking” Pentz. This particular cheetah hadn’t flown since October 2001.What a great sight to see the fast mover up in South African skies as she gets ready to depart for the United States soon.

Denel Cheetah C ‘376’
Ivan “Viking” Pentz

Photos by Casper van Zyl

Birth of the Inspiration Pattern ship “Inspiration 1”

This is the story of a model radio-controlled aircraft, which was designed and built from scratch, during the lockdown in South Africa in 2020. It was built by Alec McNamara, from Durban South Africa, who told his story to Aviation Central Durban reporter Trevor Viljoen.

History on the design and build of the INSPIRATION 1
At the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown in South Africa on the 26th of March 2020, I was in the process of building and covering a 101” Big Stik. Around the 3rd of April 2020, I ran out of shrink cover and could not get any delivered as the shrink cover I use, is imported.

After two days of watching TV and being totally bored, I decided to clear my build table and take my roll of drawing paper and cut a piece at 2.5 meters. I then put a center line on the page and started drawing. I had the idea that I wanted to build a Patterns Ship. Over the next two and a half weeks I sat drawing, erasing and redrawing until I got a rough plan of what I wanted.
The following two weeks I just sat and fine-tuned the plan, taking into consideration I do not have a drawing program on my computer.

On the 7th of May 2020, I was required to return to work and with great excitement, I took the wood sizes that I had worked out with me and on my way home I stopped by the local wood shop (Timber City Pinetown) to purchase a sheet of the lightest 3.0mm commercial plywood they had and got it cut to size as they offer that service. They obliged with no hesitation and 30 minutes later I walked out with all my wood cut to the required size.

The Inspiration then started to develop.

All the cutting and shaping was done by hand using sanding blocks and a Dremel.
The canopy and cowl are made with moulded fibre glass and painted with 2K paint. The landing gear is made of a fibreglass inner with a double carbon outer layer. The Inspiration took all of Eight (8) months to develop into this flying giant.

After an extensive meeting with Jason Barker “The Durban Drone Guy”, an experienced Pattern and Advanced 3D Pilot, six (6) hours were spent going through the, almost ready, Inspiration. He advised on some changes that I should consider. I heeded his advice and made the changes accordingly.

The Inspiration 1…
On Sunday morning of the 6th of December 2020 at around 08:45 I loaded the Inspiration 1 in the car and my daughter and I headed for MMAC (Maritzburg Model Aircraft Club) where we met Jason. We went through the Inspiration 1 for the final time and did a second range check. I then did the Pre-Flight Inspection and got the Inspiration 1 ready for her maiden flight. We then found on taxiing that the landing gear was a little unstable. We made a bit of a jimmy by putting linked rubber bands on the landing gear to hold them in a suitable stable position for the maiden flight.
Only once Jason was satisfied with the makeshift repair would he take her into the air. Jason did some ground runs and we found that the spring from the rudder to the rear wheel was too soft and steering was a bit erratic. Once he saw that and we still had some form of control Jason lined the Inspiration 1 up for take-off, did some final checks, revved the motor to feel for unwanted vibration and was then ready for take-off.

At approximately 13:15, the INSPIRATION 1 was born as she left the ground on her maiden flight, piloted by Jason Barker. Oh My… What A Spectacular Sight She Was!
I give many, many thanks to Jason (the test pilot) for the time expended and all the advice given with getting this model to where she is today and for taking her through her paces on her maiden flight.

Specifications:
Wingspan – 1930 mm
Fuselage – 2100 mm
Wing Aspect Ratio – 5.68
Dry Weight – 8.1 kg

Motor – CRRC Pro 36cc
Propeller – 19 x 8 Falcon painted wood propeller
Motor cut off – RCEXL opto ignition kill switch
Ignition Battery – X-power 2100mah 2S1P Life battery
Ignition unit – RCEXL Ignition unit (Comes with Motor)

Electronics:
Receiver – AR8010T 8CH Air Telemetry with satellite receiver
Throttle servo – CYS S3006 – 6 kg (Plastic Gear)
Aileron Servo – 2 x CYS S0110 – 11 kg (Metal Geared)
Elevator servo – 2 x CYS S3006 – 6 kg (Plastic Gear)
Rudder servo – CYS S0150 – 15 kg (Metal Geared)
Receiver batteries – 2 x X-power 2100mah 2S1P Life battery

Alec McNamara

Zambia Airforce Celebrates 10,000 accident free flying hours!

The Zambia Air Force (ZAF) has accrued 10, 000 accident free flying hours in the 2020 calendar year. And ZAF Commander, Lieutenant General David Muma says the Air Force organized a parade to celebrate this milestone. Lieutenant General David Muma in a statement said the parade was held at the ZAF Lusaka base and was officiated by Defence Minister Davies Chama.

Picture by-ZAF Facebook page

“The increased flying effort is as a result of command’s objective to carry out the Air Force mandate in full; conduct of military operations, aid to civil authorities and training of aircrew, conveyance of WIPs/VIPs with particular emphasis on good management and best aviation safety practices,” Lt Gen David Muma said.

“He mentioned the 10, 000 accident free flying hours milestone has only been achieved owing to the concerted effort made by both the aircrew, ground support crew, and all ZAF personnel in ensuring maximum aviation safety. And Lt Gen David Muma has thanked President Lungu and the government for the support.”

The Zambia Air Force is the air force of Zambia and the air operations element of the Zambian Defence Force. Following the creation of the Republic of Zambia in 1964, the former Northern Rhodesia Air Wing was renamed as the Zambia Air Wing. The Zambia Air Force was then established.

The ZAF currently fly the C27J ‘Spartan’, Xian MA60 and the Yarbin Y-12 this being the air forces transport aircraft. Their helicopter innovatory comprises of Textron Bell 205,Bell 206s,Mil Mi-17s and finally Yarbin Z-9 Helicopters.

C27J Spartan
MA60
Yarbin Y-12Picture by ORTIA Spotter
Yarbin Z-9
Bell 205\212
Mil Mi-17

The fighter assets of the ZAF,with the newest Hongdu L-15 and jet trainer the familiar Hongdu K-8.Basic trainers of the ZAF are the PAC MFI-15 and SF.260TW.

L-15
K-8
PAC MFI-15
SF.260TW.
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