Tag Archives: SAAF museum

46 Years Ago-The Atlas C4M Kudu took to the skies!

This past February this year 46 years ago, on 16 February 1974, the prototype Atlas AL60-C4M Kudu flew for the first time. The aircraft was registered ZS-IZF and had the Manufacturers Serial Number 001.

Atlas C4M Kudu Lanseria during the 1970s

It took to the air shortly after 09.30 from Jan Smuts Airport, having been built at the Atlas Aircraft Corporation complex, the home of the fledgling South African Aircraft Industry at the time. The pilot was the Atlas Chief Test Pilot Mr.A.J.(Butch) Bester with the Flight Observer Mr.R.A.J.Steel. The flight lasted an hour and twenty minutes.

Atlas Aircraft Coporation

The aircraft was powered by a 340hp Avco-Lycoming-Piaggio GSO-480-B1B3 piston engine, though this was not the engine of choice for the SAAF. They had requested either a 425hp Lycoming engine or a 435hp Teledyne-Continental engine but altering the aircraft to accept the more powerful engine would have delayed the delivery of the aircraft quite considerably. Turbine engines were not considered, the feeling being that maintenance in the field would be difficult.

The impression also existed that a piston engine was more robust and therefore better suited for military operations. As the programme was already significantly behind schedule, the Chief of the Air Force accepted the specifications of the aircraft without alteration on 21 March 1972.

Although ZS-IZF was the first Kudu to fly, the first aircraft delivered to the Air Force was SAAF Serial 960 which initially flew as ZS-IZG. It was to fulfil the role of Military Prototype. The SAAF acceptance flight of this aircraft took place on 21 August 1974. Its delivery flight to the SAAF took place on 24 February 1975.

Atlas Kudu ZS-IZF
SAAF Kudu ‘994’

The last Kudu handed over to the SAAF was officially recorded as 997 on 31 August 1979. It flew to its new home unit on 4 September 1979. ZS-IZF continued to serve as a developmental aircraft flying with both Atlas Aircraft Corporation and the Test Flight and Development Centre of the SAAF. It was allocated the SAAF serial 999.

Both ZS-IZF and 999 were used in documentation during the 1980s. The registration ZS-IZF was eventually cancelled on 4 November 1985, the aircraft being listed in the CAA records as having been donated to the SAAF.

Atlas Kudu ZU-BSV
SAAF Museum Atlas C4M Kudu

It is interesting to note that although ZS-IZF was the first Kudu to fly, it was the last Kudu to be received by the SAAF.

When the Kudus were withdrawn from SAAF service, 999 was returned to its civilian lifestyle as ZS-WXF, registered as such on 15 October 1991. Years later ZS-WXF was drawn into the Angels Way Trust turboprop conversion programme and proudly flew again for the first time on 22 October 2009 as ZS-WXF Atlas Angel “Gabriel”, the original airframe that flew for the first time today 37 years ago.

Atlas Angel at Sua Pan Botswana 2019
Atlas Angel ZU-BTN

The first of the Atlas Angels to fly however was ZU-BSV “Michael” which took to the skies on 23 May 2009.

Kudu ZS-WWO
Kudu ZS-WYA

Long may Atlas Angels Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael and Daniel continue spreading their wings for the skydiving fraternity in South Africa with the power plants they always deserved – 726shp Walter M601D Turbines (flat rated to 550shp).

Today as the now Turbine powered Atlas Nagel can been seen at various Skydiving clubs around South Africa.

“We take and we give”- Memories of 60 Squadron

60 Squadron SAAF is a squadron of the South African Air Force. It is a transport, aerial refuelling and EW/ELINT squadron. It was first formed at Nairobi in December 1940. During its first years the squadron flew the British Aircraft Double Eagle, Martin Maryland, de Havilland Mosquito, and the Lockheed Ventura.

The South African Airforces 60 Squadron came into existence upon thr renumbering of 62 survey Squadron on 29 December 1940.Completion of the survey around Garissa in Kenya started by its prescessor was the units first priority,then tasking being completed shortly before the BA Double Eagle was grounded for a major overhaul.With Both Ansons the aircraft had on strength were also grounded for maintaince and the need for spares in South Africa at the time.

BA Double Eagle

60 Squadrons lamentable state was to be reminded with the arrival of a third Anson to the Squadron from the Union on 17 January when serial number 1107 touched down in Kenya Nairobi.

Avro Anson

In June 1946 the unit was designated to a Medium Bomber Squadron and re-established at Airforce Station Zwartkop on the 21 August, known today as Airforce Base Swartkop, home to 17 Squadron a helicopter unit and the South African Airforce Museum Heritage Flight.

This was the time the Squadron were operating under the control of number 3 Bomber Wing with Lockheed B-34 Ventura’s on their strength. At least six of the De Havilland Mosquitoes are known to have been passed onto the bombing command.

Lockheed B-34 Ventura
De Havilland Mosquitoe

Tasks under taken included survey work in the Eastern Cape, by a C47 Dakota detachment at Port Alfred in 1949 and a similar exercise in Cape Town during the time’s of the 1950s.

C47 Dakota

The acquisition of three Boeing 707s in March 1982 was the culmination of a ten year project undertaken to provide the SAAF with a dedicated air-to-air refueling and electronic warfare capability and it fell to 60 Squadron to assume the mantle of responsibility for this function when the unit was reformed at Airforce Base Waterkloof in Pretoria on July 16 1986 following the aircraft’s modernisation and modification programme.

Boeing 707

A further two Boeing 707s were subsequently acquired while the task of maintaining the SAAFs electronic warfare and early warning capabilities were added to the units primary responsibility.

Boeing 707

The Squadron provided highly effective ‘force multiplayer’ to 1 Squadron Mirage F1AZs until the F1AZ retirement in in November 1997.The squadron was still a vital asset to 2 Squadrons Cheetah C and D variants until 60 Squadron was disbanded and the retirement of the 707 from SAAF use in 2007.

2 Squadron Cheetah D Refuelling

The Squadrons contribution was rewarded with its colours during a parade at Airforce Base Waterkloof on 7 October1994.The following year the squadron record another first for the SAAF when it displayed a Boeing 707 at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in the United Kingdom.

Swedish Gripens tank on the then newly painted 60 Squadron Boeing 707

Today a Retired 60 Squadron Boeing 707 tail number 1419 can be viewed at Airforce Base Swartkop on monthly flying days and airshows.

Prestige Day Parade Address By Lieutenant General Fabian Msimang

Gracious AIR FORCE 2020 Greetings to you Fellow South Africans and our international guests.
 
About 59 years ago, an infant was wrapped in documents and blankets as the Apartheid security forces stormed his mother’s home looking for sensitive information on the African National Congress.

They were unable to find the well-hidden documents and the baby was spared being orphaned. The infant and family were smuggled out of the country to follow his exiled father. He grew up dislocated from his homeland, growing up thinking that his country was a myth that only existed in the lived experiences of his elders. The boy was schooled in foreign countries with their welcoming arms, and different languages. Fast forward…….

The boy grew into a young man who was trained with many other young men and women in the fight for an equal democratic society, grounded in revolutionary love for their people. The man would eventually return to his home land with the ghosts of many comrades sown into his skin.  He had to put aside past differences in the new nation and work towards a common future goal as enshrined in the newly birthed Constitution whose Preamble states:

“We, the people of South Africa,
Recognise the injustices of our past;
Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;
Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country;
and
Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, UNITED in our diversity.”

Today, at the tail end of the 25 year celebrations of our Young Democracy and also the 25 year Celebration of the formation of the new South African National Defence Force and its various Arms of Services, that young man, now bald and before you, has the honour of addressing all those who could attend. But I would be remiss if I didn’t first pay tribute to all our brave women and men in uniform who are in other lands and on the home front, serving our People and safeguarding our national interests.

And taking a moment of silence for those fallen heroes of democracy who no longer stand with us – we remember you. 

We are the writers of our future, shaped by our consciousness, our history and our experiences as individuals and as part of various communities.  As we today grapple with our complex PRESENT which is informed by our difficult and painful PAST, we are duty bound to create conditions to build a strong foundation for a better and promising FUTURE we the people of South Africa all yearn for.

I stand here before you as the 21st Air Chief in the pre and post 1994 history of the South Air African Force; and the 5th Air Chief of the South African Air Force in the new dispensation – this is your Air Force, the Peoples Air Force.

It is therefore my singular honour and privilege today to welcome you all to this year’s celebration of the South African Prestige Parade under the theme “Embracing Our Collective Heritage” celebrate nation-building, social cohesion, freedom, peace and unity with you.  

My prayer today is, as we acknowledge the history of our Air Force and as we celebrate 25 years of a democratic SAAF, may we rise to the occasion to help the nation dissolve the barriers of race, religion and political divide. May we embrace our differences with understanding and compassion. Our museums on all the bases have captured the time line of the history of the SAAF to date, with a deep sense of neutrality and in totality, indeed there is always room for improvement.  

In the spirit of collective heritage and social cohesion, I invite you all to participate in the country’s nation-building efforts where we observe days of honor and remembrance with appropriate ceremonies and in context.  As we make the history of the SAAF pre 1994, we must be mindful of the glaring human rights violations that occurred.

Formation of the Union of South Africa’s Air Force
In 1917 sent by Prime Minister General Louis Botha to London to attend the Imperial Conference, General Jan Smuts presented a report to the British Parliament which became known as the “Smuts Report” stated, inter alia;
“Air Service on the contrary, can be used as an independent means of war operations far from and independently of, both Army and Navy.”
General Jan Smuts soon summoned Sir Pierre van Ryneveld to London and was told:

“I want you to go back out to South Africa and start an air force”. 
Subsequently, South Africa received an Imperial Gift that comprised of 113 aircraft and included steel frames for 20 hangars and everything else required to start and operate an air force. The consignment was sent here to where we currently stand, an airfield that was named Swartkop, the oldest active military airfield in the world today.  Some of the Imperial Gift Hangars are still in daily use as you can see.

REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA 1994 TO 2020 AND INTO THE FUTURE
A CORE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STATE


Is to both secure the State and to protect its citizens. We thus accord the Armed Forces, the Intelligence Services and other Security Services the duty to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State and to ensure that the Authority of the State is duly maintained and exercised.
Section 227(1)(a) of the Interim Constitution (1993) thus pronounces that one of the functions of the Defence Force is:

“For service in the defence of the Republic, for the protection of its sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
However, as we enter the epoch of the 3rd and 4th Industrial Revolutions, we begin to sense that such developments, and the changing nature of the world affairs, will pose immense challenges for the State and its citizenry.

It is my view that our traditional view of sovereignty and security is challenged due to the digital explosion of the 3rd and 4th Industrial Revolutions; this through increasing globalisation, integrated and inter-reliant economies and our inter-dependence on each other within the global world.

Globally, most Air Forces have always been at the cusp of technological development, and the 4th Industrial Revolution will place even more prominence on the role that our Air Force must play in the development and maintenance of South Africa’s industrial and technology base as well as the inter-connectedness of systems.

The evolving role of the Armed Forces must be informed by our understanding of sovereignty, the value-exchange between the State and the citizenry and the changing nature of conflict.

CONSIDERING THE FUTURE

With the birthing of democracy, the South African Air Force began a new era in 1994. Transformation over the past two and a half decades has brought about a change in composition, structure, and hardware with a new vision since 2013 of “An Air Force that Inspires Confidence”.
The security landscape within which we find ourselves since the new dispensation, is rapidly developing in a manner challenging to our traditional views of sovereignty and security.

The legacy capabilities, platforms, doctrine and tactics of the Defence Force which we inherited in 1994, was a Defence Force fundamentally and rigidly orientated towards and postured on conventional warfare, with frameworks rooted in Cold War thinking and the legacy thinking of the Second World War.

We must now ask ourselves if these remain appropriate for the conflicts that we may face in the future, bearing in mind that the emerging security dimensions will continue to challenge the readiness and preparedness of our security structures?
We must increasingly focus our energies on the future trajectory and nature of such conflict, including both the means and methods of both the “old” and “new” wars.

We are thus forced to question if our dogged obsession and unwavering focus on conventional military capabilities, platforms, doctrine and tactics indeed have future relevance?

A BALANCE OF HARD & SOFT POWER

National Security must have at its crux the traditional responsibility for the protection and continuance of the sovereignty of the State, its political and economic independence and the protection of its institutions, values and freedoms.

However, the architecture on which any future National Security Policy is built must be broad enough to encompass the consolidation of democratic liberalism; the pursuit of political and social justice; economic development; environmental sustainability; and the combatting of crime, violence and instability.

We must therefore examine carefully the Mandate of the Armed Forces to ensure that the Armed Forces are, and remain, pertinent and relevant to all these dimensions.

DELIVERING HUMAN SECURITY TO A DEVELOPMENTAL STATE

We must reflect on the fundamental contribution that Defence makes to the Sovereignty of the Republic of South Africa and the maintenance of the Authority of the State.

As elucidated in the South African Defence Review 2015, we find ourselves within a broadened and expanded security paradigm which has a particular emphasis on the well-being of the citizenry.
The legitimacy of the State in the eyes of the citizenry will thus be the sustaining factor that ensures the survival and continuance of the State.
The State will furthermore have the obligation to facilitate, if not create, the environment and the necessary conditions for the fulfilment of human security and economic prosperity.

Policy should express both how the execution of mandated defence functions and other specific initiatives can, in certain circumstances, contribute to the perceived legitimacy of the State and the human development and security of the citizenry.
Given the above deliberations, I posit that paramount to the relevance and readiness of the military to contribute to both the Defence of the State and the Protection of its People must be at the forefront of future military planning.

THE FUTURE THAT OUR YOUTH DESIRES

This younger generation indeed ascribe legitimacy to the State based on its ability to deliver Human Security to its citizens. This human security paradigm, whilst not discounting our traditional views on sovereignty, is driven by the perceived value that the State delivers to its citizens through a broad Social Compact with them. Some of the dimensions of this social compact and the desires of the youth include:
•  ​Political and legal legitimacy.
•  ​Basic and inalienable rights and freedoms.
•  ​Food and water security.
•  ​Relevant & accessible education systems.
•  ​Modern & Accessible health systems.
•  ​Appropriate basic services.
•  ​Environmental stability.
•  ​Infrastructure and economic development.
•  ​Social cohesion, amongst many others.
·   ​inalienable cultural rights.
·   ​Freedom from gender-based violations

DECLINING PEER-ON-PEER CONFLICT

The three decades since the demise of the Cold War has seen a military focus on operations of a much broader nature.
Internationally we have become preoccupied with counter-terror operations, counter-insurgency operations and stabilisation operations.
Domestically, this has led to evolving capabilities focused on Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTW).

We are therefore compelled to first ask ourselves the same question: Has our recent military operational commitments detracted from our core military functions, and if so, what are the consequences thereof for the future of the South African Air Force?

This also begs a second question, namely: What is the probability and possibility of Peer-on-Peer Conflict for the South African Air Force. If so, what integrated capabilities do we require? If not, where should our primary focus lie?

We consequently have to enhance our understanding of the evolving nature of conflict on the African Continent.
Currently, we observe an almost complete lack of State-on-State Conflict on the African continent, with little or no linear State-on-State contestation.

Conversely, we observe growing Intra-State Conflict, often without the presence of a State-Actor (Statutory Force). More often than not we observe the involvement of both irregular and proxy forces as parties to the conflict.

African conflicts of the future are therefore increasingly less likely to involve Peer-on-Peer conventional military conflict. This will in all likelihood be overtaken by an increased focus on both irregular warfare and hybrid warfare, as was recently observed in Libya.
Future conflicts will be trans-national in nature, often involving the use of proxy forces, frequently involving the use of IED’s and often leading to a significant loss of innocent civilian life.

FUNDAMENTALISM AND TERROR

The threat of terrorism, ethnic nationalism and fundamentalism (TENF)  is increasing exponentially.
In many instances, TENF and state-backed jingoism appear to be a push-back against the realities of a globalised world and its impacts on both people and societies, and often with both international and domestic nationalist manifestations.

The threat of terrorism is often troublesome to measure and define; it is consequently difficult to assess the security implications thereof. Notwithstanding that defining terrorism is very problematic, largely due to the distinct ideological bases thereof, the one seminal characteristic is the formidable and gruesome nature of their tactics.

As our Armed Forces modernise and become more technologically advanced, careful attention must be given to having a balanced and broad enough suite of capabilities that can address the challenge of TENF.

Developing a common understanding of the extent of the threat is the first step in coordinating a national and integrated regional counter-terrorism response.

DIGITAL AND CYBERSECURITY

Our daily interface with the “borderless” digital world gives rise to a range of threats and concerns which were not previously part of our security paradigm.

Persistent digital security and cyber threats now continue to dominate the international security agenda, as they increasingly more sophisticated and intrusive.

Such rapidly evolving assaults in the digital domain threaten the very sovereignty of the State and seek to manipulate and destabilise critical information infrastructure, social and mainstream media and the economic and financial machinery that underpin the State.
We are all acutely aware of the significant amounts of personal information freely available on social networking sites.
Defence is not immune thereto.

We are all extremely concerned about the vulnerability of military command and control infrastructure to cyber-attacks and the risk of electro-magnetic disruption to other ancillary military systems. The threats in this environment are rapidly evolving and changing, posing significant challenges for both the cyber-defence and cyber-offence capabilities of the Armed Forces.

In as much as the requisite hardware and software required for these tasks is important, the most important, and often the least resourced is the human dimension thereto.

MIGRATION, NATIONAL BORDERS AND THE MARITIME SPACE

Our borders are the physical manifestation of our national sovereignty. Yet we experience unprecedented illegal cross-border migration, human trafficking, the smuggling of small arms and light weapons, trafficking in stolen goods and property and the illegal harvesting and transfer of natural resources.

Similarly, we are also challenged by maritime crime in our Exclusive Economic Zones, piracy on the High-Seas, the illegal exploitation of maritime resources and the uncontrolled movement of people and goods at sea. The international response thereto has seen Multi-National Joint Task Forces being formed and deployed to high-risk areas. One of the difficulties such task forces face is reliable shared-maritime domain awareness.

ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY

We actively need to address the effects of climate change and increase the sustainability of our environment. Some of the challenges facing developing countries include:

•  ​Regional Famine, as is now predicted by the UN World Food Programme in Southern Africa during 2020.
•  ​Increased access to safe and affordable drinking water.
•  ​Increased access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene.
•  ​Increased access to affordable, reliable, modern and sustainable energy services.
•  ​Transforming high carbon-emitting sectors towards a low carbon economy, especially energy, transport, agriculture and waste management.
•  ​Implementing waste management programmes that increase waste recycling and decrease the incidents of landfill.
•  ​The intensive rehabilitation and restoration of ecological infrastructure across all dimensions (water, soil, air and biodiversity).
•  ​Developing strategic pathways for integrated spatial development and human settlements.

The above challenges are as relevant to the Armed Forces as they are to the rest of society.  We are proud of our members that we provided a critical role in the flooding disaster relief  in Mozambique, KZN, Mamelodi and many other places.
  
However, the burden on the Armed Forces stretches even further, as we know that our soldiers will increasingly be called upon to conduct search and rescue, disaster relief and humanitarian operations both domestically and in neighbouring countries in response to climate change and the attendant risks to environmental sustainability. This places more pressure on the SAAF requiring an increase in personnel and funding, to ensure we are ready to Inspire Confidence and fly to action where and when required.

However, we cannot give proper consideration to the challenges facing us in the future, without making an assessment of the Means at our disposal to position ourselves for the future. Defence can only perform to the extent that it is resourced and funded.

The Department of Defence has been forced to continuously adjust its plans downwards.  This is myopic and short term thinking.  This is dangerous.  The Defence force is the Nations’ Insurance Policy. 
 
CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE FUTURE CONFLICTS:

Perhaps it is now appropriate to commence with a robust discussion on what capabilities, platforms, doctrine and tactics would be most appropriate for future conflicts?

It is crucial that South Africa develops a fit for purpose Defence Force that is agile enough to both physically and intellectually move seamlessly between its traditional mandated tasks and functions (however rare or occasional the requirement) and the demanding new environments of cybersecurity and cyber-resilience, proxy forces, hybrid warfare, transnational crime, climate change, as well as peace support operations to mention but a few.

Crucial to the success of the Defence Force in these complex arenas will be the quality, education and professionalism of its human capital. Fundamental to achieving these goals and objectives will be the full employability of the force, its flexibility in terms of structure and equipment as well as its ability to function effectively within the demands of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the complexity of future conflict.

Key to unlocking the above will be leadership at all levels, from the tactical to the strategic within the Defence Force to the policy decisions which will be vital to and ultimately shape the space for the above to occur.


Professional Military Education and Leadership

The professionalism of the Armed Forces, and specifically at the level of the individual soldier, is absolutely an essential ingredient in the relationship between the State and its citizenry.
One cannot begin to emphasise how important education, training and development will be to the successful and sustained continuance of the Armed Forces of the future. Investment in the best, most appropriate, skilled and professional soldiers, is the most strategic endeavor that the Armed Forces can embark upon.

The continued operation and future sustainability of the hardest working air assets of the SAAF being the Oryx, Rooivalk and C130, rely on an efficient and effective Original Equipment Manufacturer and Technical Design Authority of the Rotary Wing assets. The challenges faced by our local industry, has posed a threat to the sustainability of these assets, thus we call for alignment and cooperation amongst key stakeholders.

To, the planning team for this year’s occasion led by Brigadier Gen Crouse and supported by Brig Gen
Khoase and the Base OC Col Trish Schoeman, thank you very much for your excellent support. I thank all those members who worked tirelessly behind the scene to make this a splendid and enjoyable day – true to Air Force Standards of excellence. 

Credit goes to the Prestige Awards function, we celebrated excellence. The prestige awards recognise exceptional performance among the Units, Bases and Directorates in the South African Air Force.  And the Prestige Unit 2019 cycle AFB ……………., congratulations and well done!  Keep up the outstanding performances.

 A special thank you to the members of the media present here today. We need your support in informing South Africans about the role of the military. Compatriots, the SAAF will always be at your service!  This is your Air Force and we re-dedicate ourselves to serve the Nation and renew our pledge to do our sovereign duty. I thank all the members on parade led by the Parade Commander Lt Col Matthye.  I also thank the South African Air Force Band led by Lt Col Pinnar for adding a touch of elegance and sparkle to this auspicious occasion. To the members on parade, I as a proud and patriotic South African soldier, wish to conclude with a quotation from Tata Mandela of the 20th of april 1964 ….

Long before he became our first Commander in Chief of our democratic South Africa – lest we forget; ”during my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve.

But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”A baby, wrapped up in documents and blankets, whose parents and forbearers could only dream about what equality looked like, a boy who could only dream about what home smelled like, who can now dream 100 years to the future.

I have a dream of an air force that is configured and resourced to push the envelope to “space” operations.
I have a dream of an air force that continues to adhere to its key principles of speed, agility and precision with high tech beyond nanotechnology of today

I have a dream of an air force that will be one that is able to have a multi domain command and control capability that not only operates in the current domains of outer space and cyberspace, but one that will be agile enough to adapt and change as technology develops.

I have a dream of an air force that will employ more remote controlled platforms and autonomous platforms

Fellow South Africans, fellow SAAF members – in uniform and retired.  Let us take hands and together seek the lessons that inevitably lie in such situations.  Collectively as patriotic South Africans, let us turn our country that is so full of potential, into a dream country that is respected and cherished by all those who live in it. We are all responsible for the good, the bad and the ugly. Protect this country like you protect your homes, nurture it and appreciate it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Your Air Force – The Peoples Air Force which is here to serve and defend you unconditionally. Nurture it and keep it relevant
Let us Love, Respect and Protect our beloved country.

South African Airforce Prestige Day 2020

The South African Airforce Prestige Day was held at Airforce Base Swartkop, the second oldest operational Airforce Base in the world to date, in Pretoria on Friday 31 January 2020.

AFB Swartkop

The South African Air Force was established on 1 February 1920. The Air Force has seen service in World War II and the Korean War. This years theme of celebrating the South African Airforce, is “embracing our collective heritage”.

The parade was opened by a paradrop from two 44 Squadron Casa 212s with a number of skydivers from the Golden Eagles Parachute display team and the Pretoria Military Skydiving Members, including the big South African flag.

22 Squadron Lynx Helicopter

Part of General Fabian Msimang’s speech he mentioned:

“Formation of the Union of South Africa’s Air Force
In 1917 sent by Prime Minister General Louis Botha to London to attend the Imperial Conference, General Jan Smuts presented a report to the British Parliament which became known as the ‘Smuts Report’ stated, inter alia;”


“Air Service on the contrary, can be used as an independent means of war operations far from and independently of, both Army and Navy.”
General Jan Smuts soon summoned Sir Pierre van Ryneveld to London and was told:

Chief of the South African Airforce General Fabian Msimang
Chaplin Smit reads a beautful testimony


“I want you to go back out to South Africa and start an air force”. 
Subsequently, South Africa received an Imperial Gift that comprised of 113 aircraft and included steel frames for 20 hangars and everything else required to start and operate an air force. The consignment was sent here to where we currently stand, an airfield that was named Swartkop, the oldest active military airfield in the world today.  Some of the Imperial Gift Hangars are still in daily use as you can see.

Prestige Day 2020 Mass Flypasts

During the parade we got to wintness some spectacular flypasts from both ex and current South African Airforce aircraft, a mass helicopter formation led by a 16 squadron Rooivalk attack helicopter. Other types of helicopters included Oryx, Lynx, Agusta A109s from various chopper squadron across South Africa. The SAAF Museum also were a part of the formation with a Puma, two Alouette IIs and Alouette IIIs.

SAAF Helicopter Formation
A pair of 16 Squadron Rooivalk, Museum Puma, Agusta A109LUH & Oryx Helicopter
Agusta A109LUH
Oryx Helicopter
16 Squadron Rooivalk & Museum Alouette II

The next formation included two museum aircraft assests, a Kudu and Cessna C185, followed by a formation of Harvards.The Transport formation was up next led by a 35 Squadron C47TP Dakota, with three 41 Squadron Cessna 208A Caravans and two 44 Squadron Casa 212s making up the formation.

Museum C4.M Kudu & Cessna C185
Museum Harvard’s
35 Squadron C47TP Dakota, Leads a trio of 41 Squadron Cessna C208A Caravans & 44 Squadron Casa 212s
35 Squadron C47TP Dakota

The sound of freedom was then up next with the roar of the Hawk and Gripen formation as they buzzed overhead the parade made up of 85 Combat School and 2 Squadron assets. The Final flypast was led by a 21 Squadron Boeing 737BBJ, A Dassault Falcon 50 and the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team.

Fighter Formation 2 Squadron Gripens & 85 Combat Flying School Hawk Mk120s
Fighter Formation 2 Squadron Gripens & 85 Combat Flying School Hawk Mk120s
21 Squadron Boeing 737BBJ,A Dassault Falcon 50 and the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team.

The prestige unit of the year for the South African Airforce from 2019 was presented to AFB Ysterplaat as part of the Prestige Unit award.

AFB Ysterplaat awarded the Prestige unit trophy.

The parade concluded with Fledglings releasing doves and balloons while the SAAF announcer read out, “We will keep whirling and twirling from the sky. White doves fly into our hearts, embracing our Air Force heritage. Carrying messages of goodwill. We will sing forever young and free. We will be an Air Force that inspires confidence.”

Releasing doves and balloons with future Airforce Members

SAAF Museum Flying Day 1 February 2020

The First flight training day for the year 2020 at Airforce Base Swartkop was different this year, it was the South African Airforce’s birthday, which was founded on the 1 February 1920.

Museum Alouette III

With the Prestige Day parade held the day before at Airforce Base Swartkop, many of the aircraft that took part in the mass flypast were present and gave the visiting public a glance at both static and departing aircraft returing to their home bases across South Africa.

22 Squadron Super Lynx

The Usual museum aircraft such as the many Museum Harvards, Patchen Explorer, Cessna C185, Kudu and Alouette II, III as well as the Puma continued with currency flights in between display slots.

SAAF Museum Harvard’s
SAAF Museum Cessna C185

Friends of the SAAF Museum sold Boere Wors Rolls, Refreshments and held guided tours of the airforce heritage displays located on the base premises.The windsock Café was also open for cool and hot refrements throughout the day.

The days proceedings started with a short display by a 35 Squadron C47TP Martime Dakota from AFB Ysterplaat in Cape Town. Major Paul “Raccoon” Kempthorn flew one of the best Rooivalk displays that we have witnessed in a long time.

35 Squadron C47TP
16 Squadron Rooivalk
16 Squadron Rooivalk

The Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team 84 led by new team lead Major Sivu Tangana showed off the tight formation aerobatics of four Pilatus PC7MKIIs.

Silver Falcons
Pilatus PC7MKII

Two Cessna C208A Caravans from 41 Squadron, who operates out of neighbouring Airforce Base Waterkloof, gave a short formation display. Major Rehan “Kaine” Venter flew his second airshow display as he is now the new Hawk display pilot for 85 Combat Flying School.

41 Squadron Cessna C208A Caravans
85 Combat Flying School Hawk MK120
85 Combat Flying School Hawk MK120
2 Squadron JAS39C Gripen

Major Geoffrey “Spartan” Cooper flew a great display in the JAS39C Gripen before heading back to Airforce Base Makhado in the Limpopo Province.

2 Squadron JAS39C Gripen

The Museum Helicopter assets including the Alouettes II and IIIs closed the flying day with their helicopter display, with a big chance of seeing them do it again on 9th May 2020 at The SAAF Museum Airshow.

SAAF Museum Puma & Alouette III
SAAF Museum Alouette III

Well done to the Museum staff and AFB Swartkop on providing a different flying day as a gift to the public on the South African Airforce Birthday!

Please Browse through our Gallery Below!

Public Welcome at Prestige Day 2020

Breaking News-Public welcome at Prestige Day Parade 31 January 2020

Some exciting news for the public of South Africa to join at this year’s Prestige Day Airforce Day at AFB Swartkop in Pretoria on 31 January 2020.This special occasion will be celebrating 100 years of South African Airforce Airpower through 25 years of Democracy!

A wide variety of current and ex South African Airforce aircraft will be flying during the day. Please take note this is not an Airshow and their will not be any vendors available also during the course of the day. Members of the public are welcome to bring their own food but no alcohol will be allowed on the base.

Gates open at 7H45am and Close at 9H30am for the duration of the prestige day proceedings. The public will need to enter from the northern gate at Airforce Base Swartkop and parking will be available at the northern gate until such time parking gets full, the puplic will have to park outside the base.Also take note Bays Hill will be closed on the day.There will be no movement during the parade!

We look forward to this event. More information will follow days leading to Prestige day!

Note not an Airshow, but flypasts!

Spitfire Restoration Project – RTR

Spitfire Restoration Project

Available to all, Not for Everybody

Spitfire #5518 arrived in South Africa in 1947 and served in both the Cape at Langebaan at the flight training school, and at Air Force Base Waterkloof before being decommissioned. She then served as a gate guard at Waterkloof for a number of years. In the mid 1980’s, the South African Air Force Museum motivated the restoration of this iconic Spitfire to flying condition, to serve as the star attraction at Air Force Air Shows and to promote the Air Force as well as aviation among the youth. Spitfire #5518 took to the skies in 1994 as #5553 “The Spirit of Reutech”. Unfortunately, she crashed at an air show at Swartkop in 2000 and was consigned to a container.


Performance Centre, SAAF Museum and Friends of the SAAF are collaborating in a project to advance the Restoration of Spitfire DBH #5518.

Performance Centre has acquired 10 licenses to convert standard 5.0L Mustangs into RTR Spec 5 wide bodies. These will be limited edition, 1 of a kind, hand painted, Airplane replica, V8 supercharged vehicles. The dash plaque made out of an actual piece of the crashed Spitfire plane. These vehicles are registered on the RTR Registry in the United States of America.

This project aims to raise R750 000.00 to rebuild the last remaining South African Air Force Spitfire #5518, in South Africa in conjunction with the roll-out of the limited vehicles. These vehicles will be serialised and built to resemble one of the aircraft flown by one of the South African Aces from the various Wars.

HOW TO OWN ONE OF THESE UNIQUE MUSTANG

  • Visit the website at www.warriorsofthesky.co.za
  • Read through and select a warrior
  • Choose one of their planes
  • Contact Performance Centre (012 003 7000) to transform a 5.0L Ford Mustang into a one of a kind, hand painted and registered RTR Spec 5 wide body replica.

This campaign is done in conjunction with the SA Air Force, Friends of the SAAF Museum and Spitfire Restoration Project. This will have a major spin-off for all involved. All the vehicles are exclusively built by Performance Centre in Centurion.

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* DBH RTR Spitfire Mustang is the 1st Mustang RTR Spec 5 wide body in the World. This Mustang is linked to Ace Capt. Bob Rogers and a replica of the DBH Spitfire Mustang’s original look.”


The Project 


Everyone that is part of the Project


The Warrior behind the 1st Mustang


Standard Mustang
The Design 


The Body Work


Body Work Part II
Masking for Painting


Masking for Painting II


Rear Fender

Rear Spoiler – Painted to look like an Elevator


Painting the doors


The – Hood (Bonnet)


The Nose


The End Result 

You can pick one of these Warriors and Aircraft pairing for your Custom build spec 5 Mustang

 


Click to Enlarge photos below!

SAAF Museum Airshow Youth Development Program 6 September 2019

The South African Airforce Museum Airshow 2019 hosted a Youth Development program on the Friday before the show the following day. One of the exhibit hangers to be precise, Hanger 4 was furnished into a career hall where the youth could get involved and put into the aerospace world with lots of information from all different forms of aviation from the South African Airforce, Private Flight Schools and other aerospace industry’s including Paramount Group, Civil Aviation Authority, Denel and Mango Airlines.


At the same time, learners from different schools got to witness some validation flying from both the SAAF and civilian aircraft that were taking part in the show the following day. This also encouraged learners to be back at the base the next day for the airshow. The enthusiasm from learners expression are sure to be going into the right career path, as the future will have future aviators, technicians and ATCs. 

SAAF Hawk MK120 during a validation flight
Rand Airport based Extra 300 duo

Learners got to have a small piece of flying an aircraft with the SAAFs Impala MKI Flight simulator, where they got to taste the thrill of flying a fast jet.

Impala MKI Simulator
Future Aviator


The Museums display halls were also open for the learners to visit the past SAAF aircraft that are preserved by the museum and friends of the museum. Learners were also informed on the development on locally manufactured aircraft including the Cheetah and Rooivalk projects. 
These days surely invest in our youth in South Africa and will surely make a mark in encouraging the youth to get involved with Aviation. 2020 will be a bigger year for Aviation in South Africa and in the SAAF as our Airforce turns 100 years old.

SAAF Museum P51D Mustang “Pasty Dawn”
Silver Falcons PC7MKII

Click on the link below of the days SAAF Museum Airshow Youth Development Program 6 September 2019

https://youtu.be/iGL6VKef-c4

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SAAF Museum Airshow Saturday 7 September 2019 Programme

Please take note that aircraft can withdraw from the program at any point due to serviceability & operational requirements and weather!

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