Tag Archives: SAAF museum

SAAF Museum Airshow 2023 to be a returnable hit

The South African Air Force Museum Airshow at Mobile Deployment Wing (MDW) Swartkop previously Air Force Base Swartkop is shaping up to be an airshow spectacular!

This will be a welcome return of the SAAF Museum Airshow after the covid-19 pandemic and no airshows taking place at MDW for three years.

The build-up to the show will see the now-familiar Gautrain vs Alouette race on the morning of 3rd May. As well as the start of airshow validations with a lot more aircraft activity over the city of Tshwane skies.

The youth development program will also take place the day before the show for a handful of high school learners wishing to choose a career in aviation.

A number of airshow favorites from the South African Air Force fighter line, the Gripen from 2 Squadron and the Hawk Mk120 from 85 Combat Flying School from AFB Makhado will be put through their paces on the 6th of May 2023. Central Flying School will also provide a Pilatus PC7 MKII display

SAAB Gripen
BAE Hawk MK120
Pilatus PC7MKII

The SAAF Museum will put most of its flying exhibits into the show including the Cessna C185, Kudu, Bosbok, Harvard, Alouettes, and Puma Helicopter.

SAAF Museum Cessna C185
SAAF Museum Kudu
SAAF Museum Bosbok
SAAF Museum Harvard
SAAF Museum Alouette II
SAAF Museum Puma Helicopter

Rotary assets we will see Airforce Station Gqeberha based BK-117 from 15 Squadron “Charlie” flight.
16 Squadron mighty Rooivalk will also be flown showing South Africa’s locally built combat support helicopter. We will also see an Agusta A109LUH and Oryx helicopters!

MBB/Kawasaki BK 117
Rooivalk CSH
Agusta A109LUH
Oryx Helicopter

Civilian participants will include the Puma Flying Lions Harvard’s, Goodyear Pitts Specials, and Classic Flying Collections de Havilland Chipmunks, Tiger Moths and Auster as well as many others!

Puma Flying Lions Harvards
Goodyear Pitts Specials
Classic Flying Collection de Haviland chipmunks

Members of the public are to be aware aircraft can be pulled off the program due to operational needs, serviceability, and weather dependent.

A variety of beverages will be on sale on the day from many of the kiosks as well as memorabilia from different squadrons, restoration projects, and others!

Tickets are on sale at Computicket nationwide, tickets will also be available at the gate on the 6th of May. Gates open at 7 am and the show starts at 9 am

Tickets are available on the link below!

https://tickets.computicket.com/event/saaf_museum_air_show/7212629/7212658/129083

Where to find the Airshow Venue / Airport

Also, Read Do’s and Don’ts attending an Airshow
Also, Read Airshow photography, the Canon way

SAAF Museum Flying Day March 2023

The South African Airforce Museum hosted their monthly flying day at the now known Airforce Mobile Deployment Wing (Air Force Base Swartkop) in Pretoria this past Saturday.

The Museum allows the public to attend these flying days to learn more about the SAAF from both past and current through the static and flying exhibits.

The flying day started with the rotary wing inventory Alouette II’s taking to the skies followed by the Aerospatiale Puma not long after.

The Museum bosbok was one of the first fixed wing aircraft to get airborne for the day, followed by the Cessna C185 and Harvards 7111 “Nelson” and Harvard 7480.

These aircraft are flown to keep pilots current ,get new younger pilots rated and keep the rich aviation heritage flowing through the South African Air Force.

The friends of the museum who look after a lot of the static exhibits at the base, including raising funds to restore the Museum Spitfire!

They had refreshments and memorabilia on sale for the day.
This flying day was also the build up for the SAAF Museum Airshow that will take place Saturday 6th May 2023. Tickets are on sale at Computicket!

https://tickets.computicket.com/event/saaf_museum_air_show/7212629/7212658/129083

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Armed Forces Day media launch Richards Bay

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is hosting the 2023 Armed Forces Day (AFD)
in Richard’s Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, from 15th – 21st February 2023. The event comprises a series of
planned activities culminating in the main parade on 21 February.


The AFD Parade will be preceded by a Wreath Laying Ceremony. The Commander-in-Chief and
President of the country, his Excellency President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa, will lay a wreath in
commemoration of all SANDF soldiers who have fallen in the line of duty, both internally and externally
including those that perished aboard the SS Mendi troopship that sank on 21 February 1917 after it
collided with a large cargo steamship, Darro, in the English Channel south of the Isle of Wight.

The SANDF, with the event, purports to, among other things to honour serving members who
serve the nation with pride and pay special tribute to soldiers who paid the ultimate price and lost
their lives in the line of duty. The other aspect is taking the SANDF to the people, therefore,
allowing communities who ordinarily are not exposed to the SANDF, to have first-hand experience
and interact with the men and women in uniform and their prime military equipment.

The SANDF equipment will include, among others, SA Army’s heavy armored vehicles and
weapon systems, SA Air Force(SAAF) aircraft and helicopters. SA Navy’s warships and SA
Military Health Services (SAMHS) will also display capabilities.

The AFD Media launch took place on the SAS Mendi, this frigate is the last of four Valour-class frigates built for the South African Navy by the European South African Corvette Consortium and entered service in March 2007. SAS Mendi was named by Mrs Helena Retief, wife of the Chief of the Navy Vice Admiral Johan Retief.

Speech’s by Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Monde Lobese and Chief South African National Defence Force General Rudzani Maphwanya with regards to the following events in Richards Bay, as well as the next move for the Durban Naval base relocating to Richards Bay!

AFD 2023 Events

SAAF Prestige Parade 2023

The South African Airforce Prestige Day Parade once again took place at Air Force Base Swartkop in the City Of Tshwane, celebrating 103 years of airpower in South Africa.

Most years prestige parades have seen some awful weather including alot of rain downpours and low cloud, resulting in no flying for any aircraft and parades been cut short.This year we were welcomed with clear skies and scorching hot temperatures as we neared midday.

The South African Airforce is the second oldest air force in the world after the Royal Airforce after been formed of the 20th February 1920. Making the SAAF 103 years old this year!

 Air Force Base Swartkop is South Africa’s oldest air force base and operational and houses the South African Air Force Museum and 17 Squadron just to mention the flying squadrons.

The evening before ,Heartfelt Arena near 1 Military Hospital, hosted the SAAFs Prestige evening. The venue was also the perfect place to capture some amazing sunset shots of various flypast including the Museum Helicopter Formation, Silver Falcons and Hawk Mk120 Formations. A number of awards were handed out to various bases and squadrons for their outstanding contribution to the Airforce.

The parade began with the national and South African Airforce flag flown by two Agusta A109LUHs while the chief of the South African Airforce Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo took the general salute with canon fire in the background below bays hill.

Colonel Donovan Chetty, the Officer Commanding of Air Force Base Overberg, in the Western Cape,was announced the trophy of Best Performing Air Force Base!

The Chief of Airforce Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo & Colonel Donovan Chetty, the  Officer Commanding of Air Force Base Overberg, in the Western Cape

With the theme Free the “Eagle as the air forces motto now stands. Invited Guests and media at the parade got to witness marching columns, Airforce band, a flypast, a fast jet air display and a VIP protection display to conclude the days activities by 500 security squadron.

15 Squadron Agusta A109LUH from AFB Durban,KZN

The mass flypast began with a number of rotary wing assets from various squadrons around South Africa as well as the SAAF Museum.

The helicopter formation was led by a 15 Squadron “Charlie Flight” BK-117, with two Oryx,two Agusta A109LUHs,two Alouette IIs and two Alouette IIIs helicopters.

Helicopter Formation

The Museum fixed wing formation were overhead next with a Cessna C185,Bosbok and two Harvards.

Museum fixed-wing formation

The next formation of the mass flypast were The Pilatus PC7MKII formation from Central Flying School, AFB Langebaanweg with both Silver Falcon members and Central Flying School pilots.

Astra Formation

The final flypast with the form of three Hawk Mk120s lead in fighter trainers from 85 Combat Flying School, based at AFB Makhado.The invited guests were also treated to a solo display by the Hawk Mk120 flown by Major Rehan “Kaine” Venter.

Gannet Formation
Hawk MK120 Solo display by “Kaine”

After the parade the Chief of Airforce Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo invited the media to a media briefing in the WAAF officers mess near the museum hangar exhibits area of Swartkop. A topic that has been on the cards for a while now was the acquiring additional Lockheed C-130s, said “in our road going forward, the medium lift capability is right in the centre of our attention.”

“Also, there is a lot of talk around the strategic lift capability. This is not a surprise as to why this capability is being mentioned. The reality we face is South Africa is not in a strategic position. Our location cannot be changed. We need to have very strong legs to connect ourselves to the rest of the continent and the world.”

Video by Karl Spangenberg

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AAD2022 closes on a high note

Working against the clock in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisers of Africa
Aerospace and Defence (AAD) stand proud for having delivered yet another signature event
this year.


The 11th edition of this long-standing event took place at Air Force Base Waterkloof (AFBW)
in Pretoria from 21 to 25 September, under the theme: “Exploring New Paths, Sharing
Solutions, Showcasing Innovation and Capabilities.”


As the executive chairman of the AAD2022 organising committee Sandile Ndlovu, who is also Executive Director of the South African Aerospace, Maritime, and Defence Industry
Association (AMD), the lead partner that hosted AAD2022, said in his welcome message:


“We have worked hard to ensure that every participant at this edition of AAD will have value
for money; we have adopted a diversification strategy that ensures the continued relevance
of AAD in this fast-changing world.”
The partners are AMD, Armscor, the Commercial Aviation Association of South Africa
(CAASA), supported by the Department of Defence.


Over the intervening 20 years, AAD has firmly established a winning format, which was
replicated again. Thus, AAD2022 comprised exhibition stands to showcase capabilities, static
aircraft park, air show days, and runway-facing hospitality chalets. This was augmented with
mobility demonstrations for land and air technologies, coupled to live screening of
demonstrations – now including UAV display flights. In parallel, conferences and seminars
were hosted, and significant opportunities for B2B meetings.


In spite of the long hiatus since the last edition of AAD (2018), coupled with the many global
uncertainties that prevailed post the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, all efforts paid off:
AAD2022 attracted 203 exhibitors from 24 countries of which nine (9) displayed their
aerospace and defence products in national pavilions.

These included China, the USA, Türkiye
(with two pavilions), Italy, Belgium, and India.
Among the 24 nations from around the world, six were from Africa, namely Nigeria, South
Africa, Egypt, Uganda, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

No less than 51 official delegations from 29 countries attended the event, as well as 176
accredited media from around the world. Just over 23 000 trade visitors came in from 76
countries, while 51 228 general public visitors were attracted to the show, especially during
the public air show on the weekend days of 24 and 25 September.


In her opening address, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise had this to
say about AAD:


“Let us never underestimate the critical importance of this event. It is more than a show. It is more than an exhibition. It is an investment.”
Youth Development Programme (YDP)


Though not specifically referencing the youth programme, the Minister’s pronouncement
certainly applied to investing in the youth.
With a target of 10 000 learners, this year’s initiative reached 9 100 learners and students
from around the country, including from Cape Town and Durban who arrived courtesy of
South African Airways (SAA).

Whilst at AAD2022, these youth were exposed to career opportunities in the military and civilian defence and Aerospace space, artificial intelligence (AI) drone capabilities and other high-level technologies. Pilots from the US and South African air forces, as well as scientists from South Africa’s CSIR and America’s National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) briefed the learners on aviation and space technology and careers, as well as the importance of embracing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects at school.


Among the firsts for AAD were flying displays of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), often now
referred to as drones or RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft systems).

The show organisers succeeded in having the United Nations (UN) as a first-time participant in a UAV conference on 21 September, which was well attended.


The Counter-Terrorism, Technology and Development in Africa conference on 22 September also brought the University of Hungary as a first-time international university participant, along with South Africa’s own University of Stellenbosch.


In like vein, the American space agency NASA, jointly with the UN and Italy, was a first for AAD
through their participation in the General Aviation conference on 23 September.

Other firsts/highlights for AAD included a general aviation hub, full participation by the South
African Police Service (SAPS) in both a display and demonstration, a Department of Trade,
Industry and Competition (dtic) pavilion dedicated to small and medium enterprises (SMEs),as well as the online DefenceWeb official Show Daily, a new media partner (CNBC Africa), and transport shuttle partner (SANI Rental).


Some highlights noted by South African Air Force (SAAF) officers were the participation of the
SAAF Gripens and in-flight refuelling of a US Air Force Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk by a HC-130J
Super Hercules.


Affirming support and commitment to the success for AAD2024, scheduled for 18 to 22
September 2024, Armscor Chief Executive Officer Solomzi Mbada said AAD2022 “exceeded
all expectations.” In the latest Armscor newsletter, Mbada said this was evidenced by
“positive participation in both the exhibition and air show across categories, including
exhibitors, trade visitors, foreign delegations, air forces and the general public.”


With Covid-19 hopefully out of the way, the AAD show organisers – under the guidance of
Armscor as lead partner – are now gearing for the next event.

With more than 18 months to go, the organisers have sufficient time to build on the success of AAD2022, and once again stage a spectacular event: one that has grown to be a significant game changer in the defence and aerospace ecosystem.

Africa Aerospace and Defence 2022

The Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition Trade show and Airshow made a welcome return to Air Force Base Waterkloof in the City of Tshwane from 21-25 September 2022. The show hosted three trade days and two airshow days where the public could witness Africa’s biggest airshow.

With the obvious pandemic that we should all be aware of. Africa Aerospace and Defence was not allowed to take place during 2020, as it also formed part of the South African Airforce centenary year.

The first trade show was opened by the minister of defence Thandi Modise. She mentioned

“This eleventh edition of AAD will bring together the largest gathering of aerospace and defence industry decision makers and buyers from around the world, including many from Africa.”

“The defence industry plays a key role in assisting the SANDF to discharge its
constitutional mandate of defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of
South Africa and to secure our nation. By ensuring security and stability, the
SANDF, in turn, helps to create an enabling environment for economic growth
and development. “

” Through our peacekeeping missions, we are similarly contributing to peace, stability, and prosperity on our continent.”

Before we move on the show, the show would not have happened without the Department of Defence, stakeholders and sponsors, the AAD team, and especially the Airboss Colonel Keith Fryer, Colonel Keith Andrews, and Colonel Keith Wilkinson, Airforce Base Waterkloof for putting such a great show together with your team of ramp controllers, ATCs, pilots and ground crew.

As most of the hangar space was used up by local and foreign exhibitors. The apron had a number of static aircraft from both the South African Air Force and the United States Airforce and Civilian aircraft both fixed wing and helicopters.

Capital Sounds and Brian Emmenis proved a kilometer and more of the audio cable to provide commentary to this year’s AAD.
The sound of Mr airshow brings back all the memories of big airshows at Waterkloof during our youth.

The airshow featured a cavalcade of emergency vehicles that were lucky not needed during the duration of the two airshow days.

Hangar 51 provided a flying display from their Aero L29 Delphin flown by Grant Timms, this was Grant’s first L29 display on the highveld. The L39 Albatross was also displayed as part of the civilian jet contingent by Pierre Gouws.

Andrew Blackwood-Murray flew a solo aerobatic display in his Nashua Extra 300L.

Pierre Gouws also flew the first FlySafair Boeing 737-800 display together with SAFAIRs outgoing Lockheed L100-30.
The Raptor RVs were also led by Pierre Gouws as there provided tight formation aerobatics in form of the kit-built aircraft.

The South African Airforce provided a number of assets to this year’s Africa Aerospace and Defence. 2 Squadron had three Gripens with a flying display by Colonel Musa “Midnite” Mbhokota. Six Hawks, a solo display by Major Rehan “Kaine” Venter.

The Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team with a four-ship route with team 84 flying their first display led by new team leader Major Lucky Malloks. A solo display from Central Flying School Langebaanweg by Falcon 5 Major Diaan Grobbelaar. Major Grobbelaar used to be the Agusta A109LUH display pilot before moving on to Central Flying School to become an instructor.

41 Squadron with the “Pointer formation” consisting of four Cesena C208A Caravans flew a diamond formation before breaking off for singleton flypasts during their show.

A skydive drop made up of members from the Pretoria Military Skydiving club and other units in the SANDF used a 44 Squadron Casa 212 “8011” as their jumpship for their skydive drop.

From the rotary assets, we had 15 Squadron Charlie Flight BK117 display flown by Major Corrie Oberholzer with flight engineer Sargent VD van Dalen, together with Major Paul “Raccoon” Kempthorn in the 16 Squadron Rooivalk.

The highlight of any AAD airshow is the mini-war, in which you get to see a number of helicopters, Transport aircraft, Jets, and armored vehicles.

Three Oryx Helicopters, Two Agusta A109s, Two BK117s, One Rooivalk from various helicopter squadrons from across South Africa, Casa 212-300, C130BZ, and four Hawk MK120 made up of the aerial assets in that slot of the program.

The South African Police Airwing also put on a threat-type scenario of a hijacked Cessna Sovereign that got escorted by two 85 Combat Flying School Hawk MK120s. Once on the ground SAPS task force and bomb squad members were brought in by SAPS Airwing Airbus H125 and 15 Squadron BK117s helicopters.

The United States Airforce brought two Boeing C17 Globemasters, a KC46 Pegasus Tanker, HC130 Combat King Hercules, and an HH-60 Pavehawk Helicopter. The HC130 and Pavehawk provided a flying display of aerial refueling.

The Airforce of Zimbabwe was present with a Casa 212 and two K8s. The K8 display was flown by display pilots wing commander Lizwe Mahlangu and squadron leader Norman Taurai Marodza.

The South African Airforce Museum flew most of its flying exhibits, two Alouette IIs, two Alouette IIIs, Aerospatiale Puma, and two Cessna C185s, and a solo display included. Solo Aerobatics from Harvard “Nelson” 7111 display by Martin “Marlow” Louw. A Kudu was also a jump ship for a few Pretoria Military Skydive members.

Juba Joubert flew an Alouette II display and Andre van Zyl flew the Magni Gyrocopter display. Henley Air also displayed two of their Bell 222s.

Menno Parsons was welcomed back at AAD with the only flying type of its kind on African soil the P51D “Mustang Sally”.

High-energy aerobatics were performed by the Iveco Extra 330s flown by Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish. The two also flew in the Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials team joined by Johan von Solms and Trevor Warner.

Ivan and Jeandre van der Schaar performed their first display at AAD with the Classic radial Boeing Stearman and RC Extra aircraft duo or better known as the father and son duo.

Excujet provided a display of their Challenger business jet that was seen flying on Saturday and a brief appearance of a Learjet 45 on Friday’s validations.

The Hired Gun Pitts specials also flew their four Pitts specials on the afternoon slot of the show on Saturday.

Flare drops were probably the highlight for any camera user from 28 Squadron on their Lockheed C130BZ, 85 Combat Flying School Hawk MK120, and 16 Squadron Rooivalk during the later part of the program of the show on both days.

The Puma Flying Lions Harvards led by Scully Levin performed a sunset show on both Saturday and Sunday bringing a fittingly spectacular end to AAD 2022.

Well done to everyone involved. We were proud to be the official media partner during the duration of the trade and Airshow and build up to the event
We look forward to the ninth edition of AAD in 2024. Join the #AAD2024 event page by clicking on the banner below!

AAD2024 Facebook Event Page

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