Wednesday, August 23, 2017
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SAAF to have a big presence at Museum air show

Silver Falcons at the 2014 Zwartkop air show.The South African Air Force (SAAF) will contribute half a dozen aircraft to the annual SAAF Museum air show at AFB Zwartkop next month and will be in action during the Rand Show this weekend.

In response to a query, the Director Corporate Staff Service of the SAAF said a number of aircraft will be taking part in both static and aerial displays, including the Oryx and A109 helicopters, Casa 212 transport, Gripen and Hawk combat aircraft and Silver Falcon aerobatic team. A C-130 Hercules will be on standby in case the Casa 212 is unavailable.

In addition to these frontline SAAF aircraft, the SAAF Museum will fly its airworthy aircraft during the show, including the Harvard trainer, Kudu and Bosbok light aircraft, Vampire jet and Alouette II, Alouette III and Puma helicopters.

“The number of aircraft that will participate in the SAAF Museum Air Show will be subjected to serviceability and operational requirements,” the SAAF notes.

The SAAF Museum air show is scheduled for Saturday 6 May. This year’s theme is ‘Pioneering Our Future’, and depicts the evolution of military aviation from the past to the present through both static and flying displays. More than 35 000 people are expected to attend what is the Museum’s main funding drive.

“The SAAF Museum Airshow is designed to offer aviation enthusiasts, aviation institutions and publications, the general public as well as current and former members of the SAAF an opportunity to reflect on the memories and representations of history. Thus, the events will depict the evolution of military aviation,” the SAAF said.

Friday 5 May will focus on aviation awareness and careers and aims to introduce the youth from various strata of society to the world of aviation. There will be exhibits from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and aviation related industries.

Zwartkop is the largest of the three museum branches (the others in Cape Town and Durban), and has 135 aircraft on display. In addition to classics like the P-51 Mustang, Cheetah, and Shackleton, the museum has unique aircraft like the XH-1 Alpha attack helicopter demonstrator, Patchen Explorer prototype and RSA-3 rocket and satellite.

The SAAF will also be out in force at the Rand Show this weekend (14-17 April), conducting military power displays with other arms of service of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). Gripen and Hawk jets will do flyovers over the Main Arena as part of a simulation of drills used during an ambush.

In a display booming with simulated battlefield explosions and pyrotechnics, members of the SANDF will swing into action to extract wounded comrades from an ambush situation, the Rand Show organisers said. “amba and Casspir armoured vehicles will rush in, joined by the Ratel-90, firing blanks. SAAF Oryx, Rooivalk and other helicopters will offload troops and defend those taking mock-fire on the ground.

The Rooivalk attack helicopter and the Gripen or Hawk fighter jet will demonstrate an air strike, as they provide cover from the sky to the airborne forces fast-roping down from a helicopter.

This 45-minute airborne capability display is the highlight of a packed Easter weekend programme that includes precision drills by the SA Navy and SA Army; displays with motorbikes and trained dogs by the SA Army Specialised Infantry Capability (SAASIC); a gun run by the SA Navy; marching bands and a massed band performance; and an anti-hijack display by the Military Police.

The SANDF's arena programme takes place every morning from 10h00 on Friday 14 April 2017 to Monday 17 April 2017.

The four arms of the SANDF are also coming together to put on a massive joint exhibition of military equipment covering over 10 000 square metres, complete with a massive lookout bridge from which to view the exhibition from on high, plus the Rooivalk and Oryx, a dive tank, and more.

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