Aeronautical Society of SA’s annual conference opens in Pretoria


The Aeronautical Society of South Africa (AeSSA) has kicked off its annual conference in Pretoria, which is exploring unmanned aerial vehicles, aircraft design and manufacturing, and rocketry, amongst others.

Hosted at the CSIR International Convention Centre on 27 and 28 July, the event offers delegates the opportunity to learn from fellow innovators and network with industry stakeholders, where all participants contribute to the discussion on aerospace innovation and its growth on the continent, the AeSSA said.

Some of the topics under the microscope on day one include extracting aerofoils from grey-headed albatrosses; studying the performance of semi-flexible wings; development of a lightweight commercial vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV); using aerospace tools to respond to urban criminal activities; and the design and development of an almost vibration-free aircraft engine. Sentian Aerospace will give a talk on the company’s locally designed and built Sentian vertical takeoff and landing fixed wing UAV.

Highlights of day two include a presentation by renowned firearms designer Tony Neophytou on the development of the Rooivalk’s cannon; designing a thrust vectoring system for a VTOL UAV; designing metal-printed aerospace parts; performance analysis of a micro gas turbine engine; an overview of the South Africa-designed Macrobat personal aerial vehicle concept; and converting a micro gas turbine to a turboshaft configuration.

Rocketry is a major focus, with sessions on both days covering liquid rocket engine design and testing, rocket engine materials and rocket payloads. The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Aerospace Systems Research Institute (ASRI) is developing and launching its series of Phoenix rockets and members of the programme will provide an overview of the Phoenix hybrid rocket launch campaign and analysis of potential sounding rocket missions from South Africa.

The full programme is available on the Aeronautical Society of South Africa’s website.