Engine upgrade for SAAF King Air


New engines and propellers are being sought for one of the three King Air 200Cs operated by the South African Air Force’s (SAAF’s) 41 Squadron.

Just over four months after King Air number 652 was taken back into service, the Armscor tender bulletin this week issued a requirement for “replacement or upgrade for King Air B200C engines and propellers”.

Aircraft 652 was acquired in May 1981 and is the oldest still operational King Air in the SAAF inventory.

The aircraft in line for engine and propeller upgrades is either 650, acquired in September 1983, or 651, acquired in March 1988.

The SAAF also operates a lone Beechcraft 300 Super King Air (tail number 653). This is the newest of type in the inventory having been acquired in April 1994.

The closing date for tenders to do the replacement or upgrade work on the King Air is November 26.

A Cape Town military aviation enthusiast said he “sincerely hoped” the work on this King Air would not take as long as that done on aircraft 652.

It was completely refurbished by a team from Execujet Aviation Group’s refurbishment team in just on three years. Work done included installation of a new digital Garmin 1000 avionics system, interior and exterior refurbishment as well as a major maintenance inspection. At the time the aircraft was handed back to 41 Squadron indications were Execujet had been awarded a contract to refurbish all four SAAF King Airs.