Gripen, Silver Falcons, An-2 and other aircraft scheduled for SAAF Museum air show


Saturday’s air show at the South African Air Force Museum at AFB Zwartkop promises an exciting lineup of modern and vintage aircraft, with the Saab Gripen, Silver Falcons aerobatic team, P-51 Mustang and An-2 transport forming some of the 100 attractions.

Some 30 000 people are expected at the air show on May 10. Some of the main drawcards include the Gripen, Hawk, Mirage, Cheetah and Silver Falcons. Special appearances include the An-2 – a unique Russian aircraft from the Cold War – and the P-51D, a World War II Mustang made by North American Aviation.

The theme of this year’s air show is “Up where they belong” and it promises to be bigger and better with a range of activities and entertainment; from ex-war birds showcasing South Africa’s rich aviation heritage, to an Anti-Poaching demonstration, a pyrotechnic display by the SA Army Engineer Formation, vendors and food stalls and hundreds of aviation exhibitors.

The Museum has received sponsorship from Paramount Group, Africa’s largest privately-owned defence and aerospace business. Vic Zazeraj, Paramount Group Executive said: “Paramount Group is very excited to sponsor South Africa’s premier air show as we celebrate our 20th anniversary. This is a great time for us to be proud of our rich aerospace history and to be excited about future opportunities. South Africa is increasingly playing an important role in the global aerospace industry. Our industry has some of the best brains in the world who are developing some of the best aerospace technologies in the world. We need to celebrate this.”

Zazeraj said Paramount is currently developing the indigenous AHRLAC (Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft), and just a few kilometres from Zwartkop its factories produce thousands of components for the Airbus A380 and for Boeing airliners.

There will be kiddies entertainment at the show and a beer garden for adults. Flying schools from across the country will also be on display to provide further information to curious and inquisitive guests interested in aviation, Paramount said. In addition to this, the South African Air Force Museum will host an Aviation Career Expo on Friday, 9 May, for thousands of scholars interested in pursuing a career in aviation.

The air show begins at 09:30 and gates open at 06:00. Tickets can be purchased at the entry gate or at the SAAF Museum for R50 per person. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free. Parking is available in addition to special Gautrain bus access.