SAAF Museum gearing up for air show


The South African Air Force Museum at Air Force Base Zwartkop is gearing up for what it says will be one of its biggest air shows on Saturday.

One of the Museum’s Alouette helicopters raced the Gautrain on Wednesday morning as part of the buildup to the show, which is the Museum’s biggest fundraising event. Gautrain is once again supporting the 2017 edition, and will offer bus services from its Centurion station to the base.

Gates open to the public at 7:00, and the show officially starts at 9:00 but there will be a mass formations of light aircraft including powered paragliders, a parachute drop and assembly of emergency vehicles before the official kickoff. The show will end at 17:00 and will be closed either by the Gripens or the Silver Falcons aerobatic team.

The theme of this year’s show is ‘pioneering our future,’ bringing the old and the new together in an effort to create aviation awareness. A careers day will be held on Friday to focus on bringing youngsters into the world of aviation.

Participants for the 2017 Zwartkop show include two Gripens, two Hawks, two Oryx, an A109 and C212 or C-47TP aircraft from the SAAF as well as the Silver Falcons team. The Museum will fly its Puma, Alouette II and III helicopters, and Cessna 185, Bosbok, Kudu, Vampire and Patchen Explorer aircraft.

Civilian participation will include the Flying Lions, Team Torre and Goodyear Eagles aerobatic teams as well as the Impala, An-2, Extra 300, Extra 330 and many other aircraft, which organisers said would include a surprise.

This is the first Museum air show for its new Officer Commanding, Major Gavin (Melvin) Bruintjies, who took over from Lieutenant Colonel Thor Fredericks earlier this year.

Tickets are R80 for adults while children under 16 get in free.