Ysterplaat pulling out all the stops for Wings & Wheels show


Air Force Base Ysterplaat is gearing up for a December airshow that is sure to please both the aviation junkie and petrol head.

The biennial Wings & Wheels will be taking place at the Cape Town airbase on 7 and 8 December. Organised by the South African air Force (SAAF), visitors will be able to look forward to a localised display of aircraft, many of which are not displayed elsewhere in the country. Besides the Air Force Silver Falcons aerobatic team, C-47TP transport and Oryx and Super Lynx helicopters, there is a strong likelihood of seeing Gripen and Hawk jets.

Complementing the SAAF aircraft will be privately owned jets, warbirds and vintage aircraft, such as the Hawker Hunter, Buccaneer, L-39 Albatros, T-28 Trojan, UH-1 Huey and Focke Wulf 149. One of the highlights of the show will be the first visit to the Cape by the P-51 Mustang owned by Stu Davidson.

There is even a good chance of the Thunder City Lightning jet and Puma helicopter making an appearance, together with various aerobatic aircraft and even a South African Airways Airbus A340 flypast.

The SA Air Force is keen to showcase their capabilities to the local communities and inculcate a culture of aviation awareness. Lt Col Pete Smith, the Airshow Director, said that he is “really excited that the Air Force can host this show and demonstration our professionalism on the ground and in the air.”

However, Wings & Wheels is more than just an airshow. The SAAF has teamed up with various vehicle organisations, providing motoring enthusiasts with demonstrations and exhibitions of national rally cars, super cars, drifting, gymkana and 4×4 vehicles.

To this end, particular attention is being paid to the youth of the surrounding areas. An intensive Youth Programme has been developed, with children from Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain and surrounding areas invited to participate. Besides the keen interest that the local communities have in cars, the Science Centre, skate park and simulators are sure to be popular. As Smith says, “You don’t need drugs to be cool.”

As the event is geared for the whole family, a Lifestyle Centre, including exhibits on fashion and healthy living, will also be on offer to visitors. “This will be a day for the whole family,” Smith explained, “this is not just about aircraft and vehicles.”

Gates open at 6am, with flying starting at 8am. In excess of 60 000 visitors are expected over the two days. Tickets may be pre-purchased from the SAAF Museum satellite branch at AFB Ysterplaat and the NSRI.

Further details of the show can be found at www.wingsandwheels.co.za.