The skies above Airforce Base Swartkops were once again busy as the SAAF Museum hosted their monthly flying/training day, this particular flying day was a practice session for some of the museum aircraft that will be participating in the upcoming Africa Aerospace and Defence Expo (AAD) at Airforce base Waterkloof in a couple of weeks’ time.
A marathon run also took place during the early hours of the morning at the base before the day kick started with some of the days flying opened up by the SAAF Golden Eagles and other SANDF Skydivers who exited the Museums C4.M Kudu.
SAAF Golden Eagles
The C4.M Kudu is now a very sought after aircraft in South Africa many of its airframes have now been converted to turbine power and are a major hit for skydiving clubs around South Africa.
Another similar aircraft powered by Lycoming engine’s, The Bosbok and Cessna C185 were also active throughout the course of the days flying program.
The Museum sure knows how to cater for the public as both the Friends of the SAAF Museum and the Windsock Café have enough refreshments on sale to keep all visitors hydrated and fed. The Spitfire Restoration fund who are underway to restoring South Africa's Spitfire Mark 9 to flying condition. Donations for this very worthy cause can be made HERE
The Harvard Club were active taking many lucky pax to enjoy a flight in the well-known pilot maker around Pretoria.
The Museum staff welcomed all visitors with a smile and offered a tour in the bases ex 60 Squadron Boeing 707, the aircraft is exhibited as it was when the aircraft was still operational before being retired in 2007.
Many helicopters from the museums treasure chest were put through their paces, first up the Alouette II and Alouette III, the Alouette III’s also practised their validation flight for AAD 2018.
The Museum Puma flew with father and son crew, General John Church and Col Mike Church. With 17 Squadron In the background one could easily spot the difference in the Puma and Oryx Helicopters. Most of the operational aircraft from AFB Waterkloof have been moved for space requirements for AAD it was great to see the apron full at AFB Swartkop.
Puma with an Oryx in the distance
Three SAAF Museum Harvard's practised some formation flying, including the most very famous Harvard 7111 fondly named “Nelson”. The Harvard sound from its Pratt & Whitney engines is always a familiar sound echoing across the Swartkop skies.
The SAAF Museum staff really go above and beyond to keep these wonderful machines airworthy along with the pilots that display them must be commended for keeping our rich aviation heritage alive under extremely trying conditions.