We are well into 2019 and the Airshow season is once again upon us unfortunately this year we will have to make do with a season that is far lighter than in previous years, but we promise to do our best to bring you the stories and photographs of all the shows on the cards this year.
The first Airshow of the year will be held at Middelburg Airfield, on 9 March, and will form part of the Aeroclub of South Africa’s annual Aeroclub Airweek. Middelburg have a hosted very successful airshows in the last few years and this promises to be up there with the best of them. Richard and his lovely wife Irene are at the head of the planning team for this event and which once again is set to attract all the best displays that South Africa has to offer. Middleburg has become famous for their amazing fireworks displays to end the show in the evening, the Middelburg Airshow were the first to make use of “Daylight” fireworks during displays. Unfortunately Middelburg Aero Club opted not to host an Airshow in 2018 but I am sure they will make up for it this year.
Middelburg Airshow 2017
Stellenbosch Flying Club Airshow
For the Aviation Starved Capetonians – Stellenbosch Flying Club will be hosting their first Airshow in four years on the 23 March. This is the perfect opportunity to see some of the aircraft that are based in the Cape and very seldom make their way up to the inland shows. Some of the planned highlights include: Plane vs Vehicle races, Model aircraft displays, Glider Aerobatics, Wingsuit Jumps and a large FIREWORKS display to end off the day! This show promises to be a photographer haven with Stellenbosch’s beautiful mountains as a backdrop.
SAAF Museum Airshow
The Airshow Machine will make its way to Pretoria on 4 May for the annual offering of the SAAF Museum Airshow. This is the only official SAAF Airshow for the year, so if you a military Aviation fan it is definitely not to be missed as there is no AAD this year. The theme for this year is “Real Courage, True Grit” and will showcase the SAAF Museum aircraft as well as participation by the SAAF (in what form will only be announced closer to the date). Civilian Airshow displays will also be present in full force.
SAAF Museum Airshow 1027
Kishugu Lowveld Airshow
Nelspruit will be the next stop for the flying carnival, on 11 May. Kishugu Lowveld Airshow is the current holder of the Airshow of the Year Title and I’m sure they will do everything in their power to regain the title in 2019. This year the Theme for the show is “The Fast and The Furious” and the last few years have proved this theme to be true in every respect. This will also be the only Airshow in Mpumalanga this year.
Botswana International Airshow
After a break of only one week the Airshow world moves across the border to the, now famous, Matsieng Airfield in Botswana on 25 May. The Botswana Airshow will now be entering its eight consecutive year of thrilling the Botswana and Southern African Aviation fans, If you feel like a break from the norm this hi-intensity show is definitely one to see.
Wesbank Botswana International Airshow 2018
KwaZulu Natal is the next destination for the Airshow team on 1 June Newcastle will be hosting their annual Airshow, in the past the Newcastle has always been very well supported by the SAAF and promises to be the same this year. This seems to be the only KZN Airshow for the year so all the diehard aviation fans from Durban and elsewhere in KZN this is your chance to see some brilliant flying.
Newcastle Airshow 2018
Race for Rhinos
Although not technically an Airshow, Race for Rhinos, has become one of the greatest aviation events in Africa, with competitors traveling from all over Southern Africa to compete and enjoy a few days away with likeminded people from 27 -30 June. Every afternoon after the racing a mini Airshow is held over Sua Pan with the amazing sunset as a backdrop.
Race for Rhinos 2018
Grand Rand Airshow
After a short Break Rand Airport, which is home to many of the display teams, will be hosting their annual Airshow, Rand Airshow is the only Airshow on the calendar which is held on a Sunday so all the unfortunate people that have to work on Saturday this is your opportunity to get to a great Airshow. It will take place on 18 August
Rand Airshow 2018
The weekend after Rand all the display teams will head South to the Free State town of Bethlehem, Bethlehem have been hosting Airshows for as long as I can remember and always put on a wonderful spectacle. This is also the last Airshow planned for the 2019 season so it is a definite “Don’t Miss” event.
Bethlehem Airshow 2018
Capital Sounds with the legendary Brian Emmenis at the helm will be there to keep you entertained and informed. What many people don’t know is that Capital Sounds are not merely commentators at Airshows, Brian spends a lot of time assisting the organisers prepare for these shows with everything from approaching the display teams, sourcing sponsorship to compiling the emergency plan.
Capital Sounds operate from Welkom in the Free State and have to travel by road to all the Airshows with all their equipment, which can be a convoy of up to five vehicles depending on the size of the show . long before the public arrive at an airshow the Capital sounds team woulkd have laid out km’s of cable and erected speakers to cover the whole show area, this alone is a massive task especially at shows like Afrca Aerospace and Defence where the crowd line is over a kilometre long and the display area is almost the entire AFB Waterkloof.