Have you ever dreamt about experiencing real bush flying in an aircraft kitted out with massive tundra tyres and an undercarriage designed to take on the worst terrain and smile, or maybe you an aspirant fighter pilot that never had the opportunity to experience a true thoroughbred Warbird. either way, Flying Frontiers can make your dream a reality.
Craig Lang, CFI and owner of Flying Frontiers, grew up in the African Bushveld and has amassed almost 20 years of guiding and flying experience in Africa. Based at the picturesque Eva’s Field airstrip in Hilton, KZN, any bush pilots dream field, having access to numerous airstrips in the region, as well as many remote and normally inaccessible flying locations. Flying Frontiers will not only supply you with the aircraft of your choice but they will also train you how to use the machine to get the most out of your aircraft.
Flying Frontiers are the local agents for not only the Zlin Savage range of aircraft but also the Flying Legends Warbird stable of thoroughbreds.
The Original Savage went into production in Italy between 1997 and 1998. The idea was to create an aircraft with good handling and STOL characteristics, with classic and well-proven design and traditional construction that would be economic and easy to build and repair.
Inspired by one of the aviation legends of 20th century, The Piper Cub, the designer of the SAVAGE and his team, the aeronautical engineers Bonaldo, Franchini and Vizzini would build several prototypes that would become the basis for the definitive Savage range of aircraft.
Conceived with the most advanced CAD design and simulation software the Savage went through an intensive process of validation static and in-flight tests to confirm the excellent validity of the design and its compliance with the most stringent industry standards for the design and manufacture of light aircraft. Shortly after its conception, the Savage won the first prize as the best ultralight aircraft built from plans at the Italian Experimental Aircraft Association Meeting at Carpi, Italy, in 1999.
In 1999, production moved to the Czech Republic and since that time has been carried out by the aeronautical manufacturer Zlin Aviation S.R.O. employing the best aeronautical materials from the USA, Italy and France, and the most competent and specialized workforce.
The flagship of the Savage range is undoubtedly the recently released Savage Norden. The Nordic countries, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland, are the inspiration behind the Savage Norden these northern countries, along with Alaska and Canada, have a long history with Bushflying and Big wheels and now the Norden combines every attribute needed for Bushflying into one perfect STOL machine. With a range of speeds from 18mph, full stall with no wing drop, slats and flaps deployed, to 120mph fast cruise, there is nothing else in standard production specifications that can touch the Norden in almost every aspect of Bushflying.
Bobber is a term borrowed from the world of custom-built motorcycles, to “bobberize” a machine is to strip it of every superfluous element. That is exactly what has been done with the Bobber, Savage started with a classic Savage and removed everything that wasn’t entirely necessary. The result is an aircraft that offers a unique sense of freedom, although remaining mindful of the pilots safety. For cold weather a cabin heating and a kit for enclosing the entire cabin section are also available.
The Savage Cub is the product of feedback from the bushflying community worldwide, Savage took notice of every little suggestion from the industry and then went to work to design the ultimate bush aircraft. The Savage Cub got a new aluminium cowling, reshaped windows, fuselage, tail, wing-tips, and reinforced flaps. Although the standard landing gear was already stronger than the most upgraded landing gear available for similar aircraft, Savage decided to introduced the 6” HD Extended landing gear for even more demanding operations. With the wide selection of original bush wheel tires from 26” to 31”, bush tailwheels with a redesigned fork, reinforced tail leafs, pneumatic shock absorbers the Savage Cub became the new reference point for the bush flying community.
Flying Legend Warbirds
Owner of Flying Legend, Franco Rummolini is a man passionate about his aircraft and aviation in general, a trait that he quickly recognised in Craig and as a result invited him to Sicily to fly the Tucano-R one of three aircraft models manufactured by Flying Legends.
Whatever doubts he may have had over these aircraft's pedigrees were soon put to rest, as Craig left Sicily in no doubt that these aircraft would be a fantastic addition to the modern aircraft on offer in South Africa, and would also offer a unique flying experience to those enthusiasts who want to fly a real "pilots" aircraft, with seat of the pants, instinctive handling, raw guts, and the pace and strength to handle most basic aerobatic manoeuvres.
The Tucano-R is a 75% scale replica of the Embraer Tucano 312, a military trainer used by the Brazilian Air Force, the Royal Air Force, and many air forces around the World. Meticulous attention to detail has resulted in a Light Sport version of the military aircraft that looks and flies as closely as possible to the original, with the obvious limitations that come with designing an aircraft that fits into the LSA category.
Flying Frontiers through their registered ATO (RAA/008), offer Tailwheel training, with the emphasis on flying modified Savage range of aircraft, as well as Advanced Bushflying techniques. The training they provide is intended to improve existing pilots techniques and accuracy, and in general enhance the safety of their flying.
Their Primary Trainers, Savage Bobber and Savannah S, both equipped with larger tyres and other improvements for the harsh Bushflying environment.
A basic Taildragger conversion at Flying Frontiers normally involves 8-10 hours of dual flying instruction and briefings, flying out of Eva’s Field and Howick, ideal grass airstrips on which to get to grips with a Taildragger. Advanced courses are offered to the pilot who wants to take their skill to the next level. An Advanced Bush Flying course involves around 5 hours of briefings and 10 hours of practical flying all based on the Bush Flying manual compiled by Craig.
An advanced Bush flying course will cover the following main aspects:
Short Field take-offs and landings
Off-field landing site selection and techniques
Emergency scenarios including low-level engine failures
Low flying and judgement of winds, terrain, updrafts/downdrafts
Precision Flying, Balked landings and Go-Arounds in the bush
Landing and taking off over obstacles
Strong Crosswind techniques in a Taildragger
Mountain and Valley Flying
High-Density Altitude Operations
Securing aircraft in the Bush and basic maintenance.
Once armed with these new skills Flying Frontiers through their sister company African Bushflying Safaris will give the pilot an opportunity to use them way off the beaten track flying low and slow across Africa. Allowing for close encounters with Africa's wildlife, both from the air and on the ground once they reach their destinations.
Safaris are designed to include the absolute highlights of southern Africa, from the Wild Coast of the Transkei, teeming with dolphins and whales, to the dry interior of the Karoo, with the arterial waters of the mighty Orange River flowing through, to the magnificent Big Game Parks of the north.
On the average safari one can expect to fly 4 hours a day, stopping every hour or so at remote airfields or other exciting off-field locations to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while stretching the legs and absorbing the sights and sounds of Africa.
Flying Frontiers are launching a new division, FlyGear, by the end of this month, a Flying and Outdoor Gear online store aimed specifically at aviation enthusiasts and pilots with adventurous souls. Flying Frontiers is truly a one-stop-shop to your aviation dreams.