Archive for the ‘Aircraft’ Category
With the kind permission of Johan Conradie.
Both these photos reflects historical occasions. 1st Photo 25 May 1965, the delivery of the 1st Buccaneer – 413 at the newly formed 24 Sqn at RNAS Lossiemouth, Scotland. Standing with Bucc 413 is Neels Theron and Paul Claasen.
2nd Photo 1 March 2014, nearly 49 years later, the two Old Timers, Neels Theron(75) and Paul Claasen(83) visited the Bucc 416 restoration project at AFB Ysterplaat, once again standing alongside a 24 Sqn Bucc. For both of them this was a wonderful experience to once again stand alongside this wonderful aircraft, kindling some fond memories of the aircraft and especially the Rolls Royce engines they loved so much, sharing some of their experiences with the young generation who are busy restoring 416 to her former glory.
Building the 1:48 scale 35 Sqn C47TP Falcon
My name is Stewart Moon and I am an ex-SAAF member now living in the United Kingdom. I served from 1986 to 2001 and was based at Air Force Base Durban and Forward Air Command Post Durban (FACP DBN).
On 24th February 2013 I purchased myself a Revell 1:48 scale C47 Skytrain model. I wanted to build myself a C47TP but to do that, I would have to do a conversion from the original DC3 piston engine, 3 blade propeller, to an extended Turbo Prop engine cowling and a 5 blade propeller. I thought it would be quite easy. Oh how wrong I would be. If I had known how difficult it was, I would have stuck to the standard DC3/C47.
I first started on the Internet and eBay looking for a C47TP conversion kit. Hours of surfing the internet turned into weeks and I was coming up empty handed. There was nothing in a 1:48 scale. So I contacted Red Bear Resin who was selling the conversion kit for the 1:48 scale Basler BT67, similar to the C47TP. I also contacted The SAAF Museum.
There was a conversion kit for a C47TP but only in a 1:72 scale and not in a 1:48 scale. So I continued to surf the Internet and came across a company in Thailand who built wooden desktop models. They agreed to make the engines and the 5 blade props from wood if I could supply them with pictures and dimensions. Everything was going well. The work on making the 2 engines plus the 5 blade propellers would take approximately 2 weeks and 4 weeks to arrive in the UK.
Then disaster struck, the company decided there was too much of a risk, worried that their representation would be on the line if the engines did not work out. So it was back to the drawing board, sending out loads of emails to companies asking if there was anyone out there that could make my two engines. No luck. The only way around this, was to build the two engines myself from scratch. This is my story on How I Overcame The Odds And Built The First Ever 1:48 Scale 35 Squadron C47TP Falcon.
1. All hand painted
2. Both engines were handmade
3. 218 hours to build and paint
4. 345 hours on the Internet
5. £145.00 to make (approximately R2100.00)
6. Started on 27 February 2013
Finished on 28 May 2013
The model came moulded in a light grey colour.
After deciding what colour scheme, I spray painted the fuselage, wings, rudders, tail and flaps in a dark blue paint.
Then I marked out the wings and flaps with masking tape to represent the white markings.
Hand painted with 3 layers of white model paint.
I then built and painted inside the cockpit.
Then started on the South African Flag on the tail. This took quite some time to complete as each colour was individually painted with 3 coats of model paint.
During this time, I was working on a few drawings for the two turbo prop engines.
I then started to make stencil cut outs of the falcon that would later be hand painted with 3 coats of paint onto each side of the fuselage. This took a great deal of time, patients and a very steady hand.
Spent approximately 3 weeks on the falcon but well worth the effort as it looks great on the aircraft. I was still trying to find a company to make my two engines. I did consider the Basler BT67 conversion kit but opted out.
It would be down to making the engines myself from scratch. I sketched up a few more drawing with dimensions. The best way to build the two engine cowling’s would be out of Balsa wood.
So I purchased a block of balsa 50mm x 50mm x 250mm.Measured out each engine then slowly carved and sanded down until the engines came into shape. I left a section at the back to allow the engine to fit snug into the wing section by the wheel bay.
The engines would later be resined with 3 coats and painted. The next stage was to drill holes on both sides of the engines to allow for the exhausts which I made out of spare piping from the kit, cut, heated up and bent into shape.
They were then pushed into place and secured with resin. I was unable to find them on the internet. The astrodome was removed, filled in, sanded down and spray painted dark blue. Once the engines were shaped and sized, I started coating them with three layers of resin. Each coat having to dry before applying the next coat. Final stage was to spray paint both engines.
Again 3 coats were applied.
THE 5 BLADE PROPELLERS
The 5 blade turbo propellers was the combination of a 1:48 scale 5 blade Spitfire XIV and the spinner the 1:72 scale Spitfire XIV. The holes on the spinner had to be drilled bigger to allow for the 1:48 scale blades to fit comfortably. The blades were then fixed and glued into place making up the 5 bladed C47TP.
They were later painted in the correct colour scheme.
I bought the metal 1:48 scale undercarriage/landing gear from America to fit Revell models. They were later glued and resin onto the wing mounts. The wheels were painted and fixed into place.
The rear tail drag wheel snapped into place.
INSTALLING THE TAXI LIGHTS
An additional feature to my C47TP was to put taxi lights into the wings, so they could work like real thing when turned on. Using the wing support strut, I glued an extra piece of wood. I then drilled 2 holes into the wood (making sure they lined up with the holes in the wing) Then placed 2 micro light bulbs into the holes. Wired up the lights to a switch and battery underneath the main wing.
Once switched on they looked like the real thing.
THE FINAL ASSEMBLY
After almost 3 months of building, carving and painting it was time to put everything together.
I first attached the 2 engines to the wings.
I then attached the wings to the fuselage.
Once everything was dried, I attached the two 5 blade turbo propellers, given me my almost finished 1:48 scale 35 Squadron C47TP Falcon.
All that remained now was to glue on the three antennas and place decals onto the fuselage.
The completed 1:48 scale C47TP taken on 28 May 2013 (My 50th Birthday)
I am assuming this is a one of a kind in the world in this scale and colours?
You ask, why did I made this model?
I heard on the news about the C47TP that cashed in the Drakensberg on 6 December 2012 and all SANDF members were killed.
I made this model to remember those poor souls that lost their lives that day. R.I.P. Guys. You will always be remembered, as I have something to remember you all by.
It was a pleasure and an honour to build this model.
By Garth Calitz
The South African Air Force Museum in conjunction with the a group of dedicated volunteers will be hosting a social responsibility project to raise funds for PinkDrive, charity of choice of the SAAF Museum, by hosting a 100 hour marathon sit-in in various fighter jets and a team of ladies that will be living in the gracious old Shackleton bomber.
The “static pilots” will enter their aircraft on Tuesday 26 February at 8:00 and that’s where they will stay until noon on the 2nd of March for a total of 100 hours. A fifteen minute break outside the aircraft is allowed every four hours. Johann Schmidt, a volunteer at the SAAF museum, hatched the idea and successfully made the long sit in March 2012 along with four other somewhat crazy volunteers.
Lt Col Mike O’Connor , Officer Commanding the SAAF Museum, has Joined forces with the organizing team and several significant sponsors to make this the biggest non-airshow event to be held at the SAAF Museum this year. The aim is to supply “Pink Drive” with a new clinical examination vehicle and as you can imagine, this won’t come cheap.
Pink Drive is a community based project driven by Cause Marketing Fundraisers (CMF), a non-profit organization. The Pink Drive campaign is committed to increasing breast cancer awareness and education by providing services to women across South Africa, particularly to those who do not have access to information on breast health. They currently have two mobile breast units, an education unit working in approximately 103 community health centres in Gauteng and a mammography unit which operates at 3 community hospitals.
Throughout the 4 days the public will be treated to various exiting activities and competitions with some exciting prizes. A number of sponsors such as Canon SA, Hirsch Centurion, Mica Valhalla and many others donated these awesome prizes. The Vintage DC4 Skymaster passenger Aircraft will be converted into a “movie house” where historic SAAF footage will be shown with some music matching the theme by the “Ducktails in Disguse”.
Learn more about the SAAF Museum by taking part in “Discover the Museum” and “Night at the Museum” competitions, which will take the form of a treasure hunt where the participants will be given a range of cryptic clues and the answer be found in the exhibits at the Museum.
The SAAF skydiving team the “Golden Eagles” will be doing various jumps. Makers will be sold as part of the fundraising and will be placed in a demarcated area where members of the team will drop weighted streamers into the area. If the streamer lands on your target, you may win a “tandem skydive” or many other prizes.
A Mirage III fighter jet will also be set aside as a celebrity plane where various local celebrities will be spending a few hours. Members of the public can interact with their favourite celeb’s as they get a taste of what the “static pilots” will be going through.
The Eqestra Flying Lions aerobatics team will be entertaining the public to a magnificent sunset display at approximately 18:00 on Friday 1st March. The final day will coincide with the monthly Flying training day of all the SAAF Museums airworthy aircraft which include Harvards, The Albatross, Bosbok, Kudu, Alouette II, Alouette III and Puma helicopters. At the 100th hour the Pilots will be disembarking during a display by the Garbriel Wings Pitt Special aerobatic team ending with a pyrotechnics display by the South Africa Army Engineering Core.
Pink ribbons will be on sale at a nominal fee which will be linked to a lucky number draw with wonderful prizes including flights in historic aircraft and all proceeds from this project will be going to “Pink Drive”.
The SAAF Museum is dedicated to raising the level of Aviation awareness amongst the youth in South Africa, and preserving our aviation heritage. Through drives like this and the upcoming Air Show on the 11th and 12th of May, they wish to expose as many people as possible to the joys of aviation. The Museum relies on the public for its existence, please support them!!!
Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) is one of the world´s premier aerospace and defence events and holds a prominent position within the aviation and defence calendar. The exhibition takes place on a biennial basis in September. The first three days of the exhibition are traditionally trade days, followed by twoairshow days that is open to the public.
The 7th AAD will take place at AFB Waterkloof, Centurion, City of Tshwane, South Africa from 19 to 23 September 2012, and will once again bring together worldwide industry players to showcase the latest technological innovations.
AAD is a very successful partnership between South Africa´s Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industry Association (AMD), ARMSCOR and the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA), with full support from the Department of Defence and has the active support of the Department of Trade & Industry, the Department of Transport and Department of Science & Technology.
On Wednesday 4th July 2007 an unusual new exhibit arrived on a flatbed at the SAAF Museum in Port Elizabeth. The Skimmerfoil Jörg IV is an extremely interesting craft which brought a uniquely new dimension to the Museum.
The TAF (Tandem Airfoil Flareboat) Skimmerfoil is referred to as a WIG (wings into ground) craft. Its inventor is Günther W Jörg, who is still involved in Airfoil Flareboat Technology (Airfoil) in Germany. In 1979/80 successful test runs with 4-6 seaters were carried out in South Africa.
SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE MK-IX PROJECT
By Rob Tribelhorn – Project Leader
A full size scale model of the WW2 Supermarine Spitfire MK-IV fighter is being constructed in the Bellman Hangar.
In about March 2010 the former curator of the Museum, Lt. Col. Tinus Janse van Rensburg initiated building a full size Supermarine Spitfire and asked me if I thought it was feasible to construct it out of wood.
We had a set of 1/9 scale plans so he arranged with the Nelson Mandela Municipal University to enlarge the fuselage formers to full size. These were printed on paper and laid out on sheets of five ply plywood.
I then cut these out with a jig saw and mounted them on a plastic pole at the correct spacing.
I proceeded from there to follow the 1/9 plans, making the necessary changes required to fit a person seated in the cockpit.
In 2011 Fred Muller joined me and we proceeded to construct the fuselage with whatever timber materials we lay our hands on. This consisted of shutter board, 3 ply plywood and pine planking sawn to the correct widths for the ribs and main spars.
The cockpit was constructed as realistic as possible using spare gauges and made-up parts from the WW2. I had to rebuild some of the gauges and make up others match and position all the gauges as close as possible to the real aircraft.
The fuselage took shape and we progressed to the wing section. This element was problematic as I had to design and manufacture the undercarriage frame with steel tubing obtained from Peter Boshoff the AMO.
Together with Col. John van Rooyen’s assistance, we welded up a frame and fitted undercarriage legs and installed these into the timber wing section. Peter Boshoff then donated two Yak Oleo legs which, with some lathe work were fitted.
Finally, we obtained two Vampire wheels and tyres from Pretoria but these were without tubes. I then purchased two passenger car tubes and made up two valves to fit.
The undercarriage was finally fitted to the wing section and ready to be attached to the fuselage which was being completed in between this work.
50L of Polyurethane liquid for foam was kindly donated by the Chemical Company BASF, enabling us to cast parts to then carve and shape out Spitfire air scoops.
The exhaust outlet stubs donated by E.P. Mufflers, a local exhaust manufacturing company.
The cockpit received its undercarriage control, throttle and pitch control constructed to match the Spitfire as closely as possible. The tail wheel assembly was remodeled as the weight of the aircraft was too great for the initial parts constructed.
The wing ribs have been cut and assembled by Wally Viljoen who recently joined the team with timber donated by Pennypinchers.
Work in progress consists of planning the spars and commencing with construction of the two wing sections.
We are still heavily dependent on donations and ask anyone out there who can assist, to contact me, Rob Tribelhorn:
Watch this space for regular updates.
By Paul Stringer
When Airspeed Oxford G-AITF (ED290) arrived at the SAAF Museum in Port Elizabeth, it was hoped that with assistance from the SAAF and interested local commercial sponsors, the aircraft might be put back into the air – or at the very least into a taxi-able condition.
The engines were completely overhauled and had run on a test rig for 1,5 hours by the early 1990’s. Progress was then hampered over following years due to the Museum moving into a Second World War Gunnery Training Hall that needed a lot of renovation work, and priority being given to other static exhibits, a Vampire FB 5 being one of them.
The fuselage and centre section had been stripped in 1995, but it was only from 2000 that suspect structure, cockpit controls, instruments, hydraulics and pneumatics were completely renovated into operational order. A rudder was fabricated by Friend of the Museum Rob Tribelhorn to replace the one that was missing when the aircraft was received from the RAF Museum. Rob also did a lot of work on the wings, replacing damaged skin and recovering them.
However, no attention was paid to the wing internal structure or mechanics at this time due to lack of adequate funding, and therefore, even the prospect of taxiing faded. Recently, another Friend of the Museum, Paul Stringer, has taken over the project, concentrating at this stage on progressively cleaning/repainting the remaining parts and re-attaching them with the airframe, to complete the Oxford to good static display condition as soon as possible.
Currently coated in the overall yellow of a training aircraft for the Joint Air Training Scheme, it is planned to add a gun turret, and finally spray it in the camouflage/ yellow colours of an aircraft from 42 Air School, a navigation, bombing and gunnery training school that trained both RAF and SAAF aircrew from Port Elizabeth during World War Two.
The Friends of the South African Air Force Museum, Ysterplaat, have appointed the following committee to manage the Friends involvement in the restoration of C-47 6832:
David Owen Smith (Chair)
Michelle Viljoen (Secretary)
John Coutts (Treasurer)
Project 6832 is a Friends of the South African Air Force Museum Society initiative.