Category Archives: News

Donation of Aeroshell W120 for the Griffons

Category : Contributors , News , Projects

The South African Air Force Museum and the Crew of 1722 take the opportunity of thanking Mr Freddi Stafford of SOS Oil for the desperately needed generous donation of a drum of Aeroshell W120 oil for our four hungry Rolls Royce Griffon 57A’s.

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Appointment Of New Chief Of The South African Air Force

Category : News

 C SANDF has pleasure in announcing the appointment of Major General Fabian Zimpande (ZAKES) Msimang as the new Chief of the South Africa Air Force with effect from 01 October 2012.

 Maj Gen Msimang intergrated into the South African National Defence Force in 1994 after the first democratic Elections as a qualified pilot on the Mi 8 and Mi 25 helicopters. He received his flying training at Frunze 1 Central Officers Training Center Kirghizstan, in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from 1986 to 1991.

 He graduated from the institution with a diploma in Command & Tactics of Military Aviation. During his career he has flown the Mi 8, Mi 25 Allouette III, Oryx helicopters and also did a factory conversion onto the A 109E at AgustaWestland in Italy.

 He was a member of the Armed Wing of the African National Congress, Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK). He has been in combat as an MK cadre in Angola in 1986. Post 1994 he has been an operational pilot at maritime and inland squadrons. He has also been deployed on several occasions as a Military Liaison Officer.

 In 1994, he completed the Air Force of Zimbabwe’s Junior and Staff Course. In 2000, he was appointed as the Assistant Project Officer on Project Flange in Italy. This was an acquisition project of the Agusta A109 LUH which replaced the Allouette III helicopter. Whilst in Italy, in 2002 he successfully completed the Senior Staff Course at the Italian Air Force War School. In 2003 successfully completed the Joint Senior Command and Staff Programme at the South African War College, having to do specific modules in joint warfare.

 Upon his return from Italy in 2003, he was appointed Officer Commanding of the Helicopter Flying School at Air Force Base Bloemfontein. In 2005 he was appointed as Officer Commanding Air Force Base Bloemspruit and promoted to the rank of Colonel. In 2006, he completed the Executive National Security Programme at the South African National Defence College.

 After a two and a half year tour as Officer Commanding Air Force Base Bloemspriut he was transferred to the Air Command in June 2007 appointed as Director Helicopter Systems and promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. In November 2010 he was appointed as Chief Director Air Policy and Plans and promoted to the rank of Major General responsible Air Force strategy, policies, capabilities and resource allocation and also serves as a Non-Executive Director to the Air Traffic and Navigation Systems Board.

 Major General Fabian Msimang is married to Afrika and has four sons.

 The leadership in the SANDF wishes to congratulate Maj Gen Msimang on his new appointment and trust that he will carry on executing his duties to the best of his ability inline with the SANDF’s constitutional mandate. With the same breath the leadership of the SANDF extend gratitude to thank General Gagiano for his dedication and contributions to the development of the SAAF in particular the SANDF in general.

 Source: DCC bulletin

Shackleton MR.3 Engine Run


Video courtesy of Hilton Mundy, Short Final TV

TAF Skimmerfoil arrives in Port Elizabeth

Tandem Airfoil Flareboat Skimmerfoil

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.



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Sunset Call – Tom Cockbain

Category : News


It is with sadness that we have to report the passing away of Tom Cockbain on 24 May 2012 at the age of 94.

The funeral service details are as follows:

Thursday 31st,May

15h00 hrs.

Settlers Park Retirement Village in Don Prowess Hall Port Alfred.

Our Condolences goes to the family and friends.


Tom will be remembered for the following:

SAAF WW2 with Oom Jannie aircrew,

Founder of Radar Services in the SAAF,

Founder of SAAF Museum Swarkop,

Over 50 yrs SAAF service.

Founder of Port Alfred Branch 1986 and chaired 12 yrs

Founder of 43 Air School Garden and Wall of Rememberance

and many more……..

“At the going down of the Sun, and in the morning, we will remember him”

Marianne Fryer

National Secretary

SAAF Association NHQ

Bofors Ant-Aircraft Gun – PE

The restoration of a WW2 40mm Mk 1 Anti-Aircraft field gun is taking place in the Parachute loft. Permission to visit this work in progress must be obtained and guided by a staff member.
The Bofors gun is an anti-aircraft autocannon designed by the Swedish defense firm Bofors. It was the most popular medium-weight anti-aircraft system during World War II, used by most of the western allies as well as various other forces. They remain in service to this day making it one of the longest-serving artillery pieces of all time.

Airspeed Oxford Restoration

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.

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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.


South Africa’s oldest paratrooper

Bloemfontein- The oldest still-serving member of South Africa’s elite paratroops, Major Hans Human, has been a paratrooper all his life, whether as a National Serviceman or a member of the Reserve Force. He’s been jumping out of aeroplanes for more than 47 years.

Read more:

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Beaufighter KV-930 of 19 Squadron based at Biferno, Italy

SAAF No 19 Sqn Beaufighter over the German occupied town of Zuzemberk


Dear Sir or Madam,
I research to find any information about the following crashed-ditched.
0n 12 September 1944 a Beaufighter KV-930 of 19 (SAAF)Squadron,crashed near to the shore of Ithaki Island (Greece).Both crew members survived the crash.
My interest is in discovering further information.Any details that you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Yours Sincerely
Pavlos Lykoudis



Beaufighter KV930 code ‘V’ of 19 Squadron South African Air Force, based at Biferno (Italy).
Reported missing on 12 September 1944 following attack on a Siebel ferry off Ithaki Island. Struck in starboard engine by anti-aircraft fire and forced to ditch in sea one mile off Ithaki Island, on west coast of Greece at 1705hrs.
15879V Lt RA Geater (pilot – SAAF) and 153915 F/O SWG Dellow (observer – RAF) both reported safe on 23 September 1944.
Steven McLean
Research Assistant to SAAF Museum, AFB Ysterplaat
Cape Town
Rep. of South Africa