Category Archives: News

Avro Shackleton Ground Run


Video by kind permission of Marek Vincenc.

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SAAF Museum PTA -100 Hours for Charity

Category : Contributors , Features , News

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!!!


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Remembrance Day SA Legion in UK

Category : Contributors , Features , News

SA Legion UK Remembrance Day

This year on 11 November for the very first time, the South African Legion UK formally marched in London and Glasgow to remember the fallen.

Read more here.

68th Anniversary of the Warsaw Flights – Saturday, 8th September 2012

68th ANNIVERSARY OF THE WARSAW FLIGHTS – Saturday, 8 September 2012

Tomorrow we will commemorate the 68th Anniversary of the heroic flights over Warsaw by South African and Allied airmen to drop supplies to the Polish Home Army and civilian population of Warsaw, at that time locked in a mortal struggle for freedom.
Details of the ceremony are as follows:
11: 00 hrs – Religious Service and Wreath Laying at the Katyn Memorial, James and Ethel Gray Park, Melrose Estate, Johannesburg, South Africa The Commemoration will be podcast so you can watch it from anywhere in the world.

The podcast will start at 11am South African Time ( Johannesburg – we have only one time zone in RSA) You can check your local time against Johannesburg on the World Clock on google.

To watch the podcast go to: <> and follow directions from there. Last year I watched the podcast from Kenya and will be watching again this year from Zanzibar. I hope many of you will be able to link in. Vanessa asked about a reunion/get together a long time back, how about at the 69th Anniversary next year, we see how many people can be in Johannesburg for it?

If you cannot tune in tomorrow, just take a minute to Salute the men of 31 and 34 Sq. and make a point of it to tell someone about the heroic work they did.

I post this on behalf of the Organising Committee: Mr A Romanowicz (Chairman)

P.O. Box 905, Northlands, 2116, South Africa – – – Tel. +27 11 788 6577

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.


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