South African anniversaries

AS THE SOUTH AFRICAN Air Force Museum celebrated its opening to the public at Swartkop on May 15, special markings were the order of the day with two SAAF types attending. A full-blown airshow included demonstrations by a Cheetah E from Louis Trichardt and the only flying Mirage IIICZ on SAAF inventory, 809 — presumably from the Flight Test and Development Centre at Bredasdorp. A rarely seen Boeing 707 tanker from 60 Sqn at Waterkloof made a fly-by ‘towing’ three Mirage F.1AZs from Hoeaspruit. The event also marked the ‘official’ return to flying status of the SAAF Museum’s Historic Flight

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Kariba Rescue

Michael Hamence lifts the veil on covert SAAF operations during the Rhodesian Bush War.

‘VFR ONLY’ CERTIFICATION of the Aerospatiale SE 319B Alouette III helicopter rather restricted its operational use during the Rhodesian Bush War. The Rhodesian Air Force (RhAF) and South African Air Force (SAAF) crews who flew the Aylos (as it is affectionately known) were perfectly capable of handling any situation that might confront them — but within the manufacturer’s certified limitations. It goes without saying, that those limitations were frequently stretched — and on one occasion, SAAF crewmembers found themselves in a unique situation.

By 1975, the

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First Ten SAAF Hawks Enter Service

MOSIUOA LEKOTA, South Africa’s Defence Minister, officially re-opened the South African Air Force’s (SAAF’s) 85 Combat Flying School (85 CFS) at Air Force Base (AFB) Makhado on October 19. The first ten SAAF Hawk Mk 120 lead-in fighter trainers for the SAAF were officially handed over at the same time. The unit, the SAAF’s only fighter pilot training squadron, had closed down last year to await the arrival of the Hawks after moving from AFB Hoedspruit to Makhado. The first Hawk was delivered to Makhado in September 2005 for initial ground crew familiarisation and training (see First SAAF Hawk Delivery,

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Facing the Future Pari 2

CHANGING PRIORITIES have required the South African Air Force (SAAF — or Suid-Afrikaanse lugmaa — SALM) to re orientate and to scale down, in the light of new needs and strengths. The successfully prosecuted war in Namibia proved beyond doubt to the SAAF the value of its helicopter force. While the SAAF has reduced its rotary wing inventory to two types, the ‘new’ SAAF will rely heavily on helicopters for a wide variety of support tasks, essential to the need for rapid — and varied — response.

Helitopler Forte

With the withdrawal of the Frelons and Wasps, the SAAF now

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44 AND THE TP

NO 44 Squadron of the South African Air Force (SAAF) came into being on February 8, 1944, having been originally formed as 43 Sqn. On April 27 of that year the unit took delivery of its first C-47 Dakotas — a type still operated today — 52 years later! The variant currently operated, the C-47TP (Turbo Prop) is, however, a far cry from the original Dakota. Due to South Africa’s apartheid policy, the United Nations placed an embargo on the supply of military equipment to the country, therefore South Africa’s armed forces and defence industry had to look at other

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