SAAF 80 International Airshow and Africa Aerospace and Defence 2000
In 2000 the South African Air Force (SAAF) was 80 years old. Birthday celebrations took place at various venues throughout South Africa. However, the highlight of these celebrations was undoubtedly the SAAF 80 International Airshow at AFB Waterkloof (near Pretoria) because of international participation and particularly by African countries. The military show took place from 8 to 9 September 2000 and coincided with Africa Aerospace and Defence 2000 [(AAD 2000); 5 to 7 September trade days]. South Africa, as host country, fielded the most aircraft.
Visiting aircraft converged on South Africa from Africa (Algeria, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe), South America (Argentina), North America (the USA), Asia (Singapore) and Europe (Belgium, Germany, Sweden, the UK). Aircraft started arriving on 30 August 2000, with the last one being here by 7 September 2000.
Algerian Air Force
An IL-76 transported two light aircraft to the show on 31 August 2000. After being parked on a disused taxiway, the IL-76 was put on static display. According to the details on the manufacturers’ plates of the light aircraft the Firnas-142 is a license-built version of the Zlin 142 and the Safir-43 a license-built version of the Zlin 43. After assembly, the Firnas was airtested (on 1 September). One light aircraft was put on static display while the other flew on the public days.
Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Argentina)
A Pampa arrived partially disassembled on 1 September in the hold of a Hercules. The Pampa was unloaded the same day; assembly commenced immediately and the aircraft was airtested on 4 September. The Argentinians shared a hangar with the Algerians and the Swedes.
Botswana Defence Force (BDF)
Super King Air OB-1 of the BDF paid a brief visit to the show on 3 September 2000.
Belgian Air Force (Force Aérien Belgique)
Most of the Belgian aircraft arrived on 30 August 2000, with a USAF KC-135T keeping the F-16s company:
Various support aircraft arrived and departed on different dates. Hercules CH-11 was noted for the first time on 31 August and was gone by 1 September, while CH-07 departed by 1 September. Airbus CA-01 departed on 1 September. On 1 September CH-01 and the F-16s went out on a photo sortie and returned later the day; the F-16s went out again at 16:00, but was back by the next day. On 8 September CH-01 gave a flip to the winners of a lucky draw. Only the F-16s and Herc CH-01 stayed for the duration of the show.
German Air Force (Luftwaffe)
The first (50 + 97) of two Luftwaffe C-160s arrived on 4 September 2000. It was put on static display, while the other aircraft took part in the flying display. The two aircraft came from two different units, namely Lufttransportgeschwader (LTG) 61 and LTG 62.
Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)
An unmanned air vehicle was put on show by the RSAF.
A single- and dual-seat Gripen were transported by sea to Cape Town. They were assembled and test-flown at AFB Ysterplaat before being flown up to Waterkloof on 1 September. The dual-seat aircraft was put on static display and the single-seat one was used in the flying display.
A mixed bag of aircraft came from the United Kingdom. On 1 September 2000 an AirStan IL-76 arrived with a Royal Navy (RN) Lynx in its hold. However, the majority of the British aircraft arrived on 3 September. These consisted of a Royal Air Force (RAF) Tristar, two RAF Tornados and an RAF Nimrod. A further visitor included an RAF C-130, which had arrived by 5 September 2000.
Most foreign visiting aircraft came from the United States of America, with an interesting mix from various commands, namely Air Mobility Command (AMC), Air Force Reserve (AFReserve), United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) and Air Combat Command (ACC). Some aircraft (notably the C-17 and KC-10) are used by both AMC and AFReserve. Here are the arrival dates:
2000-08-30 580062 KC-135T (together with Belgiums)
2000-09-03 970048 C-17A (arrived earlier the day on its own)
85-0031 KC-10A these
91-0339 F-16C five
91-0464 F-16D aircraft
91-0324 F-15E arrived
62-3561 KC-135R together
Other arrivals included two B-1Bs (2000-09-05), a C-130H (first seen on 2000-09-06) and a second F-15E (it was supposed to have arrived on 2000-09-03, but it developed a snag en route; here by 2000-09-07).
Interesting markings included mission markings below the cockpit of the F-16D. The aircraft in question was sometime before the airshow used in Kosovo/Bosnia). Both B-1B 86-0095 and F-15E 91-0324 carried out simulated refuelling sorties with the KC-135R on 7 September 2000 for the benefit of invited members of the media.
Before the show commenced, an E-2RS (tail number 809) arrived to undertake science missions from Pietersburg International Airport (ICAO code FAPB). These comprised missions over southern Africa to study atmospheric pollution, global warming, and ecological processes and cloud physics.
Zambian Air Force
Y-12s AF-214 and AF-216 of the Zambian Air Force were noticed for the first time on 1 September 2000, with AF-216 departing the same day. According to the details on the manufacturer’s plates, these aircraft are Y-12 IIs. Three K-8s arrived at Waterkloof on 31 August 2000.
Air Force of Zimbabwe
Two different types of aircraft were sent to Waterkloof. CASA 212-300 serial 812 arrived and departed on 1 September 2000, but returned and departed again on 2000-09-08. Another one was seen on 9 September 2000, but the serial number is not known. Two Hawk T60s (one flying, one static) arrived early on 3 September 2000 and stayed for the duration of the show.
All the major types operated by the SAAF as well as most of the operational units of the SAAF were represented at Waterkloof. The following aircraft were on static display:
Electronic Warfare (motto: an African perspective)
349 Cheetah C V4 missile; RWR; chaff/flare dispensers
1200 Oryx special mods: SORJ (operated by 17 + 19 Sqd +
EWC, used for radar jamming and ESM) + EW-SPS (comprise MAWS + chaff/flare dispensers; distinctive feature bulged cabin door
1208 Oryx special mods: OCJ (operated by 17 + 19 Sqd +
EWC, used for communication jamming and COMINT); distinctive feature antenna array on cabin door (sbd side)
1421 Boeing 707 ELINT + COMINT
6828 C-47TP ELINT + COMINT (used by 35 Sqd + EWC); this
particular a/c a basic EW trainer; two distinctive antennas on top of forward fuselage
Denel (outside display)
55 Alouette III 592 Atlas Impala I
These were examples of redundant aircraft. The Alo was displayed together with a 120-mm gun and was modified by Denel.
216 Super Mirage F1 847 Super Cheetah D
The Mirage and Cheetah were displayed together with the Russian SMR-95 engine and the R-73 air-to-air missile as examples of Mirage aircraft receiving new engines and having weapon systems re-integrated. (F1 = SMR-95A and AADG 52, Cheetah/Mirage III = SMR-95B and AADG 53.)
The SMR-95 turbojet engine is a modification of the RD-33 engine. Its aircraft accessory drive gearbox (AADG) is lower and it has a spacer between the turbine and the afterburner.
Mirage F1AZ 216 was the prototype for the Super Mirage F1 and Cheetah D2 847 the prototype for the Super Cheetah D2.
Denel (inside display)
Rooivalk 671 and Cheetah D 844
Entrance to Siyandiza area
C-130B 404 and 406
The Siyandiza Youth Programme was aimed at providing a large number of selected youngsters with an insight into aviation, service in the SAAF and careers that the aviation industry has to offer.
C-130F 411; CASA 212 8020; Cessna 185s 710 and 748; CN235M 8026; PC-12 8030; Cessna 208B 3002; C-47TPs 6885 and 6887; Mercurius ZS-LPE; Citation ZS-MLN and Cessna 210 ZS-KNC
SAAF units present
2 Squadron (Cheetah C 349, 356, 371); 15 Squadron (BK117 382; Oryx 1239); 16 Squadron (Rooivalk 670, 671, 672, 673, 674); 17 Squadron (Alouette III 61; Oryx 1207, 1208, 1213, 1224, 1225); 19 Squadron (Oryx 1226); 21 Squadron (Falcon 50 ZS-CAQ, Citation ZS-MLN, Mercurius ZS-LPE); 28 Squadron (Hercules 403, 404, 405, 406, 411); 35 Squadron (C-47TP 6828, 6884, 6885, 6887); 41 Squadron (King Air 650, 653; Cessna 208B 3002, 3005, 3011, 3012; PC-12 8030); 42 Squadron (Cessna 185 710, 713, 715, 748); 44 Squadron (CASA 212-200 8011; CASA 212-300 8020, 8021; CN235M 8026); 60 Squadron (Boeing 707 1421); 85 Combat Flying School (Impala I 589; Impala II 1063, 1070, 1075, 1087, 1091, 1095); 104 Squadron (Cessna Centurion); Central Flying School (Astra 2018, 2020, 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027); Museum (Alouette II 22; Cheetah D 847; Dakota 6859; Hornet Moth 2007; Kudu 987; Mirage IIICZ 800; Mirage IIIBZ 817; Mustang 325; Puma 175; Sabre 367; and Vampire 277); TFDC (Oryx 1200)
ATTD2 Astra mock-up
The flying display comprised an opening sequence as well as a finale, and the sections in between were given various themes.
1. Parade of emergency and service vehicles of AFB Waterkloof as well as Centurion and Pretoria, including:
61 Alouette III 8 + 9/9
1207 Oryx 8 + 9/9
1226 Oryx 9/9
1239 Oryx 8 + 9/9
2. Parachute drop of RAF Silver Sharks and SAAF Golden Eagles; carrier aircraft Cessna 208s serials 3011 and 3012 8 + 9/9
3. Formation flypast of C-130B 405, Astras 2018 and 2024 8 + 9/9
4. Formation and solo aerobatic flying by Silver Falcons:
Astras 2020, 2025, 2026, 2027 8 + 9/9
5. Belgian Air Force F-16 FA-107 8 + 9/9
Corporate and commercial
1. ZD-262 Super Lynx 8 + 9/9
Flying training in the SAAF
1. Formation and solo display
ZS-DHR Tiger Moth, also solo 8 + 9/9
ZS-BGN Tiger Moth 8 + 9/9
2007 Hornet Moth 8/9
2. Aerobatic display by Harvards of Peugeot Flying Lions
ZU-AYS, ZU-BET and ZU-BEU 8 + 9/9
3. Solo displays
367 Canadair Sabre 8/9
277 Vampire 9/9
4. Formation flypast and solo display 8 + 9/9
Formation flypast: Imp I 589, Imp IIs 1063, 1070, 1075, 1087, 1095
Solo display: Imp II 1063 Gannet
1. Mirage III CZ 800 8 + 9/9
2. K-8 AF-824 Zambian Air Force
3. Lightning ZU-BBD 8 + 9/9
4. F-16D 91-0464 USAF 8 + 9/9
5. Tristar and Tornados RAF 8 + 9/9
Air Power Helicopter Heroes
1. Alouette II 22
2. Alouette III 61
3. Puma 175 8/9
4. BK117 382
5. Oryx 1206 9/9
Oryx 1224 Bambi bucket, hot extraction 8 + 9/9
Oryx 1225 solo display 8 + 9/9
6. Rooivalk 674 9/9
Spitfire IX ZU-SPT 8 + 9/9
Tribute to Korean War
1. Formation flypast
Sabre 367, Mustang 325, Vampire 277 8 + 9/9
2. Solo display by Mustang 325 8 + 9/9
The Advent of Mach 2 in the SAAF
1. Mirage III BZ 817 8 + 9/9
2. Hawk 605 Air Force of Zimbabwe 8 + 9/9
1. Reconnaissance Lockheed ER-2 9/9 only
2. Fighter World F-16 FA-107 Belgium AF 8 + 9/9
F-15 91-0324 USAF 8 + 9/9
3. SAAF bomber of yesteryear Buccaneer ZU-BCR 8 + 9/9
4. USAF Bomber of today B-1B 86-095
Airpower Transport Aircraft
1. Formation flypast
Caravan 2005, Cessna 185 No. 713 and Kudu 987 8 + 9/9
2. Solo display Dakota 6859 8 + 9/9
3. Solo display CASA 212-300 8021 8 + 9/9
4. Solo display Transall C-160D 50 + 97 8 + 9/9
Fighters of the SAAF
1. Formation flypast three Cheetah Cs 8 + 9/9
Cheetah C 371 solo 8 + 9/9
2. Solo display Gripen JAS39A 39174 Sweden 8 + 9/9
Aerobatic display by Silver Falcons 8 + 9/9
The Military Tattoo held on 5 September 2000 at 60 Squadron included flypasts by Oryx 1213, Rooivalk 672 and 673, BK117 382, the RN Lynx, the Silver Falcons and the two Gripens.
Aerosud; Armscor; ATE (Vulture); BAE Systems; Comair (Cessna Grand Caravan ZS-NNK, Cessna Citation Jet ZS-NUW, Cessna 560 ZS-FCB, Cessna Citation X N758CX and Cessna Turbo Stationair ZS-BGR); Dassault Aviation (Falcon 900EX F-GVDP); Denel [LIW, Eloptro, Kentron Dynamics, Kentron UAV and Atlas (Cheetah D 844); also see SAAF]; EADS; Eurocopter Southern Africa (Aerospatiale AS350B ZS-RWB, Eurocopter EC120B ZS-RLW); Execujet/ Bombardier Aerospace (Learjet 31A ZS-OML and Learjet 45 ZS-BAR and ZS-OIZ; Challenger 601 ZS-AVL; and Global Express N701WH); Flying Lions ( Harvards ZU-AYS, ZU-BET and ZU-BEU); NAC [Raytheon (Beech Baron ZS-KCP and ZS-PCB; Beech 1900D Airliner ZS-OOW and Beech Super King Air B200 N3194U); Hawker 800XP ZS-DDT; Bell 407 ZS-RLB; and Robinson R44 Astra ZS-RLT]; Paramount; Saab; Shurlok (Pitts ZS-LPK); Smirnoff (Pitts ZS-MDG, ZS-MZX and ZS-MZN); South African Airways (Boeing 737-800 ZS-SJC); Thunder City (Lightning ZU-BBD and Buccaneers ZU-AVI and ZU-BCR); and Transnet Heritage Flight (DC-3 ZS-BXF and DC-4 ZS-BMH)
The following abbreviations are used in this document:
Abbreviation Full form
AS Air School
CFS Central Flying School
CoFlSc Combat Flying School
COMINT Communication intelligence
CT Int Cape Town International Airport
ELINT Electronic intelligence
ESM Electronic Support Measures
EW Electronic warfare
EWC Electronic Warfare Centre
EW-SPS Electronic Warfare Self Protection System
HFS Helicopter Flying School
Jhb Int Johannesburg International Airport
LT Louis Trichardt
MAWS Missile Approach Warning System
OCJ Oryx communications jammer
SORJ stand-off Oryx radar jammer
TFDC Test Flight and Development Centre
Aviation publications and internet sites
Avdata South African registration database
Enstrom Helicopter Production List, Jos Stevens/Rotorspot
FAA registration database
Silver Falcons 40 years, Winston Brent, African Aviation Series, No. 22
Swissheli.com, Swiss Helicopters, Swiss Helicopter History, Markus Herzig
Official brochures, catalogues, fact sheets and media releases
Brochures, fact sheets, flyers and media releases provided by various
companies (e.g. AgustaWestland, Airbus, BAE Systems, Denel