The origins of Africa Aerospace and Defence and AAD 2000, AAD 2002, AAD 2004 and AAD 2006
The origins of Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) can be traced back to a series of biennial airshows (which had various names and were held at various venues), a series of military shows (the Defence Exhibition of South Africa) and the SAAF 75 International Military Airshow and Aerospace Expo.
AIR AFRICA INTERNATIONAL 1975 TO AVIATION AFRICA INTERNATIONAL 1996
Lanseria Airport as venue until 1983
Air Africa International 1975
The first of the biennial series of aviation exhibitions [named Air Africa International 1975 (AAI ’75)] was held at Lanseria Airport (ICAO code FALA) from 30 September to 5 October 1975. In my personal opinion the highlights of AAI ’75 were the maiden appearance of Spitfire IX Evelyn and the superb display of flying skills by Bob Hoover in the Shrike Commander. I recall that I stood in awe while watching him manoeuvring the aircraft around the sky.
Cover of souvernier World Airnews October 1975
Grumman American AA-5B Tiger AA5-B ZS-JAD. Construction number 0013, registered April 1975, ex N1513R.
Aviation Africa 1977
In 1977 the biennial airshow had the name Aviation Africa and was held from 6 to 10 October. Aviation Africa 1977 saw a much larger participation by the South African Air Force (said to be the largest at a civilian venue in two decades) than AAI ’75. SAAF aircraft included a spirited display by the Spitfire IX, formation flying by four Mirage IIICZs from 2 Squadron, a demonstration of the hoisting capabilities of the Super Frelon and a solo flying display by a Vampire. The static area included a Bosbok, Kudu, Transall, Sabre, Super Frelon, Alouette III, Harvard, Dakota, Albatross, Buccaneer and several SAAF Museum exhibits. Two other interesting aircraft included the prototype Atlas Kudu (ZS-IZF) and Impala Mk II 1066 – both in Atlas colours.
Aviation 1981 Lanseria
Yet again the biennial airshow received a new name in 1981, namely Aviation ’81 Lanseria. A highlight of the show was the flying display of the Mig 17 in which Lieutenant Bomba of the Mozambique Air Force defected to South Africa. A milestone was reached when the Paterson Biplane replica destined for the Aviation Pioneers Museum in Kimberley was handed over to the Mayor of Kimberley by the Chief of the Air Force at FALA on 10 October 1981. Some firsts for the exhibition included a production example of the SA-227AT Merlin IVC (N1014L), a SAAF Mirage F1CZ in a new air-superiority colour scheme, the first Dornier Do-128 for southern Africa (7P-LAF) and the first MBB Bo-105 for South Africa (ZS-HKM). SA-226T Merlin IIIB D-IBBE was used for demonstration flights during the show.
Aviation Africa Lanseria 1983
As far as the 1983 exhibition is concerned, another name change occurred and the airshow was held from 6 to 10 October 1983. A BK117 destined for the Ciskei Defence Force, an Observer of the Bophuthatswana Defence Force, Westwind II 4X-CJP, Piper Cub ZS-AWE (which landed on a truck top) and a Dornier 228 took part in Aviation Africa Lanseria ’83.
Rand Airport as venue until 1990
Aviation Africa International 1986
This time the biennial airshow skipped a year and was held in 1986 (from 20 to 22 March) in stead of 1985; apparently to coincide with the centenary celebrations of Johannesburg. 1986 also saw a return to the name “Aviation Africa” and a change of venue to Rand Airport near Germiston (ICAO code FAGM).
CASA 352L ZS-AFA was seen at Rand Airport on 22 March 1986.
Aviation Africa International 1988
The seventh biennial international airshow was held from 23 March to 26 March 1988 at FAGM. Exhibitors included Airbus Industrie, Atlas Aircraft Corporation, Ciskei Aircraft Industries, Kentron, National Airways Corporation, Placo, the SAAF Museum and Safair Freighters.
Logo for Aviation Africa 1988 from World Airnews
Aviation Africa International 1990
Highlights of Aviation Africa International 1990, held from 4 April to 7 April, included a Bophuthatswana Defence Force Pilatus PC-7 (T410) showcased by Pilatus, the launch of the locally designed Celair Eagle 300 (ZS-WLD), the first public appearance in Africa of the Astra corporate jet (exhibited by National Airways Corporation), a display of the Aerospatiale Dauphin2 (ZS-HVI) by Heliquip and a BopAir Brasilia.
FAJS as venue until 1996
Aviation Africa International 1992
Aviation Africa International 1992 took place from 1 to 4 April at Jan Smuts Airport (ICAO code FAJS). The exhibitors included Aerotech/Aerobuild (WSK-PZL-Mielec An-28, PZL M18A Dromader, An-2); African Aerospace (PZL-104 Wilga, Yak 55M); Atlas Aircraft Corporation (Rooivalk, Cheetah R); Basler (turbo Dak); Bop Air Force (PC-6, PC-7, CN235M); British Aerospace (BAe 125-800, 125-1000); Celair (Christen Husky, Pitts S-2S); Comair (Cessna Grand Caravan, Citation VII); Department of Transport (Citation SII); Embraer (Brasilia, Tucano); Execujet (Canadair CL-601-3A, Learjet 31A); Field Aviation Zimbabwe (Harbin Y-12II); Heliquip (Aerospatiale Dauphin2, Ecureuil and Trinidad); Interjet (Learjet 25B); National Airways Corporation (Baron B58, Beechjet 400, Bell 206L-3, Beta R22, Bonanza F33A and King Air 350); PAE Aero Industries (Zlin 50M, Zlin 137T Agro Turbo, Zlin 142); Pegasus (McDonnel Douglas MD500E); Professional Aviation (Beech King Air C90; Cessna 401, Centurion, Chancellor II, Citation I; Mitsubishi Mu-2; Mooney M20; Piper Seneca); Safair (BAe 146-100); Salease (Enstrom F-28C-2); South African Airways (Casa 352L); and Transregional (Catpass 250).
This ex-Mirage IIIR2Z was selected as the prototype Cheetah tactical reconnaissance Cheetah, to be known as the Cheetah R .However, the aircraft was not adopted by the SAAF and it was used for further development. 855 was used for testing the advanced combat wing and developed to increase the turn rate of the aircraft. The nose strake/canard/wing combination enhanced the combat performance of the machine. The aircraft also had an inflight-refuelling capability.
This Beech Aircraft Corporation Beechjet 400, construction number RJ-27 and manufactured in 1987, had several identities, which comprised N3127R, N484CC and N611TG. It also underwent several owner changes. Beech operated the aircraft in July1987. The machine became N484CC with Continental Carrier Inc in February1998. Thereafter this Beechjet 400 became N611TG with TG Air Solutions LLC on 26 August 2000. On 14 June 2013 it was active with N870BB Holding LLC. These are just some of the owners.
The Embraer EMB 312 Tucano is a low-wing tandem-seat single-turboprop basic trainer with counter-insurgency capability developed in Brazil. The Brazilian Air Force sponsored the EMB-312 project at the end of 1978. Design and development work began in 1979 on a low-cost, relatively simple new basic trainer with innovative features which eventually became the international standard for basic training aircraft. The prototype first flew in 1980, and initial production units were delivered in 1983.
Production was initially supported by a local order for 118 aircraft with options for an additional 50 units in October 1980. Subsequently an improved variant, known as the Short Tucano, was licence-produced in the United Kingdom.
The Tucano made inroads into the military trainer arena and became one of Embraer's first international marketing successes. A total of 664 units were produced (504 by Embraer and 160 by Short Brothers), flying in sixteen air forces over five continents.
See Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embraer_EMB_312_Tucano.
This example has the construction number 312149.
A total of 11,915 An-2s were built by WSK PZL at Mielec (Poland) from 1960 to 2002. SP-FAL is an Antonov An 2TP with the construction number 1G234-10. All Polish-built An-2s have a construction number preceded by ‘1G’ – the ‘G’ is written in Cyrillic script (Г) for exports (or intended exports) to the Soviet Union and also presumably Bulgaria. The 1 at the beginning stands for ‘aircraft’ and the G means that it is the seventh type of aircraft built by the Mielec factory. The aircraft were built in batches and the construction number indicates the batch number and the number of the aircraft in the particular batch.
CASA 352L (Junkers Ju 52/3m) ZS-AFA, construction number 164, is the second aircraft with this registration, the original aircraft being a genuine Ju 52. ZS-AFA(2) was built in 1954 and has carried the following registrations:
T.2B-273 Spanish Air Force
G-BFHE, registered to Doug Arnold and stored for a while at Blackbushe Airport in England
CASA in Spain built 170 CASA 352s for the Spanish Air Force. ZS-AFA(2) was one of the last CASA 352L to be manufactured. Only 64 airplanes of this model (352L) were built.
The Junkers Ju 52/3m changed pre-World War Two South African aviation by providing safe, fast and comfortable air travel around the Union of South Africa and later into Africa. The aircraft was by far the leading European civil airliner of the 1930s, seating 15 to 17 in single seats each side of the central aisle.
This machine is a PZL-104 Wilga 80 and has the construction number CF20900895. The PZL-104 Wilga ("golden oriole") is a Polish-designed and -built short-takeoff-and-landing (STOL) aircraft manufactured by PZL Warszawa-Okęcie. The aircraft was designed for robust use in sports, civil aviation, with a strong emphasis on glider-towing and parachute training. The first flight of the PZL-104 took place on 24 April 1962. From 1979 the Wilga 80 went into production, an improved model certified for the US market. The Wilga has evolved through many ever-improving versions during its continuous production from 1962 to 2006, when the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) announced on their website the production of this aircraft would cease. Over 1,000 Wilgas of all types have been built, including 935 of the Wilga 35 and 80. This means more PZL-104s have been produced than any other Polish aircraft design.
Aviation Africa International 1994
Aviation Africa International 1994 occurred from 20 to 24 April. Here are details of some of the exhibitors and aircraft: Aerotech – Poland (PZL-Swidnik Sokol); Comair (Cessna Citation VII, Grand Caravan); Embraer (EMB-120 Brasilia, EMB-312 Tucano); Execujet (Canadair Challenger); Impala Air; Kentron; National Airways Corporation (Beechjet 400A, Bell 230, Bonanza, King Air 350); Raytheon Hawker; and TransAfrican Aviation (Commander Aircraft Commander 114B).
The SAAF had this VIP Turbo Dak, 6892 of 44 Squadron, on display.
Aviation Africa International 1996
Aviation Africa International 1996 was held from 24 to 27 April. (Note that Jan Smuts Airport had in the mean time been renamed Johannesburg International Airport.)
DEFENCE EXPOSITION OF SOUTH AFRICA
The Defence Exposition of South Africa (Dexsa) was the other series of biennial South African exhibitions. Dexsa took place at Nasrec (the Rand show grounds) and AFB Waterkloof (ICAO code FAWK) and was specifically aimed at showcasing the wares of the military sector.
Dexsa ’94 was held from 22 to 26 November [trade days: 22, 23 and 24 (until 16:00); public days: 24 (16:00 to 22:00), 25 and 26] at Nasrec (the local showgrounds) near Johannesburg.
Exhibitors and aircraft and avionics displayed included Advanced Technologies & Engineering (ATE); Aerosud (together with Marvol of Russia running programme to fit Russian engine in Mirage F1AZ); Armscor; Atlas Aviation (Cheetah E 842, Rooivalk); C-47TP cockpit display; Denel (Atlas Aviation, Eloptro, Kentron, LIW, Musgrave, PMP, Somchem, Swartklip); Kentron (Flowchart 2 remotely piloted vehicle); and Mirage F1AZ 219.
The Dexsa ’98 Airshow was held at FAWK on 21 November 1998. Participating aircraft included the British Aerospace HAWK LIFT and the single-seat Saab Gripen. The first production Denel Rooivalk AH-2A for the SAAF was also put on display.
SAAF 75 INTERNATIONAL MILITARY AIRSHOW AND AEROSPACE EXPO
As part of the celebrations to commemorate the SAAF’s 75th year of existence, a military airshow and aerospace expo were held at FAWK from 4 to 7 October 1995 (4 and 5 trade days; 6 and 7 public days). It was this show that indicated that there was a need for a combined military and civilian exhibition and that paved the way for the eventual merger of the Aviation Africa and Dexsa exhibitions.
Exhibitors included Aerospatiale; Aerosud (Super Mirage F1); Aerotek, the CSIR; ATE; CASA; Dassault Aviation; Denel (Atlas Aviation, Eloptro, Kentron, LIW, PMP); Eurocopter Southern Africa; Execujet; Reutech; Rolls-Royce; and the Smirnoff aerobatic team.
Air forces/military aircraft included Australia (Orion); Canada (Boeing CC-137); France (Mirage 2000B, Transall); Malaysia (Hercules); Portugal (Hercules); Russia [An-124 and Il-76 (Aeroflot), Mig-29, Su-30/35]; South Africa [DC-4 (previously 44 Squadron); Mirage F1CZ (previously 3 Squadron); 1 Squadron (Mirage F1AZ); 2 Squadron (Cheetah D); 17 Squadron (Oryx); 21 Squadron (Falcon 50, Mercurius); 28 Squadron (Hercules); 35 Squadron (King Air); 41 Squadron (Grand Caravan); 44 Squadron (C-47TP); 60 Squadron (Boeing 707); 86 Multi Engine Flying School (CN235M); Central Flying School (Astra); Museum (Mirage IIICZ, Shackleton); Silver Falcons (Impala)]; Spain (CN235); Swaziland (Arava); United Kingdom [BAe Hawk 100 (demo aircraft), Hawks (Red Arrows aerobatic team), Nimrod, Sentry]; and the United States [USAF F-16; C-141 and
KC-10A (AMC); USAFE F-15; USN (Orion)].
AEROSPACE AFRICA 1998
In 1998 the two series of biennial exhibitions entered a new era with a new organisation, a new structure and a new name. Aerospace Africa ’98, which was held at FAWK from 28 April to 2 May 1998, encompassed military and civil aviation, materials, services and airports. The exhibition was organised under the auspices of the Civil Aviation Association of South Africa and the Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association.
AFRICA AEROSPACE AND DEFENCE
AAD is a partnership initiative between the military and the civilian sector. It is the largest exhibition of its kind on the African continent and it provides an opportunity for industries from the international defence and civil sectors to demonstrate their latest products and technologies to visitors and delegations from around the world.
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