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A summary of 1970s, 1980s and 1990s biennial airshows, Dexsa 1994 and Dexsa 1998 as well as an overview of Africa Aerospace and Defence

Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) was preceded by 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), the SAAF 75 International Military Airshow and Aerospace Expo as well as Aerospace Africa 1998.
More comprehensive information about some of the shows is provided in separate articles. This article should therefore be read in conjunction with the separate articles. At this stage there are separate articles for Air Africa International 1975, Aviation Africa 1977, AAD 2000 and AAD 2006. There are also images in the gallery under Aviation Africa 1977, 1990 and 1992; Dexsa ’94; and AAD 2000, 2004 and 2006.
Please note that since Africa Aerospace and Defence commenced the event had exhibitors from the land and naval sectors as well. However, in this article the emphasis is placed on the aerial sector and mostly on aircraft.
Lanseria Airport as venue until 1983
Air Africa International 1975
The first of the biennial series of aviation exhibitions, named Air Africa International ’75 (abbreviated AAI ’75), was held at Lanseria Airport (ICAO code FALA) from 30 September to 5 October 1975. The airport is situated near Johannesburg in the Republic of South Africa in the province currently known as Gauteng.

This is a reproduction of the logo as it appeared in the World Airnews magazine of August 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).
Aviation Africa 1977
In 1977 the biennial airshow had the name Aviation Africa and was held from 6 to 10 October.

This logo appeared on one of the daily magazines published by the proprietor of World Airnews.
Larger participation by the SAAF
Aviation Africa 1977 saw a much larger participation by the South African Air Force (SAAF) than during AAI ’75. (It was said to be the largest at a civilian venue in two decades.) The theme used by the SAAF was “The Old and the New”. Aircraft included a spirited flying 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 SAAF static area included a Bosbok, a Kudu, a Transall, a Sabre, a Super Frelon, an Alouette III, a Harvard, a Dakota, an Albatross, a Buccaneer and several SAAF Museum exhibits.

A formation flypast by four Dassault Mirage IIICZs of 2 Squadron of the SAAF took place on 5 October 1977. The aircraft comprised serial numbers 807, 808, 809 and 811. Apparently the participation by the SAAF was the largest at a civilian venue in two decades.
Two interesting aircraft
Two interesting aircraft included the prototype Atlas Kudu (ZS-IZF) and Impala Mk II 1066 – both in Atlas Aircraft Corporation colours.
Aviation 1981 – Lanseria
Yet again the biennial airshow received a new name in 1981, namely Aviation ’81 – Lanseria. This four-day event was attended by approximately 100 000 people and more than 40 exhibitors from seven countries took part in the show. The event was organised by the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa.

This is an illustration of the name of the exhibition as it appeared in the World Airnews magazine of November 1981. 

A highlight of the show was the flying display of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG 17 in which lieutenant Adriano Bomba of the Mozambique Air Force defected to South Africa. The aircraft was put through its paces by South African test pilot commandant Bob Masson.
A milestone was reached when the Paterson Biplane replica destined for the Aviation Pioneers Museum in Kimberley (situated in the South African province currently known as Northern Cape) was handed over to the mayor of Kimberley by the Chief of the SAAF at FALA on 10 October 1981. Just before the replica was handed over a flying display was given by Spitfire Mk IX number PT672, Fieseler Storch VD+TD, de Havilland Chipmunk number WG354 and Fairchild Argus ZS-BAH2. Ex-SAAF officer brigadier general Van der Spuy was involved in the ceremony.
Some firsts for the exhibition included a production example of the Swearingen SA-227AT Merlin IVC (N1014L), the first Swearingen Merlin IIIB (D-IBBE), 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).

This Dassault Mirage F1CZ of the South African Air Force appeared in a new (air-superiority) colour scheme.

Here ZS-HKM, the first Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) BO 105 registered in South Africa, is seen during its flying display. Lansav/Lansair exhibited the helicopter.
The following companies exhibited aircraft at Aviation ’81 – Lanseria:
Air Carriers: Partenavia P68C ZS-LAJ and Partenavia P68 Observer ZS-LAK
Partenavia P68 Observer ZS-LAK was another participant in the flying display on 9 and 10 October. This aircraft was also on static display on the same dates.
Astra Aircraft Corporation: Bell 47 ZS-HFJ, Bell 222 ZS-HJK, Bell 206 Long Ranger ZS-HJN, Bell 206 ZS-HJP, Robinson R22 ZS-HJW, Bell 47 ZS-HLP, Aero Commander Jetprop 840 ZS-KOF and Aero Commander Jetprop 980 ZS-KZN

Bell 222 ZS-HJK of Command Airways was exhibited by Astra Aircraft Corporation and formed part of the shuttle service offered during Aviation ’81 – Lanseria. The machine also took part in the flying display on 9 and 10 October.
Avex Air: Dornier Do-128-6 registration number 7P-LAF
Comair: Hughes 500 ZS-HKK, Cessna 150 ZS-IOP, Cessna Citation ZS-KOO, Cessna Titan ZS-KVH, Cessna Cutlass ZS-KVV, Cessna Businessliner ZS-KXC, Cessna Skylane ZS-KXK, Cessna Skylane ZS-KXS, Cessna Centurion ZS-KXT, Cessna Crusader ZS-KXV and Cessna Golden Eagle ZS-RSM
Experimental Aircraft Association: Taylorcraft ZS-ARZ, Globe Swift ZS-BDB, Piper Cub ZS-BJA, Tiger Moth ZS-CTN, Tiger Moth ZS-DNX, Stinson 108 ZS-JKV, Smith Termite ZS-UDY, Taylor Titch ZS-UDZ, Bowers Fly Baby ZS-UFI, Jodel D11 ZS-UFY, Druine Turbulent ZS-UGP, Cassutt Renergade ZS-UGV, Teenie Two ZS-UHC, Taylor Monoplane ZS-UHG, Thorp T18 ZS-UIE, Evans VP-1 ZS-UIH, Rutan Vari-Ezes ZS-UKI and ZS-UKJ, Rand KR-2 ZS-UKU, Tiger Moth ZS-UKW and Pitts Special ZS-ZAP
Fields Aviation: Turbo Thrushes ZS-LEK and VP-WKH
Freight Services: Pitts Special ZS-ULN
Heliquip: Aerospatiale Ecureuil ZS-HIU
JH Rautenbach and Sons: Piper Pawnee Braves ZS-JOF and ZS-JZE
These aircraft gave crop-dusting demonstrations, gave precision-flying displays and did aerial skittle whacking.
Lansav/Lansair: MBB Bo 105 ZS-HKM
Magnum Airlines/Batair: Merlin IIIB number D-IBBE and Merlin IVC number N1014L
Apparently these aircraft gave demonstrations to prospective customers as well.
National Airways Corporation: Learjet 35A number N3797K, Beech Bonanza N18390, Learjet 35A number ZS-INS, Beech Bonanza ZS-KMV, Beech Baron ZS-KZF, Beech Super King Air ZS-LAY, Beech King Air ZS-LBF, Piper Saratoga ZS-LCN, Piper Seneca ZS-LCO and Beech Bonanza ZS-LFB
National Sea Rescue Institute: Sikorsky S-62 ZS-HII
Placo: Piper Cheyenne III number ZS-LCA
This aircraft was unveiled for the first time in South Africa.
Q-Tech: Eagle ZS-UOR
Rotorflight (Rotorway): Scorpion Too ZS-UJA, Scorpion 133 ZS-ULP, Scorpion 133 ZS-ULV, Scorpion 133 ZS-UNK, Scorpion Exec ZS-UOF and an unregistered Scorpion Exec
Safair Freighters: Lockheed Hercules ZS-RSC
South African Aircraft Sales: Mooney M231 ZS-KYP, Mooney M231 ZS-LDB and Mooney M20J number ZS-LGU
South African Air Force: MiG 17 number 21, Alouette III number 74, Pumas 133, 156 and 167, Vampires 256 and 277, Sabre 361F, Impala Mk I numbers 486, 489, 494 and 524, Mirage IIIDZ 839, Bosbok 944, Kudu 971, Impala Mk II numbers 1002, 1025, 1054 and 1073, Spitfires 5518 and PT672, Ventura 6487, Harvards 7688 and 7111, Fieseler Storch VD+TD, Chipmunk WG354, Sikorsky S-55 WV203, Bell 47 XT553 and Argus  ZS-BAH2
Four Impala Mk IIs did mock attacks and one Impala Mk II gave a solo aerobatic display.
Dassault Mirage IIIDZ number 839 was put on static display. Visible inside the hangar in the background (on the right-hand side) is the nose of a Dornier 228 fuselage that was one of the exhibits.

Atlas Impala Mk II number 1025 of 4 Squadron (note the unit badge) is seen on static display.

Fairchild F24R-46A Argus III registration number ZS-BAH2 performed in the flying display.
South African Airways: Airbus A300 ZS-SDE
Shuttle service
The following helicopters performed a shuttle service:
  • Bell 206 ZS-HFC;
  • Hughes 369 ZS-HFK2;
  • Bell 206s ZS-HGG, ZS-HJN, ZS-HJP, ZS-HJR and ZS-HKO;
  • Bell 222 ZS-HJK; and
  • Bell 47 ZS-HKW.
Aviation Africa – Lanseria 1983
As far as the 1983 exhibition is concerned, another name change occurred and the event was held from 6 to 10 October 1983.

This image is an illustration of the logo as it appeared in the World Airnews of November 1983.
The “display room” of civil aviation
One newspaper described the airshow at Lanseria as the “display room” of civil aviation in southern Africa (see Vaderland of 5 October 1983).
Names in the programme and buyers’ guide
Among the names listed in the programme and buyers’ guide booklet those of the following companies appeared (in some instances details of aircraft exhibited by the companies are given in brackets):
  • Astra Aircraft Corporation (this company had a Gulfstream Aerospace Jetprop Commander 1000 on show);
  • Atlas Aircraft Corporation;
  • Avex Air;
  • Avions de Transport Regional;
  • Avions Marcel Dassault-Breguet Aviation (Dassault brought the largest bizjet in its range of aircraft, namely the trijet Falcon 50, to the show);
  • Beechcraft Sales;
  • Bell Helicopters Textron;
  • Bensen South Africa;
  • Boeing Vertol Company;
  • British Aerospace (BAE demonstrated its reengined 125-F400);
  • Canadair (the company flew an example of the wide-bodied Challenger 600 into the show on the opening day, which was registered N603CL);
  • Cessna Aircraft (Cessna had a Citation II at AAL ’83 , which was registered ZS-LHU);
  • Commercial Air Services;
  • de Havilland Aircraft of Canada;
  • Dornier GmbH (Dornier had the edge on its competitors in the field of commuter airliners by flying in a Do 128-100 airliner that was on an eight-week long, 14-country sales tour of Africa);
  • Embraer;
  • Gates Learjet;
  • Grob;
  • Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation;
  • Heliquip;
  • Hiller Helicopters;
  • Hughes Helicopters;
  • Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI displayed the Westwind II, which was registered 4X-CJP);
  • Lansav (MBB and Lansav had the helicopter ballpark to themselves with the introduction of the BK 117 to African skies for the first time);
  • Martin Baker;
  • Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB);
  • Mitsubishi Aircraft (this company flew an example of its Diamond I to the event, which was registered N314DM);
  • Mooney Aircraft;
  • National Airways and Finance Corporation (NAC);
  • Partenavia Aircraft Sales;
  • Piper Aircraft;
  • Placo (the SA distributor of Embraer aircraft had a Bandeirante on static display);
  • Robinson Helicopters;
  • Rotorflight Helicopters;
  • Safair Freighters; and
NAC scored a scoop when it provided details of the Beechcraft Starship I and Gates-Piaggio GP-180 during a video presentation.
Participating aircraft
Aircraft that took part in Aviation Africa Lanseria ’83 included a BK 117 destined for the Ciskei Defence Force and an Observer of the Bophuthatswana Defence Force. The SAAF sent various aircraft to the show.

This MBB-Kawasaki BK 117, which was registered ZS-HMP, later served with the Ciskei Defence Force.

Partenavia P68 Observer serial number T190 of the Bophuthatswana Defence Force is illustrated in this image.

As usual, the SAAF provided a number of aircraft for the show. Illustrated here is Avro Shackleton MR Mk 3 serial number 1716 code letter J (the bottom part of the letter can just be distinguished below the wing tank) of 35 Squadron at DF Malan Airport near Cape Town in the Western Cape.
Rand Airport as venue until 1990
Aviation Africa 1986
A year is skipped
This time the biennial airshow skipped a year and was held in 1986 (from 20 to 22 March) instead of 1985; apparently to coincide with the centenary celebrations of Johannesburg.
Old name used and change of venue
The year 1986 also saw a return to the name “Aviation Africa” and a change of venue to Rand Airport near Germiston (ICAO code FAGM). (Germiston is located close to Johannesburg.)
An aircraft of the SAA Historical Flight

CASA 352L registration number ZS-AFA of the SAA Historical Flight was seen at Rand Airport on 22 March 1986. See Aviation Africa 1992 for more details about this machine.
Aviation Africa 1988
The seventh biennial international airshow was held from 23 March to 26 March 1988 at FAGM.

This is a depiction of the logo as used in World Airnews of March 1988.
Perusal of the buyers’ guide reveals the names of the following exhibitors:
  • Aeronav Academy Pilot Training School;
  • Airbus Industrie;
  • Air Cape;
  • Ancom Jet Aviation;
  • Astra Group Holdings;
  • Atlas Aircraft Corporation;
  • Avions de Transport Regional;
  • Celair;
  • Ciskei Aircraft Industries;
  • Commercial Air Services;
  • Field Aviation SA;
  • Heliquip;
  • Kentron;
  • Magnum Airlines;
  • National Airways and Finance Corporation;
  • Placo;
  • the SAAF Museum;
  • Safair Freighters; and
  • South African Airways.
Aviation Africa 1990
Aviation Africa ’90 was held from 4 April to 7 April 1990.

Here a logo that appeared in the World Airnews of April 1990 is shown.
Coming of age
The following paragraph appeared in the World Airnews of May 1990:
“AVIATION AFRICA came of age at Rand Airport last month. The 1990 exhibition – the ninth in the biennial series – reached maturity and took a quantum leap forward into a new era of international acceptance and importance thanks to the high degree of professionalism demonstrated by each exhibiting company and the hundreds of men and women involved.”
Inclusion of military aviation
With Aviation Africa ’90 the first tentative steps were taken towards including military aviation in the basic structure of the event. Embraer promoted the Tucano trainer (in model form) and Pilatus exhibited an example of its PC-7 trainer.
According to the buyers’ guide companies and institutions that displayed and promoted their products and services included the following:
  • 43 Air School;
  • Aerotek (CSIR);
  • Airbus Industrie;
  • Ancom Jet Aviation;
  • Atlas Aircraft Corporation;
  • Avex Air Training;
  • Avions de Transport Regional;
  • British Aerospace (which displayed the BAE 125-800 on the ground as well as in the air);
  • Celair;
  • Commercial Air Services;
  • Commuter Air Transport;
  • Court Helicopters;
  • Field Aviation;
  • Heliquip;
  • National Airways Corporation and Finance;
  • Performance Aviation;
  • Pilatus Aircraft;
  • Safair Freighters;
  • SOCATA; and
  • the South African Air Force (which displayed a Dakota, Skymaster and Cheetah).
The limelight was stolen by the locally designed Celair Eagle 300 (ZS-WLD), which was launched at the show. The aircraft was a new all-composite, four- to six-seat general-aviation aircraft. Other highlights of Aviation Africa ’90 included a Bophuthatswana Defence Force Pilatus PC-7 (T410) showcased by Pilatus, the first public appearance in Africa of the Astra corporate jet (exhibited by National Airways Corporation), a display of the Aerospatiale Dauphin 2 (ZS-HVI) by Heliquip and a Bop Air Brasilia (ZS-MIR).                                          .

Pilatus put Bop Air Force PC-7 serial number T410 on display. The aircraft started its life with the constructor’s number 559, which is visible on the nose wheel door.

The launch of the locally designed Celair Eagle 300 took place at Aviation Africa International 1990. The machine is depicted on 7 April 1990.

Heliquip exhibited Aerospatiale AS365N Dauphin 2 registration number ZS-HVI. The aircraft is seen on 6 April 1990. The machine served with the Bop Air Force. Brasilia ZS-MIR of Bop Air can be seen behind and to the right of the helicopter.

Here Bop Air Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia ZS-MIR is depicted on 6 April 1990. The Brasilia was exhibited by Heliquip. Note the Mustang X-51D (ZS-ULL) to the right of the Brasilia’s port wing tip.

Another Pilatus type displayed at the show was PC-6 registration number ZS-MSZ.
FAJS as venue until 1996
Aviation Africa 1992
Venue changed to FAJS
Aviation Africa 1992 took place from 1 to 4 April 1992 at Jan Smuts Airport (ICAO code FAJS). FAJS was the major international airport near Johannesburg and of South Africa.
Wording in buyers’ guide

The wording reflected here is a representation of what appeared in the buyers’ guide for the show that was inside the World Airnews for April 1992.
The static-display area of Aerotech/Aerobuild included WSK-PZL An-28 registration number SP-FFN, PZL M18A Dromader registration number SP-FCK and An-2 registration number SP-FAL.
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.

African Aerospace put on display PZL-104 Wilga 80 registration number ZS-NFM and construction number CF20900895 and Yak 55M number 24, which has construction number 920309.

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 its 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.
Atlas Aircraft Corporation displayed a Rooivalk and Cheetah R.
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. Number 855 was used for testing the advanced combat wing that was 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.
A Brasilia and Tucano formed the exhibits of Embraer.
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 that 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 16 air forces over five continents.

See Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embraer_EMB_312_Tucano.
National Airways Corporation had several aircraft as static exhibits.
This Beech Aircraft Corporation Beechjet 400, which has construction number RJ-27 and was manufactured in 1987, had several identities. These identities comprised N3127R, N484CC and N611TG. The machine 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.
An aircraft exhibited by South African Airways was CASA 352L registration number ZS-AFA2 of the SAA Historical Flight.

CASA 352L registration number ZS-AFA, construction number 164, is the second aircraft with this registration (the original aircraft being a genuine Ju 52). ZS-AFA2 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-AFA2 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.
Other exhibitors included:
  • Basler (turbine Dakota);
  • the Bop Air Force (PC-6, PC-7, CN-235M);
  • British Aerospace (BAE 125-800, 125-1000);
  • Celair (Christen Husky, Pitts S-2S);
  • Comair (Cessna Grand Caravan, Citation VII);
  • the Department of Transport (Citation SII);
  • Execujet (Canadair CL-601-3A, Learjet 31A);
  • Field Aviation Zimbabwe (Harbin Y-12II);
  • Heliquip (Aerospatiale Dauphin2, Ecureuil and Trinidad);
  • Interjet (Learjet 25B);
  • 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); and
  • Transregional (Catpass 250).
Aviation Africa 1994
Aviation Africa ’94 occurred from 20 to 24 April.

The logo illustrated here appeared in the World Airnews of April 1994.
Some of the exhibitors
Here are details of some of the exhibitors (the names of the exhibitors were obtained from the buyers’ guide) and the aircraft displayed by them:
  • Advanced Technologies and Engineering;
  • Aerospatiale;
  • Aerosud;
  • Aerotech – Poland (PZL-Swidnik Sokol);
  • Aerotek (CSIR);
  • Aero Vodochody;
  • Airbus Industrie
  • Avex Air Training;
  • Aviaexport (which arranged the Russian and CIS Pavilion);
  • Avions de Transport Regional (ATR);
  • Beech Aircraft Corporation;
  • Bell Helicopter Textron;
  • Bombardier Regional Aircraft Division;
  • British Aerospace;
  • Cessna Aircraft Company;
  • Comair (Cessna Citation VII, Grand Caravan);
  • Commander Aircraft Company;
  • Court Helicopters;
  • Dassault Aviation;
  • Denel;
  • Deutsche Aerospace;
  • Embraer (EMB-120 Brasilia, EMB-312 Tucano);
  • Eurocopter Group;
  • Execujet (Canadair Challenger);
  • Fokker Aircraft;
  • Gulfstream Aerospace;
  • Impala Air;
  • Kentron;
  • Lanseria Airport;
  • National Airways Corporation (Beechjet 400A, Bell 230, Bonanza, King Air 350);
  • Osprey Aerospace;
  • Raytheon;
  • Robinson Helicopter Company;
  • SAAB Aircraft;
  • Schweizer Helicopters;
  • Sikorsky Helicopters;
  • The South African Air Force; and
  • TransAfrican Aviation (Commander Aircraft Commander 114B).
Images of some of the aircraft displayed at Aviation Africa ’94

The SAAF had this VIP turbine Dakota, serial number 6892 of 44 Squadron, on display.

N230PA is a Bell 230 and was exhibited by National Airways Corporation (this was the first time this type was displayed in South Africa). Visible in the background is Douglas DC-4 Skymaster ZS-BMH of South African Airways. Below the tail boom of the helicopter bits of Beech Bonanza ZS-NHV can be seen.

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan N404GE (constructor’s number 208B-0307) is depicted here, while Aerospatiale AS350B Ecureuil ZS-HIU (constructor’s number 1278) can be seen on the right.

This image illustrates N3094H, which is an Ayres S2R-T34 Turbo Thrush with the constructor’s number T34-180DC. The following aircraft are visible clockwise in the background from the left: Canadair 601-3A Challenger ZS-NKD (constructor’s number 5060), two orange tails of SAA aircraft, the nose of C-47TP 6892 (below the second orange tail), Tupolev Tu-204 RA-64007 (constructor’s number 64007) and PZL-Swidnik W3W Sokol ZU-AGP (constructor’s number 36.03.18) in front (to the right) of the Tu-204.

Seen here is a Beech Bonanza and (clockwise from the left), Beech King Air 350 N350TW (constructor’s number FM-2), the tailfin and upper fuselage of an ATR-42 of Air Botswana, the nose of an SAA DC-4, Let 410UVP-E20 registration number ZS-NIK (constructor’s number 922726), two Commander 114s and the tail of Beechjet 400A N8157H (constructor’s number RK-57).
Aviation Africa 1996
Aviation Africa 1996 was held from 24 to 27 April. (Note that Jan Smuts Airport had in the meantime been renamed Johannesburg International Airport. However, the ICAO code stayed the same.)

The Defence Exposition of South Africa (Dexsa) was the other series of biennial South African shows. Dexsa took place at Nasrec (the local Johannesburg show grounds) and AFB Waterkloof (ICAO code FAWK) and was specifically aimed at showcasing the wares of the military sector.
Dexsa 1994
Dexsa ’94 was held from 22 to 26 November at Nasrec. The details are as follow:
  • The trade days were held on 22, 23 and 24 November (until 16:00).
  • The public days were held on 24 (16:00 to 22:00), 25 and 26 November.

Here is an illustration of the logo of Dexsa ’94 as it appeared on the exposition brochure.
Display halls
The display halls were arranged according to themes, industries and communal areas (as reflected in the brochure):
Hall 6 [themes: Aviation, Air Defence and Electronics and Soldier and System Support (South African National Defence Force)] (industries: Aerosud, ATE, Denel, Reunert, Super Mirage F1, et cetera)
Hall 7 (themes: Peace-keeping and SAPS Support and Rapid Deployment) (industries: Armscor et cetera)
Hall 8 (themes: Countermine Warfare and Land Battle)
Exhibitors and aircraft and avionics displayed at Dexsa ’94 included the following companies and institutions:
  • Advanced Technologies & Engineering (ATE);
  • Aerosud (together with Marvol of Russia running programme to fit Russian engine in Mirage F1AZ);
  • Armscor; and
  • Denel (Atlas Aviation, Eloptro, Kentron, LIW, Musgrave, PMP, Somchem, Swartklip).
Atlas Aviation showcased Cheetah E number 842. The machine was converted to Cheetah standard from Mirage IIIEZ number 842 as part of Project Brahman and was delivered to the SAAF on 21 December 1988.
Kentron is a division of Denel and displayed the Buzzard low-speed target drone. The Buzzard is an autonomously piloted low-speed target drone system designed to evaluate weapon systems and train operators in simulated, short- and medium-range aerial attacks.
In addition, Kentron exhibited the Flowchart 2 remotely piloted vehicle.
Dexsa 1998
The Dexsa ’98 Airshow was held at FAWK on 21 November 1998. The Beeld newspaper claimed that more than 100 000 people attended the airshow.
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.
Aircraft that took part in the Dexsa ’98 Airshow
Illustrated here is the British Aerospace Hawk LIFT (Lead-in Fighter Trainer) together with a cannon, missiles and extra fuel tanks. The SAAF later operated the Mk 120 version of the type.

Here the Denel AH-2A Rooivalk, number 670 (the first production aircraft for the South African Air Force), is illustrated. The aircraft carries typical weaponry.

One of the participants in the show was de Havilland DH 100 Vampire T55 number 276 of the SAAF Museum (the aircraft has constructor’s number 15498 and was the last Vampire that was delivered to the SAAF). Mustang number 325 (left) and Dakota 6859 (right) are visible in the background.

Another SAAF Museum aircraft at Dexsa ’98 was North American Mustang number 325. It is finished in a colour scheme representative of that worn during the Korean War. Note the 2 Squadron badge below and just ahead of the cockpit. The tail and forward section of Spitfire TE566 can be seen behind (to the left) the aircraft. The white-and-red tail of Astra 2024 is visible behind the Spitfire (to the left of the tail of the Mustang) and the starboard engine and a bit of the forward section of Dakota 6859 appear to the right of the nose of the Mustang.

This is the single-seat SAAB Gripen and it is finished in a low-visibility camouflage scheme. Note the 7 on the nose and the roundel with the Swedish national marking below the cockpit. The number 39132 is visible to the right of “FARA” (above the red light).

Illustrated here is Spitfire number TE566.
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 civilian and military exhibitions.

This is the aerospace expo and SAAF 75 logos as they appeared on SAAF documents.
Exhibitors that displayed their products and services at the SAAF 75 Aerospace Expo included the following companies, institutions and teams (these names appeared in the SAAF 75 Aerospace Expo brochure):
  • Advanced Technologies and Engineering (ATE);
  • Aerospatiale;
  • Aerosud;
  • Aerotek, the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research);
  • British Aerospace;
  • CASA;
  • Daimler-Benz Aerospace;
  • Dassault Aviation;
  • Denel (Atlas Aviation, Eloptro, Kentron, LIW, PMP);
  • Eurocopter Southern Africa;
  • Execujet;
  • Grinaker;
  • Hunting Aviation;
  • Lockheed Martin;
  • McDonnell Douglas;
  • Moscow Aircraft Production Organization;
  • Osprey Group;
  • Reutech;
  • Rolls-Royce;
  • Safair;
  • the Smirnoff aerobatic team; and
  • Thomson-CSF.
Air forces
Countries (and aircraft) present at SAAF 75 included the following:
  • 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 (CN-235M); Central Flying School (Astra); Museum (Mirage IIICZ, Shackleton); Silver Falcons (Impala)];
  • Spain (CN-235);
  • Swaziland (Arava);
  • the 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)].
Aircraft from different air forces and countries
From left to right appear a Boeing CC-137 (Boeing 707 variant) of the Canadian Air Force and a Lockheed Orion of the Australian Navy. The large aircraft in the background is an Antonov An-124 from Russia.

Depicted here is a Dassault Mirage F1AZ (fighter-bomber) of the SAAF. A British Hawk (trainer) appears on the right in the background.

Transport aircraft attending the show included this CASA CN-235M of the South African Air Force and a French Transall (in the background).
Red Arrows aerobatic display team of the Royal Air Force

The different colours of the smoke of the Red Arrows represent the national colours of the United Kingdom.
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.

This is the logo that appeared in the SA Flyer magazine Aerospace Africa ’98 publication.
Douglas DC-4 of the SAA Historical Flight
An exhibitor at Aerospace Africa ’98 was South African Airways. Douglas DC-4 registration number ZS-AUB of the SAA Historical Flight is seen taxying on 1 May 1998.
Mirage IIICZ of the SAAF Museum
The drag parachute of Mirage IIICZ number 800 of the SAAF Museum is deployed to help slow down the aircraft after it had landed. Number 800 represented the South African Air Force Museum.
In 2000 the Aerospace Africa show was combined with Dexsa to form Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD). The event was jointly hosted by AMD, Armscor and CAASA, with substantial support from the national government, the Department of Defence as well as the Department of Trade and Industry.
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.
FAWK as venue until 2004
SAAF 80 International Airshow and Africa Aerospace and Defence 2000
In 2000 the South African Air Force 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 (ICAO code FAWK) (the base is located 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 were trade days]. South Africa, as host country, fielded the most aircraft.

This is an illustration of the details on the forward section of Lockheed C-130B number 405 of the SAAF. The 28 Squadron badge is visible to the left of the crew entry door. The last digit of the serial number appears in black on a white background on the third step.
Military participants
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.

Here military aircraft from two continents are seen. Harbin Y-12 number AF216 (left) of the Zambian Air Force (Africa) and Boeing KC-135T number 58-0062 (right) of the United States Air Force (North America) are seen at Air Force Base Waterkloof on 1 September 2000.
Algerian Air Force

An Ilyushin 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.
Argentinian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Argentina)

Lockheed Hercules number TC-100 of the Argentinian Air Force transported a partially disassembled Pampa to AAD 2000 on 1 September. The aircraft was finished in an all-white colour scheme with a blue cheat line. The only markings it carried were the serial number and Argentinian flag.
Belgian Air Force (Force Aérien Belgique)
Most of the Belgian aircraft arrived on 30 August 2000, with a USAF Boeing KC-135T keeping the F-16s company:
CA-01                         Airbus
CH-07                         Hercules
FA-107/117/133          F-16
CH-01                         Hercules

Various Belgian Air Force support aircraft arrived and departed on different dates. Hercules number CH-07 is seen taxying on 30 August 2000. This aircraft departed by 1 September 2000.
Botswana Defence Force

Super King Air OB-1 of the Botswana Defence Force paid a brief visit to the show on 3 September 2000.
German Air Force (Luftwaffe)

The first (50 + 97) of two Luftwaffe C-160D Transalls arrived on 4 September 2000. The machine was put on static display.
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.
United Kingdom
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.

Royal Air Force Tristar number ZD953 accompanied Tornados ZA399 and ZA471 to South Africa and these three aircraft are seen together over FAWK on 3 September 2000.

Nimrod number XV246 is seen taxying to its stand on the arrival date. Note the national flag of the United Kingdom on top of the fuselage, behind the aerial refuelling probe on top of the cockpit.

Here Tornado number ZA471 (code letters AJ-K) is seen on the runway on 3 September 2000.
United States
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, such as C-17 number 97-0048, are used by both AMC and AFReserve.
Here are the dates on which the USAF aircraft arrived:
2000-08-30    58-0062         KC-135T (together with Belgians)
2000-09-03    97-0048         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 (on different dates) included two Rockwell B-1Bs, a Lockheed C-130H and a second F-15E. Before the show commenced, a Lockheed E-2RS arrived to undertake science missions from Pietersburg International Airport (ICAO code FAPB).

Boeing KC-135R number 62-3561 is seen landing on 3 September 2000.

Lockheed KC-10 Extender number 85-0031 is depicted with its thrust reversers in operation on 3 September 2000.

McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle number 91-0324 also arrived on 3 September 2000.
Zambian Air Force

Harbin Y-12 numbers AF-214 and AF-216 of the Zambian Air Force were noticed for the first time on 1 September 2000. Three K-8s arrived at Waterkloof on 31 August 2000. This image illustrates Harbin Y-12 numbers AF214 (nearest) and AF216 (behind) and K-8 Karakorum AF-824 (the third aircraft).
Air Force of Zimbabwe
Two different types of Zimbabwean Air Force aircraft were sent to Waterkloof, namely transport aircraft and jet trainers. The transport aircraft arrived and departed on different dates. The two trainers arrived early on 3 September 2000 and stayed for the duration of the show.

CASA 212-200 number 812 of the Zimbabwean Air Force is seen taking off on 9 September 2000.

Here Hawk 60 numbers 605 (on the right) and 610 (on the left) are shown on one of the FAWK aprons on 3 September 2000. A Zambian Air Force K-8 (first) and Belgian Air Force F-16 (second) can be seen on the left.

South Africa
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
  1. 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
  1. 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)
  1. Alouette III                                         592     Atlas Impala I
These were examples of redundant aircraft. The Alouette was displayed together with a 120-mm gun and was modified by Denel.
  1. 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 number 216 was the prototype for the Super Mirage F1 and Cheetah D2 number 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 had to offer.
SAAF display
C-130F 411; CASA 212 8020; Cessna 185s 710 and 748; CN-235M 8026; PC-12 8030; Cessna 208B 3002; C-47TPs 6885 and 6887; Mercurius ZS-LPE; Citation ZS-MLN and Cessna 210 ZS-KNC

Cessna Caravan I number 3002 of 41 Squadron SAAF is shown on 6 September 2000.
SAAF units present
South African Air Force units that had aircraft at FAWK during AAD 2000 included the following:

2 Squadron from Hoedspruit sent, among others, Atlas Cheetah C number 356 to the show. The aircraft is depicted on 3 September 2000.

One of the units based at FAWK at the time of SAAF 80 was 28 Squadron. Lockheed C-130B Hercules number 403 is seen on 1 September 2000.

Atlas Astra (Pilatus PC-7 Mk II) numbers 2018, 2020, 2024, 2026 and 2027 of the Central Flying School at Langebaanweg are illustrated below on 3 September 2000.

Aircraft of the SAAF Museum noticed in September 2000 at Air Force Base Waterkloof included Mirage IIICZ number 800 (on the left) and Mirage IIIBZ number 817 (on the right). The IIICZ took part in the flying programme under the theme Fighter Frenzy. Mirage IIIBZ 817 formed part of the Museum Flight and participated in the flying display under the theme The Advent of Mach 2 in the SAAF. The image is dated 2 September 2000.
Hall 3
ATTD2            Astra mock-up
Flying display
The flying display comprised an opening sequence as well as a finale, and the sections in between were given various themes. The themes included:
  • Fighter Frenzy (Mirage IIICZ; K-8; Lightning; F-16D; Tristar and Tornadoes);
  • Air Power Helicopter Heroes (Alouette II and III; Puma; BK 117; Oryxes; Rooivalk);
  • Historical Fighter (Spitfire IX);
  • Tribute to Korean War (Sabre; Mustang; Vampire);
  • The Advent of Mach 2 in the SAAF (Mirage IIIBZ; Hawk);
  • Airpower Collection (ER-2; F-15; F-16; Buccaneer; B-1B);
  • Airpower Transport Aircraft (Caravan; Cessna 185; Kudu; Dakota; CASA 212; Transall);
  • Fighters of the SAAF (Cheetah Cs; Gripen);
  • et cetera.
Military tattoo
The Military Tattoo held on 5 September 2000 at 60 Squadron included flypasts by Oryx number 1213, Rooivalk numbers 672 and 673, BK 117 number 382, the Royal Navy Lynx, the Silver Falcons and the two Gripens.
The following exhibitors were present at AAD 2000:
  • Aerosud;
  • Armscor;
  • Advanced Technologies & Engineering (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 registration numbers ZS-BAR and ZS-OIZ; Challenger 601 ZS-AVL; and Global Express N701WH);
  • Flying Lions (Harvards ZU-AYS, ZU-BET and ZU-BEU);
  • National Airways Corporation [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).
Here Cessna 560 registration number ZS-FCB is illustrated on 3 September 2000. The machine was exhibited by Comair. 

Note the Barlows logo on the fin of Learjet 45 registration number ZS-BAR. Execujet/Bombardier Aerospace put the aircraft on display.
AAD 2002
In 2002 four foreign air forces, the SAAF and numerous local and foreign companies showed their equipment in the static halls, the outside display areas and/or the flying display from 18 to 22 September at the SAAF’s Waterkloof base near Pretoria in the Gauteng area of South Africa.
International institutions and companies
Air forces
As South Africans do not see many aircraft of other African air forces, the Canadair CF-5D of the Botswana Defence Force and the Atlas Impala Mk II of the Cameroon Air Force were welcome visitors. From Europe we had a French Air Force C-160 Transall on static display. The United States Air Force, as usual, sent a good variety of aircraft. These consisted of a C-5 Galaxy, C-9 Nightingale, C-130 Hercules, two KC-135R tankers, two F-15E fighters and a B-1B bomber.
Botswana Defence Force

The tail section of Canadair CF-5D number 0J25 of the Botswana Defence Force is illustrated in this image. “ Z28” is a reference to the squadron that operated the type.
Cameroon Air Force
This image depicts the Cameroon Air Force roundel as it appeared on Impala Mk II number TJX-CQ.

Number 71-0881 is a Douglas C-9 Nightingale of the United States Air Force and it has constructor’s number 47540. The machine was delivered on 27 July 1972.


The above two images depict USAF Lockheed C-5B Galaxy number 87-0040. At the time the Galaxy was the largest airlifter in the USAF arsenal. Note the angle of the main wheels in the second image.

Serial number 91-0603 represents a McDonnell-Douglas F-15E Eagle. The tail code LN refers to the 48th Fighter Wing of the United States Air Forces in Europe at Royal Air Force Lakenheath in Europe.

BAE Systems

BAE Systems, one of several British companies at AAD 2002, showcased its Hawk trainer.


The Brahmos supersonic cruise missile, of which a model was shown, is designed for employment as ship-, ground- or air-launched weapon against ship or land targets.

Gripen International

Gripen International displayed both its two-seat and single-seat aircraft. The single-seater, number 39134, is shown in these two images.
South African companies and institutions
Advanced Technologies and Engineering (ATE)
ATE exhibited its Super Hind Mk III upgrade of the Russian Mi-24 helicopter (first public appearance) as well as the Vulture artillery observation and fire correction UAV for the South African Artillery Corps.
Vulture UAV system

The tracking unit (left) and launch platform (right) of the Vulture UAV system are illustrated in this image.

This photograph shows the recovery equipment for the Vulture.
Super Hind Mk III

Various parts of the Super Hind Mk III are depicted in the three images that appear above.
Aerosud displayed its Super Mirage upgrade of the Mirage F1, which began life as an SA Air Force project to upgrade its own Mirage F1AZs with new avionics and weapons and a new engine (the SMR95, which was developed from the RD-33, which powers the MiG-29). Although the project was shelved due to a lack of funds, it was revived because of the potential upgrade market.

This aircraft has serial number 216 and is shown on one of the taxiways on 19 September 2002.

This closeup of Aerosud Super Mirage F1 number 233 is dated 19 September 2002. 

The services rendered by Comair at the time of AAD 2002 included aircraft sales, maintenance services, parts supplies, financing and management expertise. The company represented the Cessna Aircraft Company in South Africa. Aircraft displayed included the Citation Encore, Excel and X (in the bizjet range), while the Grand Caravan and Skylane completed the line-up. Comair also operates national and regional air services on a British Airways franchise and has a no-frills wing named kulula.com. One of the latter’s Boeing 727s featured in the flying display.
Here Cessna 560XL Citation Excel ZS-FCB is depicted. The machine has constructor’s number 560-5018.

Zulu Sierra Uniform Romeo Oscar is a Cessna 182T Skylane with the constructor’s number 18281030.

The registration letters ZS-VAN adorn a Cessna Grand Caravan. The machine has the constructor’s number 208B0969.

Boeing 727 registration number ZS-NZV made a flypast on 21 September 2002. The airliner has constructor’s number 20792 and is a 727-230 Advanced and was originally delivered to Lufthansa as D-ABWI.

Denel is a diversified industrial group (including Denel Aviation and Kentron) and a world leader in artillery systems. Denel Aviation’s expertise in military aircraft and helicopters culminated in the design, development, testing and production of the Rooivalk (of which several examples were on display). The company holds production and support licences on the Agusta A109 and A119 helicopters and manufactures, upgrades and supports gas-turbine engines, drive trains and components. Its several airworthiness authority certifications allow it to undertake cargo conversions and comprehensive service, maintenance and upgrades of wide- and narrow-bodied aircraft.
Kentron showed several of its products, which included its observation and sighting systems, guided-missile systems and UAVs, some of which are discussed below:
Guided-missile systems

It was said that the Mokopa, a state-of-the-art, modular, long-range and precision-guided missile, would become the primary armament of the Rooivalk. It could also be used from vehicles, shore-battery installations, naval vessels and fixed-wing aircraft. The modular design allows for different warheads to be used and the missile meets modern operational requirements.

The Raptor Mk II is a TV-guided stand-off weapon that was offered in glide-bomb and rocket-boosted variants. It can be flown to the target by a weapons officer or use automatic waypoint navigation and can be controlled from another aircraft up to 250 km away. Terminal guidance is provided by an imaging TV camera that can be locked on to target for the weapon to fly the final attack automatically.
Eurocopter Southern Africa
Eurocopter Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd (ESAL) was a wholly owned subsidiary of Eurocopter SAS (HQ France), in turn part of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS). Eurocopter SAS is the largest helicopter-manufacturing company in the world and provides products ranging from single-engine to large twin-engine helicopters. ESAL provides maintenance, repair, overhaul and general services for some 80 turbine helicopters. Products showcased included the EC-120B, EC-130B4 and EC-155B. These three helicopters feature the fenestron tail rotor and are the quietest in their respective classes.
ZS-RME is a Eurocopter EC-120 Colibri and has constructor’s number 1132.

The EC-120B Colibri was introduced to SA in 1999. It is a light single-engine helicopter with a low operating-noise level and is used extensively in SA, including the transportation of people, for game catching, for census work and for medevac services.

This Eurocopter EC-155B is registered ZS-RLI and it has constructors number 6557. 
The EC-155B is a development of the Dauphin, which made its SA debut in 2000. This machine is a medium twin-engine multimission helicopter that is aimed at the VIP, corporate, offshore, police, public service and emergency medical service markets.
Execujet SA
Execujet was based at Lanseria Airport and represented the African element of the Swiss-based global Executive Aviation Group and was the official distributor of Bombardier Aerospace’s Business Aircraft Division’s entire range of Learjet, Challenger, Global 5000 and Global Express business aircraft in southern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands and operated the only Bombardier Authorised Service Facility. Bombardier Aerospace is the world’s leading business aircraft manufacturer. The Challenger SE, Challenger 604, Global Express and Learjet 45 were displayed.

Here Bombardier BD-700 Global Express VP-BDD constructor’s number 9017 is illustrated.
National Airways Corporation
National Airways and Finance Corporation, or NAC as it is commonly known, is a general-aviation company. Its services include aircraft sales, maintenance and parts distribution, avionics sales and installation, pilot training and flight operations, including air charter, contract flying, aircraft management and finance and flight training.
During AAD 2002 the company had the Raytheon Aircraft franchise for 33 countries in Africa and the UK and its helicopter franchises included Bell Helicopter Textron and Robinson Helicopters, with the Bell independent representative agreement including 16 countries in southern Africa. Aircraft exhibited included the Raytheon Hawker 800, Super King Air B200, Premier I and Beech Baron 58, Bell 407 and 427 and Robinson R44 Raven.

ZS-KMO is a Beech Baron 58 with the constructor’s number TH-1207. The tailfin of BAE 125-800 registration number N40255 is sticking out in the background.
Other aircraft
A Boeing Stearman featured in the static park and the flying display. Several aircraft appeared either in the static park or in the flying display only. These included Ron Wheeldon’s Hawker Hunter, a Samba (which towed the glider of Lourens Goudriaan into the air and gave a solo display), the Netstar Newscopter (traffic spotting), a private Boeing 737, a STAR EC-135 (medevac rescue) and aircraft of the African Pilot and SA Flyer magazines.

Private Boeing 737 ZS-OWM featured in the flying display on 20 September 2002. The machine has constructor’s number 21711 and is a 737-2R8C. The suffix “2R8C” indicates that it is an ex-Air Tanzania machine.
Various aerobatic aircraft included a private Sukhoi Su-29 and Zlin 50L and the Trade Centre Pitts Special, while aerobatic teams included the Harvards of the Nissan Flying Lions, the Shurlok Pitts Specials and Zlin 50Ls, Smirnoff Pitts Specials and Tyco Duo Aero Vodochody L29 and L39.
The following two images depict aircraft of the Nissan Flying Lions:

North American Harvard Mk III registration number ZU-BMC is shown on the runway on 20 September 2002. The aircraft has constructor’s number 88-15863 and previously had the US serial number 41-34109, Royal Air Force serial number EZ236 and SAAF serial number 7609.

The details on the underside of one of the aircraft are illustrated.

South Africa being the host country, the most proliferate air force present at AAD 2002 was the SAAF. Although most of the aircraft were from units based at Waterkloof, units residing in the rest of the country were also represented. These comprised aircraft from the smallest (Cessna 185) to the largest (Boeing 707) and from the primary trainer (Astra) to fighters (Cheetah). The units represented were from Hoedspruit (Cheetah C and D and Impala Mk 1 and II) in the north to the Cape in the south (Astra) and Bloemfontein in the middle of the country (Rooivalk).
South African Airways

South African Airways is South Africa’s national carrier. Boeing 737-300 ZS-SKA made flypasts on 21 September 2002. The machine has constructor’s number 22996.

South African Police Services

The air wing of the South African Police Services (SAPS) comprised fixed- as well as rotary-winged aircraft, and some of the helicopters appeared in the flying display. Aerospatiale AS350B3 registration number ZS-RPL and constructor’s number 3468 participated in the flying display on 21 September 2002.
Tramon Air Group
At the time of AAD 2002 this grouping consisted of Tramon Air (a cargo airline operating Boeing 707, IL-76, Gulfstream I and Piper PA-27 aircraft), AirQuarius (a passenger airline operating F-28, DC-9, Gulfstream I and Learjet 24/25 aircraft) as well as SEBENZA (a forwarding, clearing and consulting agent). Representative aircraft from the former two companies were exhibited.

This is Fokker F-28 registration number ZS-JAS of AirQuarius. Note the name Bella-Donna below the cockpit and the AirQuarius titles to the left of the entry door as well as the last three letters of the registration number on the nose wheel door. The machine is a Fokker F-28-4000 Fellowship with the constructor’s number 11225.

Here Grumman G-159 Gulfstream I registration number ZS-JIS of Tramon Air (note the titles below the cockpit) can be seen. The craft has constructor’s number 193 and was previously PK-TRN and before that N754G. Also see “Tramon Air Group” under AAD 2004 for an image of this machine. The tailfin of a SAAF Hercules can be seen to the right in the background.
Uni-Group Holdings

Uni-Group Holdings was an amalgamation of registered SA companies and close corporations – each having its own core business. The aircraft exhibited was the Mushshak, which was built by the Aircraft Manufacturing Factory in Pakistan – under licence from SAAB. It was marketed as a civilian aviation trainer and utility aircraft for the South and southern African markets.

The following markings appear on the aircraft (from the tail to the nose): Uni-Group Holdings logo, Pakistan insignia and number 97.5400, UNIGROUP HOLDINGS titles, the number 400,  AMF logo, the name MUSHSHAK and the Africa Aerospace and Defence 2002 logo.

The rear section of USAF Rockwell B-1B Lancer number 85-0084 is visible in the background and behind the B-1 the tailfin of a Lockheed C-130H Hercules of the USAF can be seen.

The Mushshak is a two- or three-seat aircraft with a 200-horsepower Textron Lycoming IO-360-A1B6 piston engine and heavy-duty tricycle landing gear. Its endurance is five hours and 10 minutes and range 580 nautical miles. In the military role it can carry up to 300 kilograms of external stores. The aircraft can undertake the following types of primary flight training: basic flight training, instrument flying, aerobatics (including deliberate spinning and recovery), night flying, navigation flying and formation flying. Furthermore it has a side-by-side cockpit, large baggage compartment in the rear section of the cabin (which can accommodate a third crew member), good handling characteristics and short-/rough-field performance, as well as a full aerobatics capability.
AAD 2004
AAD 2004 was staged from 21 to 23 September 2004 at AFB Waterkloof near Pretoria in the Gauteng Province of South Africa. The show attracted 428 exhibitors, which consisted of 194 direct exhibitors and 234 indirect exhibitors and came from 25 countries.
Military as well as civilian aircraft from countries all over the world were displayed. Display aircraft included six Atlas Astras (Pilatus PC-7 Mk IIs) of the SAAF’s Central Flying School at AFB Langebaanweg on the West Coast of the Cape Province, an Italian Lockheed C-130J, a USAF Lockheed C-5 Galaxy and Boeing KC-135R as well as one of the SAA Historic Flight’s Douglas Skymasters.

AAD is also often described as the “battle ground of the bizjets”. Seen from front to back and left to right are Cessna Citation II ZS-RKV (first), Bombardier Learjet 40 registration number N40LJ (constructor’s number 45-2009) (behind), Falcon 2000EX registration number F-GUFM (constructor’s number 28) (right) and Gulfstream V registration number ZS-AOL (constructor’s number 634) (left). The Citation was manufactured in 1977, has constructor’s number 550-0051 and its previous identities are N678CA (cancelled 24 January 1995 as exported to South Africa) and C-GBCB (imported 1977 and cancelled in 1994).
List of exhibitors
The following list is a summary of the names of some of the exhibitors that appeared in the World Airnews Africa Aerospace and Defence 2004 Buyers’ Guide:
  • Advanced Technologies and Engineering;
  • Aeronav Academy and Lanseria Flight Centre;
  • Aeronexus Corporate;
  • Aerosud Holdings;
  • AgustaWestland;
  • Airvan Africa;
  • BAE Systems;
  • the Boeing Company;
  • Comair;
  • Dassault Aviation;
  • Denel;
  • EADS;
  • Eurocopter;
  • Execujet South Africa;
  • Kazan Helicopters;
  • Mission Aviation Fellowship;
  • National Airways Corporation;
  • Naturelink;
  • Rosoboronexport;
  • SAA Technical;
  • Safair; and
  • Starlite Aviation.
Exhibitors and aircraft
Note that some of the companies and institutions discussed below are not mentioned in the above list of exhibitors.
Advanced Technologies and Engineering (ATE)
ATE’s Vulture UAV system comprises three flatbed trucks (a ground-control station, a unique truck-mounted recovery system and a launcher). The Vulture is an artillery observation and fire correction UAV that has been developed for the South African National Defence Force.
Two of the vehicles of the Vulture UAV system

The truck with the recovery system is visible on the left. Part of the control station can be seen on the right.

This is a closeup of the UAV on its launch vehicle.
ATE displayed its Super Hind Mk III upgrade of the Russian Mi-24 helicopter publicly for the first time at Africa Aerospace and Defence 2004. The Super Hind Mk III provides a substantial increase in the Mi-24’s operating envelope and stand-off capability.
AgustaWestland’s static park included an example of the Agusta A109 LUH. The roles of this machine include troop transport, armed protection, search and rescue, maritime and border patrol, medical evacuation and training. At the time, the A109 LUH was the South African Air Force’s latest helicopter and it was unveiled for the first time at AAD 2004.

A SAAF example of the Agusta A109 LUH displayed (4003) had the unit markings of 87 Helicopter Flying School and had the constructor’s number 13653, which was the third South African example.
In its section of the static-display area Comair displayed Cessna 182T Skylane registration number N6385B and constructor’s number 18281407 at AAD 2004. On 1 October 2004 the aircraft was cancelled from the US register as exported to South Africa.

Another aircraft in the Comair display area was Cessna 525A Citationjet CJ2 registration number ZS-CJT. This aircraft has constructor’s number 525A-0163.


Part of the flying display at AAD 2004 was a demonstration of the capabilities of the agile Atlas Rooivalk attack helicopter. Rooivalk number 680 is depicted on 21 September 2004.
German Air Force

One of the few foreign air forces that sent aircraft to AAD 2004 was the German Air Force. In 2004 the versatile Transall was still operated by the Luftwaffe, in which service it was known as the C-160D. C-160D 50+34 has constructor’s number D-056 and serial number 5034 and has the markings of Air Transport Squadron 63 [Lufttransportgeschwader (LTG)] 63. In this image, taken on 21 September 2004, personnel is seen working on the aircraft.
Italian Air Force

What presumably was the first public appearance in South Africa of the new-generation Lockheed Super Hercules (the C-130J) occurred when this Italian Air Force example was put on display at AAD 2004. The serial number of the aircraft is MM62182, its code is 46-47 and it has the badge of 46 Brigata Aerea. The aircraft is being towed to its static-display position. Also note the Italian flag on top of it.
National Airways Corporation (NAC)

Robinson R44 Raven II registration ZS-HFH was displayed by National Airways Corporation at Africa Aerospace and Defence 2004. The helicopter has the constructor’s number 10392. At that stage NAC was a general-aviation company that was originally started in South Africa in 1946. Its services included aircraft sales, maintenance and parts distribution, avionics sales and installation, pilot training and flight operations, including air charter, contract flying, aircraft management and finance and flight training. The company had the Raytheon Aircraft franchise and its helicopter franchises included Bell Helicopter Textron and Robinson helicopters.

Aircraft displayed by Naturelink, one of several companies at AAD 2004, included a Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri (registration ZS-RLW, constructor’s number 1125 and previous identity F-WQDQ), Embraer EMB120 Brasilia ZS-PGY, Boeing 737-244 Advanced ZS-SID with winglets and a turboprop aircraft [EADS-SOCATA TBM-700C2 (registration N700WH)]. Visible from left to right in the image are the following aircraft: ZS-RLW, ZS-PGY, ZS-SID and N700WH. 

SAA Historic Flight

An aircraft that was displayed by the SAA Historic Flight was Douglas DC-4 registration number ZS-BMH. This aircraft has constructor’s number 43157 and was originally registered in June 1947 to South African Airways and in February 1966 it was transferred to the SAAF as 6904. The aircraft was restored as ZS-BMH on 3 April 1993 to SAA. 

SA Air Force

Aerospatiale SA316 Alouette III number 120 is the last of 20 SAAF Alouette IIIs that were numbered from 101 (the original batch was numbered from 23 to 76 and a later batch was numbered from 611). The machine is depicted as part of the South African Air Forces static display at AAD 2004 and the picture was taken on 21 November 2004. The constructors number of the helicopter is 1861 and it is finished in the standard camouflage colour scheme, with the badge of 17 Squadron below the serial number on the fuselage. Note that this is one of the gunship versions of the Alouette III.

When the former TBVC States (Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei) were reincorporated into South Africa, the SAAF received several windfall aircraft. MBB-Kawasaki BK 117A-3 constructors number 7117 and serial number 387 previously served as T250 (ex ZS-HRV) with the Bop Air Force. When the image was made on 21 November 2004, the helicopter was part of the SAAFs static display. Note the national flag on the tailfin, the pointed-star national marking below the engine housing and the 15 Squadron badge below the cockpit window. At the time of AAD 2004 all the ex-TBVC BK 117s were operated by 15 Squadron.

SAAF aircraft are always a welcome sight on the local airshow circuit. Rooivalk number 670 is being towed on 21 September 2004 – probably on its way to demonstrate its capabilities as an agile attack helicopter. At the time these machines were operated by 16 Squadron at AFB Bloemspruit in Bloemfontein, the premier city of the Free State.

SA Mooney

Mooney M20R Ovation registration number ZS-OEG formed part of SA Mooney’s display at AAD 2004. The aircraft has constructor’s number 29-0078 and was registered as ZS-OEG number 2 in May 1998. The Gippsland Airvan visible in the background is registered ZS-PGU.
Tramon Air Group
When AAD 2004 was held, the Tramon Air Group consisted of Tramon Air (a cargo airline operating Boeing 707, IL-76, Gulfstream I and Piper PA-27 aircraft), AirQuarius (a passenger airline operating F-28, DC-9, Gulfstream I and Learjet 24/25 aircraft) as well as SEBENZA (a forwarding, clearing and consulting agent). Gulfstream I ZS-JIS was displayed (with Tramonair.com titles).

See “Tramon Air Group” under AAD 2002 for details of Gulfstream I registration number ZS-JIS, which is depicted in the static park.

The United States Air Force usually sends several aircraft to AAD, which in 2004 included a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy (seen on the left in the background). The C-5’s serial number was 69-0015 and it had the markings of Air Mobility Command (105th Airlift Wing) as well as the Air National Guard (New York Air Guard). Other markings included those of Stewart Air Force Base on the tailfin. Serial number 60-0358 (its nose can be seen on the right in the background) is a Boeing KC-135R. The helicopter is Sikorsky H-60 Pave Hawk number 88-26114.
FAYP as venue until 2010
AAD 2006
So far FAWK has proved to be the best venue (with Lanseria and Johannesburg International – with its heavy traffic – being not particularly suited to an airshow of this calibre), but the 2006 change to Air Force Base Ysterplaat (ICAO code FAYP) near Cape Town was necessitated due to a major upgrading of the runways at FAWK.
During the 2006 exhibition, which took place from 20 to 24 September (19 September was a media day while 20 to 22 September were trade days and 23 and 24 September were public days), Cape Town-based companies such as Robin Coss Aviation used the opportunity to promote their capabilities. Although there appear to have been less aircraft at AAD 2006 than at e.g. AAD 2002, there certainly were some interesting aircraft and several firsts were recorded. Some of the interesting aircraft included the South African Air Force’s (SAAF’s) first Gripen (displayed under the banner of BAE Systems) and the Bombardier Global 5000, which made its debut at AAD 2006. In 2006 ships were displayed (in Table Harbour) as part of the exhibition for the first time. Although products covering the land, sea and air sectors were put on display, aviation-related exhibits only are covered here.
An interesting array of aviation-related products (from missiles to engines and from the smallest homebuilt to airliners as well as military aircraft) was exhibited at AAD 2006. The following text is a summary of some of the exhibitors that attended AAD 2006.

This is the entrance to display hall number 5 at AAD 2006. Companies that displayed their wares inside were Daimler Chrysler SA, Denel, EADS, Navantia, Taltronics and Thorough Tec. On the left an Aerospatiale Ecureuil (ZS RZV of the South African Police Services), in the middle a Eurocopter EC120 and on the right a Eurocopter EC135 are visible.
List of exhibitors
The official catalogue for AAD 2006 contains, among others, the following list of exhibitors:
  • Advanced Technologies and Engineering;
  • Aero Vodochody;
  • Aerosud;
  • AgustaWestland;
  • Airbus;
  • Airline Pilot Training Centre (APTRAC);
  • AirQuarius Aviation;
  • Airvan Africa;
  • Alenia Aeronautica;
  • Armscor;
  • Babcock Central Flying Academy;
  • BAE Systems;
  • Base 4 Aviation;
  • Bombardier Aerospace;
  • Brahmos Aerospace;
  • the Brazilian Air Force;
  • Cape Town Flying Club;
  • Comair Aircraft Sales and Management;
  • Dassault Aviation;
  • Denel;
  • EADS;
  • Embraer;
  • Eurocopter Southern Africa;
  • Execujet South Africa;
  • Executive Helicopters;
  • Executive Turbine Aviation Group;
  • Lanseria International Airport;
  • Learn 2 Fly Academy;
  • Micro Wings;
  • Mission Aviation Fellowship;
  • Mooney South Africa;
  • National Airways Corporation;
  • Paramount Logistics Corporation;
  • Pilatus Aircraft;
  • Pipistrel SA;
  • Placo;
  • Polokwane International Airpark;
  • Progress Flight Academy;
  • Robin Coss Aviation;
  • Rosoboronexport State Corporation;
  • SAAB;
  • the South African Air Force;
  • the South African Police Services;
  • Starlite Aviation;
  • the Test Flying Academy of South Africa;
  • the Boeing Company; and
  • Thunder City.
Advanced Technologies and Engineering (ATE)
ATE showcased the glass-cockpit avionics systems developed for the SAAF’s Astra (number 2025) and Hawk Lead-in Fighter Trainer (number 263) and the upgraded operational capability of the Mi-24 attack helicopter (registration number ZU-BOI) as well as the production version of the Vulture tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system. The official catalogue describes ATE as a company that specialises in the integration of mission systems in new and existing military platforms for enhanced operational performance.
ATE's Super Hind was the first Mi-24 upgrade to reach operational status as early as 1999. The Super Hind Mk III was one of several upgrade packages offered by ATE for the Mi-24. ZU-BOI, one of the Mi-24s used by ATE for development and flight-test purposes, was used to develop the Super Hind Mk III.

Aerobatic teams
Aerobatic teams included the private Flying Lions (Harvards ZU-AYS, ZU-BET, ZU-BEU and ZU-BMC) and Sasol Tigers (L-29 Delfins ZU-AUX, ZU-CYH and ZU-CYI) and the Silver Falcons of the SAAF’s Central Flying School (for details see the SAAF). The Flying Lions had Academy Brushware and Castrol Aviator titles and logos on their aircraft, but no Flying Lions titles and logos.

Three of the Flying Lions Harvards are being put through their paces on 21 September 2006.

Here the Astras of the Silver Falcons are seen taxying out for their flying display on 21 September 2006. 

AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is described as “a technology leader in its markets [with] an unrivalled range of rotorcraft products designed to satisfy the requirements of commercial and military customers” (see official catalogue). The company put aircraft on static display inside as well as outside display hall number 1. This included civilian (an A109 Grand ZS-HMD and an AW 139 ZS-EOS) as well as military helicopters (4006, one of the South African Air Force’s A109 LUHs). At the stage of AAD 2006 AgustaWestland had its main operations in Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Air Force of Zimbabwe
The Zimbabweans sent the same two aircraft that attended Fighter Meet 2005 at AFB Makhado to AAD 2006 (K-8 Karakorums 2104E and 2106G). CASA 212-200 number 800 of the Zimbabwean Air Force was used as support aircraft for the K-8s.

Men are attending to and moving about Karakorum number 2104E of the Zimbabwean Air Force on 19 September 2006.
AirQuarius offered potential clients leasing options ranging from comprehensive aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance options to structured contracts where they could exploit their own resources to maximise profitability of the aircraft operation in full.

AirQuarius exhibited Fokker F-28-4000 registration number ZS-JAV Bella-Donna at AAD 2006. This individual name was previously used on Fokker Fellowship registration number ZS-JAS (see AAD 2002).
Alenia Aeronautica
Alenia had been in existence since 1912 and had built more than 12 000 aircraft up to the date of AAD 2006. At the time of AAD 2006 more than 6 000 airliners used Alenia aerostructures.
BAE Systems
In the official catalogue for AAD 2006 BAE Systems is described as “the premier … [trans-Atlantic] defence and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services”. It is also mentioned that the company’s sales exceeded GB £15,4 billion, US $28 billion) in 2005.

South Africa’s first new-generation Gripen fighter jet (constructor's number SA01), which arrived in the country in July 2006, was put on static display and participated in the flying programme at AAD 2006. The aircraft made its public debut on Tuesday, 19 September 2006. It is the two-seat version of the Gripen fighter aircraft and it carried a SAAF livery and the South African flag.

Boeing had no aircraft at AAD 2006, but probably upstaged its competitor, Airbus, by having a full-scale mock-up of the cabin of the Boeing Dreamliner with examples of different seat classes.
Brahmos Aerospace

Brahmos promoted a supersonic cruise missile that is designed for use in various platforms, namely ships, silos, mobile launchers, aircraft and submarines against land and sea targets.
The Denel Group showcased some of its world-class defence and aerospace systems at AAD 2006. The Denel-developed Rooivalk attack helicopter, on static display outside display hall number 5, was, when AAD 2006 was staged, in service with the SAAF. Some of the SAAF’s latest acquisitions, notably the Agusta A109 light utility helicopter (LUH), the Hawk Lead-in Fighter Trainer and the Gripen advanced fighter jet, were main attractions at the show.  Denel is an industrial partner in these programmes, having built large fuselage structures for these aircraft and also doing final assembly of the A109 helicopter and Hawk.
Inside Hall 5 Denel showed visitors its range of sophisticated missiles and precision-guided weapons.  These included the Ingwe and Mokopa anti-tank missiles to the heavy Umkhonto IR surface-to-air missile, now part of shipborne air-defence systems for the South African Navy’s Meko class light frigates and the Finnish Navy’s new Hamina and Hameenma class patrol vessels. 

A 1:2-model of the Skua appears on the left and the Seeker can be seen on the right.
Airbus (as part of the EADS display) exhibited the A320 and A380 and Airbus Military the A400M – all in model form.
According to the official AAD 2006 catalogue Embraer had its headquarters in Sao Jose dos Campos and offices, subsidiaries and customer bases in China, France, Portugal, Singapore and the United States. In 2006 the company had 36 years’ experience in designing, manufacturing, selling and supporting aircraft for the global airline, defence and business aviation markets. Embraer exhibited examples of the EMB-145 AEW&C, EMB-190 airliner and the Legacy 600 business jet.

Embraer displayed an example of the AEW&C version of the EMB-145 at AAD 2006

Here the airliner is being towed to its static-display position on 21 September 2006.

This is an illustration of the Embraer Legacy 600.

Execujet hosted the static display of four Bombardier business jets: the super-light Learjet 45 and the Learjet 60 as well as the wide-bodied Challenger 300 and Bombardier Global 5000. When AAD 2006 took place, Execujet was Bombardier’s sole distributor and sales representative for southern Africa of the complete Bombardier range of business jets and was a Bombardier-approved service centre.

The Global 5000 is seen taxying on 20 September 2006. 

In this instance the Challenger 300 is seen in the static-display area.

The Learjet 60 featured in the flying and the static displays. The aircraft is seen on one of the taxiways after its flying display on 21 September 2006.

Executive Helicopters

None of the Executive Helicopters aircraft seen at AAD 2006 had distinct registration letters on them. At the time of AAD 2006 Executive Helicopters was involved in the complete spectrum of the helicopter business, including sales, maintenance and charter (government, tourist, corporate, aerial support and filming services). The company's main focus was the Bell 204 and 205 series as well as the military variant (the UH-1), as these helicopters are perfectly suited to the African operating environment with their 10- to 15-seat or some 1.5- to 2-ton-carrying capacity and ease of maintenance. The Bell 204/205/UH-1H is perfectly suited to disaster relief support with a large flat floor area capable of carrying up to 1.5 or 2 tons depending upon the mission requirement.
AAD having taken place at a SAAF base for several years now, there is usually a large presence of SAAF aircraft, albeit not all part of the main AAD display.
Support aircraft seen during the period 19 to 21 September included C-47TP numbers 6839, 6840 and 6877of 35 Squadron. They were transporting cargo and people and were possibly involved in a shuttle service between Cape Town and Pretoria. Two 21 Squadron VIP aircraft were also noticed, namely Falcon 900 registration number ZS-CAQ and Cessna Citation registration number ZS-MLN. Another support aircraft was CN-235M serial number 8026 of 44 Squadron, which arrived and departed on 21 September.
Several turbine Dakotas of the South African Air Force were seen transporting cargo and people from 19 to 21 September 2006. Number 6877 of 35 Squadron is seen taxying out on 20 September.
Aircraft that were on display included:
  • the first Gripen D (new low-visibility markings);
  • an Atlas Cheetah C of 2 Squadron;
  • Agusta A109LUH numbers 4013 and 4006 (both no unit badge);
  • a 16 Squadron Rooivalk (which formed part of the Denel static display);
  • Oryx 1224 of 17 Squadron (on static display in the wash bay next to the AAD 2006 registration area) and Oryx 1202 of 22 Squadron (the latter on the flight line);
  • Cessna 185 number 747 of 44 Squadron (red-and-white civilian colour scheme);
  • BAE Hawk Mk 120 numbers 256 and 261 of 85 Combat Flying School (static-display area as well as flying);
  • Pilatus PC-7 Mk IIs (Atlas Astra) numbers 2018, 2023, 2024, 2036 of the Central Flying School; and
  • Wasp 91, Super Frelon 314, Albatross 881, Shackleton 1722 and Dakotas 6832 and 6859 of the SAAF Museum.

Atlas Cheetah C of 2 Squadron SAAF is seen on the flight line on 20 September 2006.

Atlas Oryx number 1202 of 22 Squadron is seen in a grass area next to the flight line on 19 September 2006.

 Test Flying Academy of South Africa
In the official catalogue the Test Flying Academy of South Africa (TFASA) is described as specialising in the training of test pilots and flight test engineers, flight test consulting and flight test project execution. It is also mentioned that the academy consists of ex-military test pilots and flight test engineers.

This unmarked Ikarus C42 was seen at the TFASA stand.
Thunder City

Four supersonic English Electric Lightnings featured in a spectacular formation display, one of which (Royal Air Force serial number XP693) made its public debut in South Africa. XP693, the last flyable English Electric Lightning supersonic interceptor, underwent a four-year complete restoration.
Other exhibitors
Other exhibitors included Aero Vodochody, Aerosud Holdings, Airvan Africa, Armscor, the Brazilian Air Force (part of the Embraer display), Comair, Dassault, Eurocopter South Africa, Falco Aviation, Lanseria International Airport, Microwings, Mooney South Africa, NAC, the Paramount Group, Pilatus Aircraft, Pipistrel SA, Placo, Progress Flight Academy, Reutech, Robin Coss Aviation, Rosoboronexport, Sennheiser and Starlite Aviation.
AAD 2008 TO AAD 2012
As I did not attend AAD 2008, AAD 2010 and AAD 2012, I describe these events on the basis of information gleaned from the official AAD website.
AAD 2008 was again held at Air Force Ysterplaat near Cape Town and from 17 to 21 September. Almost 80 officially invited foreign delegations attended the show. These included 20 defence ministers, many of which were from African countries. Some 13 000 trade visitors provided the 400 exhibitors from 35 countries with the opportunity to market their products to Africa.
AAD was hosted for the final time at Ysterplaat during 2010. There were 350 direct exhibitors and 150 indirect exhibitors from 31 countries around the world at AAD 2010. Some 13 000 visitors went to the show during the trade days and a record number of 80 000 plus members of the public attended the show on the two public days. A total of 77 civil and military aircraft participated in the show.
Return to FAWK
AAD 2012 saw a return to Air Force Base Waterkloof as venue. The trade exhibition attracted more than 40 000 trade visitors from 28 countries, 120 visiting delegations and 84 aircraft. The airshow was attended by 92 983 members of the public.
AAD 2014
All the images appearing below were taken on 20 September 2014. They are arranged under the headings Exhibitors, Manufacturers and Other.
Just some of the exhibitors are mentioned.
NAC exhibited Piper PA-12 registration number N4057M, Beech King Air 350ER registration number N80709 and Eclipse Aviation EA 500 registration number ZS-YTC.

Piper PA-12 registration number N4057M has constructor’s number 12-2940.

Part of the NAC display at AAD 2014 was the special-missions capability of the Beechcraft Super King Air. The aircraft concerned is Raytheon King Air 350ER registration number N80709.
Paramount Group

The Paramount Group displayed, among others, AHRLAC registration number ZU-XDM, which was registered on 24 April 2014 and has constructor’s number A-001. AHRLAC stands for Advanced High-performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft. In a media announcement made by the Paramount Group on 21 August 2014 it was stated that the machine combines tasks that previously required four differently configured aircraft and that it embodies the integration of designs from attack helicopters, surveillance platforms and reconnaissance aircraft. The executive chairman of the Paramount Group, Ivor Ichikowitz, said that the craft “offers the global industry a new, very cost-effective and multi-role solution that will change the way global air forces procure and structure their air fleets … [and that] AHRLAC is a solution shaped for today’s modern threats like insurgencies, piracy, poaching and terrorism”.
SAA Historical Flight
Douglas DC-4 Skymaster registration numbers ZS-AUB and ZS-BMH and Douglas C-47A registration number ZS-BXG were put on display by the SAA Historical Flight.

Here registration number ZS-AUB is depicted. The aircraft was originally registered ZS-AUB to South African Airways in May 1946. Subsequently the machine went to the SAAF as 6905 and then returned to SAA as ZS-AUB. Later the aircraft acquired the registrations HB-ILI and ZU-ILI before reverting to ZS-AUB.
Several aircraft were exhibited by the South African Air Force. These included the following aircraft and units:
175     Aerospatiale Puma             Museum
192     AgustaWestland Lynx         22 Squadron
268     BAE Hawk                          85 Combat Flying School
381     MBB-Kawasaki BK 117      15 Squadron
650     Beech King Air                   41 Squadron
653     Beech King Air                   41 Squadron
680     Atlas Rooivalk                    16 Squadron
881     Piaggio Albatross               Museum
1232   Atlas Oryx                          15 Squadron
2000   Patchen Explorer               Museum
3012   Cessna Caravan                41 Squadron
3920   SAAB Gripen                     2 Squadron
4014   Agusta A109                     17 Squadron
6885   Douglas C-47TP               44 Squadron
8011   CASA Aviocar                   44 Squadron

Aerospatiale SA330 Puma number 175 of the SAAF Museum performed during the flying display.

Another machine that took part in the flying display during AAD 2014 was AgustaWestland Super Lynx 300 Mk 64 number 192 of 22 Squadron.

BAE Hawk Mk 120 number 268 of 85 Combat Flying School featured in the static park at AAD 2014.

Illustrated here is Beech Model 300 King Air number 653 of 41 Squadron.

The SAAF Museum was represented by Piaggio P166S Albatross number 881.

44 Squadron exhibited CASA 212-200 Aviocar number 8011 in the static-display area.

The static exhibits of the United States Air Force included Lockheed C-130J number 08-8605 and Boeing C-17 number 94-0067.

This is Lockheed C-130J number 08-8605, which has constructor’s number 5615, of the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.
Working on Fire
Working on Fire had UH-1 registration number ZS-HLA and Cessna Skylane registration number ZS-TMT at AAD 2014.

Chopper Alpha ZS-HLA is a Bell UH-1H Iroquois. This is the second aircraft on which this registration was used. The constructor’s number is given both as 4310 and 64-13603, but the last number was its serial number with the US military. After serving in the US military, the aircraft became N454AB, which was cancelled on 12 June 2006 as being exported to South Africa. The machine’s subsequent (South African) registration was ZU-LEA. After this registration the helicopter received the marks ZS-HLA2.

Spotter 1 registration number ZS-TMT is a Cessna Skylane and has constructor’s number 18263762. This Skylane was originally registered as ZS-TMT in May 1975.
These aircraft are discussed under the headings of the various manufacturers.

Zulu Sierra Romeo Golf Foxtrot number 2 is an Aerospatiale AS350B3 Ecureuil with the constructor’s number 7265. The original date of registration of the aircraft is 1 November 2011.

Illustrated here is Beech 1900D registration number ZS-EAA and constructor’s number UE-435. The aircraft was manufactured in 2002 and registered ZS-EAA on 2 July 2014 and its first identity was N50815. This American registration was cancelled on 19 July 2002 as exported to New Zealand, where it was registered ZK-EAL on 22 July 2002. This registration was cancelled from the New Zealand civil aircraft register on 27 June 2014 and the machine departed from New Zealand on 5 July 2014 as ZS-EAA. Visible on the left is Pacific Aerospace CT-4E Airtrainer registration number ZK-JDZ.

ZS-RIO is a Cessna 182P Skylane with the constructor’s number 18262853. Zulu Sierra Romeo India Oscar was originally registered on 11 March 1974.
Quest Aircraft

N72KQ is a Quest Aircraft Kodiak 100 with the constructor’s number 100-0072 that was manufactured in 2012. A registration certificate was issued to Fayard Enterprises on 18 December 2012.
These aircraft are presented in alphabetical order of the registration number.

N72FT is a North American P-51D Mustang with the constructor’s number 44-74494A. Note that 44-74494 is the original USAAF serial number. After serving with the USAAF, the aircraft did duty with the Royal Canadian Air Force as serial number 9237. The machine subsequently adopted the civilian guise N6356T before becoming N72FT.

This is Hawker Hunter T68 registration number ZU-HUN and constructor’s number HABL-003119. The aircraft previously did service with the Swiss Air Force as J-4202 but started life as an F Mk 4 single-seater with the Royal Air Force. The owner of the machine is Ron Wheeldon.

This image shows Antonov An-2 registration number ZU-JLM. The aircraft still carries its previous identity, namely RA-33390. The owner of the machine is the Just Love Mission.
AAD 2016
The following information was obtained from the official AAD website and the HIS Jane’s show dailies:
The ninth edition of AAD was held from 14 to 18 September 2016. Salient facts pertaining to AAD 2016:
  • 532 exhibitors
  • 34 countries represented as exhibitors
  • 86 aircraft on static display
  • 33 862 trade visitors from South Africa and around the globe
  • 13 national pavilions
  • 56 924 visitors at the airshow
  • 105 countries represented as visitors
The following aircraft were present in full-scale or mock-up form:
  • The Zambian Air Force had two Hongdu L-15 Falcon advanced jet trainers at the show.
  • A full-scale fuselage mock-up of the SARA (Small African Regional Aircraft) was exhibited. The concept is for a twin-engine, 24-seat pressurised airliner that can operate point-to-point services between small, semi-prepared regional runways.
  • AeroRescue had a Dornier Do-328TP on display.
  • The SAFAT Aviation Group put the SAFAT 02 light helicopter and SAFAT 03 training-and-glider-towing aircraft on display.
  • The Seeker Aircraft SBL-360A Seeker was also present at AAD 2016. It is a high-wing light-observation aircraft.
The following abbreviations are used in this document:
Abbreviation                                    Full form
COMINT                                             Communication intelligence
ELINT                                                 Electronic intelligence
ESM                                                   Electronic Support Measures
EW                                                     Electronic warfare
EWC                                                  Electronic Warfare Centre
EW-SPS                                            Electronic Warfare Self Protection System
MAWS                                               Missile Approach Warning System
OCJ                                                  Oryx communications jammer
SORJ                                                stand-off Oryx radar jammer
Sqd                                                   Squadron
Aviation magazines
Aeronews, November 1983
Aircraft Illustrated, January 1978
SA Flyer, April 1998
Wings: November 1975, September 1977, November 77; Wings Special Supplement, October 1977
Wings over Africa, November 1981, November 1983
World Airnews: February 1975; August 1975; October 1975; November 1975; October 1977; November 1977; November 1981; October 1983; November 1983 (pages 12 – 13, 15, 17, 19 and 22 – 24); March 1988, April 1990; May 1990 (pages 3, 6, 7 and 9); August 2002, pp 15 to 16; September 2002, pp 19 to 30 and 34 to 36
Aviation publications and internet sites
Air-Britain News: May 1989, November 2000, December 2000, January 2001, September 2001, December 2001, March 2004, June 2004, July 2004, September 2004
Airshow South Africa 2005, Frans Dely and Hayley Horan
AT-6 Harvard in South African Service – a Pictorial History; Dave Becker and Winston Brent; 1995 AND a later update
Avdata South African registration database
Aviation Society of Africa newsletter for September to October 1981, as well as other dates
Boeing Aircraft since 1916; Peter M Bowers; 1989
Business Jets International – 2012; Air-Britain; 2012
Cheetah – “Guardians of the Nation”; Winston Brent; 2008
Civil Aircraft Registers of Africa – 1981; Air-Britain; 1981
Civil Aircraft Registers of Africa – 1988; Air-Britain; 1988
Comair – The First Sixty Years; DR Lawrence; December 2010
Enstrom Helicopter Production List, Jos Stevens/Rotorspot
FAA registration database
Hawk News, issue 3, September 2002
Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft 1981-82; compiled and edited by John WR Taylor, assistant editor Kenneth Munson; Jane’s; 1981
Jane’s Encyclopedia of Aviation; compiled and edited by Michael JH Taylor, plus various contributors; Crescent Books; 1995
Jet Airliner Production List, Volume 2, European Manufacturers; J Roach and AB Eastwood; August 2009
Jet Airliner Production List – Boeing, Part 1; edited by AB Eastwood, with additional material from J Roach; August 2011
Jet Airliner Production List – Boeing, Part 2; edited by AB Eastwood, with additional material from J Roach; July 2012
Placo News, Oct 81
Silver Falcons 40 years, Winston Brent, African Aviation Series, No. 22
South African Civil Aviation Authority aircraft database
Swissheli.com, Swiss Helicopters, Swiss Helicopter History, Markus Herzig
The General Aviation Handbook – A Guide to Postwar General Aviation Manufacturers and their Aircraft; Rod Simpson; 2005
The International Directory of Military Aircraft 2000/01; Gerard Frawley; Aerospace Publications; 2000
US Air Force: The New Century; Robert J Archer; 2000
Daily newspapers and associated publications
Beeld, 23 November 1998
Beeld, 17 September 2002
Bylae by Beeld, 17 October 1981
Citizen, 8 October 1981, 5 October 1983
Kalender, 9 October 1981
Star, 7 October 1981
Vaderland, 8 October 1981, 5 October 1983
Official brochures, catalogues, fact sheets and media releases
Africa Aerospace and Defence 2000 Official Catalogue
Africa Aerospace and Defence 2002 Official Catalogue
Africa Aerospace and Defence 2006 Official Catalogue
Asian Defence and Diplomacy Africa Aerospace and Defence 2000 Special Supplement
Aviation Africa Lanseria Programme, Buyers’ Guide and Exhibition Details 1983
SAAF 75 Aerospace Expo Buyers’ Guide
SAAF 80 International Airshow brochure
World Airnews Aviation Africa 1977 Air Show Daily, Day 1
World Airnews Aviation Africa 1977 Air Show Daily, Day 2
World Airnews Aviation Africa 1977 Air Show Daily, Day 3
World Airnews Aviation Africa ’88 Buyers’ Guide
World Airnews Aviation Africa ’90 Buyers’ Guide
World Airnews Aviation Africa ’92 Buyers’ Guide
World Airnews Aviation Africa ’94 Buyers’ Guide
World Airnews Africa Aerospace & Defence 2002 Buyers’ Guide
World Airnews Africa Aerospace and Defence 2004 Buyers’ Guide
Brochures, fact sheets, flyers and media releases provided by various companies (e.g. AgustaWestland, Airbus, BAE Systems, Denel and Uni-Group Holdings Mushshak fact sheet and Wings ‘n Tracks Samba fact sheet)
Dexsa ’94 brochure/programme and newspaper
Other publications
African Armed Forces Journal, August 2002
Paratus, November 1981
Popular Mechanics September 2002, pp 62 to 67
South African Defence Industry Directory 2002 – 2003
South African Panorama, December 1975
Suid-Afrikaanse Oorsig, 4 November 1983
Own notes

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