Look back in amazement

African Aerospace – Part 2

Okay, it took a little longer than we anticipated, but I’m pleased to present the second batch of photos from last September’s Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2016 exhibition in South Africa, courtesy of local photographer Niel Swart.

The best of the rest

Africa’s pre-eminent aviation event, AAD2016 was held at the SAAF base at Waterkloof, between Pretoria and Johannesburg. Over 500 trade exhibitors from 105 different countries were present, along with large crowds of industry professionals and local enthusiasts.

Based at historic Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, KC-135R of the 507th Air Refuelling Wing, 465th Air Refuelling Squadron, USAF. (©Niel Swart)
Based at historic Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, KC-135R of the 507th Air Refuelling Wing, 465th Air Refuelling Squadron, USAF. (©Niel Swart)

Air Force elements from a number of countries also displayed their hardware, alongside the civil exhibitors and a couple of notable museum aircraft.

The show’s unique position, both physically and politically, means it attracts a unique mix of participants – including many aircraft and aerospace companies that are rarely seen in Europe, North American or Australia. So this virtual tour of the rest of the world’s aviation industry is a real treat.

Made in Sudan, the all metal SAFAT03 – a very handy trainer, glider tug and light utility two-seater. (© Niel Swart)
Made in Sudan, the all metal SAFAT03 – a very handy trainer, glider tug and light utility two-seater. (© Niel Swart)

A classic example is the SAFAT03 – an all-metal two-seat light utility aircraft manufactured in Sudan. Who (outside of Africa) even knew Sudan had an aircraft industry? And yet, regardless of the political situation, as a country of over 40 million people, why wouldn’t they??

Swings and roundabouts

Most of these photos come from later on Saturday and into the Sunday (September 17th and 18th, 2016 respectively), as dust and storms made flying – or even photographing the aircraft – increasingly difficult.

The USAF’s combat search and rescue specialist, HC-130N (#88—2101), makes a fast pass in front of the threatening skies. (© Niel Swart)
The USAF’s combat search and rescue specialist, HC-130N (#88—2101), makes a fast pass in front of the threatening skies. (© Niel Swart)

At the same time, though, the conditions created some very interesting atmospheric effects and colour contrasts… So what you lose on the swings, you gain on the roundabouts.

I have to add a huge ‘thanks’, once again, to Niel for selflessly subjecting himself to two solid days of awesome airshow action and then sharing his photos with airscape.

The photos (Click to enlarge)

ZU-AUX, an Aero Vodochody L-29 ‘Delphin’ jet trainer of the SASOL Flying Tigers display team, (msn 591707), pits its stripes against the AAD2016 pyrotechnics. (© Niel Swart)
ZU-AUX, an Aero Vodochody L-29 ‘Delphin’ jet trainer of the SASOL Flying Tigers display team, (msn 591707), pits its stripes against the AAD2016 pyrotechnics. (© Niel Swart)
A great profile of SAA Museum Society’s Douglas DC-4 ZS-AUB (cn 42984) as it makes a fast pass. Delivered in May 1946, this airliner served with SAA until 1967, before the usual medley of pre-restoration service and storage. (© Niel Swart)
A great profile of SAA Museum Society’s Douglas DC-4 ZS-AUB (cn 42984) as it makes a fast pass. Delivered in May 1946, this airliner served with SAA until 1967, before the usual medley of pre-restoration service and storage. (© Niel Swart)
The hot end of a 2 Squadron Gripen – in this case cn #06, one of the SAAF’s nine two-seat variants that complement the 17 single-seat strike fighters. (© Niel Swart)
The hot end of a 2 Squadron Gripen – in this case cn #06, one of the SAAF’s nine two-seat variants that complement the 17 single-seat strike fighters. (© Niel Swart)
Where’s the pilot? (Anywhere you like.) A USAF MQ-9 Reaper sits (autonomously) in the static display area. (© Niel Swart)
Where’s the pilot? (Anywhere you like.) A USAF MQ-9 Reaper sits (autonomously) in the static display area. (© Niel Swart)

 

ZU-IMP, the SAAF Museum’s Aermacchi MB-326M Impala trainer. A total of 252 Italian and locally-built Impalas served with the SAAF from 1966 to 2005 for training, ground attack and the Silver Falcons. (© Niel Swart)
ZU-IMP, the SAAF Museum’s Aermacchi MB-326M Impala trainer. A total of 252 Italian and locally-built Impalas served with the SAAF from 1966 to 2005 for training, ground attack and the Silver Falcons. (© Niel Swart)
Bell Canada’s well-travelled N407GT appeared at AAD2016 at the start of its latest deployment – combatting rhino poachers for BBM/Rhino 911 in cooperation with Heli Africa Wildlife. (© Niel Swart)
Bell Canada’s well-travelled N407GT appeared at AAD2016 at the start of its latest deployment – combatting rhino poachers for BBM/Rhino 911 in cooperation with Heli Africa Wildlife. (© Niel Swart)
Looking as sleek as a crossbow bolt, SAAB JAS 39 Gripen D #17, serving with 2 Squadron SAAF, tears along the AAD2016 crowd line. (© Niel Swart)
Looking as sleek as a crossbow bolt, SAAB JAS 39 Gripen D #17, serving with 2 Squadron SAAF, tears along the AAD2016 crowd line. (© Niel Swart)
VH-PPG, AeroRescue’s Dornier 328 (msn 3053) from Australia, shows off its elegant lines. Originally designed as a turboprop commuter airliner, the Do.328 was also offered in a pure jet configuration. (© Niel Swart)
VH-PPG, AeroRescue’s Dornier 328 (msn 3053) from Australia, shows off its elegant lines. Originally designed as a turboprop commuter airliner, the Do.328 was also offered in a pure jet configuration. (© Niel Swart)
Awesome plane, awesome mission – Just Love’s Antonov An-2 ZU-JLM “Little Annie” (cn RA-33390) is used to share joy, hope and aid to communities across southern Africa. (© Niel Swart)
Awesome plane, awesome mission – Just Love’s Antonov An-2 ZU-JLM “Little Annie” (cn RA-33390) is used to share joy, hope and aid to communities across southern Africa. (© Niel Swart)
You won’t see any of these outside Africa (yet) – the new Paramount ‘Mwari’ (‘smart) paramilitary reconnaissance aircraft combines high performance with long endurance and low costs. (© Niel Swart)
You won’t see any of these outside Africa (yet) – the new Paramount ‘Mwari’ (‘Smart’) paramilitary reconnaissance aircraft combines high performance with long endurance and low costs. (© Niel Swart)
A unique South African project, the Vormbaum C-Wolf amphibious ‘bush plane’ prototype, developed by a Johannesburg engineering business for a range of military, paramilitary and civilian roles. (© Niel Swart)
A unique South African project, the Vormbaum C-Wolf amphibious ‘bush plane’ prototype, developed privately by  Johannesburg engineer Wolfgang Vormbaum for a range of military, paramilitary and civilian roles. (© Niel Swart)
Proving that 50 isn’t too old for a Boeing jet, KC-135R #63-7985 roars past with its refuelling boom extended. ©Niel Swart)
Proving that 50 isn’t too old for a Boeing jet, KC-135R #63-7985 roars past with its refuelling boom extended. (© Niel Swart)
A classic angle on a classic aircraft – the tail-feathers of the South African Airways Museum Society’s DC-3 ‘Klapperkop’ , serial ZS-BXF. (© Niel Swart)
A classic angle on a classic aircraft – the tail-feathers of the South African Airways Museum Society’s DC-3 ‘Klapperkop’ , serial ZS-BXF. (© Niel Swart)
Czech-built Zlin Z.50L (cn 0013) WS-WSZ does exactly what it was designed for – thrilling crowds with a great aerobatics display. (© Niel Swart)
Czech-built Zlin Z.50L (cn 0013) WS-WSZ does exactly what it was designed for – thrilling crowds with a great aerobatics display. (© Niel Swart)
A Denel Rooivalk attack helicopter (cn 681) of SAAF 16 Squadron fires off flares. Based on the Aerospatiale Puma and heading into a major upgrade program, the Rooivalk (Red Falcon) is an ongoing South African success. (© Niel Swart)
A Denel Rooivalk attack helicopter (cn 681) of SAAF 16 Squadron fires off flares. Based on the Aerospatiale Puma and heading into a major upgrade program, the Rooivalk (Red Falcon) is an ongoing South African success. (© Niel Swart)

 

6 thoughts on “Look back in amazement

  1. I’ve been looking forward to this post! Those are all so beautiful! I really like the one of the Delphin jet trainer.

    And I can’t believe that a plane from Tinker AFB was there. We drive by that base every time I visit my grandma!

    1. I’m glad it was worth the wait! 🙂

      I think you could safely say the sun never sets on the aerial refuelling community. Those men and women seem to be everywhere, all the time. Hats off to them: It’s not just the warfighters who give incredibly dedicated service.

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