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  Zwartkop Airshow 2016 Part 1
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Text:

Urs Schnyder

Pictures:

Urs Schnyder

   

The Airshow takes place in May every year and is organized by the SAAF Air Force Museum. The museum is one with the most airworthy aircraft in the world. For our report on the museum please check the index under Museums.This time I was lucky to be in South Africa at the right time to visit it.

The airshow is a two day event of which only the second day is open to the general public. Most of the validation flights take place on the Friday when the flying program for the main day is approved. The Friday is also an aviation awareness day for young people. Whole schools bring their students along where they are informed about aviation and possible careers. For many it is the first time that they actually come into contact with aircraft.

On this day there are also air experience flights for some of the visiting students. They are taken for a short flight in an Antonov AN-2. For most of them the experience of a lifetime.

For the purpose of this two part report I will not attempt to chronologically present the flying program, but instead present the different participants, pictures of which have been taken on both days. A visiting Agusta A.109 was not part of the flying program. It was nevertheless a good opportunity to get a picture of that type.

   

Antonov AN-2 RA-33390 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Antonov AN-2 RA-33390 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Antonov AN-2 RA-33390 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Antonov AN-2 RA-33390 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

   

Antonov AN-2 RA-33390 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Antonov AN-2 RA-33390 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Agusta A.109 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Agusta A.109 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Alouette-II
The two Alouette-II helicopters of the Museum arrived in company of an Alouette-III and a Puma. They then did a synchro display in front of the crowd.

BAE Hawk
The Hawk is used for training and ground attack. A lively display where the pilot even managed to generate vapour over the winds. Now this is something I have always associated with the humid weather of Europe but didnít expect to see in Africa. Another first was the deployment of a braking chute on a Hawk, Although I suppose it was more for the show effect then for necessity.

Goodyear Eagles
Formed 29 years ago, the Goodyear Eagles Aerobatic Team has already displayed their talents  in many parts of Africa. Three times, in 2008, 2010 and 2013 they performed in the United Arab Emirates. All the team members are full time aviation employees and do their display flying in their spare time.

   

SudEst Alouette II and III (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

SudEst Alouette II and Puma (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

SudEst Alouette II (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

SudEst Alouette II (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

   

SudEst Alouette II (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

SudEst Alouette II (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bae Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bae Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Bae Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bae Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bae Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Goodyear Eagles (Picture courtesy Andreas Schmucki

 

Goodyear Eagles (Picture courtesy Andreas Schmucki

Goodyear Eagles (Picture courtesy Andreas Schmucki

Goodyear Eagles (Picture courtesy Andreas Schmucki

Goodyear Eagles (Picture courtesy Andreas Schmucki

Fire Fighting
Kishugu Aviation is working for the South African Departement of Environmental Affairs working on fire program. It has currently 16 Cessna 182 command aircraft, 12 Hueys that were converted to civilian standard and 4 AT802 single seat water bombers. They are stationed across the country ready to fight any large area fire.
They displayed the use of fixed wing aircraft as well as helicopter with underslung water bucket.

Cheetah
Probably the most spectacular performer due to its special colour scheme of No. 2 Squadron and the level of noise it creates. You can hear it befor
e you see it. The Cheetah is based on the Mirage III airframe and was buildt by Denel aviation. The upgrade didnít just include improvement in avionice but also alterations to the airframe itself. After retirement some examples were sold to Chile and Equador.

 

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Goodyear Eagles (Picture courtesy Andreas Schmucki

 

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Patchen Explorer
This is a one off aircraft that is part of the Museums fleet of aircraft. It was designed as a land version of the TSC-1 Teal amphibian. As there were no buyers it was offered to the Air Force who also didnít have any use for it. That is how it ended up in the Museum collection. It never went into production.

Heritage Flypast
This was composed of the Piaggio Albatross which replaced the Avro Shackleton in the SAAF, an Atlas Kudu and Bosbock and a Cessna 185 that were flying in formation. All the aircraft are part of the museums historic flight.

Saab Gripen
Current front line fighter aircraft of the SAAF. The Gripen gave two displays. One during the afternoon, the other one was the last display at the show when the sun had just set. This of course highlighted the effects of the afterburner and the deployed flares as they stood out against the already darkening sky. Unfortunately it was already a bit too dark to take pictures.

 

Patchen Explorer (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Patchen Explorer (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Piaggio Albatross (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Cessna 185 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Atlas Kudu  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Atlas Bosbock (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Cessna 185 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Saab J-39 Gripen (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Saab J-39 Gripen (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Saab J-39 Gripen (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Saab J-39 Gripen (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Saab J-39 Gripen (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Saab J-39 Gripen (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Saab J-39 Gripen (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Saab J-39 Gripen (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Saab J-39 Gripen (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Saab J-39 Gripen (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Harvards and Tora Tora
As South Africa has a large population of Harvards. These were used by the Air Force into the eighties before they were sold. Those that remained in South Africa were declared a national Heritage by the government and any sale abroad is forbidden. A big number of Harvards of course invites a Tora Tora act as is the case at other airshows as well. The Harvard club and the Museum combine their forces for this display. It completes with a wall of fire after all the aircraft have been parked in front of the crowd line.

 

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Museum Mini War
This set piece displays some action in a bush war, with the Alouette-III gunship with a 20mm gun and the Bosbok doing ground attack while the Puma helicopter brings in ground troops.

 

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

   

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Piaggio Albatross
The Albatros was used by the SAAF as a maritime patrol aircraft to observe the shipping lanes around the South African coast. It took this role over after the long serving Avro Shackleton was retired.

 

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Silver Falcons
The Silver Falcons were founded in 1966 flying the Atlas Impala. When that aircraft was retired, they switched to the Pilatus PC-7 called Astra  in South African service. Unlike some other teams, the Silver Falcons are not a dedicated display team like the Red Arrows for example. The pilots and maintenance crews do the displays in their spare time on a voluntary base. As can be expected, the team is very popular  with the public.

 

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

My thanks go to Russel Dixon and the SAAF Museum Photographers Club for letting me join them in their enclosure

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

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last update 5. July 2016

Written  5. July 2016

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