Africa Aerospace & Defence 2014

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Where? Waterkloof AB, South Africa
When? 17-21/09/2014

AAD14 So 2065 Zeitler 700 470 90
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The bi-annual event in Pretoria, which is just some kilometers North of Johannesburg, is a combined trade exhibition and air show with around 300 local and international companies, including India, Russia, Brazil and China. The exhibition has settled itself strong in the African market as a big showcase of defense and security products that should solve every ‘problem’ you might encounter in your every-day-life. It doesn’t matter in this case if you are a rich guy, state government or warlord, the possibilities and gadgets that have been advertised were manifold...

0AAD14 So 2823 Zeitler 700 470 90
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0AAD14 Gripen 9033 Zeitler 700 470 90
0AAD14 Gripen 9033 Zeitler 100 67 85
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AAD14 Gripen 9053 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Hawk 2153 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Roivaalk 1083 Zeitler 700 470 90
AAD14 Roivaalk 1083 Zeitler 100 67 85
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The ‘projection of power’ on the ground power was the top focus at AAD, with aerial power playing only a small part in the exhibition. Aerial displays were thus only a kind of accessory parts during the official trade days, but used in a big scale to entertain a large audience during the week-end.

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0AAD14 Gripen 5213 Zeitler 100 67 85
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0AAD14 Gripen 4887 Zeitler 700 470 90
0AAD14 Gripen 4887 Zeitler 100 67 85
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AAD14 Gripen 5177 Zeitler 100 67 85
ZAAD14 Gripen 1335 Zeitler 100 67 85
ZAAD14 Gripen 4730 Zeitler 100 67 85
0AAD14 Hawk 5107 Zeitler 700 470 90
0AAD14 Hawk 5107 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Hawk 3204 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Hawk 3218 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Hawk 5070 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Hawk 5072 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Hawk 9345 Zeitler 100 67 85
0AAD14 Hawk 9672 Zeitler 700 470 90
0AAD14 Hawk 9672 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Hawk 1565 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Hawk 2500 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Hawk 3249 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Hawk 4809 Zeitler 100 67 85
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The big airshow, which is open to the public, was held during the week-end and attracted more than 10.000 tickets visitors. On these two days the Saturday was by far the better choice with more flying and great weather. Contrary to this Sunday morning started very different with a very cold wind and freezing temperatures. Hard to believe that after a sunburn the day before five layers of cloths were barely enough to keep warm! Due to these conditions flying was restrained, especially for the SAAF museum’s vintage aircraft in the morning. But luckily got better in the afternoon for the main part of the airshow. It featured South African civil and military displays, while unfortunately foreign flying display acts were not present during this edition of AAD.

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The main attraction of the flying display at Waterkloof was the SAAF “Mini War”, which simulated an intervention in a neighboring African country, overwhelming the leader and freeing hostages. It involved al of the flying assets of the SAAF, with the Gripen and Hawk doing airspace protection and air to ground attacks and the C-130 Hercules landing in to load of troops and armored vehicles. The main working load though was on the helicopters, with the Rooivalks, Bk117, Lynx and Oryx (Pumas) in heavy use while an A109 served as a command post hovering in the background.

0AAD14 Flyout 5487 Zeitler 700 470 90
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AAD14 C 130 3365 Zeitler 100 67 85
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AAD14 C 130 Hercules 2639 Zeitler 100 67 85
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AAD14 Flyout 5478 Zeitler 100 67 85
0AAD14 BK117 9874 Zeitler 700 470 90
0AAD14 BK117 9874 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Bk117 0340 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 BK117 3519 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 BK117 9781 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 BK117 9945 Zeitler 100 67 85
0AAD14 Lynx 3481 Zeitler 700 470 90
0AAD14 Lynx 3481 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 A109 1186 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Flyout 5430 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Helicopter 9017 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Lynx 3474 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Lynx 9778 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Mini War 4860 Zeitler 700 470 90
AAD14 Mini War 4860 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Mini War 9765 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Oryx 3429 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Oryx 3491 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Oryx 3849 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Mini War 9861 Zeitler 700 470 90
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The action was even so close that the helicopters landing in covered the public completely into dust. Leaving your bags closed and not changing any camera lenses was a good idea at this point of time!

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Furthermore the Silver Falcons aerobatic Team on the Pilatus PC-7 Mk.II provided a spectacular display, which can also be said about the Hawk 120 formation flight. The Hawk is used as an advanced trainer and air-ground aircraft by the SAAF, but this routine made good use of its aerobatic capabilities during tight formations mixed with solo routines.

AAD14 Silver Falcons 5258 Zeitler 700 470 90
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Last but not least the greatest gadget on the flightline was the Atlas Cheetah D. It is not anymore within active SAAF service, but is used by the industry as a testbed. In the colours of South African flag this twin-seater example was a sight to behold and just great to see in front of the blue African sky! It even arrived at the show in formation with a single seat Cheetah E, but this escort did not land at Waterkloof and was never seen again.

AAD14 Cheetah 0410 Zeitler 700 470 90
AAD14 Cheetah 0410 Zeitler 100 67 85
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AAD14 Cheetah 3641 Zeitler 100 67 85
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AAD14 Cheetah 1468 Zeitler 700 470 90
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Vintage and veteran warbirds from the South African Air Force (SAAF) Museum flew in directly from their homebase AFB Swartkop, which is only a stone's throw away from Waterkloof. The flying branch of the museum arrived in the morning and showed amongst others in flight a Harvard formation, a formation of a Albatross and Bosbok, the venerable De Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth and a “helicopter ballet” featuring several helicopters that have already been put out of service in the SAAF.

AAD14 Impala 0695 Zeitler 700 470 90
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0AAD14 T 6 Team 9443 Zeitler 700 470 90
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AAD14 Venom 5078 Zeitler 100 67 85
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AAD14 Alouette 2575 Zeitler 700 470 90
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AAD14 Puma 2617 Zeitler 100 67 85

Other aerial displays featured aerobatic flying by monoplanes, biplanes or helicopters, firefighting with a helicopter, or a demonstration to show the use of helicopters in the war against Rhino poachers.

0AAD14 Rhino 4530 Zeitler 700 470 90
0AAD14 Rhino 4530 Zeitler 100 67 85
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0AAD14 Firefighting 2124 Zeitler 700 470 90
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AAD14 Eclipse 9651 Zeitler 700 470 90
0AAD14 Aerobatics 4617 Zeitler 100 67 85
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AAD14 Eclipse 9651 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 Gyrocopter 3311 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 P 51 Mustang 0550 Zeitler 700 470 90
AAD14 P 51 Mustang 0550 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 P 51 Mustang 0559 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 P 51 Mustang 3873 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 P 51 Mustang 3992 Zeitler 100 67 85
AAD14 T 6 Team 1504 Zeitler 700 470 90
AAD14 T 6 Team 1504 Zeitler 100 67 85
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0AAD14 T 28 0575 Zeitler 700 470 90
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AAD14 T 28 3265 Zeitler 100 67 85
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0AAD14 DC 4 5366 Zeitler 700 470 90
0AAD14 DC 4 5366 Zeitler 100 67 85
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Also the Paramount Group put their "Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft" (AHRLAC) in the air, even if it was only twice during the whole show:

0AAD14 AHRLAC 1236 Zeitler 700 470 90
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AAD14 AHRLAC 1219 Zeitler 100 67 85

The static display was ok, but nothing special. Many business jets and helicopters were dispersed around the apron, and nearly every aircraft type of the SAAF was present. But apart from a USAF C-17 and C-130 no other Air Forces were present, showing off maybe the somehow still strong division of African countries, or just the lack of money to participate in these kind of events. But for a round-up of the current status of the SAAF and their flying assets AAD 2014 was – as it promised to be - a great opportunity!

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