Propliners around Johannesburg, 2020

Photos © R.Leeuw


Sixteen years ago I visited South Africa for the first time and this year there was an opportunity for a revisit. In 2004 'propliners' were a main ingredient of my trip, but for various reasons this time that was less the case.
In all respects this was a fantastic trip and am glad I found some opportunity to record some vintage transports as well.



SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop
North American P-51D Mustang, '325' 'Patsy Dawn' (c/n 122-38661); ex/ 44-72202, Fv26112, 1917 (Dominican).
'Patsy Dawn' on static display in Korean War colours of SAAF's No.2 Sqn (the 'Flying Cheetahs').

SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop

The SAAF inherited its CN235 in 1994 from the Bophuthatswana Defence Force Air Wing, who acquired theirs in 1991.
The type originated as a joint venture between Casa of Spain and IPTN of Indonesia, at the time manufacturing Casa 212s under license. The CN235 sports high wings, an unswept rear fuselage with ramp and a retractable tricycle landing gear, with the rear wheels retracting into external fairings to ensure an unrestricted cabin. Like the C212, the C235 is a short-take-off and landing aircraft with a rough field capability. It is also said to have excellent low-level flying characteristics - for tactical penetration missions.

The SAAF CN235 (tail number 8026) was the original prototype built by CASA. It first saw service in SA with the now defunct Bophuthatswana Defence Force Air Wing with tail number T330 in 1991. It became part of the SAAF inventory in 1994 when the SANDF was brought into being.
The aircraft was retired form service in late 2011.

SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop
While I saw no markings, Bob Ogden has this one as Transall C-160Z, 337 (c/n Z-4).

SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop
Boeing 707-328C, 1419 (c/n 19917); ex/ F-BLCL, (ZS-LSK)

Boeing 707-328C c/n 19917 was built in 1968 for Air France as F-BLCL. Joined the SAAF in 1982 as ZS-LSK, later renumbered as AF-619 and finally 1419.
Last flight in November 2007 when it retired from No. 60 Sqdn for museum display.

SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop
Lockheed Ventura Mk. II c/n 137-4642;, ex/ RAF AJ504, SAAF 6112.
The SAAF received 135 Ventura Mk. IIs from RAF stocks. This unrestored example was saved from the scrapper
for display with the South African Air Force Museum at Swartkop Airfield, south of Pretoria. []

SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop

"The Ventura was gradually phased out of service with the SAAF and in June 1951, Venturas 6066, 6075, 6112, 6120 and 6130 were sold on public tender to Walter Frewen.
Towed the 40-odd miles to his farm near Philadelphia on the Cape West Coast, he intended converting the fuselages into guest accommodation. The plan never materialized and the aircraft lay largely forgotten among the dense bush, though many pilots in the area used them as a landmark.
Following the establishment of the SAAF Museum in 1973, World Airnews purchased 6112 and another example for the price of R600 and donated them to the Museum. The two aircraft were collected in February 1976 and towed to AFB Ysterplaat, where they were placed in open-air storage; in July 1978 the remaining three were obtained by the Museum.
In the early 1980s, 6112, along with two others, was transported by road to AFB Swartkop and stored in the Museum’s open-air storage facility, adjacent to AFS Snake Valley.
Following the allocation of the northern section of AFB Swartkop to the SAAF Museum they were then stored at the former MT Workshop area from which 6112 was relocated to its current position.
Some might notice that the wings from one of the others were fitted to this aircraft!"
Posted by 'Flyingspringbok' on in March 2017.

SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop

Posted by the same person in that post of March 2017:
6066 - stored at SAAF Museum, AFB Swartkop
6075 - stored at AFB Ysterplaat, since scrapped
6112 - open air display "as found", SAAF Museum, AFB Swartkop
6120 - stored at SAAF Museum, AFB Swartkop
6130 - exchanged for Airspeed Oxford, stored for RAF Museum


SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop
Avro 696 Shackleton MR.3, 1721 (c/n 1531)
On display here at the South African Air Force Museum, this Shackleton was flown to
Swartkop for preservation in December 1984.
SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop

The Avro Shackleton is a British long-range maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the South African Air Force (SAAF).
It was developed during the 1940s by Avro from the Avro Lincoln bomber, which itself had been a development of the famous wartime Avro Lancaster bomber.
It entered operational service with the RAF in April 1951. The Shackleton was used primarily in the ASW and MPA roles, but it was also frequently deployed as an aerial search and rescue (SAR) platform.
In South African service, the type was operated in the maritime patrol capacity between 1957 and 1984. During March 1971, a number of SAAF Shackletons were used during the SS Wafra oil spill, intentionally sinking the stricken oil tanker using depth charges to prevent further ecological contamination.
[Wikipedia, more..]

SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop

SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop
Lockheed Ventura, 6498
Lockheed Ventura GR.V c/n 237-6290; ex/ USN BuNo. 49474, RAF JT867, SAAF 6498 of 29 Sqn. 
It was later converted into a transport and flew with 17 Sqn before ending up at the South African Airways apprentice training school.  
It was eventually passed back for preservation and is now restored in a maritime colour scheme and on display at the South African Air Force Museum, Swartkop Airfield, Pretoria.

SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop
Lockheed 18-08-01 Lodestar, '245' (c/n 18-2058); ex/ ZS-ATL, (249), ZS-ATL.

SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop
No registration markings but identified by 'Lodestar' markings, the only one here according to Bob Ogden.

SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop
Lockheed 18-08-01 Lodestar, '245'.

SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop
Lockheed PV-1 Ventura, 6487 (c/n 237-6219); ex/ Bu49403, JT861
In 2004 these Ventura's were dispersed, I like how they are displayed and preserved now. My SA 2004 Report.

SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop
A collection of military jet aircraft, not of any particular interest to me.
A Douglas DC-3 I did not see here present.

My SatNav had problems finding this location, perhaps because it's on a military base. By selecting 'Snake Valley' we found ourselves on the R101 and had no problem finding the main gate of Swartkop AFB.
The base looked virtually abandoned and we were almost the only visitors to the museum. Since I had only a short time slot for this visit, as we had a considerable distance to drive that day, I quickly glanced the hangars (mainly jets) and aimed my camera at the planes of interest to me.
There is a small café, cash only, where we enjoyed a quick cold drink.

SAAF Museum, Air Force Base Swartkop
Identified this Boeing 707 through help on Facebook's Oldjets group: '1417 c/n 19723, once F-BLCI of Air France.'
With these result I googled on: 'Ex Air France F-BLCI, this 707 carried refuelling pods, plus the attachment points around the forward fuselage indicate ELINT pods are an optional fit. From 60 Sqn SAAF.'

Also came across this summary¬
1415  AF-615  Boeing B707-328C (EW) To Star Dynamics Aviation (N707SE).
1417  AF-617  Boeing B707-328C (EW?) Nose at Swartkop SAAF Museum
1419  AF-619 Boeing B707-328C (EW, Comint?) Display at Swartkop
1421  AF-621  Boeing B707-344C (EW) Nose at SAA Museum, Rand (did not see it -RL)
1423  AF-623 Boeing B707-344C (Transport/trainer) Reusable items stripped.  (posted Jan.2012)



Dakota Lodge, Rand Airport, SA
The last night of our stay in South Africa was spent in the Dakota Lodge ('Hangar 5'). It had not yet been established back in 2004.
The rooms are of a budget-type; airing of the bathroom is done by an opened window to the corridor which allows noise of early departures to enter the room. No elevator.
But the charm is of course the look inside the hangar from the reception and the breakfast area (above)!
The ones I am interested in are owned by Springbok Flying Safaris, which has an office on the ground floor (reception of the Dakota Lodge is one floor up).
I must admit I did little justice to the fine breakfast buffet, as I was running around with my camera!

Dakota Lodge, Rand Airport, SA
Douglas DC-3 (C-47A), ZS-BXF (c/n 12107) 'Suid Afrikaanse Lugdiens' of operator Skyclass Aviation.
Ex/ 42-92320 (USAAF), to FZ572 (RAF, Dakota C.3), 6821 (SAAF), ZS-BXF (SAA, unused; to
South African Historic Flight), ZS-BXF (Skyclass) []

Dakota Lodge, Rand Airport, SA

After the end of WW2 hostilities in the Far East a number of SAAF C-47 'Dakota' aircraft were transferred to SAA to augment the Lockheed Lodestars with which SAA had started post-war services.
The Dakotas were soundproofed and fitted out with 21 seats for airline service.
They served with SAA for nearly a quarter of a century, providing reliable service on all the internal and regional sectors. When retired from SAA service the 'Daks' were sold to the SAAF.
After her second spell with the South African Air Force ZS-BXF was again purchased by South African Airways and added to the Historic Flight fleet.
She was restored to pristine condition and her first post-restoration public outing was to the Vereeniging air show in October 1993. Klapperkop as she is named, is painted to represent the DC-3s that began service with South African Airways during the 1940's.
Her main task nowadays is a leisurely one, taking passengers on low-level nostalgia trips. Specifically safaris throughout Southern Africa to exotic places like the Victoria Falls.
Her Sunday flips are extremely popular giving passengers a low-level view of Johannesburg and its environs. Klapperkop was ferried from O.R. Tambo International Airport to Rand Airport on Friday 10 November 2006.
She had been at O.R. Tambo for repairs to damage sustained during a forced landing (crew ok, no passengers) in a grass field shortly after take-off from Lanseria Airport on 21Nov2003.
(Source¬ SAA Historic Flight)


Dakota Lodge, Rand Airport, SA
Beech E18S, ZS-OIJ (c/n BA-428). The extended nose was fitted somewhere between 2015 - 2016.
On Facebook I noticed recently photos of a multiple day trip 'Zambezi 2020', so its put to good use.

"Our Beech 18 was built in 1959 and is the only remaining example remaining in airworthy condition in Africa, although many remain worldwide.
The aircraft is powered by two of the superb Pratt and Whitney Junior Wasp engines of 450hp each. The Beech 18 was produced in both civilian and military versions.
Her career began with Millardair in Canada delivering small freight and came to South Africa in the early ‘90s and was completely refurbished in ’94 with an all-aluminium polished finish. She served with the non-government organisation Mercy Air from ’94 to 2010 supporting mission work in Southern Africa and flew 2200 hours in that time; had three engine changes and in 2000 had her nose extended! [Note: ZS-OIJ flew at the 2015 Rand Airshow with a 'normal' Beech 18 nose:].
She became a Hollywood star in 2008 when supported by Hilary Swank and Richard Gere, she featured in the movie ‘Amelia’—Amelia Earhart—who disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. The orange trim on the aircraft remains from her movie debut—reflecting the colours of Earhart’s own aircraft.
In 2010 she was sold to Bateleur Air in Namibia, where she was stranded at Soussusvlei and in 2013, was rescued by Capt. Vermeulen, recovered and brought back to Rand Airport."


Dakota Lodge, Rand Airport, SA
Douglas DC-3A-1978 ZS-KEX (c/n 2008) is under a (very) slow restoration by Springbok Classic Air.
Worth saving: a full pax DC-3, not a converted C-47 Skytrain!

"This is a special DC-3, as it is an orginal passenger-carrying 1938 DC-3A-197B as opposed to the C-47 derivatives that were modified for the 2nd World War.
With a manufacturing number of 2008, it was the 129th DC-3 off the production line, with Wright engines (later converted to Pratt & Whitney engines, in fact, just the 8th to be modified as such).
ZS-KEX was fortunate enough to never see war service and served as one of United Airline's DC-3's.
She came over to South Africa in 1976 and saw quite a lot of service in Africa.
Flippie acquired her in 1998 and his team did quite a lot of restoration until ZS-GPL came along, after which priorities shifted towards ZS-GPL and Springbok Classic Air' operations.
She now rests peacefully at the back of our hangar with ZS-NTE, her partner.
ZS-GPL needs a rest, however, and it's time for 'KEX to be woken up and put to work. She will be the OLDEST flying DC-3 in the world! (written in 2006)

I did not come across ZS-GPL during my morning visit to Rand Airport (11Mar2020).
For status and updates on ZS-NTE (sold) see my 2004 SA page.

Dakota Lodge, Rand Airport, SA
Initially I thought this could be ZS-PAA (in similar restoration), but that one is owned by Phoebus Apollo...
On my SA 2004 report I photographed it and reported it as "Douglas DC-3-197 ZS-PAA is the 'pet' restoration
project of Hennie Delport, owner of Phoebus Apollo." When I walked through the PA hangar to the ramp there was
no DC-3 there, so where did ZS-PAA move to? EMAIL

Dakota Lodge, Rand Airport, SA
Through the panorama windows we see seats and other parts stored inside the cabin.

Dakota Lodge, Rand Airport, SA
We can only hope one day she'll fly again!

Dakota Lodge, the breakfast area.
All areas have DC-3 and vintage air transport memorabilia & paraphernalia on display.
Dakota Lodge, Hangar 5, Rand Airport, Germiston

Regrettably I had to check out before Mr Flippie Vermeulen made his entrance at the Springbok Flying Safaris
office, we may have missed each other by minutes. I had not arranged to meet anyone and spoke to no one during
my stay here at the Dakota Lodge. So I can't tell much about progress of restorations or general state of affairs.
Keep yourself updated:

The brand names of Springbok Flying Safaris and Springbok Classic Air may be somewhat confusing.
There's another: Skyclass Aviation.
"SkyClass Aviation is a professional Air Charter operator with its own fleet of VIP, Corporate business jets.
SkyClass has 3 divisions: SkyExec (Corporate/Business VIP Air Charter), SkyClassic (operator of DC-3's
and DC-4's in South Africa), and SkyHeavy (catering for all cargo requirement)."


SAA Museum Society - South African Airways

South African Airways donated a Boeing 747-200 and a Boeing 747SP to the South African Airways Museum Society which are on display at Rand Airport. The SAA Museum also owns a Boeing 737-200, two DC-4s (?), a DC-3,
Vickers Viking, Lockheed Lodestar, Lockheed L1649 Starliner, DH Dove and numerous other exhibits. The airport
also hosts an annual air show. Rand Airport is also home to the Flying Lions Aerobatic Team. [Wikipedia]
SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
The South African Airways Museum Society was founded in 1986 by individuals within South African Airways and interested outside parties with the aim of preserving the history of South African Airways, as well as that of general civil aviation in South Africa.
This was sparked off by the purchase by South African Airways of the famous Junkers Ju-52/3m, ZS-AFA. Members of the South African Airways Museum Society were instrumental in restoring that aircraft, and have ever since been proactive in preserving the colourful history of South African Airways.
One of South African Airways Museum Society's stated aims is to create an awareness of the greatness of South African aviation, and the role it has played in society.
¬ (date of post unknown)

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
Boeing 747, ZS-SAN 'Lebombo' (further down one will see DC-4 'Lebombo' of Phoebus Apollo).
ZS-SAN (c/n 20239) is open for viewing, however the cockpit is closed off.
Preserved here at the SAA Museum, ferried from JNB on 05MAR2004.

SAA Museum Society - South African AirwaysZS-Boeing 737-219, ZS-SMD (c/n 23472); ex/ Air New Zealand (ZK-NAV), Aviacsa (XA-NAV), Star Air
Cargo (ZS-SMD), Air Namibia (same, leased), LAM Mozambique (same, lsd from Star AC), Proflight Zambia
(same, leased), Trans Air Congo (still ZS-SMD, lsd from Star AC), to SAA Museum. []

The South African Airways Museum Society is based at the ex-Transvaal Aviation Club complex at Rand Airport in Germiston.
The management of Rand Airport have generously donated a tract of land adjacent to runway 29 for the SAA Museum Society to use, to display its collection of Static Display Aircraft.
Historic items such as photographs, aircraft instruments, timetables and other important documentation are on display in the Society's display hall.
The display hall (next to the Dakotas Pub & Grill -RL) is open to the public and the Society regularly participates in open days to encourage particularly the younger generation of South Africans to take an interest in aviation as a potential career.
¬ (date of post unknown)

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
Nice line up. The SAA Museum is the only museum which has two Boeing 747s preserved for display!
Boeing 747SP‑44 ZS-SPC (c/n 21134) was ferried 30SEP06 to Jo'burg-Rand/Germiston for preservation.

"Our operational aircraft are leased to Skyclass Aviation who operate them on charter work to Southern Africa's exotic tourist destinations.
DC-3 ZS-BXF operational with Skyclass, as is DC-4 ZS-BMH and ZS-AUB."

I did not see Junkers Ju-52/3m (CASA 352L) ZS-AFA (c/n 164), probably hidden from sight in a hangar or is it at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo IAP (JNB)? Still awaiting sponsorship to get her flying again?

Is there still a South African Historic Flight? Reportedly same as 'Skyclass'.

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
Douglas DC-4 (C-54D), ZS-PAJ (c/n 22192); ex/ 43-17242, N242 (Denmark), N4988V,

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
Phoebus Apollo for Cargo, Charter, Flight School, Engine Rebuilding and Aircraft Maintenance.

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways

Notes from my (webmaster, RL) database:
C-54D-15-DC (c/n 22192/644) - Dlvd 21sep45 USAAF 43-17242; to RDAF (Denmark) 721sq N-242 12oct59; Std D.Monthan, bt STS Enterprises jul78; rr N4988V; Bt Millardair dec78 rr C-GRYY, remained std @MASDC (AMARC), bt Interocean Airways rr C9-ATS mar91; reported Jun'97 as EL-AWX for Trans Lloyd Cargo.
At Lanseria 28Jul98 w/titles ACT International, LWF (Lutherian World Found.),
To DWL (Dept of World Service); At Lanseria 07Jun99 EL-AWX; to ACT Int'l.
Bt Phoebus Apollo, rr C9-ATS oct99, at Jburg-Rand. Rr ZS-PAJ Phoebus Apollo; @Rand for Phoebus Apollo
Oct99 due to enter ops mar00 (rr ZS-PAJ).
In their hangar 15feb00 @Rand.
Anno 2002 in major overhaul, etr 2003. Ln (=last noted) 04May03 Rand. Ln 03Nov03 Rand. R24Dec03 Phoebus Apollo Investments CC. See my 2004 page, how I found 'Helios' in the hangar.
Ln 09+21Mar06 std @Rand, wfu? Donated (date?) to SAA Museum @Rand. Reg canx 14Jun07.

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
Douglas C-54D-15-DC, ZS-PAJ (c/n 22192/644); preserved for future generations to enjoy.

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
Douglas C-54D-15-DC, ZS-PAJ (c/n 22192/644)

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
Vickers 498 Viking 1A, ZS-DKH (c/n 121); ex/ G-AHOT, XD635, G-AHOT.

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
History on

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
Lockheed 1649A Starliner, ZS-DVJ (c/n 1649A-1042); ex/ D-ALOL, N45520, ZS-DVJ, LX-LGX.

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
Cockpit of Starliner ZS-DVJ (c/n 1042); further down one of larger size

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
Flight engineer station of the Lockheed Starliner ZS-DVJ

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
Cabin of Lockheed Starliner ZS-DVJ

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
Note the door not painted with the cheatline. The original cabindoors were made available for the Lufthansa
Starliner restoration in Auburn, Maine - which ceased in 2019 and the remains transported by ship to Germany.

'Regarded by many as the ultimate development of piston engined airliners, the Lockheed Starliner saw limited service with major airlines such as TWA, Air France and Lufthansa, and the latter sold ZS-DVJ to Trek Airways on 21 February 1964.
Arriving in Johannesburg on 07Mar64, it was fitted with 98 (later 101) seats and used on the airline’s services to and from Luxembourg. During this time, SAA had disposed of two of the Douglas DC-7B fleet operating the Wallaby service across the Indian Ocean to Perth, and as an interim measure, ZS-DVJ was leased to SAA from 07May1965.
Whilst retaining its basic Trek colours, it carried 'S.A. Airways' and 'S.A. Lugdiens' titles and was fitted with 10 First plus 56 Tourist Class seats, until the lease ended on 28Sep65.
On 18May67, it was transferred to the Luxembourg register as LX-LGX before reverting to ZS-DVJ a year later and used by Trek until being withdrawn from service in April 1969. Some months earlier, its logbooks accounted for 16,775 airframe hours, and during its time with Trek, ZS-DVJ undertook a few memorable flights.
On delivery in 1964, it flew non-stop from Oakland in California to Hamburg (22 hours elapsed time!) and during 1966 was used for the first non-stop commercial flight by a South African-registered aircraft across the South Atlantic, as well as the first to touch down in Japan.

After becoming a familiar sight on what was then Jan Smuts Airport’s 'Charlie' apron, ZS-DVJ was sold to Mr WJ Pelser in July 1971 for planned use as a roadside café along the N1 north of Warmbaths (now Bela-Bela).
A special permit for a single flight from Johannesburg to a specially prepared dirt landing strip near the 'Klein Kariba' pleasure resort had been issued on 24Sep71. On 09Oct71, ZS-DVJ undertook its last-ever flight.

Nothing came of Mr Pelser’s plans, however, and in 1974, the resort was taken over by the 'Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging' (ATKV), but sadly, the aircraft was allowed to deteriorate rather badly.
Fearing the worst and being aware of the aircraft’s SAA connections, I approached the ATKV and with its SA Railway affiliation, the cultural organisation decided to donate the aircraft to the airline for restoration.
It could only return to Jan Smuts Airport by road, and armed with information provided by Lockheed, a team of Technical Training School instructors and apprentices under Dave Ackerman’s able leadership, began the dismantling process on 01May79.
Twenty three days later, the various sections arrived back at what was to be 'home' for many years, having made use of a very devious routing to avoid low overhead bridges and other obstacles.
By the time I left the airline, ZS-DVJ had been reassembled, but as is now well known, was moved from pillar to post within the technical area and even across the airport before eventually finding its way to the museum site at Rand Airport.'
Written by Johann Prozesky (2017) []


SAA Museum Society - South African Airways

SAA Museum, the hangar
SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
Lockheed 18 Lodestar, ZS-ASN (c/n 18-2016); ex/ ZS-ASN, 1372

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
History of Lockheed L-18 Lodestar ZS-ASN 'Andries Pretorius' is on my SA 2004 report.

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways

M. Cassel wrote me in Mar.2006: "I was very interested to read Lockheed Lodestar ZS-ASN among your photos and a summary of its life.
Back in 1970 I flew out to S.Africa to start my flying career, it did not materialize as planned , but I did not want to return to the UK and I managed to get a job as trainee camera operator. In this capacity I flew up to SWA or Namibia to survey an area of the coast well north of Swakopmund.
ZS-ASN was based at a military airfield east of Walvis Bay; we stayed at Swakopmund to watch the local weather. It took a month to complete the job.
As a junior I was tasked with looking after the aircraft (grubby jobs), which included frequent topping up of oil to the port engine if we had flown. All this was with Capt Smithers whom, if I recall correctly, was ex RAF bomber skipper and a test pilot for Rolls Royce....A very nice guy to have known.
I only worked for A.O.S. for about 18 months, but it was very much a part of rebuilding my life. A wonderful experience for a young man: I feel very very lucky and privileged to have those memories."


SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
Not sure what this is...? EMAIL

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
De Havilland D.H.104 Dove, ZS-BCC (c/n 04079); ex/ (G-AJOU), ZS-BCC, VP-RCL, VP-YLX, 9J-RHX, G-AWFM

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways

SAA Museum Society - South African Airways
DH104 Dove, ZS-BCC (c/n 04079) 'Katberg'.

I took this screendump form Google Earth 22Mar20 but it does not represent the present situation (2002?).
Rand Airport on GE
For one the hangar isn't there yet (dates from?) and the parking ramp of the aircraft on display has been extended.

SAA Museum at Rand


Elsewhere on Rand Airport
Aviation at Rand Airport, SA
In 2004 I found two Douglas 'Sixes' stored at Johannesburg IAP, in front of the Harvard Café (airside). They have
been relocated to nearby the SAA Museum. While I see no markings for the DC-6 in front, this one
has to be DC-6B c/n 45319. For '5H-264' I refer to my 2004 report

From my SA04 Report:
This DC-6B (c/n 45319, line number 907) was delivered on 05Dec57 as N578 to Northwest Orient. Hardly oriental but still quite exotic, it went to United Arab Airlines, having bought it on 18Oct64 and registered it as SU-ANN. It returned to the European theatre for Sterling Airways of Denmark and upon its purchase 04Mar68 was registered as OY-STR. After years of service, it found itself discarded and stored at Copenhagen-Kastrup in Apr72.
It was entered in the US Registry as N515TR for Concare Aircraft Leasing Corp in Apr73. It was converted to a freighter, a DC-6B(F). Zantop Int'l Airlines leased it in Sep73, but Bellomy-Lawson Aviation had more faith in it and bought it in Mar82. It "transferred" (whatever that have meant) to Hemisphere Aviation Services 3 months later and was leased that month to Guyana Airways. N515TR returned to Bellomy-Lawson Avtn in Aug83 and was reregistered as N91BL in Apr84. Those were the days in Florida !
Anyway, Gentry Inc bought N91BL in Apr89 and had it registered as N34C in Oct90. Without much success as it was parked and stored at Miami,FL.
A new future appeared on the horizon in South Africa, but while registered as 9Q-CYO for Service Air after having been bought in Dec96, it has now (2004!) been stored for years at Rand. The registration has been removed from the aircraft. ./end quote
So it still survives here, to this day in March 2020.

Aviation at Rand Airport, SA
Antonov An-24RV, TN-AHH (c/n 47309705); id through
Congo registered Antonov parked at Rand (for a number of years, 10+?).

Aviation at Rand Airport, SA
Antonov An-72, T-701.
The Angolian Air Force An-72 arrived at Johannesburg-Rand exactly a year ago, on 08Feb2019, for maintenance.
Since then it was moved to a storage spot at the center of the airport, where it has been parked ever since.
[Scramble magazine , #490, March 2020), I suspect ceased for unpaid maintenance bills...

Rand Airport (IATA: QRA, ICAO: FAGM) is an airport in Germiston, South Africa. It was constructed in the 1920s as the main airport for Johannesburg, but the city outgrew it and replaced the airport with Palmietfontein Airport in the late 1940s, which itself was replaced by Jan Smuts International Airport in the 1950s (in 2006 renamed O. R. Tambo Int'l Airport after Oliver Reginald Tambo, a former ANC President). [Wikipedia]



Today, Rand Airport hosts air charter operators, flying schools and a number of aircraft maintenance organisations, as well other aviation-related enterprises. Charter operator Phoebus Apollo Aviation has its headquarters at Rand.
Aviation at Rand Airport, SA
Douglas C-47B-5-DK, 9J-RDR (ex/ Zambia Airways).
From my files over the years: 'C-48B-5-DK c/n 25928/14483; ex/ 43-48667 + KJ897 + G-AMKE + VP-YUU.
9J-RDR Zambia Airways; derelict @Lusaka July'94. Ln 24nov99 der at Joburg-Rand (fuselage, no cockpit).
Preserved in full c/s Phoebus Apollo nr their hangar @Jo'burg-Rand. Ln 09Dec00 reg not worn, mounted half
out of the Phoebus Apollo building. Tail section is on display SAAF Museum Swartkop (did not see it 04Mar20).'

Phoebus Apollo Aviation at Rand Airport, SA
Visit to Phoebus Apollo Aviation.
Initially formed as a flight school. Started scheduled pax/cargo flights in 1998. Ceased ops 28/2/07 following seizure
of assets by South African police (due to alleged tobacco smuggling activities). Resumed operations in early 2008.

Phoebus Apollo Aviation at Rand Airport, SA
ATL‑98A (Carvair), 9J-PAA (c/n 27314 C-54E, #21 converted Carvair, f/f 12JUL68)

Phoebus Apollo Aviation at Rand Airport, SA
What a remarkable aeroplane..! Previous titles (Pacific Aero Lift?) have started to reappear.

Notes from my database:
C-54E-10-DO (later cvtd to C-54M) 44-9088 USAF Dlvd 07Apr1945; xfrd to N88881 for the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in 1945, cvtd to DC-4 # 13.
Bt Pan American ('Clipper Kit Carson') as N88881 (later renamed 'Golden West', 'Red Rover'); to Japan AirLines as JA6015 15Feb58 passing to Ansett -ANA as VH-INM on 18Mar65.
Ansett had it cvtd by Aviation Traders, ff 12th July 1968.
Bt Australian Acft Sales January 1974; passing on to passing on to Seulawah Air Services in July'75, on lease before being withdrawn from use and stored at Singapore Seletar Airport.
Bt James A Cunningham as N54596 March 1968, then went to New Zealand as NZ-NWB for Nationwide Air in November 1978 b4 wfu again & std Hamilton,NZ
To Hawaii Pacific Air rr as N5459M May90, briefly wfu. Hawaii Pacific Air ceased ops Jan93); stored HNL.
Bt Air Cargo Hawaii March 1992, to Roberts of Hawaii in March 1993. Std at Griffin 1996.
Bt by Airline Marketing Consultants and disappeared into the Congo. During the Civil War it made hasty departure in 1997 to Wonderboom.
Arvd Wonderboom 13nov96; @Wonderboom May'98.
Intended to be ferried to Kinshasa, Zaire 05nov00 but this was probably only a test flight or returned due to maintenance. Soon found it would be used for use of spares to DC-4s as it was deemed no longer safe to oper commercially. @Wonderboom 21Jan01.
Ln Pietersburg 18jan02, in good condition, thought to be airworthy! Still owned by Airline Marketing Consultants.
Ln Mar02 @ hangar Phoebus Apollo. Rr 9J-PAA, applied on aircraft.
Destined to be operating flights from JNB to Harare & Lusaka. Photo A.Net in 2002 shows it operational at Rand.
Ln Rand 04May03. For sale usd 250.000 (2004).
Ln 21Mar06 Rand minus both rh engines; @Rand in April 2009 with all engines fitted again.

See my Photos by Friends & Guests #6 for Carvair N5495M (c/n 21) at Pretoria 06Jan2000.
Also on my Photos by Friends & Guests #23.


Phoebus Apollo Aviation at Rand Airport, SA
Douglas DC-4-1009 Skymaster, ZS-BMH (c/n 43157)

Phoebus Apollo Aviation at Rand Airport, SA

'This DC-4-1009 was produced at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant at Santa Monica, California. Manufacturers' plate states date built as 4 August 1947.
C/n 43157 was delivered to SAA on 09Aug1947, registered ZS-BMH and was named 'Lebombo'. This was the last DC-4 Skymaster off the Douglas factory production line!

On the 30th of June 1962 the Skymaster was involved in a collision with a SAAF Harvard, 7464 from 5 Sqdn, during the approach into Durban Airport. The rudder and elevators were damaged but the aircraft landed safely, the Harvard crashed near a bowling club on the Bluff, both pilots parachuted and landed without injuries.
(Details on ASN).

The aircraft was sold to the SAAF on 21Jan66, allocated the tail number 6904 and was operated by 44 Squadron. The aircraft was leased to Safair in February 1977 using the registration ZS-BMH and was used for carrying mineworkers from neighbouring states to South Africa and was returned to the SAAF three months later.
During 1991 the SAAF began phasing out the DC-4 and in 1992 SAA bought the most noteworthy of the DC-4's back from the Air Force: ZS-BMH 'Lebombo'.
After an extensive rebuild she re-entered service with the SAA Historic Flight on 08Apr93, exactly 46 years after she rolled off the Douglas assembly line in 1947.

In July 1994 Lebombo flew to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Fly-in at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in the USA. The journey to Oshkosh was over 15.000 kilometres and she set a new world record for the longest, time and distance, propliner flight in one direction, with an unchanged passenger group!'

Phoebus Apollo Aviation at Rand Airport, SA

Phoebus Apollo Aviation at Rand Airport, SA

'The ownership of ZS-BMH was transferred to the Transnet Heritage Foundation on the 25Jan2001.

On 18Sep06 the airliner transferred to Rand Airport (with the Transnet Heritage Foundation).
Transnet donated the aircraft, along with what was the entire South African Airways Historic Flight fleet, to the SAA Museum Society, effective 20Dec07.
The airliner is leased to, and operated by, charter operator Skyclass Aviation who specialise in African Flying Safaris to Southern Africa.
Powered by four Pratt & Whitney R2000 radial piston engines, ZS-AUB (05Aug20 moved to SAA Museum) and ZS-BMH (airworthy by Aug.2020) are two of the very few passenger-licensed Douglas DC-4 Skymasters operating in the world today and are great favourites in the Africa Fly-in tourism industry, venturing as far as North America and Europe. The aircraft seat 50 passengers each, in a Business Class configuration.'

Phoebus Apollo Aviation at Rand Airport, SA

Phoebus Apollo Aviation at Rand Airport, SA
DC-4-1009, ZS-AUB (c/n 42984)

'The aircraft was delivered to South African Airways on the 10th of May 1946 and registered ZS-AUB and named 'Outeniqua'.
An American crew delivered the aircraft and arrived at Palmietfontein Airport on the 16th of May 1946.

The aircraft has eight fuel tanks and was often used to ferry engines and engine change crews to SAA aircraft that had suffered engine failures.
This aircraft was the last SAA DC-4 to be sold going to the SAAF on the 29th of September 1967 and allocated the tail number 6905 and operated by 44 Squadron.

South African Airways bought the aircraft in December 1995 to operate with the Historic Flight and registered it ZS-AUB. On 16 December 1995 Captain Flippie Vermeulen, Captain Johan Dries and Flight Engineer Officer Alf Mairs flew the delivery flight of ZS-AUB from Waterkloof to Jan Smuts, the aircraft was still in SAAF colours.

During May 1997 the DC-4 was wet-leased to Swissair and briefly registered HB-ILI and later ZU-ILI and was used to celebrate Swissair’s 50th Anniversary of the crossing the Atlantic. Four Atlantic crossings were made, in Swiss Air colours, in 1997 with ZS-AUB.'

See also My SA 2004 account for a personal description of DC-4-1009, ex/ PH-DDS.

Phoebus Apollo Aviation at Rand Airport, SA
Interesting link: flying in ZS-AUB including photos of AUB's interior.

The aircraft returned to the SAA Historic Flight and was registered ZS-AUB. In July 2000 the aircraft attended the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

The Historic Flight was transferred to Swartkop Air Force base on request from SAA chief Coleman Andrews, and the aircraft were operated there until end of 2005.
Ownership of the aircraft was transferred to the Transnet Heritage Foundation on the 25Jan2001.
On the 18Sep06 the airliner transferred to Rand Airport (with the Transnet Heritage Foundation).
Transnet donated the aircraft, along with what was the entire South African Airways Historic Flight fleet, to the SAA Museum Society, effective 20Dec07.

The airliner was operated by charter operator Skyclass Aviation who specialises in African Flying Safaris to Southern Africa. (¬

ZS-AUB lacks the no.1 engine, probably in the shop for maintenance. In 03Oct15 it was reported at Rand in BOAC colourscheme, prob'ly for a film. Named 'Outeniqua'. On 05Aug20 it was towed over to the SAA Museum, her final home

Phoebus Apollo Aviation at Rand Airport, SA
Douglas C-54E/M, ZS-PAI (c/n 27319), named 'Atlas'.

Phoebus Apollo Aviation at Rand Airport, SA
Doiglas DC-4 (C-54M), ZS-PAI (c/n 27319)

History of c/n 27319, notes from my database:
'Dlvd 13Apr45 USAAF as 44-9093, built C-54E, later cvtd C-54M; retired feb73 MASDC (AMARC), wfu Aug77; bt Aero Union Aug78 rr N4989K.
Departed Davis-Monthan 1979, oper var.owners, impounded at Hurtsboro,AL Mar82 N4989K.
Bt D&N Transport jun84, ferried Sherman,TX Feb85 for complete rebuild; bt Contract Air Cargo (Pontiac,Mi). D13Feb97 Contract Air Cargo as N4989K (Pontiac,MI); 21Mar97 at Wonderboom, lsd to Saicam Air (similar to Carvair 9J-PAA); Bt Phoebus Apollo Aviation 1998, at Jo'burg-Rand for respray/rereg; rr ZS-PAI 12oct98. 10Mar00 JNB-Rand for Phoebus Apollo. Same 01may01. Same 04May03.
Same 10Jan07 @JNB, allegedly active.'

Phoebus Apollo Aviation at Rand Airport, SA
Douglas DC-4-1009, ZS-AUA (c/n 42934), in a rather sad state.
I hope the FlyingDutchmanFoundation ( haven't given up on the
restoration but I think they had hope to see funding by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines coming their way for KLM's
100th anniversary in 2019; that did not happen. I hope ZS-AUA does not end this way.
From (23Mar20):
History of DC-4-1009 ZS-AUA

One more of this unque aeroplane, a reason to visit here in itself: ATL.98 Carvair 9J-PAA (Phoebus Apollo Aviation).

Eva van der Ben sent me a photo update of Phoebus Apollo's Carvair, taken at Jo'burg-Rand 02Mar12, HERE...
Its history also detailed on my SA 2004 Visit.
Series of photos on of c/n 27314/21.




DC-6 at DC-6 Truck Parts

DC-6 at DC-6 Truck Parts
Douglas DC-6B, ZS-MUL (c/n 45329); ex/ South African Historic Flight
It was past closing time, ca.1745lt, shortly before sunset. A fence and closed gate prevented me from getting closer.

DC-6 at DC-6 Truck Parts
Preserved at 'DC-6 Truck Parts. Ferried 04Dec2010 to Pyramid, Pretoria, at 25 34 47 S 28 16 10 E, for
Witold Walus & Willie Muntingh (dba Drakensberg Truck Manufacturers) and used as gate guard. []

An-2 at DC-6 Truck Parts
Unidentified An-2: EMAIL

Wondermil - Wonderboom Military Museum
Wondermil, Wonderboom Military Museum: opening soon



Created 20-Mar-2020
Updated 04-Okt-2020