After the war a Meteor was evaluated by the SAAF at Brooklyn (Ysterplaat) Air Base near Cape Town,as shown in this pic.taken at the occasion. I recall having seen a colour photo of this, many years ago but all searches proved negative. Would anybody be able to shed some more light on the existence of such an image?
On the assumption that the mention of Ysterplaat brings forward PPRuNe members who may have served there or better still has photographs of the place, can I ask whether anyone has photographs of the time when the R.A.F. had an Erection Unit based there in the early 1950’s for the assembly of Harvards destined for the Rhodesian Air Training Group?
I have many photographs of Harvards and other aircraft I photographed whilst I was at 5 FTS (R.A.F. Thornhill) in 1951/52, but I am sadly lacking any showing Ysterplaat itself or any aircraft being assembled by the R.A.F. Erection Unit based there.
From my notes recorded whilst at 5 FTS, Harvards for the Rhodesian Air Training Group were shipped from the UK to Cape Town in South Africa and assembled at the RAF Erection Unit located at the South African Air Force base at Ysterplaat near Cape Town.
After assembly they were flight tested and then flown up to Rhodesia by instructors sent down from R.A.F. Thornhill to collect them. Standard procedure was for the pilots to travel down in an R.A.F. Thornhill based 3 Aerial Navigation School (3 ANS) Anson to Ysterplaat. Collect the newly assembled Harvards and fly them up the S. Rhodesia accompanied by the Anson for navigational purposes. From my notes the Harvards and Anson flew via Beaufortwest, Bloemspruit, Pretoria (Zwartkop) and R.A.F. Heany (4 FTS) and then on to 5 FTS.
Any photos or memories of the R.A.F. Erection Unit at Ysterplaat in the early 1950's would be welcomed – thanks.
I dug out my father's logbook to see if he had ever been to Ysterplaat while he was instructing at No 20 FTS in '40-'42, a long shot, I know.
And I noticed an entry I had not seen before, which I'm wondering if anyone can throw any light on.
On Sep 9th 1940, a Capt van Horst as P1 and himself as P2, no other crew listed, flew a Junkers 52 from Broken Hill to M'beya, on 10th Sept from Mbeya to Didomo, and the same day from Didomo to Nairobi.
I wonder where they got the aircraft, and why they took it from Broken Hill to Nairobi.
I will be going to the SAAF Museum at Ysterplaat during the next few days, I will post up some photos if I can solve the problem I'm having accessing PPRuNe (very slow and intermittent access, not having problems with any other websites).
Capetonian. Please give the indoor Shackleton a hug for me, and tell it I forgive it. In 2005 I went to Ysterplaat show for the Lightnings, but particularly the Shack, never having seen a Mk.3 fly. It taxied to the end of the runway, then went US and didn't fly. I have forgiven it.
Talking about Ysterplaat, I visited in 2002. Unfortunately they were testing some new secret weapon they could not even talk about (turned out to be a Gripen) and so the only access was to the small hangar near the parked Shackleton, with a Mirage, Vampire and Ventura. A bit frustrating too.
I.Garey. Interesting remark about the Gripen. At Overburg show in 2005, one of the commentators was talking to a SAAF officer who had just been to Sweden to fly the Gripen, and he was introduced as the first South African to fly it Are you sure it was actually at Ysterplaat in 2002?
JEM60: When we asked to go to the part of the collection which is somewhere near the airside hangars, we were told it was closed because of the visit of an aircraft about which we could not have any details. We heard a lot of jet noise coming from that area. I gathered later that it was a Gripen visiting for trials.