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 Aircraft of The SAA Museum Society


Please take note of the information on the Facilities for the Visitor page.


The members of the South African Airways Museum Society are the proud owners of a variety of aircraft. They range from pristine operational aircraft to the somewhat forlorn and neglected, awaiting much needed funds to begin restoration.

 
SAA MUSEUM SOCIETY AIRCRAFT - LINKS TO RESPECTIVE PAGES ON THIS WEBSITE

Click on the Aircraft Make & Model to view our information and photographs on that aircraft.

Click on the Registration or c/n (construction number) to view photographs of the aircraft that are on the website www.airliners.net

Depending on what you click in the table below you will get pictures sorted by Registration or by c/n on the website www.airliners.net

By clicking here you will be taken directly to the first page of numerous photographs of the South African Airways Historic Flight aircraft on www.airliners.net

The list below is sorted by date of acquisition by the SAA Museum Society. Note however that the dates prior to the formation of the Society in August 1986 are when SAA acquired the aircraft.
 

Date acquired

Aircraft Make & Model - click for pics on this website

Registration - click for pics on www.airliners.net

c/n - click for pics on www.airliners.net

Date Man.

Aircraft name

SAAF No.

Status

1973/12/03

Lockheed L18-08 Lodestar

ZS-ASN

2026

1940

Andries Pretorius

1372

Static

1979/02

de Havilland DH 104 Dove

ZS-BCC

04079

1947

Katberg

N/A

Static

1979/05

Lockheed L1649A Starliner

ZS-DVJ

1042

1958

N/A

N/A

Static

1981/05

CASA 352L (Junkers Ju 52/3m)

ZS-AFA

164

1954

Jan van Riebeeck

N/A

Serviceable/Awaiting CofA

1987/03/05

Vickers VC1A Viking

ZS-DKH

121

1946

N/A

N/A

Static. Restoration underway

2004/03/05

Boeing 747-244B

ZS-SAN

20239

1971

Lebombo

N/A

Static/Live

2006/01/12

Douglas C-54D-15-DC

ZS-PAJ

22192

1945

Helios

N/A

Static

2006/09/30

Boeing 747SP-44

ZS-SPC

21134

1976

Maluti

N/A

Static/Live

2007/12

Douglas DC-3 Dakota

ZS-BXF

12107

29-11-1943

Klapperkop

6888 & 6821

Operational with Skyclass

2007/12

Douglas DC-4 Skymaster

ZS-AUB

42984

1946

Outeniqua

6905

Operational with Skyclass

2007/12

Douglas DC-4 Skymaster

ZS-BMH

43157

04-08-1947

Lebombo

6904

Operational with Skyclass

2011/05 Boeing 707-344C ZS-SAI 20283 East London 1421

Static, section of fuselage and one engine

2014/09/14 Boeing 737-219 Adv ZS-SMD
23472 1986 Pukeko N/A

Static/Live

2018/08/18 Pietenpol Air Camper

Circa 1970
  N/A

Static display. Rebuilt by the Pretoria Boys High School Aeronautical Society. On long term loan from the PBHSAS.



JOHANN PROZESKY, AT THE TIME MANAGER SAA TECHNICAL TRAINING DEPARTMENT, RECOUNTS HIS INVOLVEMENT – FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS – IN ACQUIRING A FLEET OF HISTORIC AIRCRAFT THAT NOW FORM THE BASIS OF THE SAA MUSEUM’S WORLD CLASS COLLECTION AT RAND AIRPORT.


Much of the information contained in the various sections appearing here is probably quite well known – to a greater or lesser degree – but as time marches on and I now live in far-away Australia, I nevertheless thought it prudent to get my thoughts down on paper to share with others. It is by no means to be seen as the alpha and omega of the collection’s beginnings – and progress through the years – and I will not take anyone amiss if I need to stand to be corrected on what appears hereunder.

I was in the very fortunate position to have been able to expand my hobby into something more concrete, but am the first to admit that without the support of so many colleagues and friends of yesteryear – also those in senior management – none of this would have been possible. It must be said that having been put in charge of SAA’s Technical Training Department proved to be the ideal position to kick start everything that has been achieved over the past 44 years.

No one person could have achieved this on his own, and whilst many individuals worthy of mention will unfortunately be left out, mention must be made of the support given to me by Dave Ackerman and his wonderful team of instructors way back – as well as many apprentices that have contributed over the years. In more recent times – often more challenging than what we had to face in those “early days” – John Austin Williams and his team of enthusiasts have ensured that the collection has gone from strength to strength. May it continue to do so for years to come and I for one will be watching developments from afar with interest!

It may seem odd that the story of “Jan van Riebeeck” has been left out, but this was done on purpose. Much has appeared in print over the years, and it is my intention to, in due course, add my penny’s worth to the excellent document prepared by my good friend Steve Morrison before his untimely passing.

Johann Prozesky
Hamilton, Victoria, Australia
23 August 2017


ZS-ASN LOCKHEED LODESTAR “ANDRIES PRETORIUS”

Built by Lockheed as a Model 18-08 c/n 2026 (probably at Burbank, California), SAA took delivery of it on 24 September 1940 before it was shipped to South Africa on board the vessel “MV Tigre”. On arrival it was transferred to the SAAF as 1372 on 7 November 1940, and from 8 July 1941 was used on the shuttle service to and from Egypt.

After the end of World War Two, ZS-ASN joined the SAA fleet on 9 February 1946, and served the airline until 18 March 1955 when it was used on a training flight under Captain “Toddy” Bain. With a mere 7372 hours “on the clock”, it was sold to the Aircraft Operating Company (AOC) on 22 April 1955 for use as an aerial survey platform throughout Africa from its base at Grand Central Airport. Here I first saw it, withdrawn from service in 1972 and parked to one side – the oldest aircraft in existence that saw SAA service – with its registration cancelled in February 1973.

At that time, SAA’s historical heritage was looked after by the then Railway Museum, and I persuaded the Curator to approach AOC with a request to donate ZS-ASN to the Railway Administration for preservation and eventual display at a museum that was yet to be. As we now know, this request was acceded to and turned out to be the beginning of what has grown into the collection on display at Rand Airport (from where “Andries Pretorius” used to operate in its SAA days).

As the Railway Museum had no suitable storage space at that time, arrangements were made for the aircraft to be towed to Jan Smuts Airport as it was then known, for temporary storage until a decision on its future could be taken. With its wings removed by Technical Training Instructor AP Nel and his group of apprentices, ZS-ASN arrived by road at the technical area on 3 December 1973 and stored in Hangar 4. Not everybody was enamoured by the old timer standing in what had become a stores building, and persons unknown even entered the cockpit to wantonly destroy much of the instrumentation. This proved to be the trigger for the Apprentice Training School to start with its restoration – and the beginning of a long and fruitful association between myself, Dave Ackerman and many others. Resplendent in the period colour scheme, ZS-ASN made its public debut during an open day held in the technical area on 10 October 1975.

ZS-BCC DE HAVILLAND DOVE “KATBERG”

This particular aircraft, a series 1 Dove c/n 04079, actually saw very little service with SAA after arriving at Palmietfontein as ZS-BCC in December 1947. The projected feeder services for which it had been purchased, failed to materialise, and four years later, having flown just 307 hours, “Katberg” was sold in what was then Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) as VP-YLX. It was later reregistered as VP-RCL and 9J-RHX before ending up back in England as G-AWFM with Fairey Surveys at White Waltham airfield west of London. This is where I first set eyes on it in September 1972, keeping track of it until it was sold off to Fairflight, a charter airline based at the famous Biggin Hill airport in Kent, for use as spares to keep their other aircraft operational.

Whilst Fairflight was not prepared to donate what amounted to the remains of the aircraft to a museum that still had to be established, funds were also not available “in house”. A solution was however found with the help of Brig. SvB Theron and Alan Bell of Hawker Siddeley’s office in South Africa (of which de Havilland had become part) when the parent company generously donated UKL500 towards the purchase of the remains of “Wanted for Murder” as the aircraft had become known at Fairflight. Mention must also be made of the added generosity of Dunlop’s Harry Pilkington and Goodyear’s Pat Ryan in this regard.

On a cold and misty morning in October 1978, Technical Training instructors Koos Coetzee, Roger Overton and Joe Schlebusch as well as myself set eyes on the Dove that had literally been put out to pasture at Biggin. In no time, it was disassembled sufficiently for transportation in a furniture van across London to Salisbury Hall, a stately home off the M25 motorway, famous for being the birthplace of the prototype Mosquito bomber, for temporary storage. On an even colder morning in February 1979, with the moat around Salisbury Hall frozen stiff, John Ikking, Dave Ackerman and others prepared the various sections for further transportation to Heathrow Airport to await available space in the cargo hold of a SAA Boeing 747 – to Johannesburg, where the Apprentice Training School was once again standing by to rebuild an erstwhile SAA aircraft.

By 4 November 1980, the fuselage and wings had been re-joined, before further restoration work could continue. Whilst the main components – fuselage and wings – had returned from England, many smaller items were needed, such as the engines and transparent cockpit dome. Fairflight came to the rescue with some parts whilst the legendary Jack Malloch in what was then Salisbury, Rhodesia, provided more, including the rear cabin bulkhead, together with, as I recall, a chemical toilet. As the work progressed, the cleaning of the fuselage and removal of layers of paint revealed the words “Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens” on one side and “South African Airways” on the other, etched into the metal, still visible after more than 30 years – helping no end with determining the details of the original “Blue and Silver” paint scheme. Over the years, nature has taken its toll of many of the components, and it is wonderful to know that help is in sight – undercover parking for “Katberg” as well as Ändries Pretorius”.

ZS-DVJ LOCKHEED STARLINER

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 7 March 1964, 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 7 May 1965. 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 28 September 1965.

On 18 May 1967, 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 24 September, and on 9 October 1971, 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 1 May 1979. 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 hopefully – and eventually – finding its way to the museum site at Rand Airport.

ZS-DKH VICKERS VIKING

SAA’s fleet of eight Vickers Viking 1Bs saw service for a relatively short period of time during the late 1940s and early 1950s, and by December 1951, the aircraft had all been sold to British European Airways (BEA). As time went by, the fleet dispersed further and none are in existence today. In 1954 the fledgling Trek Airways purchased Viking 1A c/n 121 that had previously served with BEA, and duly registered it as ZS-DKH for its leisurely, low cost, 32 seat tourist flights across Africa to and from various European destinations. After the airline introduced Skymasters on the route in 1958, ZS-DKH along with two others were transferred to Protea Airways until this airline ceased operations in 1961. ZS-DKH was sold to Vic de Villiers, owner of a Caltex service station near what was known as Uncle Charlie’s intersection, southwest of Johannesburg. After its last flight to Baragwanath airfield, the Viking was towed to and mounted above the garage’s courtyard and became a well-known landmark – known to one and all as “Vic’s Viking”.

For many years, SAA’s Technical Training School used ex SAAF Ventura airframes for training young apprentices, but as time went by, the usefulness of these training aids gradually diminished. When the SAAF Museum started expressing interest in one of these airframes, it also made me start thinking “outside the box”. At that time the SAAF did not have any aircraft that could meaningfully join SAA’s historic collection, but they had an Avro Shackleton airframe surplus to requirements. Whilst there were some differences between the Viking 1A and 1B – the former had fabric clad geodetic wings and a short nose – this was not seen as too big a problem, and a successful approach was made to Mr de Villiers with the proposal of a three-way swap: the Shackleton for the Ventura and in turn for the Viking.

Once again Dave Ackerman and his instructors with their apprentices played a major role. In March 1987 the Shackleton was disassembled at Cape Town’s Ysterplaat AFB and taken by road to Johannesburg to replace the Viking that had been taken on a relatively short journey to SAA’s technical area. Sadly, the aircraft’s overall condition had been allowed to deteriorate up there on its lofty perch, and it was realised that a lengthy restoration project lay ahead. By the time I parted company with it, very little progress had been made, but a more recent journey by road to Rand Airport where ZS-DKH had regularly undergone maintenance during its days with Trek and Protea, has made its future look much rosier.

ZS-BXF DOUGLAS DAKOTA “VASBERADE”

After World War Two, very few airlines did not operate the famous Douglas Dakota, and SAA was no exception. Known as the C-47 in military service, a total of eight aircraft were obtained from surplus SAAF stocks during the 1940s and early 1950s, and refurbished to commercial DC-3 standards.

Built in 1943 at Oklahoma City as a C-47A-1-DO, c/n 12107 was delivered to the USAAF (“Army Air Force”) as 42-92320 and passed on to the RAF as FZ572 in 1943. The SAAF took delivery of it as 6821 in March 1944 for use on the Cairo shuttle, and it was purchased by SAA as ZS-BXF on 16 August 1948 (also the date of registration) having flown 2900 airframe hours. Named “Klapperkop”, it operated its first revenue service on 2 September 1948, flying from Rand Airport to Kimberley and Alexander Bay under the command of Captain Bob Truter. Whilst all the SAA Dakotas carried the names of mountains, ZS-BXF was, for some unknown reason, later renamed “Vasberade” (the Afrikaans word for ‘resolute’ or ‘determined’) and used by Minister of Transport Ben Schoeman whilst on official duty. Its final service took place on 30 January 1970 when it flew from Maseru to the then Jan Smuts Airport as SA132 before being handed over to the SAAF as 6888 on 5 February 1971 with 19,566 hours “on the clock”.

I only recently became aware of a mid-air collision involving 6888 on 10 December 1985. It was one of twelve C-47s practising for the flypast at Swartkop AFB to commemorate the Dakota’s 50th anniversary seven days later. Soon after take-off, 6874 and 6888 came together, leaving the latter’s starboard outer leading edge decidedly worse for wear, and whilst both aircraft landed safely, it is not known whether 6888 participated in the subsequent flypast.

A really suitable replacement for the venerable Dakota has not seen the light of day, despite numerous designs actually going beyond the project stage. One such effort was to replace the trusty Twin Wasp engines with turboprops, but this required the fuselage to be lengthened to counter the difference in engine weights. In the late 1980s the SAAF decided on this route to give some aircraft in its large fleet a new lease of life, but the distinct possibility of seeing all of the ex-SAA aircraft being so converted or being sold off, made me more “Vasberade” to obtain one to join the growing collection of historic SAA aircraft.

I enlisted the help of Captain “Doc” Malan to arrange a meeting with the SAAF and Armscor who had been detailed to handle the disposal, and I remember our suggestion being sympathetically received – for a Dakota together with a Skymaster to be made available. The question of price was quite naturally raised, and knowing what the SAAF paid SAA for the aircraft some 20 years earlier, I rather emboldened as well as somewhat tongue in cheek suggested that the same amount in reverse be considered. At that time the “Historic Aircraft Fund”, made up of donations, the sale of first day flight covers, etc., had grown rather nicely, and the balance would be sufficient for this purpose. Much to my relief – and delight – the suggestion was approved, resulting in the two classic (and serviceable) Douglas veterans being bought for cash.

I cannot recall why the choice fell on 6888, but it might well have been because it was the “oldest” survivor of the second batch of Dakotas purchased from the SAAF (ZS-DJB would, from an historic perspective, have been a more logical choice as it had been the SAAF’s first C-47 – 6801 – but it had earlier been transferred to the Rhodesian Air Force where it was lost whilst in use). Resplendent in SAAF camouflage markings, 6888 left Swartkop AFB under the command of Lt S Cox on its delivery flight to SAA on 14 May 1991, and where I took early retirement shortly thereafter, it turned out to be “a mission accomplished” for me. Whilst the initial idea had been for it to become a static exhibit, my colleagues in the airline had other ideas, and the rest is, as they say, history.

ZS-BMH DOUGLAS DC-4 SKYMASTER “LEBOMBO”

The aircraft rolled out of Douglas’s Santa Monica plant in California in 1947, and was delivered to SAA at Rand Airport on 9 August 1947. After serving the airline on the “Springbok” route to England and on internal and regional routes, it ended up flying “Skycoach” services between the major domestic centres. Whilst on finals into Durban’s Louis Botha Airport after a flight from Johannesburg on 30 June 1962, it collided in cloud over the Bluff with Harvard 7464 of 5 Squadron SAAF. Lt Sinclair and his fellow pilot parachuted to safety, whilst Captain Archie Nasmith succeeded in landing “Lebombo” safely, despite a damaged vertical stabiliser and rudder. The aircraft was subsequently sold to the SAAF as 6904 on 21 January 1966 with 32,042 hours “on the clock”.

The story behind its acquisition was told above in the chapter on “Vasberade”. For me, the choice of 6904 was quite an easy one, for apart from it having been the last ever C-54/DC-4 built, it was also the first aircraft I ever flew in – Skycoach service SA531 from Johannesburg to Durban on 6 January 1961 with Captain John Godfrey in command. I do not have any further details of life after its return to SAA on 12 May 1993 – it took place after I had left the airline – but just more than 50 years later, on 6 February 2011, I renewed my acquaintance with it on a flight over the Vaal Dam, something that not many people have been or will be privileged to do.

Johann Prozesky
Hamilton, Victoria, Australia
23 August 2017




 
 
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