The foundation of the EAA as we know it is homebuilt aircraft, creativity and flight training. For Aerosud it is innovation, technological excellence and precision. But on the 21st of November both the EAA and Aerosud shared their passion of aviation when Aerosud hosted the EAA for a tour through Aerosud's manufacturing facility in Pretoria.
Rob Jonkers, a very active member of general aviation in South Africa, passionate SAPFA competitor and a member of the original Rooivalk development team invited us for the day and started the tour with a brief presentation on Aerosud's history, vision, strategy and capability. Rob's presentation was truly fascinating and to be honest, I never knew that we had this type of capability in South Africa. Manufacturing more than 1,000,000 parts per year and large contracts with both Boeing and Airbus puts Aerosud at the forefront of aviation innovation and manufacturing.
After Rob's presentation Pierre Dippenaar, managing director of Aerosud Aerospace Systems shared some interesting and funny stories about the Aerosud past including remarkable achievements during upgrade programs of the SAAF Mirage and others. Paul Potgieter concluded the formalities with a short introduction on the AHRLAC, an advanced high-performance reconnaissance and light attack aircraft currently on the lips of aviation and military journalists around the world. Although some of these stories and specifically the AHRLAC may be classified to a large extent, we hope that we will be able to bring some of these stories to our readers in the future.
We divided into three groups and started the tour through the entire facility. CNC machines, curing ovens, manufacturing facilities for both sheet metal and composite materials were mind-blowing - a homebuilders Eden!! But apart from the truly amazing technological facilities, it was also their standards compliancy and safety awareness that puts this dynamic organization in the premier league.
The tour was extremely interesting and enjoyed by everyone. But to me, the Aerosud story, from the start all the way up to being among the best the aviation industry has to offer is equally interesting and probably most important.
AEROSUD - Another group of South African people we can be proud of!!!