AAD 2016-Possible Aircraft on Display

By Willie Bodenstein

With less than a month to go before South Africa's premier event, the bi-annual Africa Aerospace and Defence the AAD 2016 website offers almost no news on expected exhibitors and very little other news. The last press release posted on the website is dated 17 May 2016.

Especially on the static aircraft display rumours however, abound on who will exhibit what.

The USAF is likely to again have the Boeing C-17A Globemaster III and a Lockheed C-130J Hercules on static display. Both the C-17A and C-130J are possiable contenders for the SAAF's heavy and medium lift program. The USAAF has always had a presence at AAD and it seems likely that they will again do so this year. Other USAAF assets that according to rumours will be at Waterkloof are the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and some say even the Rockwell B-1B Lancer supersonic variable-sweep wing strategic bomber will again form part of the USAF's presence.


Boeing C-17A Globemaster III. Photo USAAF / commons.wikimedia.org


Lockheed C130J Hercules. Photo USAF


General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper. Photo Gerald L Nino en.wikipedia.org


Rockwell B-1B Lancer. Photo Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III USAF / commons.wikimedia.org

If one is to believe some sources Ilyushin will be exhibiting the IL-76MD-90A military transport aircraft rumoured to be a contender for the SAAF's Heavy Lift Capability. If so two of the heavy lift contenders and one of the medium lifters will be on display. The SAAF might have a C130 on Display. The IL-76MD-90A is a modernised version of the IL-76MD which itself is based on the IL-76 cargo aircraft platform.


Ilyushin IL-76MD-90A. Photo commons.wikimedia.org

Some sources said that Sukhoi, who have obtained the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certificate authorizing to operate Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) on the runways down to 30 meters, will be present at AAD 2016.


Sukhoi SSJ-100. Photo Katsuhiko Tokunaga / commons.wikimedia.org

Others state that Textron AirLand will be exhibiting the Scorpion Jet. Textron are punting the Scorpion as the ideal platform for National Defence and Homeland Security forces to conduct border security operations.


Textron Scorpion. Photo Textron AirLand

Two South African contenders for the same market are the Vliegmasjien whose test readied C-Wolf will be on display and Team Vliegmasjien (inclusive of representatives from ADEPT Airmotive) will be on standby to answer any questions. Paramount's ARHLAC that have undergone extensive test flights with the second prototype almost complete will no doubt be at AAD. Both were exhibited at AAD 2016.


C-Wolf. Photo Vliegmasjien


AHRLAC. Photo Willie Bodenstein

The SAAF will most likely have a presence but at the time of publication what they are likely to have on static display or during the two airshow days have not been revealed. As in the past, the SAAF Museum will again probably have some aircraft on static display and will form part of the airshow.

One can expect all South African aircraft distributors and manufacturers to be present as well as some manufacturers from abroad. National Airways Corporation distributors of Piper and other products, Absolute Aviation, distributors of Cessna and Beechcraft products and Execujet are conformed exhibitors. However, what the will be having on static display is not known.

Airvan South Africa will possible have HAL Airvan as well as a Lancair on show.


HAL Airvan. Photo HAL Industries


Lancair. Photo Lancair

It seems as if Diamond have confirmed their presence and if true, the will most likely display their DA42 MPP and DA62. Based on the award-winning DA42 NG, the DA42 MPP (Multi Purpose Platform) Guardian is a special mission aircraft with an endurance of up to 12 hrs while burning only 6.4 US gallons (24.2 litres) per hour.


Diamond DA42 MPP. Photo Diamond Aircraft

The Fun Fly Park established and run by the Aero Club of South Africa, to offer the smaller manufacturers an opportunity to display their products were fairly well supported during AAD 2014. It will hopefully have a more comprehensive display of South African made light sport aircraft.

The organisers of AAD probably have their reasons why no details are released. Keeping what you are going to show the paying public and industry stakeholders is however, not good public relations. It makes for rumour mongering, leaving loads of visitors disappointed when, what they expected to see, is not there.

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