08 to 09.07.2022
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This exhibition / trade show was organised at Wonderboom Airport again this year. This is the second time it's been held there, the last time being in 2020. The 2021 event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The next one will be held, also at Wonderboom, in July 2023 but the dates aren't fixed yet.
General apron area.
I have to admit that I was a little weary of going to Wonderboom as I'd heard stories about the unco-operative attitude of the staff, but I was really most pleasantly surprised at the slick and efficient way things were handled. Everybody I spoke to only had praise for the organisers and their efforts to make the event as pleasant and smooth as is humanly possible. Entry to the exhibition was free! You just had to register, but even this process was absolutely smooth and totally painless.
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This year there was a total of fifty-two exhibitors with stands there, ranging from an Air Ambulance company through to avionics, engine components, tracking devices and insurance brokers and underwriters. Most of them were in the big, tented hall and some were outside on the apron, but all were well displayed and easily accessible. Every time I went for a walk about there were people at every stand and I can only hope that business was being conducted. I was surprised at the number of young people who were enquiring about flying training. These were not just people making polite conversation but also people who were genuinely interested and I hope that all the flight schools that were exhibiting there received some really worthwhile enquiries.
There were some people who were disappointed that there were no flying displays, however, this was not an air show but rather a trade show, but it does prove to me that there is a big market for air shows amongst the general populous.
Amongst the exhibitors were our very valued advertisers Vektor Insurance, Aviation Direct, PJ Aviation, Century Avionics and DJA Insurance. I took some photos of their stands, and they were all very busy.
Cirrus aircraft had both a Cirrus Jet and a Carbon SR22 on display, a very interesting aircraft. I had a look inside the Cirrus Jet and was suitably impressed.
The Flyfofar ambulance aircraft on display were ZS-ARA, a Lear 35A and a Beech King Air 200 ZS-ASB. Both aircraft are very well equipped to handle any medical flights.
Sling Aircraft who are also loyal Pilot's Post supporters were well represented with three different models on display. I must admit I'm kind of partial to the high wing tail dragger.
A new thing, for me, was an area where you could park your aircraft and sell it. This was occupied by aircraft ranging from small light aircraft to big twins. My favourite was the Stinson ZS-JKV. I have a soft spot for these old aircraft.
43 Air School had two of their Pipistrel Virus SW121 aircraft on display, one of which was the electric powered one (ZS-TKB). It certainly sounds unusual when it's running, very quiet.
NAC had several aircraft on display including the Beech 1900D ZS-OYD and the Extra 330 ZS-XLX.
Execujet had two of their Bombardiers on display as well as a Bell 407
There was another first for me. This is a Groppo Trail aircraft and is the first one I've ever seen. Unfortunately, I couldn't track down the owner to get more info from him.
There were other interesting aircraft on display but when I went around the owners were nowhere to be found. Rather disappointing.
As I said earlier, this exhibition was, in my opinion, a great success and I'm really looking forward to next year's event.
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