A visit to the SAA Airways Museum Society at Rand Airport

By Andre Venter


Photo by kind permission Capt. Karl Jensen

I sadly always drove past the museum and looked and sometimes photographed the aircraft from the distance, this was when I was on my way to a EAA 322 meeting at the auditorium. I never stopped to see what the Museum was all about.

Today was the day that I was tasked to get to know more about the Museum. So, starting a new year off and getting to a very slow start in the aviation world of photographing aircraft, it was time for a visit. The museum can be seen from various angles from surrounding roads and highways. One of those amazing angles is from the air. Aircraft that flew in and out of Rand saw these aircraft of history. The museum is situated in the suburb of Germiston.

The museum offers day trips, group trips and school excursions and its facilities can be hired for various events as well as private and business functions. Photoshoots can be in held in the hangar.

A nonprofit organization the SAAF Museum Society is run by ex SAA personal, volunteers as well as students and others. The museum houses two Boeing 747, one of which is a SP version and Lebombo, the other, is the one that flew over Ellis Park in 1995 World. Other aircraft that can be seen a Douglas DC-4 109, a de Havilland Dove as well as the iconic Super Constellation.

A number of simulators are also on display in the airpark whilst a vast number of instruments, uniforms, models and photographs of the years gone by, all donated by various individuals are on display in the reception area. The society has a close relationship with SAA and visit the offices and hangers at OR regularly and discuss the possibility of getting more acquisitions for the Museum.

Yearly, a fair number of dignitaries visit the museum. Pravin Gordhan visited the museum for its 90th Celebration. A special showcase was created to display the various days and years of the SAA. A special brochure, compiled by John Austin-Williams known to his friends as JAWS, was printed the celebrate and immortalise the anniversary.

A vast number of children from various walks of life regularly visit the Museum. In 2023 in the month of September 8,000 scholars visited the Museum. This been the highest total of people visiting. The museum tries to keep changing the various displays in museum so there is always interest created.

One of the aircraft was open on the day and I made my way to visit Maluti an B747SP, the aircraft designated for the schoolchildren to visit on the day. I waited my turn to visit the cockpit of this amazing machine of the skies. When standing in the doorway and taking photographs of the children talking to Bruce Nicol, the volunteer pilot for the day was asking him various questions of the aircraft. Bruce was an old school friend who I last saw in High School. He flew for Singapore Airlines for 12 years and spent a few years flying for Safair. The children that were visiting were from Kids Aviation Club in Midrand. This was a very well behaved and organized group of children, led by staff of the Aviation Club.

In future I will not just drive past but will definitely visit again. It is an extremely informative and enjoyable way to spend in the presence of these relics of the sky.

Entry Fee R50 / adult and R30 / child
Hours: Open · Closes 3:30 pm
Phone: 076 879 5044


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