AERONAUTICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTH
AFRICA VISITS TEST FLIGHT AND DEVELOPMENT CENTRE
Article by Maj Marina Swart, ICTM Officer,
Photographs taken by FSgt Karin Coetzee, Photographer AFB
The Aeroanautical Society of South Africaís
main objective is the promotion of Aerospace Engineering.
The Western Cape Chapter of this Society finds itself in the
unique position of having the Test Flight and Development
Centre (TFDC), as well as the top Aeronautical Faculty,
located at Stellenbosch University, in its region.
Mr Johnson explains the Astra to the
The regional chairperson of the Aeronautical
Society of SA, Dr Alan J. Nelson, brought a group of
graduate and post-graduate students, accompanied by their
professors, for a visit to TFDC on 23 April 2009. The group
arrived in perfect weather on a Dakota from 35 Squadron in
Cape Town. This soon turned into heavy rain in the Overberg.
After a welcome cup of coffee, Lt Col Jacques Swanepoel
introduced the group to the roles and responsibilities of
TFDC. A tour was conducted through the hangar, starting with
the Telemetry section, which certainly stimulated the
groupís interest as Mr Trevor Slater had quite a number of
challenging questions to answer. Following this, FSgt
Peregrino enlightened the group on the performance of the
Gripen, and after that Mr Johnson and FSgt Le Seuer shared
their experience on the Cheetah, Astra, Agusta, Oryx and
FSgt le Seuer with the groupat the Oryx.
Dr Nelson, who is a retired Colonel, said
that the visit to TFDC was an excellent opportunity for the
students to see and experience real-time operations of
aeronautical dynamics and that this visit would be very
beneficial to their studies. He said they also visited
several civilian aeronautical institutions, but nowhere did
they receive better exposure than the one to TFDC. The
students were fascinated by the performance and operations
conducted by TFDC despite the severe shortage of skilled
flying- and ground personnel.
Aeronautical Society Group at TFDC.
The visit was concluded with a light finger
lunch prepared by the AFB Overberg mess personnel.
Thereafter the flight back to 35 Squadron at AFB Ysterplaat