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Author Topic: Various aviation projects from South Africa  (Read 59858 times)

Offline kaiserbill

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Various aviation projects from South Africa
« on: August 06, 2013, 08:39:03 am »
Aerotek is the aerospace division of the CSIR (Council for Industrial Research) of South Africa.
The Aerotek Hummingbird was designed as an all-composite observation plane, and flew in the early 1990's.

It was a 2 seater designed to take over some of the roles usually performed by helicopters, but do so far more economically. Powered by a Norton 90hp rotary engine, the Hummingbird had a length of 6,5m, a span of 11m, and empty weight of 340kg, and an all-up weight of 620kg.
Design cruise speed was 100kt, but it could loiter at 41kt with 10 degrees of flap for around 4 hours. Stall speed was 30kt.
Both take off and landing was accomplished within 100 meters.
As can be seen in the photo, the plane could be de-rigged quickly for trailering.

No buyers were found, and the aircraft, after languishing in the open at the CSIR for years, is now to be found in the South African Airforce Museum at AFB Swartkop.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 08:41:50 am by kaiserbill »

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: Various aviation projects from South Africa
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2013, 09:08:56 am »
The APA gas turbine.
 
From the South African Airforce Museums page:
 
Quote

The APA was a South African designed and built gas turbine engine,
manufactured by Armscor under the project name Apartment. The project originated
in about 1977 with the purpose to design a small, light, expendable gas turbine
engine which could ultimately power long range target drones and RPV's. By the
time the project was terminated in the late 1980's, a number of prototypes had
been built, but the subsequent whereabouts of the engines were not known
for many years. Regrettably, Armscor/Denel never maintained a dedicated museum
where these items could be preserved or displayed. The Airforce Museum's engine,
known as APA-5, was donated through the valiant efforts of a Johannesburg
auctioneer acting on behalf of the deceased estate of the Strickler family. The
engine will be added to the collection of locally produced Armscor, Denel, and
CSIR technology on display inside 2 Hangar, Swartkop.

A couple of points. The comment within that quote regarding the cavalier treatment of anything built before the current government, as well as the lack of efforts at conservation before that, is why I'm doing these various threads, in an effort to tease out information on various projects.
 
Secondly, I recall somewhere in the distant past seeing another of these labelled as APA-1, unless I'm well into senility already.
If my memory is not playing cruel tricks, I assume this means at least 5 of this type of engine was made.

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: Various aviation projects from South Africa
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2013, 09:41:29 am »
more..

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: Various aviation projects from South Africa
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2013, 10:03:52 am »
This gas turbine engine was revealed in the early 1990's.
 
Apart from the announcement that it was developed for the military, and could also have potential civil applications, I have no further information on it, so any help would be appreciated.
It's clearly a much more sophisticated engine than the APA.
 
There are or were various South African target drones, RPV's, and stand-off weapons/cruise missiles that are, or were to be, powered by gas turbines. Programmes such as the Skua long range drone, MUPSOW, Torgos, and stealthy Flowchart/Seraph.
I wonder what these are, or were to be powered by?
 
 
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 12:34:56 pm by kaiserbill »

Offline Apophenia

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Re: Various aviation projects from South Africa
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2013, 05:13:05 pm »
Earlier CSIR built aircraft were the SARA (South African Rotor Association ) series of autogyros.

- SARA 1: modified Benson autogyro, ZS-UGD, glassfibre rotor blades, Feb 1972
- SARA 2: [??] w/o
- SARA 3: Enclosed cabin autogyro, ZS-UIT, metal rotor blades, 1977

Does anyone have access to Letecktvi i kosmonautika? There is supposed to be an article on the SARA 2 in L+K 4/76.

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: Various aviation projects from South Africa
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2013, 01:58:13 am »
Thanks Apo
 
SARA 3 below.

Offline Maveric

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Re: Various aviation projects from South Africa
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2013, 05:52:35 am »
...SARA III...
I see you on the dark side of the moon.

Offline Maveric

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Re: Various aviation projects from South Africa
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2013, 05:57:23 am »
...and SARA II (from Jane´s)...
I see you on the dark side of the moon.

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: Various aviation projects from South Africa
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2013, 12:43:14 pm »
Of course, Aerotek/CSIR was also responsible for the Ovid/ACE.
 
This was a military turboprop trainer that scored very highly, but the somebody within the command chain was in a hurry to select the Pilatus rather....
A thread with pics about the aircraft:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,14769.0.html
 
 
« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 12:47:02 pm by kaiserbill »

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: Various aviation projects from South Africa
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2013, 01:30:58 pm »
The Denel stealthy Flowchart 2 UAV was unveiled at Farnborough in 1994.
It was also to have a role as a "stealthy" strike weapon.
Some figures I have, which I cannot confirm independently for accuracy, was a length of just under 6 meters, a span of around 3,8 meters.
 
By 1995, it had morphed into the refined Seraph high-speed, mission adaptive UAV.
 
 
Seraph was to operate at speeds in excess of Mach 0,85 and heights of 12 000m.
 
 
Clearly, there must have been a Flowchart 1?
« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 01:36:34 pm by kaiserbill »

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: Various aviation projects from South Africa
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2013, 03:41:34 pm »
Some CSIR developed airframes:
 
Early 1980's - Seeker UAV prototype
1988 - Delta wing UAS demonstrator.
1989 - Ovid/ACE turboprop military trainer prototype
1992 - Skyfly target drone prototype
1992 - Hummingbird 2-seater observation aircraft prototype
1993 - Keen Eye UAV
1994 - UAOS/Vulture prototype
2005 - Indiza  mini hand-launches UAS
2007 - Sekwa  unstable, tailless UAS
2008 - 4 meter span modular research UAS

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: Various aviation projects from South Africa
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2013, 07:24:40 am »
Does anybody have any further info or pictures of the Aerotek 30mm externally driven cannon?
It could be electrically or hydraulically driven.
 
Never heard of it before, and have just seen this description on the saaf museum webpage.
 
http://www.saafmuseum.org/armament/257-aerotek-30mm

Offline Graugrun

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Re: Various aviation projects from South Africa
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2014, 07:51:56 am »
Does anybody have any further info or pictures of the Aerotek 30mm externally driven cannon?
It could be electrically or hydraulically driven.
 
Never heard of it before, and have just seen this description on the saaf museum webpage.
 
http://www.saafmuseum.org/armament/257-aerotek-30mm

IIRC this was a development towards a new gun for Rooivalk, developed by CSIR Aerotek, it was not used obviously, however some of the associated tech could have ended up on the Rooivalk gun - see brochure below:
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 12:55:11 am by Graugrun »

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: Various aviation projects from South Africa
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2014, 08:33:31 am »
Excellent Graugrun!
 
On reflection, it makes sense that it was developed for the Rooivalk, as the DEFA 30mm round was already used on the various Mirages, Cheetahs, and Impala 2 light attack jet.
 
Also, over the years, various publications have noted that a 20mm and 30mm was considered for the Rooivalk, and that the turret was designed with both in mind. This is the weapon they were most likely referring to then.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 08:35:38 am by kaiserbill »

Offline Graugrun

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Re: Various aviation projects from South Africa
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2014, 08:38:56 am »

Also, over the years, various publications have noted that a 20mm and 30mm was considered for the Rooivalk, and that the turret was designed with both in mind. This is the weapon they were most likely referring to then.

They would/could also have been referring to this: