Various aviation projects from South Africa

Graugrun

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Many thanks for those lekker (nice) AHRLAC/Mwari pics sa_bushwar!

They removed the nose cover for a short while while it was on static display and I managed to take a few pics - most interesting to see the two Leonardo Osprey 30 AESA Radar Antenna in the front! I assume this is according to the spec from one of the two clients who have ordered the armed Mwari version..?
 

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sa_bushwar

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Graugrun said:
Many thanks for those lekker (nice) AHRLAC/Mwari pics sa_bushwar!

They removed the nose cover for a short while while it was on static display and I managed to take a few pics - most interesting to see the two Leonardo Osprey 30 AESA Radar Antenna in the front! I assume this is according to the spec from one of the two clients who have ordered the armed Mwari version..?

And here is a mockup...
 

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Graugrun

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Thanks sa_bushwar - my understanding is that those pics are of the older nose design, what's on the Mwari is now the way forward (pun intended).

Another article from IHS Janes Defence, it's in much more depth than their article I posted a link of above - the picture is with kind permission of an amateur photographer friend of mine (Mark Hall), the co-pilot's note reads "Driving miss Daisy" ;D

https://www.janes.com/article/83223/ahrlac-advances-aad18d3
 

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riggerrob

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cluttonfred said:
GTX said:
Seeing some serious Republic Seabee inspiration in this.

Nothing wrong with that, basing a new aircraft on a tried-and-true configuration makes a lot of sense. I do wonder about the little canard, though.
————————————————————————————-

That small canard is probably just a temporary fix for a prototype that is slightly nose-heavy.
That small canard reminds us of the small lifting canard on the turboprop Avanti or the (piston) Mini-Mixmaster prototype. We expect that the small canard will disappear by the third prototype.
 

riggerrob

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Those quadruple Browning 7.62mm guns - fitted to an Alouette III helicopter - was an unpopular prototype. The quad MGs were less effective than explosive rounds fired by 20mm cannons.

Rhodesia was an early adopter of turbine helicopters during their bush-war during the 1970s. Rhodesia was attacked by a variety of communist-backed, black guerrilla forces. Typically guerrillas used hit-and-run tactics to kill and intimidate people (both black and white) who worked at large, commercial farms. Rhodesia was a net agricultural exporter until 1980.

The Rhodesian Army responded by developing Fire Force tactics to pursue fleeing geurillas. Fire Force employed light infantry (and paratroopers) supported by a variety of aircraft. A typical Fire Force mission involved a C-47, 4 x Allouette helicopters and a Rheims/Cessna 337 airplane.
When called in by police, ground forces or trackers, a Fire Force C-47 dropped small sticks (typically 4 at a time) of paratroopers ahead of fleeing terrorists. Paratroopers lay in ambush in hopes of catching fleeing terrorists. Rhodesian soldiers often jumped four times per day on the same mission!

Meanwhile 4 Alouettes launched with more light infantry. One Alouette K-Car was armed with an MG 151/20mm cannon. It carried 3 crew (pilot, mechanic/gunner and an infantry commander). The K-Car commanded the battle and provided fire-power. K-Cars carried spare ammo, spare radios and evacuated casualties.

Three more Alouette G-Cars carried 4-man sticks of infantry. Density altitude limited Alouettes to only 4 soldiers delivered by a pilot and mechanic/gunner. Prior to 1976, G-Cars were armed with a pair of FN MAGs firing 7.62 x 51mm ammo. But MAGS were too valuable for infantry and were replaced with a pair of WW2-surplus Browning .303 MGs with double the rate of fire of ground versions (1200 versus 600 rounds per minute). Belt-fed Brownings were obsolete - for light infantry - long before the Rhodesian War.

Cessna 337s provided additional firepower.

The South African Armed Forces learned anti-terrorist tactics from Rhodesia and “loaned” a few Alouettes to assist Rhodesia.

For additional reading, try A.J. Venter’s book “Chopper Boys.”
 
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dan_inbox

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Thanks for this post, Rob.
It's really refreshing to see ZA-related posts acknowledging that ZA wasn't always the only place in the world worth looking at.
Further, acknowledging that Rhodesia contributed a lot that was not invented only in ZA (gasp!).

Refreshing and welcome. Bigotry sometimes hides where one would not expect it...
 

Foo Fighter

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Rob, I think you mean 1200 rather than 12000 rpm. Bugs me when when my trigger finger taps too many times too.
 

riggerrob

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Yes.
The Browning .303 machineguns made by Vickers and Birmingham Small Arms fired about 1,200 rounds per minute. They were installed in the wings of Hurricanes and Spitfires. Turret installations included: Manchester, Lancaster, Stirling, Halifax, Sunderland, Defiant, etc.
 

riggerrob

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dan_inbox said:
Thanks for this post, Rob.
It's really refreshing to see ZA-related posts acknowledging that ZA wasn't always the only place in the world worth looking at.
Further, acknowledging that Rhodesia contributed a lot that was not invented only in ZA (gasp!).

Refreshing and welcome. Bigotry sometimes hides where one would not expect it...

—————————————————————————————-

You are welcome Dan,

Inventors do not always receive credit.
For example, the Mine Resistant Armoured Personnel Carriers now widely deployed in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan are all based on Rhodesian inventions. During the 1970s, Rhodesia responded to increased land mine casualties by inventing a series of light vehicles armoured against landmines. Innovations included raised suspension, V-shaped hulls, roll-over protection and seat-belts. South African automotive manufacturers improved upon Rhodesian MRAP inventions, then sold them to coalition forces .... by the thousands.
 
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kaiserbill

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Riggerrob..your version is not correct.
The timeline history of such vehicles, for example the SAPS Telefoonhokkie, Kameel etc, as well as the Hyena, are well established and readily available.
Ditto the history of early pioneers such as (in SA) Lt Genl Api van Dyke (from 1970)and Dr Vernon Joynt, and Ernest Konschel in Rhodesia.
This belongs in the Army section though, where those vehicles may be found.
 

Grey Havoc

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getasset.aspx

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/a...es-vtol-business-jet-for-first-outing-457986/
 

KwaZulu

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I am new to this forum and I'm not sure whether these articles have been posted before but this author has a fascinating insight on aviation developments for the SAAF.



 
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kaiserbill

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I am quite interested in the Super Mirage F1 mentioned earlier.
Not the AZ that was fitted with the Klimov turbofan but rather the modified F1 that was to incorporate the Cheetah C avionics, as described by the engineer over at saairforce forum who was involved in it.
Basically, once the Cheetah C was inducted, the surviving Mirage F1 airframes, both CZ ( interceptor) and AZ (strike) models, were to be put through a programme that brought them up to a common standard.
This involved a new forward of the section which was basically the Cheetah C. Not sure if this involved a new frameless windscreen, or simply the nose.
A new fixed air refuelling probe ( Cheetah C style or Mirage F1 style?).
And a new vertical stabiliser base similar to an F16, which houses avionics or fuel.
There were also "minor" aerodynamic tweaks.

This would have resulted in a fleet of common upgraded Mirage F1 types of similar numbers and capabilities to the 38 Cheetah C fleet, to buy time before the eventual induction of the Carver.

Anybody with the artwork skills on here willing to try an illustrative drawing of such an upgraded F1 with those features?

I also have an intriguing picture of a model somewhere which I will find, sent to me years ago, but I am reluctant to post it without permission. This was in one of the aerospace offices in South Africa.
This seems to be a fascinating hybrid of a Cheetah C and early Carver single engine.
It is obviously part of the Carver project, and must have been a configuration that was looked at.
From memory it had square'ish side intakes, with canards, a mid mounted wing that was not a pure delta, slightly raised cockpit, etc.
 

kaiserbill

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An interesting few tidbits, with pictures, about some of the work that went into the re-engining of the F1 and cheetah with the SMR-95 turbofan, as well as the improvements gained over the ATAR from an engineer on the project.
Some interesting stuff about modifying the changed air intakes with integral cooling heat exchanger for additional avionics, resulting in whopping cooling improvement of almost 40% with no drag penalty, as well as hydraulic ram computer controlled intake cones...etc.
Interesting info I hadn't seen before, including an interesting take on the different philosophies between Russian and Western engines. It's not as simplistic or "bad" as is often made out to be, just different ideas of what constitutes an overhaul and readiness.

 
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Deltafan

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I am new to this forum and I'm not sure whether these articles have been posted before but this author has a fascinating insight on aviation developments for the SAAF.
Hi,

I found this post today only.

I knew the RD-33 (SMR-95) equipped Mirage F1, but I did not know that there were two Mirage F1 with this engine, and I did not know that there was a Cheetah D equipped with this RD-33 ! :D

Thanks a lot KwaZulu ! ;)
 

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kaiserbill

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I also have an intriguing picture of a model somewhere which I will find, sent to me years ago, but I am reluctant to post it without permission. This was in one of the aerospace offices in South Africa.
This seems to be a fascinating hybrid of a Cheetah C and early Carver single engine.
It is obviously part of the Carver project, and must have been a configuration that was looked at.
From memory it had square'ish side intakes, with canards, a mid mounted wing that was not a pure delta, slightly raised cockpit, etc.
Graugrun, can you email or pm me please regarding the above?

I have searched high and low and suspect the images of that model are on an old laptop of mine that crashed.
 

KwaZulu

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This article on the SAAF Buccaneers as delivery aircraft for nuclear weapons was on the The War Zone website. It has quite a bit of other information in it as well. The War Zone has some good coverage in general.

 

kaiserbill

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Interesting, but there are a few errors in the article.
For example:
The ballistic missile programme was certainly not cancelled, and indeed, was ramped up, as witnessed by its test programme.
Also, a follow up order for 16 Buccaneers, not 14, was ignored by the incoming UK Labour govt.
 

kaiserbill

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From the web, and following on from Beaky and Riggerrob:

"The Celair Eagle was part of a CSIR sponsored programme to find a battlefield support aircraft for the SADF. The CSIR built one, Peter the Eagle & Prof Reed (Rooivalk aerobatic aircraft & SAAAF's first target drones & UAVs) from Durban University built the other."

CELAIR EAGLE 300 (South Africa)

Section
AIRCRAFT - FIXED-WING - CIVIL



TYPE : Single-engined STOL light utility aircraft.
PROGRAMME : Started August 1987; first flight (ZS-WLD) 4 April 1990; FAR Pt 23 and South African DCA certification intended; production start expected 1992.
DESIGN FEATURES : Unbraced wing; section NACA 64-313 at root, Wortmann FX-60-126 at tip; dihedral 3º; incidence 1º 30'.
CONTROLS : FLYING CONTROLS: Mechanical; electrically actuated starboard side elevator trim tab; control surfaces aerodynamically and mass balanced. Fowler flaps.
AC:STRUCTURE : Low pressure/elevated temperature (LPET) glassfibre cloth and Nomex honeycomb core throughout except for steel tube central fuselage; single-spar wing.
LANDING GEAR : Non-retractable type, with self-sprung (composite) mainwheel legs and steel tube sprung, fully castoring tailwheel. Cleveland hydraulic mainwheel brakes. Float and ski gear to be developed.
POWER SYSTEMS :
POWER PLANT: One 224 kW (300 hp) Textron Lycoming IO-540-K flat-six engine, driving an MT-9V three-blade constant-speed propeller. Fuel in single tank in each wing, combined capacity 330 litres (87.2 US gallons; 72.6 Imp gallons); gravity fuelling point in top of each tank. Oil capacity 13.6 litres (3.6 US gallons; 3 Imp gallons).
ACCOMMODATION : Pilot and up to five passengers. Three forward hinged single doors (front, port and starboard, and rear starboard), plus upward hinged large cargo door on port side at rear. Passenger seats can be removed for carriage of cargo.
SYSTEMS : Hydraulic system for brakes only; 12V DC electrical system with battery and alternator.
AVIONICS : Narco IFR instrumentation standard.
DIMENSIONS : EXTERNAL:
Wing span....................................11.20 m (36 ft 9 in)
Wing chord: at root............................1.60 m (5 ft 3 in)
at tip......................................1.00 m (3 ft 3¼ in)
Wing aspect ratio............................................7.74 Length overall...............................7.90 m (25 ft 11 in) Fuselage:
Max width...........................1.15 m (3 ft 9¼ in)
Height over tail-fin (static).................2.50 m (8 ft

It would seem that the program was abandoned

 

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kaiserbill

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Just a follow up on some stuff I stumbled upon regarding developments mentiined earlier in the thread.
First, a little about the upgraded ATAR.

"This is not the first time that the CSIR has been involved in such research: in the early 1990s, the State-funded Project Apartment resulted in the development and testing of a 65 kg engine, designated APA350. However, the programme was cancelled owing to budget cuts. Before that, during the 1980s, CSIR researchers were involved in a programme to upgrade and reduce the weight of the French Atar 09K50 turbojet engine. This was part of the Project Carver to develop, almost from scratch, a jet fighter in South Africa to circumvent the then United Nations arms embargo on the country. The programme involved the replacement of the original turbine blades and riveted compressor with new CSIR-developed single-crystal blades and a welded compressor. It was a technical success, increasing engine performance by 10%, but it did not sufficiently cut the weight. The programme ended with the cancellation of Project Carver in early 1991."

So there seemed to be a parallel weight reduction programme to go with the thrust increase.
 

kaiserbill

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Also, earlier in the thread was an indistinct photo of a wind tunnel model of a Cheetah with different wing.
Here is a better image, showing the wingtip increased chord and stores station a little better.
 

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kaiserbill

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Does anyone (Graugrun?) have any information on the ERW (Extended Range Wing) that was being worked on for the Atlas Aviation Impala?
As far as I am aware, the Mb-326 has a dry wing, if one excludes the piping from the wingtip and underwing fuel tanks.
I am surmising this was a redesigned wing with internal fuel?
 
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BLACK_MAMBA

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Does anyone (Graugrun?) have any information on the ERW (Extended Range Wing) that was being worked on for the Atlas Aviation Impala?
As far as I am aware, the Mb-326 has a dry wing, if one excludes the piping from the wingtip and underwing fuel tanks.
I am surmising this was a redesigned wing with internal fuel?
Someone still working at CSIR shared the following to me:

"Before the decision was made to acquire new trainers, a study was done on possibly re-winging the Impala's to extend their service life and improve performance. The new wing would have a slightly extended chord giving it a supercritical cross-section allowing a higher trans sonic maximum speed with the same engine. The wing would have been "wet", doing away with the wing-tip tanks which would have been replaced with AAM rails, increasing the payload. A wind-tunnel model of this design is still on display at the CSIR wind-tunnel."

He however isn't keen on sharing any pictures of the mentioned model... It is however clear that this would have been a totally redesigned and manufactured wing. I wonder if it would have been manufactured out of aluminium or composites given Atlas were quite keen on the composite route in the late 80's early 90's?
 

kaiserbill

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That is fantastic feedback, B_M.
Thanks.
I stumbled across a mention of the ERW in an article almost 10 years ago, but haven't found out anything else.
I wonder what he meant by slightly extended chord..root, tip, or mean?
Is there a rough timeframe?
There are quite a few interesting models I have heard of at the CSIR windtunnels that I would love to see.
 

kaiserbill

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I see Major General Des Barker passed away a few weeks ago, March 2021.
He was an SAAF pilot, who later commanded Makhado AFB, previously Louis Trichardt AFB.
An honoury fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, he was the chief test pilot at the Test Flight and Development centre , and would later become it's commanding officer.
He later became the manager of Aeronautics Research at the CSIR.
He had flown almost 60 different aircraft types, including being test pilot on the Cheetah.
I remember an article he wrote mentioning a bit of the impressive research facilities that were a legacy of the Carver fighter programme.
With each passing year, more and more information on these projects is lost, as he would have been intimately knowledgeable about the Carver in particular.
RIP.
 
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kaiserbill

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Des Barker, and Colonel Rama Iyer, a former Indian Airforce MIG pilot from India, were killed when the world's only Patchen Explorer crashed following what appears to be a failure (engine?) on final approach.
The Patchen Explorer was discussed earlier in the thread.
 

Resister1976

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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?
hummm……exciting.where is its design drawing?
 

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