On Saturday the 20th September 2008 we attended the AAD 2008 airshow at the Ysterplaat base near Cape Town. We have been to a few shows at Ysterplaat and did not expect too much as there did not appear to any new on the program. We were wrong!
The normal highlights of the show are the vintage jets from Thunder City. The yellow Hunter and the black Buccaneer each made a brief appearance, but then we had and excellent display by a pair of Lightnings each breaking the sound barrier. There were so many complaints about this, that it was not repeated on Sunday.
The SAAF showed the Gripen, Hawk and Pilatus (Astra). The Hawk was in an awful colour scheme supposed to reflect the SA flag. The Silver Falcons now have a gaudy dark blue colour scheme. The SAAF museam was going to show a Mirage III, but it suffered a 3 bird strike at Cape Town International the day before. As a wing was damaged, it did not show.
There were also some great helicopter displays from the Augusta 109, Hind Mi24, Rooivalk, Lynx, Puma and Oryx.
The real stars of the show were the airliners! An Airbus A340 accompanied by 4 Astras made several flybys is perfect formation. A pair of Boeing 737s performed formation flying and breakaways fit for a fighter pair. Stunning.
There was also a simulated hijacking scene as well as parachute drops and armour drivebys.
Also some great arobatics:
The Zimbabwean Air Force displayed a Chinese K8 with a Brigadier in the back seat!
Over 100,000 people attended over the two days. A big problem this year was the mud. It had been raining for weeks and the water table was very high. The apron and tarred areas we used in the past were taken up by displays and hospitality tents, so were were forced to sit and stand in the muddy fields. Not fun.
To see more pictures, look here