Archive for May, 2012
On Wednesday 4th July 2007 an unusual new exhibit arrived on a flatbed at the SAAF Museum in Port Elizabeth. The Skimmerfoil Jörg IV is an extremely interesting craft which brought a uniquely new dimension to the Museum.
The TAF (Tandem Airfoil Flareboat) Skimmerfoil is referred to as a WIG (wings into ground) craft. Its inventor is Günther W Jörg, who is still involved in Airfoil Flareboat Technology (Airfoil) in Germany. In 1979/80 successful test runs with 4-6 seaters were carried out in South Africa.
It is with sadness that we have to report the passing away of Tom Cockbain on 24 May 2012 at the age of 94.
The funeral service details are as follows:
Settlers Park Retirement Village in Don Prowess Hall Port Alfred.
Our Condolences goes to the family and friends.
Tom will be remembered for the following:
SAAF WW2 with Oom Jannie aircrew,
Founder of Radar Services in the SAAF,
Founder of SAAF Museum Swarkop,
Over 50 yrs SAAF service.
Founder of Port Alfred Branch 1986 and chaired 12 yrs
Founder of 43 Air School Garden and Wall of Rememberance
and many more……..
“At the going down of the Sun, and in the morning, we will remember him”
SAAF Association NHQ
SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE MK-IX PROJECT
By Rob Tribelhorn – Project Leader
A full size scale model of the WW2 Supermarine Spitfire MK-IV fighter is being constructed in the Bellman Hangar.
In about March 2010 the former curator of the Museum, Lt. Col. Tinus Janse van Rensburg initiated building a full size Supermarine Spitfire and asked me if I thought it was feasible to construct it out of wood.
We had a set of 1/9 scale plans so he arranged with the Nelson Mandela Municipal University to enlarge the fuselage formers to full size. These were printed on paper and laid out on sheets of five ply plywood.
I then cut these out with a jig saw and mounted them on a plastic pole at the correct spacing.
I proceeded from there to follow the 1/9 plans, making the necessary changes required to fit a person seated in the cockpit.
In 2011 Fred Muller joined me and we proceeded to construct the fuselage with whatever timber materials we lay our hands on. This consisted of shutter board, 3 ply plywood and pine planking sawn to the correct widths for the ribs and main spars.
The cockpit was constructed as realistic as possible using spare gauges and made-up parts from the WW2. I had to rebuild some of the gauges and make up others match and position all the gauges as close as possible to the real aircraft.
The fuselage took shape and we progressed to the wing section. This element was problematic as I had to design and manufacture the undercarriage frame with steel tubing obtained from Peter Boshoff the AMO.
Together with Col. John van Rooyen’s assistance, we welded up a frame and fitted undercarriage legs and installed these into the timber wing section. Peter Boshoff then donated two Yak Oleo legs which, with some lathe work were fitted.
Finally, we obtained two Vampire wheels and tyres from Pretoria but these were without tubes. I then purchased two passenger car tubes and made up two valves to fit.
The undercarriage was finally fitted to the wing section and ready to be attached to the fuselage which was being completed in between this work.
50L of Polyurethane liquid for foam was kindly donated by the Chemical Company BASF, enabling us to cast parts to then carve and shape out Spitfire air scoops.
The exhaust outlet stubs donated by E.P. Mufflers, a local exhaust manufacturing company.
The cockpit received its undercarriage control, throttle and pitch control constructed to match the Spitfire as closely as possible. The tail wheel assembly was remodeled as the weight of the aircraft was too great for the initial parts constructed.
The wing ribs have been cut and assembled by Wally Viljoen who recently joined the team with timber donated by Pennypinchers.
Work in progress consists of planning the spars and commencing with construction of the two wing sections.
We are still heavily dependent on donations and ask anyone out there who can assist, to contact me, Rob Tribelhorn:
Watch this space for regular updates.
Comments or questions are welcome.
The restoration of a WW2 40mm Mk 1 Anti-Aircraft field gun is taking place in the Parachute loft. Permission to visit this work in progress must be obtained and guided by a staff member.
The Bofors gun is an anti-aircraft autocannon designed by the Swedish defense firm Bofors. It was the most popular medium-weight anti-aircraft system during World War II, used by most of the western allies as well as various other forces. They remain in service to this day making it one of the longest-serving artillery pieces of all time.
By Paul Stringer
When Airspeed Oxford G-AITF (ED290) arrived at the SAAF Museum in Port Elizabeth, it was hoped that with assistance from the SAAF and interested local commercial sponsors, the aircraft might be put back into the air – or at the very least into a taxi-able condition.
The engines were completely overhauled and had run on a test rig for 1,5 hours by the early 1990’s. Progress was then hampered over following years due to the Museum moving into a Second World War Gunnery Training Hall that needed a lot of renovation work, and priority being given to other static exhibits, a Vampire FB 5 being one of them.
The fuselage and centre section had been stripped in 1995, but it was only from 2000 that suspect structure, cockpit controls, instruments, hydraulics and pneumatics were completely renovated into operational order. A rudder was fabricated by Friend of the Museum Rob Tribelhorn to replace the one that was missing when the aircraft was received from the RAF Museum. Rob also did a lot of work on the wings, replacing damaged skin and recovering them.
However, no attention was paid to the wing internal structure or mechanics at this time due to lack of adequate funding, and therefore, even the prospect of taxiing faded. Recently, another Friend of the Museum, Paul Stringer, has taken over the project, concentrating at this stage on progressively cleaning/repainting the remaining parts and re-attaching them with the airframe, to complete the Oxford to good static display condition as soon as possible.
Currently coated in the overall yellow of a training aircraft for the Joint Air Training Scheme, it is planned to add a gun turret, and finally spray it in the camouflage/ yellow colours of an aircraft from 42 Air School, a navigation, bombing and gunnery training school that trained both RAF and SAAF aircrew from Port Elizabeth during World War Two.