Aeroplane Monthly 1979-04
Personal album
This training accident involving a Hawker Hind (left) and Hart 397/14 of the SAAF occurred at Watercloof in February 1942. The pupil pilot in the Hind (distinguished by its cut-away gunner’s cockpit) had to pay £120, had a week's pay stopped and was awarded 14 days CB. 397 was one of a batch of 100 ex-RAF Harts serial led 301-400, and the Hind was probably from the 101-199 serial batch, again ex-RAF.
A visiting Supermarine Walrus is refuelled in June 1942. Mr Sparkes recalls that the amphibian's inertia cranked starting was "rather heavy going" in the tropical heat.
South African Air Force Vickers Valentia troop carrier 265 was photographed in May 1942. This was one of seven ex-RAF Valentias serialled 264 to 270, and 633 was another of these primitive inter-war military transports. Basically Victorias with 635 h.p. Bristol Pegasus IIM3 radial engines in place of the Napier Lions, 28 Valentias were built, and 54 Victorias were converted to Valentia standard. The tailwheel that distinguished the Valentia from the Victoria Mk VI is clearly visible here.
This impressed South African Airways Lockheed Lodestar, bearing the SAAF serial 242, dropped into Watercloof in March 1942. Its Civil identity was ZS-ATB Hendrik Swellengrebel and its c/n was 2047. However, it never saw civil operations, as it was destroyed during the war. This Lodestar was one of 28 ordered by the airline shortly before the war’s outbreak and impressed in two batches, 231-249 and 1370-1379.
Yet another visitor was de Havilland D.H.87B Hornet Moth 1522 of the SAAF, from the batch 1401-1600 allocated to 200 impressed civil aircraft. It was one of 17 imported Hornet Moths assembled by the de Havilland Aircraft Co of South Africa and registered as ZS-AHF on April 29, 1936. Impressed in 1940, it reverted to its civil identity post-war and was scrapped in 1950.
Miles Master II 2773 was one of numerous examples of this ubiquitous trainer shipped to South Africa. Over 450 Masters were supplied as the first modern trainers to be sent out under the Joint Air Training Scheme and allocated SAAF serials commencing 2601 and probably extending into the 3000 series. The first were delivered about mid-1941, and began to replace the ageing Harts and Hinds at the Air Schools, enabling trainee pilots to sample a high performance aircraft before progressing to single-seat fighters such as the Spitfire, Hurricane and Curtiss P-40.
This Taylorcraft, 2002 of the South African Air Force, visited Watercloof in February 1942. It was one of 38 impressed South African civil aircraft allocated serials in the sequence 2001 to 2038.