Air Enthusiast 2006-06
P.Dubois - South African Big Cats /Air forces/
A busy AFB Swartkop with Oryxs and Alouette IIIs.
Puma ZJ954 at RAF Benson, May 2006, in colours celebrating the 90th anniversary of 33 Squadron.
Pumas of 19 Squadron on the flight line at AFB Swartkop.
Puma 177 in the guise of the development XTP-1 Beta at AFB Pietersburg, in 1990. This machine later became the first Oryx 1250.
A view of the Atlas Aviation facility with work underway on SAAF Pumas. Included in the view are 159 and 170.
Pumas stored at AFB Swartkop: 173 was sold to the RAF, becoming ZJ958; 153 and 157 were sold to the civilian operator Starlite.
A busy AFB Swartkop with Oryxs and Alouette IIIs.
Oryx 1249 in flight: compare with the view of Puma 127 earlier.
An Oryx from 31 Squadron shown with a 'Bambi' bucket while fire­fighting at AFB Hoedspruit.
SAAF Puma amid the Drakensburg Mountains
SAAF Puma 156 up high in the Drakensburg Mountains in 1992. Note the floatation gear.
Puma 144 became the first ex-SAAF example to enter RAF service as ZJ954.
Puma 127 (later sold to EADS Germany), plus another in flight.
First Puma, 121, taking on fuel ‘in the field’ during an exercise.
The SAAF’s first SA 330C F-WMHB (which became 121) seen at Calvia, Corsica, November 20, 1969. The '16' on the tail boom comes from the construction number - 1016.
Thin streamlined sponson, box-shaped sand filters and rescue hoist on 130. Also visible is the hoist.
Almost certainly, armament development SA 330J 177 with a nose sighting system for ZT-3 anti-tank missiles and belly-mounted 20mm cannon. The weapons beam - not a stub-wing - carries rocket pods.
ZS-HIZ, one of the Antarctica-equipped examples which operated from the 'Agulhas'.
Two of the civilian­standard SA330Js, ZS-HIZ and ZS-HJA, belonged to the Department of Transport but were flown by SAAF crew and from the survey ship 'Agulhas' in Antarctica.
Former Starflight Puma (ex-SAAF 157) is now with Thunder City at Cape Town, undergoing refit. Built as a SA 330H, it is now SA 330J standard.
Atlas/Denel offered all the ex-SAAF Pumas for sale. One idea marketed was this civilian VIP version.
In October 1969 four pilots and a technical team went to Marignane for conversion training. Left to right: Lt Joe van Rooyen, Lt Vic Swanepoel, Cmdt Steve Armstrong, Maj Jollie Oosthuizen, Roland Coffignot and Jean Boulet (both Aerospatiale).
Flight deck of Puma 156.
Atlas' exceptional Rooivalk attack helicopter, now in service with the SAAF's 16 Squadron. Its dynamics owe their roots to the Puma.