Memories…(part 1)

While the Airforce base Waterkloof was having it’s landing strip repaired, the African Aerospace and Defence tradeshow was held here in Cape Town at the AFB Ysterplaat.

Apart from being fascinated by aviation, there is always something about an airshow that gets one excited. The crowds, the hot dogs and coffee. The general excitement of everyone there rubs off on one. The sounds of aircraft engines starting up…the dust, the heat and at times even the mud from the previous day’s rain…

It all makes for an exciting day.

I was fortunate. For three years running AAD was held at Ysterplaat, 2006, 2008, 2010. for the last 2 of these shows I was given media accreditation and had the privilege of being present for the entire week of the trade-show.

The trade-show was on for a week and was only open to buyers. Representatives of many countries were there to display their products. Buyers from many African countries, some of them in uniform and quite obviously senior military personnel, were there to view and place their orders.

The media pass gave me access to everything on offer at the trade-show  Weapons, Weapon Systems, Vehicles, Aircraft. In other words I could see equipment and vehicles that would be packed up and gone by the time the public got to see the airshow at the end of the week.

I was interested in seeing the military optics. There was a tent set up on the field near the runway. This tent was setup with the latest in military imagery equipment – battlefield intelligence info streaming in from a range of different instruments, including digital cameras, radar, infra red sensors and so on. All way over my head. But I was interested to see a photograph of a person standing in AFB Ysterplaat that was taken from the top of Table Mountain with a digital camera using a 600mm fixed focal length lens. The clarity of the image boggled my mind.  At the time I only had a 300mm zoom lens. I drooled over that 600mm lens and promised myself that one day when I grew up I would get myself one. I haven’t grown up yet…

Sadly, AAD has been moved back to Waterkloof and was held on 19-23 September. Due to the current fuel prices I cannot travel that far so I have to satisfy myself with looking at my photographs of these three airshows we were so privileged to have for a short while in our city – and wait for the next local airshow which hopefully will be in 2013.

Enjoy the photographs…they are a selection of photos from the 3 AAD shows held in Cape Town.

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