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South Africa has a huge aviation scene and is keen on preserving its (military) aviation heritage. Let us show you what is to be found. Cover shot is a Mirage 3CZ. Becoming increasingly rare, this one is in No.2 Squadron's shelter area at AFB Makhado.

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Military aircraft built or assembled in South Africa are named after the local wildlife, this Cheetah D2 is guarding the gate at AFB Makhado, formerly known as Louis Trichardt.

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The early Cheetah was based on the Mirage, while later versions are said to have been built up from Israeli Kfir C2 hulks.This is Mirage 3RZ 837 at Bloemfontein, we can not get enough of the beautiful legacy camouflage scheme.

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South Africa also used the Mirage F1. This F1CZ was sold for scrap but still survives.

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Strange and funny way to preserve an aircraft, a Yak-52 is seldom preserved as such in any case. ZU-ARB can be found at a petrol station in Touwsrivier.

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Not really preserved but rather performing decoy duties at Bokrivier is this C-47TP. These were used by 35sq up to very recently.

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Thunder City at Cape Town has closed down, but Javelin XA553 still guards the premises.

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Most ubiquitous by far is the Impala, some are impaled like this Impala I 594 at Kimberly...

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...others get some concrete slabs to sit on as is witnessed by this camouflaged Impala II at Bloemfontein...

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...or they sit on a petrol station roof outside Port Elizabeth airport...

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...they peep over walls at the SAAF Headquarters in Pretoria...

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...but most are pole mounted, either in legacy colours like this one at Randfontein...

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...or in Silwer Valk (Silver Falcon) demo-team colours, at the appropriately named Laerskool Impala in Johannesburg!

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Unfortunately, fake colours are applied to attract attention. This Dakota, formerly FZ647, is at a leisure park near AFB Ysterplaat.

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Another petrol station has a very serious aircraft on the roof, a Shackleton MR3 in Sasol company colours.

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South Africa operated quite some interesting types. We will get to the local brew later, but did you know they used the Piaggio 166? Port Elizabeth airport has this one on a pole.

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As promised, local brew, Atlas license built the C-4M Kudu that was based on the Lockheed AL-60. At Wonderboom airport Warbird Aircraft Services has a program to upgrade these to Atlas Angels and proprietor Johan Lok also specializes in refurbishing Bosboks.

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Speaking of which, this AM-3C Bosbok is in Aeronautica Militare Italiane colours. Not a strange choice given the fact that the aircraft design comes from Aermacchi. Forty were delivered in the seventies.

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The ties with France are longstanding. The South African Air Force operated the Alouette III and this has become a favourite 'warbird'. This ZU-RFI used to fly as 55 in SAAF service.

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Even more popular is the SA341 Gazelle. Although not operated by the military, loads came here from Ecuador and France as this 1175/ZU-RIH clearly demonstrates.

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What, rows of images and no Harvard yet? True, probably one of the most numerous warbirds in the country is the Harvard. This is largely due to the fact that these were used until 1995.

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Foreign aircraft sometimes find their way to South Africa. Neigbouring Zimbabwe operates the C-47 and these have been routeing through Wonderboom on their way to the United States for conversion with turboprop engines. By the looks of it, this one is not going anywhere soon.

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Rarer items can be found in the Ditsong National Museum of Military History in Johannesburg. This line up is headed by Messerschmitt Me262B-1a/U1 "8 red" with  Focke-Wulf Fw190A-6/R6 "PN+LU" behind it.

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The same hall has this Messerschmitt Bf109E-3 "2 red", albeit a wrecked example.

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Among the other exhibits of the museum is this immaculate Dakota in RAF colours.

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Of Swiss origin, this dual seat Hunter T66 J-4202/ZU-HUN lives in one of the NAC hangars at Lanseria airport.

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Ending with another import, this strange plane used to be an On Mark Marksman civil conversion of a military A-26B. It awaits re-assembly at DC-6 Truck Parts in Pyramid, north of Pretoria.