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Connecting Skies Bridging Continents



Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), a name synonymous with Japan’s illustrious aviation heritage, has made indelible marks on the aviation world with its innovative aircraft designs. Among these is the MU-300, known as the “Diamond,” which later evolved into the renowned Beechjet. This transformation reflects the legacy

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The 2024 Elders Flight event, held at the South African Air Force (SAAF) Mobile Deployment Wing in Centurion, was a truly historic and record-breaking occasion. Organised by Felix Gosher, this remarkable event showcased the warm heart of the South African aviation community. With nearly 500 elders and military veterans taking to the skies in over 100 different aircraft, this year’s event was particularly noteworthy as it marked the first time the flight took place at a military facility due to new air traffic control regulations at smaller airfields.


The event’s success was amplified by the collaboration with the South African Air Force, utilising the former Air Force Base Swartkop, now known as the SAAF Mobile Deployment Wing. In his opening speech, Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo, Chief of the South African Air Force, emphasised the importance of honouring the elders as custodians of history. He praised the volunteer aircrews for their willingness to ‘pay it forward’ and provide many elders with their first flight experience.


Held in conjunction with the SAAF Museum’s monthly flying day, the event highlighted the deep appreciation for our elders. Mbambo expressed gratitude to the organisers and revealed exciting plans to expand the Elders Flight to SAAF Museum branches in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and Cape Town.

This event would not have been possible without the incredible sponsors who supported it. A heartfelt thank you to all the sponsors who made this day unforgettable. Special thanks go to Gavin Kiggen from ExecuJet, whose significant contributions helped make the Elders Flight 2024 a soaring success.


The beautiful moments of the day were captured by Kobus Zietsman and Dirk Vent Smit, whose incredible footage will keep the memories of this special day alive for years to come.


Thank you to everyone who made the Elders Flight 2024 an extraordinary event, giving our cherished elders the wings to soar.


July 22

2011 – The Space Shuttle Atlantis returns to Earth at the end of STS-135, the final mission of the Space Shuttle Program.

1992 – Two soldiers from Fort Carson, Colorado, manage to avoid being killed when their U.S. Army McDonnell-Douglas AH-64 Apache crashes into the side of the north peak of 12,300-foot Almagre Mountain, known as “Mount Baldy”, south of Pikes Peak. Chief Warrant Officers Douglas Mohr and David Reaves are on a routine training mission when their attack helicopter impacts several hundred feet below the crest in steep, rocky terrain. Mohr, 29, of Park City, Montana, suffers a concussion, broken arm and abrasions, and is listed in stable condition at Evans U.S. Army Community Hospital. Reaves, 32, of Hempstead, Texas, suffers small cuts and is expected to be released from hospital on 23 July. Both are from C Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation Brigade. Just before the crash, “The Air Field heard them call for may day”, said Sgt. 1st Class Jack Loudermilk, a post spokesman. Fuel on the Apache ignited shortly after impact, burning a 30-square-yard area, but didn’t spread because the area was mostly rock. How Reaves and Mohr escaped before the fire was unknown.

1989 – Tony Aliengena (4th grade) becomes the youngest pilot to fly a plane around the world.

1984 – First flight of the PZL M28 (An-28)

1983 – Dick Smith achieves the first solo circumnavigation of the globe in a helicopter. Smith makes the 56,742 km (35,258 mile) journey in stages using a Bell Jetranger III named Australian Explorer.

1959 – Entered service: Antonov An-10 with Aeroflot.

1959 – Entered service: Sud-Aviation Caravelle with Air France.

1955 – First flight of the Republic XF-84H “Thunderscreech”

1943 – The first of three modified Lancasters in Trans-Canada Air Lines markings began Trans-Atlantic Service. By the end of 1944 they were making three round trips per week between Canada and the UK and had carried over 1,000,000 pounds of mail and 2000 passengers.

1933 – One-eyed pilot Wiley Post lands after completing the first solo flight around the world. Post pioneers the early development of a pressure suit and proves the value of navigating instruments, especially the automatic pilot.

1931 – July 22September 1 – Sir Alan Cobham and crew make a 19,800 km (12,300-mile) return flight between England and the Belgian Congo in a Short Valletta.

1929 – Lufthansa uses a catapult to launch a Heinkel He 12 mail plane from the passenger liner Bremen, 400 km (249 miles) out of New York, speeding the mail on its way before the ship reached port.

1926 – Viking EY is being landed at Kashabowie Lake, Ontario, by F/O AL Morfee when a tip float digs in and the hull breaks in two.

1920 – Donald W. Douglas and Davis R. Davis found the Davis-Douglas Company in Los Angeles, California.

1914 – The Austro-Hungarian Navy battleships Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand, Radetzky, and SMS Zrínyi each transport one flying boat from Pola to the Gulf of Cattaro. The following day they carry out a reconnaissance of the border with Montenegro. These are the first operational flights by naval aircraft.

1914 – Britain’s first airplane passenger service is launched. The short-lived service flies from Leeds to Bradford and back, on half-hour intervals.







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