SAA Museum Society
If cultural, heritage or nostalgia tourism are niche sectors that your business focusses on, then the South African Airways Museum Society (SAAMS) is definitely worth including in itineraries. Here's why.
Conveniently positioned on a tract of land adjacent to Rand Airport’s runway 29 in Germiston, Gauteng, South Africa, the SAAMS displays an impressive collection of Static Display Aircraft.
Included in the display are two Boeing 747s, “Lebombo” which flew over Ellis Park at the 1995 Rugby World Cup and a rare Boeing 747SP named “Maluti”. There is also a B747 “Classic” Simulator and an Airbus A300 Simulator, both, sadly, no longer operational. “Lebombo” is open for viewing, just not the cockpit. For interior access to any of the other static display aircraft an application must be made via e-mail, stating the number of visitors. Ideally at least a week’s notice is required to give the SAAMS sufficient time to allocate a Tour Guide.
Three of the aircraft that the museum currently owns are serviceable; two Douglas DC-4 Skymasters and a Douglas DC-3 Dakota. These aircraft are all classic propeller-driven airliners that started their careers in the mid 1940s and still ply their trade carrying tourists to exotic destinations in Southern Africa. The aircraft are leased to Skyclass Aviation who operate them on charter work, including film shoots and scenic flights around Johannesburg and environs. SkyClass holds a Part 121 certificate with both Domestic and International licences and has gained an enviable reputation and is well known and respected among local and overseas tour operators for their African air tour safari excursions. Clients fly into the Johannesburg hub and from there make their way to various destinations using the SkyClass aircraft. The airliners can depart out of Rand Airport, Lanseria Airport or from OR Tambo International Airport. Popular destinations include National and Private game parks within and outside of South Africa, sporting weekends and holidays, corporate trips, flying safaris to such exotic places as the Victoria Falls, Chobe Game Lodge, the Islands off Mozambique and beyond up into Northern and Eastern Africa and Zanzibar.
The SAAMS Simulator and Radio Room houses a rare Air Trainers Limited AT50 Jet Instrument Flying Trainer – a licensed built “Link Trainer” circa 1954.
An aerial view of the aircraft display. Founded in 1986, SAAMS is a non-profit volunteer organisation collecting and preserving the history of civil aviation in South Africa.
A Lockheed L18-08 Lodestar.