Pictures: 1950 – 1959

From The Sunday Times 19 October 1952
The Air Pageant was held on Saturday 18 October 1952

Rand’s biggest air pageant staged tomorrow

By the Air Correspondent

From unidentified Newspaper clipping dated 17 October 1952

THE BIGGEST AIR PAGEANT yet staged on the Rand will be held at Baragwanath Aerodrome tomorrow afternoon to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Johannesburg Light Plane Club, the oldest and largest flying club in the Union.

Aerobatics and formation flying by Harvard trainers and light aircraft will provide the backbone of the programme, but the “Farnborough touch” will be given by a Vampire jet fighter of the Southern Rhodesia Air Force. This 600-mile-an-hour machine recently flew from London to Bulawayo in 17 hours. Its flight to Baragwanath will occupy about 10 minutes. It is hoped that South African Air Force jet aircraft will also take part.

In the absence of supersonic aircraft in South Africa, the organizers have arranged that the “sound barrier” shall be broken by the club’s “screech plane” (a Tiger Moth fitted with a siren). The pilot will be Mr. George Gray, general manager of the club. Two explosions will signal accomplishment of this feat.

Another visiting aircraft is expected to be a DC-6B “Super Six” of Pan American World Airways, which also celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. It is hoped that it will arrive from Leopoldville in time to fly over Baragwanath and dip its wings in salute. On Sunday, members of the club will present souvenirs to the crew.


A display of glider flying will be given at 2.15 p.m. by members of the Johannesburg Soaring Centre, including Mr. “Boet” Dommisse, who recently wrested an international record from Russia. Leading aerobatic flyers will be Capt. Stan Murray, D.F.C., Lt. Tom Vanston, Mr. W. A. T. Johl and Lt. F. Potgieter D.F.C. The first three will give a display with aircraft tied together by tape.

The programme begins at 2 p.m. and will last three Hours. A mass low level fly past of about 30 aircraft is timed for 4 p.m.