to Facts About Durban's new aviation page which I hope to
build up into a major resource on Durban's aviation past.
Some articles I will write myself but I will welcome suggestions
and contributions, including reminiscences and pictures, from
readers. See the contact page
for details on how to get hold of me.
See more from Maurice Ungless on the VC10 visit.
See Trevor Friend's page for some of his aviation memories of Durban, including the VC10 visit in 1965. Added 19 September 2012: See a new page of pictures from Trevor on the occasion of that visit.
June 2012: I have added a new page with some very nice flying boat pictures and a couple of newspaper articles.
January 2010: I have added a page, courtesy of Gerry Muller, with the story of an incident during Sir Frank Whittle's visit to Durban. On that page are also a couple of pictures of aircraft at Virginia Airport and Durban Wings Club members in the early 1960s.
|Does anyone know anything about the Women's Aviation Association (WAA) which existed in Durban in 1948, at least? Reader Lorraine Hurt was a member and a pupil pilot at Stamford Hill Aerodrome. Contact me here.
|I've just added a great selection of photos belonging to Robert Page who served with 35 SQN in Durban during WWII. The pictures are not all that well captioned and we'd be grateful for any contributions. Contact us here.
|Here's a story concerning Major Allister Miller's recruiting flight for the RFC in 1917. His trip took him around the major centres in South Africa, including Durban, but the story is about his visit to Port Elizabeth. It gives a good flavour of how excited the locals were about the trip.
|Biography of Roy Coull by Alan Taylor. Coull has been mentioned several times in these pages as he was a flying instructor with Natal Aviation before WWII and served with distinction during the war, earning a DFC.
||View PDF here.
Click to view enlargement==>
called Industrial Durban, which recently came my way,
reminded me that it was once planned to link Durban
to the rest of the world via airship. Land was even
bought outside the town at Compensation Flats to form
a landing ground, but the airship program was cancelled
after the horror crash of the R101 on 5 October, 1930.
route map from Industrial Durban.
article by Alan Taylor on Early rotorcraft flight in Durban
has been linked from his page
concerning the Governor General's Air Race of 1959 and
the opening of Virginia Airport.
Click to view enlargement.
courtesy Mike Hutchons
Hutchons' Piper Clipper.
<<= Click to view enlargement.
courtesy Mike Hutchons
Arriving at Stamford Hill Aerodome. That's Mike Hutchons
in the blazer on the left and it's the Berea behind
the aircraft. The aircraft is SAA Junkers JU52 ZS-AJI.
9 October 2007:
My informant Alan
Taylor wrote: ZS-AJI was registered to South
African Airways on 28 September 1937 and is known
to have carried the names "Major Warden"
and later "President Burgers" during
Following the decleration of war in September
1939 it continued to fly on SAA routes until 25
May 1940 when all civil flying was suspended.
It was officially transferred to the SAAF as 664
"D" on 17 June 1940 and served with
50 (Transport) Squadron, 1 Bomber Transport Brigade
and 51 Flight of 5 Wing.
Junkers Ju 52s were used on the shuttle service
between South Africa and Egypt and were withdrawn
in 1943 following the delivery of the first Douglas
survived the war only to be disposed of on 26
October 1946 at 15 Air Depot; being sold as scrap
to Metal Sales (Pty) Ltd.
The registration was cancelled on 27 June 1947.
<<= Click to view enlargement.
courtesy Peter Bendheim
(Click pics to view enlargement)
aircraft is an Oryx helicopter from 15 Squadron SAAF
and was apparently involved in some sort of counter-terrorism
exercise. It was dropping troops on the roof of Florence
Mkhize (formerly Martin West) Building in Smith Street
in Durban. Peter
Bendheim took the pictures on April 7, 2007, from
the patio outside his office in the Old Station in Pine
June 2007. I have added a new page of stuff contributed
by Alan Taylor of the SAAF Museum. It includes a list
of civil aircraft registered in the region pre-1939 and
details about Kittyhawk fighters which crashed here during
WWII. See the page here.
February 2007: I have added a long article on Durban's
aviation history. It originally appeared in
parts in Wings magazine in August, September
& October 1956. View
the page here.
August 2006: Accidents and stories from Durban's Aviation
Past. View the page here.
May 2006: I have added a marvellous page of pictures showing
262 SQN RAF / 35 SQN SAAF aircraft including Catalinas
and Sunderlands in Durban. There are also pictures of
a rescue launch, some nice aerial views of Durban and
a picture of a Seafire which visited Durban and was probably
scrapped here. View the
to Fly in Durban - 1936.
story of Archie Archbell who learned to fly in Durban
in 1936-38 at Natal Aviation under aviation personality
Roy Coull. There is a safety leaflet from that time
and great pictures including the members of the Durban
Aero Club at Stamford Hill Aerodrome, the clubs's aircraft,
excerpts from Archie's Log Book and pictures of the
two aircraft he crashed during his flight training.
the article here.
improved Flying Boat pages
now got so much new stuff on the flying boats that I've
added quite a couple of new pages including some eyewitness
the main Flying Boat page here.
courtesy Guy Ellis.
© Dave Cooke.
Boats in Durban
in Durban from 1942 was 8 Motor Boat Section
which was tasked with rescuing airmen who had been forced
to crash land in the seas around Durban.
here for the story of the units's exploits as told
by Guy Ellis.
courtesy Reg Sweet
This splendid picture of the anchorage off Durban was
taken in 1942 and clearly shows the huge amount of shipping
which the port handled during the war. The patrolling
aircraft on the lookout for hostile forces is a Fleet
Air Arm Walrus amphibian based at Stamford Hill Aerodrome
in the city.
Click image to view wallpaper-sized enlargement (1024x768px)
I've posted a picture of the aircrew involved in whale-spotting
flights from Durban. Click here
or on the picture to view the story and an enlargement.
me if you know anything about the flights.
Here's a picture I've received of the first aircraft
used for whale-spotting. Click here
to view some details and an enlargement of the
am now particularly looking for stories and pictures on Stamford
Union Airways and Allister Miller. Please contact me if you
I've just posted an aerial picture of Stamford Hill Aerodrome
on Diary Page # 15. Click the thumbnail, right, to view