Jerrys Old Engines in South Africa

1947 Saab Safir 91C - ZU-DES
23 March 2009


This Saab Safir 91C was restored by my friend David (Des) Nel. She is a beautiful 4 seater trainer originally used by the Imperial Ethopian Air Force but eventually ending up in South Africa as part of a shipment of the remains of aircraft used by Ethiopia a number of years ago.

David is a prolific aircraft builder and restored her to her original beauty (and then some) as well as to his usual high standards. She has since become well known in South African aviation circles and has won a number of awards.

I was lucky enough to be invited for a spin today, this being Des's last flight in ZU-DES (A.K.A. the "Metal Viking") for a while as he is emigrating to Australia and leaves tomorrow. He will return in a few months to dismantle her for shipping to her new home in Aus.

David (Des), thanks for the flight and your friendship, I wish you well in your new home.

I also ask all my Aussie engine friends to welcome David - he also collects stationary engines and is hoping to get involved in the Aussie engine scene as soon as he has settled. He will initially be in Melbourne so any contacts would be appreciated. You can email him here  but remember that he will probably only have email facilities available to him in April 2009. Of course you can also send mail to me and I'll make sure that he gets it. Many thanks.

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pre flight check

David does the pre-flight check
pre flight check
ZU-DES in her hangar
The man and his machine
The man and his machine.
The beautiful machine
The beautiful machine in her hangar.
Des's airport tug

David on his "self built" airport tug
ZU-DES Saab Safir
ZU-DES ready to go
David at the controls of ZU-DES
David at the controls of  ZU-DES

The following are a few pics I managed to take during the flight. Not too easy considering that it was a very hot day and the movement of the aircraft coupled with the fact that I "shooting" through the "Plexiglas" cockpit windows. The pics actually came out better than I'd hoped for :-)
Farmland around Meyerton
Farmland around Meyerton

Stephanie's farm 1
My friend Stephanie's farm

Stephanie's farm
Another view of Stephanie's farm

Where I live
The arrow shows my home

(The tip of he arrowhead touches the roof of my house :-)

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