SAAF Museum Community Project

JCP Swartkop Air Force Museum Project

Students from the faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) are required to complete 40 hours of community service in their second year of study. In collaboration with the SAAF and Mr. David Toma, the society allows a certain number of students to complete their hours at Swartkop Air Force Base (AFB) and Museum each year.

This project consists of five days running from 8:00 to 16:00. Teams of students washs and polis all the museum static displays and some of the active historic military aircraft, in preparation for the annual Swartkop Air Show each year. The aim of this project is to contribute towards the preservation of the SAAF museum aircraft and uphold their name by presenting clean and well looked after displays.


Project Dates 2019

AFB Swartkop in Centurion, Pretoria

13 – 14th April

18 – 19th May

31st August


53 students were selected to complete this project in 2019. This project was hard work but rewarding as usual. Opportunities arose for students to sit in some of these amazing aircraft ranging from the Avro Shackleton, Harvard’s to the Mirage III fighter jets. The project was a success once again and is highly recommended to continue in the future.

Supervision by a serving SAAF member was required at all times. This was undertaken by Warrant Officer Class 2 Mr. Dawie Marias from the SAAF Fire Services. As a result, students had access to fire hydrants and a fire truck to complete this project. Team work was an extremely important aspect of the project to ensure quality results. With limited resources students were forced to make plans to complete task, such as reaching the top of large aircraft. Safety was always considered and enforced by the three mentors who volunteered to help supervise the project. The mentors included Allison King, Lauric Hilhorst, Rida Touh Touh and Nicola Stacey. As mechanical engineering students, they were familiar with aircraft hazards and analytical problem solving for the best course of action.

Brooms, mutton cloth, suitable soap and polish were required for this project. Funds for this project were provided by the University of Pretoria. The remaining budget that was not used was donated to the SAAF Museum Fund to ensure maintenance and preservation of our aviation history.

The air show was unfortunately postponed to the 7th of September which caused the project to run for longer than expected. However, this did not present any new challenges and all aspects of the project were completed as planned.




- Author Allison King
Published by Allison King

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2021. All rights reserved.

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences