Draken International pilots begin Cheetah conversion

Denel Aerospace has begun returning stored Cheetahs to the air for Draken International as its pilots start transition training on the type ahead of deliveries to the United States. In mid- October, Draken International pilot John ‘Slick’ Baum became the first American to fly the Cheetah, flying the Denelowned two-seat Cheetah B 861 (painted in South African flag colours). The first Cheetah C (370) for Draken International took to the air on October 26 as stored airframes are returned to service by Denel Aeronautics technicians. Twelve former South African Air Force Cheetahs (nine single seat Cheetah Cs and three dual seat Ds) were sold late last year to Florida-based Draken International, which will use them for adversary training for the US Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps. Guy Martin