Waterkloof’s weightlifters

28 Squardron SAAF

Last June, 28 Squadron of the South African Air Force celebrated its 75th anniversary. For 55 of those years, the unit has operated just one aircraft type – the C-130 Hercules. Traditionally a transport unit, today the squadron has a much more varied mission set, as Paul Dunn explains.

C-130BZ serial 409 runs up its Allison turboprops as darkness falls on AFB Waterkloof. The SAAF Hercules fl eet had its engines upgraded from T56-A-7 to T56-A-15 during the early 1970s. All photos Paul Dunn

The South African Air Force (SAAF) received the first of seven C-130Bs in 1963, replacing the ageing C-47 Dakota transports previously used by 28 Squadron. At the same time as the Hercules arrived, the squadron moved from Air Force Base Swartkop to nearby AFB Waterkloof, where it remains to this day.

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