Vintage aircraft flights are something special. Just ask the pilots whose passion for classic and historical aircraft keeps these 'old birds' airworthy. South Africa’s involvement in both World Wars and its longstanding civil and military aviation track record has ensured a legacy of priceless historical aircraft, among them classic propliners.

Did you know?

The independantly operated SAA Museum Society at Rand Airport in Ekhuruleni has a small museum and six historical aircraft on display.

Vintage aircraft flights represent the realisation of a lifelong dream for many aviation fanatics.

In Johannesburg, two operators, Springbok Classic Air and Skyclass, are licensed to operate passenger flights on historic aircraft.

Ex-national airline pilot and full-time Dakota devotee, Captain Flippie Vermeulen, owns and operates Springbok Classic Air. Based at Rand Airport near Germiston, he flies scenic flights around Johannesburg in a restored DC-3 Dakota on the last Saturday of the month.

The joy of this 1930s aircraft is its ability to cruise comfortably at low altitudes, so you’ll enjoy a true bird’s eye view of Johannesburg. Moreover, you’ll get more than your money’s worth, because the pilot so loves flying this gracious grand dame, he often stretches your 30-minute flight to nearer an hour.

On your flight, you’ll route to the southwest of Johannesburg and fly in a giant arc over landmarks including iconic sports stadiums, Soweto, Gold Reef City, and Sandton, before returning to Rand Airport.

Aircraft purists will love the vintage 'Dak' experience, and for all onboard it’s an unforgettable new perspective on the City of Gold. And, if half an hour has whet your flight appetite, your extended Springbok Classic Air safari to other destinations in South Africa awaits…

Skyclass, based at OR Tambo International airport, leases and operates a DC-3 Dakota and two scarce DC-4 Skymasters owned by the SAA Museum Society. In addition to occasional scenic flights around Johannesburg, Skyclass will tailor make you a classic flying safari to anywhere in South Africa.

The Skymaster exudes antique charm, and is a rare flight experience that few people are privileged to enjoy. What better way to experience Namqualand’s exuberant spring flowers; visit the Pilanesburg; the Kruger National Park, or go on a golfing or fishing trip of a lifetime?

Capable of flying at low altitudes and slow speeds, characteristic of the propeller-driven airliner era, passengers are treated to business-class service and spectacular views of the scenery and wildlife below.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Springbok Flying Safaris
Tel: +27 (0)11 824 2142
E-mail: maryna@springbokflyingsafaris.com

Skyclass (Pty) Ltd. SA
Tel: +27 (0)11 927 3227 or +27 (0)82 891 6818
E-mail: enquiries@flyskyclass.com

The Dakota Lodge
Tel: +27 (0)11 824 2143
Fax: +27 (0)11 827 0502
E-mail: info@dakotalodge.co.za

SAA Museum Society
John Austin-Williams
Mobile: +27 (0)83 459 7802
E-mail: info@saamuseum.co.za

How to get here

To reach Rand Airport from Johannesburg, take the M2 East motorway towards Germiston, and at the Geldenhuys interchange, take the N2 South (Durban). Take the Rand Airport off-ramp (Exit 106), and follow the signs to Rand Airport. To get to OR Tambo International airport, take the R21 or R24 from the centre of Johannesburg, or take the Gautrain from Sandton or another station.

Best time to visit

Typically, Springbok Classic Air schedules DC-3 flights the last Saturday of the month. A minimum number of passengers are required to confirm the flight, so enquire about availability, cost and times, beforehand.

For the latest DC-4 flight schedule, contact Skyclass.

Around the area

The SAA Museum Society is based at Rand Airport, and has 6 historical aircraft on view and a small museum. Close to the airport are Germiston Lake and a golf course. Close to OR Tambo, Emperors Palace Hotel Casino Convention Resort offers gaming, live entertainment, shopping and fine dining. Also nearby, the East Rand Mall Shopping Centre is one of the largest retail malls in Gauteng.

Tours to do

Entrance to the SAA Museum Society at Rand Airport is R25 per adult, which includes a guided tour of their historical aircraft on display.

What will it cost

A 30-minute flight on a DC-3 Dakota with Springbok Classic Air costs R350 p/person for a 25-30 minute flight. Springbok and Skyclass classic air safaris are priced according to your itinerary.

What to pack

Pack a camera or video camera.

Where to stay

There are approximately 70 hotels at, or the near, OR Tambo International Airport.

What to eat

No food or beverages are served on the DC-3 flights. Join East Rand aviation anoraks at the Dakota Lodge, the Harvard Café at Rand Airport, or Biggles Restaurant at the SAA Museum Society, after your flight. Skyclass caters on board, depending on the flight duration. OR Tambo has a number of fast food restaurants.

What's happening

On special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Springbok Classic Air offers flight and dinner packages at Rand Airport.

Best buys

The SAA Museum Society sells model aircraft and memorabilia.