INTRODUCTION: The Zimbabwe Air Force staged its first display and fly past on Sunday (25 October).Present at the open day was the Zimbabwean Prime Minister, Mr.Robert Mugabe.The country's Air Force was first established by the British 34 years ago and its headquarters are now at the New Sarum air base, near Salisbury.
SARUM, ZIMBABWE (VISNEWS - CHRIS EVERSON)
GV Crowds on the new Sarum airbase
GV Hunter (HS) on tarmac surrounded by weapons
SV & PAN Canberra on tarmac and weapons
SV Prime Minister Mugabe and Air Marshall Walsh, Commander of the Zimbabwe Airforce, ZOOM IN TO SCU Mugabe
GV Parachutists landing as crowd watch. (3 SHOTS)
GV Islander aircraft flies out
GV Dakota fly past in formation
GV Crowd watches while Cessna's fly past
GV Fly past of the Allouette helicopter
GV Allouette displays. (2 SHOTS)
SCU Mugabe watching display
GV Man descending on rope from Augusta Bell 205 helicopters
GV Hunter's fly past in formation
GV Fly past by Canberra aircraft
Background: INTRODUCTION: The Zimbabwe Air Force staged its first display and fly past on Sunday (25 October).Present at the open day was the Zimbabwean Prime Minister, Mr.Robert Mugabe.The country's Air Force was first established by the British 34 years ago and its headquarters are now at the New Sarum air base, near Salisbury.
SYNOPSIS: A big crowd attended the open day and saw both static and flying displays.This Hunter fighter first flew in 1959.
The Canberra bombers have been the backbone of air forces throughout the world for many years.
Details of the aircraft were explained to the Prime Minister, Mr.Mugabe, by the Air Force Commander, Air Marshall Walsh.The Zimbabwe air Force has assumed a more passive role since the country's independence and now concentrates on duties such as casualty evacuation, flood relief support and search and rescue operations.
Aircraft, such as the Norman Islander, are especially designed for this kind of work.
The Dakota is often known as the 'Workhorse of the Air'.Its short take-off and landing capabilities still mae the ageing aircraft useful in limited areas.
The crowd was treated to a spectacular fly past of Cessna's, introduced in 1976 as a light ground attack and reconnaissance aircraft.
Later, spectators saw the French 'Allouette' helicopter in action.The prototype of this helicopter first flew in the 1950s and set a world height record of more than 36,000 feet.They are often used for search and rescue work, having been designed to carry two stretcher patients as well as two passengers.
Mr.Mugabe, looked on as servicemen lowered themselves on a rope from an Augusta Bell 205 helicopter, in a simulated rescue operation.
The afternoon's display finished with formation flying by the Hunter fighter aircraft and Canberra bombers, as the Zimbabwe airforce showed its wings at their first open day.
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Source: REUTERS - CHRIS EVERSON