Aviation and its role in South African history
Bill Gates once said, “the Wright brothers created the single greatest cultural force since the invention of writing. The aeroplane became the first world wide web, bringing people, languages, ideas and values together”.
Aviation has come a long way since brothers Wilbur and Orville successfully took to the skies in 1903. Skyways recently visited the South African Airways Museum Society located at Rand Airport in Germiston to take a closer look at the role of aviation in South Africa.
The museum focuses on commercial aviation and was founded in 1986. On display are historic items such as photographs, aircraft models, crew uniforms and general civil aviation memorabilia. According to Jean Swart, museum coordinator, the museum is manned by volunteers and all the items on exhibit were donated, some dating back more than 100 years. The museum even had its moment of fame with scenes from the movie Invictus being filmed there. The Museum is the proud owner of a variety of aircraft which can be viewed by the public and are used for aviation awareness programmes.
A walk through the museum serves as a reminder of many historic events in South Africa, and how aviation played its part in past glory and tragedy.