CAA approves glider aircraft

2010-04-14 16:01

Johannesburg - The country's first designed and manufactured glider aircraft was given the stamp of approval by the SA Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Wednesday, following intense airworthiness tests.

The Type Certificate, which was awarded to brothers and designers Attie and Uys Jonker of Jonker Sailplanes, is the first certificate of its kind to be issued by the CAA.

"One of our primary mandates is to maintain a safe and secure civil aviation environment... They had to meet certain requirements to qualify.”

"In terms of safety, we would not have reached this milestone if we had reservations about the safety aspects of the JS-1 Revelation," CAA director Captain Colin Jordaan told the media in Midrand.

An extensive programme of engineering analysis, ground-based structural testing and flight testing procedures was conducted to ensure that the aircraft met all certification requirements.

The small aircraft, which took to the skies on Wednesday morning ahead of the certification ceremony, was mainly targeted at the European and American market, said Attie Jonker.

"The plan is to keep the business alive by selling the aircraft. Our main market is in Europe and North America and we already have 20 orders in our order book," he said.

The aircraft design and manufacturing processes also led to the creation of 50 job opportunities.

The Jonkers' achievement and the creation of the 50 jobs "echoes the sentiment that South Africa is alive with possibilities", said Jordaan.