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“East London”

Boeing 707-344C
ZS-SAI “East London”
c/n: 20283



Boeing 707-344C ZS-SAI "East London" in her heyday with South African Airways
Photograph: Boeing via SAA Museum Society Archives


Boeing 707-344C ZS-SAI "East London" at Jan Smuts Airport
Photograph: Tony Ward collection

ZS-SAI BOEING 707-344C C/N 20283 L/N 831 Customer Manufacture No 8244 SAA name East London

Ordered by SAA on the 15th of August 1968, registered ZS-SAI to SAA in November 1969. Rolled out on the 7th of November 1969 and first flight on the 9th of December 1969. Acceptance flight on the 16th of December and delivered to SAA at Seattle on the 18th of December 1969. The airliner was delivered by captains Bert Rademan, H “Laurie” Lourens and Decker with call sign SADE 004.

Delivery route as follows:

19th December 1969 Seattle – London
21st December London– Sal Island
22nd December Sal Island – Jan Smuts Airport

The aircraft was named “East London”, and was flown to East London on the 28th of January 1970 for the christening ceremony. First SAA revenue service was flight SA220 on the 21st of January 1970 from Johannesburg - Luanda – Madrid – Paris - London.

The aircraft was bought by Luxair on the 5th of August 1978 and registered LX-LGS. Leased by Alia – Jordanian Airlines from the 12th of April 1979 with the registration JY-AFQ, returned to Luxair on 15th of December 1981. Bought by Tratco on the 27th of December 1984, bought by Trinair on the 27th of December 1984. Leased by Safair Freighters in March 1985 and registered ZS-LSF. Leased to Liberian World Airways on 1st September 1989 and registered EL-TBA. Returned to Safair in June 1990. Next to Israel Aircraft Industries for overhaul and modification and delivered to 60 Squadron SAAF with tail number AF-621, later 1421 and used for early warning and transport duties. Retired during the early 2000s.

In late 2004 discussions began between the SAA Museum Society and the South African Air Force with a view to get the aircraft donated to the museum. Unfortunately it proved to be too costly an exercise and it was agreed that various parts of the aircraft would be made available for donation. So it was in March 2011 that the first item, a Pratt & Whitney engine was delivered to the SAA Museum Society aircraft park at Rand Airport in Germiston. Over time various other items from the aircraft have made their way to the museum.


WINGSPAN 44.4 / 145 ft 9 in.
LENGTH 46.6 / 152 ft 11 in.
HEIGHT 12.7 m / 41 ft 7 in.
EMPTY WEIGHT 63,502 kg / 140,000 lbs.
MAXIMUM WEIGHT 152,406 kg / 336,000 lbs.
MAXIMUM SPEED 1,009 kph / 627 mph.
MAX OPERATING ALTITUDE 12,800 m / 42,000 feet.
RANGE MAXIMUM FUEL 9,932 km / 6,160 miles.
CREW Minimum 3 flight deck, Min 4 cabin crew in passenger configuration
PASSENGERS MAXIMUM 177 all economy configuration.
ENGINES Four PRATT & WHITNEY JT3D-7 Twin Spool Axial compressor Turbofan developing 8,415 Kn / 19,000 lbs thrust.



The Pratt & Whitney JT3D engine ready to be transported to the SAA Museum Society. 3 March 2011
Photograph: Joe Joubert


The Pratt & Whitney JT3D engine ready to be transported to the SAA Museum Society. 3 March 2011
Photograph: Joe Joubert

Cutting the fuselage
Photograph: Watty Watson

Fuselage separated
Photograph: Watty Watson


Fuselage ready to be transported to the SAA Museum Society
Photograph: Joe Joubert

Article by Logan Green below is reproduced from the GERMISTON CITY NEWS, FRIDAY 11 MARCH 2011

Museum welcomes new addition

There were smiles aplenty at the South African Airways Museum Society's (SAAMS) Aircraft Park, on Sunday 6 March 2011.

The members were thrilled with the arrival of a complete Pratt & Whitney JT3D turbo fan engine and the tail fin of a Boeing 707-344C.

The parts of the aircraft were donated by the South African Air Force (SAAF) and transferred to their new home at the South African Airways Museum in Germiston, from the air force base in Waterkloof, Pretoria.

This particular aircraft has had a number of homes since she was originally delivered to South African Airways (SAA) by Boeing in December 1969.

She also flew in the South African Air Force as a passenger and freight craft and has had a number of well-known pilots fly her before her official retirement in 2007.

Some of the pilots who flew this Boeing 707 include Karl Jensen, Laurie Kay and the late Ron Beamish.

"Our gratitude to SAAF cannot be described," said Andre Swart, vice-chairman of the SAAMS. "Just the fact that we can have bits and pieces of this aircraft is really something special."

Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Pearce, product systems support manager at SAAF who has been tasked with the phasing out of Boeing 707s in the defence force, said: "It is sad to see our aviation heritage dwindle and it is through the passion shown here by these volunteers that we can preserve this wonderful aircraft."

The museum will also welcome a 13m section of the fuselage 13m cockpit of the Boeing 707 in the near future.


The engine of the Boeing 707 is lifted by a crane into its new home at the South Airways Museum Society, in Germiston, on Sunday 6 March 2011.
Photograph: Andre Swart


Marlboro Crane Hire generously sposored a crane to do the lifting of the engine
Photograph: Andre Swart



WO Joe Joubert, from the South African Air Force (SAAF), shakes the hand of Andre Swart, vice-chairman of the South African Airways Museum Society, symbolising the transfer of the parts of the Boeing 707 to the museum, from the Waterkloof Air Force base.

Photograph: Jean Swart

26 June 2011

Boeing 707 c/n 20283 SAAF 1421 ex SAA ZS-SAI fuselage section arrives at the SAA Museum Society Aircraft Park



















Hand over of the Boeing 707 certificate

Left to right: Brigadier-General Derrick Page - Director Air Force Heritage, Sean Blaauw – Chairman SAAMS, Andre Swart – Vice Chairman SAAMS and project leader, Colonel Kobus van den Berg, Senior Staff Officer, Directorate Combat Systems.


ZS-SAI certificate002a






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