Community Veggie Patch … from idea to harvest
The idea to explore the feasibility of a community vegetable garden originated in the AEROSUD EMPLOYEE RELATIONS FORUM.
The concept is as follows:
-“for the people by the people”;
-up skill our people in areas that could also benefit them at home, i.e. basic woodwork and agriculture;
-utilise resources that are generally deemed to be scrap, i.e. convert some of the wooden packaging material in which Aerosud receive material into planters;
-engage external sponsors that can aligns themselves with the idea of a community vegetable garden;
-team members has 1st rights to the produce that are harvested; all surplus to be made available to co-workers at a minimal cost (similar to the CLOTHES BANK).
After principle approval was given by Aerosud Management, a kick-off meeting was held to “test the water” and a number of employees immediately showed interest. The decision was to continue.
A number of external sponsors were approached and two came on board.
Wooden crates were converted into planters and treated to prevent rotting & whilst waiting for the planters to be finished the team began to plant pumpkins around the recently planted trees.
Every one enjoyed the pumpkins and spinach of the 1st harvest. Nothing like your own fresh veggies.
The 2nd harvest took place after we came back after the Christmas break… what a harvest! We had beans, spinach & pumpkins in abundance.
The way forward for us…. more of the same… just bigger and better!
Planters with a greater variety of vegetables covering the entire cleared area to the east of the new parking area.
More employees are actively participating and benefitting from the veggie patch.
Employees not directly involved with veggie patch benefits from the surplus produce.
More sponsors come on board to assist with dreams such as
Irrigation in each planter
A special word of thanks to the following people that helped with the creation of this community vegetable garden:
- Aerosud Management that gave the go-ahead
- Johann van Heerden that helped with the filling of the planters
- Pieter Westerberg that assisted with some of the supplies
- The entire Veggie Patch Team for their efforts in turning the idea into a harvest!
- A few of the Veggie Patch helpers and participants
Aerosud participated in the 2016 Sci-Bono transport week that ran 24 – 28 October 2016 at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg.
The focus week provided an opportunity for learners and teachers to interact and engage with professionals from the transport industry, focusing on Aviation, Road, Railway and Maritime. The focus week usually targets around 6000 learners ranging from Grade 4 – 12.
Aerosud has been an active participant at the Sci-Bono discovery centre for many years contributing with lectures, support and hardware. This year Aerosud donated an A400M wingtip to Sci-Bono as an example of Aviation equipment being manufactured in South Africa and a showpiece of the potential that can be achieved in the South African Aviation Manufacturing industry. This is hoped to inspire learners and visitors to the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre to become involved in aviation.
The transport week was successfully run by the Sci-Bono team, as always. Their dedication to the learners that they facilitate and escort through the different areas are clear and help the companies and participants to engage with the learners in a fruitful way. Aerosud had a stand in the entrance of the Sci-Bono discovery centre manned daily with Aerosud employees to interact with the learners. They presented to the learners and teachers an overview of Aerosud’s work, the career opportunities available at Aerosud and the Aviation industry in South Africa as well as personal insights on their individual career paths. The aim of the interaction is to overcome barriers so that learners and teachers can understand and become familiar with the Aviation industry and the possibilities that exist for them. Opportunity was also given for questions and answers to each of the groups.
A special word of thanks to all the Aerosud employees involved this year and to the Sci-Bono team that made it possible.
From the Sci-Bono Team:
Aerosud Aviation and the SAAF Museum collaborate on historical aircraft with apprentice training opportunity.
Aerosud Aviation has had a section 13 & 28 apprentice training school for a number of years in the sheetmetal and composite trades, and has been expanding the school’s capabilities to also carry out training in the aircraft repair field.
As an idea to provide access to training aircraft and with the SAAF Museum having many static display aircraft requiring some TLC and repairs, Aerosud engaged with the Friends of the SAAF Museum who have volunteers supporting the Museum in doing similar work to provide a mutually beneficial contribution in achieving good looking Museum static air display aircraft.
Below a picture of the damaged nose cone as received from the Museum:
Initial meetings held with Aerosud Management Henry & Rob with the Friends of the SAAF Museum led to a first project being identified as the repair of the Douglas DC4 radar nose cone which was badly damaged. The nose cone was removed and sent to the Apprentice Training school where under the guidance of Riaan Odendaal as the Composites Training Instructor, the radome was repaired using aircraft grade materials.
The team first had to manufacture a mold, which meant filling the damaged area with a temporary plug of resin to establish the correct shape. From there the female mold was cast. Once the cast was cured, the dome was placed into it, and composite glass-fibre pre-preg sheets layed up with honeycomb material as filler, and with an inner lay-up of glass-fibre. Once this was completed, the whole cone was placed in a curing oven for a number of hours.
After demolding, the whole outer surface of the nose cone was sanded and filled to establish a continuous smooth surface in preparation for painting. To finish it off, black aircraft grade paint was applied and cured.
Below a picture of the repaired cone in primer colour:
The cone was returned to the Museum and re-installed on the aircraft and at a handing over ceremony on Monday the 17th October, the Officer Commanding of the Museum Colonel Fredericks was very appreciative of the work done, with the DC4 now in better condition as a static display aircraft, which will shortly return to the static display flight line once the storm water drain works has been completed on the base.
Below a picture of the DC4 sporting a nice new nose with the SAAF Museum OC, Friends of the SAAF and Aerosud Management at the handover:
Representing Aerosud, Rob thanked Colonel Fredericks for the opportunity for the apprentices taking part in these activities, and will make work of the next task due to start shortly.
Below a picture of the Aerosud team that worked on the project:
Andre Human, Riaan Odendaal, Lebohang Mothlothlong, Thabang Motloutsi, Nyiko Khoza, Khodani Makhuvha, Phetolo Maribe, Ronald Theshla & Vanqa Nompumelelo
The Simulator Project Idea
The South African Air Force had a requirement to establish an aircraft simulator to support their youth development initiative.
The idea would be to create a number of these devices all with a suitable Air Force aircraft type as the platform. As Aerosud & Paramount have had previous experience in building and operating simulators, the Air Force approached us for the possibility of creating a suitable platform.
There are many old airframes the Air Force has decommissioned that could be used in the simulation role, even previous simulators, and in the selection process, an Impala Mk 1 two seat mobile simulator was chosen as the best option, particularly when the Air Force wished it to be used at AAD.
The project was conceptualised in June, leaving exactly 3 months to complete the project as a working system.
The start of the Simulator Build
Aerosud Aviation & Paramount Aerospace Systems partnered to champion and sponsor the project, Aerosud providing all the design and system integration expertise with all the visual systems computer hardware, and Paramount providing all the mechanical hardware and physical simulator build. Paradise Computers would supply the instrument panel laptops and screens.
By the time the project kicked off and the airframe selected and moved to Paramount’s facilities in Midrand, it was 18th July, leaving only 2 months left to design and build the system.
The Air Force put together a big team of mechanical & electronic engineers & technicians as well as artisans to be integrally part of the development process, so that future simulator projects could be done by themselves.
The design would involve four computers, three to drive the main system from the front seat which included the instrument panel with accurate instrument renditions and the curved screen visual projection to allow wider view angles. The fourth computer would drive a single all in one screen in the rear cockpit to allow two independent simulations to work.
The mechanical & electronic designs happened in parallel, the first mechanical activity was to shorten the existing sim to just show the Impala’s original fuselage shape and to leave sufficient space for the computer hardware.
Then on to designing the new instrument panel overlays where a LCD screen would display the instruments. These were first waterjet cut out of plastic to carry out a check fit before laser cutting these from aluminum. As a separate activity, the computers were networked together and Impala style instruments drawn in CAD and functionally calibrated.
Final Integration & Roll-out
By the last week of August, a month and a half from starting the simulator it was essentially complete, only requiring final paint and calibration.
It was moved to AAD at the end of the 1st week of September, where the whole system came together for the first time with the projection system included.
The final product was unveiled on Friday the 8th September by the Chief of Air Staff Operations, Maj Gen W.S. Mbambo in a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Sponsors and the build team in attendance.
The paint scheme on the fuselage is in the colours of the Silver Falcons as it was during the period in which they flew the Impala, a very fitting tribute to the top Air Force flying team.
The simulator has now seen extensive use at the AAD show and will generate exposure to many of the youth of our country in getting up as close as one can get to fly a jet aircraft.
Aerosud has an established Social Club, the purpose of which is to generally promote good interpersonal relations, to get familiarised with other members of the Aerosud family and to promote team building and a healthy Corporate Culture.
Social company events, including open days and periodic company functions;
Sports Activities and participation in organised sporting activities, sponsored or partly sponsored by Aerosud
Sporting activities presently include:
Soccer: Aerosud has a Soccer team and participates in friendly soccer events against other companies.
Cycling: The Aerosud Cycling Club offers participation at all levels from the Cape Argus to adventure mountain biking.
Other: Action cricket, cricket, road running, etc.
Aerosud was identified as an ISOE, "INSTITUTE OF SECTORAL OCCUPATIONAL EXCELLENCE" by the TETA (TRANSPORT EDUCATION AND TRAINING AUTHORITY) in 2010. As an ISOE, Aerosud was tasked to develop national standard training material and assessment documentation for Apprentices being trained in Aircraft Structures (Sheetmetal Workers). In 2011 this training and assessment material was registered with the TETA as the official South African Aerospace Industry standard.
Based on the success of the Aircraft Structures project and the quality of training material developed, Aerosud has been tasked by the TETA to do the same for the "Aerospace Composites Worker". This new project commenced in January 2014.