Flying LionsPerforming on Saturday, 21 May at the Kishugu Lowveld Air Show, The Flying Lions have been operating since 1999 and are regarded as an essential act at every major air show across the country, using the world-renowned Harvard AT6 aircraft or ‘Texan’ in their shows.
THE FLYING LIONS
Sponsored by Eqstra Holdings Ltd, the team consists of renowned pilots Scully Levin, Arnie Meneghelli, Ellis Levin and Sean Thackwray and performs in a 4-ship routine with the Harvard AT6.
In operation for more than 14 years, the Flying Lions have been sponsored by a number of big names in the aviation industry, namely Peugeot, AirBP, Nissan, Castrol Aviator and Academy Brushware.
The current partnership with Eqstra Holdings has been successful on both sides, with the sponsors covering most of the team’s expenses and benefiting from the increased brand exposure and media coverage received from their association with the Flying Lions.
Designed by North American Aviation, the T-6 is known by a variety of names depending on the model and the operating air force. Outside the United States it is best known as the Harvard.
Originally designed as a basic trainer for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC), the NA-16 was a cantilever low-wing monoplane powered by a 400 HP Wright Whirlwind engine. The first production version to carry the AT Texan (Advanced Trainer) designation was the NA-59 for the USAAC. As the NA-66 or Harvard II it was supplied to the air forces of Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand.
With 15,495 built, it trained several hundred thousand pilots in 34 different countries over more than 20 years. Mostly know as a trainer, the T-6 was also used in combat in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Greek Civil War, Korean War, Vietnam and the Algerian War amongst others.
The South African Air Force (SAAF) operated a large number of Harvards as trainers from 1942 until their retirement in 1995.