Rhodesian Helicopter operations.


At the beginning of the war in 1965 the Allouette III helicopters of the Rhodesian Air Force carried the single assegai marking of that period. Helicopters were used in penny packets initially with the odd machine armed with a single MAG mounting. At this stage the helicopters could carry from 6 to 5 men as they did not have machine guns.

At a later stage elephant ear large filters were added as well as anti Strella shrouds were added to protect the engines from ground fire and Strella shoulder launched anti aircraft missiles. At this stage the helicopters could carry 5 men.

In 1974 the helicopters were finally grouped into RLI Fire Forces and at a later stage twin 303 browning mounts were added. Due to the added weight of armoured seats etc, the normal stick would now be 4 men.

Now we had a 20mm cannon added which became the command helicopter called the K-car. Trooping helicopters were called G-cars and South African trooping helicopters were called z -cars. The quadruple 303 MG mount which was introduced later in the war  and was a back up for the K-car was called a Alpha-car.

I will sit down and do this blog again but with much more detail.

655 654 656 671 1621751_10202712568649401_825448193_n 10329312_10203174052426207_6591349977922670594_n K Car 10420363_856939267705383_22807342880779331_n 10805779_10204431024668090_2825640628289577348_n 10988535_10205077835379591_3163196896483705503_n john frame RAR FF

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9 thoughts on “Rhodesian Helicopter operations.

  1. John, my friend, it has been way too long since I have written to you and I apologize. If its any comfort, after you introduced me to David Freemantle so that I might purchase some of his beautiful Rhodesian vehicles, we have become very good friends and usually email each other anywhere from two to five times a week. I even purchased a copy of his book. Like you, he is very warm, friendly, engaging and an outstanding human being. I am a lucky man to have become acquainted with both of you. Also, I want to say thanks for your fine postings. While I had purchased some of Eureka’s British Aden figures to use as early RAR/RLI/RRR troops before, I never knew they could be used as BSAP or INTAF troops as well. Thank you for passing on that info. The only problem, now I need MORE figures!!! Anyway, take care my friend and keep teaching us about Rhodesia and her brave soldiers. Cheers, Vince

  2. Vince Shamwari apologies I did not see your post as my computer has changed things settings? Anyway its a pleasure to hear from you and that my blog is still of interest. Yes I will continue to post items which I think will help Rhodesian War Gamers as I continue to add to my figures, aircraft and vehicles. I thought it was going to be straight forward but its extending my modeling skills and Rhodesian collection. I must order some of Davids 28mm vehicles. Still have not got round to it. All the best mate. John Hop

  3. Frank Wallace

    Great first try. I really like the photos and it brings back Fire force 76 to 79 for me with 1Cdo 1RLI thanks and please keep it up

    • Frank many thanks for your kind words and encouragement. I knew Lt Col Charlie Aust very well. Also Vincent Buckingham ‘Vinnie’ If you have any interesting anecdotes I would be interested to hear them. All the best shamwari

  4. Nevill Bulloch

    Great respect for our Rhodesian Airforce Pilots, Gunners, Technicians, and Maintenance crews.
    Called out Fire Force from JOC or FAF Mtoko and Mt Darwin into Operation Hurricane TTLs.
    Watched them in action deploying fire force RLI and RAR sticks.
    Watched Cessna 337 Lynx in action and Allouette Gun Ships. One Hunter strike with Fran.
    RIC Scorpion Base
    OP,s Ambushes, Patrols etc into TTLs and a few fire force call outs.

  5. Was involved with saaf in the 70s
    Basically on the choppers
    Was young and unreasonable
    Drenderlin was that kept me going
    Today 40 yrs ➕ I am a nervous wreck

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