Planning for the building of an aerodrome at Langebaanweg
started in 1942. During 1942/43 Colonel Hughes of the SAIC started surveying the area for
the building of the aerodrome which would be called Air Force Station Congella
Langebaan Section, as it would be under the command of the flying boat squadron of AFS
Congella in Durban.
The aerodrome was officially proclaimed in the Government
Gazette dated 5 April 1946. Although the base was originally developed to counter the
German/Japanese submarine threat, its first role was a training unit. On 1 August 1946 the
name of the station was changed to the "Bomber Gunnery and Air Navigation
School"(BG & ANS) The first aircraft a Anson landed at the base during February
The BG & ANS was renamed Air Force Station Langebaanweg on
14 April 1947 and the BG & ANS became a unit on the station. In the same year the
first Harvard and Ventura aircraft arrived.
The first Spitfires arrived at Langebaanweg during 1948. During
the period 1950 to 1953 the pilots who went to Korea with 2 Squadron were trained on
Spitfires before they left.
The first Vampires (first jet aircraft in the SAAF) arrived in
October 1952 and the Air Operational School (AOS) and Air Navigation School was founded.
From then on until 1967 advanced flying training was done on Harvards and Vampires. The
Air Navigation School moved to Ysterplaat in 1953.
On 1 December 1957, 17 Squadron (previously an MR squadron with
Venturas), was reformed at Langebaanweg as the SAAF"s first helicopter squadron, with
two S-55 and one S51 Sikorsky helicopters. In July 1961 17 Squadron with the new Allouette
2 helicopters moved to Ysterplaat.
The first Impala aircraft landed at the base on 11 May 1966. On
2 October 1967 AOS and the Vampires were transferred to AFB Pietersburg. AFS Langebaanweg
name changed to Flying Training School Langebaanweg in February 1968.
Since 1980 only the pupil pilots that were chosen for the
fighter line were sent to FTS Langebaanweg for the second half of their wings course.
On 28 March 1983 FTS Langebaanweg was renamed Air Force Base
On 1 January 1982 Air Navigation School (now known as 80 Air
Navigation School 80 ANS), was transferred from AFB Ysterplaat back to AFB
Langebaanweg, after nearly thirty years.
The creation of a new unit, namely 83 Jet Flying School (83 Jet
FS) was approved on 12 November 1982. On 6 February 1984 this new unit was established at
AFB Langebaanweg and took over all jet flying training in the SAAF. During March 1985, 7
Squadron, a Ground Attack squadron equipped with Impala MkI and MkII aircraft, was
transferred from DF Malan airport to AFB Langebaanweg.
With the independence of South West Africa in 1990 and the end
of the Bush war, Langebaanweg didnt escape the rationalisation process in the Air
Force. In December 1990, 80 ANS moved to AFB Ysterplaat. In December 1992, 7 Squadron and
83 Jet Flying School disbanded. The Impalas transferred to 8 Squadron, at AFB Bloemspruit
and 85 CFS at AFB Hoedspruit.
In December 1992, the Central Flying School (CFS) moved from
Dunnottar to Langebaanweg with 100 Harvard aircraft. On 1 January 1993 the units
name changed to Central Flying School. Langebaanweg took over the badge and motto of CFS.
The first Pilatus Astra aircraft, the new training aircraft of
the SAAF, arrived in October 1994. During 1995 the Air Force celebrated its 75th
Birthday. On 4 March 1995 the unit held an open day and 30 000 people attended. On 26th
October the last Wings Parade was held with the Harvard as training aircraft. The
departure of the Harvard took place on 17 November 1995. The function was held over three
days. During the function a formation of 55 Harvard aircraft flew over the unit.
In 1998, the CFS was developed into a General Suport Base (GSB)
for all West Coast units. The Flying School became CFS and the Base Aircraft Servicing
Section became 8 Aircraft Servicing Unit (8 ASU), while the unit as itself once again
became an Air Force Base. In 2002 2 ASU from AFB Ysterplaat and 8 ASU combined to became 2
The Base motto is "Tenax Propisiti Vinco"
Through Tenacity Comes Success.