The Story of the Mirage F1 in the South African Air Force

Brig-Gen Dick Lord

"Their hands are shaking ever so slightly.
Publication date:
January 2008
Publisher :
30 Degrees South Publishers
Illustration :
56 colour photos, 220 b/w photos, 12 maps, diagrams
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781920143367

Dimensions : 234 X 153 cm


• A gripping account of the pilots and legendary ‘Vlamgat' planes of the South African Air Force

"Their hands are shaking ever so slightly. They will be flying again in the morning”

Vlamgat, literally‘flaming hole' in Afrikaans, was the nickname the South African Air Force (SAAF) gave to the Mirage F1, its formidable frontline jet fighter during South Africa's long ‘border wars' in South West Africa (Namibia) and Angola from the late 1960s to the late 1980s. Battling Soviet MiG-21s over African skies, the Vlammies, the Mirage pilots as they were affectionately known, acquitted themselves with distinction and honour.

Vlamgat is a gripping account of these pilots and their deeds of bravery; their experiences are authentically related with accuracy, humour and pathos by Brigadier General Dick Lord, himself a Vlammie.

As Willem Hechter, former Chief of the SAAF, says:"Vlamgat deserves a place of pride in the long history of this, the second oldest air force in the world.”

About the Author
Brigadier-General Dick Lord joined the Royal Navy as an air cadet in 1958, where he qualified as a fighter pilot. In the mid'60s, he was selected for a two-year exchange tour with the US Navy, flying A4 Skyhawks and F4 Phantoms out of San Diego, California. He returned to South Africa in early '70s and joined the South African Air Force (SAAF). During the Border War, he commanded 1 Squadron. A highlight of his career was organising the successful fly-past of 76 aircraft for Nelson Mandela's inauguration as President of South Africa in 1994.