Hangar 5 was built for South African Airways in 1938 to accommodate the three Condors which were on order from Germany. With the outbreak of WWII, the order was cancelled and the hangar became the main maintenance base for SAA until 1953 when SAA moved to Jan Smuts Airport.
Many of SAA’s DC-3’s were serviced in Hangar 5 during this period. For many years subsequently, until the mid nineties, it became the maintenance facility of Fields Aviation, which serviced the South African Air Force’s DC-3’s (SAAF) under contract. It is therefore only appropriate to develop the hangar and establish the DAKOTA LODGE in honour of all the DAKOTAS which had been serviced there over the years.
With the opening of the DAKOTA LODGE, the developers / owners Capt Flippie Vermeulen and his wife Maryna fulfilled a lifelong dream to honour the historic Dakota Aircraft.
Capt. Flippie Vermeulen has been well known for his efforts over the years to preserve commercial airliners and was responsible for the establishment of the SAA Historic Flight in the early nineties.
Since 2001, he, with his family has established their family business, Springbok Classic Air, offering exclusive flying safaris to the discerning traveller to remote destinations in Africa, offering charter flights with their fleet of aircraft ranging from Cessna 210’s to the DC-3, Springbok Aviation Services offering maintenance on aircraft ranging from single engine Pipers and Cessnas to the Douglas DC-4’s and Springbok Air Academy, offering flight training ranging from, basic abinitio to advanced training on the DC-3.