Talk:Denel Rooivalk

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I have taken the initiative and moved this page from Denel Aviation AH-2 Rooivalk, as the company website states that Denel Aviation is a company within Denel Aerospace Systems. In addition, the Denel Aerospace site states that it manufactures the AH-2 Rooivalk. - BillCJ 16:19, 31 December 2006 (UTC)


Rooivalk literally means "red falcon" however a better translation would be "kestrel". The name is appropriate as the kestrel is a hovering bird. See Booshank 18:12, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

I have a citeable printed source that calls it the "Red Kestrel". Would that be an acceptable change? - BillCJ 18:47, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
According to "Robert's Birds of Southern Africa" there are 3 species of birds known as "Rooivalk" or variations thereof in Afrikaans: 1. Falco rupicoloides - Greater Kestrel/Groot Rooivalk 2. Falco naumanni - Lesser Kestrel/Klein Rooivalkie 3. Falco tinnunculus - Rock Kestrel/Rooivalkie. It would be interesting to know which one of these small raptors "they" had in mind when naming the helicopter. There is no South African bird commonly name "Red Kestrel" in English. Roger 11:41, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Developed From[edit]

In the article it claims that the Rooivalk was developed from the Alouette but the Infobox claims that it was developed from the Puma...

These are demonstrably different aircraft and this section should be fixed... Eugene Roux 13:06, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for catching that. The first paragraphs under "Background" came from the XH-1 Alpha article, where "It" referred to the Alpha. There need to be more on the development of the AH-2 from the Puma as the XH-2, but I haven't found a good source to use yet. - BillCJ 18:31, 26 January 2007 (UTC)


  • Changed to a reference style for all news updates
  • Added end of Rooivalk section

A sad end to a wonderful design!
Koxinga CDF 16:32, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Comparable aircraft: Comanche[edit]

BillCJ, the revert cycle isn't getting us anywhere, so it's probably best to iron the issue out here before filling up any more edit boxes.

Fact is, the RAH-66 Comanche never entered service, it remained a prototype. As such, it is more comparable to helicopters like the Cheyenne, rather than helicopters like the Rooivalk which have entered service (and you're right about the number of 12). However, the main difference is in the roles of the two aircraft: The Comanche was to have been a quick and light armed scout helicopter, with enough weaponry to defend itself and undertake the odd surgical strike but none of the offensive firepower of the Apache. The Rooivalk, on the contrary, is a heavy attack helicopter far closer to the Apache in its capability and intended mission.

If we are to include the Comanche in the Comparable aircraft list, well then we might as well just include each and every attack helicopter on earth in there, including all the Russian helos. Yet this is unworkable, so I'd suggest moving to stricter criteria for deciding on what to include in that list. Personally, I would prefer to limit it to heavy attack helicopters, such as the Apache and Mi-28. — Impi 17:40, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

I think I've discovered part of the problem. I was going by the specs in this article, which has errors. The MTOW is listed at 8,750 kg (13,225 lb), and the pounds is what I was going by. I double-checked a print source, and it lists 8,750 kg (19,290 lb). I'm correcting it in the specs now, and removing the RAH-66. Sorry for the confusion. - BillCJ 18:28, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
No problem at all. I'm glad we were able to sort this out amiably. And thanks for the correction, I hadn't noticed that error before. — Impi 19:30, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

The list again includes types that are clearly not in the same class in terms of the criteria agreed to here. I have deleted the light helicopters. Roger (talk) 20:23, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Loss of one airframe[edit]

Should this article mention the loss of one Rooivalk? [1] [2] Roger (talk) 16:37, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Malcolmxl5 (talk) 22:48, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Denel AH-2 RooivalkDenel Rooivalk – I would like to suggest an article move to Denel Rooivalk (presently a redirect). There is no evidence that either Denel or the SAAF use the 'AH-2' designation, whereas the examples taken into service with the SAAF have been designated the 'Rooivalk Mk 1' (Block 1F) [3] and Denel continues to market the helicopter only as the 'Rooivalk'[4]. So Denel Rooivalk would be the most recognisable name for the aircraft and would therefore be in keeping with the most-used phrase describing the aircraft as per the Wikipedia aircraft naming conventions. Darren (talk) 12:48, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

I agree. Roger (talk) 14:02, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support; more in line with common usage as well as "official" usage. bobrayner (talk) 19:56, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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Two questions[edit]

Going over this article and giving it a general polish, a couple of things occur to me. First of all, the original editor's use of the word "rotorcraft". I'm fairly well-versed in helicopter history and military use and I can't say I've ever seen the word before. My first impulse was to do a global search and replace for the word "helicopter", but I'd be interested to see if any other editors have any comments on that subject, and are there any options in Wikipedia for a search and replace function?

The second subject concerns an accident that occurred at Ysterplaat AFB in Cape Town in late 1994. I lived very close to the base at the time and was working on it as a civilian when an SAAF Oryx and a Rooivalk nearly collided near the base in the airspace over the city. In avoiding the collision, the Oryx actually pulled negative Gs, which caused the rotor blades to flex downwards and chop the air filter off the front of the engine intakes, and losing two blades in the process. The Oryx began to break up over the city, scattering debris over a wide path across the suburb. It barely made it back onto the airbase before it crashlanded. I still have pieces of the air filter in my personal collection which fell on the roof of the block of flats where I was living at the time. My question is this: is this a suitable subject to add to the page? I haven't seen any news reports of the accident online, so citations may be a problem. Cadar (talk) 20:34, 15 June 2017 (UTC) Cadar (talk) 20:44, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

  • Agreed with your second question. If possible that should be included even though there aren't online references. Just add a reference needed tag and maybe someone else will be able to add one. .. BoonDock (talk) 09:47, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Thanks! I've done another search and have found an unofficial website for the SAAF which has a very comprehensive listing of aircraft attrition suffered by the Air Force over the years. It has listings for both Rooivalk and Oryx, but neither of them have any mention of the incident or a similar incident during or near that specific time period. I've emailed them with full details as far as I can recall, and I'm hoping they will be able to find out more information and possibly list the incident.
On a further note, there are a number of other Rooivalk accidents which they do list with a certain amount of detail and which would form the basis of an entirely new section on accidents or incidents involving Rooivalks on the article page. We'll be able to cite the website. I'll wait to hear back from them and then put together the content for the new section.

Cadar (talk) 11:34, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

    • Contact Dean Wingrin. He runs the "unofficial airforce website" and see what assistance he can provide. Just BTW, while I was with the FIB in the DRC in 2013 I got to know the pilots pretty well. We were briefed on capabilities of both Oryx and Rooivalk so we could call for CAS or ECAS or for airstrikes. I also had long discussions with the FAC attached from 51 Commando, 5 SFR. The cutting off by the rotors thing was mentioned more than once. BoonDock (talk) 11:42, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
You have to remember that most military aircraft accidents are not particularly notable which is why we dont have long list of military accidents in these articles. If you are having difficulty finding any mention of your near collision in the media then it may not be noteworthy. MilborneOne (talk) 12:52, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Thanks Boondock, I think the email I sent will likely go to Dean if he's running the site I found. It's a long weekend so I'll not be expecting to hear back from him before next week. And yes, the Puma variants and the Oryxes seemed to lose rotors on a fairly regular basis. In fact, even the loss of two rotors is not necessarily going to cause a crash if the pilot is a competent one and can get it down on the ground. Certainly in the case of the incident I know about, the rotors were chopped off short and the Oryx was still able to remain airborne and sufficiently aerodynamic long enough for the pilot to fly it away from the surrounding suburb and back onto the airbase. In fact the problem was less of the loss of the rotors and more about the fact that the resulting imbalance on the engine and airframe is what began to shake the Oryx to pieces. A substantial proportion of the technology in a helicopter is about absorbing vibration to combat that exact problem. I've found mention of a bad Oryx crash where clearly something along the same lines occurred and the rotors actually chopped off the tail boom. And the air filters (technically called a "MAPAI", although don't ask me what the acronym stands for) on the Oryx variant were high enough and projected far enough forward to create a significant risk.
As far as the media is concerned with this specific incident there were no injuries or loss of life, nor were any civilian buildings significantly damaged, so it was noteworthy but not a big news item. The Oryx was severely damaged, if not a write-off, and it did make a local splash at the time. But you need to remember that this was 1994, before the advent of the web and there's a lot of media articles dating from those earlier days which have not been archived online as yet.
Cadar (talk) 13:36, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Well, I've heard back from Wingrin. His response was what charitably might be called "unhelpful". In fact, he basically suggested I'm making the incident up. I guess it's not really worth pursuing this any further.

Cadar (talk) 19:14, 19 June 2017 (UTC)