The Lockheed Ventura was developed from the Hudson and Lodestar.  The Ventura was used extensively throughout the war in Europe and the Far East during World War Two (1939-1945).  South African Squadrons operating in the Mediterranean Theatre were also equipped with Ventura aircraft.  After the war the SAAF continued to use the B-34 Ventura Mark II bomber version and the PV-1 Ventura Mark V maritime patrol version.  The bomber version had the clear nose and was synonymous with 24 Squadron at Bloemspruit for many years. 

The coastal Ventura PV-1 aircraft had a radar located in the nose and were used for maritime and anti-submarine patrol s and search and rescue.

Apart from bombing and coastal patrol duties, Ventura’s were also used for training and gunnery target towing.  A few Ventura aircraft were converted into VIP (Very Important Person) transport aircraft.  All the Ventura aircraft were officially withdrawn from service during 1959.

The aircraft seen on static display is an ex South African Airways (SAA) Ventura.  This aircraft was originally a Ventura PV-1 Mk V, serial 6498 that served with 17 Squadron as MS-R.  The aircraft was then converted into a transport aircraft before going to SAA as TS-306 where the aircraft was christened "Jane".  The aircraft eventually ended up at the SAA Training School and when there was no further use for it there, the aircraft was handed over to the SAAF Museum.  The Pretoria Branch of the Friends, restored this aircraft back to its original dark sea grey and sky colour scheme with Springbok roundels

Country of origin: United States of America
Manufactured as:Lockheed (VEGA) PV-1 Ventura
Served with: 17, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28, and 35 Squadrons
Role: Coastal patrol, light bomber and transport
Power Plant: Two Pratt & Whitney 18 cylinder radial Engines delivering 1 470 Kw (2 000 hp) each
Max take-off mass: 12 000 kg
Max speed: 495 km/h
Max range: 3 100 km
Armament:Five .50 in (12,7 mm) Browning machine guns 1800 kg of bombs or depth charges