Tiro Vorster’s early childhood fascination with drawing machines on soap wrappers took flight when he saw his first large aircraft at age sixteen. He joined the South African Air Force (SAAF) and became flight engineer on the Alouette III helicopter and the Shackleton maritime reconnaissance plane. He was decorated in nine combat tours in insurgency wars in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and Namibia. Self-taught, he sketched and painted the aircraft all around him. As assistant editor of the SAAF aviation safety magazine, Nyala, Tiro could use his artistic talents to illustrate. A commissioned work of South African/British Air Force ace Sailor Malan for the South African Embassy in London took him to England. ...more
An invitation to exhibit eight of his works at the United States “Centennial Celebration of Aviation Art” at the Dayton, Ohio Air Force Museum in 2003, was a career highlight. Tiro is drawn to classical and iconic civil and military aircraft – Junkers, Harvard, Mustang, Shackleton, Dakota, Lockheed Constellation, Lightning, Sabre, MIG and helicopters such as the SA designed Rooivalk attack helicopter and his latest, the Agusta Westland Super Lynx. With his extensive flying, mechanical and military experience, Tiro is meticulous with technical detail, historical accuracy, the aerial, mountain, land, sea and base settings for his aircraft, ambient and reflected light. His portfolio in pencil, gouache and oil include two other interests, ships and fast cars. His work has been featured in many aviation books and magazines. Tiro joined ASAA in 1992 and became a Fellow in 1994.