The Belgian Air Force Display Teams 2010

 On May 12th 2010, the Belgian Air Force has officially presented its three display teams which are to perform at several venues all over Europe during the 2010 Airshow season. The main aim of these teams is not only to "show the (Belgian) flag", which is important in a year when Belgium takes on presidency of the Council of the European Union, but also to attract new recruits for the Belgian Defence and in particular the Air Component. 

As traditional since many years, the display teams' many performances all over Europe will include a main highlight were all three teams will perform at the same show. This year this Belgian Air Force's main event will be organised at Beauvechain airbase during the weekend of 4 and 5 July 2010. More information can be found at the dedicated Beauvechain Airshow website   




Harship Red 2010

"Hardship Red" is a display team composed of four Siai SF.260M Marchetti initial trainer aircraft of the Belgian Air Component's 1st Wing based at Beauvechain. The display formation was the brainchild of n° 5 Squadron's Commanding Officer Maj. (now Lt. Col) "Jief" Ballon in 2008. The name "Hardship red" refers to the callsign (hardship) used by the pilots flying the Marchetti and to the main colour (red) of the badge of n° 5 Squadron which is responsible for the flying training of the student pilots at Beauvechain's 1srt Wing.

In contrary with many international display teams in neighbouring countries, Belgian teams are crewed by regular pilots and ground crew members of the Air Component which accepted this important "ambassador" task as a complement to their day-to day operational activities.  

For the 2010 display season, Hardship Red is composed of:

Cdt DELFOSSE Nicolas

Born in April 1979 Cdt Delfosse is an instructor-pilot (IP) with n° 5 Squadron (SF260M) since 2008. He totalized 2350 flying hours, 1350 of which on the F-16, 300 on Alpha Jet and 650 hours on the SF260M.

Lt GILSON Olivier

Lt. Gilson is an instructor-pilot (IP) at n° 5 Squadron (SF260M) since 2008 and totalized 2600 flying hours, 1400 of which on Agusta A109BA, 600 on Alouette II and 600 hours on the SF260M.

Cdt CLOETENS Kristof

Cdt Cloetens is born in November 1979 and is an instructor-pilot (IP) with n° 5 Squadron (SF260M) since 2008. He totalized 2349 flying hours 1349 of which on the F-16, 250 on Alpha Jet and 550 hours on the SF260M.


Born in July 1972 Cdt Collard is an instructor-pilot (IP) with n° 5 Squadron (SF260M) since 2007. He totalized 2600 flying hours 1290 of which on the C-130H Hercules, 250 on Alpha Jet and 1060 hours on the SF260M.


Hardship Red 2010

"Harship Red" 2010: From L. to R.: Cdt. A. Collard, Cdt. K. Cloetens, Cdt. N. Delfosse and Lt. O. Gilson.


 Agusta A109BA Display Team  

Agusta A190BA Demo 2010

 The Agusta A109AB Hirundo demonstration has been for many years a crowd pleaser performing stunning manoeuvres in constant and close view of the public. 

The 2010 A109BA display team is composed of:

1st Lt Igor CRAEGHS Igor

Born in April 1973 1st Lt. Craeghs is a Flight leader and full mission ready A109BA pilot since 2003. He totalises 2000 flying hours 1500 of which on the A109BA Helicopter.


Born in November 1981 1st Lt. Andries is a Flight leader and full mission ready A109BA pilot since 2004. He totalises 1600 flying hours 1000 of which on the A109BA Helicopter.

A109BA Demo Team 2010

The A109AB Display Team 2010: Left: 1st Lt Craeghs, right 1St Lt. Andries


 F-16 Solo Display 2010

F16 Solo Display 2010

As last year, Cdt. "Mitch" Beulen is the official F-16 display pilot for the 2010 season and his "new M5" mount has received a brand new and much more colourful paint scheme (See also BAHA feature: Belgian Air Component F-16AM Demo 2010 and "Mitch" in flight with "The Vortex"


Michel "Mitch" BEULEN of Kleine Brogel based N° 349 (F) Squadron was born on June 16th, 1975 at Oostende. He acquired his first flying experience with the Belgian Air Cadets (BAC) in 1992. In October 1996 he included the promotion pilots (Prom Pil) 96B. From January 1997, Mitch received basic flight training in the 5th Squadron at Beauvechain on SF260 Marchetti, the advanced flight training on Alpha-Jet in the 7th Squadron and the initial operational training in the 11th Squadron. On 16 December 1998, he received his pilot wings.

In September 1999, Mitch moves to Kleine Brogel for his operational conversion on the F-16 in the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU). Initial on F-16 OCU (block 15) and then F-16 MLU (Middle Life Update). In September 2000, he joined 349 Squadron. Mitch traversed the entire training cycle from Combat Ready to Force Leader in his Squadron. He took part in various specialized courses such as the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) in Florennes and the Operational Test & Evaluation Course (OT&E) in the National Test Pilot School (NTPS) in California (USA), and exercises such as: ACMI - NOMAD - Maple Flag - Red Flag - Green Flag - NATO Air Meet (NAM) in Konya (Turkey) - Bold Avenger as Director of Operations (DOO) in Örland (Norway) and Air Defense Meet in Landivisiau (France). He participated in the F-16 M4 test program (Early Operational Assessment and Operational Test & Evaluation). Mitch took part in Operation Joint Falcon in Amendola (Italy).

Mitch totalizes more than 2000 flight hours of which 1700 on F-16.

Mitch Beulen

F-16AM Solo Display Pilot 2010 Cdt. "Mitch" Beulen


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 © Daniel Brackx (May 2010)


Last updated 13/05/10 11:55   Daniel Brackx