|Two Fouga Magisters on the move.|
Early 2007, Johan Bringmans (restorer/owner of Lockheed F-104G Starfighters FX-69 & FX-70 - see Baha Special feature "Two Belgian Starfighters on the move") was asked by scrap dealer/collector Robert Huygens of Peutie to go trough his piles of Fouga Magister spare parts.
Besides two preserved Magisters, Robert also owned an impressive amount of parts for this type of aircraft which after closer examination not only came from Fouga's (old and new spare parts and even including parts of crashed machines) but also from Mirages, T-33's, SF260 Marchetti's and Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft. The junk was so much mixed up and covered with an inches think layer of dust that it took Johan the best part of two months to get everything photographed and sorted out.
Fouga Magister MT-09 at Peutie with scrapdealer Robert Huygens
Between March and May 2007 Johan negotiated with Robert Huygens to acquire the two Magister airframes and all parts related to the butterfly tailed aircraft. (he had to take all the rest as well in one go). In July 2007 an agreement was finalised and the same month Johan bought a sea-container to stockpile all Fouga parts. On October 23rd the first transport took place between Peutie and Tielt-Winge: two lorries moved Fouga MT-09 (complete) and 427 4-AW - Armée de l'Air (fuselage only). In December 2007 two more cargo's moved 5 wings, the container and a Starfighter starting trolley.
Transporting both MT-09 and 427/4-WA.
On 11 and 12 April 2008, after Johan's decision to move his restoring operations to Niederrhein (D.), 5 lorries transported all Fouga material from Tielt-Winge and St Niklaas to the former RAF base in Germany.
Closer inspection revealed that Johan has enough Fouga parts to rebuilt three Fouga's (at least if he can obtain a third fuselage), one of which complete up to fully equipped cockpit (including pilot chute, new safety belts) and even new tires.
Johan's intention is to restore MT-09 using parts of 4-WA (the same principle he applies to the FX-69 restoration - using parts of FX-70). As 4-WA is not at all in a bad shape it will not be completely cannibalised as it could become a very nice gate guardian.
MT-09 only had a brief spell with the "Red Devils" aerobatic team and this before the "Reds" adorned their aircraft with the beautiful "25 Years" crest. (the one on the fuselage now is dating from the days this aircraft was a mobile recruiting object). This would mean that the Fouga could only be restored as an austere "Devil" to compete with the many now retired Fouga's becoming available on the market still wearing their fully crested "Red Devils" marking. To overcome this Johan is considering to return MT-09 in the state it was as shown on the very popular early sixties postcard which exists of this aircraft i.e. a silver finish with day glow markings and clear rear canopy as operated from Brustem airbase.
In his youngster days Johan had this postcard pinned on his bedroom wall next to the superb drawing of Jean-Luc Beghin of none the less than FX-69... It almost sounds incredible that he is now the proud owner of both machines. (Dreams can become truth)
The original sixties postcard of Fouga Magister MT-9 - the start of a dream.
© Johan Bringmans & Daniel Brackx (May 2008)
Last updated 05/08/08 18:11 Daniel Brackx