KLEINE BROGEL AIR MUSEUM - A pictorial visit


 

While surfing the Internet I visited the site of the Kleine Brogel Air Museum (http://kbam.be/) and noticed that it was open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays afternoon. However, it is always recommended to check the accessibility of Kleine Brogel airbase, because for safety reasons the base can sometimes be off limits for the general public.  

On the KBAM website you can also find a planner to calculate your itinerary.

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My route (from the Antwerp region) passed at the airfield of Leopoldsburg-Beverlo, just outside the town of Leopoldsburg on the Peerderbaan where you can discover F-84F Thunderstreak FU-177 as a gate guard.

Republic F-84F Thunderstreak FU-177

 

Alongside the Peerderbaan there are military installations of the Belgian Army and mainly shooting ranges while further on the road towards Peer, at the town of Hechtel, there is a monument in the form of a Sherman tank.

Sherman tank at Hechtel

 

 Just before reaching the Air Base you have to take a roundabout where a Lockheed F-104G Starfighter brings you in the right mood.

Lockheed F-104G Starfighter FX-94

A few minutes later you arrive at the home of the 10th Wing Tac.

Welkom te KB

 After leaving the car on the visitors' parking lot, you have to report your presence at the guards. In return of your identity-card you receive an ID-batch which you should wear clearly visible and at all times once inside the base.

After these formalities you are allowed to drive with your car towards the museum, by following the signposts. You can leave your vehicle at the parking lot opposite the infirmary; the museum is situated a little further on your right.

Near the Museum's entrance you can find the cars used for transport of the pilots of the 23rd "Devils" Squadron and the 31st "Tiger" Squadron from and to there aircraft.

23rd Car

31st Car 

I was very lucky to have a guide who showed me the entire museum and provided his comments with lively enthusiasm.

There are a lot of rooms dedicated to several aspects of daily life at Kleine Brogel airbase over the years, starting with  the creation of the airbase up to the present day activities.

Wing Commanders

The Wing Commanders

Base history

KB Airbase history

Spitfire guns

Supermarine Spitfire weaponry 

Vulcan

The Vulcan 20mm gun used by the F-104G Starfighter and the F-16

Target

The target towed by an F-16 and used for air to air gunnery training.

 flying suit

F-16 pilot's flying suit

Beside the many items dealing with history, equipment, weaponry and the aircraft used at Kleine Brogel, the museum has also a very complete documentations centre were all information on Kleine Brogel airbase is catalogued and digitalised.

Flight Simulator

 The last room contains an F-16 Fighting Falcon flight-simulator.

  

  I wish to thank my guide Paul KELLENS for the very amusing afternoon and also for the incredible amount of information he gave and this in such a lively way you felt as if you were piloting yourself.

The people behind the museum have done their best and greatly succeeded in building one of the finest air museums to visit for aviation enthusiasts.

It is beyond any doubt well worth a visit !!!

 

More information on the KBAM at: http://kbam.be/welkom.php

 

AND THE SHOW WENT ON THAT DAY ...

 

As I was driving home and stopped once more at the roundabout to admire the F104, I heard the beautiful sound of an F-16.

It did not took long before I realised it was this seasons demo-pilot Michel “Mitch” BEULEN from 349 Sqn, who was practicing his demo-flight.

 

 F-16AM "Mitch" demo

 

F-16AM "Mitch" demo 

 

 

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 © Jef Pets (April 2010)

 

Last updated 19/04/10 18:16   Daniel Brackx

daniel.brackx@telenet.be