F-16 as gate guard and industrial memorial at Techspace Aero, Milmort, Liège, Belgium
Lockheed Martin F-16A FA-46 of the Belgian Air Component arrived on 9 March 2007 at the industrial estate of Milmort, Liège, where it was put on display as a gate guard near the main entrance of the site of engine manufacturer Techspace Aero.
FA-46 (c/n 6H-46, USAF s/n 78-0161) entered service with the Belgian Air Force a quarter of a century ago on 30 March 1982 and served with respectively the 10th Tactical Wing at Kleine-Brogel, the 1st Fighter Wing at Beauvechain and 2nd Tactical Wing at Florennes. When the number of combat aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory was reduced after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the aircraft was put in storage at Weelde reserve airbase a first time on 29 March 1995. It entered active service again in the summer of 1997 as a replacement of F-16A FA-80, which crashed on 29 April 1997. FA-46 was definitively withdrawn from use and stored at Weelde on 20 April 2004. The aircraft was transferred to the Land Component’s Centre de Compétence du Matériel Roulant et Armement / Competentiecentrum van het Rijdend Materiaal en de Bewapening, also known as the Arsenal of Rocourt, Liège, on 17 February 2005 as part of a batch of 31 aircraft that were dismantled for further valorisation as spare parts. Its hull was repainted at the Arsenal of Rocourt and transported to the nearby industrial estate of Milmort, where it was reassembled by March 22nd to serve as a gate guard and industrial memorial. Markings were applied during the first week of April by personnel of the 2nd Tactical Wing of Florennes.
To date, engine manufacturer Techspace Aero assembled nearly 600 Pratt & Whitney F100 engines and performed maintenance on over 5,000 engine modules for 14 air forces. On the civilian market, it is actively involved in the Airbus A320, A330, A340 and A380, the Boeing 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787 as well as the Embraer 190.
Techspace Aero is part of the SAFRAN Group and realised a trade volume of 358 million € in 2006 with a workforce of 1350.
Jos Schoofs (April 2007)
Last updated 24/12/11 15:16 Daniel Brackx