|Brussels Airport SV.4B V-33 landed back at the Royal Army Museum|
Between October 1995 and March 2008, millions of travellers could admire the orange painted Stampe & Vertongen SV.4B suspended from the ceiling in the departure hall of Brussels-Zaventem airport. Now this most famous produce of Belgian aviation industry is back at the Brussels Air Museum, awaiting another airport or museum to show the small biplane to the public.
V33 (c/n 1175) made its first flight in the hands of Jean Stampe on 18 April 1952. Ten days later, the SV.4B was delivered to the Elementary Flying School of the Belgian Air Force as part of a first order for 33 aircraft equipped with a Gipsy Major engine. This batch was followed by two orders for twelve aircraft each, fitted with a Cirrus engine. A final order for eight trainers was again equipped with the Gipsy Major.
The aircraft mainly flew from Goetsenhoven and Nivelles in the role of flying training, but also served as a glider tug at Beauvechain. On 18 August 1970, V33 was transported to Koksijde airbase, where it remained in storage until it was struck of charge on 25 May 1976 with a total of 3,771 flying hours. The little trainer in its striking orange Belgian Air Force colour scheme then became a travelling exhibit until it was donated to the Brussels Air Museum, where it arrived on 8 May 1980. The museum lend it out to the Brussels Airport authorities for display in the departure hall from 3 October 1995 onwards.
V33 at the Brussels Air Museum after its return on 11 March 2008 from the departure hall of Brussels-Zaventem airport.
Text and picture by
© Jos Schoofs (May 2008)
Last updated 27/05/08 17:54 Daniel Brackx