De Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth
Single engine two-seat elementary trainer
Immediately after World War II the Belgian Government acquired 31 De Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth elementary trainers from RAF stocks. Several of these aircraft (later to become T-1 till T-17) already were used by the Belgian Training School (RAF) at Snailwell in the U.K.. When the Elementary Training School (EVS/EPE) was created at Schaffen/Diest and equipped with these Tiger Moths the school was one of the first post war units of the then called Belgisch Militaire Vliegwezen/Aviation Militaire Belge (becoming Belgian Air Force on 15 January 1949). When, in July 1950 the Elementary Training School moved to Goetsenhoven, the Tiger Moth was already being gradually replaced by the Stampe SV.4B. Some aircraft remained operational at the Officers School at Nivelles while some continued as glider tugs for what was to become the Belgian Air Cadets, but by 1956/57 all remaining Tigers were sold on the civilian market.
De Havilland Canada DHC.1A Chipmunk T.10
Single engine two-seat trainer aircraft
In March 1948, two De Havilland Canada DHC.1 Chipmunk trainers were acquired by the Belgian Air Force for evaluation purposes in view of the replacement of the Tiger Moth in the elementary training role. The competition being won by the Stampe SV-4b, no further orders followed and the aircraft soldiered on at Goetsenhoven and Brasschaat until 1955 when they were sold on the civil market.
C-1, OO-PHS, crash at Seppe (Nl.) on 19 Sep 1970
C-2, OO-MER, crash Jan 1965
Siai Marchetti SF260M/D
Single-engine twin-seat trainer
To find a replacement for the Stampe-Vertongen SV4B which offered unsurpassed flying characteristics a study was launched in 1968. When the Siai-Marchetti SF.260 was found to be the ideal replacement trainer declared the winner a first order for 36 SF260M's was placed on January 24th, 1969 which were delivered between late 1969 and 1971. Initially the aircraft were taken on charge by the Elementaire Vliegschool (EVS)/Ecole de Pilotage Elementaire (Elementary Flying School) at Goetsenhoven. In October 1991 the Belgian government ordered nine additional SF260D's as attrition replacement. On September 12th, 1996 all flying training units of the Belgian Air Force were consolidated at Beauvechain airbase as the 1st Training Wing Training, thus ending 75 years of flying activities at Goetsenhoven. In 1999 the Belgian Air Force started a study to replace the somewhat absurd 'Vietnam'-camouflage with day-glow high-visibility markings and after some tests a bright yellow color scheme was introduced. Also since 1999 all SF260Ms were fitted with a new set of wings during the routine maintenance programme and later an avionics improvement was introduced. In 2008 a new wider cockpit canopy was first tested out on ST-34 and will be introduced progressively on all remaining aircraft.
The famous 'Swallows' demonstration team made this aircraft (which from some angles resembles a WWII fighter) very popular with the public. The team was formed in 1973 and continued to thrill many spectators at air shows all over Europe until it was disbanded in early 1984. In 1995 a new 'Swallows' team was formed at Goetsenhoven, making their debut on June 28th. Unfortunately on December 5th, 1997 their made their last performance. Since then a new team "Hardship Red" was formed by N° 5 Squadron CO "Jief" Ballon presenting 4 Marchetti’s in a very tight formation display. As of the 2011 season Hardship Red became the "Red Devils" with their aircraft painted likewise. (Daniel Brackx)