Dassault Mirage 5BD
Single-engine two-seat trainer-attack aircraft
In order to replace the Republic F-84F Thunderstreak and the RF-84F Thunderflash, the Belgian Government decided on 16 February 1968 to acquire 88 Mirages (54BA, 22BR and 12 BD) with an option for 18 more aircraft the sub-type of which was to be decided later. On 25 August 1968, after a lot of political discussions and a failed possible cooperation with The Netherlands a final order was placed with Dassault for 106 aircraft (63 BA, 16BD end 27 BR). The Mirage 5BA was optimized for ground attacks and was in fact a version of the Mirage IIIE as used by the French Armée de l'Air but equipped with less sophisticated avionics. After an extended series of studies, the Mirage was preferred over the a.o. the Northrop F-5A, LTV A-7A Corsair, Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, A6A Intruder, new versions of the Starfighter F-104H and F-104S and the Swedish Draken. The twin-seat Mirage 5BD was essentialy developed as a two seat trainer version of the Mirage but appart from a reduced fuel capacity this subtype maintained its attack capability. After being withdrawn from use with the Belgian Air Force five Mirage 5BD's were converted into M5MD "Elkans" by Sabca and sold to the Chilean Air Force.
Gloster Meteor T.7
Twin engine two-seat jet trainer
The Gloster Meteor T.7 was a two-seat trainer version of the famous Gloster Meteor fighter. Because the transition from the single-engine propeller powered Spitfire or Harvard to the twin-engine jetfighter was considered a too big a step for the inexperienced student pilots, the need arose to obtain a two-seater trainer. In the fifties the Belgian Air Force took on charge large amounts of British and American build jets and specifically for the transition training the Meteor T.7 and the Lockheed T-33A trainers were acquired respectively. A first batch of 3 new-build aircraft (ED1 - ED3) was delivered together with the first Meteor F.4s for the Belgian Air Force. With the introduction of the more advanced Meteor F.8 fighter two batches of respectively 4 (ED4 - ED7 in July 1951) and 5 (ED8 - ED12 in early 1953) former RAF (but unused) aircraft were delivered to boost the training assets. The arrival of the Meteor F.8 also meant that the Meteor F.4 had become obsolete. Twenty of them were converted by Avions Fairey to Meteor T.7-standards (ED13 - ED32) from 1952 onwards. Starting in September 1953 an additional 10 ex-RAF aircraft were supplied (ED33 - ED43). The majority of the Meteor T.7s were scrapped after their service life.
Newly build and former (non-used) RAF aircraft.
Former Belgian Air Force Meteor F.4 aircraft converted to T.7 standards
Former RAF aircraft
Gloster Meteor T.7A Mulet Modifications
In order to improve longitudinal stability, the Belgian company Fairey modified a number of Meteor T.7 trainers to a standard unique to Belgium, the T.7A or T.7½ Mulet. This was obtained by fitting a Meteor F.8 tail-assembly to the forward fuselage of the T.7. Information exists on 6 conversions but this is not confirmed. Several of these Mulets were sold to the Israeli Air Force in the late fifties, and some can still be seen displayed at the Israel Air Force Museum at Hatzerim.