Fairchild Swearingen Merlin IIIA

Twin engine communications and calibration/cartographical aircraft

To replace the Percival Pembroke the Belgian Air Force ordered six Swearingen Merlin IIIA turboprop aircraft in september 1975. One aircraft was equipped for the calibration of navigation aids on airfields and a second aircraft was equipped for vertical aerial photography mainly on behalf of National Geographical Institute. In 2003 the remaining 5 aircraft were sold to CAE Aviation in Luxembourg.

Serial

C/N

In

Out

History

CF-01

T259

Mar 1976

Aug 2001

N5374M, CF-01, storage at Weelde, LX-NOP

CF-02

T260

May 1976

Sep 2001

N5373M, CF-02, LX-RSO, N422GK, offered for sale by by Euro Est Services at Haguenau-Wissembourg

CF-03

T262

Jun 1976

Apr 1980

N5375M, N500BW, CF-03, Fatal crash at Lille-Lesquin (F.) on 16 Apr 1980

CF-04

T264

Jun 1976

Oct 2001

N5378M, CF-04, LX-LAP, N422AG (in France), F-GZJM

CF-05

T265

Oct 1976

Jun 2000

Jun 2000N5381M, CF-05, Stored at Melsbroek after suffering damaged while being towed on 16 Jun 2000, LX-NRJ

CF-06

T267

Oct 1976

Mar 2002

N5382M, CF-06, LX-PIX , PH-PIX

 

Percival P.66 Pembroke C.51

Twin engine transport and communications aircraft.

 

 

 In 1953 the Belgian Government ordered 12 Percival Pembroke's through Contract N° SP140 as a replacement for the ageing Avro Anson.The aircraft was used for short-range transport and liaison flights. Between 1956 and 1957 several brand-new Pembrokes were stored at Wevelgem awaiting a future detachment to the Belgian Congo, which eventually never materialised.
A number of Pembrokes were also used for the benefit of the Belgian National Geographical Institute that used the aerial photographs obtained with the Pembrokes to produce very detaild maps of the country. In 1978 the Pembrokes were struck of charge after their replacement, the Swearingen Merlin III became operational. All but two Pembrokes were sold to the rather dark company Air America (not to be confused with the CIA-supported Air America that was operational in South-East Asia), which was owned by a drugsdealer. After some very adventurous carreers in Souith America, several former Belgian Pembrokes were acquired and preserved in the USA.

Serial

C/N

In

Out

History

RM-1

P66/0014

Feb 1954

Jan 1975

RM-1/OT-ZAA (BAF 61), N51973 (Air America), Yankee Air Force, stored Caldwell Wright Apt (NJ USA).

RM-2

P66/0017

May 1954

Jul 1974

Jul 1974RM-2/OT-ZAB (BAF82), N51948 (Air America), N66PK, Puyallup/Thun Field, (WA USA)

RM-3

P66/0020

May 1954

Jan 1977

Jan 1977RM-3/OT-ZAC (BAF83), N51951 (Air America), Paul Kennedy-Newark (NJ USA)

RM-4

P66/0021

Jun 1954

 Aug 1976

RM-4/OT-ZAD (BAF84), Preserved at the Royal Army Museum, Brussels

RM-5

P66/0024

Jul 1954

Feb 1974

RM-5/OT-ZAE (BAF85), N51961 (Air America),Hubert Cotton, Atlanta, (GA USA), for sale...

RM-6

P66/0025

Aug 1954

Aug 1975

RM-6/OT-ZAF (BAF86), N51962 (Air America), stored at Fort Lauderdale (FL USA), ...

RM-7

P66/0027

Aug 1954

Mar 1976

RM-7, Preserved at Molenheide amusement park, Gate Guardian at Melsbroek airbase.

RM-8

P66/0028

Sep 1954

Feb 1975

Feb 1975RM-8/OT-ZAH (BAF88), N51963 (Air America), Ketch Wayne-Gainsville (NY, USA)

RM-9

P66/0029

Sep 1954

Mar 1976

RM-9/OT-ZAI (BAF89), N51964 (Air America), HR-ITA, N702JM, N510RP Anoka County - Blaine Airport, C-GBGT to be restored at Vancouver (Can.)

RM-10

P66/0031

Oct 1954

May 1976

RM-10/OT-ZAJ (BAF90), N51966 (Air America), Stored at Mojave (CA, USA)

RM-11

P66/0032

Oct 1954

Jun 1976

RM-11/OT-ZAK (BAF91), N51970 (Air America), last noted at El Mirage-Adelanto Field, (CA USA)

RM-12

P66/0033

Oct 1954

Jun 1975

RM-12/OT-ZAL (BAF92), N51972 (Air America), stored at Watsonville (CA, USA)

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