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.
N5374M, CF-01, storage at Weelde, LX-NOP
N5373M, CF-02, LX-RSO, N422GK, offered for sale by by Euro Est Services at Haguenau-Wissembourg
N5375M, N500BW, CF-03, Fatal crash at Lille-Lesquin (F.) on 16 Apr 1980
N5378M, CF-04, LX-LAP, N422AG (in France), F-GZJM
Jun 2000N5381M, CF-05, Stored at Melsbroek after suffering damaged while being towed on 16 Jun 2000, LX-NRJ
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.
RM-1/OT-ZAA (BAF 61), N51973 (Air America), Yankee Air Force, stored Caldwell Wright Apt (NJ USA).
Jul 1974RM-2/OT-ZAB (BAF82), N51948 (Air America), N66PK, Puyallup/Thun Field, (WA USA)
Jan 1977RM-3/OT-ZAC (BAF83), N51951 (Air America), Paul Kennedy-Newark (NJ USA)
RM-4/OT-ZAD (BAF84), Preserved at the Royal Army Museum, Brussels
RM-5/OT-ZAE (BAF85), N51961 (Air America),Hubert Cotton, Atlanta, (GA USA), for sale...
RM-6/OT-ZAF (BAF86), N51962 (Air America), stored at Fort Lauderdale (FL USA), ...
RM-7, Preserved at Molenheide amusement park, Gate Guardian at Melsbroek airbase.
Feb 1975RM-8/OT-ZAH (BAF88), N51963 (Air America), Ketch Wayne-Gainsville (NY, USA)
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/OT-ZAJ (BAF90), N51966 (Air America), Stored at Mojave (CA, USA)
RM-11/OT-ZAK (BAF91), N51970 (Air America), last noted at El Mirage-Adelanto Field, (CA USA)
RM-12/OT-ZAL (BAF92), N51972 (Air America), stored at Watsonville (CA, USA)