JERO Ecole 80 HP
Chief Instructor-Pilot René Vertongen and Georges Debroux ready for a flight in a JERO Ecole 80 HP at Calais in 1915.
Single-engine two / four-seat trainer aircraft.
As of August 1914, four 80 hp Gnome engine powered JERO “Ecole” aircraft, (two of which equipped with four-seats) property of the civil pilot school of Sint-Job were transferred to the Compagnie d’Aviateurs at Brasschaat. Because the advancing German troops approach Brasschaat, the pilot school was moved to Wilrijk airfield between 5 and 6 August and as soon as August 15th a number of these aircraft were used to train volunteer student pilots. The two JERO Ecole four-seaters moved to Calais (F.), after having been used to evacuate key members of the personnel of the Bollekens (JERO) Company to France. These aircraft continued to be used to training new pilots under the guidance of instructor pilot René Vertongen.
Over the years these JERO aircraft went through several modifications most particularly to the fuselage section, resulting in the fact that they often were misidentified as Farman HF 20’s, although they were substantial larger. One of the four-seat aircraft is said to have been equipped with Mercedes engine taken from a German aircraft that was shot down in the Belgian lines. The same source also mentions that this aircraft was destroyed in a hangar fire in 1916. (Ph. Doppagne – D. Brackx)
The four JERO Ecole 80hp trainers of the Civil Pilot School of Sint-Job-in-'t-Goor in their original form lined up at the school's home base in 1911.
Lieutenant Eugène Moulin, Sergeant Fernand Lescart and Corporal Roger Castiau pose with their JERO Ecole 80 HP after a field landing.
Chief Instructor-Pilot René Vertongen and Georges Debroux in the cockpit of a JERO Ecole 80 HP.