McDonnell Douglas MD900/902 Explorer

 

Twin engine eight seat police helicopter

 

 

 After the withdrawal of its Aerospatiale SA330 Puma helicopters, the Air Support Unit of the Rijkswacht/Gendarmerie (now Federale Politie/Police Federale) had a requirement for a twin-engined medium sized helicopter (twin-engined as the aircraft should also be able to operate safely over urban areas). The aircraft had to be equipped with special observation equipment and cleared for night operations.
The aircraft selected was the McDonnell Douglas MD900 Explorer equipped with a NOTAR or 'NO TAil Rotor' system. The NOTAR replaces the classic rear propellor by an aerodynamic system in which air pressure is guided through the tail-boom to a nozzle which can guide the helicopter in the desired direction. One of the added bonuses of the system is that the NOTAR equipped machines are very silent. In 1997 two Explorers joined the then Rijkswacht/Gendarmerie followrd by two more machine in 2001 en 2010. Since 2013 all aircraft have gradually been upgraded to MD902 standards (engine and electronics).

Serial

C/N

In

Out

History

G-10

900/0034

Jan 1997

Active

N91960, G-10/OT-GIA, "Marking 7.000 hrs", upgraded to MD902 standards 2011/13.

G-11

900/0045

Aug 1997

Active

N92047, G-11/OT-GIB, upgraded to MD902 standards 2012/14.

G-12

900/0038

Jul 2001

Active

N91997 (First Security Bank, Wells Fargo Bank), G-12/OT-GIC, upgraded to MD902 standards 2014/15.

G-16

9020/0132

Oct 2010

Active

N40216, OY-HMS, G-16, overall black.

G-17

900/0137

Jan 2018

Active

N40789 (MD Helicopters), OO-NHI (Noordzee Helicopters), G-17 25 Years Air Support Unit', upgraded to common MD902 standards 2018/20.

 

MD Helicopters MD520N

Single engine 4-seat light observation helicopter

In 1999 the Air Support Unit of the Rijkswacht/Gendarmerie (now Federale Police) acquired two MD Helicopters MD520N NOTAR (NO TAil Rotor) light helicopters as a replacement for the ageing, 1968 vintage, Sud Aviation Alouette II.

Serial

C/N

In

Out

History

G-14

LN086

Dec 1999

Active

N30645, G-14/OT-GID, Active Federal Police, Melsbroek

G-15

LN087

Jan 2000

Active

N31967, G-15/OT-GIR, Active Federal Police, Melsbroek

 

Sikorsky H-19/S-55

Single engine light transport helicopter

 

 

  In 1959 the Belgian Government acquired two Sikorsky H-19 helicopters in the framework of the Mutual Defence Air Programme (M.D.A.P.) which were to be operated by the Openbare Macht/Force Publique in Belgian Congo. One aircraft which was damaged at the tail was left at Kitona military airbase when the colony became independent in July 1960 while the other was taken over by the Katanga Government. In April 1960 two more Sikorsky's were transferred from Sabena but one aircraft crashed after only a few days of operations while the other was taken over by the new Congolese administration at the independence.

Serial

C/N

In

Out

History

S-41

55-1272

Sep 1959

Aug 1960

S-41, abandoned at Moanda, Kitona, (Belgian Congo) after being damaged at Inga on Apr 4th, 1960, spare parts used by the UN, scrapped.

S-42

55-1276

Sep 1959

Aug 1960

S-42, KAT-42 (Katanga), seized at Elisabethville, fuselage still present in 1964.

(OO-CWF)

55-839

Apr 1960

Apr 1960

OO-CWF (Sabena), S-40(?), crashed April 1960, wreck used as spare parts resource

(OO-CWG)

55-840

Apr 1960

Aug 1960

OO-CWG (Sabena), S-.. (?), Openbare Macht/Force Publique, , WH-01, WT-01 (FAC)

 

Sikorsky (Sud Aviation) HSS-1 Seabat  & S-58C

Sikorsky (Sud Aviation) HSS-1 Seabat

 

Rescue- and transport helicopter

 

  Between 1961 and 1962, five Sikorsky HSS-1 (S-58) helicopters build under license by Sud Aviation in France were acquired by the Belgian Air Force in order to create a Search and Rescue unit (previously equipped with fast rescue ships operating out of Lombardsijde/Nieuwpoort). Two aircraft were temporarily assigned to the Belgian Navy to be used as aerial minesweepers (B-7 and B-8). At the end of their career and after delivery of the Seaking helicopters a number of HSS-1's remained in service as training helicopter.

Serial

B-4

C/N

SA145

In

May 1961

Out

Dec 1984

History

B-4/OT-ZKD, storage Koksijde

B-5

SA146

May 1961

Aug 1985

B-5/OT-ZKE, Accident during autorotation at Koksijde on 29 Aug 1985

B-6

SA181

Feb 1962

May 1979

B-6/OT-ZKF, on display at the Royal Army Museum, Brussels

B-7

SA184

Feb 1962

Feb 1978

B-7/OT-ZKG, used by the Belgian Navy as minesweeper with anchor incorporated in Belgian roundel. Crashed at St. Idesbald on 07 Jan 1976 due to engine problems

B-8

SA185

Jan 1962

Jul 1986

B-8/OT-ZKH, used by the Belgian Navy as minesweeper with anchor incorporated in Belgian roundel. Special paint schemes "25 Years SAR", "The Last One/40 Squadron", gate guardian at Koksijde airbase.

Sikorsky S-58C

 

Transport helicopter

 

In 1963 five Sikorsky S-58 helicopters were taken over from the Belgian national carrier Sabena to serve as logistical transport helicopters (Short Range Transport or SRT) for the Nike surface-to-air missile batteries based in Germany. In the Belgian Air Force these aircraft were designated S-58C and two of these former passenger helicopters were equipped with a VIP interiors. All of the S-58C's were withdrawn from use with the arrival of the Westland Seakings in 1976.

Serial

C/N

In

Out

History

B-9

58-324

Oct 1963

Dec 1984

OO-SHG, (KAT-43) Belgian Congo, B-9/OT-ZKI,
Written off in accident at Koksijde on 21 Sep 1964

B-10

58-333

Aug 1963

May 1976

OO-SHH (Sabena), B-10/OT-ZKJ, D-HAUE spare parts source for D-HAUG (ex B-15)

B-11

58-356

Sep 1963

Jun 1976

OO-SHI, B-11/OT-ZKK, D-HAUF, Auto und Technik Museum, Sinsheim (D.)

B-12

58-388

Nov 1963

Jul 1976

OO-SHL (Sabena), B-12/OT-ZKL, D-HAID, Air Classic, Frankfurt (D.)

B-13

58-395

Oct 1963

Oct 1971

OO-SHM, (KAT44) Belgian Congo, B-13/OT-ZKM. Written off in accident at Merzbrück on 15 Oct 1971.

B-14

58-350

Jun 1969

Jun 1976

N878, OO-SHQ, B-14/OT-ZKN, (VIP configuration), D-HAUC, spare parts resource , preserved as "80+25" at Laupheim (D.)

B-15

58-836

Jan 1969

Nov 1975

OO-SHP (Sabena), B-15/OT-ZKP, VIP configuration, D-HAUG, "PJ+366" Heer for film, still active

 

Westland Seaking Mk.48

Twin engine rescue helicopter

 

 

 To replace the successful Sikorsky HSS1/S58 in the Air-Sea Rescue role, the Belgian government ordered five Westland Seaking Mk.48 helicopters in April 1975. In a first stage, all aircraft were used for training Belgian aircrews at RNAS Culdrose before being delivered to Koksijde in November 1976. All aircraft have since undergone several updates including replacement of the radar by a vastly more capable version and the installation of a FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red) camera. The most remarkable intervention of the Seakings took place after the disaster with the "Herald of Free Enterprise" off the coast at Zeebrugge on March 6th, 1987. Three Seakings of N° 40 Squadron were able to rescue 30 passengers from a certain death. After more than 30 years of service the Seaking is to be replaced by the NH Industries NH90 helicopter in the years to come

Serial

C/N

In

Out

History

RS-01

WA831

Nov 1976

Dec 2008

G-BDNH (Westland), G-17-1, RS-01, Flown into retirement at the Royal Army museum, Brussels on 17 Dec 2008

RS-02

WA832

Nov 1976

Jan 2019

G-BDNI (Westland), G-17-2, RS-02. Last flight 13 Jan 2019, sold to Historic Helicopters, Chard, UK to be maintained in flying conditions.

RS-03

WA833

Nov 1976

Aug 2013

G-BDNJ (Westland), G-17-3, RS-03. Last flight 29 Aug 2013, earmarked to become monument on roundabout at Koksijde.

RS-04

WA834

Nov 1976

Feb 2019

G-BDNK (Westland), G-17-4, RS-04. Last flight 15 Feb 2019,sold to Historic Helicopters, Chard, UK to be maintained in flying conditions.

RS-05

WA835

Nov 1976

Mar 2019

G-BDNL (Westland), G-17-5, RS-05, Special c/s 25 Years Seaking. Official last flight 21 Mar 2019, last flight to VLOC Oostende: 26 Mar 2019

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