Morane Type H
Single engine, single seat observation and trainer aircraft
At the end of the large scale manoeuvres organised in early September 1913 in the Belgian “entre Sambre et Meuse” region, Count Joseph d’Hespel (fulfilling his military service) presented his Morane Type H during the review of troops at Temploux. D’Hespel himself did not participate at this large-scale combined exercise as he remained at Brasschaat with Commandant Mathieu. At that time the Morane was probably still privately owned: although not confirmed, this same aircraft almost certainly was one of those put on the disposal of the military or requisitioned at the start of the war. On 12 August 1914, the day N° 5 squadron (“monoplane squadron”) was created; Corporal d’Hespel flew a reconnaissance mission in his Morane Type H. On August 13th the aircraft was damaged and was to be repaired. Meanwhile d’Hespel was posted to Berchem St Agathe to supervise the creation of a new pilot school equipped with Farman MF 7 aircraft obtained from France to compensate for the losses of the Belgian Compagnie d’Aviateurs.
Sergeant Georges Mestach a volunteer incorporated in the Compagnie d’Aviateurs on 6 August 1914 then flew the Morane. Mestach gained some fame as an exhibition pilot in the United States and Canada in the summer of 1912 where he presented a Borel-Morane Monoplane (which still exists today at the Canadian Aviation Museum). After yet another accident the aircraft was repaired and used by N° 2 Squadron (order of battle list established on 15 September 1914). Finally this very active Morane Type H ended up at the Belgian flying school at Etampes (F.) in 1916. (Ph. Doppagne – D. Brackx)
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