Sud Aviation Alouette II
Single engine light helicopter
In 1959 a first batch of 17 Sud Est SE3130 Alouette II (later Sud Aviation SE313B) was bought to replace the Piper Super Cubs. These helicopters were equipped with an Artouste-engine. Included in this batch were 3 aircraft for use by the Force Publique/Openbare Macht in Congo. In October 1960 a second batch of 22 aircraft was ordered. The aircraft in these batches were registered A01-A39. In 1967 a third batch of 17 Alouettes (A40 - A56) equipped with the more powerful Astazou-engine (type SE3180, later SE318), followed by a fourth order for 25 aircraft on October 30th, 1967 (registered A57 - A81) was acquired. Of interest is to note that aircraft A47 to A77 were assembled by SABCA. After the introduction of the Agusta A109 Hirundo in Belgian Army service the role of the Alouette II changed now only used for heli-training and communications duties. At the same time all remaining Artouste-powered aircraft were withdrawn from use. After the closure of the School of Light Aviation at Brasschaat in 2006 only a few Alouettes remain in service at Bierset airbase for general communications purposes but they were finally retired on 9 September 2009. (Daniel Brackx)
Aerospatiale (S.A.) SA.3180 Alouette II (Police)
Single engine light helicopter
In 1968 a batch of 6 Sud Aviation SA3180 Alouette II (A90 - A95) helicopters was ordered for the Rijkswacht/Gendarmerie (now Federal Police). The aircraft were used by the national police but were flown and maintained by personnel of the Light Aviation of the Belgian Army. Almost at the end of their career the remaining police helicopters were re-registered to fit into 'G-xx'-serial system.
A-90 - G-90
OL-A90, A90,( OTG-CA), "Blue Bees" demonstration team, G-90, to "Katholieke Hogeschool Brugge/Oostende at Oostende for instruction purposes
OL-A91, 30 May 1968 crash at Glabais
A-92 - G-92
Type SA.3180S - OL-A92, A-92, G-92, (OTG-CB), to "Haute Ecole Provinciale de Charleroi" at Charleroi for instructional purposes
A-93 - G-93
OL-A93, (OTG-CC), "Blue Bees" demonstration team, G-93, on display at the Rijkswacht/Gendarmerie Museum at Etterbeek.
A-94 - G-94
OL-A94, A94, (OTG-CD), "Blue Bees" demonstration team, G-94, stored at Melsbroek
A-95 - G-95
OL-A95, A95, (OYG-CE), "Blue Bees" demonstration team, G-95, to Foto/Video Wim Robberechts, Diegem
Aerospatiale (S.A.) SA.316B Alouette III
Single engine transport helicopter
In 1971 three Sud Aviation SA316B Alouette III helicopters were acquired for the Belgian Navy for use as supply aircraft for ships at sea. They are primarily deployed on the supply ship A960 Godetia (in the past also on the now retired A961 Zinnia). The three helicopters (Marine Flight) reported to N° 40 Squadron of the Belgian Air Force but were maintained and flown by Navy personnel. Since 1980 the Alouette's can deploy on other ships as well and as such have operated from Dutch ships in the Caribbean. Since 2004 the three helicopters are completely integrated within N° 40 Squadron of the Belgian Air Component. (Daniel Brackx)
M-1, active N° 40 Squadron
M-2, active N° 40 Squadron
M-3, N° 40 Squadron, retired Aug 2020
Aérospatiale SA.330C/H/L Puma
Twin engined medium transport and fire-fighting helicopter
In order to cope with the shortcomings of the diminutive Alouette II the Rijkswacht/Gendarmerie decided to acquire the larger Puma helicopter. These large helicopters enabled to transport seriously injured people while first aid can be provided during the transfer form the place of an accident to the nearest hospital. All three helicopters were delivered as SA.330C types but later modified into SA.330H by replacing the Turmo IVB (1325 hp) engines by Turmo IVC (1580 hp). Later the replacement of metallic rotor blades by composite units effectively made these helicopters SA.330L models. The Puma could also be equipped with an Alkan-basket to be used for fire-fighting.
OL-G01, G-01, to Eurocopter (Marseille, F)
OL-G02, G-02, F-WYMZ (early 1994), Sold to NHV (Noordzee helicopters Vlaanderen) in 2002. To Sweden for spare parts.
OL-G03, G-03, 15 Dec 1993 crash at Lyon-Bron (F.), wreckage at Evere 1995
Airbus Helicopters (NHIndustries) NH90
Twin-engine medium sized multi-role helicopter
Following the April 2007 approval by the Belgian Government's confirmation, the NATO Helicopter Management Agency (NAHEMA) which manages the design, development, production and logistics of the NH90, signed on behalf of Belgium, a contract with NHIndustries to supply Belgium with a total of ten NH90 helicopters. These ten NH90 include four aircraft in the TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter) version, four in the NFH (NATO Frigate Helicopter) version - and two options. The ceremony took place on June 18 2007, at the Cercle Militaire Saint- Augustin in Paris in the margin of the Le Bourget trade Show. Belgium was the 14th country ordering the NH90 and the sixth to join NAHEMA, the international program organisation representing Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Portugal. On September 18th, 2012 the first NH90 (TTH version) destined for Belgium made its initial flight and was delivered to its home base Beauvechain on October 2nd, 2013. In January 2014 the NH Industries company name was officially changed into Airbus Helicopters. In Belgian military service the factory designation TTH is not used but rather NH90 MTH (Multi-purpose Transport Helicopter).
RN-01, first flight Donauwörth(D.) 13 Apr 2013 as 98+51 used for training at Marignane (F.), 31 Jul 2014 arrived at Koksijde
active98+52, RN-02, delivered to Koksijde airbase on 09 May 2014
98+53, testing, delivered on 02 Dec 2014
RN-04, retrofitted to the latest standards at Donauwörth, in service
RN-05, first flight Marignane (F.) 18 Sep 2012 as F-ZWBE. Handed over to the Belgian Defence on 21 Dec 2012.
F-ZWCD, RN-06, delivered at Beauvechain airbase on 24 Jan 2014
F-ZWCM, RN-07, delivered to Beauvechain airbase on 13 June 2014
RN-08, handed over to Belgian MoD at Marignane (F.) on 14 Nov 2014.
Bristol 171 Sycamore HR.14B
Single engined rescue helicopter
When in the early 1950s the vast training base at Kamina (Belgian Congo) became operational the need arose for a rescue helicopter that could offer assistance at remote and distant areas. After some unsuccessful test with the Sikorsky S.51 which revealed to be too short legged, the Belgian Government decided to purchase three Bristol Sycamore helicopters which were the “nec plus ultra” of their time. After being fine tuned in the UK and in Belgium the three machines were airlifted by C-119 Flying Boxcar to Congo. The helicopters were successfully operated in the rescue- and medevac roles as well as for humanitarian missions from their base at Kamina. With the withdrawal of the Belgian forces out of Congo in 1960 the last surviving Sycamore was made unserviceable.
G-AMWP (ntu), B-1/OT-ZKA, Crashed at Lumwe (Bel. Congo) 31 Mar 1960
G-AMWR (ntu), B-2/OT-ZKB, destroyed at the arrival of UN troops at Kamina
G-AMWS (ntu), B-3/OT-ZKC, Crashed at Busangu (Bel. Congo) 27 Jul 1960