27th Antwerp Stampe Fly In 2018
Over the years Low Approach has reported several times on the larger aviation events in Europe, but for 2018 we decided to also have a closer look at a number of smaller events in Belgium. The first in this series is the Antwerp Stampe Fly In that had its 27th edition in May of this year.
This fly in is organized by the Stampe & Vertongen Museum that can be visited all year round at Antwerp Airport. As the fly in is focusing on getting as many Stampe & Vertongen aircraft gathered it's off course no surprise that there were many on site. Some from the own collection, but also several visiting aircraft could be seen.
The Belgian Air Force was one of the first users of the SV4 trainer, before and after the Second World War, and many of these aircraft have ended up with private owners over the years. In the first set of pictures we see six former BAF aircraft, who all still wear their 'old' Air Force identity: V5, V18, V21, V30, V42 and V49.
The SV4 was also build in France for use in the French armed forces as the SV4C and also from this source several aircraft were present. Over the years a number of SV4 received more modern engines, like the French-registered (but Belgian owned) SV4L F-PCOR that was in the static display. The future of the SV4 seems to be guaranteed as a 'new' SV4 appeared in the skies in recent years. The Belgian company Ultralight Concept is offering a modern ultra-light replica in the shape of the Stampe SV4RS. This aircraft is currently certified for use in Belgium, Germany and France. One of the prototypes, D-MQUC, was present at Antwerp wearing a Belgian Air Force color scheme.
The Stampe Fly In is also becoming 'the place to be' when you want to see the fast growing Belgian Warbird community. What started with one visiting Spitfire in the early years of the Fly In, this has become an event on its own. The last few years several Belgians became interested in owning one of these aircraft themselves and recently the Belgian Civil Aviation Authorities have finally amended the regulations which makes the ownership of this types of aircraft slightly easier, so since the beginning of 2018 these aircraft started appearing on the Belgian OO-register. Star attraction of this years' event was the Vickers-Supermarine Spitfire LF.XVI, SL721, that arrived from Canada a few months ago and made one of its first public outings wearing the appropriate registration OO-XVI.
The second warbird is not a new newcomer for Belgium. North American TF51D Mustang 44-72922/Scat VII is a well-known visitor of events in Belgium and abroad, only novelty that also this aircraft exchanged its Dutch registration for a Belgian one, OO-RYL. This trend is continued for an even rarer beast, the Hawker Fury FB.10. This aircraft already arrived in Belgium several years ago, but was plagued with engine problems ever since. Reports indicate that these are solved now and that the owners are waiting for the final approval for the first flight. This aircraft, OO-ISS, will be a very nice addition to the European warbird scene in its exotic Iraqi Air Force color scheme.
Another newcomer for 2018 is this Pilatus P2-05 trainer. This aircraft arrived in Belgium in 2017 and also had some engine problems, but in 2018 has become a welcome guest at our aviation events. This aircraft was designed in 1942 and first flew in 1945. During its design many parts of older Swiss Air Force aircraft were used, like the landing gear of the Messerschmitt Bf109. It was used by the Swiss Air Force until 1981 in the training role.
Other warbirds present at Antwerp were a couple of North American T28B Trojans and the locally based North American T6G Texan. The Texan was still wearing a Belgian Air Force color scheme to resemble 'H-210'. The real H-210 was flown by Lt. Baudouin Carpentier de Changy, when he was shot down over the Congo on July 17th, 1960 while trying to attempt to rescue a number of Belgians. De Changy managed to make an emergency landing, but was murdered by the rebels and his body thrown in the river.... his body was never recovered.
Apart from the Stampe SV4s the museum also owns a number of World War One replicas. In recent years some of these have been brought back to airworthiness and are occasionally flown. Also these aircraft received a Belgian registration earlier this year, and were cancelled from the US register. In the following series we see an Albatross D.Va and a Fokker D.VIII. The Fokker is wearing a Belgian color scheme to resemble aircraft that were 'donated' to the Belgian Air Force by the Germans after the First World War as part of the damage repayment.
The Stampe museum owns also two Fouga CM170R Magister jet trainers. One of them is the only airworthy example in Belgium, MT-5, that arrived back in the country a few years ago. Both aircraft still wear the color scheme of the Belgian Air Force Red Devils Aerobatic Team. The times of the Fouga already lie several years behind us, but the Red Devils are still going strong, now equipped with the Siai-Marchetti SF260M primary trainer. MT5 regularly performs with the 'new' Red Devils, which results in a nice mixed formation, unfortunately the clouds didn't really cooperate when the formation fly bys were made over Antwerp.
Due to the proximity of the Antwerp town center, the displays at the Fly In are limited to some (formation) fly bys of the various aircraft. Of note is that this year the Red Devils, and the other Belgian Air Force display aircraft, wear a special badge to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War One.
Over the weekend many other visiting aircraft can be seen at Antwerp and here is a small impression of what you can expect. During Laurent’s visit on Saturday he saw amongst others a couple of Beech Staggerwings, a De Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth, several Piper Super Cubs. More modern aircraft were a Maule MX7 Sportplane, Christen-Pitts S2B, Champion 7ECA Citabria, Jodel D140 Mousquetaire and Jodel DR400-140B. Another nice part of the Stampe Fly In is that you can follow up close the daily movements at the airport, like this Cessna Ce510 Citation Mustang, the TUI Embraer ERJ190STD and VLM Fokker 50.
The Stampe Fly In is an annual event and a really nice kick-off of the Belgian airshow season. Getting there is easy, simply follow the sign towards the airport and the various airport parkings are available for the visitors. The more serious spotters can get tours on the Fly In platform under the guidance of the Aviation Society of Antwerp members, which enables you to photograph the aircraft under every angle you want. This year the event was organized under ideal, but very warm, weather conditions, but as at every Belgian event you can try to beat the heat with a nice Belgian beer and the enjoyment of a pack of Belgian Frites !
Text & Photography : Laurent Heyligen