1.000.000 flight hours of Alpha Jet
Text and Pictures : Serge Van Heertum - S.B.A.P.©
In flight pictures : Eddy "Bink" Kellens - comopsair ©
The decision of Belgium to buy 33 Alpha Jet was ratified in September 1973 and the first aircraft were delivered from 1979 on.
With the Alpha Jet, the Belgian Air Force stepped up to a new era regarding the training of its pilots. Indeed, after their elementary flight training, they continued their advanced and transition courses with the same aircraft.
During its career in the Belgian Air Force, nowadays the Belgian Air Component, the aircraft received some major modifications as from 1999 on, to be upgraded to the Alpha Jet 1B PLUS standard. These upgrades allow it to extend its operational lifetime and increase the quality of the training in relation to the new, indispensable and advanced technologies needed to move on to the next generation fighters.
2003 was also a milestone in the history of the Air Component as Belgium and France decided to sign an agreement to set up a joint training program. This agreement permitted both parties to benefit from a more efficient and cost related training program for their pilots. The European school AJETS was born !
Now with almost 30 years of excellence, the French-Belgian Alpha Jets celebrate their 1.000.000. flight hours...
This event needs to be emphasized in an adequate way, so the Belgian Alpha Jet - AT32 - was adorned with special tail markings and was rolled out on April, 10, 2008 at the Beauvechain airbase.
To crown on all of this, will be an official ceremony held on May 21, 2008 at the Cazaux airbase in France. This airbase hosts the French ETO 02.008 Nice Squadron in which the 11 Squadron of the Belgian Air Component was integrated.
S.B.A.P. is proud to have been requested to elaborate the commemorative brochure for this event. Brochure that will be distributed among the guests at Cazaux.
S.B.A.P. is also proud to present you the first pictures of the official roll-out and first flight of the AT32 in collaboration with the General Staff of the Belgian Air Component, the services of COMOPSAIR IPR and in particular Adj. "Bink" Kellens for the in-flight pictures.
To the report regarding the ceremony at Cazaux : Here
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