Hide hazelnuts...Chipmunk invasion !

Text &  Pictures : Luc Dujardin © sbap 2011

 

"Chipmunks" :  small striped squirrels native from North America and Asia

"EBZR Zoersel" is an old, bare NATO airfield close to Antwerp. Because of its originally military role, the runway (23-05) is paved and quite long (2980m x 45 m). It may not be the most famous airfield in Belgium, but if you are flying a "Chipmunk", Zoersel is actually the place to be. For each year since 1998, the "Aero Para Club der Kempen" organizes a big event known as "Chipmeet". It is a gathering of the "De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk". This aircraft is a tandem two-seat trainer mainly used as elementary trainer in the Royal Air Force. The plane served to train RAF pilots from 1956 until 1990. Some of them remained in use with the "N° 10 Air Experience Flight" and the very last flight took place in 1996. More than 1200 "Chippie" were built and were operated as a military training aircraft in 23 countries.

This year, "Chipmeet 2011" (
the 13th edition) was held from Thursday 2nd till Sunday 5th June 2011. Unfortunately, I only had the opportunity to visit this meeting on the first day. It was a beautiful sunny day. Runway 05 was in service and there was light wind. The local aeroclub had glider activity in the north of the field, while other areas were open for aircrews to practice and improve their formation flying skills. Some crews arrived on June 1th, but June 2nd was the normal arrival day. However, some aircrafts made one or two local flights, including even aerobatics. The "Victors", a civilian Belgian aerobatic team, landed at 15h00 and took off one hour later for a nice presentation. After some rest, the team left the field in close formation at 17h45. When I left the airfield around 18h00, most of the airplanes were parked on the ground, but there was still some air activity: a Yak-52 display rehearsal and a locally based Cessna and some gliders.

In total 13 Chipmunks came at Zoersel, total planes was aound 50 to 70. Around 20 sorties a day was registered Regarding the growing success of this event the organistaors totalized about 90 visiting press photographers and spotters plus many more regular visitors.

 

De Havilland DHC-1 on June 2nd
 

WB 671 

WK 590 

WP 803 

WB565  

WK577  

WP896   

WB703  

WP903  

WG321  

WP973

WB756  

Chipmunk Mk 22 (c/n C1-119)

Chipmunk Mk 22 (c/n C1-910)

Chipmunk Mk 22 (c/n C1-697) 

Chipmunk Mk 22 (c/n C1-017)

Chipmunk Mk 22 (c/n C1-598)

Chipmunk Mk 22 (c/n C1-766)

Chipmunk Mk 22A (c/n C1-151)

Chipmunk Mk 22 (c/n C1-776)

Chipmunk Mk 22 (c/n C1-393)

Chipmunk Mk 22 (c/n C1-839)

Chipmunk Mk 22 (c/n C1-205)

G-BWTG

G-BWVZ

G-HAPY

G-PVET

G-BCYM

G-BWVY

G-ARMC

G-BCGC

G-DHCC

G-BCPU

G-AOJR

Remarks :

Chipmunk T.10 (Mk 10) : de Havilland Gipsy Major 8 engined version for the Royal Air Force, 735 built.

Chipmunk Mk 22 : T.10 converted for civilian use. Conversion also involves engine, the Gipsy Major 8 (military) replaced by a Gypsy Major 10 Mk 2 model (civil).

Chipmunk Mk 22A : Mk 22 with fuel tank increased to 12 Imperial gallons per side instead of 9 Imperial gallons.

 

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

See also our Walkaround pages...(click)

   
   
   

OO-F60 : Rainbow Aircraft Cheetah

   

OO-146 : VAN’s RV-7

   

F-GAXB : Robin R2160 Alpha

   
OO-VAD : Slingsby T67M
   
D-GVCC : Diamond DA42
   

OO-SPM : Stampe & Vertongen (SNCAN) SV4c

   

G-CBJJ : Scottish Aviation bulldog 120

   

D-EJFG : Extra 300L

   

HB-KCG : Robin DR400/120

HB-COK : Cessna 170B

   

RA1428K : Yak52

RA3446K : Yak50
   

N145PC : Cessna FR172J

F-PAMD : Brügger MB2

   
Amazing plane...isn't it ?
   

F-PDHV : Verhees Delta (c/n 01)
Bart Verhees is a Belgian mechanical engineer, specialized in aeronautics. He designed and constructed the Delta in an aim to produce a spacious single-seat aircraft with good performance. Powered by a 65 hp Hirt two-stroke engine, the plane is controlled by an elevon on each wing, and a rudder. The plane is also equipped with a retractable landing gear. It is of all-aluminum construction. The plane did his first flight in 2004.

   
The Victors

 

OO-VCU  : Piper PA-28-161

OO-EBU  : Piper PA-28-161

OO-VMY  : Piper PA-28-161
OOVMX   : Piper PA-28-161

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Just nice shoots !
   
   

 

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