Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: Serge Van Heertum & Others as mentioned © sbap 2014

There already were some rumours that the good old Siai Marchetti SF.260 of the Belgian Air Force would change their looks. This news was confirmed by the fly-by of the ST-44 at the recent Fly to Your Dream event held at Beauvechain. The aircraft indeed traded its canary yellow livery for a plain grey one. This decision is taken by the General Staff, which reviewed the paint scheme of the SF.260, to give them a more operational image. Finally, the plain light grey colour BFS 595B36375 04357 (the same as the Alpha Jets underside) was chosen with some day-glo partially on the fuel tip tanks.

For the marking, the wolf head of the 1 Wing is still present on the vertical stabiliser but the shark mouth and marking of the 5th and 9th squadrons disappeared so as the spiral line on the spinner.

Markedly more sober than the previous version, this scheme remind us of the SF.260 of the Aeronautica Militare Italiana and is not to the taste of all the pilots, which preferred the first camouflaged livery, giving the aircraft a more “warrior” look.

Most likely the remaining of the fleet will receive the same paint scheme bit by bit when going through their major overhauls.

Here you have some pictures of the ST-44 with some attention to details for our modelling friends giving them the possibility to reproduce the new scheme of our dedicated SF.260.
SBAP wishes to thank Mrs Sofie Naeyaert of ComOpsAir IPR for the photo-shoot clearance, Col. Avi. Jean Van Hecke organising the visit, "Tcholle" and "Bink" for their helping hands on site.

Vietnam paint sheme in the early years (Serge Van Heertum) ST-44 above France (Coll SBAP)
The yellow sheme adopted in 2000   (Paul Rorive) At Beauvechain waiting the next mission (Serge Van Heertum)
A low pass during Fly to your dream 2014 (Serge Van Heertum) Grey on Grey...(Serge Van Heertum)
The new sheme for the Siai Marchetti SF.260
Italian Air Force SF.260 at Beauvechain in 2009,
the same paint scheme as the ST-44
(Serge Van Heertum)
Some details for the modellers...
No more "Sharkmouth" Safety markings
Only a part of the tip tank remain Day Glo
The prestigious pilot of the ST-44...

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