Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: Serge Van Heertum & Paul Rorive - Translation: Marc Arys     © sbap 2018
 

Brustem… This name resounds as an ancient history page of the Air Force. Indeed, the base which was home to the 9 Training Wing, was abandoned by the military authorities in 1996 and so, the Fouga and Alpha Jets found their way to Beauvechain.
The base had seen a large number of student pilots accessing their dreams by gaining those much coveted wings. Brustem was also the home base of the prestigious team "Red Devils", which from 1965 till 1977 marveled the crowds and surely awakened hundreds of aeronautical careers.
So after 60 years of existence, the base was evacuated and left running wild with rust and weeds appearing almost everywhere. In 2012, private investors let part of the facilities relive creating the regional airport Limburg Regional Airport (LRA).
Ever since, the site slowly reborn from its ashes and so a.o. the rise of a drones piloting school and other things were soon to follow.
Some weeks ago, the Dassault Mirage V BD arrived at Brustem, the owner being part of the private investors. The aircraft found in this a shelter and the possibility to bring back to life part of the historical heritage of the Belgian Air Force.
The BD09 restoration team did an exceptional job with an incredible swiftness and so, on April 15th, the BD09 party could be started in the old hangar H41.
A jovial day where the guests could admire the beast, sit in the cockpit (front or back), wander around the base and finally participate to a superb barbeque, where the souvenirs of the Air Force streamed out everywhere as it should be.
It was also the occasion to see the two hangars and see which aircraft were based at this former mythical airbase.
By all means an enjoyable day and an excellent initiative. Thanks to "Jack", "Celle" and the entire Mirage spirited guys for this fabulous journey. Time now to present you a pictorial overview...

 
April 15th... BD09 Party
 
 BD09 is ready and wait for the visitors... Splendid work from the BD09 restauration team
 Some explanations The unique opportunity to sit in the "Delta"
 
 The team may be proud...and have a drink :-) Some souvenirs...isn't it "Bob"?
 "Pikouze" is tasting the backseat "Marc" and "Pat" from the BD09 team
 The lunch near the "Delta Bird" It's wonderful top have it back in Belgium...
 The famous ATAR 9C Inside the exhaust
 The front cockpit on the right
 The rear cockpit... ...and the stick
 Jack's helmet...CO of the 8th squadron more than 25 years ago... "Pat" and "JC" two Mirage lovers
 The official anouncement by "Celle" "Jack"...an happy guy ready to start the "Delta" again
 The "Delta Apero" is ready for the guest before the delicious BBQ
 "Paul" also a former Mirage lover and pilot did some flight around Brustem An opportunity for some guest to perform a first flight with Paul's Coyote
 Aerial view of Brustem with hangar H41 in front and the runway
(Paul Rorive©)
Brustem revival...
(Paul Rorive©)
 Above the H41...The BD09 den
(Paul Rorive©)
(Paul Rorive©)
 
April 15th... A look into Brustem hangars
 
The installations were abandonned by the Air Force in 1996...
 Pilatus P3-05 from 1959
  North American T-28B Trojan

Aveko VL3 Evolution from Czech Republic The currently faster ULM in the world...
 Fly Synthesis Storch HS Cessna 150D... AWAX...where is the radar cupola?
 Beech H35 Bonanza from 1957 Maule MX-7-180 Star Rocket
 Piper PA-44-180 Seminole Robin DR.300-125
 Beech A36 Bonanza Airfield vehicle from the BD09 restauration team
 Former French Air Force Potez CM170R Fouga Magister c/n 500 Was based at Morlaix before arriving to Brustem (F-AZUS)
 Cessna Reims FR172H Rocket Cessna Reims F182Q Skylane
Piper PA-34-220T Grumman American AA-5A Cheetah
 B & F Technik FK-9 Mark 3 Cirrus SR-22T
 

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