Text: As mentionned - Pictures: Pierre Taquet, Philippe Huberlant, Paul Rorive & Bruno Ghils     © sbap 2018
 

It is always with great pleasure that we return to the Antwerpen - Deurne Airport, with its pure "Art Deco" style building of 1929 created by architect Stan Jasinski located at the end of the Luchthavenlei. History of this iconic place of Belgian aviation starts in 1923, when the aerodrome is created in the immediate south outskirts of Deurne city, under the impulse of famous pioneer pilot Jan Olieslagers called the "den Antwerpschen Duivel" (the demon from Antwerpen). He is soon joined on the site by Jean Stampe and Maurice Vertongen, who establish there an aviation school. Willing to create "a better trainer aircraft", the two joined forces with Alfred Renard to create the family of RSV aircraft, from which the SV4 is the most famous descendant.... hence the "Deurne Connection" of the famous biplane, manifested today permanently by the Stampe & Vertongen Museum.
During World War II, the airfield became Fliegerhorst 208/XI, home base of Do-17's and Ju-88's from Gruppe II of Kampfgeswader 3. It then hosted the ERLA Werke VII repair facility, initially in the nearby Mortsel, and responsible for the complete repair of some 4000 Messerschmitt Bf-109's. In the final stages of war, the airfield was recovered and used by the Allies as B-70, mainly by RAF squadrons flying Hawker Typhoons. After the joyful days of the Liberation, hard work started to repair the extensive damages sustained during this troubled period.

Today, the site has developed into a specialized airport for airline regional flights and high end business jets operations, in addition to general aviation. Hosting the Stampe Fly-In arrivals & demos in parallel with the airline flights and the general traffic must be a real challenge to the Control Tower, but this really creates a unique ambiance. Convenient proximity parking, efficient organization, friendly unsophisticated atmosphere allow the visitors to relax and fully enjoy this very peculiar show.
The Saturday of the Fly-In was as usual devoted to arrivals and rehearsals, under weather conditions which started from a clear blue sky in the morning, but gradually degraded in the afternoon. The star of the show was without doubt the Spitfire LF Mk XVIe recently acquired by a Belgian owner, Kris Van Den Bergh and aptly registered OO-XVI. Its first flight after reassembly in Belgium had been performed on May 6th in Brasschaat, i.e. the Sunday before the Fly-In, so it was really a very welcome apparition.
Another historic aircraft made its first appearance during the Fly In, it was the Hawker Sea Fury FB-10 wearing the colors of the Iraqi Air Force. The plane was presented only in static, but it was nevertheless a first appreciable appearance.
As can be seen, things are changing rapidly in Belgium at the level of collection planes since the new regulations facilitating the registration of old aircraft. For example the Mustang "Scat VII" became the OO-RLY, the Hawker Sea Fury OO-ISS, the new Spitfire OO-XVI and so on…
Another highlight of the show was the first public demo of the 2018 Red Devils team, with an opening sequence in formation with the Fouga Magister.
Also particularly worth mention and congrats is Hans Nordsiek and his Flying Circus, who continues year after year his educational show about aviation and life, primarily for younger audiences. Unfortunately, the weather on Sunday was really uniformly poor, compromising many of the intended flight demonstrations. So we can only thank the ASA organization for their good work and wish that the next edition of the Stampe Fly-In will be rewarded by better meteorological conditions.
(By Pierre Taquet)

  


 Arrival at Antwerpen-Deurne for Paul Rorive and his Coyote II
(Paul Rorive©)
Airport is located at the border of the city...
(Paul Rorive©)
Panoramic view of the site  (Paul Rorive©)
Fly-In arrivals & demos in parallel with the airline flights and
the general traffic must be a real challenge

(Pierre Taquet©)
Hans Nordsiek and his Flying Circus, 
aviation experience for the children...and the parents ;-)

(Pierre Taquet©)
The Old Crow Boeing Kaydett details  (Philippe Huberlant©)
  
Stampe & Vertongen SV-4 concentration
  
(Bruno Ghils©)
(Paul Rorive©) (Paul Rorive©)
(Philippe Huberlant©)
(Paul Rorive©) (Pierre Taquet©)
(Paul Rorive©) (Pierre Taquet©)
(Paul Rorive©) (Pierre Taquet©)
(Paul Rorive©) (Pierre Taquet©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Pierre Taquet©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Paul Rorive©)
(Philippe Huberlant©) (Philippe Huberlant©)
 
The other flying machine
De Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth II (c/n 3882)  (Pierre Taquet©)
Coyote II S6ES "Marcoli"
(Paul Rorive©)
Albatros D.Va replica (OO-SMA)
(Paul Rorive©)
Piper L-18C Super Cub (PA-18-95) OO-SPG (c/n 18-3221)
(Pierre Taquet©)
Piper L-18C Super Cub (PA-18-95) PH-FLG  (c/n 18-1445)
(Pierre Taquet©)
Beechcraft D17S Staggerwing NC18028 (c/n 147)
(Pierre Taquet©)
Beechcraft D17S Staggerwing NC18785 (c/n 179)
(Pierre Taquet©)
Boeing PT-13D Kaydet (E75) OO-DBM (c/n 75-5714)
(Pierre Taquet©)
North American TF-51D Mustang "Scat VII" OO-RYL (c/n 122-39381)
(Pierre Taquet©)
Pilatus P2-05 OO-PII (c/n 46)
(Pierre Taquet©)
North American T-28B Trojan NX377WW (c/n 200-140)
(Pierre Taquet©)
Adventure Flight Service Great Lakes 2T-1A-2 D-EHMM (c/n 0762)
(Pierre Taquet©)
Maule MX-7-180 AC N55001 (c/n 33002C)
(Pierre Taquet©)
Bellanca Champion 7ECA Citabria N408JN (c/n 58)
(Pierre Taquet©)
Volkswagen T1 Military Combi...nice and old "follow me" car
(Pierre Taquet©)
Hawker Fury FB.10 OO-ISS (c/n 33731) the second star of the weekend but only on static display   (Bruno Ghils©)
  
Flight and Flying Display
  
North American T-6G Texan N4109C (c/n SA-78)   (Bruno Ghils©)
Fokker D.VIII replica OO-SMB (c/n A-2)
(Pierre Taquet©)
(Pierre Taquet©)
Potez CM 170R Fouga Magister MT-5 a real historic Red Devils aircraft
(Paul Rorive©)
First demonstration for the "Red Devils" team version 2018
(Paul Rorive©)
The leader "Jean" on taxi
 (Bruno Ghils©)
The number 4 "Pappy" holding position
(Bruno Ghils©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Bruno Ghils©)
Always a beautiful combination
(Bruno Ghils©)
The red past and red present...
(Bruno Ghils©)
(Bruno Ghils©)
(Bruno Ghils©) (Pierre Taquet©)
Number 3 "Al" in short final
(Pierre Taquet©)
Landing for the MT-5
(Bruno Ghils©)
(Pierre Taquet©) North American TF-51D Mustang "Scat VII" OO-RYL (c/n 122-39381)
(Pierre Taquet©)
North American T-6G Texan N4109C (c/n SA-78)
(Bruno Ghils©)
(Bruno Ghils©)
(Bruno Ghils©) North American T-28B Trojan NX377WW (c/n 200-140)
(Pierre Taquet©)
North American T-28B Trojan N1328B (c/n 200-425)
(Bruno Ghils©)
(Bruno Ghils©)
 
The Star of the day: Vickers Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk XVIe  (SL721)
 
(Paul Rorive©)
Serial number: SL721
Construction number: CBAF IX4756
Civil Registrations: N8R / G-BAUP / N8WK / N721WK / C-GVZB / OO-XVI
Model: Spitfire LF Mk. XVIe
  

This aircraft was built at Castle Bromwich in 1945 and originally ordered as an Mk 21 type. The War was over and the plane was initially delivered into storage at 6 AMU in August 1945.
At this time, most of the British Air Marshals were allowed to have an own private air transport. In 1946, Air Vice Marshal Sir James M. Robb took delivery of the Spitfire LF Mk XVIe, serial number SL721. The plane was painted into a special shade of light PRU blue, and Sir James M. Robb used the airplane from 1946 until 1948. Afterward the SL721 was sent to a Maintenance Unit and in 1949 he took another active command, and sought out his Spitfire, which was still in the Maintenance Unit. The airplane was used by Air Vice Marshal Robb until 1951, when it was again sent to a maintenance unit. The airplane was one of the most distinctive Spitfires flying in the United Kingdom, with its one-off paint scheme and personal markings of its pilot.
After this short military career, the plane was sold to private hands in 1954 and the plane was bought for £150 from the Air Ministry by Mr F. M. Wilcox, a Worthing garage owner. SL721 moved to Swandean Garage Ltd in Arundel Road, Worthing, and was, for several years, exhibited in a compound on the garage forecourt. Mr Wilcox ran the engine for some 40 minutes each year, usually on Battle of Britain day, it being inhibited again after each run.
In September 1958 the aircraft was loaned to RAF Thorney Island for the Battle of Britain display and was actually flown, although this was at the time very unofficial, the pilot to this display being unknown. As the Swandean Garage at Worthing was expanding Mr Wilcox decided to take up an offer from Lord Montague of display space at the new Beaulieu Motor Museum. SL721 was moved to its new home, being fully cocooned and then repainted with its darker blue colour and coded "JMR" in 1962.
Monty Thackray of M. D. Thackray Ltd had for many years tried to buy SL721 from Wilcox, but it was not until 1965 that a deal was struck. SL721 passed to Thackray in exchange for the vintage 8 litre Bentley that Wilcox's father had once owned, the aircraft staying at Beaulieu. Its new owner, however, soon sold it to the Marquis of Headfort. Early in Thackray's ownership an American had expressed interest in the aircraft, but the sale went through, the American being unlucky. He did, however, come back a second time and Thackray repurchased SL721 for re-sale in the U.S.A. William D. Ross of Chicago bought SL721 from Thackray and contracted Simpson's Aeroservices Ltd of Elstree to dismantle and arrange the shipment of the aircraft. In December 1965 SL721 was crated and shipped to the U.S.A., being delivered to Bailey Johnson of Mustangs Unlimited of Atlanta, Georgia, for rebuilding. Bill Ross contracted Battle of Britain Flight Chief Tech Stan Puchynski, recently retired from the RAF, to assist in the rebuild. The engine, a Packard Merlin 266, No. 361736, fitted in July 1948, was overhauled by Paul Szendroi in Chicago and the completed aircraft first flew in the U.S.A. on May 11th, 1967, with George Roberts at the controls. SL721 had been registered N8R to Bill Ross and was soon based at his Du Page County Airport facility. Painted in camouflage with codes "JM-R" the aircraft graced many airshows in the late 1960's and early 1970's. In 1972 the engine was overhauled again to improve fuel consumption and new fuel tanks were fitted, but English collector Doug Arnold had long expressed a desire to buy SL721 and by early 1973 a deal had been struck. SL721 was shipped from Baltimore to the U.K. and reassembled at Leavesden, Hertfordshire, having been registered G-BAUP, the aircraft emerging with owner's initials "D-A" as the code. The aircraft moved to a new base at Blackbushe, Hants, but did not fly much in the Arnold ownership.
In the early 1970's, Arnold sold the Spitfire to and American collector, Bill Ross of Chicago were the Spitfire was restored and painted in Battle of Britain colors with the initials JMR (Won best of show at Oshkosh 1970). In 1977 the SL721 was sold to the new owner Woodson K. Woods of Scottsdale, Arizona, having the aircraft repainted with his initials WK-W and with registration N8WK, making its first flight as such from Deer Valley Airport on September 19th, 1977 after attention from British engineer "Buster" Paine'.
In 1999 Woodson K. Woods son Chris Woods restored SL721 to the way it was when flown by Air Vice Marshal Sir James M. Robb in 1949, the light PRU blue scheme with initials JMR. In the year 2000 the SL721 was sold to Michael Potter of Ottawa. Michael Potter contacted Spitfire historian Bob Swaddling to oversee the repainting of SL721 at Sky Harbour in Goderich Ontario. Through Bob's research they decided to have it repainted to represent No. 421 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force camouflage as AU-J which represents an aircraft flown by Flight-Lieutenant William Harper of Niagara Falls, Ontario. The original AU-J (TB886) was named Dorothy II but Potter elected to replace this with 421's adopted logo (the Indian head motif of the Mc Coll' Frontenac oil Company) which was applied to most of the squadron's Spitfires. TB886 was the first low-back Mk. XVI to fly with the squadron and Harper had always wanted the logo applied to his Spitfire but the supply of decals had run out. Flight-Lieutenant Harper flew the first Canadian LF Mk XVIe bubble canopy Spitfire used in action during the war.
Jerry Billing has numerous hours in SL721 for the various North American owners either it be in ferrying SL721 across North America to acrobatic displays.
In August 2017 the SL721 was offered for sale and was acquired by the Belgian pilot Kris Van Den Berghe. Early 2018 the plane was shipped to Belgium and arrived at Brasschaat on March 16th, 2018. The plane was quickly reassembled and on May 6th, 2018 a first engine test was performed followed few days later by the first test flight. The preservation of this aircraft is so fine that the plane is allowed to make its first appearance during the Deune Fly In on May 12th, 2018. The only civilian Spitfire in Belgium were the four former Belgian Air Force Mk IX from the Cogea Nouvelle in the 1960's and the TD248, also a LF Mk XVIe, between 1996 and 2001 owned by the boss of Car Exhaust Bosal Group, Karel Bos.
(By Serge Van Heertum)

 
1946 Air Vice Marshal Sir James M. Robb personal aircraft
(Coll Denis Eusicom)
1949 new dark PRU blue paint scheme and 
still the personal aircraft of
Sir James M. Robb
(Coll Denis Eusicom)
1954 exhibed in front of Swandean Garage at Worthing UK
(Coll Denis Eusicom)
1967-1973 in hand of William D. Ross and restored at Atlanta, GA (N8R)
(Coll Denis Eusicom)
1975-1979 sold to Fairoaks Aviation Services - Doug Arnold (G-BAUP)
and back to the UK

(Coll Serge Van Heertum)
1977-1998 sold to Woodson K. Woods and back to teh US (N8WK)
(Coll Serge Van Heertum)
1999 Chris Woods restauration in the initial blue scheme 
of Air Vice Marshal Robbs
(DR)
2003 in hand of Michael Potter showing the new 
421 Squadron RCAF paint scheme (C-GVZB)
(DR)
2000 - 2017 Vintage Wings of Canada (Michael Potter). Nice air to air shoot in company of the Hurricane Mk IV KZ321 also arrived in Belgium just after the Spitfire SL721
(Coll Denis Eusicom)
2018 arrived at Brasschaat to be assembled and tested by FAST Aero
(Courtesy FAST aero via FB)
Works ongoing
(Courtesy FAST aero via FB)
May 6th, the first engine test on the Belgian soil
(Courtesy FAST aero via FB)
  

Historical Summary:

Royal Air Force, 1945-1954
- Charge with the Royal Air Force with s/n SL721 (27/08/1945)
- Transferred to 6 AMU for storage (08/1945 until 10/1946)
- Moved to Fighter Command Squadron and Transferred to Vickers Armstrong for for modification including weapons removal (10/1946).
- Transferred to the Metropolitan Communication Squadron, at Northholt, as the personal aircraft of Air Chief Marshal Sir James Robb Commander-in-chief of the Air Forces in Western Europe.
- Belly landing by Air Vice-Marshal John Bothman (11/1948) and repaird by Vickers.
- Transferred to 31 Squadron and remained as aircraft of Sir James Robb (12/1948).
- With his retirement pending, Robb flew SL721 to CFS Little Rissington for further storage (07/1951).
- Transferred to 33 MU for further storage (10/1953).
- Struck off Strength/Charge from the Royal Air Force (12/1954).

F. M. Wilcox, Swandean Garage, Worthing, UK, 1954-1965
- Arrived from storage at RAF Lyneham, November 1954.
- Displayed at garage and regular engine run.
- Loaned to RAF Thorney Island, Briefly flown, September 1958.
- Loaned to Beaulieu Motor Museum between 1959 and 1965.

Monty Thackray/M.D. Thackray Ltd, UK, 1965.

William D. Ross, Chicago (later Du Page), IL, USA, 1967-1973.
- Rebuilt to airworthiness.
- Registered as N8R.
- First flight , Atlanta, GA, May 11th, 1967.

Doug W. Arnold/Fairoaks Aviation Serives, USA, 1973-1976.
- Registered as G-BAUP.
- Shipped to UK, assembled Blackbushe, 1973.
- Flew as SL721/DA.

Woodson K. Woods, Scottsdale, AZ, USA, 1976-1982.
- Registered as N8WK, July 21st, 1977.
- Shipped from UK, August 1977.
- First flight, Deer Valley, AZ, September 19th, 1977.

Woodson K. Woods/Carefree Flying Museum, Scottsdale, AZ, USA, 1982-2000.
- Registered as N721WK.
- Loaned to San Diego Aerospace Museum, CA, February 21st, 1983-1990.
- Trucked from San Diego to Ft. Collins, CO for restoration, 1990.
- Delivered to Scottsdale, AZ az SL721/WK-W, February 23rd, 1992.

Chris Woods, Tiburon, CA, USA, 1992-2000.
- Flew as RAF SL721/JM-R, 1999-2000.

Micheal Potter/MTW Aviation, Ottawa, Ontario & Wilmington, DE, Canada, 2000-2001.
- Damaged in landing accident September 10th, 2001.
- Gear collapsed and repaired.

Michael U. Potter/Vintage Wings of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 2002-2018.
- Registered as C-GVZB.
- Flown as RAF/SL721/AU-J.
- Offered for sale August 2017

Kris Van Den Berghe, Belgium, 2018
- Arrival in Belgium. Reassembled by FAST Aero Brasschaat March 16th, 2018
- The wings and tail section are rassembled. All systems are being reconnected and tested April 13th, 2018
- First Engine test May 6th, 2018
- First Public appearance at Deurne Fly In May 12th, 2018

First Public Appearance
 
Construction code and belgian registration
(Paul Rorive©)
AU-J was the code of Flight Lieutenant William Harper RCAF
(Paul Rorive©)
As the most beautiful woman, he has kept a dream silhouette ...    Pics #1 & #3 (Philippe Huberlant©) - Pic #2 (Pierre Taquet©)
History and modernity face to face
(Paul Rorive©)
"Kris" the happy owner (right) and his new "baby"
(Paul Rorive©)
Should be great to see the plane with Belgian markings...One day may be   (Paul Rorive©)
The Spitfire LF Mk XVIe cockpit set back on 1945 standard and its Rider!  (Paul Rorive©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Philippe Huberlant©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Pierre Taquet©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Pierre Taquet©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Pierre Taquet©)
So beautiful...Thanks "Kris" to bring history in Belgian skies...   (Pierre Taquet©)
 
This picture to remember that Antwerpen - Deurne is an active airport. The general traffic combined with an historical fly in is quite unique...
(Pierre Taquet©)

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