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

Following the success of 2017, the airfield of Cerfontaine, the Royal Belgian Defence Aeroclub (RBDA) and the authorities of Florennes Airbase, by the Base Commander, Colonel Didier Polomé, reiterated the event named "Aviation Days".
To the contrary of 2017, where the event was held during the week on one day, 2018 saw the event organized over two days during the weekend of 23 and 24 June.
Every day, the event was set up in two phases. In the morning, on the airbase of Florennes, where visitors could receive all the necessary information regarding on professional careers within the Air Force, visit the Spitfire museum, shop along the various squadron booths, but most of all have a look at the work of the Royal Belgian Defence Aeroclub, which organized a fly-in attracting about 40 participants. Some pilots, registered to the fly-in, presented quite interesting aircraft as you will witness in our pictorial tour.
In short, a very homey morning at this Ardennes base and even if this was not a real airshow, we could appreciate the ambassadors of the Air Force. The Red Devils opened the festivities, offering a dynamic and elegant show ; the specially painted Agusta A109 dropped the always appreciated skydivers and the splendid and thundering F-16AM solo-display, flown, by Cdt Stefan "Vador" Darte, filling the skies with its famous "Dark Falcon", before inviting the public to move to the airfield of Cerfontaine, for the follow-on of the festivities.

It takes about 20 minutes from Florennes to Cerfontaine and once on the premises, next to the car park, a big historical military camp welcomed the visitors… Back to the past!
For the visitors on Saturday, the atmosphere was a little bit particular, as at 14:00 hours, all went silent, apart from some skydivers ending their jump. All were concentrated onto the big screens to watch the Red Devils (not the Air Force ones with their flamboyant red Marchettis…). So after two hours and the victory of Belgium against Tunisia in the World Cup, the airfield relived and some visitors of the fly-in at Florennes started to arrive at Cerfontaine. To conclude this afternoon, the ambassadors of the Belgian Air Force gave a second demonstration led by the Red Devils!
In short, this second edition was once again a success and shows that the collaboration between the airfield of Cerfontaine, the Royal Defence Aeroclub and the military airbase of Forennes is a well thought concept.
Let's hope it will continue like this and will provide further on a kind of airshow, not too big and still very homey… and why not overhead the "lac de l'Eau D'heure" close by… a beach airshow amidst the Ardennes woods... Why not ?... Would it not be innovating ? …
SBAP wishes to thank heartily the authorities of the Florennes airbase and the airfield of Cerfontaine for their efficient organization and welcome. Also our particular thanks to Gilbert Mullenders, chairman of the RBDA for his kind invitation and to Alex Claessens for his jolly welcome and granted facilities during our stay.
Rendez-vous is already taken for the 2019 edition of the "Aviation Days" - EBFS / EBCF

The fly-in line full of colours

Some gum stripes... The conductor (father) & Full eyes future (son)
Piper L-18C Super Cub Royal Belgian Air Cadets
 Sonaca 200 The first serial plane

Piper PA-18-95 Super Cub (OO-SPQ)
Silvair Pioneer 300 Virus SW 80/100
RBDA line coordinator, clear to line up runway 08R…
 Aerospool WT-9 Dynamic (OO-H74) Piper L-21B Super Cub (LB-02)
 Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub (OO-MNM) Piper L-4H Grasshopper (OO-YOL)
Stampe & Vertongen SV-4B (OO-MON)
Luciole MC30
Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub (OO-MNM) The Republic F-84F Thunderstreak that was hit by a truck 
at the roundabout of Florennes (24/01/2017)
Tatra T-131PA Jungmann (Bü-131 Jungmann replica) (OE-CFG) Tatra T-131PA Jungmann (Bü-131 Jungmann replica) (SP-YBK)
  A part of the RBDA dream team… Many thanks for your warm welcome guys ;-)
Lake LA-4-200 Buccaneer

The Lake Buccaneer is an American four-seat, light amphibious aircraft originally developed as the Colonial C-2 Skimmer, itself a development of the two-seat Colonial C-1 Skimmer.

The C-2 Skimmer was developed in the late 1940s as a four-seat variant of the earlier C-1 Skimmer. It is a cantilever, shoulder-wing monoplane amphibian with a single-step all-metal hull with retractable tricycle landing gear. It is powered by an Avco Lycoming piston engine in pusher configuration, pylon-mounted above the hull.
The manufacturing rights were acquired by the Lake Aircraft Corporation in October 1959 and the aircraft was built as the LA-4, Lake Amphibian with a 180 hp (134 kW) Lycoming engine. This further developed into the Lake Buccaneer which was essentially the same airframe with a 200 hp (149 kW) fuel injected engine. A variant called the EP (extended prop) added an additional cargo door and engine rear cowling. A six-seat development with a lengthened hull was named Renegade, this had either a 250 hp (186 kW) or a turbocharged 270 hp (201 kW) engine. A military version was called the Seawolf.

LA-4-180 Skimmer: Lycoming IO-360 A1A 180HP
LA-4-200 Buccaneer : Lycoming IO-360 A1B 200HP
LA-4-200-EP : Lycoming IO-360 A1B6 200HP Standard fuel floats

Specifications LA-4-200 Buccaneer:
General characteristics:
Crew: one
Capacity: three passengers
Length: 7.59 m (24,11 ft)
Wingspan: 11.58 m (38 ft)
Height: 2.84 m (9,4 ft)
Wing area: 15.79 m2 (170 square ft)
Empty weight: 705 kg (1555 Lbs)
Gross weight: 1220 kg (2690 Lbs)
Powerplant: Avco Lycoming IO-360-B1A piston engine, 200 hp
Cruise speed: 241 km/h (150 mph)
Range: 1328 km (825 miles)
Service ceiling: 4480 m (14700 ft)

Lake Aircraft was a manufacturer of amphibious aircraft. Its factory was in Sanford, Maine, USA, and its sales offices were located at Laconia / Gilford, New Hampshire and Kissimmee, Florida.
The assets of the company were sold in 2004 to an investor which incorporated as "Sun Lake Aircraft" in Vero Beach, Florida. The assets are now owned by Revo Inc from Armand Rivard.
History of the Company
The first design in the series produced was the Colonial Skimmer. It was derived from an original design produced by David Thurston in 1946 when he was with Grumman Aircraft. Grumman never produced the design, but Thurston formed Colonial Aircraft Corporation as a side business to continue development.
Colonial's first amphibious aircraft, designated the "Colonial Aircraft C-1 Skimmer" and based on the original Grumman G-65 Tadpole design, first flew in 1948. Colonial grew to produce almost 50 of the C-1 and larger C-2 design before being sold in 1959.
The new owner, M.L. (Al) Alson, renamed the company Lake Aircraft and enlarged the basic design again into the LA-4, a 180-horsepower, 4-seat aircraft, which was the basis for the entire line of aircraft that continues today.
Lake aircraft produced in the 1960 - 1980 range are listed by the Federal Aviation Administration as having been built by "Consolidated Aeronautics."
For many years the Lake LA-4-200 was advertised as "The world's only single-engine production amphibian."
In January 2009 company owner Armand Rivard indicated that he intended to sell the company and retire. The company had previously been offered for sale in 2001, 2002, via auction in 2005 and in 2007. Lake Aircraft produced one aircraft in 2007 and none in 2008, but continues to make parts for existing aircraft. In 2009 the company employed six people, down from the 200 employees that it had in the 1980s.



Bip Bip…20 minute later…Cerfontaine airfield

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