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

The 2018 airshow season has ended and the tradition of the last Red Devils flight was respected at the end of October. 
Responding with enthusiasm to the kind invitation of the Devils, it was also an opportunity to visit the maintenance and flightline hangar.
It is clear that the fleet of our beautiful Air Force is in a "weight loss" phase. Indeed, two Alpha Jet were in the demilitarization phase in the maintenance hangar, but several Siai Marchetti were also noted dismantled for temporary storage, but regarding the condition of the aircraft, a definitive storage seems more likely. Add to this, the imminent phasing out of the Seaking, the withdrawal of a second C-130H Hercules (CH-10 after the CH-08) from the 20th squadron and the changes announced in the 21st squadron that we mentioned in a previous article shows a real thinning down of the Belgian Air Force.
This day was mainly devoted to our ambassadors for their last flight of the season, but it was not just them. Indeed, "Vador" made his last demonstration with the spare aircraft. The start of his last 2018 show was done in formation with Chris Vanden Berghe's Spitfire Mk XVIe. The Agusta team was also present and offered a festival of flares for the greatest pleasure of the present guests.
Our Red Devils gave their last show at befora the assembly and their return to the apron was an opportunity to offer them the loudest applause not only for their performance of the day, but also for the great 2018 season they have made. In the end, our applause was also our way of thanking all the devils, past and present, for all the years of friendship they gave us without any restrictions; simply real ambassadors of the Air Force.
And even if they are Devils, they all have big hearts!
After the last flight, time had arrived for a friendship drink at the squadron bar, some present givings and some typical aeronautical humour in the speeches and in some of the presents.
Our greatest pleasure will be to meet them again during the 2019 season ... Always safe landing guys!

  
  
Visit in the B28 maintenance hagar
 
General view with two retired Alpha Jet 

 It's the end for the sleek training plane AT-22 & AT-23

  
 
 
 
 The ventral pods are also stored
Belgian humour ... a bit squeaky No longer really able to fly ...
The Siai Marchetti SF.260 in maintenance 
The ST-16 ready for a first test flight  The ST-40 almost finished
Some more work on the ST-18 will be necessary All parts are checked and maintened
 The ST-03 will not fly in the coming days The cockpit completely emptied
The ST-03 wings
ST-42 some work into the cockpit  Most of the SF.260D models wears the new grey scheme
General view of the ST-03 
 ST-36 at engine maintenance side It had to be noted that some aircraft are stored temporarily...
 ...the state of the machines seems rather to show a definitive storage... ...like here the ST-23
 The ST-30 Without engine
Maintenance of the ST-30 dashboard  An engine waiting for overall
 The ST-36 will be ready soon
  A motor on its maintenance frame
 
Visit in the line maintenance hangar
Inside the hangar 
 ST-45 a "D" model still with the old yellow scheme ST-17 engine check
 ST-19... ...and ST-24 in light maintenance
 This is also the night hangar for the active aircraft
 ST-48 in grey The ST-43 also
 ST-41 and ST-44
Protected in a well warm area ...
 
On the flight line
 
Waiting the next mission 
Start up  Checks before taxiing
 Salute and go for the taxi On the way to the holding point

 Break and back to the flight line When the two Belgian mythical squadrons (349 & 350) meet them self
 
 
Into the Devils Den for the last show
 
 
 Concentration Reflexion
 Preparation Verification
The shadow man
Stretching - Spiral - Service
The pilot and the mechanic:  like the two fingers of the hand
 "Jean" Devil 1 "Meel" Devil 2
 "Al" Devil 3 "Papy" Devil 4
 
 
 First, a presentation of the Spitfire Mk XVIe Presented by "Chris"
 Joined by "Vador" and and the "Grey Falcon this time...
 
 
 
Powerful demo performed by "Vador" 
 
 
 
 
A last salute to the guests
 Devils take off: Devil 1 and Devil 2... ...followed by Devil 3 and Devil 4
 "Jean" - "Meel" - "Al" - "Papy"
In front of the assistance  Box formation climb

 End of loop Burst and Wilkinson crossing

 "Papy" Solo in action Presenting for the line astirn pass
 88 in total Devil crossing...
Long final turn
Last A109BA demo of the 2018 season also 
 
 
With a flares festival
 
 
 A last pass Back to the 17 Squadron parking North
Devils back home 
 
"Jean"  "Meel"
"Al"  "Papy"

 The show is over and some Devils humour as present It was good and hot in the Devils den...
Devil one day, Devil all the way!
Many thanks for this wonderful season and your friendness ;-)
 

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