Text & Pictures: Serge Van Heertum - (Others as mentioned)  - Translation: Marc Arys  ©sbap 2020
 
The Belgian Air Force succeeded in selling their 25 remaining Alpha Jets out of the basic fleet of 33 aircraft.
Back at Beauvechain airbase, the aircraft were already offered up for sale since October 2018 when the joint training between Belgian and French air forces was ended.
Top Aces Inc., a company headquartered in Dorval, Quebec (Canada), acquired the 25 Alpha Jet 1B+ training aircraft including spare parts.

This defence contractor, who offers Contract Airborne Training Services (CATS), was founded in 2000 by three former Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 fighter pilots. They operate a fleet of modernized fighter aircraft to provide Red Air threat simulation. Their fleet of Alpha Jets will be more than doubled. Next to the former Belgian ones, they already have a fleet of 20 former German Air Force Alpha Jets, upgraded to the actual standard.
Top Aces Inc. is also acquiring some F-16's, after the signature of a contract with the USAF.
Have a look at their pages at : www.topaces.com.

The Belgian Government signed a contract in September 1975 for the purchase of 33 Dassault-Breguet/Dornier (AMD) Alpha Jet 1B's as an advanced jet trainer. The high winged aircraft was to replace two Belgian jet trainers, the Lockheed T-33A and the Fouga Magister.

The first Alpha Jet (serial AT01, the 5th production Alpha Jet built) was handed over to the Belgian Air Force on October 6th, 1978 and officially presented on December 14th, 1978 at the airport of Charleroi-Gosselies, home of SABCA, Société Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques (in all discretion - not like the arrival of the first F-16).
All the other Alpha Jets, AT02 to AT33, were assembled by SABCA, with the final one being delivered on July 15th, 1980.

January 13th, 2020, saw the final three aircraft return from Cazaux airbase (France) after more than fifteen years of joint fighter training with the Armée de l'air (the Advanced Jet Training School - AJETS).
The Alpha Jet of the Belgian Air Force, affectionately called "Gadjet" by the pilots and mechanics, arrived in Belgium on tiptoe and the end of its career is just as discreet, even more dull, for an airplane which rendered so many services and trained so many pilots.

The 25 remaining planes will leave Belgium soon, sadly without any tribute, without any worthy farewell, to go and grace other skies...

    
AT-22 (c/n B22-1091) 1979 - 2019
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
AT-23 (c/n B23-1097) 1980 - 2015 (Stored @ EBBE)
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Canopy removal
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Storage of ventral pods
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
AT-08 (c/n B8-1024) 1979-2019
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Disassembly and standby
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Disassembly of the ejection seats
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
It will only be an old memory
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
AT-11 (c/n B11-1032) 1979 - 2019
(Philippe Decock ©)
AT-33 (c/n B33-1155) 1980 - 2019 the last delivered
(Philippe Decock ©)
The AT-33 French anniversary tail. SPA 78 on the left...
(Philippe Decock ©)
...and SPA 73 on the right side
(Philippe Decock ©)
A last perfect line
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Mirror tell me who is the most beautiful !
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
A beautiful silhouette that we will no longer see in the Belgian sky
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
AT-24 (c/n B24-1104) 1980 - 2020
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Delivered in January 1980 and withrawn from use in January 2020,
just 40 years of good services
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
The special paint for the century of the 11 Squadron
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
With a wink to the former Belgien training aircraft
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
The marks of a concept abandoned after 15 years
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
AT-26 (c/n B26-1117) 1980 - 2020
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
AT-13 (c/n B13-1039) 1979 - 2020
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
AT-25 (c/n B25-1110) 1980 - 2020
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
AT-18 (c/n B18-1067) 1979 - 2019
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
AT-17 (c/n B17-1061) 1979 - 2020
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
AT-15 (c/n B15-1051) 1979 - 2020
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
AT-27 (c/n B27-1125) 1980 - 2020
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
AT-19 (c/n B19-1071) 1979 - 2020
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
AT-06 (c/n B6-1020) 1979 - 2020
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
AT-02 (c/n B2-1014) 1979 - 2020
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
AT-12 (c/n B12-1036) 1979 - 2019
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
A close up on the elegant nose section
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
The ghost flight line
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
When the "Gadget" is seen in the mirror of the past...
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
and when he is only the shadow of himself
(Philippe Decock ©)
Excellent work over the past 40 years... Good luck under other skies...Farewell "Gadjet"
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
 
 
Preserved Belgian Alpha Jet today
 
 AT-32 (c/n B32-1149) 1980 - 2019
(Marc Arys ©)
Preserved at 1st Wing Historical Center Beauvechain airbase
(Jacques Vincent ©)
AT-20 (c/n B20-1076) 1979 - 2019 - Preserved at Cazaux airbase
(Courtesy Armée de l'Air via web©)
 

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