Text & Pictures : Serge Van Heertum & 5th squadron. Drawing : Alexander Vandenbohede  © sbap 2011

 

The name "Red Devils" appears in the Belgian Air Force in 1957. Under the impulsion of Maj Robert "Bobby" Bladt a demonstration team is created. At this moment the new team was flying the Hawker Hunter F.6 and based at 7th Fighter Wing of Chièvres Airbase. The new team and their red hunter took part of different international airshow in Europe and got rapidly a good notoriety. Basicaly at five aircraft, the team growing to sixteen aircraft in 1959. But for the Belgian authorities this amount of aircraft was too much and the crash risk was too high. Reduced to five aircraft again the Red Devils continues their demonstrations till the disband of the 7th fighter Wing in 1963. It was finished for the Red Devils.
Two years later, under the impulsion of Maj "Jacques "Red" Dewaelheyns the team was recreated on Potez CM170R Fouga Magister this time. Based at Brustem airbase.
The team
was composed by instructors of the "Ecole de Pilotage Avancée" (EPA). This well appreciated team everywhere in the airshow world have performed their demonstration between 1965 and 1977. Indeed, the team was again disbanded because of the arrival of the brand new Alpha Jet.
Some people where
thinking that a team would be recreated on the Alpha Jet, but with the constant budget restriction this never happened.
Thirty four years later and again over the impulsion of Jacques "Red" Dewaelheyns the Red Devils are back. The idea was submitted to the chief of Belgian Air Force and the idea well appreciated to underline the 65th anniversary of the Belgian Air Force. The new Red Devils team is a continuation of the previous Hardship Red.
Red Devils are back now, let us appreciate this new professional team and their magnificent national colours!

Hunter F.6 during Chièvres airshow in the late 1950's (Edmond Van Heertum) Fouga Magister at Bertrix in 1977
 

The 2011 pilots

RED 1

Cdt Alain "Papy" Collard

ST04

In 1988, he joined the Belgian Air Cadets and two years later the Royal Technical School of Saffraanberg with a specialisation in telecom.
In 1996, he followed the Belgian Air Force pilot course and got his wings in 1998.
After succeeding the dvnced Alpha Jet course in Beauvechain, "papy" was affected at Melsbroek air base 15th Wing and flew the C-130H Hercules.
During seven years he flew several missions everywhere in the world (US, Afghanistan, Iraq, Congo...).
In 2006 he returned at Beauvechain air base and completed his instructor course.
He became later SF.260 instructor at 5th Squadron.
In 2008 he got his test pilot SF.260 graduation and is curently also Aviation Safety Officer (WASO).
"Papy" totalise 2800 flight hours and this is his third year as SF.260 demo pilot.

     

RED 2

Lt Stefaan"Stef" Braem

ST27

 

"Stef" joined the Belgian Air Force in 2000 and got his wings in 2004.
His first operational Squadron was the 18th Squadron equipped with Agusta A109BA multi role helicopter.
Between 2005 and 2006, he deployed in Croatia for a "peace monitoring operation" and he conducted also different exercices in United Kingdom, France and Germany.
In 2008, he completed the Air Force Flying Instructor course in Beauvechain and became Flight instructor at 5th Squadron.
In 2009, he became SF.260 test pilot.
"Stef" totalize 1700 flight hours and this is his first year as demonstration pilot.
     

RED 3

Cpt Albert "Al" Baltus

ST03

 

"Al" joined the Belgian Air Force in 1999 and got his wings three years later in 2002.
In 2003 he was graduate F-16 and ffected the the 350 Squadron of Florennes air base.
Till 2006, he took part to differentexecices in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom nd Turkey.
In 2005, he participate to the operation "eastern eagle" in Afghanistan for the ISAF.
In 2006, he completed the Flying Instructor course on Alpha Jet in Tours air base (France) an becameinstructor for the Advanced Jet Training School (AJETS)
In 2010, he was back in Belgium and became SF.260 instructor at 5th Squadron.
"Al" totalize 2100 flight hours and this is his first year ad demonstration pilot
     

RED 4

Lt Olivier "Mel" Gilson

ST23

 

"Mel" joined the Army in 1993 as non commissioned officer (NCO) and in 1994 he served with the Belgian Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD).
In 1995, he attended the Army Pilot course and got his wings in 1997.
He became an anti-tank pilot on A109BA and flew also the Alouette II as liaison pilot.
Between 1997 and 2007, he was deployed to the Balkan for "Peace keeping operations" and participate also at numerous exercices in the Unitaed Kingdom, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway, Czech Republic and Benin.
In 2008, he cmpleted the Flying Instructor course in Beauvecahain and became intructor at 5th Squadron.
"Mel" totalize 2850 flight hours and this is his second year as demonstration pilot.
     

 

The paint scheme

The painting of the Marchetti's is respecting the scheme wearied before by the Fouga Magister behalf the specific shark-mouth of the SF.260's.
This was decided to keep a part of the Italian trainer and 1st training Wing specificity.

   
Left side with the Beligian lion Right side with the Red Devils logo
   
Upper side Under side
   
Detail on the Belgian lion logo Detail of the Red Devils logo, note the SF.260's replacing the prvious Fouga
   
Name and position of the pilot on the fuselage under the windshield The national coulours on the tail
   
The white nose cowl the specific sharkmouth of the Belgian sf.260's
   

The training

The four pilots are instructors from the 5th Squadron. The training for the demonstrations is done in parallel to their main function. Every training begin withe the briefing. This is a discussion over the coming flight and all the points are developed to make a perfect training. After the training flight, the four pilots held a debriefing to underline the good or bad sequences of the flight. This is very important to bring each time the needed amelioration and on final to present a perfect show to the public.

The leader make the overview of all the phases of the flight Open discution. This is the most important to keep the perfect team spirit
On taxi for a traing flight
Bad weather today...
...the team is performing the "unfair weather" demonstration

2011 demonstration, fair weather display

1- Take off in formation or 2+2 in function of the airfield. Then change the formation in Box.

2- Front of the public, one left clover leaf in BOX to end-up towards datum with 45°.

3- Looping in Box, right turn and change formation in SWAN.

4- Climbing right turn then change to BOX formation. Presenting at 90° of the display line.

5- Looping in BOX, during descent split 1, 2 & 3 right and 4 continues towards the public.

6- Red 4, stall turn, looping and in descent 45° away of the display line. Main team in formation LADDER.

7- Head-on pass right/right.

8- After the merge, Red 4 parallel display line. Red 1, 2 & 3 left turn, climbing and change into FINGER TIP formation.
     Red 4 half cuban height followed by a left barrel roll, 225° nose up and 45° turn towards display line.

9- Red 4 Derry Turn to proceed 45° away of display line. Red 1, 2 & 3 90° diplay line and looping.

10- Looping descent, spacing and split. Red 2 right, Red 3 left and Red 1 half Cuban Eight or Immelman.

11- Join-up 2x2 aircraft in close line astirn. Spacing and parallel to the display line.

12- One left clover leaf with spacing between the two pair and end-up 90° of the display line.

13- Second right clover leaf and end-up parallel to the display line.

14- Left turn. Join-up in BOX formation, climbing. Presenting 90° of the display line and looping.

15- Descent of looping, bomb burst (Red 2 & 3 end-up parallel of display line) (Red 1 & 4 end-up 45° towards the display line).

16- Join-up in BOX formation, 200 feet for tactical break.

17- Tactical break : Red 4, Red 3, Red 2 and Red 1

18- Landing and back to the parking in formation.

Preparing Run-up
   
Four ship take off Change the formation into BOX
   
Looping Looping descent in Box, right turn
   
SWAN formation During descent split 1, 2 & 3 right and 4 continues toward the public
   
Red 1, 2 & 3  climbing Head-on pass right/right
   
Looping descent, spacing and split. Red 2 right, Red 3 left
and Red 1 half cuban height or immelman
Join-up 2x2 aircraft in close line astirn
 
   
Descent of looping, bomb burst (Red 2 & 3 end-up parallel of display line) (Red 1 & 4 end-up 45° towards the display line)
   
Tactical break : Red 4, Red 3, Red 2 and Red 1
   
Landing and back to the parking in formation
   
Still concentrated...Red 1 Red 2
   
Red 3 and Red 4
   
Marshaling to the parking
 
The team, the technicians, "Choco" the previous leader of the "Herdship Red"
and Jacques "Red" Dewaelheyns
   
Good luck Red Devils...Fly hight and always safe landing !
     

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