Mirage BA08 : Retirement in Bourgogne

Text : Serge Van Heertum - Pictures : Serge Van Heertum, Johny Devisch, Coll SBAP

 

The Mirage BA08 was delivered to the Belgian Air Force in January 1971. During his career the plane wore the colours of the 1stSquadron “Thristle”, the one of the 2nd Squadron “Comet” and at the end of his 21 years career the blue and white colours of the 8thSquadron “Cocotte”. The BA08 wore also 2 special markings when he was integrated at the 8th Squadron. The first in 1988 for the participation to the NATO number 8 Squadron’s meet held in the UK at the really special date of 08-08-88. Later on, in 1990, the plane was painted in full blue and white scheme to underline the 20 years of service in the Belgian Air Force and in the same way the 20 years of the 8thSquadron reactivated with the arrival of the delta fighter in Belgium (see our archivalia page : Delta Blue).

 

Under the colours of 1st Squadron in the 1970's
(Johny De Visch)
Full camouflage also on the belly and wearing the "comet" of 2 Squadron
(Johny De Vish)
   
Special marking for the 8 Squadron's meet on 08-08-1988
(Coll SBAP)
BA08 was the "Delta Blue" in 1990 (see our archivalia pages)
(Coll SBAP)

 

After his Belgian Air Force career, the plane was stored at Weelde. The BA08 was no more foreseen to be upgraded in the MIRSIP program (Mirage improvement System Program) due the geopolitical changes at this period. In 2000 the French company SAGEM decided to buy a batch of Belgian Mirage’s to be used for spare parts in view to upgrade other planes and proposed them to be exported. But this operation was not a success and the planes remained during years in France. Some month’s ago, SAGEM decided to dismantle some planes, others where put for sale...

 

Stored at Weelde in 1994 after his operational career, the BA08 was dismantled for transportation to SAGEM in France in the year 2000
(Johny De Visch)
   
Colonel ER Paul Rorive was the last pilot of BA08 for the transit flight to Weelde and 16 years later, Paul have retreived the BA08...emotional moment in a pilot life.
(Paul Rorive)

 

This is the case of the BR21 that has been put for sale in public auctions (see our news pages) and the BA08 was acquired by the museum of Savigny Les Beaune in Bourgogne.
So the BA08 will stay for the rest of his life in this amazing museum.

 

Retirement at Savigny Les Beaune castle near a French Jaguar
(Serge Van Heertum)
The BA08 at front of the castle
(Serge Van Heertum)
   
Saved from destruction for the pleasure of the visitors.
(Serge Van Heertum)
The BA08 will spent the rest of his life in an amazing museum
(Serge Van Heertum)
   
No more engine in the body...
(Serge Van Heertum)
The DEFA 30mm gun pack is also preserved in an appart hangar
(Serge Van Heertum)

 

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