22nd Antwerp Stampe & Ercoupe Fly In
Without any doubt the annual Stampe en Ercoupe Fly In is one of the main Belgian Airshow season openers. Reputed to be repeatedly blessed with stunning weather (they must have the cell number of someone up in the skies), this year was not different. Totally contradictory to the weather forecast, which promised lots of rain, the weekend again turned out to be very sunny and providing excellent conditions for flying and attending this -free- event.
At some stages on Saturday the Stampe Vertongen Museum corner of Antwerp International Airport (Deurne) more than reminded the somewhat older aviation enthusiasts of the SV-4 heydays at Goetsenhoven airbase in the fifties and sixties. In a very friendly and cozy atmosphere the Fly In visitor could admire the testimony of the incredible quality of Belgium’s most successful aircraft design, the Stampe Vertongen SV-4B. Rows of flying Stampe's is the result. Many a visitors (some lesser known than others) took the opportunity to have an aerial baptism in the sturdy biplane.
Although overshadowed by the Stampe, the diminutive Erco Ercoupe -as the shows name indicates- also took the honors. The Aircoupe has a special bond with Deurne as the Antwerp company International Aeronautics (Intair) already in 1946 started to import Ercoupe's in Belgium and very soon many figured on the Belgian Civilian register. Unfortunately, today only one flying Erco Ercoupe remains in Belgium. The machine, OO-PUS of course took place of honor during the Fly in next to such beauties as another Ercoupe registered N99280, the very shiny Cessna 195 D-EFTH, Pilatus P-3-05 A-859 HB-RCB, Silvaire Luscombe 8F N9945C, Stearman N2S-2 Kaydet (B75) 985 OO-OPS, De Havilland DH82A Tiger Moths G-AJHS and G-ADGV and many more
The somewhat heavier warbird category was very well represented at Antwerp with no less than three North American T-28 Trojan's, a North American P-51D Mustang, the inevitable Supermarine Spitfire, three North American T-6 Harvards and a very smart Beechcraft D18S.
A great aviation weekend, indeed.
Supermarine Spitfire Tr.9 PV202 QV-I painted as a N° 19 Squadron Spitfire as operated out of Duxford during the Battle of Britain
Stampe SV-4C OO-EFN (c/n 625) arriving at the Fly In on Saturday May 19th, 2012.
Detail of the nose of the last flying Erco Ercoupe in Belgium: OO-PUS "Sweety"
Very shiny former Swiss Air Force Pilatus P-3-05 A-859/HB-RCB
Immaculately restored 1953 Cessna 195 D-EFTH (c/n 16087)
Stampe Vertongen Museum's Harvard N4109C repainted as H-210 of Lt. Baudouin Carpentier de Changy of the Flight Appui Feu in Congo in 1960.
The Royal Netherlands Air Force Historical Flight's Beech D18S-3MM "G-29" - PH-KHV on take off.
A unique sight anywhere in the world outside the US, three North American T-28B Trojan's in formation.
Smoking fast fly by of Trojan 354.
One of the Stampe Fly In crowd pleasers, the North American TF-51D Mustang PH-VDF / 472922/W-L2 (c/n 122-39381) making a spirited fly by.
© Daniel & Kris Brackx (May 2012)
Last updated 07/11/11 10:59 Daniel Brackx