Air Enthusiast 1998-07
A. van Haute - Belgian Spearhead
Hunter F.4 ID-60 of 350 Squadron, Belgian Air Force. The insignia on the nose is the stylised wings as worn on the helmet of Ambiorix, the Galic warrior.
Hunter F.6 IF-143 of 7 Squadron, Belgian Air Force. Note the paper horse insignia on the nose.
Line-up of 8 Squadron Hunter F.6s. Note how this unit solved the supernumerary aircraft by painting a small number ‘1’ after the aircraft’s individual code letter - in this case E1.
Close-up of IF-62, a Red Devils display team Hunter F.6, in the rain on May 27, 1961 at Chievres. Note the nose insignia, a Belgian lion rampant on a black shield, outlined in yellow.
F.6 IF-70 at Wevelgem, June 18, 1961, wearing a slightly modified second Red Devils colour scheme. Note the larger white fuselage band and the thin metal exhaust ring.
Rare air shot of F.4 ID-26. This aircraft belongs to 8 Squadron and as usual, the white paper horse is not painted on the starboard side of the aircraft’s nose.
F.6 IF-72 at the Koksijde aircraft storage unit on August 19, 1961. It had previously seen service with both the Bierset and Chievres Wings and had amassed 685 flying hours before it went to Hawker Siddeley with the 'B Condition' identity G-9-150.
Belgian Hunters were regular and popular attenders at UK airshows. F.6 IF-61 ‘OV-W’ of 8 Squadron at Biggin Hill, early 1960s.
On a visit to the Baden Sollingen RCAF station at the end of the Belgian Hunter period, IF-104 of 8 Squadron can be seen with the white and blue checkerboard wingtips but not the blue painted nose and white paper horse.
Members of the Red Devils acrobatic team for the 1961 season. Left to right: Warrant Officer P Weymans, reserve; Captain F Jacobs, solo; Captain A d’Hoop, slot; Warrant Officer R Girardin, left wing; Warrant Officer M Debart, right wing; and Commandant I Deprins, leader.
Another conundrum. F.6 of 26 Squadron from Bierset coded ‘JE-M’ but it still has the letter 'A' and not 'M' on its fin. This aircraft served later with 7 Fighter Wing at Chievres and was subsequently sold to Hawker Siddeley with only 271 flying hours to its credit.
Breaking to port in echelon formation, brand new F.4s of 7 Squadron from Chievres. These aircraft still lack their streamlined ammunition link collectors as well as their gun blast deflectors. Note the serial numbers painted underneath the port wings.
Overhead view of 7 Wing F.6s clearly showing the camouflage pattern and the white painted serials on the starboard upper wings. Left to right, IF-80, IF-69, IF-93 and IF-131.
Close-up formation of Chievres Hunter F.6s, IF-113, IF-132 and IF- 78, obviously photographed after 1960 when squadron code letters were abolished. Also of note are the checkerboard-painted wingtips.
Armourers taking care of the ADEN gun pack. The code indicates that it is an aircraft belonging to 22 Squadron from Bierset
Hunter F.4s from the second production batch, modified to F.6 standard, June 1959. The first three are ID-132, ID-114 and ID-135. The aircraft in the background ‘OV-Y’, an F.6 belonging to 8 Squadron.
One of few known aerial shots of a 350 Squadron Hunter F.4 from Beauvechain. This particular aircraft was struck off charge on December 27, 1957, having amassed only 189 flying hours.
Banking hard to port, with flaps partially lowered, F.6 IF-25 of the Red Devils. This aircraft is wearing the second colour scheme with the white fuselage band painted all along the fuselage leaving only a thin metal exhaust ring. Note also the Belgian colours painted on the wing undersurfaces.
Two F.6s belonging to 8 Squadron from Chievres prepare for a mission in April 1960. ‘OV-A' is fitted with 100-gallon pylon-mounted fuel tanks.
Line-up of 7 Squadron F.6s - IF-86 is wearing red and white checkerboard on its wingtips - Chievres on May 27, 1961. It was later sold to Hawker Siddeley with only 485 flying hours.
Hunters F.6s of the Red Devils, flying in box formation and trailing smoke behind them.
Hunter F.4 ID-30 flew with both 350 Squadron as illustrated, and also 349 Squadron - ending its flying career with 308 hours clocked.
F.6 still bearing the code ‘JE-B’ of 26 Squadron from Bierset’s 9 Fighter Wing. However the white paper horse insignia from one of the Chievres squadrons is also painted on it - this picture dates from 1960 when there were frequent change-overs due to 9 Wing’s disbandment.
During the 1959 season at Chievres, in front of one of their camouflaged Hunters members of the Red Devils acrobatic team: left to right are: Deprins, Debart, Thys, Girardin, Tonet; kneeling, Bodart, Jacobs, Gaye and kneeling in front, wearing gloves, is the leader, Major ‘Bobby’ Bladt.
A line-up of 7 Squadron F.4s, ready to roll with the pilots strapped in.