Aviation Historian 18
N.Stroud - A Grand Day Out at Chateau D'Ardenne
By far the largest aircraft to attend the rally in August 1930 was SABCA-built Handley Page W.8 OO-AHJ of Sabena. Seen here beside it at the airfield are, from left to right; M I. Renard, Director of Sabena; Mme J. Coomans; Col and Mme J. Smeyers; Mme Cocquyt; M Calembert; Capt Prosper Cocquyt (Sabena’s chief pilot) and M Regout.
Next to arrive after the Coomans were Georges Hanet (left) and racing driver Blin d’Orimont in D.H.80A Puss Moth G-AAFA (c/n 2038). The following month Hanet won the Belgian Coupe Challenge International in the aircraft, which was sold to a new owner in 1936 before moving to Sweden the same year to become SE-AFH.
Lionel Balfour and his sister Rachel pose beside Avro Avian II G-EBSD in the airfield in the grounds of the chateau. Lionel went on to become a Director of Portsmouth, Southsea & Isle of Wight Aviation, which provided a highly successful pre-war air ferry service between Portsmouth and Ryde using Airspeed and Monospar aircraft.
“Teddy” Franchomme, who supplied Hawker test pilot George Bulman with the photographs presented here, stands on the left beside the CAB’s Hanriot HD.14 OO-ALA, named Mickey Mouse, as seen on the cowling. The three HD.14s placed on the Belgian register were all operated by the CAB and were all probably ex-military.
Messieurs A. Joly and C. Marot of the Aero Club de l’Aube at Troyes in the Champagne-Ardennes region of France were the penultimate visitors to arrive, which they did at 1830hr in this unidentified Hanriot HD.14. The club was one of the oldest flying organisations in France, having affiliated with the Aero Club de France in 1901.
Jean Coomans and his wife with what is likely to be RSV 32/90 OO-AJP of the Antwerp Aviation Club at Chateau d’Ardenne during the second rally. Powered by a 90 h.p. Anzani six-cylinder radial, this was one of the club’s first aircraft, originally being registered as O-BAJP before Belgium’s OO- prefix was introduced in 1929.
Lambert Keyenbergh poses beside the elephant motif on the cowling of his RSV 32/90, OO-AJD. Having married the daughter of a wealthy colonial wares importer (hence the elephant), Keyenbergh, a keen aviator since the early 1920s, spent much of his wife’s fortune on aviation, drink and women, and died penniless after the war.
Count Raoul Vilain XIIII (right) and his passenger Mr Narischkine were fifth to arrive at the chateau on August 30, and are seen here beside their mount, RSV26/100 OO-AJT of the Club d’Aviateurs de Bruxelles. The diminutive biplane was powered by a 100 h.p. Renard engine and bore the name J.B.Richard on the fuselage.
Renowned Belgian aircraft designer Jean Stampe beside Stampe et Vertongen RSV 18/105 OO-APC at the second aerial rally at Chateau d’Ardenne, on August 30-31, 1930. The aircraft, then owned by the American Petroleum Company, was powered by a 105 h.p. Cirrus Hermes engine.
Representing the Antwerp Aviation Club were Messieurs Bosyns and Van Dessel, who arrived in the early evening in RSV 18/100 OO-AKG. Powered by a 100 h.p. Renard engine, this aircraft was flown by Jean Stampe to first place in the Concours National d’Avions de Tourisme in June 1929, while still only certificated for testing.
Although unconfirmed, it is likely that this is de Havilland D.H.60M OO-AKM, co-owned by Albert and Maurice de Limelette and one of only two Moths registered in Belgium at the time of the second rally. Maurice flew Col Baron Wahis (Chairman of the CAB, seen here on the left) to the airfield, hence the likelihood of it being ’AKM.
Arriving at the chateau at 1710hr were Messieurs Marechal (left) and Robert Van de Velde of the CAB in Orta Saint-Hubert G.1 OO-ALL. On October 19, 1932, the parasol-winged machine departed for a flight to Tehran in Persia (Iran), where it arrived on November 12. By July 1933 it was reported as having been destroyed in Persia.
Powered by an 85 h.p. five-cylinder Walter Vega engine, Orta Saint-Hubert G.1 OO-AKY of the CAB was flown to the rally by Comte Jacques d’Ursel, seen here beside the machine. The three-seat G.1 was designed by Jef Guldentops for Jose Orta Constructions et Reparations Aeronautiques, based at Saint-Hubert in Wallonia.
In a splendid pair of plus-fours and argyle socks, well-known French aviator Ludovic Arrachart (left) and his passenger, M Schmoll, pose beside Caudron 193 F-AJSH (c/n 6478.4) shortly after their arrival at the chateau’s airfield. The aircraft was fresh from participating in the Challenge Internationale de Tourisme earlier that month.
One of two Dutch aircraft to participate in the August “Weekend Aerien” at the chateau was the sole Koolhoven FK-42, PH-AGO, flown in by its designer, Frederick Koolhoven, seen here beside the parasol-wing two- seat trainer with his wife. No sales of the aircraft were made and this one-off prototype crashed in July 1932.