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Sunday, May 18th 2014, 4:12pm

Bomber & Reconnaissance Aircraft

Current bomber aircraft of the Aeronautique Militaire include:
Avions-Fairey Balmoral

Future aircraft:
Avions-Fairey Fox II - from 1946 (144 planned)

Older types no longer in reserve or reserve include:
Avions-Fairey Fox IIIC
Avions-Fairey Battle
Renard R31 licence-built by SABCA


Sunday, May 18th 2014, 4:19pm

Avions-Fairey Balmoral

Avions-Fairey Balmoral
In 1937, the Belgian Air Force selected the Balmoral to replace the Battle as the standard bomber. The first of 144 production aircraft rolled off the production line at Gosselies during mid-1938.
Dimensions: 60.3/ 44.7/ 13.6/ 530 sq ft; 1x 2,625hp Bristol Centaurus X radial; max weight 22,150lb; max speed 292mph at 14,000ft; range 1,096 miles and service ceiling 25,000ft.


Sunday, May 18th 2014, 4:22pm


A two-seat low-wing single-engine monoplane light bomber/reconnaissance aircraft with a retractable tailwheel undercarriage, with the mainwheels retracting backwards into the wing. The pilot and observer were located in individual, widely separated cockpits. A small ventral bay holds two/three cameras or can be fitted to carry two 50 kg bombs. The prototype flew on 16 February 1936 but the decision to build the Fairey Balmoral under licence saw the S.47 reconfigured as a reconnaissance type and the prototype’s Hispano-Suiza engine was replaced by a Rolls-Royce Merlin to provide compatibility with the Balmoral fleet. The prototype flew again on 3 September 1938 and production of 36 aircraft began soon after to replace the Renard R.31 fleet.
Wingspan: 13.2017 m (43 ft 3 in)
Length: 10.6109 m (34 ft 9 in)
Height: 3.20 m (10 ft 6 in)
Wing area: 23.80 m2 (256.2 sq ft)
Empty weight: 2,250 kg (4,960 lb)
Gross weight: 3,240 kg (7,143 lb)
Max take-off weight: 3,350 kg (7,385 lb)
Powerplant: 1,280hp Rolls-Royce Merlin IV V12 liquid cooled engine
Maximum speed: 540 km/h (336 mph) at 4,200 m (13,780 ft)
Service ceiling: 9,501 m (31,170 ft)
Time to altitude: 2,000 m (6,650 ft) in 3 min 5 sec, 6,000 m (19,685 ft) in 14 min 11 s
Range: 1,576 km (979 miles) at 4,000 m (13,120 ft)
Armament: 2x 7.7mm FN-Browning MGs in wings, 1x 7.7mm FN-Browning MG in rear cockpit, 2x 50kg bombs in ventral bay and 10x 50kg bombs underwing


Sunday, May 18th 2014, 4:25pm


A small three-seat light bomber and light transport. The prototype first flew on 2 February 1938 and production for the Belgian Air Force began during 1939 to meet a requirement for a bomber aircrew trainer equipped for bomb-aimer, navigator and radio operator training. 65 were produced. Twelve were also built as transports as the S.48B with space for two pilots and five passengers. The S.48C is a civilian airliner version with a pilot and six passengers.
Wingspan: 16.65 m (54 ft 7 in)
Length: 11.80 m (38 ft 8 in)
Height: 3.70 m (12 ft 2 in)
Wing area: 38.9 m2 (419 ft2)
Empty weight: 4,072 kg (8,977 lb)
Gross weight: 5,672 kg (12,505 lb)
Powerplant: 2× 725hp Avia-Minerva Minion IIS
Maximum speed: 420 km/h (261 mph)
Range: 1,700 km (1,050 miles)
Service ceiling: 8,500 m (27,880 ft)
Armament: 1 × 7.7mm FN-Browning MG in each nose, dorsal (powered) and ventral positions, 400 kg (882 lb) bomb load


Sunday, May 18th 2014, 4:31pm

Avions-Fairey Fox II

Avions-Fairey Fox II
In Britain, Fairey produced a private-venture land-based ground attack variant of the naval Fairey Spearfish dive/ torpedo-bomber. A prototype was converted from the second prototype, which flew in August 1944. The RAF selected the type to replace the Hawker Henley and Bristol Balmoral and the first entered service during late 1945. At the same time, Belgium selected the aircraft to replace their Balmoral fleet and 144 were ordered from Avions-Fairey. The first production aircraft was delivered in May 1946. The main changes from the Spearfish are; removal of wing folding and arrestor hook, the ASV search set; the addition of some armour plating and improved self-sealing wing tanks; four 20mm cannon in the wings and the internal bay can carry either bombs or an extra 2955 litre self-sealing gallon fuel tank or an under fuselage cannon pack with four 20mm cannon. Underwing armament can consist of either eight rocket projectiles, two bombs or two 40mm Vickers ‘S’ guns in pods or two standard drop tanks can be fitted. The gunner has a remotely controlled turret armed with two 13.2mm FN-Browning machine-guns.
Wingspan: 18.37 m (60 ft 3in)
Length: 13.62 m (44 ft 7 in)
Height: 4.14 m (16 ft 6 in)
Wing area: 530 ft² (49.2 m²)
Max take-off weight: 10047 kg (22,150 lb)
Powerplant: 2,625hp Bristol Centaurus X 18-cylinder radial engine
Maximum speed: 469 km/h (292 mph) at 4267 m (14,000 ft)
Cruise speed: 415 km/h (260 mph)
Service ceiling: 7620 m (25,000 ft)
Rate of climb: 8.74 m/sec (1,720 ft/min)
Range: 1763 km (1,096 miles)
Armament: 4x 20mm Hispano HS-204 cannon in wings, 2x 13.2mm FN-Browning MGs in dorsal turret, bomb load of 1x 900kg or 2x 500kg or 4x 250 kg bombs in the bomb bay or a pack with 4x 20mm Hispano HS-204 cannon, 2x 500kg or 250 kg bombs or 8x 76mm RPs or two 400 litre drop-tanks underwing