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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


Monday, December 31st 2018, 3:22pm

Avions-Fairey Gyrodyne

Avions-Fairey Gyrodyne

In 1948 the company began working on military versions of the Fairey FB-1 Gyrodyne designed by Dr J.A.J Bennett and first flown in Britain on 4 December 1947. The Gyrodyne features a three-bladed rotor and an anti-torque rotor on a starboard stub wing which provides added thrust, both powered by a single piston engine. The first Belgian-built prototype made its maiden flight on 18 November 1948 and was followed by two refined versions with Avia-Minerva engines in early 1949. During 1950 eight pre-production aircraft were built and a production batch of twelve GM.1 and ten GR.1 aircraft.
In Britain work continued on further developments as the ‘Jet Gyrodyne’ with the addition of tip jets on a new large two-bladed rotor fed by compressed air from an Alvis Leonides radial that also powered two propellers on two stub wings for extra thrust. The first free flight took place in January 1950. Seeing the benefits the Avions-Fairey team switched their efforts, a prototype flying in June 1950 and ten pre-production examples following the following year.

Wingspan: 5.38m (17 ft 8 in)
Main rotor diameter: 15.8 m (51 ft 9 in)
Main rotor area: 195.3 m2 (2,102 sq ft)
Fuselage Length: 7.62m (25 ft)
Height: 3.07m (10 ft 1 in)
Empty weight: 1,629 kg (3,592 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 2,250 kg (4,960 lb)
Powerplant: one 575hp Avia-Minerva Aigle 7MR 9-cylinder radial piston engine driving a Fairey three-blade main rotor and a Fairey two-blade variable pitch propeller on the starboard stub wing
Fuel capacity: 227.3 litres (50 imp gal) fuel and 31.8 litres (7 imp gal) oil
Maximum speed: 225 km/h (140 mph)
Range: 400 km (248 miles)
Service ceiling: 3,050 m (10,010 ft)
Crew: GM.1: two, pilot and navigator/bomb aimer. GR.2: pilot and observer/radio operator
Armament: GM.1: 1x 150kg depth-charge under each stub wing, one 13.2mm FN-Browning MG in port stub wing. GR.2: 2x 50kg bombs or 5x flares/light bombs under each stub wing, one 13.2mm FN-Browning MG in port stub wing


Monday, December 31st 2018, 3:32pm

Fokker T.XM

Fokker T.XM
This is the maritime patrol variant of the T.X bomber. Changes from the land-based bomber include wingtip tanks, a powerful searchlight in a pod under the port wing, removal of the ventral turret and the remote-control turret system, addition of side observation windows and Boulton Paul N nose turret designed for strafing as well as a larger galley and rest facilities. Torpedoes and depth-bombs can be carried under the wings. The prototype flew on 19 March 1945 and the type entered service in early 1946. 8 crewmen are carried. In 1949 Belgium brought 12.

Wingspan: 24.70 m (81 ft 0 in)
Length: 17.80 m (58 ft 3 in)
Height: 5.10 m (16 ft 9 in)
Empty weight: 13975 kg (30,810 lb)
Max take-off weight: 18250 kg (40,235 lb)
Powerplant: 2x 2,375hp Minerva Condor II 24-cylinder radial engines
Maximum speed: 436 km/h (271 mph)
Cruising Speed: 337 km/h (210 mph)
Service ceiling: 7990 m (26,215 ft)
Range: 3395 km (2110 miles)
Armament: twin 23mm FN-Madsen cannon in Boulton Paul N nose turret, twin 23mm FN-Madsen cannon in dorsal and tail turrets, bomb load or torpedoes up to 2000kg (4,409 lb) in an internal bomb bay and four underwing hardpoints