I had the chance to make a couple of flights in the front seat of this beautifully restored SV-4b biplane. It is owned by Johan De Block, a former Belgian Air Force pilot who is the president of the WAC, the full size private flying club located in Koksijde. This particular aircraft, with it's original tail number 21, used to sit on a pole as a gate guardian at the Goetsenhoven air base in the seventies, so I used to see it daily when I was a student pilot over there, flying SF-260's. This SV-4b was in a bad shape after being left to the mercy of the elements during many years, but it has been expertly restored by Raymond's Aircraft Restoration, see more details here. We must thank Johan De Block for preserving this unique piece of history!
A gathering of SV-4b aircraft was organised in Goetsenhoven in July 2014 for the benefit of former Belgian Air Force F-104G pilots. A total of 5 aircraft were present to allow these former pilots to have a nostalgic ride. I was lucky to be able to travel in this beautiful biplane instead of by car. At the same time, it was truly a historic flight as the aircraft returned to it's operational base after 33 years of absence...
Ready to go on board in Koksijde
Getting strapped in the front seat
Upon arrival at Goetsenhoven (photo Johan De Meurichy)
Happy to meet again, from L to R: Celle Van Der Auwera, Johan De Block, Armand Van Reydt, Philip Avonds and Guy Truyens (photo Johan De Meurichy)
Nice line up of five SV-4b biplanes at Goetsenhoven (photo Johan De Meurichy)
Philip Avonds Scale Jets