Next stop on our list was a basevisit at Beauvechain. From Bierset it is just a 40 minute drive and it is easy to combine both bases in 1 day visit. After we arrived I had to report at the main gate where they told us we had to go to the livingquarters just outside the airfield. When we arrived there our tourguide was already waiting for us. Our transport for the day was a 50 person coach to take us around the airfield. The first stop on our tour would be the maintainancefacilities of the Alphajets.In the first hangar there were no less then 6 jets in various stages of their overhaul from completely being taken apart to almost back in working order. We were allowed to use any staircase or what so ever as long as we weren't hindering the mechanics in their work and the lightconditions were not bad considdering we

were inside. The next hangar there were 3 Alphajets,2 of them were prepared to go testflying and 1 was prepared for the big overhaul. We were given the oppertunity to take a seat in 1 of them to have our picture taken and get a feel what it is like to sitting in such a small cockpit(I need a bigger jet).After we finished here we went for a search to see if we could find a Fouga Magister.We found 1 but there supposed to be 3.The remainder all will go to the storagefacility in Vissenaken of the Koninklijke Legermuseum in Brussels.

Unfortunately this facility just found out that they have an asbestos problem so nothing is allowed to go from or to that place untill things are cleared. Next stop was the flightline of the Marchetti's. Some 12 aircraft were on the ramp and several aircraft were doing circuits around the airfield and also E3A from Geilenkirchen was doing the same but it needed a slighty bigger circuit to make its turns. Inside the hangar were about another 5 aircraft so not bad at all for the numbercrunchers.

From there we went to maintainancefacilities for the Marchetti's where another 6 aircraft were present including the ST11 which is normally in the museum but it was getting a major overhaul. Last stop on our tour was the basemuseum. The Hunter had left the collection and the FX47 had joined and the FX04 had been relocated to a new spot near the fence where it can be easily seen from the outside and also be photographed(fence only 1 meter high).After we finished here it was time to thank our tourguide and return home satisfied.

We also visited the museum who is also located on the airfield. The museum is home to several types of aircraft which flew for the IAC. Sadly not all in good shape but ellswhere on base they are restoring aircraft for the museum in Dublin.Just to give an example of the types that have gone in the last few years are the fouga CM170,marchetti SF260,gazelle SA342 and the Dauphin SA365 and by the end of this year another type will have left namely the Allouette III. This workhorse will fly it last flight somewhere in august of this year after a servicelife of 44 years with the IAC. 

For all the types that have left new ones have arrived but not as many as with the old ones. Newcommers are the EC135,AW139 and the PC9. All in all a very nice selection of aircraft to fly with. I want to thank everybody from the IAC who has made this visit possible and hope to see you again!!!



Jan Eenling© 2006-2010