The Early Years



1910


31/10/1910
A commission to study the establishment of a Belgian Military Aviation is constituted by Ministerial Decision (D.M.)
Members are:
Major-General Van Sprang (chairman), Major-General Ceulemans, Capt-Commandant chevalier Le Clément de Saint-Marcq, Capt-Commandant adjoint d'Etat Major Fayaux et Capt-Commandant Sohier.



03/11/1910
The first military Farman (Henri Farman type école N° 1 with c/n 93) is accepted by Lt Georges Nélis, assisted by chevalier Jules de Laminne et mechanic Guillaume Deguel at Mourmelon (France).

01/12/1910
Henri Farman N° 1 has been transferred to Belgium by rail and road and makes its fist flight still owned exclusively by
chevalier Jules de Laminne.
Later that month the aircraft suffered a minor mishap at Kiewit and is repaired locally while the inscription "ARMEE BELGE" was applied on the intrados of the wings.

The Early Years - Belgian Military Aviation Timeline
Henri Farman N° 1 sporting the inscription "AR-MEE BEL-GE".
Mike Terlinden Coll.)


1911

01/01/1911
Baron Pierre de Caters offers his Aviator nr 2 (which has been transformed into "Type Militaire") to HrH King Albert I who immediately transferred it to the "Compagnie des Ouvriers et Aérostiers du Génie".
This machine theoretically becomes Belgium's the first military aircraft although it only made some short flights before being grounded as being unsafe.


01/05/1911
Official inauguration of the "Ecole D'Aviation Militaire" at Brasschaat

04/05/1911
Farman N° 1 is flown from Kiewit to Brasschaat (via Wilrijk) by Laminne and Nélis to become the first equipment of the "Ecole d'Aviaton Militaire".



1912

09/09 > 12/09/1912
First ever European air-to-ground firing experiment with a Lewis machine gun mounted on the rear seat of a Farman HF.16 by Lt. Stellingwerff and his pilot Lt. Nélis.

The Early Years - Belgian Military Aviation Timeline
Lt Stellingwerff (rear) and Lt Nélis in their Lewis machine gun equipped Farman HF.16
(© Guy Van de Merckt Coll.)


1913



16/04/1913
The "Compagnie des Aviateurs " is established at Brasschaat through Royal Decree N° 1546.
First Commander is Cpn-Cdt Emile Mathieu.

Cpn-Cdt Emile Mathieu
Cpn-Cdt Emile Mathieu
(
© Daniel Brackx Coll.)


1914


08/04/1914
Civil chief-instructor Fernand Verschaeve is killed at St. Job while testing a new Farman type MF23bis powered by a Gnôme Monosoupape "lambda" of 80hp.

27/06/1914

Slt Félix Liedel makes a fatal crash at Martelange due to structural problems with his Farman HF20. The seriously injured pilot dies two day later, becoming the first military pilot to die in service.


The Early Years - Belgian Military Aviation Timeline
The remains of Lt Félix Liedel's Farman HF20 at Martelange.
(
© Guy Destrebecq Coll.)








BELGIAN MILITARY AIRAFT DATABASE - Belgian Military Aircraft


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