The SF260, training Belgian Air Force pilots at Beauvechain Air Base
One of the largest air bases in Belgium is situated about 25km South-East of Brussels. Its official name is Air Base Lt.Col. Charles Roman and is located near the town of Beauvechain. The air base is the home of the helicopter force of the Belgian Air Force (1st Wing) and hosts the training squadrons 5 and 9, both flying the Aermacchi Marchetti SF260D/M+.
The SF260 is a real veteran in the Belgian Air Force. In 1969 the Belgians ordered 36 SF260’s. The first SF260 (registration ST-01) came in service in November 1969 and unfortunately was already soon written off after an accident at Goetenshoven on 21 April 1971. The other 35 (ST-02 to ST-36) arrived between February 1970 and June 1971. 23 of the original 36 aircraft are still in use.
In 1991 the Belgian Air Force added another 9 SF260’s to the fleet (ST-40 to ST-48). The 32 SF260’s are in use for the elementary flight training of the Belgian Air Force pilots and for the Belgian demonstration team “Red Devils”.