Les Manchots (1965 - 1970)

On the occasion of the 1964 Air Meeting at Melsbroek the Basic Flying School of the Belgian Air Force was solicited for the first time to participate in the international air show with the SV-4bis, a training aircraft of Belgian origin. Early in 1965 a series of training exercises were started aimed at composing an aerobatic team.

In consideration of the specific nature of the SV-4B it was impossible to compose a program that could withstand comparison with other teams flying jet aircraft. The SV-4B being much slower and lighter, developed less power and was very susceptible to whims of the wind. On the other hand it turned out to be more suitable for acrobatic maneuvers and for inversed-flight configurations.

In view of the participation at air meets and without interrupting their job as flying instructor, Captain-Commandant Feyten and Lieutenant Lambermont practiced a patrol configuration, whereas Warrant-Officer Pilot Janssens concentrated on a solo performance.

The Manchots Patrol distinguished themselves in bringing to live a series of bold acrobatic maneuvers bearing heavily on the possibility of inversed flight. The brand new patrol officially made their first appearance during the international air meeting at Brustem in 1965. Offers for participation poured in at a high rate and their presence was frequently witnessed both in Belgium and abroad. In 1966, a year in which their calendar was filled to the brim, Lieutenant-Pilot Christiaens took over from Lieutenant-Pilot Lambermont.
With the advent of the year 1967 the patrol still has no name.
The crest of the EVS and the particular nature of the maneuvers executed with great virtuosity by the pilots in the course of the air shows, contributed heavily in choosing an unusual and humoristic name: the "Manchots", French for penguins. A Manchot not only is a penguin, but also denotes a one-armed person, therefore a slightly awkward person. As offers for participation both in Belgium and abroad keep piling up a strong selection became both crucial and essential.

The patrol was sent abroad to the remotest places, resulting in extended and tedious flights: Troyes (France), Middleton Sea Side (UK), Eindhoven (Netherlands), Hunsborn (Germany) and Ravenna (Italy), to just mention a few.

SV-4Bs that were part of the "Manchots" acrobatic team.

V18 Black and white with red "sun ray" V28 Same finish as V18
V64 Black and yellow back-up plane; 1964 with black and yellow lines; 1966 without lines. Large "manchot" on the fin
V19 1964: orange; later identical finish as V64
V65 Identical finish as V18 with small "manchot" on the fin back-up plane.

Pictures of all the SV-4B "Les Manchots" airplane, flyer and figures

SV-4B V65 was the first Belgian SV-4B with special painting. Years before "Les Manchots", in 1957, the SV-4B V65 got a special painting for the participation by Adj. Alex Janssens at the Lockheed Aerobatic Trophy (unofficial air acrobatic world championship). After this participation the V65 was used for another 2 years for solo-demo's.


Particularities of the demo

Vertical acrobatic maneuvers such as loopings and stall turns in boxed inverse-flight formation. Some twenty acrobatic figures and fifteen formation changes in twelve minutes all within the limits of an average-sized airfield. Loss of altitude had to be limited to a mere 300 meters.

 

Jean Feyten (4500 flight hours) - Paul Christiaens (3000 flight hours) and Alex Janssens ( 6000 flight hours of which 4000 on SV-4B)

 

Photos (C) Robert Roggeman

"Les Manchots" and their speciality...mirror flying.
During air shows the planes made so many "tail" contacts that techniciens had to repaint them every time...

  

End of an SV-4B period when replaced by Marchetti - see "Les Manchots" in action

   

SV-4B Acro Team "Les Manchots during Airshow at Werl 1966.

 

Alex Janssens who founded the skills in aerobatics on SV4B flew west on August 16 2016.

 

Les Meetings aériens d'Alex Janssens

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Dates

Lieux

Circonstances

N° SV4-B

1953

30 août

Casteau

 

V40

1955

31 juillet

Aalst

 

V20

1956

28 juin

Goetsenhoven

Fastes de l’EPE

V52

 

02 septembre

Genk

 

V20

 

09 septembre

Virton

 

V20

1957

16 mai

Goetsenhoven

Fastes de l’EPE

V65

 

29 mai

Brasschaat

Fastes de l’Aviation légère

V65

 

14 juin

Kleine Brogel

Fastes du 10e Wing

V65

 

22 juin

Brustem

Fastes de l’Operational Conversion Unit

V65

 

05 juillet

Chièvres

Fastes du 7e Wing

V65

 

12 juillet

Coventry

Lockheed Aerobatic Competition

V65

 

18 août

Virton

 

V65

 

23 août

Florennes

Fastes du 2° Wing

V65

 

07 septembre

Chièvres

 

V65

 

26 septembre

Beauvechain

Fastes du 1er Wing

V65

1958

21 février

Goetsenhoven

Show au profit de médecins portugais

V65

 

21 avril

Goetsenhoven

Show au profit d’élèves médecins

V65

 

29 juin

Bierset

Meeting des Nations

V65

 

28 juillet

Casteau

Remise de brevets aux Cadets de l’Air

V65

 

07 septembr

Virton

 

V65

 

14 septembre

Bierset

PAIM (Penthatlon aéronautique international militaire)

V65

1960

10 avril

Koksijde

 

V65

 

30 avril

Chièvres

 

V65

 

22 mai

Schaffen

 

V65

 

26 mai

Wevelgem

 

V65

 

02 septembre

Florennes

 

V65

 

04 septembre

Casteau

 

V65

 

22 septembre

Goetsenhoven

 

V65

1961

04 décembre

Brustem

 

V65

1964

06 mai

Goetsenhoven

 

V18

1965

01 septembre

Dax (2 journées)

 

V19

 

08 septembre

Goetsenhoven

 

V64

1966

21 mai

Oostmalle

 

V28

 

07 août

Beerse

 

V19

 

28 août

Marche

 

V19

 

03 septembre

Charleroi

(Touch-Flick roll-Touch)

V19

 

18 septembre

Brasschaat

idem

V19

1967

18 juin

Keiheuvel

 

V19

Air Shows where Alex Janssens flew acro with SV-4B (Source "Les Vieilles Tiges")

 

Database, history, gallery of the 65 airplanes that were used by the Belgian Air Force, and the still flying planes.
Acro Team "Les Manchots" , the SV planes they used, and the aces. Article of Dominique Hanson.
Crash report of the accident with SV-4b V43 in Twente (Netherland) in 1986 - Crash report of the accident with SV-4B V53 at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome New York (USA) in 2001 - SV-4B crashes in Belgium database of all Belgian SV-4B crashes
SV-4B with Blackburn Cirrus engine article of L. Wittemans.
Other types of SV airplanes and the LINK trainer , the other types of SV airplanes build bij Stampe Vertongen and an article about the LINK trainer, the first generation of flight simulators.
SV-4B OO-ATD and Divoy and Donnet, flight to freedom of Leon Divoy and Michel Donnet and SV-4B OO-ATD - SV-4B OO-ACB van Verbraeck en Reuter and their flight from France to Portugal in 1940
SV-4B V2 trip to Kamina (Congo) , in 1950 military pilot Manu Geerts had to deliver SV-4B V2 in Congo, Kamina. A trip of 10.578km, and 66 hrs flying time, article of R. Decobeck.
SV-4B in WWII in Africa , at the beginning of WWII 24 planes of the earlier SV-4B version airplanes, were transferred to Congo, at that time a Belgian Colony. This version had no closed canopy. An article of L. Wittemans.
Belgian Air Cadets , they used for several years the last military SV-4B airplanes.
SV links and other related links.

Reactions of SV-4B pilots, mistery photos and contact address

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