The first Belgian aeroplane of the 21st century is unveiled


On 19 June, a new aeroplane, completely developed and produced in Belgium, flew for the first time. The aircraft made its inaugural flight from the Gosselies aerodrome, on the opening day of the 52nd International Paris Air Show.

At 8.32pm, the single engine two-seater training and recreational aircraft left runway 07 at Charleroi with test pilot Pascal Grandin at the controls. At an altitude of 2,000ft (a little more than 600 metres), the prototype then flew northwards to avoid the city in the event of problems.

This first official flight, which did not reveal any glitches, marks the start of a series of test flights which will last for four months in Belgium before continuing in Avignon, in the South of France. This should result in the aircraft receiving EASA certification by the end of September, followed by the first deliveries in October.

Nearly 30 units have already been ordered by Belgian, German, British and French customers, flight schools in particular. The basic price is 175,000 euros. The low-wing aircraft, which has a completely metallic structure and supports a maximum take-off weight of 750kg, is designed to be used for training pilots and for recreational flights. Its conventional structure is composed of frames, side sills and advanced aluminium alloy plates, which ensures highly effective protection against corrosion.


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