Trips / The Campine
From Lelystad to Brasschaat On Sunday, 22 June 2014, Veleda and Rene made a trip to the Campine in Belgium. We first flew to Brasschaat airfield, formerly the base of the Belgian Army Flying Service and oldest air base in Belgium. In 1910, it was decided to construct the first military airfield at the Artillery shooting range in Brasschaat. The first official military Flying School of the Belgian Army opened its doors there on 1 May 1911. In September, the aircraft of Brasschaat, only two in total, proved their military worth in practice by taking part in army manoeuvres for the very first time. In 1912, firing tests with a machine gun fixed to an airplane were carried out on ground targets in Brasschaat. The success of those tests showed that the military use of planes was not limited to merely observation and reconnaissance.
From Brasschaat to Zoersel After Brasschaat we flew to Zoersel or (Oost)Malle airport. The airport was constructed as a NATO reserve airfield in the 1950s. Although the airport was funded by NATO, there have never been military aircraft besides some NATO exercises.
From Zoersel to Weelde Following Zoersel we flew to Weelde air base. It is a NATO reserve airfield constructed in the early 1950s. Weelde air base is operated by the Belgian Air Component that has no military flight operations at that location, besides aircraft arriving to be stored or leaving storage, for example retired F-16 aircraft. The Belgian Air Component also uses the airfield for the activities of the Belgian Air Cadets. It is also the home of the glider club Kempische Aero Club, of which club house we visited.
From Weelde to Lelystad After Weelde we flew back to Lelystad. We overflew the Gilze-rijen CTR, that on Friday and Saturday the day before had hosted the airforce open days. North-east of Gilze-rijen we passed the amusement park the Efteling. We also overflew Amersfoort, and then we continued to Lelystad airport where we landed on runway 05.