Jan Olieslagers (1883-1942) was born in Antwerp the 4th of May. He was an avid motorcyclist and the first man to reach 100 km/hour on his motorcycle.
It was for this reason he got himself the nickname of "the Antwerp Devil".
In 1902 he won the world championship and in 1904 the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race.
Along with his 2 brothers, who all were very much interested in civil aviation industry, they purchases a Bleriot XI monoplane in 1909.
This was the start of setting and breaking a series of established world records - seven in total.
When Germany invaded Belgium in August 1914, The 3 Olieslagers brothers prompty offered their services as airmen, and their three Bleriot XI aircraft.
Only armed with a pistol, Olieslagers tackled his early German war opponents!
He is amongst the most successful First World War fighters of Belgium.
Because he didn't pay much attention of claiming officially victories from his fights, there are only 6 of this confirmed.
Still, having made 500 take offs then and being involved in almost 100 dogfights, he never got the real recognition he deserved. He is however one of Belgium's most successful First World War fighter pilots.
Following the end of the war Olieslagers helped to establish Antwerp airport, which opened in 1923.
He died on 23 March 1942 in Antwerp. He died rather young at the age of 58.
The statue taken on this picture is in honour of Jan Olieslagers.
As indicated in my intropage, the names of Stampe and Vertongen do ring a bell for all who is interested in civil airtransportation.
More info about these two people will be provided in the local custom tips
The Stampe & Vertongen Museum opened it doors officially at the 10th Fly-in on 26 May 2001.
It took about 9 years of begging and lobbying to get permission to build a new lodgement for this museum.
The main aim of this museum is to maintain the heritage of the only Belgian airplane that got international fame: the Stampe & Vertongen or simply the SV.1; SV.2; SV.3;SV.4 and SV.5.
The SV.4 was renomated for across the borders of our little nation. For a while the French used to call it a French invention, but that is sorted out now and corrected.
The SV.4 is still flying in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA and South-Africa.
CLICK on the picture to view it completely: 3 times a SV.4
Close to Antwerp and very easily reacheable by public transportation, you will find the small business airport of Antwerp.
There has been quite some locomotion about it lately as some (who run business around Antwerp) would like to have the landing track prolonged. This will eventually give open way for bigger and more noisy airplanes to land at Antwerp.
To consider that Brussels is only a whistle away and there are other airports as a way out, should Brussels be closed, and to consider how much the exploitations costs, I think it is not really the best idea. Thinking of all those other ppl who already suffer from too much noise, thinking of how our politicians are fighting about the take off and landing directions around Zaventem/Brussels, I wonder why the hell what they try to avoid there, they want to impose on us! Kind of hypocrite! But hey... we just got elections so all kind of lies and hypocricy is spoiled over us.
So you can understand I am not at all in favour of enlargement. I rather keep it what it is, a local business airport with connections to other continental airports by use of city hoppers.
Each year, during Ascension weekend, the Antwerp air is filled with little airplanes, flying in to take part of the Stampe Fly In, organised by the local Antwerp Stampe Center.
It is like the little planes coming back to visit their place of birth.
If you want to have a look at them, you should take advantage of this opportunity!
CLICK on the picture to have the complete view, it is panoramic!
Jean Stampe was born on 17 April 1889 and grew up in St-Jans-Molenbeek (Brussel).
In November 1915, at age of 20 he volunteered for the army for the duration of the war. He had to pay his own flying instruction.
He succeeded and thus during the First World war, he flew with the Belgian Flying Corps.
He was such a reliable pilote that King Albert I chose him to fly him over the front zone and the trenches during the WWI.
Tragedically his wife died because of the Spanish flu and left him single father with a young son.
It was during the war time he met Maurice Vertongen.
Together they founded the Stampe and Vertongen Company at Antwerp-Deurne in 1923, becoming one of the largest flying schools in Belgium and possessing maintenance and ferrying contracts for the Belgian Air Force. A boy's dream became reality!
That same year he remarried as well.
Because they lacked good training planes, they stick their heads together and decided to design their own planes.
After contacting a Brussels engineer Alfred Renard (1895-1988), the first plane was finished: a Renard-Stampe-Vertongen.
The RSV 32-90 which was under the most primitive circumstances in the cellar under a dance-hall in Evere. The aircraft was inspected by king Albert I on 23 April 1923 and did its first test flight the same day. The letters BOEL at the side are in honour of another ex-war pilot, Maurice Boel, who brought all parties together. The preceding O (registration Belgium) became OO later on.
57 RSV 32-90 were built before production was stopped in 1932.
George Ivanow was the designer of the first Stampe & Vertongen planes, the SV.1 up to SV.5. The SV.4 is most probably the most famous and popular airplane of that time.