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What did we contribute to ?

Since 2002, the Brussels Air Museum Fund and the Brussels Air Museum Restoration Society developed an innovative process to speed up restorations.

The process is based on the following points.

  • The promotion activities can not be limited to Belgium and must use up to date techniques.
  • There is a strong demand in the public to be informed.
  • Most of the volunteers have expertise but are part time.
  • A volunteer is available 6 hours / week at the Museum but he can help more from home.
  • Many of the needed knowledge to restore aircraft is disappearing with the death of experts trained in the 1940’s and 1950’s.
  • An aircraft is a very complex machine needing more than a one man expertise.
  • Companies with the needed quality and skill are available in Belgium and worldwide.
  • With limited financial help and well defined targets, most of the restoration works can be outsourced to specialized partners. This way the needed time to restore an aircraft can be reduced from to a ratio from 10 to 1.
  • The expertise must be kept and preserved within the organizations but there is no need to do what someone do better than us.
  • Working with external partners boost expertise within the organizations to monitor and control the outsourced works.
  • The knowledge need to be shared within the organizations and with outside experts.
  • The technical documentation, pictures, testimonies anything which can help restoration need to archived a way information are preserved for future and easily shared with partners to speed up the restorations.

Theses principles were first applied to the Aviatik, the Fieseler Storch and the Bleriot Olieslagers.

Aviatik C1 : All the available drawings, technical descriptions, information and historical data were electronically stored. Based on these information a budget can be established. Although no sponsor has not yet been found, if the restoration works need to be started, all information are available to immediately start the operations. Thanks to the archiving activities a digital rendition of the aircraft already exists. See here the digital Aviatik.

Fieseler Storch : A strong cooperation between the Museum, the Bamf, the Bamrs, Ateliers Poncelet and Firmin Henrard permitted to restore the wood wings of the aircraft in two years. The Bamrs provided the financial help on a 2 year budget. The Bamrs prepared the works and defined the works to be performed. Frequent visits permitted to fix technical problems and to control the planning and the quality of the works. The Museum help with logistic support and global controlling. On returning to the Museum , the wings were displayed with the authorizations of the Museum. Regular updated on the Bamrs website keep the sponsors and the public aware of the progresses. On the Bamrs site you can find details of the operations.

Bleriot Olieslagers : In this case, the major issue was to reengineer the aircraft as no drawings were available of this particular model. As a low priority project, it was decided to concentrate the efforts on building the undercarriage, the most complicated sub assembly and to accumulate as much as possible documentation. One of the sponsors of the Bamf provided the wood needed to build the undercarriage. The Bamf searched and found a company to build the missing metallic parts. Visits to Memorial flight in Paris and world wide researches permitted to prepare drawings. The Ateliers Poncelet produced the wood frame and the undercarriage was assembled by the Bamrs. Thanks to Dragan Saler, who already produced the digital Aviatik, a virtual Bleriot was made available. The operations currently continue on preparing the future manufacturing of the fuselage


Voisin de Caters : Thanks to the experience gained with the Storch and the Bleriot, the same process was applied on the Voisin. The Bamf provide budgets for the manufacturing of the lower wings. All documentation was scanned and stored on digital media. The Bamrs prepared the missing drawings and coordinate the manufacturing with Ateliers Poncelet who produced the parts.

On the Bamf website, you can discover more on the project and our pictures gallery provide you details of our progress.

See also “A B-25 back to Belgium” project

At the origin, the Bamf mostly provided funds to acquire parts or aircraft (see yearly reports for details) and promote aviation heritage in Belgium.

Today the strong cooperation between the Bamf and the Bamrs permit also to use at best donations from our sponsors to have a fast return on investment.

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