The Fouga Magister in use in Belgian Air Force
On September 28th, 1958 the Belgian Governement decided to buy 45 Fouga Magisters for the air base of Kamina (Belgian Congo) where the student pilots were trained for the advanced flight. There were replacing the old T-6 Harvards.
During the insurgency 6 armed Fougas (MT4, 6, 10, 14, 17 and 18) were used against the rebels. After the independence of Congo, the Fougas were sent to Belgium (Brustem airbase).
Later 5 other Fougas were bought for a total of 50.
Apart the rule of trainer, the Fougas were also used by the Belgian acrobatic patrol “Red Devils”, bearing a splendid red paint.
In 1978 the Fougas were progressively replaced by the Alpha-Jet. Some of the aircrafts (eight) were sold to Israel, other ones were used as liaison aircrafts, or just to permit to some officers to maintain their flight hours at a good level, until being gradually whithdrawn of use.
On September 27th, 2007 the last one (MT-35) made her last flight.
It is interesting that the Fougas were sometimes nicknamed “the Belgian submarines” because of the periscope/episcope permitting the monitor (backseater) to see in front of the aircraft…