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Help : Questions about the 1930s Gent BAC Drones

From: Bernd Diekmann

I am part of a team of 3 aviation-enthusiastics that would make a new biography of gliding-pioneer Robert Kronfeld (1904-1948), with me is Manfred Krieg from Erfurt/Germany and Vincent Cockett from Guernsay/GB. Mr Hazewinkel made a note that it can be you can help with informations about the Societe Gantoise des Avions sans Moteur SGSM at Gent. Also he named you as a very good specialist for Belgian aviation at all, and so I, and also the team of the Kronfeld-project, would be very grateful for any help.
We know the follow:
Gent-Club president Manchoulas ground a work-station (or company ?) for Lowe-Wylde Drones at Gent airport.  3 Drones built (or endwork ?) there. Later marking with OO-BAC, BAD + BAE. The Press named a license with Lowe-Wylde. Jacques Chillon sent copies with French articles about the SGSM, also we find notes at different books and magazines.
Auflistung "Drone" Produktion Belgien
Built at
First date
Last date

Societe Gantoise des Avions sans Moteur/
ASBL - Manchoulas

Sint Denijs
Crash: 10.06.

Societe Gantoise des Avions sans Moteur
ASBL - Manchoulas

Sint Denijs

Societe Gantoise des Avions sans Moteur
/Gent ASBL - Manchoulas


Exported to GB under C/N305 Import denied

Can you help with further notes ?
Lowe-Wylde made a presentation at end 1932 with Drone 1 + 2 at Gent. Also Suzy Lippens was seen at this presentation. First SGSM-Drone listed at Belgium at 7th June 1933. It was much different to the Lowe-Wylde Drone, looks modified with a aerodynamic engine-cover, changed back to a 1-seater (“1”+”2” Lowe Wylde-Drone are 2-seaters – a normal BAC VII glider with a frame for the engine) and also the fuselage looks changed (more aerodynamic) around the nose.
Now our first question: Who made these construction-modification ?
We think for Robert Kronfeld. He was able to do this (study engineering at Vienna and Göttingen, working with Emil Pohorille, Hans Jacobs and Alexander Lippisch at Wasserkuppe, he was designer of his own glider KR-1 Austria II and construction-helper of Ernst von Lössl (Junkers) and Dr. August Kupper (Junkers, later German Research Center Berlin-Adlershof) at the Ingenieurschule Weimar, he was the  Leiter des Versuchsflugzeugbau an der Ingenieursschule in Weimar – (=Director of the experimental-aircraft construction at the Engineer School at Weimar) and he was a near friend of Suzy Lippens (she was later the godmother of his son). He also made different visits at Lippens homes at Knokke and Spa in the time the planes built. Later at 1.01.1935, 2 years after Lowe-Wyldes fatal accident with Drone 1, Kronfeld take over the company and built more than 30 Drones at England. The first Drones made by Kronfeld looks same like the SGSM-Drones. Later he made more changes for his BAC Super Drone and later the Kronfeld de Luxe Drone.
The question we have:
  • Are there any hints for our meaning ?
  • Is Robert Kronfeld named with the SGSM or Manchoulas ?
  • Was Lippens Family (financial-)involved at SGSM ?
  • Which motor was used ? Douglas 600cc or Douglas “Sprite” 750cc ? (Harm Hazewinkel named a 600cc)
  • Is there a link between of Manchoulas to SFAN Societe Francaise des Avions Nouvelles (who also built a Drone-license at Paris) ?
  • Was Lippens Family (financial-)involved at SFAN?
If you can help please contact Bern or us
Many thanks in advance 

All pictures,Collection Daniel Brackx

Details on the bac Drone at