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Brussels Air Museum : The nose of the Airspeed AS.10 Oxford O-16 under repair.

Eight years ago, a truck maneuvering in air hall of the Royal Army Museum damaged the nose of the preserved aircraft.

Although replacement parts were quickly obtained from the RAF Museum, volunteers of the museum have now the possibility to repair the rare trainer on the continent.

The Belgian Air Force acquired the first Oxford before World War two then to train the future crews of twin engine aircraft then on order.

The Oxford was extensively used by the Air Forces of Commonwealth to train bombers crews and for liaison duties.

After the war, the Belgian Air Force acquired 42 Oxford serving mostly with the 15 Wing (Transport) but also to help the transition from single engine aircraft to twin engine aircraft as the Meteor and as ack aircraft for fighter squadrons. From 1955, the Belgian Oxfords were phased out but O-16 was preserved thanks to the Belgian Air Force. The civil version of the Oxford, the Airspeed Consul was also used in Congo by the Force Publique.

The aircraft is also mostly made of wood. Only 6 Oxford are known to be preserved in the world and although less glamourous than a Spitfire, this aircraft is a good example of the successful British trainers. Another rare gem in the Brussels collection.

The volunteers also plan to correct the color of the aircraft adding the missing yellow training bands.

Photo Philippe Levecq