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Societe Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aeronautiques / SABCA

 

Formed December 1920, SABCA had a close SABENA association and that airline used SABCA's only S.2 single-engined monoplane transport. Built Handley Page 3-engined airliners for SABENA Belgian Congo service; also other private-owner prototypes.
 
At the end of 1920 the Société Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques (SABCA) was created to ensure the construction, testing and overhaul of aeronautical equipment for the development of civil aviation and air transport (SABENA will be founded three years later). It will begin with the overhaul and overhaul of Belgian Military Aeronautics aircraft, before starting, in 1922, to build foreign aircraft under license.

The first designs and new realizations will be due to members of the staff of SABCA, encouraged and supported by the company. Among others, the moto-aviette Jullien SJ-1 (in 1923), of Henri JULLIEN, engineer director of the design office of the SABCA, and the "Limousine" Demonty-Poncelet of Mathieu DEMONTY (technical director) and Paul PONCELET (head of the wood section) (in 1924).
 
On his own, but with the support of SABCA, Paul PONCELET designed and built the "Castar" in 1922-1923, then in 1923 the "Vivette".
 
SABCA's first project was a small aeroplane called the Sabca J1, which was powered by the engine of a FN motorcycle. The company also constructed "Sabca" 1500 with a 200 HP engine and some gliders. It later assembled the Handley-Page, Fokker F VII, and the Savoia-Marchetti used by Sabena. Held Breguet and Avia licences, and from 1927 directed attention to metal construction. Outcome was S-XI 20- passenger monoplane with three 500 hp engines, as well as similar S-XII 4-passenger monoplane with three 120 hp engines. Built under license Renard R.31 reconnaissance monoplane and Savoia-Marchetti S.73 transport.

 

In October 1937, the Belgian aircraft manufacturer Société Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques (SABCA) made a marketing agreement with the Italian company Caproni, with SABCA selling some of Caproni's military aircraft in certain markets, including the Caproni Ca.135, Ca.310 and the Ca.312, which were to be designated SABCA S.45bis, S.46 and S.48 respectively. As part of this agreement, Caproni were to develop a replacement for the Belgium Air Force's Fairey Fox biplanes, which were used as two-seat fighters and reconnaissance aircraft, but were obsolete.

 

Built S.47 2-seat low-wing monoplane fighter of 1937 in collaboration with Caproni. Company revived in 1950s. In 1960s assembled, maintained, and repaired Republic F-84; also collaborated with Avions Fairey on Hawker Hunter and made Vautour components for Sud- Aviation. Much work of various kinds on Lockheed Starfighter, Dassault Mirage, and Breguet Atlantic; also missile and space activities. Dassault Aviation took 53 percent shareholding, while in 1998 Fokker's shareholding was then reportedly being sold. Recent work has included weapon system integration, development of the cockpit front panel, final assembly, and flight testing of Belgian Army A-109 helicopters; update of F-5s; production and upgrading of F-16s; upgrade of Mirage 5s and F1s; production of servo actuators; and construction of subassemblies for Dassault, Boeing, Airbus, and Fokker aircraft.

 


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