The Stampe-Vertongen SV4 of the Classic Flying Collection

By Jaco Pitout

The "Stampe" SV4 was designed in the early 1930's by Stampe et Vertongen in Antwerp. It was envisaged as a touring aircraft or trainer. It featured a slightly swept wing with ailerons on both the top and bottom wings, making it quite agile when compared to a Tiger Moth of the same vintage. The original aircraft were built in Belguim, however it was also built under license in Algeria and France.

The Classic Flying Collection's Tiger Moth in the foreground with the Stampe in the background during the photoshoot

Enter Stampe SV4C (G) ZS-EUU, which is owned by the Classic Flying Collection in Springs. It has just been completely rebuilt after a freak accident that saw a hangar collapse on the wings of the aircraft. Gavin Brown, one of the partners in the Classic Flying Collection, explained that the restoration of the aircraft was done to the finest detail. From the beautifully painted roundels to the spectacular workmanship on the wings and fuselage. All wooden surfaces have been kept in a natural color after the restoration instead of it being painted military green to fully display the quality of the workmanship.

Gavin also told me that obtaining the parts for the restoration project was quite a laborious task. However, with some careful sourcing, they managed to obtain all the required parts to have this aircraft built to better than showroom condition. I can attest to this as the aircraft smells and looks brand new.

With the project completed late in January 2020, it was time for the Stampe to return to its place in the sky.

Saturday 15th February was set out as a photo day to celebrate the Stampe's return to the sky. Gavin's son, Steve, who I have known for quite some time, invited Pilot's Post and myself along to conduct and air to air photography session. Steve flies for a major middle eastern carrier these days and enjoys taking time out from flying the Boeing 777 to do some "real flying" when he comes to South Africa.

Gavin carefully applying the registration markings to the fuselage

The Stampe emerges from the hangar

With the preflight inspections and formation briefing completed, all the crews strapped in for what would an incredible late summer morning spent dancing around the crisp clear Highveld skies.

Steve at the controls while Gavin swings the prop

A very happy Steve Brown

I would join Gavin in their Cessna 185, Steve would fly the Stampe and well know Harvard club pilot and all-round nice guy, Grant Timms, would join the formation in a Chipmunk.

As the formation took off from Springs' runway 03, we routed to the South-East for the Ergo Slimes Dam area where we could take some pictures of the Stampe in the air. Near perfect conditions prevailed and I managed to take the following pictures:

It was an amazing opportunity to fly alongside some of the best pilots I know. Gavin did an incredible job of placing the 185 in exactly the right position at the right time while Steve and Grant effortlessly formatted on the Cessna for the perfect photo.

Once we arrived back at the airfield, Gavin dropped me off on the taxiway and I captured the two aircraft landing.

It was a fantastic day for flying these incredible machines. Congratulations to all the partners of the Classic Flying Collection on the beautiful restoration of the Stampe! We wish you many happy and safe hours! Thank you to Gavin and Steve Brown for inviting Pilot's Post to conduct this flight with you.

Aviation Personalities

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