Musee De l'Armee, BrusselsPhotographer: Frank Grealish
21st June 2009Location:
Brussels - Musee Royale de lArmee
Located in the Palais de Cinquantenaire at the similarly named Parc de Cinquantenaire in Brussels is the Musee Royal de l'Armee. This impressive building was built in the 1880s and contains a large collection of military equipment, uniforms and memorabilia.
The main display hall is completely given over to aviation, most of which is military although there is a sprinkling of civilian aircraft. Most of these aircraft have a Belgian collection although there are aircraft from other forces & countries.
Everything from early days of flight up to the present time are present with an F-16 taking centre spot in the museum. Nestled in beside the F-16 is a recently delivered Belgian Air Force Sea King which is in a state of disassembly. Other former Belgian Air Force on display include a Harvard, Mosquito, T-33, Noratlas, Fouga Magister, Wessex SAR helicopter, Spitfire, Meteor F8, F-84F Thunderstreak, RF-84F Thunderflash, F-84G Thunderjet, Hunter F4, F-104G Starfighter, and a Mirage 5.
Foreign military aircraft on display include a USAF RF-4C Phantom, RAF Vampire T11, RAF Bolingbroke, Canadian CF-100 Canuck, French Ouragan, Swedish J35A Draken, German Fiat G91R, Portuguese F-86F Sabre, Russian MiG-23BN and Czech Mig-15bis. Dominating the civilian part of the collection is the former Sabena Caravelle jetliner mounted high above the other displays, other civilian aircraft displays include a Junkers Ju-52, Skandinavisk Aero Industri KZ-III, and a DHC-3 Otter that supported the Belgian Antarctic Expedition of 1957-58.
While the aircraft are tightly packed making photography a bit difficult there are plenty of vantage points around the museum while the constriction of the museum (lots of glass) ensures that there is enough lighting although a visit on a cloudy day is preferable (in my opinion) due to direct sunlight creating lots of dark and bright areas, a cloudy day giving a more even light.