A colorful Lysander

A colorful Lysander


Our friends of the Sabena oldtimers are stil working on their two Lysanders. Last week we showed pictures of the first one, owned by the SOT. This week, we publish a drawing of what will look like the Lysander of the Museum.


When the Museum need to decide which colors will be applied on a restored aircraft start a long and almost scientific process. Many questions need to be answered. In the past, there were masquerades where the colors schemes applied were not always nor historic nor correct. It was specific to our Museum it was a general bad habit. Today, most (to not to say all) the Museums invest a lot of time and energy to display their artifacts in the colors once applied to the aircraft on display.


Most of the time, the first question is “do we have information on the colors of our aircraft ?”. Sometime, it is hardly difficult to find theses information because the artifact is a composite (parts of different aircraft) or because there are no known pictures available for this aircraft. This is the case of our Lysander where no picture exists.


If there are no information about colors (pictures references), the second question is “Does we know what was the colors applied on our aircraft in her role ?”. Here we can answer, the Lysander of the Museum was a Target Tug and there are references about the colors of this version.


Then other points are considered.


Are there other interesting color schemes to be applied for the aircraft we have ? Unfortunately, the Belgian Air Force never used Lysander target tugs and choosing another identity for our Lysander open a lot of never ending discussions. Why not a May 1940 color scheme or an aircraft who operated over Dunkirk.


When all opportunity are listed, other question need to be answered. “If choosing a masqueraded decoration, what should be the advantages and the disadvantages of this choice ? Is there any added value to masquerade history ? Shall the option selected original ? Is it an added value for the public ?


In this case if the Lysander operated above Europe for the SOE, some other Lysanders (including our one) played a major and sometime obscure role training thousand of gunners including hundred of Belgians to their future role of air gunners. Painted as in her true historic role, our Lysander shall be an important artifact in a display about Training during World War 2, Belgians serving with the Royal Air Force, air gunnery …


Well, when all these arguments are listed (and you can imagine it means a lot of work to prepare these information), the Museum decides which colors will finally be applied and this is the Museum who decides. In the case of our Lysander, this decision was the result of a large and lengthy consultation which took some months.  


What we describe here, is just a small part of the full process leading to an historically correct and world standard restoration but we hope you will better understand the what, how, who and why some of our aircraft are painted.


We are very pleased to show to you “in avant première” the future Lysander of the Museum.


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