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Narrative:The Aviation Week of Antwerp (Vliegweek van Antwerpen/Semaine d'Aviation d'Anvers) was held from October 23rd to November 2nd 1909. While not the first time that an aircraft had flown in Belgium, it was the first time an event was held in Belgium where multiple aircraft and pilots would hold public flying demonstration to the larger public.
|Sunday 24 October 1909
|Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
|Wilrijkse Pleinen, Antwerpen -
Thirteen early aviators agreed to participate in the event. Among them were Montalvy and Léon Druet, two brothers who were attending the event with an aircraft they had designed and built themselves. The two brothers had previously been involved in the design and manufacture of cars, and made a glider in 1905 and a bamboo-framed aircraft in 1906; their 1909 design was a fully metal-framed, fabric covered biplane with 25 hp engine of their own design. The two brothers had previously tried to fly the aircraft at the Spa aerodrome on September 23rd and October 2nd, but at both occasions it had failed to get airborne. The brothers had adjusted the design and had intended to make a new attempt at flying it at the Antwerp event.
The timing of the event was unfortunate - the aviation week took place in the last week of October, and was marked by generally poor weather, with gusts and rain making flying impossible at times. On the morning of the 24th, severe gusts hit the terrains where the event was taking place; four out of eight of the temporary erected hangars were blown over by high winds. Three of the hangars were empty, however the fourth contained the Druet biplane which was hit by falling debris and destroyed.
Tilburgse Courant, 26 October 1909
75 jaar luchtvaart Antwerpen, J.D. Ghoos, Uitgeverij De Vlijt, 1984 https://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/showthread.php?t=58877 https://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h179/Varese2002/Druet_vliegmaschien_zpsa7793e43.jpg