Georges Ivanoff was a
designer working for Stampe and Vertongen, and at the request of Jean
Stampe, designed a trainer biplane which enabled better access to the
front seat, with the top centre section moved forward. This idea followed
the designs of Geoffrey De Havilland's DH82, which had swept back wings to
compensate for the forward centre of gravity position. The first of
Ivanoff's design had only the top wings swept back, and, powered by a
Gipsy Major 2 engine, was designated the SV4, and registered OO-ANI.
The SV4 first flew on
17th May 1933, with Jean Stampe at the controls. The company manufactured
six SV4 trainers for use in its flying school. Production ceased in 1935
after the death of his son Leon Stampe, but two more SV4s were
manufactured in 1937 having been redesigned by Demidoff with two extra
ailerons, and with a changed tail section.
Two more SV4s, OO-ATC and
OO-ATD, were built in 1939 to enter a competition to find a new trainer
for the Belgian Air Force. This time Demidoff once more redesigned the
tailplane and swept both wings back. OO-ATD won the competition and was
sold to Baron Thierry d'Huart.
On 4th July 1941 this
aircraft was flown to England from the grounds of Chateau Ter-Block when
occupied by German Forces, by two Belgian Air Force pilots, Michael Donnet
and Leon Divoy. An account of this adventure can be found in Donnet's book
"Flight to Freedom", published by Ian Allen. (see "Stampe Books" on the
left side scroll bar)
In1939 the Belgian
Government ordered 300 SV4s, and production was set up in Antwerp and at
the Farman company in France under licence. The Antwerp factory had
completed production of the first batch of 30, just three days after the
Germans invaded Belgium on 10th May 1940. France had also ordered 600
machines, 10 of which were also completed at the Antwerp factory, with the
Renault 4PEI engine. The only SV4 which survived World War 2 was OO-ATD.
Postwar, Belgium and
France were in need of trainers to recreate their Air Forces, and the SV4
was a logical choice considering the lack of available alloys. The state
run SNCAN manufactured 701 SV4s, nearly all having the Renault 4P engine,
between 1945 and 1949.
In 1947, a contract for a
further 150 aircraft was given to the Algerian Atelier Industriel de L'air,
and were serial numbered 1001 to 1150. These aircraft are said to be of
superior quality having been made from better alloys and high grade spruce
and ash, as opposed to SNCAN where Jean Stampe was known to be unhappy
with production quality.
In 1947 Jean Stampe met
up again with Alfred Renard who had been with the company until 1930.
Together they set up the Stampe and Renard Company in Antwerp and produced
65 SV4b aircraft with the Gipsy Major 10 engine, for the Belgian Air
France created the
Societe de la Formation Aeronautique with 500 Stampes spread amongst aero
clubs and National Flying Centres. The SV4 was the mainstay of aerobatic
competitions until the 1960s, when the performance of Pitts Specials and
other aircraft left the Stampe SV4 behind.