The Stampe in Aerobatics

After WWII, General Charles de Gaulle decided to promote young piloting talent, especially in civil aviation.
For that reason he established three civil aviation centers in France: one in Saint-Yan, one in Carcassonne and a third in Chelles-les-Eaux.  These centers were meant to organize and coordinate the establishment of private aero clubs.  One by one, 500 French Air Force Stampes were taken out of service and distributed to private aero clubs throughout the country.  These clubs were able to buy the biplanes for the symbolic price of one franc, but were in turn required not sell the planes for at least five years.  The distribution of Stampes all over France led to widespread aerobatic activities, as many pilots who learned to fly in the Stampe were eager to try Voltige (Aerobatics) as well.
   As late as 1960, the Stampe SV.4 was the most commonly flown aircraft in aerobatic competitions.  The famous Patrouille de France used twelve Stampe aircraft for their aerobatic formations.
The SV.4 was used as a training aircraft in ca. 10 air forces worldwide.

Photo left: cutting waves, a spectacular flight maneuver performed in 1951 by the Frenchman Frédéric Nicole with his Stampe SV.4C off the coast of Cannes
Photo right: Aérocryptographie 1955, invented by the Stampe pilot Francois díHuc Dressler with his Stampe SV.4C