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Taken at Brussels in 1979, the B707 OO-PSI had Sobelair titles with the "psi" logo in tail.  (Photo: collection Skystef)


Base: Brussels
Fleet: 1x Merlin (OO-PSM), 1x Falcon 20 (OO-PSD), 1x F27 (OO-PSF), 1x B707 (OO-PSI).
History: Compagnie Européenne de Recherches (C.E.R.) was formed in January 1977 by Alain de Villegas with financial aid from Elf Aquitaine, a French oil company. Main purpose was to detect oil fields to gain independence of the other big oil companies in the Middle East. Already during 1976, a DC-3 "F-BCYX" was leased from Uni-Air to do the first tests with a device developed by an Italian professor Bonassoli which had a partnership with Alain de Villegas. These tests were indeed quite succesful and therefore with the aid of Elf Aquitaine no less than four aircraft came into being with C.E.R.. First aircraft was a Fokker F27 which was specially equiped with some instruments onboard done by Sabena Technics. Later a Merlin IV and a Falcon 20 were registered, primary for private use by the chairman and his family or business purpose. Finally one Boeing 707 was leased for the overseas operations. However not a single oil well was detected and the Boeing 707 operated for exactly 7 hours with C.E.R., but instead this aircraft saw mostly life with Sobelair and also briefly with Air Belgium. When this B707 airframe was disposed off by September 1981, the company ceased altogether.


Belgian Airlines