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Where? Erding, Bavaria - Germany
Within the scope of the festivities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the German Luftwaffe (German Air Force / GAF) the airfield Erding held an Open Doors day on Sunday, May 21st 2006. On my trip back from the ILA in Berlin I made a short stop there on Sunday late afternoon and had the luck to take nice photos during two of the rare sunny hours that day.
Erding is looking back to a rich aviation history, but unfortunately active squadron flying has long been stopped there and the airfield is nowadays home of the Luftwaffeninstandhaltungsregiments 1 (Air Force Maintenance Regiment 1) and the Flugabwehrraketengeschwader 5 (Air Defence Missile Squadron 5).
Following the doctrine of the GAF command no flight displays were held in the course of the day, but nevertheless some interesting ground exhibits were presented. With exception of the Eurofighter Typhoon at least one example of each jet version of the GAF was placed in the static displays and with 2 Dutch F-16s and two French Mirage 2000 even foreign air arms participated in the event. Several helicopters were also flown in, the two most interesting types (CH-53 & UH-1D) came from the Wehrtechnische Dienststelle WTD61 (Military Test & Evaluation Unit) in Manching.
The biggest highlight for sure was a special painted German Navy Sea Lynx 83+09 of the Marinefliegergeschwader MFG3. The helicopter has just recently been painted in Erding and it was intended not to show it in public before the Open Day in Nordholz at the end of August. However, as rumours say, the company providing some of the paint somehow managed that the helicopter was still on place during that week-end so that they could present their work to the public and use it for advertising purposes. Whether this behaviour was good or not might be controversial, but for the fans it was gorgeous to already have a look at the splendid colour scheme.
Other nice pieces in the exhibition were the two Starfighters, that are usually used for maintenance training and are thus kept in an immaculate condition. Seeing them outside in the late afternoon light was a real pleasure, as was the Tornado Prototype P.01. This original airframe does not wear the original colours anymore, however it could quite well be photographed outside.
In retrospective this Open Doors Day was a nice event and has been widely accepted by the local public, who also enjoyed the leisure flights in private aircraft like Yak-52 or an Antonov An-2. And whereas it did not attract a lot of foreign enthusiasts to come to Erding because of the non-existent flying-display and the small static exhibition it was very rewarding event for the local spotter community!
The big surprise: special coloured Sea Lynx 83+09
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Luftwaffe aircraft on _static_ display
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Published: 17 April 2007