(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

 Where? Volkel - Netherlands
When? 18-19/06/2004

This year's Open Doors of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) were dominated by the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the F-16 Fighting Falcon to the Royal Air Force. To celebrate this event an F-16 was painted in the red-white-blue, thus imitating the colourscheme of the very first F-16 prototype. This special coloured bird awaited the crowed at one of the two main entrances.

Then followed a line-up of 8 different other F-16s, including an F-16B of the RNLAF Flight Test Center and 2 F-16s from Italy.

 The static display

 These two were the highlight for most of the spotters, besidesthe two Sea Harriers in the static display and the 'Open Skies' An-30 from Bulgaria. The rest of the static display was filled with a nice selection of modern jets and old planes. Nice to see were a SAR Sea King from Belgium in its green/brown-camouflage and a British Nimrod as well as the Italian ECR Tornado with its shark mouth. And the special coloured Italian AMX and the British Tornado GR4 have to be mentioned as well, of course.
Most of the elder aircraft like the old Fokkers, the P-51 or the B-25 of the RNLAF Historic Flight took part in the flight display as well, so always something was going on in front of the spectators and in the air as well. Unfortunately a display of the Dutch Connie was planned as well but had to be cancelled due to engine problems.

The Flight Display

 The flight display was dominated by the dutch aircraft with solo demos by the PC-7, the Apache, the Hercules and, of course, the F-16. As a special surprise and for the only time this year the 'Teamwork'-F-16 realeased flares for the pleasure of the crowd. Most impressive was the Airpower Demonstration with a thundering airfield attack by 8 F-16s for the start. Afterwards followed support troops by helicopter and transport aircraft.
Further solo demos came from the UK with the very colourful Sea Harrier and the Tornado GR4. Another Tornado, this time an IDS of the German Navy, performed also very well. But the best act by far were the Swiss. The take-off of the PC-7 Team was followed by a low take-off of the F-18 Hornet which then joined the PC-7-Team and started its really excellent and very 'digital' demo with an impressive formation fly-by!
Demo teams were present as well. The newly formed breitling Apache team with their L-39 Albatrosses could of course not compete with the action of the Frecce Tricolori or the Red Arrows, but they were very good for a non-professional team!

 What else can be said? ... of course the expectations of last year's show in Twenthe were really high and people comparing this year to 2003 were a bit disappointed the show was nevertheless a good one as everything announced before appeared at the show and expecting more highlights always includes a big part of wishful thinking. A big drawback for photographers, besides the weather, was the layout of the static display.  Directly between the active runway and the photographer a lot of tails lurked around just to be between him and the aircraft about to take-off in the same moment when he was pressing the shutter... But a least the static was put very well allowing good photography conditions. Ear protection was a must as well, but not due to jet noise but because of the loudspeakers positioned directly in front of the crowd, that exasperated a lot of photographers as well.
Nevertheless, well done and speaking as a German I can say that a lot of other (bigger) nations would be proud if their Air Force would organize such an annual event!

recently published

Meiringen WK 2017

(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

Meiringen Swiss Air Force WK 2017
Where? Meiringen, Switzerland
When? March 2017

Alpine Base Meiringen offers a gorgeous setting The airfield is nestled in a small valley in central Switzerland in the canton of Bern. Surrounded by mountains that partly rise up vertically for several hundred meters it is challenging flying terrain, but provides plenty of photo opportunities. Meiringen is the home of the Swiss Air Force's Fliegerstaffel 11 "Tigers", one of Switzerland three F/A-18 Hornet Squadrons, and is also home to the militia Squadron 8 "Destructors" ("Vandalos"), flying the F-5E Tiger II.

Read more ...

more Airshows

CoNA Oceana

(Reading time: 3 - 5 minutes)

CoNA at NAS Oceana 2011

Where? NAS Oceana, VA, USA
When? 23-25/09/2011

CoNA, the Centennial of Naval Aviation was the major theme for US Navy airshows in 2011. Amongst those events listed as "Tier 1" was also the show NAS Oceana, and with Oceana being the US Navy's 'Master Jet Base' on the East Coast there were many good reasons to go there and celebrate this event.

Read more ...

more Air-Air

Yak-11

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Czech Yak-11 Air-Air

Yak-11 OK-JZE

The Yak-11 was the trainer aircraft for all pilots of the Warsaw Pact states from the 1950s up to the 1970s. To free up production capacity for other aircraft Russia decided to outsource the manufacturing to Czechoslovakia. During the 1950s 707 Yak-11 left the Let aircraft factory in Kunovice. Czech aircraft were designated C-11 (civicny: exercise).

Read more ...

Twitter feed

My Warbird Book

photos on www.airfighters.com

More photos