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Due to orders by the higher command of the Luftwaffe, flying displays of their aircraft are not allowed anymore. Thus the only possibility of the wings to represent themselves to the public is by Open Doors or other similar events. And the aircraft enthusiast is eagerly waiting for one of those rare chances to attend a "Photoday", regularly organized by the different wings.
Where? Wittmund AFB
The JG71 "Richthofen" in Northern Germany held one of these events in combination with its 50th anniversary week-end on June, 5th. Unlimited in the number of attendances the wing did its best to satisfy the "need" of all those Phantom Phreaks to come to the sole remaining wing operating the mighty F-4F Phantom II in the Luftwaffe.
In relation to the 50th anniversary a special coloured Phantom was also presented and beautifully placed for the purpose of some nice photographs. The basic color of the jet was silver due to the anniversary and the main theme was Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, after whom the wing was namend, and his famous Red Triplane. Both of these motives could be found on the tail, in combination with various other markings around the rest of the jet.
F-4F Phantom II 37+03 - "50 Jahre JG71"
Several other visiting jets were also parked around the airfield, with the special coloured Italian AMX and Marineflieger Breguet Atlantic being the main attraction and big surprises. Furthermore a line-up of no less then 11 Phantoms was a sight that will soon be gone. But until the introduction and the final end of the Phantom era with the arrival of the Eurofighter in Wittmund still some time will go by.
Special coloured Atlantic and AMX
Luftwaffe visitors - Phantom, Eurofighter, RECCE & ECR Tornado
Hungarian MiG-29UB, Swiss F-18D, Belgian F-16A, Italian AMX
Hungarian An-26, Czech Gripen JAS39D & Spanish Hornets
some "Warbirds" and the Gateguard at the roundabaout in Wittmund
So even with not many resources, but even higher restraints, JG71 succeeded very well in organizing an event that made everyone happy who grasped the chance to attend it!
On the 1700km return-trip from Bavaria some gate-guards in the Wittmund area were also photographed. Sincere thanks go the respective "Infomeister's" at these locations and to one member of our group for 'digging them out'.
Oldenburg: F-86 and G-91
Aurich: Starfighter & Tornado
Jever: F-104F & F-86
XXL-Photos in higher resolution:
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Published: 10 June 2009