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Luchtmachtdagen 2013
 
Luchtmachtdagen 2013
 
De Havilland Canada DHC.2 Beaver Mk 1 - PH-DHC - Royal Netherlands Air Force Historical Flight - Netherlands   Fokker Four Foundation - Netherlands   Royal Netherlands Air Force Historical Flight - Netherlands   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk IXb - PH-OUQ - Royal Netherlands Air Force Historical Flight - Netherlands
 
Beech D18S-3NM - PH-KHV - Royal Netherlands Air Force Historical Flight - Netherlands   De Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth - PH-TYG - Royal Netherlands Air Force Historical Flight - Netherlands   C-130H-30 Hercules - G-275 - 336 Squadron - Royal Netherlands Air Force   KDC-10 Tanker - T-235 - 334 Squadron - Royal Netherlands Air Force
 

Luchtmachtdagen 2013


Report by Remco Donselaar, additional images Vincent Loedeman and Alex van der Goot, video Jan Loedeman

With the decision of organising the Luchtmachtdagen (RNLAF open days) only twice in three successive years, 2013 saw the comeback of the event at RNLAF Air Base Volkel. With almost 2 years of planning and celebrating 100th Years of Military Aviation in the Netherlands there was reason enough to tackle the big time. Question is; did they succeed?

July 1st 1913 saw the establishment of the Military Aviation Department (LvA) of the Royal Netherlands Army at Soesterberg. Earlier that year the Ministry of War acquired a piece of heathland near the town of Soesterberg which had been in use by a private aviation Company called Verwey & Lugard. With only one airplane (the Brik), 4 pilots and a car it was a case of pioneering and gaining experience. With World War I (in which the Netherlands remained neutral) going on the LvA grow steady.

A black page in the history of the LvA was the German invasion of the Netherlands. The late thirties saw ongoing budget cuts and resulted in a weakened military which wasnt able to cope against the Luftwaffe. A lot of Dutch aviators and personel crossed the pond and joined the Royal Air Force in the fight against the German occupation. At June 12th 1943, 322 (Dutch) Squadron was established in the UK and composed of mainly Dutch pilots, among others, it took part in the battle of Arnhem.

In 1953 the LvA became an independent department and received its current designation Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF), a couple of years earlier saw the introduction of fast jets. During the cold war the RNLAF was responsible for air defence under NATO command of West Europe and grew into a large and diverse organisation equipped with multi type jets, transport aircraft, helicopters and guided weapons.

The last two decades the RNLAF made the transition to a smaller but more versatile organisation, able to operate anywhere in the World. Humanitarian and Peace keeping missions to Kosovo, Irak, Afghanistan and Libya are well known. Closer to home, two F-16s stand-by 24x7 in their Air Defence role.

A glimpse into the future of the RNLAF was given at the Open Days with a MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Arial Vehicle (UAV) and a F-35 Lightning II present in the static show of which the latter unfortunately was a mock-up model.

F-16AM Fighting Falcon - J-015 - F-16 Solo Display Team - Royal Netherlands Air Force
 
F-16AM Fighting Falcon - J-005 - 312 Squadron - Royal Netherlands Air Force   CH-47D Chinook - D-666 - 298 Squadron - Royal Netherlands Air Force   AH-64D Apache - Q-13 - 301 Squadron - Royal Netherlands Air Force   Boeing B737-8K2 - PH-BXB - KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
 
AH-64D Apache - Q-17 - 301 Squadron - Royal Netherlands Air Force   AH-64D Apache - Q-17 - 301 Squadron - Royal Netherlands Air Force   F-16AM Fighting Falcon - J-015 - F-16 Solo Display Team - Royal Netherlands Air Force   F-16AM Fighting Falcon - J-015 - F-16 Solo Display Team - Royal Netherlands Air Force
 
F-16AM Fighting Falcon - J-015 - F-16 Solo Display Team - Royal Netherlands Air Force
 
Luchtmachtdagen 2013
 
F-16C Fighting Falcon - 91-0011 - 141 Filo - Turkish Air Force   F-16C Fighting Falcon - 91-0011 - 141 Filo - Turkish Air Force   F-18C Hornet - HN-452 - Hävittäjälentolaivue 21 - Finnish Air Force   F-18C Hornet - HN-452 - Hävittäjälentolaivue 21 - Finnish Air Force
 
F-16AM Fighting Falcon - FA-84 - 10 Wing - Belgian Defence - Air Component   F-16AM Fighting Falcon - FA-84 - 10 Wing - Belgian Defence - Air Component   JAS 39C Gripen - 9235 - 211 Taktická Letka - Czech Air Force   JAS 39C Gripen - 9235 - 211 Taktická Letka - Czech Air Force
 
Alpha Jet E - Patrouille de France - French Air Force

The Show

Challenging conditions for photographers but a true spectacle for the 220.000 visitors that attended the celebration of 100th Years of Military Aviation in the Netherlands. Typical Dutch skies were the background of a versatile display programme that represented almost all time stamps from the last century. Fast-Jet solo displays, the best European display teams and lots of warbirds were flown into Volkel Airbase.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force Historical Flight Association supported the main theme of the show.  With its flying fleet of former LvA and RNLAF aircraft it presented a large part of military aviation history. Fokker Four Foundation complemented this presentation with an aircraft which was for many pilots the first step into their career; the Fokker S.11. The Dutch Hawker Hunter Foundation operates 2 Hunters applied with a RNLAF paint scheme. One of these Hunters was flying. Unfortunately these are the only jet powered former RNLAF aircraft operational at the moment. The display of the Gloster Meteor therefore was, though not in RNLAF colors, a welcome addition. The German Bo-105 demo somehow fits in as it flew for the RNLAF for many years as well.

The RNLAF presented itself in a, for regular Luchtmachtdagen visitors, well known way with the Air Power demonstration, F-16 solo display and the Apache solo display. The latter was the same Airframe as two years ago (last season saw no Apache demo) but it was applied with special markings for this years celebrations. All three performances had one thing in common: flares! The lack of the Dutch Pc-7 demo was filled with an Austrian example and, though being a more modern subtype, the Danish Hercules was also related to an operational type from the RNLAF.

Not directly related to the theme but history as well was the participation of the Swedish Air Force Historical Flight AJS 37 Viggen. For many aviation lovers this was one of the highlights of the weekend. The PZL Lim-2 (local produced Mig-15) from Poland was a good runner up to the Viggen. 

The organisation succeeded in booking all four major European display teams! With the Red Arrows only performing a few times in mainland Europe this year (and maybe next years as well), and only a few years to go for the Patrouille Suisse and Frecce Tricolori in their current set up, it might have been the last time this was possible in the Netherlands. The programme was complemented with solo jet displays like the BAC and TuAF F-16s, Czech Gripen and Finnish Hornet. Very dynamic were the French Ramex Delta display and Su-22 Fitters from Poland.

 
Alpha Jet E - Patrouille de France - French Air Force   Alpha Jet E - Patrouille de France - French Air Force   F-5E Tiger II - J-3087 - Patrouille Suisse - Swiss Air Force   F-5E Tiger II - Patrouille Suisse - Swiss Air Force
 
MB339A - 2° Stormo - Frecce Tricolori - Italian Air Force   MB339A - 2° Stormo - Frecce Tricolori - Italian Air Force   Hawk T-1A - The Red Arrows - Royal Air Force   Hawk T-1A - The Red Arrows - Royal Air Force
 
Hawk T-1A - The Red Arrows - Royal Air Force
 
Su-22M-4 Fitter - 3920 - 40. elt - Polish Air Force   Su-22M-4 Fitter - 40. elt - Polish Air Force   Mirage 2000N - EC 02.004 - French Air Force   Mirage 2000N - 369/125-AG - EC 02.004 - French Air Force
 
C-130J-30 Hercules - B-538 - Eskadrille 721 - Danish Air Force   PC-7 Turbo Trainer - 3H-FG - Fliegerschule - Austrian Air Force   Mi-35 Hind - 3361 - 221 Letka Bitevních Vrtulníkù - Czech Air Force   Bo105P1M Bolköw - 86+70 - Heeresfliegerwaffenschule - German Army
 
Touchdown Aviation
 
De Havilland DH.89A Dragon Rapide Mk 6 - G-AIDL - Air Atlantique Classic Flight - United Kingdom   Avro Anson - G-VROE - Air Atlantique Classic Flight - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk XIX - PS915 - Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - United Kingdom   North American P-51D Mustang - PH-PSI - Dutch Historic Aircraft Company - Netherlands
 
AJS 37 Viggen - SE-DXN - Swedish Air Force Historic Flight - Sweden   AJS 37 Viggen - SE-DXN - Swedish Air Force Historic Flight - Sweden   Gloster Meteor T7 - G-BWMF - Aviation Heritage Ltd. - United Kingdom   Gloster Meteor T7 - G-BWMF - Aviation Heritage Ltd. - United Kingdom
 
PZL-Mielec SB Lim-2 - SP-YNZ - Poland - Privately Owned - Poland
 
Luchtmachtdagen 2013
 
PC-12 - PI-01 - Hävittäjälentolaivue 21 - Finnish Air Force   F-16AM Fighting Falcon - 15108 - Esquadra 201 - Portuguese Air Force   TA-7C Corsair II - 156753 - 336 Mira - Hellenic Air Force   A-7E Corsair II - 160616 - 336 Mira - Hellenic Air Force
 
An-26 Curl - 407 - Hungarian Air Force   F-16BM Fighting Falcon - J-066 - 323 Squadron - Royal Netherlands Air Force   Beech 1900D - T-729 - Luftransportdienst des Bundes - Swiss Air Force   C-17 Globemaster III - 02 - NATO Strategic Airlift Capability - NATO
 
F-4F Phantom II - 37+01 - Jagdgeschwader 71 - German Air Force
 
L-39CM Albatross - 5301 - 2 Dopravná Vrtulnikova Letka - Slovak Air Force   F-16AM Fighting Falcon - 686 - Forsvarets Logistikk Organisasjon - Norwegian Air Force   F-16AM Fighting Falcon - J-006 - 322 Squadron - Royal Netherlands Air Force   F-16AM Fighting Falcon - J-002 - 323 Squadron - Royal Netherlands Air Force
 
An-2 Colt - 41 Yellow - Estonian Air Force   Super Lynx Mk88A - 83+20 - Marinefliegergeschwader 5 - German Navy   Rafale C - 133/118-GL - EC 02.030 - French Air Force   EF2000 Typhoon - 30+81 - Jagdgeschwader 73 - German Air Force
 
Touchdown Conclusion
 
We started this report with the question if the organisation could live up to the high expectations given this years theme and almost 2 years of planning they had. Well only one answer is possible: yes they did! Not only the air show was one of the best around in Europe but the static show was at the same level and saw a wide variety of Air Forces and Aircraft types. To mention a few: Greece Corsair IIs, Finnish PC-12s and lots of aircraft from the East of Europe of which the Estonian An-2 was an absolute highlight! Our German neighbours send their "first in last out" F-4F Phantom II, only two weeks before the retirement of the type in German service. Its arrival on Friday morning was classic: loud and smoky!

Show supporting elements like food&drink stands and toilets were well devided across the terrain. If we have to mention a few downsides of the show it would be the hughe queue to get in and out of the car parks and the display line that is further away due to the dual runway lay out, but seemed to be placed even further away this year with lots of demonstrations being out of reach for our 600mm! lenses.

2014 will see the return of the event to Gilze-Rijen Air Base. In our opinion it cant get better than this years edition but we let love to surprise us!

We would like to thank Volkel Public Affairs office for the cooperation during the show.
 
Touchdown Rating - 5 out of 5
 
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