Open Dagen 2003
The Royal Netherlands Airforce (RNLAF) organized this year once again an excellent open doors day. After last year's event has been held at the airbase Gilze-Rijen, another base has been chosen for this year's event, namely Twenthe.
Both airshow days saw clouds and sun, together with a sometimes cold breeze and temperatures in the low 20's. Not the best weather but good enough to get a nice sunburn and have a great day out to watch an superb airdisplay.
Where? Twenthe - Netherlands
Getting both the static and the flight display was impossible as the gates did not open before 9 am and the flight display started even an hour later with the take-off of a pair of F-15Es. Besides that the sun was for good for
photography of the nice parked aircraft in the static only good from mid-afternoon on. Let's start nevertheless with the static display.
A shame for some was that the 4 CF-18s did not participate in the flight display, but they did quite well in the static as well with a special painted CF-18. Another special color was the Portuguese Tiger Alpha Jet, and of course, the highlight for the spotters, the 'Blue Lightening', a special painted Tornado of JaboG 35 'Boelcke' to celebrate its 45th anniversary. Another glimps of colour was the RNLAF F-16 with the '50 years' tail. Unfortunately the Hungarian MiG-29UB was parked far away by the shelters.
The time order changed a little on both days but it always started with the take-off and fly-by by 2 F-15E Strike Eagles which came back after about one hour. Afterwards came same small trainers like the Hawk followed by a first display team, the Patrulla Aguilla from Spain and a jet, like the F-4F Phantom on Saturday. Then came the 'Netherland section' with the Historic Flight, these are planes that have formerly flown within the RNLAF, namely a formation of ancient Fokkers, a B-25 in formation with a P-51, and an F-86 together with a T-33 and a Meteor (there was also a Hunter but it was not allowed to fly in the flight display). After the historic flight came the Airpower Demo. Here the airfield was first attacked by several F-16s before the Apaches arrived and secured the field. Afterwards Cougars and Chinooks arrived and brought soldiers and cars, as well as a C-130 Hercules did as well. Afterwards followed a fly-by by a 9-ship formation of F-16 and an air-air-refuelling demo of a KDC-10 and a F-16. The demo included also a
fly-by by an P-3 Orion and finished with the solo demos of the AH-64 Apache and of course the 'Teamwork' F-16.
Oldtimers & Legends
F-16 Solo Display
The rest of the afternoon was filled with an interesting mix of fighters and aerobatic teams. There were the German Navy Tornado, a Swiss F/A-18, a Hungarian MiG-29 with the best display of the day or a Gripen from Sweden.
F-15E & Draken
Hawks & Harrier & Alpha Jet
Several display teams were present as well: Frecce Tricolori, Patrouille Suisse, Patrouille de France and the Red Arrows. The finished with a surprisingly low fly-by for their landing break, while many people were unfortunately already on their way back home.
To conclude all the very best ingredients for an excellent airshow, I really enjoyed it and only hope for some better weather the next time!
Patrouille de France
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