(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

VolkelWhere? 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.

LeiterThe static display

PaarThese 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

CameraThe 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!

JsfWhat 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. JupilerDirectly 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!

F-16C Teamwork

001 ---- 002 ---- 003 ---- 004 ---- 005

Airpower Demo

006 ---- 007 ---- 008 ---- 009 ---- 010
011 ---- 012 ---- 013 ---- 014

PC-7 Solo Display

016 ---- 017 ---- 018 ---- 019 ---- 020

AH-64 Apache

021 ---- 022 ---- 023 ---- 024 ---- 025

Chinooks

026 ---- 027 ---- 028 ---- 029 ---- 030
031 ---- 032 ---- 033 ---- 034 ---- 035

Swiss F-18C HOrnet & PC-7 Team

036 ---- 037 ---- 038 ---- 039 ---- 040

Jaguar

041 ---- 042 ---- 043 ---- 044 ---- 045

Belgian F-16A

046 ---- 047 ---- 048 ---- 049 ---- 050

British Tornado GR4

051 ---- 052 ---- 053 ---- 054 ---- 055

German Navy Tornado

056 ---- 057 ---- 058 ---- 059 ---- 060

British Sea Harrier

061 ---- 062 ---- 063 ---- 064 ---- 065

KLU Historic Flight

066 ---- 067 ---- 068 ---- 069 ---- 070
071 ---- 072 ---- 073 ---- 074 ---- 075

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

076 ---- 077 ---- 078 ---- 079 ---- 080
081 ---- 082 ---- 083 ---- 084 ---- 085

Red Arrows

086 ---- 087 ---- 088 ---- 089 ---- 090
091 ---- 092 ---- 093 ---- 094 ---- 095

Patrouille Breitling

096 ---- 097 ---- 098 ---- 099 ---- 100

Patrouille de France

101 ---- 102 ---- 103 ---- 104 ---- 105

Static Dislays

106 ---- 107 ---- 108 ---- 109 ---- 110
111 ---- 112 ---- 113 ---- 114 ---- 115
116 ---- 117 ---- 118 ---- 119 ---- 120
121 ---- 122 ---- 123 ---- 124 ---- 125
126 ---- 127 ---- 128

 

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