Text and photos : Serge Van Heertum & Marc Arys - S.B.A.P.©
The Open Doors of the Netherlands Koninklijke Luchtmacht (KLU) are always a must for the enthusiasts. This edition took part at the Volkel airbase and was no exception to the rule. A splendid set with a mix of civilian and military aviation combining modern jets and some old timers. In short two perfect days for some image chasing...
Strong points of this years event were the 'Turkish Star', a magnificent and unique DC-2, the Swedish Hunters and a splendid twoseat in the colours of the KLU. This event saw also the very last exhibition abroad of the Belgian Air Component Fouga Magister. The static display's rarity was most certainly the Polish Sukhoi SU22.
As every year, one of the key moments of the event is the demonstration of the operational capabilities of the KLU, with an airfield attack involving F-16, AH-64 Apache, intervention of front line troops by Super Puma or CH-47 Chinook, mass arrival with C-130 and air-air refueling by a KC-10. On Friday things were getting started, but had to be cancelled from the first wave off as F-16AM (J-018) suffered an engine birdstrike at take-off. The pilot gained height, flew his aircraft away from the airfield to drop his tanks and came back to land on the runway escorted by a second F-16AM. All of this was to be followed on a giant screen and comments through the public adress system. This was for real and all of us could witness the professionalism of the KLU pilots.
Once again, it was beautiful and great, so do not miss out the 2008 edition, which will take place at Leeuwarden airbase commemorating the 95 years of the Koninklijke Luchtmacht !
We would like to thank all the people of the 'Staf Voorlichting' in general as well as Major VAN HELVERT, RNLAF and Adjt. Chef Peter DEWAEL, Belgian Air Component, for their dedication, care and obligingness.