Every two years the Royal Netherlands Air Force organizes the “Luchtmachtdagen” (Air Force Days). The event alternates between the major bases in Holland and this year the location was Leeuwarden AB in the province of Friesland. The first day is always chosen on a Friday, attracting many schools and youths, who - through the many excellent interactive displays - can get a good and close-up insight in to the workings of the air force possibly leading to a career with the service.

An excellent line-up of display aircraft and teams are always the order of the day on the Luchtmachtdagen. On the line-up were the Frecce Tricolori, Patrouille de France, the Red Arrows and Turkish Stars. Some of the solo display acts attending were the Spanish Eurofighter, Belgian F-16, Slowak Mig-29, Czech Gripen and Hind next to the Dutch Apache. On the Saturday two surprises were organized, a KLM Airbus A-330 guided by two F-16s, and a very last performance by the Martinair Cargo MD-11.

The undoubted highlight of the show was the first public presentation in Europe of the JSF, aka the F-35. This is the latest fifth generation fighter from the Lockheed Martin stable. The two first Dutch F-35 examples had indeed arrived in Holland only two weeks before and they featured prominently in the massive air power demonstration and also in a few unique formation fly-bys; one a three ship with a Spitfire and an F-16.

Bronco Demo Team was present in the static display with the Skyvan, which had been involved in photographing many of the arrivals over the magnificent Vliehorst range. We also brought our merchandising stand and were pleased to see and talk to many of visitors. Interest from the 280.000 people attending over the two days was wide and very supportive, keeping us very busy indeed.

With special thanks to Ed de Bruijn and Mike at Texel.


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