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2011 Air Shows

Royal Netherlands Air Force Open Days Leeuwarden AFB Sept. 16-15, 2011

Location:Leeuwarden; Netherland,
Admission: FREE
Parking: 5 Euro free bus shuttle to the airport
Value: Excellent
Royal Netherlands Air Force Open Days "Luchtmachtdagen 2011": On 16 and 17 September, 2011, the Royal Netherlands Air Force presented itself to the public during the coming Royal Netherlands Air Force Open Days under the motto “The Future Hangs in the Air” at Leeuwarden Air Base.
The Royal Netherlands Air Force has two F-16 bases of operation, one major helicopter base (in addition to two smaller ones), one air base for transport aircraft, one air operations centre for tactical air control and one guided weapons base. Leeuwarden Air Base is one of the two F-16 base of operations. In addition to this main feature, the base is also home to the search and rescue squadron, with AB-412 rescue helicopters that are ready on a 24/7 basis. These helicopters are deployed for rescuing pilots in distress at sea, or airlifting patients from sea vessels or for the Wadden Islands (with the exception of the isle of Texel) to hospitals on the mainland.
The aerobatics display was one of the highlights of the RNLAF Open Days. This year’s programme featured the Patrouille Acrobatique de France, the Red Arrows from the UK, the Red Devils from Belgium and various solo teams; the Belgian and the Turkish F-16 demonstration teams among them. Unfortunately the Patrulla Aguila from Spain, could not attend due to a death in the family of the commander. Due to the recent accident that has taken a life of a pilot from the Red Arrows Team, one of the red BAE Hawks was replaced with a black one in his honour.
The Dutch F-16 Solo Display Team with their bright orange and black paint schemes thrilled the home crowds and the Apache Helicopter Solo Display Team showed off their new colour scheme. An Air Power demonstration showed the cooperation between several branches of the armed forces and the indispensable role that the Air Force plays in such scenarios.
The air show was continuous from 9 am to 5 pm with a one hour lunch break from 12:30 to 13:30. To say the least it was excellent! The event stood out from most air shows in Europe, or for that matter from anywhere world wide. The 182,000 visitors (Friday 50,000 and Saturday 132,000) where thrilled and fascinated by what they saw. All the teams put on one of their best performances of the season, and the event was extremely well organized.
The Air Force Day is held alternately at the airbases Volkel, Gilze-Rijen and Leeuwarden and due to this, the next one to be held at Leeuwarden AFB will be in 2016.
AirShowsReview would like to thank Major K.F. Beek-Regnery, B.C., Chief Press and Public Information Officer and all from Airbase Leeuwarden for their generous cooperation, hospitality and friendliness!
Some of the participants were:
  • RNLAF F-16 Demo Team
  • RNLAF Apache Demo Team
  • Red Arrows
  • Patrouille Acrobatique de France
  • Red Devils from Belgium
  • Royal Jordanian Falcons
  • Belgian F-16 Demo Team
  • Turkish F-16 Solo Demo Team
  • F/A-18 Finish Air Force
  • MiG-29 Polish AIr Force
  • MB339 Italian AIr Force
  • Black Cats UK Royal Navy
  • Hunter formation
  • and too many others to list...
Rating: 9.9 out of 10
A flock of RNLAF F-16 Falcons
Air-to-air simulation
Nobody does this netter than the RNLAF Apache Demo Team
MiG-29 from Poland
RNLAF Apache with a Hunter

Report co-written by Laszlo Nyary and Peter Thivessen with photography by Peter Thievessen for AIRSHOWSREVIEW LLC

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