RNLAF Open DagenPhotographer: Frank Grealish
20th June 2009Location:
Volkel (EHVK), Netherlands
The Royal Netherlands Air Force Open Dagen (Open Days) 2009 air show was held at Volkel Air Base in the south of Holland on Friday 19th & Saturday 20th June. IrishAirPics paid a visit to the air show on the Saturday only.
There are 3 main air bases in the Netherlands, Volkel, Gilze-Rijen and Leeuwarden, and these 3 bases all take their turn at hosting the Open Dagen. In 2009 it was the turn of Volkel.
The stars attractions at the show were Vulcan XH558 and the base attack. There are 3 squadrons of F-16 Fighting Falcons based at Volkel so it was no surprise that the local squadrons put up 15 fighters for the base attack, which was followed by a 15 ship formation flypast.
There were other special formations flown on Saturday, 8 of the F-16s from the base attack flew in formation with the retro painted KLM Boeing 737-800 that flew in from Schiphol with 50 sick and terminally ill children on board. The other special formation consisted of the RNLAF solo display F-16, the Hawker Hunter Foundation Hunter F6 and the Vulcan to the Sky Vulcan XH558.
The weather on the day was hit and miss, the rain managed to stay away but the skies were alternating between cloud and sun making for very tricky shooting conditions.
Vulcan XH558 took off in sunshine on Saturday but the rest of its display was mostly in cloudy skies. The Vulcan eluded me for the 2008 display season so it was nice to finally see it in the air, especially after it coming close to being grounded at the start of 2009.
Other displays if interest consisted of the Marche Verte (Green March) display team from the Royal Moroccan Air Force who took off with the aircraft tied together, an Italian Navy NHI NH-90 NFH (NATO Frigate Helicopter) complete with Paris Air Salon serial number, Polish Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29UB painted with a huge 1ELT badge on the aircraft topside and the Turkish Stars with their 8 brightly painted Northrop NF-5 Freedom Fighters.IrishAirPics would like to thank the Volkel Air Base Press Office for their support and hospitality during my visit to the Open Dagen.