The annual Open House of the Royal Netherlands Air Force was held at Leeuwarden on the 16th and 17th of September 2011. Some 400 spotters had the opportunity to witness the arrivals of the participants on Thursday the 15th. This day was organised by the Dutch Air Force in cooperation with the local spotters-society Aviation Group Leeuwarden (A.G.L.). Because the weatherforecast for Friday and Saturday predicted rain and heavy overcast I chose this day. Also Wittmund was on the programme the next day so it was an obvious decision.

This day would bring some sunshine and only partly clouds. The first planes before our lenses where 4 privatly owned Hunters practising their demo. Absolutely magnificient airplanes ! After their demo the first arrivals where noticed. A Belgian Alpha-Jet, an USAFE C-21A, a German Phantom and a NATO C-17A Globemaster serialed 03. This is one of three Globemasters stationed at Papa Air Base in Hungary. The other two obviously being 01 and 02. They are assigned to the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW), the operational unit of the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) program. SAC is a consortium, designed to fulfill the airlift requirements of 10 particpating countries including the Netherlandds. 03 was flown this day by an entire Dutch crew.

After a while more arrivals showed up like two USAFE F-16's from Aviano, two French Alpha-Jets, three Belgian F-16's, two very nice Finish Hornets and a sole Norwegian F-16. Next participants in the Leeuwarden pattern where the fourth Dutch Hercules (G-781, new one for me), Dutch KDC-10 T-235, and five Belgian 'Red Devil" Marchetti SF-260M's. In between two Royal Navy Lynxes displayed their great skills. Also a unique display by all three F-16's from the three different countries was to be seen. The Turkish, Dutch and Belgian Falcon also practised their solo display. Finish F-27 FF-3 was also present. Why do the Finish never sent the FF-1 ?

I was just buying some fries when suddenly three Tucano's where just a mile before touch down. With a mouth full of fries I ran to the fence and just caught them in time. Must have been a funny sight. After that intermezzo I walked back to my spot and after the lunch the Dutch Apache demo was on. Also the Belgian Augusta's A-109 showed their skills. In between two RAF Hawks landed, an Italian C-130J Hercules came in and a Polish Mig-29 Fulcrum (serial 67) and Polish SU-22 Fitter (serialed 308, yes again). More demo's where practised like the Finish F-18C, the Belgian Marchetti's, the French Alpha-Jet and the Italian MB-339.

At the end of the day the last few airplanes came in. These where two USAFE F-15's from Lakenheath, a Belgian Sea King, a Royal Navy Merlin, a Royal Navy Sea King and the highlight, a Polish C-130E Hercules (serial 1503).

There will be no Klu Open House next year. Once in three years the Air Force has a day off. The next one will be in 2013 and the theme will be '100 years of Royal Netherlands Air Force'.