On Friday June the 20th and Saturday June 21st the annual 'Luchtmachtdagen' were held. This time Gilze-Rijen Air Base was chosen to host the event. I took the opportunity to visit Gilze on the Saturday together with my son Niek. A good friend of mine lives just a few miles down the road at Gilze so we arrived on Fridaynight at his place and spent the night there. We anticipated a big crowd on Saturday so we got the the Airbase early in the morning. The weather was slightly cloudy and reasonable spells of sunshine. The best of the two days.

The Static Show at Gilze-Rijen is not great for photographing with people walking behind the aircraft and some aircraft to close for the camera. Highlights on the Static were the Polish SW-4, two Turkish Phantoms, my first Belgian NH-90, a Polish and Slovak Mig-29, a Portugese C.295 and an English Avenger. We could also photograph three Alouette 3's which were parcked just behind the Static. From there they were flying their circuits. 2014 marks fifty years of operating this venerable helo in Dutch service !

The Flying Programme started at 10.00 hrs. and included a very nice Austrian Alouette 3, the Spanish Patrulla Aspa with their EC-120 Colibri's, a Greek F-16, a Slovak Mig-29, Swiss Hornet, and the Red Arrows. Off course the Dutch demoteams were also present. The Apache demoteam put on a great show just like the F-16 demoteam. Like every year an Air Power demo was presented by the Dutch Air Force. Also some nice oldies and civlian aircraft flew like two English and one Dutch Spitfire, a Dutch B-25 and an English Lancaster. The civilian note were the KLM MD-11 which is going on pension in November and the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Holland which is PH-TFK belonging to Arke Fly. Although the focus of the Royal Netherlands Air Force is put on attracting young people to join the Air Force there was plenty enough to see for every person, young or old. Actually the crowd was an unbelievable number of 250,000 !

Unfortunately there will be no 'Luchtmachtdagen' in 2015.

The 2016 edition will be held at Leeuwarden.