Leeuwarden 2001

Toms thoughts on the Royal Netherlands Air Force open days 2001.

Click here to go directly to the photos !

The Royal Netherlands Air Force open days 2001 were held on two days for the first time. Friday juli the 6th and saturday juli the 7th. The weather on friday was hot with temperatures between 26 and 32 degrees celcius. Several clouds, good photographic conditions. Forecast for saturday were not good with predictions of thunderstorms. At first I was going to go on friday but saturday seemed a bit nicer with cooler temperatures. The weather on saturday was warm with temperatures between 22 and 26 degrees celcius. Way more clouds and at some times low cloudcover. But still with good photographic conditions. An example I was shooting with 200 iso film and had in the upper range of my lens (about 500/600 mm) with an aperture of 8 at a speed of 1/750. This was also the average speed of the day.
The last time I was at Leeuwarden AFB (1998) I saw a terrible organisation which almost ruined my day. Leeuwarden 2001 had a GREAT organisation. I went of for the Airshow at about 7:00 in the morning and arrived at about 8:25. Parking like the last time at the freeway and (way better than last time) 3 yes 3 busses ready and waiting to take you to the base. So within 10 minuts I was at the base and on the static. The static well if you've seen the RIAT than it is disappointing but I got some great shots of an Antonov 2 Colt (Tom loves his 19-35 mm).

A bit of dutch babble....
In sharp contrast to other airshows, The Royal Netherlands Air Force open days has free admission. Programs cost only 2.50 guilders that is 1 dollar or about 1.10 euro or less than a pound. If you came by car you pay another 10 guilders parkingcosts which is about 4 dollars, or 5 euros or 3 pounds. If you have a years subscription to public transport, than you can attend a great airshow for only 2.50 guilders or 1 dollar or 1.10 euro or less than a pound.
Compare that to the RIAT.....

Back to the airshow.

  • Great Demos from the Harrier, Rafale, Eurofighter, Grippen and Viggen.
  • Loads of afterburners. Unfortunatly to little afterburners on the runway. But that is a personal taste.
  • Great demo from the Dutch Dakota Associatiom.
  • A magnificente Spitfire, silver with dutch cocardes.
  • P-51D mustang, just plain beautifull with a great sound.
  • Mig 29 Fulcum, Luftwaffe with an great demo.
  • Great display from the Dutch F16 (MLU) wit a great new paintjob.
  • Several great displayteams, Robin helicopters, Red Arrows, La patrouille de Suise ( F5-Tigers ! ) Team Olrik (props)
  • Very well organised airshow.

  • The US airforce, no B2 and no f117 both had cancelled. There was a rumour about Operational Readiness. A few mockups of the X32 and F22. Probably the US airforce will save it all for the RIAT, which unfortunatly I'm not attending this year. If I had anything to say in Dutch politics I would start buying Sukhoi SU-27 flankers or SU-37's after this poor display.
  • The B25 left just when I took a seat... and it didn't came back.
  • No Mig 21 due to some problems.
  • No Starburst from La patrouille de Suise (but they did perform their magnificent starburst at friday)
  • Very busy, over 100.000 visitors on saturday.
  • I don't want to buy stupid tokens to get a drink or something to eat.

A bit of technobabble,
All photos were made with a Canon Eos 500N and a Nikon 950 digital camera. Lenses used, 19-35 mm and 75-300 mm fitted with a 2 times Teleconverter giving it a range of 150-600 mm. Shots were made in speed priority mode for the Canon Eos 500n. Lowest recorded speed was 1/350 with an aperture of 5.6 with 200 iso film (loads of dark clouds but no rain) highest was 1/1500 with an aperture of 11 with 400 iso film. Most used was 1/750 wit aperture 6.7, 8, 11 at 200 and 400 iso
Films used 200 iso Fuji Superia and Kodak 400 iso Ultra.

Many thanks to all of the kind people who made The Royal Netherlands Air Force open days possible.

And now for the photos..... Click here