2014 Gilze Rijen air show
The KLu Open Dag of 2014 was held at Gilze-Rijen air base - the home of DHC (Defense Helicopter Command). All AH64D Apaches, CH47D Chinooks and AS532U2 Cougars are operated out of Gilze-Rijen. The topic of this year was named 'Operatie Luchtsteun' - Operation Air Support. This topic was used to explain, inform and promote the (Dutch) public about all aspects of the(ir) air force and armed forces. Tragically due to Ministry of Defence cuts this was the final air show on Gilze-Rijen for the coming years.
The static of Gilze-Rijen 2014 saw some standard, but nice aircraft. Several air focres sent delegations. The French had, among the standard Mirage 2000 and a Gazelle, also 2 TB30's and a Navy Embraer 121AN. The Turkish Air Force came with two very cool F-4E-2020 Phantoms of 112Filo - with the Turkish flag draped from their cockpits. Greeks sent F16C's and MiG29's were present from the Polish and Slovak air forces. Among others were Swiss FA-18C Hornets, Czech L-159's and the British an Avenger T1 and Tucano.
Close ups of the Turkish Air Force (Türk Hava Kuvvetleri - THK) F4E-2020 Phantoms 73-1020 and 73-1046, both from 112Filo based at Eskisehir air base (currently disbanded). The Phantom crews had set up some tables in front of their aircraft and were very actively selling all kind of goodies.
The flightlines of the flying demo aircraft were very good visible from the public area. It was situated parallel on the other side of the runway. Many cool aircraft not set on the static could therefore also be seen on the ground. Besides the very cool historical Lancaster, Spitfires, Mustang, Catalina, Harvards and others, the Spanish EC120B's of the demo team 'Patrulla Aspa' could be seen - which unfortunately I did not (!) photograph during their demo...
Gilze-Rijen air base is the home of the Dutch AH64/ AS532 and CH47 helicopter units. For this reason most bas squadron contacts are with other helicopter units - which was showing the heli static and demo's. Besides the afore mentioned Spanish EC120B's of 'Patrulla Aspa' there were quite some other interesting foreign helo participants. The Polish SW4 was the most rare bird. The Germans brought several special painted Bo105's and a EC135T1, the Belgians a A109 and Sea King Mk48, the Austrians an Alouette III and the British a Sea King HU5.
The Dutch air force itself flew a large number of Alouette III's, Apaches, Chinooks and Cougars. MLD NH90's were also present as static and flying, as wel as many wfu Dutch Helo's like Alouette III's, SH14D Lynxes and a Bo105CB.
Besides the Airpower trademark demo of the KLu with base-attacks of F16's, fly-by's of C130 anfd KDC10 and helo actions of Apaches/ Chinooks and Cougars, this airshow also had the Austrian Alouette III flying, as wel as de Red Arrows and a Arke B787 Dreamliner flying formation with F16's.