The presentation of the F-35
On Friday 10 and Saturday 11 June Leeuwarden Air Base hosted the Royal Netherlands Air Force days. The visitors saw a variety of aircraft on the static display and in the show. The show featured several acrobatic teams like the Belgian Red Devils, the Royal Navy’s Black Cats, The Turkish Stars, The Red Arrows (on Friday) and The Patrouille de France (on Saturday). The event drew a record braking amount of 280.000 spectators to the north of The Netherlands. Thousands of others watched the show on their computer with the live stream.
The real crowd pleasers were the two F-35A’s of the Royal Netherlands Air Force which arrived on Leeuwarden AB a few weeks prior to the event. The enthusiasm was enormous when the F-35’s participated in anAir Power Demo. Alongside the F-16’s, Chinooks, Apaches, a Hercules and a KDC-10, the F-35’s showed their skills.
A stain on the Airshow was the crash of a F-5E of Patrouille Suisse (J-3086), which crashed after a mid-air collision on late Thursday afternoon during a practice flight. The aircraft crashed near the town of Bitgum. Luckily there were no injuries on the ground and the pilot ejected safely. The other aircraft managed to return to Leeuwarden Air Base. Of course the Patrouille Suisse cancelled their show for Friday and Saturday.