Blast to the past: Vipers back at Eindhoven!

Due to runway construction works at their homebase Leeuwarden F-16s of 322 and 323 squadrons and the Test Unit of the Royal Netherlands Air Force moved temporarily to Eindhoven Airbase in the south of the country. A perfect time to get a little insight in Viper flying ops from a normally unusual location for combat aircraft.

Eindhoven is actually a former fighterbase, with Northrop NF-5s and F-16s of 314 and 316 squadrons flying from it until the mid-90s. Nowadays Eindhoven houses the transport squadrons of the Koninklijke Luchtmacht (RNLAF/KLu).

On October 10th, 2013, AIRheads’ editor Dennis Spronk took a blast to the past with the Leeuwarden F-16s at Eindhoven.

Close up of the pilot in its office. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Close up of the pilot in its office. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
The J-509 wears the 322sq badge, nicknamed Polly. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
The J-509 wears the 322 squadron badge, nicknamed Polly. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Taxiing in after it's afternoon mission, the J-513 of 323sq enters the shelter area. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Taxiing after it’s afternoon mission, the J-513 of 323 squadron enters the shelter area. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
It looks like the autopilot also works on ground level! (Image © Dennis Spronk)
When one only needs his feet, it almost looks like the autopilot also works on ground level! (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Still wearing the badge of the former 311sq (deactivated earlier this year at Volkel airbase), this F-16 now flies for one of the Leeuwarden squadrons. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Still wearing the badge of the former 311 squadron (deactivated earlier this year at Volkel airbase), this F-16 now flies for one of the Leeuwarden squadrons. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
This F-16, the J-624, belongs to 323sq. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
F-16 with serial J-624 of 323 squadron. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Hide and seek! Within a few moments the shelter door will be closed, and this F-16 gets some rest. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Hide and seek! Within a few moments the shelter door will be closed, and this F-16 gets some rest. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
This Viper joins a group of birds already in the air. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
This Viper joins a group of birds already in the air. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Flash light on! Sometime you're lucky to catch one, like now. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Got the flash! (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Hands up! When the ground crew check the aircraft after landing, pilots have to show them they're not touching anything! (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Hands up! When the ground crew check the aircraft after landing, pilots have to show them they’re not touching anything! (Image © Dennis Spronk)
This Bravo is called Orange Jumper, because of its large orange badge. It belongs to the test unit of the KLu. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
This Bravo is called Orange Jumper, because of its large orange badge. It belongs to the Test Unit of the KLu. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Doesn't she look great! I say YES! (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Doesn’t she look great! (Image © Dennis Spronk)
The KLu has just a few F-16BM's in service. This one is waiting in its Hardened Aircraft Shelter for its next mission. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
The KLu has just a few F-16BM’s still in service. This one is waiting in its Hardened Aircraft Shelter for its next mission. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
This big one is a DC-10 of 334sq, a resident unit at Eindhoven. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
This big one is a DC-10 of 334 squadron, a resident unit at Eindhoven. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Freedom fighter forever! This NF-5A wears the badge of 316sq, once based at Eindhoven. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Freedom fighter forever! This NF-5A wears the badge of 316 squadron, once based at Eindhoven. (Image © Dennis Spronk)

© 2013 AIRheads’ editor Dennis Spronk