An aircraft spotter used to be a very busy person, collecting as many registrations and/or pictures of aircraft as possible. When we (Hans and Frank) were young, we used to spend a lot of our free time waiting alongside the runways of Eindhoven air base hoping to spot some strange birds. Sometimes we were lucky, very often not. During holidays we therefore undertook many travels to nearby air force bases such as Volkel and Kleine Brogel, where we could satisfy our needs. You can find the results of these activities under the titles “Aircraft-Spotting by lucky chance“ and “Aircraft-Spotting during Air Events“.
IMPORTANT NOTE : until the Seventies of the last century aircraft-spotting near military airfields could be a tricky hobby and even to-day there are countries where the authorities do not appreciate this kind of activities , so let this also be a warning to you !
On July 5th , 1968 Hans went to Royal Air Force Station Wildenrath , a few miles across the Dutch-German border . He positioned himself near the landing-approach lights and awaited the aircraft and helicopters that were to arrive to attend the two Open Days that were planned there on the next two days.
In September 1988 it was 35 years ago that 306“reconnaissance“squadron of the K.Lu. came into operation.
Eindhoven was the city where the authors both grew up and became “real” aircraft-spotters at the nearby air base. They made many pictures there throughout the years often under difficult circumstances ! This gallery contains a selection of these “blood, sweat and tears”-pics taken at Eindhoven (NL). The Eindhoven based Thunderstreaks are not in this gallery, but all in one seperate album. Note that in the 60/70ties Eindhoven AB also had a Base-Flight with Lockheed T-33’s,Harvards etc. You will find some pictures of these aircraft in this gallery.
A few images taken in more recent years are incorporated as well. Eindhoven now houses the transport fleet of the RNethAF (pics are in gallery named “KLu aircraft”).
We keep on spotting airplanes ; these pictures have been made “all over the globe ” , most of them in more recent years !
In July 1987 Hans boarded the ferry-boat from Hook of Holland to Harwich with his car and after arrival in the U.K.he travelled to RAF Fairford.
For the first time Hans visited Leeuwarden AB (NL) as an aircraft-spotter in August 1967. In later years he came back several times. Needless to say it never was easy to picture aircraft in their landing-pattern and otherwise !
Frank only incidentally visited Soesterberg AB , but Hans frequented the former Air Base quite often because he moved to the province of Utrecht (where Soesterberg is located) at the end of the Sixties , after having made his living in Eindhoven . So he (also) became a Soesterberg AB “home” spotter and he already has published a lot of his Soesterberg pictures elsewhere on the web. The picture-gallery on our website shows a limited selection of pictures not only of the aircraft of the resident American “Royal” squadron , The Wolfhounds , but also of various other planes that were stationed at Soesterberg AB or only paid a visit over the years. They were all taken from outside the base.
In 1970 the French Navy aircraft carriers Clemenceau and Foch visited the harbour of Rotterdam for a courtesy visit; Frank and Hans went aboard the Clemenceau on June 7th , while Hans (in company) also visited the Foch on May 17th , to take a number of pictures of the aircraft that were parked on the flight-decks.
During the Sixties Volkel (NL) was an airbase where photography was not easy; nevertheless the authors (Hans and Frank) managed to take some pictures during that period . Later on facilities to do so grew easier. This gallery contains a selection of the images we took at Volkel – mainly standing near the landing-lights waiting for the aircraft to come in.
Some pictures , made by Frank on Thursday , June 12th , 2013, are added to this gallery
This was the day prior to the Open Days of the KLu; Frank and Hans went to Volkel in an attempt to catch some of the arrivals for the airshow. The Open Day of 13 June is reported in a separate gallery.