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 !
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 travelled to RAF Fairford , U.K. by car and ferry-boat.
For the first time Hans visited Leeuwarden AB (NL) as an aircraft-spotter in August 1967. In later years he was present there again , mainly during squadron-exchanges and to photograph arriving aircraft for Open Days held there. Needless to say it never was easy to picture aircraft in their landing-pattern and otherwise !
Just recently , on April 4th , 2017 , Hans went to Leeuwarden to spend an afternoon “aircraft-spotting“,while the NATO exercise “Frisian Flag“ was taking place. The spotting-facilities were good and the weather was nice. For photography he used his old Asahi Pentax camera with 135 mm. telelens . So the selection of scans you will see in this gallery were made of original colour slides !
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.
Hans visited Twenthe AB (NL) as an aircraft-spotter for the first time in 1968. During more recent years he came back there several times when there were exercises going on and to photograph arriving aircraft for Open Days. This gallery contains a selection of the pictures , taken by him near Twenthe Air Base (NL).
On July 28th , 1972 Hans and Frank visited the 15th Wing of the Belgian Air Force based at Brussels-Melsbroek . A great deal of the air-transport fleet was present , that is to say lots of C-119 Packets or Flying Boxcars , a Douglas C-47 , a Pembroke , a Douglas DC-6 and -last but not least -the first C-130 Hercules for the Belgian Air Force (BAF) which had just arrived a few days prior to the visit of the authors of this photo-gallery.
In June 98 Frank (a.o.) was invited to visit 334 squadron, based at Eindhoven. At that time it was the sole KLu transport unit, equipped with the KDC-10 tanker aircraft, the C-130 Hercules. a number of Fokkers and a Gulfstream; apart from the colour schemes, much remains the same today.
AMARC, the Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Center is a huge storage and maintenance facility; it is located on an edge of Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona. Frank visited the “boneyard” in May 2009.