BEST HIT was a NATO competition in which the air forces of Italy, Greece and Turkey took part ( together with a joint “guest-team” assembled from USAFE´s 401 Tactical Fighter Wing ,Torrejon, Spain and U.S. Navy squadrons VA-15 and VA-87 , while on deployment to the aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt in the Mediterranean Sea)
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”).
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.
On a very hot day in June 1969 the Wildenrath Airshow took place; Wildenrath was at the time one of the four RAF-Germany airbases. It was an excellent opportunity for young spotters,such as Hans and Frank , to enlarge their collection!
The 80th anniversary of the Koninklijke Luchtmacht was celebrated with an Open Day at Eindhoven on July 3rd, 1993.
Amongst the many aircraft especially significant were present the USAF’s F-117 “Stealth”-fighter , the Victor-tanker and a KC-10 . The former East-Block-countries participated with the Hungarian MIG-23 , the Czech Sukhoi SU-25 , the MIG-29 , the Czech L-39 Albatros-trainer and an Antonov AN-12 transport. Interesting helicopter-types being present were a.o. the Polish PZL-Sokol w.3 and the Czech MIL Mi-17.
Thousands of people attended this Open Day and Hans and Frank were also among the crowd.
On July 17th, 1973 Hans and Frank visited the NATO-AIRSOUTH Fighter Weapons Meet BEST HIT, which was held at Istrana AB in Italy. Competing were teams of USAFE (613 TFS , 401 TFW, Torrejon ,Spain), US Navy (Carrier Attack Wing 7 , USS Independence) , Italian AF (8th Wing , Cervia) , Hellenic AF (341 sq., Nea Anghialos) and Turkish AF (192 sq.,Balikesir) . Photography appeared to be not allowed (!) during their visit and instead all the pictures shown in this gallery were taken by NATO-AIRSOUTH PR-officials during their walk-around along the flight-lines. The slide-scans are duplicates issued to them for publication together with the group-pictures.
In March 1971 332 SKV of the Royal Norwegian AF from Rygge visited Eindhoven AB with a few Northrop F-5’s for a squadron-rotation. These pictures were made by Hans during an official aircraft-spotters gathering at the field.
The Hickory Aviation Museum has s a (nicely restored) collection of cold war fighter planes, brought together by a group of aviation enthusiasts of Hickory (a small town in North Carolina). Aircraft sitting in this museum are originals: e.g. Corsair 154345 that is on display is the real 154345 that flew with VA43 “Marauders” on board USS America in the late sixties! The origins of the F-5 are questionable though; it appears to have a Swiss wing. The museum, located at Hickory Regional Airport was established in 2007. Frank visited the place on 30 April 2012.