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Thunderstreaks.com | May 24, 2022

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Welcome!

Our website is dedicated to what we refer to as our “Golden Years of Spotting”: the period between 1960 and 1980, when lots of time, effort and money was spent to see as many military aircraft as possible. Our main station at the time was Eindhoven, an airbase of the Royal Netherlands Air Force that hosted a number of Thunderstreak – and later of NF-5 squadrons. No need to say that it was the Thunderstreak that inspired us to give the chosen name to this site.

Thunderstreaks.com is divided  into 7 different chapters or “albums”. Each album is divided in a number of sub-chapters (“categories”) in which we go in more detail.

In the F-84F album we present a number of galleries, each dealing with the various users of this airplane.

A second album is about the RF-84F Thunderflash, the reconnaissance variant of the Thunderstreak. This aircraft served with many NATO air forces; we have a category for each one of them.

The third album is dedicated to pictorial reviews of AIRSHOWS that we visited in the mid- and late Sixties as well as in more recent years. We have split the Airshows-album in three categories/eras holding respective galleries.

A seperate album is on PRESERVED AIRCRAFT: preserved in museums all over Europe, the USA and the rest of the world, but we also present a gallery on “exhibits“: airframes used in traveling exhibitions, roadshows and whatsoever. Also included in this album Preserved Aircraft is “Wrecks & Relics“: monuments, gate-guards and so on. And the fourth is the category “Warbirds“, dealing with civil registered aircraft painted as military aircraft (what in most cases they once were).

The fifth album is called SPOTTING and holds two  categories . One focuses on us as aircraft spotters, being not certain if there would be any flying-activities; and the other one is an aircraft-spotters category with galeries consisting of pictures taken by us during special events.

KLu & BAF is an album under long-term construction; in 5 categories we will deal with the different types of aircraft that we have seen in service with the Royal Netherlands Air Force (KLu) and the Belgian Air Force (BAF).

The album BASE VISITS holds reports of visits that we made to various active air bases during normal operational flying days and NATO exercises.

For more (background)information on us and our website simply click the   “introduction“-button on the top right side of this homepage; this page also holds a short instruction on how to navigate this site.

Enjoy! Please note that we try to update our site with new material regularly.  The  most recent update is shown in the left-upper tile on this homepage.

Hans Engels / Frank Klaassen / Gijs Hiltermann

USAF/ANG Thunderflashes

June 27, 2020 | 1

53-7636 is pole mounted at Hattiesburg Airport, Mississippi in November 2013 (FK)The USAF of course used the Thunderflash in largest numbers : after all it was an American design !  The last U.S . RF-84F Thunderflash flew with 173rd TRS of the Nebraska ANG;  this unit converted to the RF-4C  Phantom in 1972.

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RF-84Fs of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe)

February 10, 2020 |

The German Thunderflashes were phased out in the years 1965-1966 in favour of the RF-104G Starfighter. Two squadrons (Geschwader) flew the RF-84F: AKG-51 at Ingolstadt (recognizable by squadron-code EA) and AKG-52 (EB) at Erding and later Eggebeck. Luftwaffe squadron-codes BD was used for aircraft assigned to WS-50, the training unit at Furstenfeldbruck.

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Volkel AB (NL), August 31st ,2000 (Arrivals for Open Days) (NEW!)

January 19, 2020 |

August 31st , 2000 was a busy day for all personnel at Volkel AB , the Netherlands because lots of aircraft were arriving in preparation for the Open Days that were organised there.

The many aircraft-spotters present were gathered to … Read More

Naval Air Station Valkenburg , NL , June 6th , 1992(departures Open Day) (NEW!)

January 18, 2020 |

The days before and after a military aviation event such as an Open Day always attract many plane spotters and photographers , because of the participating aircraft arriving and departing on those days.

As an aircraft-spotter Hans visited the Dutch … Read More

RF-84Fs of the Belgian Air Force

January 6, 2020 |

 

The Thunderflash was the very successful reconnaissance version of the Thunderstreak; within NATO it a.o. saw service with the  the Belgian Air Force (BAF).

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NATO Tactical Weapons Meet ,RAF Wildenrath , Germany , June 1967 (a/c spotting)

January 5, 2020 |

In June 1967 Gijs and Hans went for a biking (!) -trip from Eindhoven to Brussels (Open Day , see elsewhere on the site) and via Bierset and Geilenkirchen to RAF Wildenrath , Germany . At Wildenrath the NATO Tactical … Read More

Spottersday Kleine Brogel (B), 11 september 2021

January 4, 2020 |

To accommodate the 2021 Sanicole/Helchteren airshow (Helchteren is just a grass-strip), the performing aircraft used Kleine Brogel for their take-offs and landings. The 10th Wing of KB kindly organized a spottersday for that occasion, thus giving thousands of enthusiasts the … Read More

BAF : Lockheed T-33

January 2, 2020 | 2

The Belgians received in total 38 Lockheed T-33 jet trainers , which were gradually delivered from 1952 onwards. At first the T-33s that came out of USAF-stocks flew in bare -metal with their TR Buzz-numbers on the nose.

Later … Read More

KLu: Sud Alouette III

January 1, 2020 |

On January 1 2016 the Dutch Air Force farewelled the last 4 surviving Alouettes, then based at Gilze Rijen AB. And thus ended a 51 years long career.

The first of the 77 examples entered service in 1964. Five of … Read More

KLu : FOKKER F-27

December 18, 2019 |

The F-27 was undoubtedly the most successful design of the Dutch Fokker aircraft factory and it was even built under license by Fairchild in the U.S.

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RF-84Fs of the Danish Air Force

December 17, 2019 |

One squadron of the Royal Danish Air Force was equipped with Thunderflashes until 1971 when they were phased out in favour of the recce version of the Saab Draken. Initially 729 squadron at Karup received 10 Thunderflashes, but in 1963 they received 7 (ex Air National Guard) more as attrition replacements.

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National Military Museum ,Soesterberg (NL)

December 17, 2019 |

Until 2008 Soesterberg Air Base , the Netherlands  was in use by the KLu. and in that year the base was closed for operational flying activities.The American 32nd “Wolfhounds“ squadron already disbanded back in 1994.

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