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Thunderstreaks.com | December 3, 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

Thunderstreaks of the K.Lu (in active service)

September 13, 2020 |

In the mid fifties the KLu (Koninklijke Luchtmacht) acquired 180 Republic F-84F Thunderstreaks, registered P-101 to P-277 and P-298 to P-300. The majority of the Streaks depicted in this album are selected out of the range P-157 to P-300, being the last of the type in operational service, flying with both 314 and 315 squadrons from Eindhoven AB. The Streak entered service in 1955 and the last ones were phased out in 1970. Last departures to other air forces (see below) took place in 1971. Read More

Belgian Thunderstreaks: Period of Active Service

July 20, 2020 |

We have seen the Thunderstreaks of the Belgian Air Force very frequently, both in operational conditions , in storage and/or as museum-pieces.  This post deals with pictures of Thunderstreaks  in Belgian Air Force service, while they still were operational.

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Belgian Thunderstreaks: Aircraft w.f.u.

July 10, 2020 |

DSCN1573Many Thunderstreaks of the Belgian Air Force ended their service lives at the aircraft-depot at Koksijde AB. Most of them were scrapped but some survived: at first as eye-catchers (“decoys”) – sometimes disguised as Mirages ! – and later in museums or as monuments. This gallery gives an overview on the faiths of various Belgian Thunderstreaks. Note that withdrawn a/c may not be present anymore at the given locations.

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USAF/ANG Thunderflashes

July 1, 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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Best Hit Weapons Meet 1972, Larissa, Greece

June 30, 2020 | 7

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) Read More

Kleine Brogel Spottersday 2022

June 29, 2020 |

On 10 September 2022 a (wet) spottersday was organized by the Belgian Air Force at Kleine Brogel AB. Due to very bad weather many participants cancelled their acts….

F-100 Super Sabre of the National Military Museum (NL)

March 20, 2020 |

The famous F-100 Super Sabre also served in the Netherlands with the 32nd Fighter Day Squadron ,USAFE at Soesterberg AB from 1956 to 1960. In 1959-1960 they flew with red/white/blue tails.

The particular aircraft that is now on exhibition in … Read More

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)

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)

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

Florennes Airshow (Belgium), September 1992

January 17, 2020 |

Star of the 1992 Belgian Air Force Airshow at Florennes AB (12 September), attended by Hans and Frank ,was a Spanish Mirage F1. At Florennes AB the second BAF airshow took place in that year; one week earlier a similar event was organized at Beauvechain AB.

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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