Air show

Today, right after lunch, I was busy as usual working on my paper. I heard some noise so I glanced out the window to see some eight military helicopters passing by. The group consisted of two Chinook heavy transporters, some Apache fighters and a few I didn’t recognize. Kind of weird, but not too much so.

Half a minute later, another three pretty non-descript helicopters passed by. Must be a shortage of helicopters somewhere south of Leiden. Or perhaps not… Following the helicopters were several groups of airplanes, ranging from a pair of small jets to a formation of six small fighters to a single tanker craft.

Some searching on the internet revealed the reason for all of this: today is the second Dutch war veteran’s day and one of the afternoon’s highlights is an air show in The Hague, some fifteen kilometers south of Leiden. Some more searching also brought up a list of aircraft showing up:

Lockheed Martin F-16AM (fighter jet)
Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules (four-engine turboprop cargo craft)
Boeing CH-47 D Chinook (twin-rotor heavy-lift helicopter)
Boeing AH-64D Apache (attack helicopter)
Aerospatiale Alouette III (light utility helicopter)
Westland Lynx SH14D (another utility helicopter)
McDonnell Douglas KDC-10 (air-to-air tanker craft)
Gulfstream Aerospace Gulfstream IV (passenger jet)
Fokker F50 (small turboprop airliner)
Pilatus PC-7 (training and aerobatics craft)
Beechcraft Beech-18 (twin-engine propellor craft)
North American B-25 Mitchell (twin-engine bomber)
Supermarine Spitfire MK.IX (World War II fighter)
Noorduyn AT-16ND Harvard IIB (World War II training craft)

At least, these are the models that were scheduled to show up. I didn’t see all of them, but there was one propellor airplane that passed out of sight (the B-25?), and others may have as well. The ones I did see included a couple of Chinooks and Apaches, the KDC-10 tanker, the Gulfstream IV jet, a squadron of PC-7s and/or one of Beech-18s, probably some Alouettes and Lynxes, and maybe a few Spitfires. As a bonus, later I also saw a pair of helicopters (Alouettes or Lynxes) engaged in aerobatics. All in all, a nice change of pace from the usual afternoon work!

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