Located in Lalystad, Netherlands, the Nationaal
Luchtvaart-Themapark Aviodrome, or simply
Aviodrome, is quite a long leap from being your average
European air show.
For one thing, it doesn´t open every other year.
Or once every year.
A unique combination of permanent air festival,
aerospace museum and family theme park, the
Aviodrome boasts the largest replica in Europe:
the Schiphol 1928 building, an exact replica of the
1920s Amsterdam Airport terminal building. And that is
only the beginning, since this plane-freak paradise is
packed with wonders from one end to the other.
Authentic aircraft from all over the world are presented
in manicured displays that, together with many visual
and sound effects, provide the right period atmosphere,
along with one of the world’s largest collection of
airworthy vintage planes of all denominations.
Apart from the impressive museum exhibition
Aviodrome has much more on offer. A 250-seat movie
theatre offers spectacular viewing of wide screen
aviation films, lots of games, displays, action
presentations and everything you would expect from a
state-of-the-art theme park.
Plus one tiny detail you’d never find in a theme park:
Welcome to the theme park you always dreamed with. This is the Aviodrome,
complete with the Schiphol 1928 building replica surrounded by a delicious Connie
and the last flying DC-2 in the world. To note, only the airport building is a replica.
One of Benelux’s most treasured flying machines, this Air Fouga CM-170R-1
Magister is preserved in mint conditions by the Dutch Historic Jets Association.
Either as a static display or as a performing act, she usually makes one of the
biggest thrills of the day.
The Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros is a high-performance jet trainer
developed in Czechoslovakia during the late 60s to replace the L-29 Delfin.
It still produced in an evolved state as the L-159. More than 2,800 L-39s
are in service with over 30 air forces worldwide, filling the roles of basic and
advanced pilot training, making it the most widely-used jet trainer in the world.
A McDonnell Douglas A-4K Skyhawk from the squadron which New Zealand
used to maintain on a permanent basis at the Australian Naval base at Nowra
for fleet support and other co-operative operations, now added
to the Aviodrome permanent flight line.
Now in private hands, this Hawker Siddeley Hunter FR74S was originally
delivered to the Swiss Air Force in 1967, and remained in service
until the late 80s.
Disrespectful? An undeserved joke? The ultimate display of bad taste?
Many things are heard at the Aviodrome everytime this speacialy painted
Hawker Hunter F58A shows up at Lalystad. Maybe everybody
still loves Hunters too much.
Another plane-freak major star from across the Channel,
this De Havilland Sea Vixen performs on a regular basis at the Aviodrome.
Still, many a purist use to send furious complaints about the livery
every time she appears.
This North American F-86A Sabre was delivered to the USAF in 1949
and served until 1958. Then she was restored to flying condition
during the early 1970s by Ben Hall. He also painted the Korean War 4th FIW
markings that she still carries today. She remains in perfect flying condition,
and is reputed to be one of the world's three oldest flying jets.
A Mikoyan-Gurevich MIG-21 Fishbed F, kindly brought during the mid seventies
to the Netherlands by a deserting Soviet pilot, gets the final touches
that will put her back to flight conditions. The power plant, to note, will not be
the original Russian jet engine
Once Netherland’s most ambitious project, the only remaining
Fokker S-14 Machtrainer is just about to join the Aviodrome’s staic display line.
Though somehow out of place in an antiques show like Lalystad,
the Piaggio P-180 Avanti is currently seen anywhere plane connossieurs
gather, as Italian executives seem extremely keen on selling it.
Bringing in royalty from across the Channel, the Royal Family’s
British Aerospace BAE-146 C1 arrives to the Aviodrome.
Doubtlessly one of the Aviodrome’s favourites, our Lockheed L-049A
Constellation, once the pride of KLM’s overseas service.
Once a usual channel shuttle, this De Havilland DH-83 Fox Moth
is still in flight conditions.
Right in front of the main building, a very familiar sight
at Amsterdam Municipal: the De Havilland DH-104 Devons used to shuttle over
the English Channel for decades. This dignified survivor still does, operated by
the adventure airline Martin’s Air Charter over the same route.
A very cool Antonov An-2P, starting the engine and coughing up lots of smoke
at the Aviodrome. Has very small "Stichting Antonov" titles under the cockpit.
A visitor from the Provence Noratlas Association, this Nord N-2501 Noratlas
is a very frequent sight over Lalystad, though still a most anticipated sight.
Fresh from the other side of the English Channel, this proud
Armstrong-Whitworth AW-650 Argosy prepares to land at Lalystad
for a two-week residence at the Aviodrome exhibition.
This Fokker F-27-100 Friendship was the first production-built F-27.
She arrived back home in The Netherlands after 46 years of (almost)
continuous flying abroad. The uncomplicated ferry from Australia
took 50 hours over several days. What's more: this classic bird
is currently flying joyriddes with passengers at the Aviodrome.
The Dutch Navy’s first general purpose helicopter,
this Westland WS-51 Dragonfly welcomes the crowds at the Viodrome.
A Vietnam Veteran Sikorsky Erickson S64E Skycrane Air Fouga CM-170R-1
One of Benelux’s most treasured flying machines, this converted into
fire fighting chopper in Canada, where she the Dutch Historic
Magister is preserved in mint conditions by served until 1997, Jets Association.
when she found her definitive home at Lalystad.
Although her performance was cancelled just some twenty minutes
before the scheduled time, still she made one of the a ttractions of the day,
even as static display aircraft.
A classic Sikorsky S-55B chopper with extra windows for sight-seeing rides
A very familiar sight in airshows all over Europe, and all over the world
for that matter, this Pitts S-2B l is owned and operated by our hosts,
the Lalystad Air Club.
Getting ready to appear in public the next summer, this Lockheed SP-2H
Neptune bears the colours used by the Dutch Navy to disguise its aircraft as
civil KLM planes.
Another Lockheed SP-2H Neptune, on loan from the Helders Marinemuseum
for the Royal Netherlands Navy.
In the early morning fog, before the show begins on September 4th,
a Dutch Navy Grumman US-2N Tracker waits over the frozen tarmac.
This carefully restored Hawker FB-11 Sea Fury was purchased
by Flying Fighter Pty. Ltd. from the Iraqi Air Force after being replaced in 1982,
and repainted with her original Royal Air Force livery.
Another one of the aircraft most dear to every Netherlands plane connossieur,
this North American AT-16ND Harvard II B trained generations of Dutch pilots.
Complete with weary-to-the-bones pilot, this wartime display
of a Republic P-47M Thunderbolt reflects the realistic way in which the
Aviodrome concept is executed at Lalystad.
No introduction necessary: a USAF North American P-51D Mustang.
A Hawker Hurricane Mk II in incredible mint condition,
owned by the Alpine Fighter Collectors Society, from Geneve, Switzerland.
Also operated by the Alpine Fighter Collectors Society,
a Supermarine Spitfire LF-16F.
The only remaining Dutch version Spitfire, known as model LF-9B/361,
appears at the Aviodrome thanks to the Royal Netherlands
Air Force Historic Flight.
The Old Flying Machine Company from Wellington, New Zeland,
broght this Vought FG-1D Corsair.
A Curtiss P-40N Kittyhawk, courtesy of Amsterdam`s Kittyhawk Partnership.
This Bell P-63 Kingcobra is one of the rarest warbirds flying still flying.
Although superficially resembling the Aircobra, she was a completely new
design to correct the Aircobra's deficiencies at high altitude.
Performance was inferior to the Mustang, hence the Kingcobra never saw
combat with the USAF.
Coming in from the cold: a Plikarpov 153 in winter war scheme.
And her younger sister, the Polikarpov 16.
The only surviving airworthy unit of her type, this Fiat G46-4A Serie V
Monoposto prepares to take off from Lalystad, decades after
Retirement from the Italian Air Force.
Not all B-17s are Flying Fortresses: this Saab B-17 is a basic trainer developed
for the Scandinavian and Icelander air forces.
Quite a sight for a final display, Alpine Fighter collection's Spitfire and Mustang
are lead by The Old Flying Machine Company's Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk with
the former Kiwi FG-1D Corsair taking up the rear position
A Beech 18 also known as Beech C-45 and nicknamed "Iron Annie"
and "The Bandaid Bomber” leads three Harvards of the Royal Dutch Air Force’s
Dutch Airforce 2004 Historic Flight: a De Havilland of Canada DHC-2 U-6A
Beaver follows two Piper Cubs over Lalystad on September 4th.
A real wartime hero, this lovingly restored De Havilland DH-89A Dragon Rapide
flew rescue and evacuation missions all through Second World War.
First flown in 1937, the Beech type 18 was used by the United States Army
and Navy as pilot, gunner, bombardier, and navigator trainers,
as well as photographic reconnaissance plane and personnel transports.
The last of more than 7,000 civilian and military versions was delivered in 1969.
The stunning show "Fifi Kate" gave at the Aviodrome in December 2004
belied her age: three months earlier the old lady celebrated her 61st birthday!
Although registered in the USA, this Douglas C-47 Dakota has been based in
England since 1995, and received her current Royal Air Force D-Day invasion
markings in 2001.
Flying over the Dutch sea near Lalystad, a former rench Aeronavale
Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina.
Quite an unforgettable sight over the Aviodrome: a Dutch Navy
Consolidated PBY-5A Catallina flying information with a Royal Air Force
Douglas C-47 Dakota, when she visited the Aviodrome in December 2004.
Contrary to popular belief, this North American B-25N Mitchell Bomber
never belonged to the Royal Dutch Air Force. In fact, she was operated
by the Duke of Bravant Air Force, as stated by the Bravant flags
painted on the wings and fuselage.
During the Summer of 2004 several heavy bombers from the
Commemorative Air Force crossed again the Atlantic, like they did sixty years
eariler, to appear at a special program at the Lalystad Aviodrome.
First to land was this perfectly conserved Consolidated B-24 Liberator.
Curiosly enough, this is the first time this Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress
ever flew over Europe. Completed in early 1945, she remained in reserve
until the end of the war, and then waited scrapyard till the
Commemorative Air Force purchased what was left of her and rebuilt her
to the perfect state she is in now.
This mint-condition Boeing B-29A Superfortress is, needless to say,
the Commemorative Air Force’s largest pride and joy. And large it is, indeed.
This elegant old lady had first thought to be a CASA 352L, but during
restoration it was determined that she was actually a German-built Junkers Ju52/3M, assembled by CASA. It served with the Spanish Air Force until 1976.
Her current owners acquired it in 1990. The EADS logo (European Aeronautic
Defence and Space Company) seems rather out of place on her.
The Commemorative Air Force's CASA 2.111/ Heinkel HE-111 in flight
somewhere near Lalystad. Sadly, this aircraft and its two pilots were lost
in a forced landing outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming on February 10th, 2005.