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Gilze-Rijen Open Day Klu

The annual Dutch airshow in 2010 was held on the Gilze-Rijen airbase (ICAO: EHGR), the last airshow on this base was in 2005. Due to the transition into a full helicopterbase, the airshows skipped Gilze-Rijen after 2005. In 2010 the Gilze-Rijen airbase was ready again to organize an airshow and it had to show the helicopters to the audience. The theme of the show was ‘on a mission worldwide’, to demonstrate how the Dutch armed forces prepare for their military and humanitarian mission worldwide, with the focus on the current Afghanistan mission.

All photo's:
G.J.A. van Boven
H.P.A.M van Eupen
© Sentry Aviation News

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The Open Days of the Dutch Air Force are traditionally 2 day event and they seem to have 2 weather options: extremely hot or very wet. This year, on Friday June 18th and Saturday June 19th 2010, the second option was selected. On the Friday there was heavy overcast with some tiny raindrops throughout the day; on Saturday there was broken overcast with some sun but a heavy shower around noon during the airpower demo, soaked the audience.
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The airshow had separate shows during the 2 days, on the first day the Red Arrows and the Patrouille de France performed in the airshow, but due to other obligations they left already Friday afternoon. On the second day (Saturday) the Turkish Stars performed the final demoshow. On both days the Spanish helicopter team “La Patrulla Aspa” with 5 Eurocopter EC-120 Colibri performed their show.
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One of the highlights of the airshow was the C-17 performing on both days, amazing to see this huge cargoplane flying a similar close-pattern like a jetfighter in a demo. The airpower demo brought all combat helicopter types airborne (AH-46 Apache, CH-47 Chinook, AS532 Cougar) for a demonstration, while several F-16s overflew the combat area simulating the dropping of bombs. A huge shower ruined a part of the airpower demo on Saturday. After the airpower demo the F-16s flew by, in formation behind a KDC-10, while the helicopters landed after a formation flyby.
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Later the AH-64 Apache demo helicopter and the orange demo F-16 flew together, before both did their individual shows using flares as illumination.
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The static show contained various helicopters, like a French Cougar and Gazelle; large aircraft like an E-3A, C-130, Fokker-50 and VC-10; fighter aircraft like the MiG-29, SU-22, F-16, Gripen, and Tornado.
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