RNLAF Open Days - Leeuwarden AB (NL) - 2006
This year the annual open days of the Royal Netherlands Air Force were held at Leeuwarden airbase. Stars of the show was the United States Navy's Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, better known as the Blue Angels. It was only their second visit to Holland in the team history of 60 years. The last time the Blue Angels held a European tour was in 1992. This time they only came to perform at the RNLAF Open Days.
The display consists of a ground ceremony, a demonstration with six F/A-18 Hornets and a solo display of Fat Albert, the teams C-130 Hercules. At Leeuwarden, Fat Albert made one Jet Assisted Take-Off (JATO) start. This is quite unique as the bottles used for this start are becoming sparse and the Blue Angels removed JATO starts from their performance in 2009. The JATO start reduces the take-off distance of the Hercules and is accompanied by a lot of noise, flames and smoke.
Other highlights were a Polish MiG-29, Czech JAS 39 Gripen and Turkish NF-5B at the static. The flying programme consisted of a F-15E Strike Eagle display and the Finnish Midnight Hawks amongst more common displays like the RNLAF airpower demo, Patrouille de France and Asas de Portugal.