Solo Display Team

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Solo Display Team
AH64 Apache & F16 - RIAT 2013 (9620840859).jpg
The F-16 and AH-64 of the Solo Display Team in 2013
Active 1979–present
Country Netherlands
Branch Royal Netherlands Air Force
Role Aerobatic flight display team

The Solo Display Team (Dutch: Demoteam) is the aerobatics display team of the Royal Netherlands Air Force and consists of three elements. The F-16 Solo Display Team uses the fighter jet F-16 and the AH-64D Apache Solo Display Team uses the helicopter AH-64 Apache. The PC-7 Solo Display Team flies the low-wing tandem-seat training aircraft Pilatus PC-7, but is currently inactive.

F-16 Solo Display Team[edit]

The F-16 of the Solo Display Team in 2009
The F-16 in flight during an air show at the Dutch Air Force Days in 2013
The solo display F-16 in the previous colour scheme at RIAT 2005

The F-16 Solo Display Team is currently based at Leeuwarden Air Base in the Dutch province of Friesland and consists of the pilot, two instructors and seven ground crew. The members of the team are always seconded from a squadron of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The 2014 pilot, Kapitein (Flight Lieutenant) Jeroen "Slick" Dickens, flies with 323 Squadron.[1] All members are operational military personnel and, apart from their tasks with the demo team, they perform normal operational duties.

The Dutch F16 demo team moves to another squadron and/or base every two years, season 2007-2009 being the exception. From 2005 until 2009 the demo team was based at Volkel Air Base. In 2010 the team consisted of members of the operational squadrons from Leeuwarden Air Base. They took over the orange F-16, J-015. In 2012 and 2013 the team was based at Volkel Air Base and returned to Leeuwarden Air Base in early 2014.[2]

The team was established in September 1979 with the first demonstration of an RNLAF F-16 during an air show at Twente Air Base (now Enschede Airport Twente). The team has since been seen at air shows in European countries and, in 2006, at Edwards Air Force Base in the United States, winning the prize for the best display team in the jet category at the air show held at Reims – Champagne Air Base in 2009.[3]

The team has no single colour scheme. The present orange colour scheme was unveiled in April 2009.[4]

The team have had no accidents.

Pilots[edit]

The following pilots have flown the F-16 for the Solo Display Team.[5][6]

Year Name Based at Aircraft
1979 Flt Lt (Kapitein) Willem "Snake" Sneek Leeuwarden J-213
1980–1983 Flt Lt Gert "Barney" Booij Leeuwarden J-252
1983–1985 Flt Lt Hans "Midas" Weber Leeuwarden J-252
1986 Sqn Ldr (Majoor) Gert "Barney" Booij Volkel J-616
1987–1988 Flt Lt Henri "Basco" Schevers Volkel J-864
1989–1990 Fg Off (Eerste-Luitenant) Maarten "Puke" Pladet Twenthe J-058 and J-060
1991–1992 Flt Lt Reindert "Dagger" Zwaart Leeuwarden J-226 and J-231 (1991), J-213 (1992)
1993 Flt Lt Gerhard "Garlic" Went Volkel J-193 and J-624
1994 Flt Lt Peter "Fingers" Jansen Twenthe J-251 and J-253
1995–1996 Flt Lt Ries "Champ" Kamperman Volkel J-001, J-003 and J-511 (stickers), J-508 (paint)
1997–1998 Flt Lt Patrick "Spout" Tuit Leeuwarden J-364 (1997), J-868, J-364 (1998), J-236 (85 years RNLAF)
1999–2000 Flt Lt Robert-Jan "Woods" Bosch. Twenthe J-509, J-511, J-138 and J-144
2001–2002 Flt Lt Richard "Tomba" Buijs Volkel J-016
2003–2004 Flt Lt Christian "Louis" van Gestel Leeuwarden J-016 (main), J-063 (spare)
2005–2006 Flt Lt Gert-Jan "Goofy" Vooren Volkel J-055
2007–2009 Flt Lt Ralph "Sheik" Aarts Volkel J-055 (2007-2008), J-015 (2009)
2010–2011 Flt Lt Tobias "Hitec" Schutte Leeuwarden J-015
2012–2013 Flt Lt Stefan "Stitch" Hutten Volkel J-015
2014–2015 Flt Lt Jeroen "Slick" Dickens Leeuwarden J-142

AH-64D Apache Solo Display Team[edit]

The AH-64D Apache of the Solo Display Team in 2011
The AH-64D Apache during a show at the Dutch Air Force Days in 2011

The Apache Solo Display Team is based at Gilze-Rijen Air Base in the Dutch province of North Brabant and uses the four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter AH-64D Apache. The team was formed in 2002 as a one-off to take part in the air show that was held that year at its airbase.[7] However, the team kept performing at airshows in the following years and, in July 2005, won the "Sir Douglas Bader Trophy" at the Royal International Air Tattoo which took place at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, United Kingdom,[8] having performed the previous month at the air show held at their home base.

The Apache Solo Display Team was inactive between 2005 and 2009 due to operational deployments but began to carry out demo flights again in 2010, the first of which took place at RAF Fairford during the Royal International Tattoo in July.[9]

The current pilots are Sqn Ldr Roland Wally Blankenspoor and Sqn Ldr Harm Kaas Cazemier, supported by a crew composed of member from 299 Squadron and 301 Squadron.[10]

PC-7 Solo Display Team[edit]

RNLAF Pilatus PC-7

The PC-7 Solo Display Team is based at Woensdrecht Air Base in the Dutch province of North Brabant. It flies one of the thirteen single engine turbo trainer Pilatus PC-7 of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The team consists of the pilot, two instructors and the ground crew. The PC-7 Solo Display Team has two aircraft at its disposal, unlike the F-16 Solo Display Team, one operational, the other functions as backup.

The team was established in 1995 and performs at air shows in Europe. The colour scheme used for the aircraft is predominantly black, with a single yellow line along the fuselage and the tail. The yellow line is repeated on the underside and the top of the wings.

The team have had no accidents.

The two Solo Display Teams sometimes perform together.

Currently (2008–2013) there is no PC-7 solo display active. All PC-7s and instructors are needed for training at the Elementary Flight School EMVO (Elementaire Militaire Vlieger Opleiding).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Team Members - Display Pilot" (in Dutch). Royal Netherlands Air Force. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "F-16 Demo Team: The Team". Royal Netherlands Air Force. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "F-16 Solo Display Team steelt de show in Reims" (in Dutch). Ministerie van Defensie. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "Luchtmacht onthult oranje showmodel F-16". nu.nl (in Dutch). 2 April 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2009. 
  5. ^ "F-16 Demo Team: History". Royal Netherlands Air Force. Retrieved 20 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "F-16 Demo Team: The Team". Royal Netherlands Air Force. Retrieved 20 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "Apache demonstratieteam primeur op vliegbasis Gilze-Rijen" (in Dutch). Ministerie van Defensie. 5 July 2002. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Gilze-Rijen beste militair demonstratieteam" (in Dutch). Omroep Brabant. 20 July 2005. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Apache Solo Display Team: News" (in Dutch). Royal Netherlands Air Force. Retrieved 20 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "Apache Solo Display Team: The Team". Royal Netherlands Air Force. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 

External links[edit]