Tekst and Photo's: Ron Kellenaers (unless stated otherwise)     
Airshow Weeze ''5 Years Airport Weeze'' 2008

Despite the cold and strong winds and overcast conditions, a large crowd was drawn to Airport Weeze on April 30th and May 1st to celebrate the airports 5th anniversary. Crew,
Airport employees, and the local aircraftspotters did a great job to make these days a succes. More than 30.000 people visited the airport on both days, and could enjoy a spectaculair airshow.

Airport Weeze’s main infrastructure was formed between 1954 and 1999 as this airfield was
One of the first RAF Germany’s ‘clutch’ airfields. The airflield has a rich aviation history and
Has known many ups and downs. In 1999 an end of an era was reached with the final departure of four RAF Harriers. Four years later in 2003, the ‘Flughafen Niederrhein GmBH’ was formed to make a profitable airport out of RAF Laarbruch. This, to give the region an economical boost. After a year they changed the airport’s name into Airport Weeze, named after the nearest large town. Today airport Weeze is a base for Low cost carrier Ryanair, and some other airlines. With more than 800.000 passengers per year, the airport belongs already to the biggest regional airports in Germany, and is still growing.

Klik on thumbnails to view larger pictures. Klik on large picture again to return here.



The airshow started off on Wednesday April 30th wich is a Dutch holiday, to celebrate the
Queens birthday. Some of the military fighters arrived already on thuesday and on this windy
Wednesday, the ‘star of the show’ was expected in the early morning. And shortly after the groundcrew briefings, a small dot in the form of a 3rd squadron Typhoon could be seen on eastern horizon. The Typhoon F.2 came on initials for runway 09 and landed smoothly after
A right hand circuit. 3rd squadron was back! after 9 years! The static display was filled with a handful of military aircraft, the flightline saw a mix of Warbirds and other small private aircraft. Another highlight on this day was the roll-out of FX-52, an F-104G Strafighter wich
Has been restored to it’s original tiger colorscheme. This is the same scheme as it flew in, back in 1978 during the ’78 Tiger Meet at Kleine Brogel in Belgium. Thursday was a day wich was a non-working day for both the German and Dutch people. With a better forecast, this day attracted most of the people. The crowd cleary enjoyed the show. With only one rainshower this day was a great success. Wingwalker Peggy Krainz, did
A great job, on her Boeing Stearman, and the OV-10 Bronco crew gave a very spectaculair display ending with a happy pilot and and applauding crowd. Other great displays were performed by a Mustang, Yak-52, Extra 300, B-25 and an Antonov An-2. Four Dutch oldtimer Fokker S 11 trainers teamed up as 'FOKKER FOUR', giving a great demo in formation aerobatics. In the afternoon another highlight could be seen on the Horizon. The Battle of Brittain Memorial Flight arrived, after being cancelled due to weather on the first day, with a Hurrican Spitfire and Dakota. The fighters did a stunning demonstration making everybody think it was WWII again..

Another surprise came at the end of day two, with an early departure of four RAF Harriers.
Many people recognized the typical sound, wich could be heard daily between ’92-’99, as the Harriers started their engines. Literally nobody had interest no more in some german ‘bratwurst’ or a dutch ‘heineken’. Everybody was focussed on the four aircraft. The aircraft departed on schedual and after their departure they turned back to the field for a flypast, leaving some 30.000 people with a big smile on their face! A great ending for a great airshow.





 >> Go to PART II

Niederrhein Aviation Society