Dutch Air Force unveils 4 special F-16 fighters to celebrate Viper's 42-year service

Dutch F16 special tail
Dutch F-16 with special tail takes off from Leeuwarden Air Base, The Netherlands.

On June 7, 1979, the first Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 arrived at Leeuwarden Air Base (ICAO code: EHLW). That was the General Dynamics (now Lockheed) F-16B with registration J-259.

On July 01, 2021, the last Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s will move from Leeuwarden Air Base to Volkel Air Base. There, the last F-16s will continue to fly at Volkel Air Base for another ~2 years.

An F-16 (J-871) at Leeuwarden Air Base received a special tail, on which the 42 years are indicated, from 1979 to 2021.

In addition, three F-16s have a colored emblem of the squadrons that have flown at Leeuwarden Air Base.

- 322 squadron ("Polly Grey"), J-144
- 323 squadron (Diana"), J-509
- TCA (“Tactische Conversie Afdeling” (Tactical Conversion Department), which took care of the conversion of F-16 pilots), J-201

On June 08, 2021, three of the four special F-16s flew at Leeuwarden Air Base. The F-16 with the TCA tail did not fly.

Dutch F16 special tail

Dutch F16 special tail

Dutch F16 special tail

Dutch F16 special tail

Dutch F16 special tail

Photos and text: Joris van Boven and Alex van Noije

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