[Photo] Giant Antonov AN-124 Ruslan low on final approach at Gilze Rijen airport

This is the kind of aircraft that could buzz your head if you are spotting at Gilze Rijen today.

In the 1980s, you could see U.S. F-4 Phantoms or RNlAF (Royal Netherlands Air Force) NF-5 low overhead the road just outside the airport fence at Gilze-Rijen airport.

Nowadays, if you are lucky, you can have a close encounter with a giant airlifter leased by the Dutch Government to support overseas deployments.

The image in this post was taken by Jimmy van Drunen in 2009 when an Antonov 124 of the “Antonov Design Bureau” (Ukraine’s state-owned company currently known as Antonov State Company), visited the base to bring some local Apache attack choppers back home from Afghanistan.

Image credit: Jimmy van Drunen

 

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About David Cenciotti 3818 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.