BLUEBIRD CLOSING DOWN
Previously announced, postponed several times, but the end of the Alouette III in the service of the Royal Netherlands Air Force is finally there. On December 31, an era ends. The Alouette III service ends after 51 years, no flights anymore for the remaining four royal blue helicopters.
INTRODUCTION IN THE RNLAF
“We started with 77 Alouettes in 1964. They were implemented in the GpLV (Groep Lichte Vliegtuigen) (Group Light Aircraft), a forerunner of the DHC (Defensie Helikopter Commando) (Defence Helicopter Command)”” says Flight Commander Captain Robert de Lange. He flies the Alouette III helicopter since the early 90s.After the arrival of the first Alouettes in 1964, the emphasis was on building a fleet and the operational applications. The capabilities of the Alouette III were so much greater after the experience with helicopters like the Hiller Raven and the Alouette II. The transmission of this new helicopter at that time was therefore not compare with its predecessors. The Alouette III was embedded in all three squadrons GpLV (298, 299 and 300 Squadron) stationed on the airbases Soesterberg and Deelen, in addition to the already existing fixed-wing aircraft. Also in the SAR / TAR (Search and Rescue / Tactical Air Rescue) role the machine was soon stationed on air base Ypenburg.