Thursday, July 21, 2011

Airfix Model World 2011-01

The Royal Netherlands Air Force hosted NATO's Tiger Meet 2010 at Volkel ABF from October 4-15. This was the second two-week Tiger Meet and was a great success again. The host squadron, an F-16AM/BM operator, had clearly taken onboard the good example set by their southern neighbour, 31 Squadron of the Belgian Air Force based at Kleine Brogel AB, which hosted last year's event. During eight days of flying, 715 missions were planned, and despite bad weather in the first week, 664 were actually flown, with each mission being graded and combined with other ground operations in preparation for the coveted Tiger Trophies that were to be handed out at the end of the exercise. The global recession hit this year's meet, with four squadrons unable to attend due to shrinking defence budgets and another three absent due to operational commitments. Despite these disappointments, Volkel's flight lines were packed with more than 50 aircraft, including F-16s, Mirage 2000s, Tornados and Saab 105s. Mil-24V Hinds provided the rotary element from 221 Squadron of the Czech Republic, along with AB212s of 21 Gruppo Italian Air Force. The event featured some of the most spectacular colour schemes of recent years and many aircraft modellers will be hoping that those pictured here will find their way on to a decal sheet as soon as possible.