Photos © R.Leeuw

On 10Dec03 I paid a visit to the newly opened Aviodrome, Aviation Themepark near Lelystad, the Netherlands.

On 26Nov03 the new museum opened to visitors, while the grand opening with festivities will have to wait until Spring 2004 (the L.749A Constellation will be there as well, then).
Fokker F.50 demonstrator PH-OSI (c/n 10688) is the gateguard for the museum; look here to see it take to the air.
PH-OSI is owned by the Fokker Heritage Trust.
Pieter Nederveen wrote me in Apr.2007 (the translation is mine): "PH-OSI has a construction and interior resembling a F.50, but the oval windows (replaced by metal panels with cosmetic adjustments, to further enhance appearance like an F.50) and the Rolls Royce (with 4-bladed props: the F.50 has 6-bladed props and P&W propulsion) engines show the F.27 heritage; it would probably best to designate PH-OSI a F.50 prototype.
PH-OSI mainly served as a mock-up for testing of the electronic cables by ELMO (Fokker-Woensdrecht)."

While the previous museum "Aviodome" at Amsterdam IAP was pleasant, it was confined to a limited space (plus landlord Schiphol preferred to see them move), the new museum Aviodrome is ambitious and modern. The (larger) collection on display has more space and is displayed sometimes with help of sound effects; other special effects are used as well, but it's better to go and see for yourself...

First we will have a look inside the museum...

H-NADP Fokker F.VII H-NADP of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. This aircraft (c/n 5054) is not a replica but the real deal !
Although this particular aircraft never flew with KLM, this type of aircraft was used to fly from Amsterdam to the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) ! Rather a brave effort, don't you think ?
It was displayed as "H-NACT" in the Aviodome at Amsterdam IAP, it has been restored to represent the aircraft that made the first intercontinental flight from Amsterdam to Batavia in 1927.
Jacques Hémet sent me an image of the real H-NADP, taken in Syria, see Jacques' page on this website.

Have a look at Amsterdam Municipal Airport and H-NADP in 1927.

The original H-NADP was a Fokker F.VIIa, delivered by Fokker to KLM with registration H-NADR and equipped with 1 engine: a Jupiter series IV. First commercial flight was made on 25april1927: Amsterdam-Paris-Rotterdam, resp. in 3hr30 and 2hr15. Prop and engine had to be changed frequently, in aug/sep 1927 four times in a period of only one month !
End-nov27 a rebuilding program was started on H-NADR after 672 flighthours. It was completed on 01Feb28. The fuselage had been strengthened, extra fueltanks were placed, 3 Gnôme Rhône Titan engines had been installed and various other modifications for flights to Africa and China. Type identification had been changed to Fokker VIIa/3m and registration was altered to H-NADP.
Only a few months later cracks were found in the wings and the aircraft was returned to Holland by boat. A new, larger wing was installed and it had now become a Fokker VIIb/3m. That same year it was reconverted to the single Jupiter engine and a regular wing, reregistered to PH-AET.
So we see here that the Dutch civil aviation prefix changed from H- to PH- in 1928. This had to do with international agreements, a growing need in this young industry. I have read somewhere that "PH" can be read as "Plesman Holland", I don't know if that is true. Albert Plesman was KLM's founder in 1919.
PH-AET made its final flight for KLM on 06Apr1936, flown 3.833 hours. The above info was learned from Achtste Nieuwsbrief van het Historisch Museum NLR, a newsletter in Dutch by the Dutch Aviation and Space Laboratory (NLR-Nederlands Lucht en Ruimtevaart Laboratorium - found link no longer valid in 2011).

This type of aircraft was also used by KLM Aerocarto (founded in 1921). This particular airframe has no history with KLM, but flew for a Swiss company.
Many famous KLM names have flown with this type: Aler, Smirnoff, Frijns, Soer, Geijsendorfer, Parmentier, Van Veenendaal and Viruly. The famous Amsterdam - Batavia (Jakarta) schedule was the longest schedule flown by a commercial operator for a long time.
It is fantastic that the Aviodrome has preserved this history in such vivid form.

Model of 3-engined Fokker F.XVIII PH-API Pelikaan (meaning: Pelican), which saw pilot Iwan Smirnoff chalk up a record return flight between The Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies. The aircraft departed on 18Dec1933 with Christmas mail for Indonesia and returned at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on 30Dec33, carrying New Years mail for the Netherlands. The flight had lasted 4 days, 4 hours and 35 minutes.
Almost 13.000 people gathered at Amsterdam Airport that 30Dec33 upon his arrival with second-pilot Piet Soer, from the Dutch Indies completing Smirnoff's record-breaking flight with KLM's Fokker F.18 "de Pelikaan".

A Noorduyn Norseman, which was recently acquired, is seen here in major overhaul.
It is former F-AZBN (c/n 774) and was transported to Lelystad this summer (2003). At one time it has been flying with the US Army Air Force, designated UC-64A with serial 44-70509; it's career saw also the following identities: I-AIAK, EC-ANO, CN-TEE and as stated: F-AZBN.
It is not owned by the Aviodrome but rather by the Noorduyn Foundation. Restoration may well see it flying again one day !

R.B.C. (Bob) Noorduyn was born in Holland, but worked as a young engineer in England for Sopwith and Armstron-Whitworth. He emigrated to the US in 1920, to work for Anthony Fokker. He organized the Atlantic Aviation Corporation, which became the Fokker Aircraft Corporation. Together they conceived the Fokker Universal, later followed by the Super Universal. He was also instrumental in the design of the Fokker Trimotor. In 1928 he joined the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation and worked on the famous Bellanca Pacemaker.
In 1934 Bob Noorduyn and Walter C. Clayton went to Montreal,Canada and started Norseman Aircraft Ltd. The prototype Norseman first flew November 14, 1935. Many Norseman were used during WW II by many countries, but chiefly by the US Army Air Force as a utility cargo plane designated UC-64A.
Here's a link that tells more: http://noorduynnorseman.com/
Have a look at its progress in 2006 ! And 2018 !

PH-TCB is a Douglas C-47A and the way it is displayed here, it comprises 2 Douglas DC-3s really.... To restore PH-PBA (c/n 19434) to airworthiness, the wings, tailsection and undercarriage were exchanged with those of c/n 9836 (PH-TCB).
Also rumored to be a restoration involving 3 DC-3s! Coert Munk suggested that the cockpit might be of ex-Pyramid Airlines N486F (c/n 20214), reported derelict at Malaga in 1995. That airframe (ex/ 43-15748, NC63104) was scrapped at some point and the forward fuselage and went to the Netherlands. But that cockpit section was used Oct-Nov18 in a sandsculpture @Katwijk, the owner Ed Radstake has it stored in Babberich with his a privat collection.

The history of c/n 9836 is: USAAF 42-23974, RAF FD938, SAAF 6867 (35 Sq), reregistered ZS-NJE, rereg'd 14Jun94 G-BVOL (reg cancelled 16May96) and painted as PH-TCB. Upon initial preservation it was clear that restoration to airworthiness was unfeasable, but by donating parts to PH-PBA and its present display at the Aviodrome it has more than served its purpose in terms of preservation and history.
(The serial number of an aircraft remains with the fuselage - therefore the aircraft on display
at Lelystad is Douglas C-47A c/n 9836 and no other.)

The name 'Iwan.W.Smirnoff' (I don't understand the dot on Iwan.) does honour to his prestige with KLM.
Anne Robertson has written an excellent biography about Iwan Smirnoff, the Dutch title would translate to "A Life of Adventure"; it deals with the early days of aviation. His life is best described as "truth is stranger than fiction..." He was Russia's 4th highest Ace in WW1 (shot down 11 German aircraft), deserted to save his life, ended up in Europe and while seeking work in various countries ended up in the Netherlands with KLM (became naturalised as a Dutch citizen) and was shot down flying DC-3 PK-AFV of the KNILM (Netherlands East Indies KLM) by 3 Japanes Zeros in 1942, was wounded but managed to get the aircraft on the ground, was rescued and managed to loose a shipment of diamonds (worth some 300,000) in the process.
From Australia he went to the USA (for KLM), continued to serve KLM after WW2 and died at Mallorca in 1956. Fascinating character.


The history of this Douglas C-54A (c/n 7488) brought it through the following identities: 42-107469 (USAAF, 16May44), NC53103 (Chicago & Southern A/L, 1946), PI-C102 (Philippine A/L, 10Nov1948), HS-POE (Pacific Overseas A/L, 05Jul51 - Thai Aws, 1951), HS-TSA (Thai Aws, Sep58), 107469 (Thai Air Force, 1958), VQ-ZEF (Botswana Nat'l Aws, 1966), A2-ZEF (Botswana Nat'l Aws, 1968), ZS-IPR (Suidwes Lugdiens, Jan72), 6906 (South African AF, 23Apr81), ZS-IPR (Aero Air, Oct95)
It arrived at Schiphol (from South Africa) for Dutch Dakota Assoc. on 04Jun97 and registration PH-DDY was reserved for it. At that time there were only 2 older airworthy DC-4s around !
Instead of keeping it airworthy, it was meant to be a source for spareparts for PH-DDS. It was disassembled and stored in DDA's hangar at Schiphol, later transferred to the empty Fokker hangar (during 2001 it fell and sustained unsubstantiated damage). During March 2003 it was transported over the road to the new Aviodrome museum at Lelystad, where it is seen here, preserved as NL-316 of the Netherlands Government Air Transport (NGAT), carrying the large orange triangles of shortly after WW2.
The NGAT was a semi-military organisation, stemming from the No.1316 (Dutch) Communications Flight of the British RAF Transport Command. The NGAT was founded because in the chaotic circumstances of 1945 it was easier for a governmental organisation to operate than a civil commercial organisation. In 1946 all aircraft of the NGAT were registered from NL- prefix to PH- and assigned to the KLM or RLS (pilot training school).
ZS-IPR seen arriving at SPL 1997.

Dan Morgan wrote me in Jan.2006: "I have just visited your website and was astonished to see this aircraft discussed. I have a photograph of the aircraft (and the rest of the Botswana National Airways fleet) which may be of interest to you. The airline was owned by my father, David Morgan, before it was nationalised by the Botswana Government in 1969-70 (it was then known as Air Botswana). Following nationalisation the aircraft that were in South Africa at the time were seized and, I imagine, were subsequently sold off. I do remember they sat on the other side of the tarmac at Jan Smuts airport (now Johannesburg International) for quite some time afterwards.
You may be interested to know the aircraft was used to carry oil to Zambia after UDI in Rhodesia and at one time even transported a baby African elephant (I was there and I can tell you it was a long and difficult task to get the animal on board!).."

Thanks Dan !
And here is more on Dan's Air Botswana story...! And more on Guestphotos page 19

For more photos see the ones I made during the DC-3 Fly In at Lelystad, in May 2006

UPDATE Sep.2018: The NGAT colourscheme was replaced by a vintage KLM colourscheme ('PH-TAR'), which I regret as we see enough Royal (my ass) Blue in the skies and here at the Aviodrome... The NGAT era is by far more in need of illumination!

It's a wonderful thing to see so much of Dutch Aviation Heritage preserved. This Fokker F.27 PH-NVF (c/n 10102) was built in 1957 and the F27 Friendship Association was working to get it airworthy again in 2005: the 50th anniversary of the Fokker Friendship. This attempt has probably been aborted as considered unfeasable.
I would welcome details of its operational history, as I understand it, it has flown as a prototype.

Time to have a look outside....

Douglas DC-3 PH-ALR "Reiger" is a C-47B with c/n 16218/32966. It was delivered to the USAAF as 44-76634 in 1945, transferred to the RAF as KN487 and stayed in military service until 1950. It was bought by Skyways and registered as G-AMCA. Air Atlantique bought it on 20Jul77.
By 2002 it was reported at Coventry, stored and partially dismantled, it had reached the end of its operational life.
The Aviodrome bought it in 2003 and painted it in KLM's high visibility colours of shortly before WW2; these bright colors and large "Holland" lettering was to prevent to be mistaken for military transports and get shot at. Pity the engines were removed.

An Antonov An-2R.... a bit of an oddball here, one can enter the plane and have a look inside the cockpit.
Bas Stubert volunteered it's construction number: 1G-17248.
More info was gathered at a later date: it used to operate with the Lithuanian Air Force and was code 19 (yellow).
Cuurent in 2018, I found.

These 2 'cockpits' sit behind the hangar, which it seems is overflowing with other equipment (the Lockheed Neptune must be in there, as it not seen elsewhere).
The one in front is the last Fokker F.100 cockpit on the manufacturing line and was never completed upon Fokker's demise. The other one is a mockup, which was used for equipment training.
Future projects...
Ber Beentjes told me more on the use of this mockup:
"The large forward fuselage with the Fokker paintjob is an antennae test facility, testing the correct placement of the various new antennaes.
Due to the nature of new, state-of-the-art technology the Fokker 100 was developed with, Fokker found problems in efficiently placing the many aerials on the forward fuselage. There were too many of them ! So it was decided to solve this by making a test facility.
The complete section has been placed on a very high tower and underwent very thorough electronic testing. Thus the location of the various antennaes was determined. Some exemples: 1. KLM persisted in full provision for the landing system MLS ("Microwave Landing System", destined to replace ILS) on their Fokker 100s, except it wasn't clear how MLS would work... MLS never made it through the testing phase. 2. During the development of the Fokker 100 TCAS ("Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System") appeared around the corner of technology and was to become required on airplanes. Fokker was ready to accept it when that day came due to the early testing on this training facility."
Thanks Ber !.
(I'll provide a better photo next time I visit the Aviodrome...).

Pieter Nederveen wrote me in Apr.2007 (the translation is mine):
"The wooden F.100 mock-up at the back of the hangar was used for antennae trials at Ypenburg Airport (closed since).
Placed on a high tower antennae tests were performed. For modifications the mock-up was transported by road to Schiphol-East; at the Experimental Department certain modifications were put in place.
I can assure you this was not always the nicest work to do, as in the summer months thousands of flies moved into the wooden mock-up!"

DeHavilland DH.104 Dove "PH-MAD", Dove c/n 04453 was painted up to represent this aircraft; its former identity was XJ350 (RAF).
The original was c/n 04030, and this is its history:
  • 19?? The aircraft was registered as CF-DJI
  • 19?? reregistered as G-AKCF
  • 19?? acquired by BOAC
  • 19?? reregistered as PH-MAD
  • 19?? acquired by Martin's Air Charter.
  • 19?? The aircraft was registered as TJ-ACE
    Source: www.cnapg.com/dove.htm.

    I would welcome confirmation/corrections on the above; and who is its present owner and since when is it painted up in MAC colours ?

  • On the internet I came across someone's notes that this person had seen DH-104 Dove 1 PH-MAD on 03Jul66 at Dublin; it flew for Martinair, the company I have worked for since 1979 (PH-MAD could have some significance there...).

    The people of the Aviodrome did a hell of a job here and I hope people will flock to the museum in large droves: it is definitely a place to spend a very nice few hours.
    See my page Photos by Friends & Guests (25) for an image by Fred de Ruiter of this DH Dove when it was still XJ350...

    Read how Hans Beunk shares his memories of flying the real PH-MAD in Cameroon.

    Scramble magazine, issue March 2005, published a list on displayed aircraft.
    Marked * are aircraft displayed outside, marked ** are stored/in restoration in Hangar T2 (can be visited in part).
    RegistrationTypeRemarksC/n (msn)
    19/yellow *Antonov An-2Ras '562'1G172-48
    159/V *Grumman US-2N-720
    G-AMCA *Douglas C-47B'PH-ALR'16218/32966
    XJ350 *Sea Devon C20'PH-MAD'04453
    PH-OSI *Fokker F.50-10688
    no reg *Spitfirereplica, '3W-K'-
    PH-BUK *Boeing 747-206BKLM c/s21549
    N749NL *L.749 Constellation'PH-FLE'2604
    E-410Hawker Hunter F51tail from WV395-
    473MiG-23SPS-Kex NVA94A7006
    XN600Jet Provost T3Acockpit only-
    H-8Spitfire LF.IXc'H-53'CBAFIX970.
    Aug06 to Duxford
    SE-CAUFirefly-Incomplete, ex Duxford,
    swapped with Spitfire, 2006
    F-AZBDUC-64A-ex AD-R/RNoAF and ex
    44-70513, parts for F-AZBN
    F-GHLOCM170 Fouga Magister-331
    G-BVOLDouglas DC-3'PH-TCB'9836
    NC-16623J-3 Cub-4740
    OY-ASEFokker F.VIIa'H-NADP'5054
    PH-DDYDouglas C-54A'NL-316'7488
    PH-NFTSobeh H-2--
    PH-NHIH-3 Kolibrie--
    PH-NVFFokker F.27-100-10102
    PH-TROCaravelle 3cockpit only33
    PH-170Grunau Baby IIb-6052
    no regEvans VP1'PH-VPI'-
    no regSpin--
    no regFokker S.IVreplica. frame-
    no regBleriot XIreplica-
    no regFokker Dr.1replica, '152/17'-
    no regLilienthalreplica, glider-
    no regWright Flyer Areplica-
    A30-14 **Douglas DC-2-112 stored (moved may 2018 to Nieuw-Vennep). 1288
    WG752 **Dragonfly HR3stored, as '8-1'WA232
    634 ** Fokker C.5D stored-
    210 **Lockheed SP-2H Neptunestored7263
    N5-169 **B-25D Mitchellstored, cockpit100-20754
    G-BKRG **Beech 18-3Nstored, as '122351'AF-222
    LN-BAD **Cierva C-30Astored735
    NC39165 **Douglas DC-2-142'PH-AJU'9993
    N7904C **DHC-2std, cockpit, 'JZ-PAD'-
    OO-SCD **DH.104stored, cockpit04117
    PH-NDCFokker S12stored6287
    PH-NFHAuster J/1stored1845
    PH-XIVFokker S.14 Mach Trainerstd, ex NLR/Dutch
    Aerospace Lab
    and KLu K-1
    no regPander Zöglingstored, replica-
    21-51Saab AJSH Viggendonated 2006 by Swedish AF37-901

    A Dutch publication, Verenigde Vleugels -Sep.2008 issue-, carried the news that an Avro Anson (D-26) which the Aviodrome had obtained from the 'Militaire Luchtvaartmuseum' had been swapped with the 'Museum Canadian Allied Forces 1940-1945', for an AMX-13 tank.. The Anson was not a part of the Aviodrome's official display and the tank fits as a 'prop' (pun intended) at the Pilot Mess exhibit.

    Aviodrome, Aviation Theme Park and their list of their collection (Dutch)

    Seen from the air

    Through Raymond Oostergo I received in Sep.2006 this aerial update on progress been made of the surrounding area of hangar T-2 and the Pilot's Mess (16Sep06): no more muddy boots making your way to T-2 and the Spit and the Beech have finally found a neat display site.

    Aviodrome links on this website:

    AVIODROME VISITS IN 2006 2007 2008
    AVIODROME, 02Apr09


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