An incident that took place in January of this year is being investigated, in which a Dutch Air Force F-16 managed to shoot itself with its own MA61A1 Vulcan Gatling gun at a military range on the island of Vlieland, bringing the concept of friendly fire to a whole new level.
On 21 January, two F-16s were carrying out firing exercises, and the aircraft in question managed to catch up with its own 20-millimetre cannon rounds, damaging the fuselage and parts of the engine. No pilots were injured during this incident.
“The incident reflects why guns on a high-powered performance jet are perhaps a less than ideal weapon.” The Vulcan is able to fire 6,000 rounds a minute, but its magazines only hold 511 rounds, which is enough for five seconds of constant shooting. A pilot can accelerate and manoeuvre in such a way that they get hit by their own bullets.
The Dutch Air Force is currently replacing its F-16s with Lockheed F-35As, which have four-barrel General Dynamics GAU-22 Equalizers, with 25-millimetre cannons that can hold 182 rounds for two seconds of constant fire, hopefully providing less opportunities for ‘potentially deadly friendly fire’.
(Link arstechnica.com, Photo opmerkelijk.nieuws.nl)
Tags: air force, F-16, guns, Vlieland, weapons
Secret Operation 610 is an artwork created by Rietveld Landscape and Studio Frank Havermans that doubles as a meeting room.
The artwork consists of hangar 610 at former Dutch airbase Soesterberg (hence the name) and of a vehicle that looks a bit like an F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter plane.
The creators, Frank Havermans and Ronald Rietveld, told Volkskrant that they had been asked to create a piece of furniture for the hangar. “But if we had created something that was attached to the hangar that would mean the building itself would be compromised, which we did not want. So we started joking about furniture on wheels. At first that did not sound realistic, but before we knew it we had bought a plane wheel from a dealer in Oss and we could not turn back.”
The vehicle can be driven slowly over the air strip using a joystick. Havermans and Rietveld are open to renting out the vehicle as a mobile meeting space. “As long as people don’t turn it into a beer shack.”
Secret Operation 610 is one of the art works that were created to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Peace of Utrecht. The work was revealed during Festival De Basis which started yesterday and which will last until Sunday 22 September. Airbase Soesterberg was closed in 2008 due to cuts in the Dutch defence budget.
A video showing the unveiling of the project and some of the other works at the former airbase can be seen at De Utrechtse Internet Courant.
(Photo: Rietveld Landscape)
Tags: air bases, air force, budget cuts, Frank Havermans, Ronald Rietveld, Soesterberg
On Friday, 20 April the Volkel airbase in Uden, Noord-Brabant will host a very special demonstration between a Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 and a Dutch Spyker Formule 1 car driven by Dutch race car driver Christijan Albers. Unfortunately, the event is invitation only. The Air Force hopes to recruit personel and the Spyker F1 team wants to be seen and heard. Once upon a time, back in 1915, Spyker had been in the business of building airplanes.
Tags: air force, Christijan Albers, F-16, Noord-Brabant, Spyker, Uden
F-16 pilots were given the order to fly a minimum of three kilometers above the town of Dokkum in order not to disrupt a jubileum performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion in a local church. The local Cantarix choir had been practising for months and found out recently that the Air Force was scheduled to fly right over their church venue during their performance. The Royal Netherlands Air Force is currently stretching its wings for a mission in Afghanistan.
Tags: air force, Bach, choirs, churches, classical music, Dokkum, F-16