Credit: Roundels of the world
Koninklijke Luchtmacht - Royal Netherlands Air Force
shy beginning was the solo display of one Canadair NF-5A belonging to
316 Squadron during 1975 till 1978 without any special markings; the
first official national appearance was on August 30th, 1975 at Volkel
AB; first International one was at Florennes AB (Belgium) in 1975. The
International Air Tattoo at Greenham Common (UK) was also attended on
24th and 25th May 1977.
316 Squadron from Gilze-Rijen AB was the first one to field a team in 1978 for the 65th anniversary of the Royal Netherlands AF under the name "Double Dutch". It consisted of 2 Canadair NF-5A (K-3031 and K-3048) plus a reserve (K-3066) marking the first international presence at Cambrai AB (France) on 04-06-78. The exhibitions of this team lasted till mid 1979;
Canadair NF-5A K-3066 1978 reserve aircraft seen at Gilze-Rijen on 04-07-78.
Photo: archive The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast
Canadair NF-5A K-3031 in first "Double Dutch" markings. Note 250 lbs trial bomb underwing.
From September 1979 saw 313 Squadron from Twenthe performing solo shows, alternatively with NF-5As K-3028 and K-3041, in the Netherlands, Germany, France and the United Kingdom;
Canadair NF-5A K-3041 showing its wing and tail colours on 27-07-80. Photo: R. Netherlands AF
from Twenthe followed for the year 1980 with the same aircrafts but
with new colours, unfortunately one aircraft crashed and its pilot
(Hans Könings) was killed;
NF-5As K-3019 and K-3024 in a new scheme were utilised by 315 Squadron
in 1981 and for most of 1982, appearing among others at the International Air Tattoo in
Greenham Common on 27th and 28th June 1981;
314 Squadron from Eindhoven was in charge from 1983, but starting its performances on 21st October 1982 at it home-base with NF-5As K-3021 and K-3026, again in a new paint scheme; the Squadron performed the display also for the seasons 1983 to 1985 with the same aircrafts.
Canadair NF-5A K-3026 seen in 1983 Photo: archive The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast
A pause followed till 1988 when, on the occaion of the 75th jubilee, a new edition of the the "Double Dutch" team was established by 314 Squadron at Eindhoven with NF-5As K-3012 and K-3014, this last being later replaced by K- 3072 due to technical problems. These aircrafts were equipped with smoke generating Sidewinders to increase the aircrafts visibility.
Photo: R Netherlands AF
In flight view of Canadair NF-5A K-3054 and K-3072 of the Double Dutch team 1988
This was to be an unlucky year for the team. First appearance was a short display at Deelen AB on 18-05-88 with K-3012 and a "normal" aircraft due to unavailability of K-3014; international display followed at RAF Mildenhall (UK) on 28-05-88, when the landing gear did not retract and the performance had to be interrupted; the Koksijde AB (Belgium) air-show on 28-08-88 was cancelled due to bad weather, but, worst of all, an accident happened at Ramstein AB (Germany) when an Italian AF "Frecce Tricolore" Aermacchi MB.339 crashed into the public killing several persons. Following this, all "Double Dutch" activities were interrupted by government order, even if the team had already transferred to RAF Leuchars (UK) on 16-09-88 for a performance, and the team disbanded.