Gemini Aces GANAF5002 Royal Netherlands General Dynamics F-16C Fighting Falcon Fighter - Demo Team, "The Orange Lion", Ralph "Sheik" Aarts, Volkel AB, Netherlands, 2009 (1:72 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Even at the ripe old age of 20, the F-16 Falcon remains a fast and potent favorite among fighter pilots, and one of the best fighters in its class. Designed originally as a no-frills, single-engine "hot rod", the addition of improved radar and weaponry have made the Falcon a super, lightweight jet. Used mainly as a bomber, the Fighting Falcon can also turn-and-burn with unbridled fury when provoked. It is also one of the first operational fly-by-wire aircraft; its flight controls being electronically operated and computer controlled. A 20mm cannon, Maverick missiles, and laser-guided bombs make the F-16 a potent multi-role fighter. However, it's light weight, speed and agility make it the choice of the US Air Force's Thunderbirds aerobatic team.
Pictured here is a gorgeous 1:72 scale diecast replica of a Dutch F-16C Falcon operated by the National Demo Team. Known as "The Orange Lion", it was piloted by Ralph "Sheik" Aarts, then deployed to Volkel AB, Netherlands during 2009. Comes in a handsome presentation case.
Release Date: June 2010
Historical Account: "Flying Solo" - The Solo Display Team is the aerobatics display team of the Royal Netherlands Air Force and consists of three elements. The F-16 Solo Display Team uses the fighter jet F-16, the PC-7 Solo Display Team flies the low-wing tandem-seat training aircraft Pilatus PC-7 and the Apache Solo Display Team utilises the helicopter AH-64 Apache.
The F-16 Solo Display Team is based at Leeuwarden Air Base in the Dutch province of Friesland and consists of the pilot, two instructors and seven ground crew. The members of the team are always seconded from a squadron of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The 2010 pilot, Kapitein (Flight Lieutenant) Tobias Schutte, flies with 323 Squadron. What differentiates the RNLAF F16 demo team from some other display teams is that all members are current operational military personnel and, apart from their tasks with the demo team, they still perform normal operational duties.
The Dutch F16 demo team moves to another squadron and or base every two years, season 2007-2009 being the exception. From 2005 until 2009 the demo team was based at Volkel Air Base. In 2010 the team consists out of members of the operational squadrons from Leeuwarden Air Base. They took over the orange F-16, J-015, and will continue on the road paved for them by the Volkel teams.