Russian jet plane landed in the Netherlands.......not quite!

Russian jet plane landed in the Netherlands…….not quite!

At the end of March 1966 Lt. Westerveld of the Passengers and Freight office at Ypenburg airbase released the news:

‘that a Russian jet fighter had landed at this location by a deserting Russian pilot. The plane would be shown at a location visible from a nearby highway on April 1st’.

So far the news. It attracted a lot of visitors and they were at first sight not disappointed when the saw a jet fighter carrying a Russian red star and the logo ‘CCCP’.

However, at closer inspection it became clear that the ‘enemy jet fighter’ was in fact a Koninklijke Luchtmacht (KLu) Republic F-84F Thunderstreak.

It was all a well-organized 1 April fool’sday joke. The photographs released by KLu even showed a ‘pilot’ wearing a Russian-style leather flying cap handing over his papers to a KLu officer!

Soviet-jet-detail

Soviet-jet-detail

The plane used for this joke was F-84F no. P-263; at that time already in use as a static exhibit at Open Days and promotional campaigns! P-263 still exists today at a private aircraft collection at Baarlo in the southern part of the Netherlands…

Nico Braas