Photos © R.Leeuw
AVIODROME - VISIT 11MAY2012
(For 2011 & 2010 visits scroll down!)
A new investor, the Libéma Group, made it possible for the Aviodrome to reopen its doors on 28Apr2012.
Libéma is a specialist in running museums of all sorts and their handywork is already showing in a positive way.
I was met by Raymond Oostergo and he walked me through the various changes, allowing me a generous portion of his time. Raymond will, in the new set up, be in charge of facilities, collection and operations; we can leave it to him to keep the integrity of the aviation theme park intact though changes are unavoidable.
The global economic crisis has shown that sponsors can pull the rug from under you when they suddenly decide to stop paying the bills.
A popular museum with a steady stream of visitors provide the required foundation, the rest (extra investments by sponsors) will be much depending on how and when the crisis will end. A good thing is that the collection is intact and work on the aeroplanes continue, albeit progressing at a somewhat slower pace.
The reception area has been revised; the signs may seem familiar: they are the same as on Amsterdam's Schiphol IAP. The ticket is free if one has a 'Museum Jaarkaart'.
Restoration on the Noorduijn Norseman continues, but at a more modest pace. Alas, by march 2016 restoration still went on at a snail's pace.
The KLM business class seats have been taken out and replaced by original Lockheed Constellation first class seats! When KLM got rid of its Connies, a touringcar company got hold of some first class seats and put them in a bus, declaring it a First Class Touringcar! For many years these seats were stored somewhere until someone thought of making them available to the Aviodrome.
The work on this 'Dutch Connie' continues: at present isolation blankets in the cockpit are being replaced. As long as such care is being put to this 'Queen of the Skies' there is hope she may one day fly again!
The Constellation as well as the DC-2 'Uiver' are owned by an investment group consisting of the KLM, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Citycouncil Lelystad; one of many projects for the near future will be to determine how the museum can put these vintage planes to use.
Both the Fokker F.27 and this Douglas DC-3 are owned by other parties.
While the museum is willing to facilitate and share the ramp by the DDA and the Dutch Catalina for flight operations and events, the museum will probably will want to see something done with the above static 'lodgers'. (Note: G-DAKK was acquired by Classic Wings in 2013, dismantled, taken away and hopefully awaits restorations some time in the future).
A large fence dividing the area in halves has disappeared; much work has gone in freeing more area for people to walk and do a circular route instead of having to walk back the same path. A nice viewing area where one can watch planes land or take from Lelystad's runway has been resurrected.
Several features have been implemented for kids to vent their pent up energy in a smart way.
It all looks very promising!
More photos taken during my visit this day can be seen on my Flickr pages.
A bit of recent history!
During the winter of 2009/2010 a reorganisation was implemented at the
National Aviation Themepark Aviodrome.
DDA Airlines moved from Amsterdam IAP to Lelystad and the organisation
structure of the Aviodrome was changed considerably. Director Jan
Schaatsbergen presides over four departments: Themepark, Operations,
Marketing &Sales and Events.
The two former Directors, Arno van der Holst (Aviodrome) and Anne Cor
Groeneveld (DDA), have said their goodbyes during the reorganisation. This
proces of merger and reorganisation was completed in close cooperation with
KLM and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AAS).
The brandnames Aviodrome and DDA Airlines continued to be used as before.
The business-to-business formula of the new company did not work out; the budget planning for 2011 was not realistic on the first place (imo). KLM, part of the Air France - KLM Group, took economic measures in the face of a continued recession and pulled the plug: it refused to finance the museum's losses showing at the end of 2011.
The museum went into bankruptcy proceedings.
Fortunately the curator did everything in his power to keep the collection intact and the museum open and running as long as he could (it closed only a few months).
On Friday 23Mar12 the Dutch Libéma Groep acquired the Aviodrome
Libéma Group plans to turn the Aviodrome in more of a 'theme park',
less of a (flying) museum.
The (airworthy) Douglas DC-2 will be sold to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, while the Lockheed Constellation is to be purchased by the local Lelystad city council and the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AAS) Group.
Both aircraft are to be loaned back to the Aviodrome/Libéma.
The Libema Groep will buy the remaining part of the aircraft collection.
Reopening was on Saturday 28Apr12.
AVIODROME - VISIT 29JUN2011
(For 2010 visit scroll down!)
The deHavilland Dove 'PH-MAD' has been moved indoors, after having been displayed outside for a few years.
A forward fuselage of a Dove has been added, marked with the name of Martinair Founder, J.M.Schröder.
Martinair, named Martin's Air Charter then, was founded in 1958 and the Dove featured a major role in the early period.
An exhibition on Martinair was opened by Martin Schröder on 30Jun11, also looking back on the years of flying
passengers which is to end in four months when Martinair will be reduced to a freight airline.
Identity of this forward fuselage as yet unknown to me.
PH-NFH is an Auster J.1 (Mk.5) Autocrat (c/n 1845).
Philips of Eindhoven, Netherlands (famous for their lightbulbs and televisions, had its own set of planes.
Frits Philips flew this Auster and PH-NFH started the use of corporate aircraft for the Philips company.
Fokker S-12 PH-NDC. This S-12 was a prototype, developed from the successful S-11.
On this visit I was accompanied by Neil Aird, expert on the deHavilland DHC-2 Beaver (www.dhc-2.com)
DHC-2 JZ-PAD c/n 1288; www.dhc-2.com/cn951.html
Lambach H.11 PH-APZ; replica of original PH-APZ built in 1937 and destroyed at Ypenburg in May 1940.
Built by the Technical University (TU) Delft 1989-1995, first flight 18Sep95, participated at various
air shows but maintenance issues grounded it in 1997.
Used by TU-Delft's 'Leonardo da Vinci' students
for various research including vibration; gets a lot of 'TLC'!
We were fortunate to witness the departure of the unique Douglas DC-2 'PH-AJU' Uiver, leaving to attend
an air show in Austria. Unfortunately the Aviodrome is not allowed to sell seats on this vintage propliner.
AVIODROME - VISIT 10MAR2010
A brief visit, to open the 2010 season so to speak, to the Aviodrome aviation museum.
The museum is still working on the merger with DDA Airlines, so a clear picture of what to expect this year here at the Aviodrome is not yet available. Rumors plenty of course, such as about the F.27 Friendship and the Lockheed Constellation, that they won't be flying this season either. And 2014 saw no change, either, while the merger Aviodrome / DDA Airlines had been undone.
The Stearman-Hammond Y -project was always meant to be on a slow burner, but meanwhile some progress has been made, as one can see by the skin repairs (photo right).
More on this project can be read on the page dedicated to my visit here 02APR09.
The best news I got this visit
was the progress on the Noorduyn Norseman here...
The engine is being overhauled and the wings have yet to be prepared with a few more layers. Maybe it will fly or otherwise 2011 for certain! (Update: in 2014 it still lacked wings).
Noorduyn C-64 Norseman 44-70509 is owned by 'Stichting (Foundation) Norseman' and Roland van Haarlem & his team are nearing the date to to have it back in flying condition! The fresh paintscheme was applied bij QAPS last january; this camouflage livery is equal to what it had 65 years ago!
Meanwhile, the foundation 'Friends of the Aviodrome' have purchased in the US the remains of a Cessna Bobcat; the previous owner had lost faith in rebuilding it and this will be another new project here for the upcoming years.
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