From Hilversum to Hilversum
Although we had already made a little flying trip at lunch time on Tuesday, being at home most of the day due to the coronavirus makes one to do something outdoor. It was a bit windy on Saturday, and that probably made other people decide not to fly: it was rather quiet on the radio. Veleda and René made a little trip around the Schiphol CTR, a bit like the trip that Maurits and René had made on Tuesday, but this time anti-clockwise.
After take-off from runway 07, we left the traffic pattern at the Loosdrechtse Plassen, and then continued west of the Amsterdam-Rhine canal to the north just outside the Schiphol CTR, passing Amsterdam south-east.
Take-off runway 07 Hilversum airfield
On 4 October 1992, a Boeing 747 El Al cargo aircraft crashed nose-down into a flat in the Bijlmer neighbourhood. A total of 43 people were officially reported killed, 39 people on the ground, and the three crew of the airplane plus a passenger.
The plane came from New York and was on the way to Tel Aviv via Schiphol. After take-off from Schiphol the plane was in trouble and a couple of minutes later lost two engines on one side. Thirteen minutes after take-off the plane crashed into the building.
The current village of Durgerdam was founded after the St. Elizabeth Flood of 1421. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the people of Durgerdam traded overseas in grain and other products. Later, many of them worked in the Amsterdam merchant navy. One of the best known skippers from the village is Adriaan Jakobsz, who captained the East Indies Company vessel the Batavia. The ship sunk off the coast of Australia in 1629. No house in Durgerdam is older than 1687, when the entire village was destroyed by fire. The white chapel was one of the first buildings to be rebuilt and was used as the community hall.
The Coentunnel is a tunnel under the North Sea Canal in western Amsterdam. The tunnel is named after Jan Pieterszoon Coen, and connects the Zaan district with the western part of Amsterdam.
The working, inhabited village Zaanse Schans functions as a windmill gallery on the Zaan river. Buildings have been brought here from all over the country to re-create a 17th-century community. There's a cheese maker, early Albert Heijn market, and a popular clog factory that makes wooden shoes.
The Forteiland IJmuiden is an island fortress located near the town of IJmuiden, in the mouth of the North Sea Canal. It was constructed in the 1880s to help defend the surrounding area and restrict shipping traffic heading for Amsterdam. The fortress is half underground and is the largest building in the Defence Line of Amsterdam. During World War II, the fort island was utilised by the German soldiers as part of the Atlantic Wall, which is when its additional military bunkers were constructed.
Zaandijk, Zaanse Schans
Fort island IJmuiden
At Zandvoort we passed the Zandvoort racing circuit that had been modernized to host the Dutch F1 grand-prix in May. It would have been the first time since 1985, but in the meantime the event has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Zandvoort is a seaside resort. It has a long sandy beach, bordered by coastal dunes. The drab apartment blocks line the main drag do not make Zandvoort a pretty beach town.
Zandvoort racing circuit
The Kagerplassen (the Kager Lakes) is a small lake system to the northeast of Leiden. The village of Kaag lies on an island called Kagereiland in the Kager Lakes. During the second world war, Dutch aviation pioneer Frits Koolhoven lived on the island of Kaag throughout the war.
Aircraft maker Frits Koolhoven (1886-1946) may be a largely forgotten figure, his 1916 FK-8 is still on the books as the best-selling aircraft ever designed by a Dutch manufacturer. Seventeen hundred units were built.
Frederick (Frits) Koolhoven
Armstrong Whitworth FK 8
In the fall of 1910, Koolhoven obtained his certificate in Betheny in northern France. Koolhoven also gained his first real experience in aircraft construction in France. During World War I he worked as an aircraft designer in Britain. Aviation made rapid progress and Koolhoven was recognized as an important innovator.
In November 1918 the world war ended. For aircraft manufacturers this meant that sales plummeted. Koolhoven, now naturalized as a British citizen, returned back to the Netherlands.
After a period working for Spijker automobile factory, Koolhoven started working in the aviation industry again. In the run-up to World War II, important customers were the Air Force and the Naval Aviation Service of the Netherlands and the Royal Dutch East Indies Army. Despite an international boycott, Koolhoven also managed to sell aircraft to republican Spain, which from 1936 onwards fought with the nationalists.
Koolhoven factory, Waalhaven airport, Rotterdam
Despite the growth of his company, Koolhoven kept to his old love: design and build. In doing so, he deviated from Anthony Fokker, who soon left that work to the engineers he hired. Koolhoven was often among his people. He thought and discussed it. He was able to quickly understand a problem and come up with a solution. For the more economic side of running a business, he employed people.
In the early morning of May 10, 1940, the Germans invaded the Netherlands. German planes dropped their explosive charges on and around Koolhoven's factories in the south of Rotterdam. Koolhoven's company was completely destroyed, with all completed aircraft and aircraft under construction.
Destroyed factory and KLM hangar
FK 23 Bantam (1917), Rijksmuseum
Koolhoven working for the British during the First World War and delivering planes to the Spanish Republic (that fought against the Nationalists revolt who received support from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy during the Spanish civil war) may have caused Koolhoven to register as a member of the Dutch National Socialist Movement during the first year of the occupation.
He did not become active for the
Koolhoven spent the war years in Kaag, where he had his boat.
As a resident of a small community, Koolhoven knew all about the Jews and boys in hiding who wanted to escape employment in Germany. He used his National Socialist membership to speak well for fellow villagers who were under threat of arrest. Koolhoven also personally fished an Allied pilot out of the water, who was subsequently brought to safety by others.
After the war Koolhoven was arrested and imprisoned for seven and a half months. Because he couldn't be charged with much, he then was released. After his release, he started to design again, but his health was inadequate. On July 1, 1946, he died, aged sixty, from the effects of a cerebral hemorrhage.
From the Kagerplassen we then flew to Leiden. University city Leiden is one of the Netherlands' great cities. With it's rich history, monumental buildings, beautifull gardens and canals it's a lovely place for visitors.
Leiden is renowned for being Rembrandt's birthplace, the home of the Netherlands' oldest and most prestigious university, and the place in which the Pilgrims raised money to lease the leaky Speedwell, which took them on the first leg of their journey to the New World in 1620.
Leiden was formed on an artificial hill along the Oude Rijn. The city flourished in the 16th and 17th century. In 1572, the city sided with the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule and played an important role in the Eighty Years' War. Besieged from May until October 1574 by the Spanish, Leiden was relieved by the cutting of the dikes, thus enabling ships to carry provisions to the inhabitants of the flooded town. As a reward for the heroic defence of the previous year, the University of Leiden was founded by William I of Orange in 1575. Yearly on 3 October, the end of the siege is still celebrated in Leiden.
From Leiden we flew around Zoeterwoude-Dorp and north of Zoetermeer to Boskoop. Boskoop is famous for its nurseries, particularly woody plant and perennial nurseries, of which hundreds are situated on long stretches of land, divided by narrow canals. Until the 1930s almost all transport was conducted using narrow boats. Between the World Wars the transition was made from fruit culture to decorative garden plants and trees.
The city of Gouda has the cheese of the same name to thank for its worldwide reputation. Impressive for both its size and its magnificent stained-glass windows, Sint Janskerk stands proudly over the old city of Gouda. In the middle of the Markt is the mid-15th-century town hall. Constructed from sandstone, this regal Gothic structure is a testament to the wealth Gouda enjoyed from the cloth trade when it was built.
Oudewater became an important frontier city between the medieval states of Holland and Utrecht. Oudewater attended the First Free States Council in Dordrecht on July 19, 1572, when The Netherlands were still part of the Spanish Empire. After a siege of several weeks, Oudewater was conquered by the Spanish on August 7, 1575, and most of its citizens were killed. Oudewater is famous for the Heksenwaag (Witches' scales).
On our way back to Hilversum airfield we past Castle De Haar. Castle De Haar is the largest castle of Holland and is located just outside Utrecht. Castle De Haar may look Medieval, but was actually built in the early twentieth century. The architect was Pierre Cuypers, who also designed the Amsterdam Central Station, the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum, the Oudenbosch Basilica and numerous other churches.
Castle De Haar
At Hilversum the runway in use had switched in the meantime from runway 07 to runway 36. Below the short final of runway 36 there is some kind of practice track, where three horses were followed by a car (see the pictures). We landed on runway 36, and on our left a few people – among them Maurits – were trying to do some glider flying, despite the strong winds. We finished the paperwork and then went home.
Final runway 36 Hilversum airfield
René and Veleda