Joint Strike Fighter slated to buzz Netherlands today
One of the Netherlands two Joint Strike Fighter jets will make a second attempt at flying a tour across the country, after last week's flight was cancelled due to bad weather. Should the skies remain un-cloudy, almost everyone in the Netherlands will have a chance to glimpse the replacement for the F-16's on Tuesday afternoon.
The JSF, or F-35 as it is also known, is scheduled to depart from Leeuwarden Airbase at 2:19 p.m. Around 3:21 p.m. you will be able to spot the jet over Maastricht, then Middleburg at around 3:47 p.m. and Amsterdam at 4:07 p.m o Texel and Aflsoutidijk. If all goes to plan, the JSF will land again in Leeuwarden at 4:27 p.m.
The jet will fly at an altitude of 400 meters, so it will be easy to spot should the weather hold.
But the weather playing along seems questionable. Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow storm warning for large parts of the Netherlands this afternoon, starting just before the JSF is set to take off.
The warning is effective from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for the provinces of Zuid-Holland, Utrecht, Gelderland, Noord-Brabant, Limburg, Overijssel and Drenthe. Storms may be accompanied by lightning strikes, hail, heavy rains and strong winds. "Avoid open water and open areas, do not shelter beneath trees. Follow weather reports and warnings." the KNMI warns.
The two Dutch-owned Joint Strike Fighter arrived in the Netherlands two weeks ago and they will return to the United States in another two weeks. The government plans to eventually buy 37 of these jets to replace the F-16's. They will be permanently stationed in the Netherlands starting in 2019.