Hans Looijmans

My name is Hans Looijmans. I was born on 9th of September 1965 in Gemert, the Netherlands. I grew up with the howling and smoking Netherlands air force F-104 Starfighters overhead my village as they departed or returned to the nearby Volkel airbase (depending on the wind direction, off course). In the beginning of the Eighties (1983), I definitely became really active in exploring my aviation interest. Driven by the fascination of mainly military aviation, numerous airbases and countries were visited for this purpose ever since.
I got to know my colleagues Paul Gross, Patrick Roegies and Jonathan Verschuren as I went to the University in Tilburg to study Business economics from 1986 till 1993. Gilze Rijen airbase, very close to the city of Tilburg, became a kind of second home base since then.
The main focus is do photograph aircraft in operation and collecting information. In the beginning airbases were visited mainly at random from the outside of the fence. In the days of the Cold war, there were many military airbases and lots of aircraft within a 3 hour drive from where I live. The end of the Cold war opened the very interesting world of military aviation in Eastern Europe. Besides that, also for aviation related exercises and open days many trips have been conducted.

Nowadays, with a diminishing number of airbases and aircraft, the situation is different. Together with my fellow colleagues, we prearrange visits with the (military) authorities in order the make articles on specific types of aircraft in operation. Besides the fieldwork (photo’s and gaining useful information), a lot of research is necessary to provide decent articles. A good relation with our hosts is vital for making the article(s) work, for this reason good communication with them is mandatory prior to publication. Besides the articles, also photographs can be provided to our host if requested.

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