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 Service history of the Bölkow Bo 105 with the RNLAF

The Bölkow Bo 105 helicopter was in service with the Royal Netherlands Air Force (KLU, Koninklijke Luchtmacht) from 1975 until 2003. Falling under the Command of the Air Forces in peacetime, the GPLV's operational role was to fly scouting, liaison and light transport missions for 1 (NL) Corps, under which command they would fall in wartime and later the 11e Air Mobile Brigade

Helicopter Force

Delivery to the Royal Netherlands Air Force

In the fifties the Group Light aircraft (Groep Lichte Vliegtuigen = GPLV) of the Netherlands Army was equipped with an Auster, Super Cub and Beaver aircraft. These were complimented by the first helicopters used by the GPLV the Hiller UH-23and Alouette II in mixed squadrons. As a replacement for the first helicopters used by the GPLV the Alouette III were ordered.

The aircraft were property of the Army, but maintenance and flying personnel was from the Netherlands air force This would change in 1993 as the mixed structure of the GPLV was ended and all aircraft and personal where transferred to the Air Force.

Thirty Bölkow Bo 105C were ordered by the Royal Netherlands Air Force as a replacement for the aging Piper Cubs for the Royal Dutch Army as light reconnaissance helicopter.

The Bölkow Bo 105 is a German light, twin-engine, multi-purpose utility helicopter developed by Bölkow of Stuttgart, Germany. First flight was in 1967. Used for light utility transport, recon and also a special anti-tank version with TOW or HOT missiles were developed but not ordered by the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

The first Bölkow Bo 105 is delivered to the Royal Netherlands Air Force August 11th 1975 and the last on August 5th 1975. From this moment the last Super Cubs leave the GPLV and it becomes a helicopter only group. One extra helicopter (B-83) was taken over from KLM Helicopters in 1982. This was first used as a test bed for night-flying equipment, later it was added to the operational strength.

In service

Operational history

The Bölkow Bo 105 was assigned to 298 and 299 Squadron at first. With the transition of the squadrons to a single helicopter type the sole responsibility for operating the Bölkow Bo 105 came to 299 squadron at Deelen AB.

They came into the news when in the night of 2 to 3 February 1992 peace activist performed with a radical political action on the airbase Deelen. The group entered a hangar and created a fire. During this action one Bölkow Bo 105 (B-46) was destroyed in flames and others were damaged. The total damage amounted to 20 million guilders.

The Bölkow Bo 105 helicopter was used for observation and monitoring tasks. In addition the Bölkow Bo 105 was used for passenger transportation liaison tasks and evacuation of the wounded.

The Bölkow Bo 105 has been modernized several times. The Bölkow Bo 105 was the first of the Dutch armed forces fitted with night vision equipment in the form of night vision goggles. This was done to enable its observation in the dark as the requirement for this option was high. The first upgraded Bölkow Bo 105 was the B-72 there designation would chance into Bölkow Bo 105CB with all remaining Bölkow Bo 105 upgraded in 1988..
Some aircraft were modified with Kevlar plates and chaff/flare dispensers for UN operations for self-protection against from shoulder-fired missiles. They are referred to as Bölkow Bo 105 CB4 and also have slightly more powerful engines.

In the Netherlands the Bölkow Bo 105 was also used for the security of ammunition transports and as an interim ambulance.






Deployments to the Balkan.

The Bölkow Bo 105 has been deployed to the Balkan’s fore several times at the end of the 20th century. In early 1994 a detachment of four Bölkow Bo 105's of 299 Squadron was available to Dutchbat I. They were deployed in support of the Dutch UN troops in Lucavac and in the 'safe havens' Srebrenica and Žepa. Their duties included the evacuation of wounded and providing light transport flights. In preparation for the deployment, the Bölkow Bo 105 where equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS), bulletproof Kevlar plates and a white colour scheme.

In 1999, another detachment of four Bölkow Bo 105's was sent to Farke in Albania, where they joined 298 Squadron deployed with the CH-47 Chinook. Both the Bölkow Bo 105 and the CH-47 Chinooks were primarily used for KFOR, the international force in Kosovo. In November 1999, the four Bölkow Bo 105 were relocated to Toplicane.

The Bölkow Bo 105 's were from there used to transport military personnel and wounded, carrying out liaison and reconnaissance, command and control and aerial surveillance. On 3 December 1999, near the border between Kosovo and Albania is one of the deployed Bölkow Bo 105's B-37 collided with a number of power lines while performing a mission.


Squadrons equipped with the Bo 105
298 Squadron


298 squadron

298 squadron is the oldest squadron within the defence helicopter command. Its history goes back to the end of the Second World War as NR 6 Dutch Auster squadron an artillery reconnaissance unit. This Unit is transformed to 298 AOP (Air Observation Post) squadron at Soesterberg AB in March 1950. In the first years the squadron is equipped with four Auster’s which will be replaced by L-21 Super Cub in the following years and a transfer to Deelen AB is made in 1951. The introduction to helicopters is with the H-23 Raven at Deelen AB in 1955. From 1957 until 1963 the squadron operates from Ypenburg AB where it resaves it first Alouette II for the SAR flight (late to become a separate unit).

In 1968 the squadron is on the move again after a few years at Deelen AB, this time to Soesterberg AB leaving its fixed wing aircraft at Deelen AB for 300 squadron. A new type of helicopter de Bölkow Bo 105 is introduced to the squadron in 1975. And the Squadron will resave twelve Bölkow Bo 105 helicopters to gain an operational strength of twelve Alouette III and twelve Bölkow Bo 105 helicopters.

The squadron will use booth types for a short period as the decision is made to create a Bölkow Bo 105 and an Alouette III squadron whereby 298 squadron receives the Alouette III in 1979. In the next years the squadron stays at Soesterberg AB as dues several deployments for the UN. In 1996 the squadron converts to the Boeing CH-47F. Today the squadron still operates the Chinook from Gilze Rijen AB as part of the Defensie Helikopter Commando.

299 Squadron


299 Squadron

299 squadron was created in September flying a mix of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters like its sister squadron 298 at Deelen AB. In the first years it is responsible for the training of fixed wing and helicopter pilots. In 1957 it moves toe Ypenburg AB where it would stay until its return at Deelen AB in 1962 at which point the training of helicopter pilots is transferred to the newly erected 300 squadron. In May 1962 the transition from the H-23B to the Alouette III is completed and from 1969 the last fixed wing aircraft leave the squadron making it all helicopter squadron.

In 1976 a new helicopter is introduced to 299 squadron the Bölkow Bo 105. At first the two types fly site by site in 298 and 299 squadron but in august 1979 the Alouette III are transferred to 298 squadron and 299 becomes fully operational on the Bölkow Bo 105 ending it use of the Alouette III.
The squadron is temporarily disbandment in 2003 is the end for the Bölkow Bo 105.

At this moment 299 squadron is still an operational unit al Gilze Rijen AB responsibly for different aspects off training, using helicopters from the other units at Gilze Rijen AB if needed.


End of the line

End of the line

From 1999 the first Bölkow Bo 105 helicopters were put out of service and placed in storage. With the disbandment of 299 squadron in 2003 the operational history of the Bölkow Bo 105 with the Royal Dutch Air Force came to an end.

After this most Bölkow Bo 105 were sold to a private company and placed in storage at Teuge airport. Were they remained for some time before being moved to Neuhausen ob Eck in Germany.

Some Bölkow Bo 105 remained in the Netherlands as instructional airframes and in the Air force Museum in Soesterberg.


Serial Type CN Unit Status Comment PreviousID
B-37 Bo105CB-4 S-237   Preserved Soesterberg museum  
B-38 Bo105CB-4 S-238   Instr. Airframe Gilze Rijen  
B-39 Bo105CB-4 S-239   Civil    
B-40 Bo105CB-4 S-240   Civil    
B-41 Bo105CB-4 S-241   Instr. Airframe Gilze-Rijen  
B-42 Bo105CB-4 S-242   Gate Guard Gilze Rijen  
B-43 Bo105CB-4 S-243   Civil    
B-44 Bo105CB-4 S-244   Civil    
B-45 Bo105CB S-245 299sq w/o 16-06-1994    
B-46 Bo105CB S-246 299sq w/o 03-02-1992    
B-47 Bo105CB-4 S-247   Civil    
B-48 Bo105CB-4 S-248   Civil    
B-63 Bo105CB-4 S-263   Civil    
B-64 Bo105CB-4 S-264   Civil    
B-65 Bo105CB-4 S-265   Instr. Airframe Gilze Rijen  
B-66 Bo105CB-4 S-266   Civil    
B-67 Bo105CB-4 S-267   Instr. Airframe Woensdrecht  
B-68 Bo105CB-4 S-268   Civil    
B-69 Bo105CB-4 S-269   Civil    
B-70 Bo105CB-4 S-270   Civil    
B-71 Bo105CB-4 S-271   Instr. Airframe Woensdrecht  
B-72 Bo105CB-4 S-272   Civil    
B-73 Bo105CB S-273 299sq w/o 11-10-1978    
B-74 Bo105CB-4 S-274   Civil    
B-75 Bo105CB-4 S-275   Civil    
B-76 Bo105CB-4 S-276   Civil    
B-77 Bo105CB-4 S-277   Instr. Airframe Gilze Rijen  
B-78 Bo105CB-4 S-278   Civil    
B-79 Bo105CB-4 S-279   Civil    
B-80 Bo105CB-4 S-280   Civil    
B-83 Bo105CB S-83   Civil    



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