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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.