The Netherlands is a fairly compact country, so getting around is fairly easy.
The country also has a very rich aviation heritage, with the national carrier KLM currently the oldest airline in the world still operating under its original name!
There are some interesting preserved aircraft to see. Here’s our list of the 8 best preserved airliners in the Netherlands.
H-NADP Fokker F-VII, KLM
This is aircraft never actually flew with KLM, but is one of the oldest surviving airliners in the Netherlands. The Fokker F-VII (F-7) was used to fly between Amsterdam and the Dutch East Indies (modern day Indonesia), and today is in immaculate condition at the Aviodrome Museum. It was built in 1927.
PH-NIV Fokker F-27
This F-27 is installed in the middle of a water feature on the eastern edge of Schiphol Airport, alongside the busy N232 road. It is painted as PH-NIV in the colours of KLM, which was the first example of a F-27 to go into service. This particular example is actually N19XE, a later -500 variant which flew for Air France and Farnair. But it is still a nice example to see preserved. The video above shows the aircraft’s final flight, and its installation onto the lake outside Schiphol, close to where it was built.
NB, parts of the original PH-NIV fuselage are in the store at Aviodrome!
PH-BUK Boeing 747-206B (SUD), KLM
The job of dismantling this retired Boeing 747 at Amsterdam and relocating it to Lelystad was a major and costly feat. There are pictures of it floating down Amsterdam canals in the middle of the night on a barge, and then travelling cross-country by road. Today it is on display and open to the public at the Aviodrome Museum. Its interior is as it was in 2003 when it was retired, and this is a rare example of the SUD, or Stretched Upper Deck 747-200 model, which preceded the -300 and -400s that had a larger upper deck as standard. At the rear is the huge space for cargo.
PH-AJU Douglas DC-2, KLM
Prior to the immense success of the DC-3, Douglas produced the DC-2 which in many ways set up the formula for the fuselage shape, size, interior and aerodynamics of the later model. Less than 200 DC-2s were built and only a handful survive. This is probably the best-surviving example as it is kept indoors at Aviodrome and I believe still flies on occasion. It is painted in KLM livery as PH-AJU, the famous aircraft which flew in a race to Melbourne. In fact this example is a former USAF machine.
PH-OFE Fokker 100, KLM Cityhopper
Fokker was a major manufacturer in the Netherlands, producing many aircraft types and ending following a period producing commuter turboprops and jets. KLM’s Cityhopper subsidiary flew many of the largest model, the Fokker 100, before retiring them in the late 2000s. This example, PH-OFE, was saved from the scrapman and hoisted onto the roof of the Panorama Terrace at Schiphol Airport, where it is open to the public to explore.
N929L Douglas DC-9, KLM
Few passengers travelling through Schiphol Airport realise there is the forward fuselage of a Douglas DC-9 available to go on board in the arrivals area. Hidden on the back row of shops as part of a aircraft toy and model shop, this aircraft has the cockpit and first few rows of seats, and is painted in modern KLM colours. It is in fact a former Ozark Airlines and TWA aircraft and was shipped in a box from Marana.
DDR-STD Ilyushin IL-18, HotelSuites.nl
I had to include a Soviet aircraft in this list as it’s rare to find such an unusual preserved example in Western Europe. DDR-STD flew for Interflug between 1964 and 1981 after a few years in the East German Air Force. It was retired to Harbke, and then moved to Teuge, around 100km east of Amsterdam where it operated as a cafe. In recent years the aircraft has been turned into a luxury hotel, and if you visit HotelSuites.nl you can book your stay!
PH-FLE L-749 Constellation, KLM
A final preserved airliner in the Netherlands which is worth seeing, and another example at the Aviodrome Musuem, is this Lockheed Constellation. Maintained in an airworthy state, it is actually registered N749NL and represents years of painstaking work by a team who restored it to flying condition after a period of storage in the American west, and then flew it across the Atlantic for preservation. You can usually go inside the aircraft and see the story in pictures.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list and will go out to find these preserved airliners in the Netherlands on your next visit!