Piper Grasshopper PH-UCS in Dutch colonial army markings 13092006
Piper L-4J Grasshopper c/n 13228 PH-UCS with the name "Charles" on the nose in Dutch colonial army markings at, now defunct, Soesterberg AB in The Netherlands on 13 September 2006. The aircraft was delivered to the U.S. Air Force in 1945 with USAF serial number 45-4488. It was sold to the Netherlands on 11 July 1946 and entered the Dutch register on 1st October 1949 in the service of the Dutch National Aviation School. It was struck off the register on 6 April 1972, but was restored to airworthiness condition and re-entered the Dutch register on 21 September 1993. The aircraft is painted to resemble the original Grasshopper R345 of the Military Aviation Section of the Royal Netherlands Indies Army (in Dutch: "Militaire Luchtvaart - Koninklijk Nederlands-Indisch Leger" or ML-KNIL). Grasshoppers were used in the former Dutch colony of the East Indies (now Indonesia) in the period 1945-1950 during policing actions against Indonesian "insurgents" (now regarded as freedom fighters). The Pipers and Austers that were used at the time in the reconnaissance and observation role had the Dutch red-white-blue flag as national marking, but in a wide white frame so it could not be mistaken for the Indonesian red and white marking. The original Grasshopper which wore registration R345 had c/n 13767 and USAF serial number 45-5027. That aircraft was delivered to the Dutch colonial army on 7 June 1947 and was handed over to the Indonesian army AURIS on 1st March 1950. A picture of Piper Cub PH-LIK with pseudo Dutch military marking R344 was posted to this EnoAeroPics gallery on 11 December 2010.