It is now 3 years since Yesterday's Airlines sprang into existence and I am happy to report that somehow I've been able to keep up with my life responsibilities (you know work and family and stuff) whilst also creating new content for the site at a pace of about 1 new piece every 2 days. I admit it has been a challenge at times but one that I've enjoyed tremendously and one that has been rewarded in a range of ways. So what have I been up to in 2017? Lots and lots!
I'll start with the grovelling! As you probably know this website is definitely not for profit. I don't get paid for my content or preferential treatment from any of the manufacturers. I'm not against the concept but I do want to keep the views on here independent. Needless to say it takes me literally weeks of effort to produce the site's material and the website does have running costs (which are due now). I also don't use advertising on the site because I find it annoying and often rather smutty. What I'm saying is that if anyone enjoys the site and can afford to I'd appreciate it if you contributed to its upkeep, even if in just a small way. Donations can be made using the Paypal button on the right. Thanks for visiting and contributing.
THE AIRLINER HISTORY BLOG
So what have I been up to in the past year? A shedload of things really. The core of the site for me is still my aviation history blogposts where I take a 1:400 scale model and explore the background of the airline and the aircraft in particular. I love doing these as they provide me with immense enjoyment investigating and learning things I didn't know before. Sadly they do take a lot of time to write and often don't translate at all into website traffic in the way much simpler and easier to write content does.
As you can see I try and keep a good geographical spread of posts but as you'd expect the focus areas of the collection (the USA and China) feature most heavily. Otherwise the changes are a strong showing for my home continent Oceania plus Africa and non-Chinese Asia but decreases for Russia and the UK over last year's output.
It's really hard to pick favourites of my posts but long form investigative posts for more obscure nations which often correlate with important historical events are always a lot of fun to write. To that end my January posts about Air Namibia and Cubana were highpoints:
I've also found myself sometimes writing unintended opuses that have stretched across multiple parts. These are satisfying but a lot of work. This year I've covered Alaska Airlines, TAESA, MEA, Nigeria Airways and Aero Peru in this 3 part format.
Other airlines, like Ansett New Zealand, Bahamas Airways, JAL, Canadian, PSA, AirCal and Lan Chile, and have received two parter format posts plus of course there have been lots of one-offs too for a diverse range of airlines.
THE MODEL BLOG
One of the big growth areas this year has been the site's second blog concerning 1:400 scale model releases, mould news, my collection and model dioramas. This has grown from 38 posts last year to 51 this year. This has been spurred in part by access to a lot more model news via China about the more obscure and new brands which have been doing good work in 2017.
I would also like to thank other contributors to the site like Adrian Balch (who wrote about Heralds in December) and Martin Reiffer (who shared his excellent Dusseldorf diorama in July). I'm always looking to show off other people's great work.
Construction at Xin Long has slowed this year as it has neared completion but there have still been some posts on that topic and there's plenty more to come as the airport becomes active.
Another area that has been heavily modified and added to in the past year has been the Mould Reviews of specific aircraft types. Many have been completely rewritten (like the A320 , MD-80 , Electra and Tristar) whilst others are all new (B707, 747SP, MD-11, Tristar 500 and A330).
Possibly the highlight of the entire year was, with the assistance of many fine collectors, being able to document the mould history of the 747-100/200. This was such a large job I didn't think I'd ever achieve it, but in May it went live, Thanks everyone!
With the sheer number of releases and complexity of mould usage the 767-300 review was a close second in amount of time it took.
Lastly as a compliment to my mould reviews I've started detailed reviews of the moulds in direct comparison to each other. So far the A320 and A330 have featured.
DIECAST FLIER & MODEL AIRLINER MAGAZINE
I am pleased to say that all the effort has been met with an increase in my readership, in no small part due to the access Facebook groups give me to model and aviation enthusiasts. It's now fairly standard for daily site hits to be in the 2000 range ,as you can see from September's results below, although on occasion they are a lot higher:
The site's Facebook page - www.facebook.com/YesterAirlines/ - is also doing really well with nearly 900 likes. That's not bad considering I don't pay for any advertising.
Now approaching its 5th issue the newsletter gives a heads up as to what to expect in the next month and gives a chance for those on forums the chance to keep in contact in case the worst happens (as has almost done at 400SH). If you want to receive it and join with the many who now receive it at the start of the month - drop me a line via the site's contact page or Facebook message me.
The plan for the rest of 2017 and the foreseeable future is for me to continue to blog and report on model news of all kinds. Hopefully you'll enjoy what is coming up and I look forward to meeting new people, collaborating with fellow collectors and working hard on the site in 2018.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: