The Annual Appeal
As Wikipedia says during its annual appeal 'if everyone reading gave just $2 then this fund raiser would be over within a day'. Well the site's anniversary comes at the same time as the site renewal fee. I'm not on the breadline (though I do owe myself a fair whack for model purchases) but I would like the site to be able to at least pay for itself so I'd like to ask for your help. If you enjoy the site and want me to continue writing please think about whether you can donate something to keep it going. It doesn't have to be much - anything helps. Please donate a few bucks using the Paypal button on the right if you can afford to. Thanks!
Any money raised will go into paying the site fee or helping to create site content.
Highlights of the Year
Above: Some of the Boeing 747s that featured in the blog during Jumbo January
This year has been a momentous one for the site and my collection. Jumbo January was a result of a massive 747 heavy collection sale and resulted in some of my favourite blog posts. This was followed in March by Andy Payne's guest blog post regarding VARIG flight 254. This excellent post and diorama has proved very popular since - thanks Andy.
I also have dabbled this year in reviews of the manufacturer's outputs in 2015 and the first part of 2016. Again these posts have been popular and I personally find them very interesting.
I moved house in April and the new hangar space is awesome. Even better the majority of the collection is now behind glass and much better looked after whilst I also now have more space for airport model construction. The windfall of a massive collection passing through my hands in July was a major excitement and highlight.
Other blog series that I am proud of include the six parter series on United DC-8s, recently followed up by a two parter on Delta Stretch Eights.
In terms of collecting itself the continued rise of Panda models has been great, especially considering how monotonous a lot of the releases from the other manufacturers have become.
Lowlights of the Year
The intrusion of one of our cats into the hangar space, and the resulting damage, was a major 'annoyance', though it did at least lead indirectly to the purchase of the glass cabinets. The other major issue was the redesign of Airliners.net which in the process wiped out all the image links to anet photos in older blog posts. A friend baled me out with a technical solution but I still haven't been able to go back through all the older posts and fix the issue. I probably never will get to all of them, though over half have been fixed up. Though Airliners.net seems to have sorted itself out the image links are still not working on my site or the forums.
Pleasingly the site's popularity continues to rise. Yesterday's Airlines gained its own Facebook page, which has 224 likes at the moment. I share posts to 8 model related Facebook Groups and this has driven readership strongly in the right direction. Nowadays Facebook is the strongest platform for readers. I'm also glad to say that Google searches are also providing fertile ground for attracting new visitors too and these two sources have easily eclipsed trafic from the forums (DAC and 400ScaleHangar), which sadly seem to be slowly dying. Regardless Yesterday's Airlines comfortably pulls in over a 1000 page hits and 200+ unique visitors most days. I appreciate your reading - though it'd be nice to get more comments :)
This year I've posted 110 blog posts on the main Yesterday's Airlines blog, which is only half of what I had done the year before. Offsetting this however is the fact that the posts nowadays tend to be far more lengthy and the second blog on the site has had itself 38 additional entries.
The meltdown at Airliners.net also led me to going over and rewriting most of my mould reviews, which has been a huge amount of work. On top of that new areas for my Xin Long Airport diorama and my old 1/600 airport Imogenia have also been created.
As Real As It Gets
One of the best things in 2016 has been my partnership with Raimond Schulz as a place to showcase his wonderful 'As Real As It Gets' dioramas. I love these clever setups and have been really pleased to be able to share them from my site. Thanks Raimond.
So what does the next year hold? Hopefully lots more of the same, though the pace has been quite hardgoing and I might have to slow down a bit. I'm hopeful to be able to do more mould reviews (767, 777 and maybe even starting the huge task of 747 reviews) and there are literally hundreds of blog entries I'd like to write. I also plan on keeping a close eye on the manufacturer's output of models and GSE. On the airport building side of things there is major work ongoing at Xin Long which will more than double the space so stay tuned for that. One of the great things about the site so far has been collaboration with friends like Andy, Jim and Raimond. I'm hopeful to be able to bring more of that kind of thing to the site in the new year too.
I hope you've enjoyed reading over the past year and will continue to enjoy it into the next. Thanks and please if you can afford to swing a few bucks my way to keep the site going I'd appreciate it.
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: