GAR’s Editor, Gareth Stringer, takes a look back at the first ten years of Global Aviation Resource as we announce a series of features and articles to mark the occasion.
Ten years! Where on earth did that go?
I can’t quite get my head around the fact that I am sitting here writing this but, believe me, I remain extremely proud that I have been entrusted with doing so, for Global Aviation Resource really has achieved a lot in the past decade.
The ‘About us’ section of our original website says “Global Aviation Resource (GAR) launched on 18th May 2009” and I know it sounds like a cliché but it really does seem like only yesterday that Karl got in touch and asked me if I would like to get involved with a new venture and, with the realisation that it would give me the opportunity to write about aviation, simultaneously satisfying two of my biggest passions, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Little did we all know then where it would go and where it would take us.
It is to the eternal credit of those who were involved at the very beginning that GAR came into being at all. Karl of course, Paul Dunn, Paul Filmer, John Higgins, Geoff Hibbert, Glenn Beasley…..they were the people behind it and it was their vision that, if you’ll excuse the pun, got GAR off the ground in the first place.
One way or another, most of them are still involved to this day and GAR is still drawing in an audience from across the globe; an audience that shares our passion for photographing, learning about and writing about all things aeronautical. We are extremely proud of the depth and breadth of our work and our ethos in that regard will always remain. In other words, if you like aviation in any of its forms you will almost certainly find something on GAR to enjoy!
It is only natural that people have come and gone from the team of contributors and ‘staff’ in the past ten years, all of whom are volunteers with ‘proper’ jobs elsewhere I hasten to add! It would be unfair to mention anyone individually but I would like to take this opportunity to put on record our sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to GAR’s success over the past decade, no matter how large or how small that contribution was. If you have ever written anything for the site or provided even a single image, please accept our heartfelt gratitude.
We must also thank everyone who has helped GAR get to where it needed to be (or wanted to be!) to actually put the content together. Access and trust are earned, not gifted, and it’s been that way since day one, but we couldn’t have done anything without the assistance of a huge number of air forces, airlines, airports, aircraft owners, aircrew, display teams and airshows, to name but a few. Thank you, one and all.
As for highlights, it’s hard to know where to begin. Winning the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators Award for Aviation Journalism was obviously a huge honour, especially as we were nominated for that award by legendary test pilot, the late, great John Farley. For three years we even produced, and this was largely down to Karl Drage, a superb page-turning digital publication entitled Global Aviation Magazine. It was probably a little ahead of its time in all honesty and the last issue came out in 2014, but you can find it online to this day and it still looks amazing and reads that way too. We have a successful affiliation with podcast Xtended (which has recorded nearly 100 episodes!) and even launched the aviation world’s first dedicated social network, The Hangar, although that wasn’t anywhere near as successful. You can’t win them all!
Overall though, most of the highlights come from the vast amount of features and content we have produced and published, for free. Over ten years there is a lot of it (almost 600 articles on this site alone and probably well over 1500 in total taking the magazine and original website into account!) and we have met some wonderful people, flown in some amazing aircraft, made life-long friends, learned a lot, enjoyed privileged experiences and had a lot of fun along the way. That’s why we are going to refresh and republish some of our favourite features from the past decade over the next few weeks and months. It’s been a tough job to pick them, and I think some of my colleagues are still pondering, but each of the current team members will select something and put it together anew, under the auspices of ‘Ten years of GAR’. Some of these stories may have made their debut on the original GAR website (some images from which, selected from some of our very first features, we have used to illustrate this editorial!) or in an issue of GAM, so you may, or may not, have seen them before. But even if you have, I hope you enjoy revisiting them as much as we do, for it promises to be a spectacular series full of great aircraft, great people and great stories.
Also, I recently interviewed Bill Ramsey to mull over the past ten years. Bill has undoubtedly been GAR’s most frequent guest, both as an interviewee and contributor, and is unquestionably one of our most popular. He has been central to numerous features on the likes of Vulcan, Tutor, display flying, Mosquito, Hawk, Harrier and most recently, Tornado, and has also become a friend, so we had a good old reminisce about most of those and he even turned the tables and asked me a few questions! Look out for that feature soon.
Finally, we want to thank you, our readers. While GAR isn’t updated as often as it used to be back in the good old days, when we do publish a piece of content we still always go to the time and trouble of ensuring that it is as good as it possibly can be, and there would be little point doing so if we didn’t care about our readership. Also, we know that you are a discerning bunch and will happily tell us when we get things wrong, which of course we do from time to time!
But, whether you have been with us since 2009 or have just found us in 2019, as we know many of you have, please keep visiting GAR, enjoying the photos, reading the features and giving us your feedback on social media or via a comment here on the site. That’s what keeps us motivated and as long as you keep doing that then we’ll keep bringing you some of the internet’s best aviation features and imagery.
On behalf of the entire GAR team, thank you for all your support over the past ten years.