About UK Airshow Review
UK Airshow Review (UKAR) can trace its roots back to 1996, when it was established as a small Internet presence for webmaster Paul Osborne to share his opinions on air shows the length and breadth of the UK. Since that time the site has grown exponentially in its popularity and over its 12 year history has undergone many changes, though it has remained free to use and not-for-profit throughout that time, with any money made being re-invested into the site or activities for the community of supporters it has spawned from the ever popular forums. Renowned for lively debate and the high calibre photography exhibited by the membership, the forums are by far UKAR's most popular asset and have become something of a cult amongst the enthusiast community, encompassing all aspects of aviation.
The early 2000s were a particularly significant time in UKAR's history, with the site growing in status such that by 2004 it had outgrown the control of just one man, so Paul recruited a team of volunteers from the forums to assist in the management and growth of the UKAR "brand". At present, the team running the website and forums consists of 18 volunteers from all walks of life and additional content is generated from many guest contributors, to make UKAR a hub of information.
Today, UKAR takes in far more than just the air shows alluded to in the name, and the website contains reports from as far a field as Brazil and Austraila, and as diverse in content as US Navy Carrier Ops to Helicopter banner towing.
This commitment to bring the best of the aviation world to our ever growing community of followers has seen UKAR's sphere of influence spread far beyond hobbyists; air show organisers, display teams and aviation professionals, both in the UK and abroad, not only regularly view the site for opinions, news and of course the aforementioned photography, but they have also realised the potential of the brand that Paul Osborne has built, and the possibilities a partnership could bring.
One such example is the RAF's Team Merlin; UKAR is now in its third season of supporting their operations, by hosting and maintaining a bespoke website for the team that has been key to their charity fundraising efforts over that period. The world famous Biggin Hill International Air Fair is yet another household name with close links to UKAR, with two UKAR Staff members behind their rebranding and website developments.
Similarly, UKAR has close ties with commercial companies. The most significant venture to date is our partnership with Aircraft Magazine (formerly Aircraft Illustrated), the UK's leading aviation magazine. Joining us in 2005, they have a presence on our forums and have supported us in endeavours such as the creation and continued success of our private members' enclosure at the annual Kemble Air Show. Undertakings such as this have been core to the rapid growth of UK Airshow Review, and it's now not uncommon to hear the UKAR name mentioned at air shows up and down the British Isles, either by the crowds or those in the commentary box!
The latest strides in keeping UKAR at the forefront arrived in September 2008, with the launch of a new website and forums package that has been two years in development. Utilising the latest in web technologies, UKAR's 2008 rebirth is as innovative as it is stylish.
Plans for the continued expansion include the addition of blogs, to be maintained by professionals involved in the air show and aviation industries, as well as regular news updates and editorial and journalistic features that will bring the air show world to our community like never before. Fans of UKAR will have increased opportunities to contribute to website features as we intend to draw on the impressive knowledge and passion for aviation that typifies the UKAR audience.
With our small, dedicated team of developers and designers assisted by our ever growing community, the future of UKAR promises to be exciting.