Infobox Website
name =
favicon =

caption = Homepage
url =
commercial = Yes
type = Aircraft Photo Archive & Database
registration =
owner = Demand Media
author = Johan Lundgren
launch date = September 1, 1997
current status = Active
revenue = Forum Memberships, Advertising is an aviation website founded by Johan Lundgren in 1997, evolving from his previous Pictures of Modern Airliners site started in 1994. On 27 July 2007, it was announced that had been acquired by Demand Media, a company based in Santa Monica, CA, USA. [ [ Big News On The Future Of] ] The site has recently been moved from Luleå, Sweden to Demand Media's servers in the USA. Since then some members have criticized Demand Media's practices at maintaining the "aviation community" and believe the emphasis may have changed towards profit. Demand Media state that this is not so and have explained their policies on the site's forums.

The site features a large photo database, discussion forums, a chat room, and an aircraft history and information section. It claims to be the world's largest aviation website with over three million page views from 200,000 individuals daily, [cite web|title=About|url=|accessdate=2006-06-05] Although third party web tracking services do not corroborate these statistics, and a thread in the site related forum that has since been deleted by the moderating staff raises the issue that, with ad-blocking software enabled, hit counters register three hits per page load.



The photo database contains over one million photographs of aircraft (the million-photo milestone was reached in May 2006), with accompanying information about the aircraft featured in the photographs. The database may be searched by keywords including aircraft registration, line number, location, type of photo, airline and photographer. To ensure the high quality of photographs in the database, photos are screened by photo screeners prior to being accepted. Photos can be commented on, rated, and purchased by visitors.


The discussion forums are divided into sections, such as Civil Aviation, Military Aviation and Space, Technical/Operations, Aviation photography, Aviation Hobbies, Non-aviation, and Site related. As of April 2007 there are over 50,000 members, and the Civil Aviation forum has passed 3 million posts. Forum moderators volunteer their time to monitor and manage these forums. In addition to the discussion forums, members have access to a chat room which is managed by chat operators. New users must pay either a one-time $25USD fee to join the discussion forums, or join as a "First Class" member for $5 per month, which provides additional features, such as full screen photos and ad-free browsing. If users decide to cancel a first class membership account, the site holds the account name so that if, at a later date, the user wishes to rejoin, the account and posts will remain intact.

In addition to the photo database and discussion forums, the website accepts aviation articles for publishing, has an automatic news service which gathers aviation news, maintains an information database about aircraft types (based on "The International Directory of Civil Aircraft" by Gerard Frawley).

2008 Redesign

On May 29, 2008, the site was redesigned by Demand Media. This was the first major redesign since the site's inception. Elements of the new design included a modified home page layout, and the ability to select the color of the background of any page in the site. However, it is clear that a large number of the forum’s active members dislike the update. Some have claimed that the new layout appears cluttered in comparison to the old layout and strains the eyes [ forum thread discussing the site redesign ] . A number of threads on the website's "Site Related" forum were created to solicit further discussion on the home page redesign, but all were either deleted or locked by forum moderators. An online petition has since been created by an user to request that Demand Media reinstate the original design.

Other Controversy

In early February 2008, Demand Media changed the Terms of Service agreement that governs the property rights of the photographers who upload to the site, and under the new TOS, photographers who upload grant Demand Media full license to use and distribute photos without the uploaders knowledge or consent. The actual wording of the TOS very closely resembles that of, and after several days of photographers voicing their concerns in the forums, a new TOS was drafted to ease the photographer's concerns, though the wording is still very ambiguous.

Around the time the site's Terms of Use were updated the site's site-related forum exploded with activity; most of which was critical of Demand Media. Shortly thereafter, Demand Media blocked all access to the site-related forum, except for registered users. []

During June 2008 approximately 25 vocally discontent members had their accounts deleted from the site without notice. Many of these members have since regrouped at other websites.

Partner Sites has a sister website, [] , which accepts all photos and was started to cater for photos which do not pass the quality standards of's database. Another sister website is [] , showcasing aviation videos.

Member Meetings

Members of organize meetings in airports worldwide. Sites of meetings have included Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Manchester, Madrid/Las Palmas, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Toronto. In some meetings, people focus only on photography and spotting, but others such as Zürich included organized tours of the airport. Additionally, several 'Experience meets' have been held, during which the aim is not necessarily aviation, but instead to enjoy the location, its scenery and other attractions. These meetings have been held in Svalbard and Reykjavík, with the next being held in Kiev/Chernobyl and Las Vegas.


External links

* [ web site]
* [ Alexa site information]

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