Mission: to share my interest in aviation and plane spotting, and to publish my logs and pictures.

The ability to fly is one of mankind’s greatest scientific achievements [1]. A fascination for this dates back to my childhood and is of course something I share with many other people. My Airblog wishes to share some of this enthusiasm with you, reader.

Originally focused on aircraft spotting, these logs for over 40 years since long also give an impression of the technical evolution that encompasses flying. Either into small and light, or into really big.

I started these pages back in 2001, and as far as I know, I may coin Airblog as referring to a blog devoted to aircraft, and spotting in general.

Growing into a hobby

When young, living in the vicinity of Zestienhoven (EHRD), now Rotterdam The Hague airport, a visit now and then on bike was a popular time passing, back in the sixties.
I remember vividly BAF’s Carvairs [2], former DC-4s, with their characteristic nose swept back, thus facilitating loading large cargo. Sometimes these were cars, as that’s what the original purpose of those planes was: ferrying cars, to and from the UK.

I also remember very clearly the enthusiastic exclamations of my little brother, when in the bus on a day-trip to Schiphol (EHAM) we first saw a glimpse of a PanAm Jumbojet. Which caused the aircrews in the back of the bus to laugh out loud due to our enthusiasm.

With my friends Luuc and Harry, during school holidays we went to Zestienhoven now and then, while Luuc made notes or took pictures. These notes from 1973 [3] mark the start of my spotting activities, and at summer’s end I started to make notes myself.

The next year, with money earned with my first holiday job, I bought a reflex camera, a Ricoh. First pictures [4] date from September 1974. On an earlier occasion, in May 1974, I had borrowed a small pocket camera from my grandmother. And though rather low in quality, I still like those, for being the first aircrafts pictured by myself, with amongst others a DC-4 and a Caravelle [5].

Since, on many visits, besides making notes, I also took pictures, unfortunately not always very high in quality. Nevertheless, I include all pictures taken, no matter the qualty… Sometimes there is bad luck, like not succeeding to change cassettes when a real L1049 came in… [6].

Inbound aircraft for Zestienhoven passed by my secondary school in Schiedam, at rather low altitude. Not seldom I looked out of the window, longing to pick up my bicycle and follow the plane to the airport. In 4th grade (1974/1975) I actually did just that, as part of the weekly lessons on photography, giving an opportunity to go outside during lessons [7].

In Autums 1975 I switched to dia-positive film [8], but it was much too expensive to picture all aircraft present. And besides, not seldom there was the difficulty of an aircraft partly hidden behind another one. It was also then that I bought a telelens.

Since, besides some “spot-less” intervals, I have never stopped spotting. Transferring data and pictures into this ever growing website. Trying also to identify history and fate of the aircraft I logged and pictured. Which is nowadays, in many cases, much easier and flawless due to internet.

Please take into account that publication of aircraft listings should not to be taken to imply that access to Civil Airfields is always permissible, or that photography of civil or military aircraft is authorized. You are advised to always check on beforehand, since many countries do not allow open access to civil airfields, or aircraft spotting in general, especially regarding terrorist alert.

1. See for instance: Wilbur and Orville: A Biography of the Wright Brothers by Fred Howard,1987 Dover Publications
2. An overview of Carvairs I logged.
3. See logs from 1973.
4. See log from 14 September 1974, when the main runway of Zestienhoven, Rotterdam airport (EHRD), was closed for extensive maintenance.
5. Log from 11 May 1974 with LN-MOB, a DC-4.
6. Log from 25 March 1975, with Lockheed 1049 N11SR.
7. First log with pictures taking during school lessons photography, 6 November 1974.
8. Log from 22 October 1975, the first dia-positives.