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Flight International for better or for worse?

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Flight International for better or for worse?

Old 14th Aug 2001, 16:06
  #61 (permalink)  
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Well I reckon Flight is still a damn fine read and worth every penny of my discounted IPA member's subscription.

Sure, I don't really give a monkey's about the occasional directories telling me where to get my 767 simulator serviced, but I honestly like reading all the aviation and air transport business sections, even the military and space flight stuff, it gives you so much more of a wide view of what's going on in the industry than certain other magazines mentioned here which have more appeal to spotters and 'boys own' types than aviation professionals. The Airline directory on its own has got to make up for some of the thinner issues, and I can't say I've noticed any particular drop in the quality of paper employed. (I did like the old typeface better though ...)

And obviously, the back pages pay for it all many times over

I don't think the quality of the magazine has dropped in the last few years, what's closer to the truth is that we've all become spoilt, the internet in general and PPRuNe in particular has pretty much stiffed all the paper publications when it comes to up-to-date air transport information, we already know about what's going to be in the magazine before it hits the doorstep now.

Keep it up Mr. L., you're doing fine by me.
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Old 14th Aug 2001, 16:15
  #62 (permalink)  
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Once again I have read what you've said and come away dissapointed.
Looking between the lines I think that FI has taken a bloody nose and is still wondering whats just hit it.

Though I dont expect you to stand up and say FI's wrong.....sorry! I do expect as a valued customer "we have heard you and ARE doing something about it". Not, "this onslaught MIGHT make a difference".
It should make a difference, read the replies again, we are not happy with FI and customers are leaving you in droves.

We dont want racy anecdotes,pretty pictures etc we want real news. Something that makes Flight hard to put down and not be the sad reflection of your former self.

You say that you have always written for the entire aviation industry. This is true but the writing and content of the past were of a far higher quality than today.

This thread has never been about pilot versus the rest of the industry just that FI should be more balanced and more interesting.

You have yet to reply to peoples comments on the poor quality of paper used and inflation busting price increase.

Read Kermit 180's comment, very telling on your customers feelings and actions.

David you have a golden opportunity to make FI great again, because now the people have spoken don't waste it.

Ps It's not all doom and gloom the World Wide Airline Directory is excellent and eagerly anticpated.

To rigidity
I agree Airliner World is a little spotter like, but hopefully it will continue to grow into the type of magazine that FI used to be but better value and quality.

I for one will also be urging them to start a jobs section in which case FI won't even be worth starting a fire with.

[ 14 August 2001: Message edited by: flaps to 60 ]
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Old 14th Aug 2001, 16:52
  #63 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up

Sadly, for me that is, I remember reading Flight in the war years. Can't remember if it was actually produced in it's current frequency, but it was a good read. Well the pictures were anyway.

After the war I started to buy it regularly at about tuppence or maybe sixpence, but I kept on buying it up to about 1996. Quite a long time when you think about it. Some of those copies might have been collectors items. Hey I could have raised some money for the fund!!!

However, Flight has been a changing mag for ALL of that time and quite simply, it keeps up with the immense changes in all of the industries. You would surely expect it to wouldn't you. I cannot ever re-call it being a magazine just for pilots, but I can re-call it being much more interesting than it is today. But in it's defence, that is probably because it covers all the aspects of flying from flying cars to the very latest in normal take off run shuttles of the future, and it HAS to cover those things that David listed. It would not be doing a service to ALL it's readers if it didn't.

I don't read the back pages anymore (sad again) - there is no need to but I remember reading the sports pages of newspapers first too. I even read who-dun-it books from the back sometimes!

No, I think Flight is OK. It won't suit everyone but that's the way it is now. But my best 4 weeks are still the superb, well researched Airline's Directory. Especially since I do a bit of consultancy work now and again.

It's your privlege to knock Flight of course, but I would suggest that you are fair and choose the right reasons for doing so.

Long may it live, at least until it is a 100 years old in 2009. If I am still alive I would love to be at the party!

Have you got a diary to cover that D???
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Old 14th Aug 2001, 18:06
  #64 (permalink)  
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David L

I couldn't help reading the previous posts without going foraging in the loft to find some old 'Flight' magazines my father gave me a couple of years ago.

These make interesting reading, and reflect a time when the British aircraft industry was more varied than it is at the moment.

However, nostalgia apart, a few statistics by which to compare the present editions of FI.

3 September 1954: special edition featuring Britain's Aircraft Industry

over 200 pages in total (although the page numbering system seems to have a mind of its own!)

First 82 pages - adverts
Last 46 pages - adverts

6 pages of 'Classifieds'

Profiles of aircraft, engines and armaments, including drawings and photographs of current British aircraft from the Slingsby T.21B Sedburgh glider (my first solo) to the Avro Vulcan.

A little later:

10 September 1964: Farnborough report edition

Still the strange page numbering, however well in excess of 100 pages.

First 24 pages - adverts
Last 12 pages - adverts
4 pages of 'Classifieds'
3 pages of Letters
'World News' - 2 pages!

Profiles of aircraft and test pilots constituted the 'meat' of the edition.

What does all this prove. Not a lot really I suppose.

'Flight' has been full of adverts for the last half-century as far as I can see. The magazine now reports on global issues rather than (primarily) national ones. Experienced pilots are still advertising under 'Situations Wanted'...............

Some things never change - except the price two shillings and sixpence (twelve and a half pence in new money) in 1954.

Yes, as a professional pilot I will renew my subscription to FI (which has just landed on my doormat this morning, by coincidence).

If I was a 'spotter', with all due respect, perhaps Aircraft Illustrated might be more appropriate.

However, it must be said that I too was disappointed how thin the recent magazines have become during the summer period. Surely it would not be difficult to think ahead and have some articles in reserve to include when current reports are not available due to the annual leave of your reporting staff.

David, I do hope you take some of the points raised by other Ppruners on board. For my own part I always find readers' letters and flight test reports of interest - but then in my PPL days I subscribed to 'Pilot' and 'Flyer'. Maybe articles aimed at the commercial market in the format of some of the articles contained within these magazines might be a suggestion.

You can not please all of the people all of the time - but you can give them value for money!

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Old 14th Aug 2001, 19:35
  #65 (permalink)  
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The lack of depth of technical information is what annoys the hell out of me.

The magazine seems to target professionals within the industry, but the technical level of information is more fitting of a gossip magazine.

When an article says that xxx company has made changes to improve performance/meet certification requirements or whatever then please tell us what changes were made and how or why they cause the desired effect.

Another peeve is the use of large pictures or graphics that convey minimal information. They just waste space that could have been better used. I can only presume they're used to 'pad out' the magazine.

I too doubt that I'll renew my subscription when it lapses.

[ 14 August 2001: Message edited by: Tinstaafl ]
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Old 14th Aug 2001, 21:17
  #66 (permalink)  
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@David L.,

thank you for replying, other guys in your position probably would have ignored all those comments.

Generally I thing that our industry is highly involved with politics, therefore it could be a problem for you to cope with a lot of different interests, which in turn could have changed the face of FI.

Anyhow, personally I would prefer a weekly edition of Airline Business, containing some parts of Aircraft Commerce and the civil parts of FI, mainly because your not just a driver in today`s environment, but also a manager as well.

And , of course, this mag shouldn`t carry these prohibitive pricetags of most of our industries publications........

And , by the way, it is definitly a strong violation of the internet`s spirit not to provide information on a webside for free!!!

Regards, s.
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Old 14th Aug 2001, 22:40
  #67 (permalink)  
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In my never humble opinion, Flight International is now, and always has been, an amazing publication in that it has consistently reflected the current state of the aviation industry, including its pilots, to absolute perfection.
Old 15th Aug 2001, 05:11
  #68 (permalink)  
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Eh... Which war IFR?????

[ 15 August 2001: Message edited by: airbourne ]
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Old 15th Aug 2001, 07:17
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Flaps to 60

Flight is on the internet as well.
Job adverts. are updated frequently.
Now, after you have the dream job would
you continue to buy the magazine?
Flight needs to appeal to many readers
not just the one looking for pilot
60 flaps sounds excessive
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Old 15th Aug 2001, 08:44
  #70 (permalink)  
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I'm not a pilot, (I'm George Brownfag the old aeroplane basher from Potters Bar that Roger Bacon occasionally spoke to when he was feeling sympathetic) but I'm also disappointed by Flight these days. If you're in the aviation business its compulsory reading, even if its someone else's copy. But as someone already pointed out, there are lots of controversial things happening in aviation these days and they are seldom mentioned and never debated. 8.33 Khz - necessary or not? RVSM/RNP in Europe - are there better ways of improving traffic flow?, ETOPS - has it gone too far? Precision RNAV how the hell are the little people going to pay for that? Why are all the ATC improvements aimed at the airlines instead of the controllers? Will we get a discount on ATC fees? No-one is mentioning these sort of things in any of the aviation magazines. Well, mentioning them perhaps, but not contributing to debate.

JARs! Now there's a subject that beggars description. Typical European b*llsh*t with different countries adopting different standards according to their own liberal or literal interpretations of the rules.

Come on David, let's see Flight coming down off the fence and contributing to controversy, not just in the editorial (Yes, I read the editorial right after the jobs pages!) but in the rest of the magazine. What is wrong with Flight is that it reports facts; we already know most of the facts, good reporting looks under the surface. There be slugs down there!

Through difficulties to the cinema
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Old 15th Aug 2001, 10:02
  #71 (permalink)  

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Now I'd read that!! An Aviation Mag that reports,in a none partisan/PC, warts an all manner on what's going on in this industry.

Truth is I buy very few aviation mags these days unless I spot one in the news stand with a really interesting article, which is rarer as time goes on.

Maybe it's the cynic in me but many seem to be written by 'enthusiasts' who have a hard time seeing past the 'shiny new paint job' or 'flash gadgetry' or who have little/no real day to day experience of the subject matter with which to see past the BS being spun them by the salesman/Airline management beancounter/politician/General or whatever. Or perhaps they don't want to risk not being given anyore interesting assignments if they aren't always flattering of the subject matter.

I stopped buying FI for all the reasons stated above.
I stopped buying 'Flying' because it seemed pitched at PPLs and there are only so many articles you can read about 'Hard IFR in a C210' before it gets old, although I ALWAYS enjoyed Len Morgan.Is he still around?
My company gets B&CA/Professional Pilot/AC flyer delivered and that in combination with Flight Journal occasionally and American Bonanza Society(I have one)does me for all I need. ABS even have their own, much older, version of Len Morgan to read but at 94 he's probably not going to be around a helluva lot longer, and B&CA have Torch Lewis.

There's a lot of competition out there for the advertising buck so if a Mag doesn't reach it targeted audience it won't survive, perhaps that's why FI is still around or perhaps that's why it's getting smaller and less relevant(to pilots).


PS I have to wonder about a mag so full of advertising and yet so relatively expensive
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Old 15th Aug 2001, 11:16
  #72 (permalink)  
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I'll glance through Flight International in WH Smiths but only buy it if there's something of particular interest in it.

On the other hand, I'll buy Airliner World as soon as it comes out!

In my view, the only decent aviation mag in the RBI stable at the moment is Airline Business, which is well researched and written - but definitely not available at WH Smiths!

At one point I subscribed to the RBI online data service Air Transport Intelligence (www.rati.com) but it's grossly overpriced for what it offers and much of the information is out of date, invalid or downright wrong. Speednews and Avmark Newsletter tell me what's going on, whith whom and with what for very much less money!

[ 15 August 2001: Message edited by: The Guvnor ]
Old 15th Aug 2001, 15:08
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Katy : the thiness or otherwise of a mag is usually dictated by the number of ads in it. At Rimmer News we have a 60/40 ed/ad ratio for example. Therefore fewer ads thinner mag - it's that simple (costs more to print big mags you see) Why even as I write the next edition of Rimmer News is with the printers - and I'm going to be in trouble with the beancounters (again) because of being "ed heavy". Even when the big editions are going to press (for us its Paris Farnborough and October - for the European Amagamated T/P Moosejet and JungleJet operators pow wow) it generally a case of "what are we going to cut if the ad blaggers haven't quite done their stuff.
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Old 15th Aug 2001, 17:02
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My comment is that if it's the classifieds or indeed jobs that people are inetersted in you can find an excellent selection at
Old 15th Aug 2001, 17:14
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Flight International in my opinion has gone to the dogs. I remember in the late 70s and early 80s, Flight International was worth a buy. But not anymore. I have stopped by subscription 10 years ago!
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Old 15th Aug 2001, 17:45
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Surely the enjoyability of 'Flight' is inversely proportional to the amount the reader paid for it. I'm very happy with the office copy.
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Old 15th Aug 2001, 19:53
  #77 (permalink)  

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Since you appear to be monitoring this thread, I am curious. What code is it that other pilots type in, press the "Go" button and "then sit back until they taxied the plane off the runway in California"
Yesterday I sat on the end of the runway trying to "hack in" without any success, and couldn't even find the "Go Button.

In the end I had to do it the normal way. What am I doing wrong?
Can a "Safety Expert" help please.

[ 15 August 2001: Message edited by: sky9 ]
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Old 15th Aug 2001, 21:09
  #78 (permalink)  
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I have had a mail subscription to FI for 20+ years. It continually goes up in price, but sadly seems to come down in content.

In every issue, I can always find some extremely interesting snippet of information that I would not learn from any other source. I read just about every article within the magazine, on any topic, and generally find them of considerable interest. The cross application of technology and technological development is a definite value. FI has good contacts within the various organisations they report on, which explains their ability to provide accurate and informed reports that are beyond the scope of general reporting.

I do however temper my comments with the observation that there are many topics of limited interest or detail. FI is not the essential reading it once was for developments in the industry. As someone who has spent their career far removed from the mainstream of the aviation business, I used to have to carefully read every issue to have any hope of following industry developments and opportunities - now I often find a large number of unopened FI's laying in the mail! They are still valuable reading when I get around to them, just not essential reading anymore.

Each year at renewal time, I seriously consider the neccesity of renewing. Perhaps it may end with this current subscription, I'm not sure.

I only commented on this topic, because I just recieved a subscriber survey from FI in the mail. Asking a few pertinent questions about me and my connection to Aviation.

Only problem!
After I have taken the time to complete the form, they want me to pay the postage to mail it back to the UK!

I would guess that these surveys do not get a very strong response - now you know why!
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Old 15th Aug 2001, 23:18
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I still prefer reading Airliner world to FI,especially when they throw in the specials like the current Airbus Edition
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Old 15th Aug 2001, 23:40
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David L.,
As a very regular ppruner I really appreciate your replies, its good to know that this forum gets your attention. The truth is however that FI has really become a 'nothing' mag. You cannot of course please everyone but all these endless directories of useless information...............
Magazines are for reading so how can you read all these pages of tedious information?
If you only sold the back few pages I doubt that your readership would go down; isn't that a very sad indictment of a once great magazine?
I don't want to sound like a complaining old git but I would really like to know what the future holds for FI?
Thanks in advance for your reply.

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