The Planes of Google Earth

Not just mountains and cities and lakes, there also are lots of flying machines on that web site and they can be seen in flight! But you gotta look for them ...

    It seems there is a large cadre of folks out there in Internetland with entirely too much time on their hands, who spend countless hours in front of a roaring monitor searching Goggle Earth for aircraft, and other flying things, that happened to get in the way of the camera when a satellite was recording the face of Earth.

    And there are thousands of them globally! How searchers manage to spot some of them stands as a tribute to super vision. Most specimens are tiny, bright spots with wings, since size and sharpness are at the mercy of the scanner's resolution being used at the time, and image lifespans are limited by the time it takes for a satellite to come by on an updating mission. But the sky below is full of surprises, as well as mysteries.

    What bearing those images have on aviation history is debatable, but we now have a page showing some of the more remarkable discoveries—the Citabria is mind boggling! Click on Google Earth planes and see a handful of the 40 we found in their Community forums.

Pixpicker Files Hit 6,000

A CDF Grumman S-2T gets the nod as being our 6,000th photo, on 8 July 2008. That's no magic number or any kind of goal, but simply of interest as a plateau; the count of images on our Aircraft pages. Those 6,000 do not include photos on other pages and files, which likely amount to another 1,000. We've never bothered to tally them, but our FTP indicates 7,521 total files, including text pages.
Netscape Heading Down the Toilet

When we heard that AOL had taken control of Netscape, we knew it was doomed. One of the best of the original 'Net browsers had its plug pulled and it is rapidly deflating.

    The sad part is that Aerofiles has been dependent on Netscape for 12 years, and had built our modest operation on their virtual property, as well as being our email system.

    Now, as the bugler warms up to play "Taps," we've been experimenting with other browsers—Safari, Camino, and Firefox—and all have things going for them, but Netscape they're not and we've got a new learning curve to deal with. To double the problem, Comcast has now joined the fun by dropping their support of Netscape and left us stranded in unfamiliar territory. Mozilla's Thunderbird emailer seemed to be the answer, and it has managed somehow to rescue a lot of our standing emails from Netscape, but not all of them.

    Hence we have no idea of how many, or if any, of your emails are getting through the twisted wires to aerofiles at In the interim we're depending on the frail SquirrelMail program at our backup to shoulder the load. Some, repeat some, emails to aerofiles @ are getting through to Thunderbird, but if you don't receive a reply to an email—allowing for some possible delay because of the confusion on this end—send a copy to as well.

    They promised us things would get easier as we grew older. So, when does it start?

Hangar Sale Sign Taken Down

With too many projects and too little time and a general lack of manpower, our Hangar Sale follows Netscape down the tubes. With so much stuff piled up waiting to be turned into cash needed for Aerofiles' maintenance and expenses, we'll try to find someone, possibly an offspring, to take over and start loading items on Ebay instead.

    Standing emails on SquirrelMail ( will first be dealt with as soon as we get a bit of elbow room.