Airliners Live Newsletter | November 2023

Airliners Live Newsletter | November 2023

Hey all - Jen here!  Hope you are all keeping well.  Welcome to November's edition of our monthly newsletter.   

Can't believe it's November already - this year has flown by.  Did you do anything fun for Halloween?  I was busy carving pumpkins and watching 'Halloween'... bit of a cliché, but good fun! 

Thank you to those who joined in and took part in the vip pumpkin carving competition - we will announce the winner shortly.  

Next up is Bonfire Night and I can't wait to go watch some fireworks light up the sky. Have fun whatever you get up to! 

I've not seen an awful lot of Martin this past couple of weeks with all of the various things going on, but we hope you enjoyed the content, and namely last weekend's charity fundraiser marathon.  What a brilliant amount of support once again, from you - our amazing community.  

I was lucky to join in on Saturday's stream and, as some of you might remember, I got a bit emotional!  Thank you all for sharing your stories and for your generous donations - it will be such a help enabling Macmillan to continue to provide invaluable support to cancer patients and their families.  

It's been an incredibly busy month for the channel, so it's nice to be able to bring everything together in this newsletter and have a bit of a recap.

Coming up, we take a look back at this last weekend's fundraiser, the success of Matt's Fri-Yay shows, behind the scenes of the podcast studio renovation, the aviation podcast with Concorde Julie, the new Discord platform and Icelandair catches, along with contributions from Sam, Captain Mark, Loopy and Henry. 

Grab yourself a brew (oh who am I kidding - brew and a cake) and sit back and enjoy! 

Annual Airliners Live Fundraiser - A Huge Success!


Every year, we look forward to our fundraising event. We have done this annually since the channel began and we have raised an incredible amount for charity as a community!

This year was no different. It's always so uplifting to see the power of our community and what we can achieve together. As we said on the show, it wouldn't be possible without you all! So thank you to everyone who got involved.

Our charity chosen for this year was Macmillan Support. They do incredible work not only supporting people living with cancer, but the family around them. They support patients and families in a wide range of areas including emotional support, understanding your diagnosis and even advising you of financial support available to you. The range of topics would be too many to list, but anything you need support with, Macmillan are there for you! 

We have heard from a large number of community members sharing their personal stories of how Macmillan helped them and there loved ones. All of your stories were incredibly touching so thank you so much for sharing them.

Behind the scenes Macmillan have a fantastic team and it was our pleasure to host two team members for the morning to film the interviews shown on the stream. A huge thank you to Denea and Joanne for giving up their time to get involved! It was great to learn more about the work behind the scenes at Macmillan. A huge shout out to John too who has supported us with anything needed as always!

It was our pleasure to also welcome Sal to our office to talk about her personal journey with cancer and the incredible support Macmillan have offered her and her family. We had a great time and some laughs! Sal even enjoyed flying the in house A320 sim with Joanne!! Thanks Manchester Flight Sim!! 

This year we wanted to bring you guys a weekend jam packed full of content to raise money for charity and the whole team got involved! We have a fantastic team behind the scenes of Airliners Live! A huge shout out to Matt, Jon and Henry for hosting shows, donating their time to help with the fundraiser this year! We also had a guest appearance from Captain Mark! Thanks guys

As per usual the community absolutely smashed the target this year and we were at 50% of the goal by the end of Matts show!! 

In total over £12,500 was raised for charity by the community. Well done everyone! Thanks so much for all of your support, it certainly will make a difference!

Certainly a weekend to remember!

2024 Calendars Have Landed!


We are happy to let you know that the one and only shipment of Airliners Live 2024 calendars has arrived, containing a total of 150 to be sold on the Airliners Live merch store.

Each photo in the calendar was taken by the Airliners Live team, and features some iconic aircraft we've caught on the channel.

As I said, there's only 150, and with over half of them already claimed by pre-orders, you might want to be quick on picking yours up, the website will tell you if we run out of stock and you won't be able to place an order if that's the case, so worth a check!

Check them out here

Army Gazelle Farewell Tour


Hi everyone!! Sam here once more with an update from Barton Aerodrome! This month has been super busy and exciting including the retirement of the Army Air Corps Aérospatiale/Westland Gazelles! Nicknamed the "Whistling Chicken Leg", these helicopters have achieved a fantastic career history. However now, it is time for them to rest. So in the meantime let's quickly reflect on their legacy:

The Gazelles are powered by only one engine, the Turbomeca Astazou which will let the aircraft reach a speed of around 190 mph. Because it has only one engine, it is super light at just a weight of 1,900kg allowing it to be super agile. They have served for 49 years but all good things must come to an end.

Army Gazelles arriving at Barton Aerodrome - Photo by Sam

23rd October saw the Gazelles official farewell tour. Barton was very honoured to have hosted them during one of their stops for fuel. 3 helicopters arrived in formation to the airfield. The crew were greeted with a vast audience, a quantity greater than we have ever personally seen before. They came over and had a chat with some of the spotters and families that had turned up to see these helicopters for the final time. It was so nice to see them humbled by the crowd and it was so wholesome to see them caring and taking time for everyone.

Three Gazelles lined up at Barton Aerodrome - Photo by Sam

The crew stopped for food and exchanged gifts between the aerodrome and themselves. It has been such a pleasure on a personal level meeting the crew and working alongside them in the past. I feel really lucky to have been a part of this. Barton Aerodrome have made the Gazelle crews feel so welcome and this shows with them selecting the aerodrome for their farewell tour. All 3 helicopters left in a spectacular fashion with a formation flight and off they went to retirement. Barton Aerodrome even went to the extra effort for the event and allowed Airliners Live to stream the departure from the tower. Thanks to the crew for supplying excellent aircraft and flying as well as Barton for their generous hospitality.

Still from the Airliners Live stream of the Gazelle farewell tour at Barton

We wish the crew members of the Gazelles all the best in their future for their next adventure, wherever that may be.

Matt's "FriYAY" Show Begins!


This month we welcomed the start of Matt Smiths solo show here on the Airliners Live channel. He hosts a regular Manchester live stream from 10am on most Fridays.

Huge shout out to Matt who has done an absolutely amazing job in learning the ropes and producing his own show. His commentary style is loved by the community, and his determination to broadcast in all conditions is massively admired by all.

Matt in action "in the hatch" on the commentary tower at the Runway Visitor Park

Matt has been a viewer of the channel for many years now, since the early Twitch days. He is even in the chat on one of our earliest clips!

He started as just a regular viewer, supported the streams, and eventually worked his way up to a moderator. Through continuous dedication to the channel through his modding of the chat, and being proactive outside of the live streams, he ended up becoming genuine close friends with the Airliners Live team. Over the last year, we have introduced "Matt Cam" during our live shows, a unique and exclusive remote camera feed that takes an extra view of the airfield at Manchester. Week in, week out he's happy to devote his free time to upping the production of the shows.

Now, with many hours of experience operating the camera, using the gear, and interacting with chat, he took to presenting his own show, which he's done an amazing job at.

A particularly valiant effort was witnessed on Friday 20th of October, when the final day of "Storm Babet" was ongoing at Manchester Airport, Matt streamed in the cold, wind and heavy rain for hours on end, all while multitasking the camera work, monitoring all the equipment, keeping an eye out for the next aircraft movement, and keeping his spirits high. As someone who's done this for years, I can tell you it's incredibly hard, and he did an awesome job.

Matt Smith getting drenched during Storm Babet on his "FriYAY" show

So do tune in to Matts shows, most Friday's from 10AM.

We'll see you there!

Podcast Studio Renovation


This month, we took on feedback from the community, and decided to renovate the podcast studio. This involved removing all the black drape from the backdrop and painting the back wall to a nice grey tone which seemed like a fairly straight forward job at first...

We also got our hands on some new microphones, although they weren't cheap, we opted for the Shure SM7B's, which are industry leading in the podcasting space. They're used by many high end studios and sound amazing, and isolate the speakers voice well.

Once realizing just how good they were, we noticed there wasn't much need for all the soundproofing foam we had stuck to the walls, which was covered visually by the black drape. The soundproofing was a nightmare to attach, due to the foam just refusing to stick to any adhesive, even super glue in places, but now it was time to tear it all down!

Martin hacking away at the double sided tape

Back when we installed the soundproofing, our initial solution was to use a fairly strong double-sided sticky tape. It did well for a lot of the foam, but when removing it, it was a nightmare! It stained the walls with a mixture of glue and tape, which was a real hassle to remove. We pretty much spent the entire day spraying white spirit up and down the walls and scratching away at the glue bit by bit.

Eventually, after we deemed all the glue to be gone, we got painting, and some residue did remain. But a few extra coats of paint seemed to do the trick in covering it up.

A coat of black paint on the ceiling, and a little reorganization of the wires and table resulted in a very nice looking studio. We are super happy, and excited to bring more podcasts to you!

Finally getting there!

Concorde Julie: The Aviation Podcast Guest


This month, we welcomed an amazing guest into the Airliners Live studio, Julie Reynolds, also known as "Concorde Julie"

Not only was she an amazing addition to the podcast, but it was fascinating to hear her history of working on the likes of Concorde, 747, and a whole host of other aircraft during her extensive career working as cabin crew dating back to the 1970s, where she still works to this day.

This second episode of The Aviation Podcast ended up being amazing, we're so happy with how it turned out, and have plenty of new episodes in the works. We also plan on alternating who presents the podcast, so possibly a Martin appearance on the next one!

The full episode can be found on the Airliners Live YouTube channel.


Captain Mark Langston

Hi all, Captain Mark here with my new piece for the newsletter.

So this is flightlines, it’ll be industry updates, some flying stories from the past, some tech stuff explaining useful things to know and anything else you guys want it to be about. Message the lads and if I get a load of requests about a subject I’ll cover it or maybe do a vid about it.

So for those who don’t me or want to know more, I’m Mark, I’m a commercial airline captain on the A320 fleet with a large UK airline and am based at Manchester. I used to fly the B757-200 at a wonderful airline called Astraeus and have also flown the B737-700 with my current airline.

My family originate from the North east of England and I grew up near Wembley. I currently live in the north east but have a flat near Manchester for work. I’m married with three children, 2 of my own and a stepdaughter. In what little spare time I get I like to ride freestyle BMX, do target and clay shooting, photography and involved in some local churches at home and in Leigh.

So we’ve got some more pilot explains vids coming but let us know if there’s anything you’d like us to cover.

Thanks for reading as I’ll see you on the next one!!

Discord and Moving Away From Facebook


This month, it's been announced that we will be moving away from Facebook. A full video will be released giving a more detailed explanation as to why, but for the time being we have made the decision to move the Airliners Live VIP Lounge, and the wider community to Discord. This will be the new community hub for our community.

Discord is an awesome platform that we have used for many years, and is the perfect online platform to have discussions, share pictures and videos, as well as host online events and voice chats with other community members.

Shout out to Jon Fezza and Sunny23uk for helping build the Airliners Live Discord server to be as awesome and well set out as it is today.

So whether you're a paying VIP, or just a member of the wider Airliners Live community, head on over to our Discord channel (you can click here) and get involved with the discussions!

We are also going to be closing the Airliners Live VIP Lounge on Facebook in the coming months, so if you are someone who makes use of this, please do head on over to the Discord server, it's great!

To join our discord, use this link

For the first episode of Martin's tutorial on how to get set up on discord, use this link

Icelandair Catches


This previous month, we've had the massive pleasure of catching three different Icelandair special liveries at Manchester Airport during our live shows. Those being the "Hekla Aurora", "80 Years of Aviation", and "100 Years Independence" specials.

Icelandair's "100 Years of Independence" 757-300 at Manchester during one of our live shows - photo by Martin

The first of which, the "Hekla Aurora" made an appearance on one of the brand new additions "FriYAY" shows hosted by Matt Smith. The northern lights theme looks incredible on the 75!

Then, just two days later, during a "Super Sunday Show", the boys caught the "80 Years of Aviation" special, which features the beautiful glacier filled landscape of Iceland.

Finally, during "Storm Babet", we saw the arrival of the third special scheme; "100 Years Independence", which is featured on the longer Boeing 757-300, and includes the colours of the Iceland flag in a "retro" style format encompassing the whole fuselage.

We have gone for a few months without catching one, then we get all 3 in one month! Thanks Icelandair! 

The Story Behind Icelandair’s Hekla Aurora Livery

One of the most impressive examples of a special livery is Icelandair’s Hekla Aurora, which was unveiled in 2014 as part of the airline’s campaign celebrating its stopover service. The stopover service allows passengers to visit Iceland for up to seven nights at no additional airfare on their way between Europe and North America.

Icelandair Northern Lights "Hekla Aurora" special at Manchester Airport - photo by Martin

The Hekla Aurora livery was inspired by one of Iceland’s most spectacular natural phenomena: the northern lights or aurora borealis. These are colourful lights that appear in the sky when charged particles from the sun interact with the earth’s magnetic field. They are especially visible in Iceland during the winter months, when the nights are long and dark.

The livery features a gradient of blue, purple, and green colours that mimic the northern lights on the fuselage and tail of the aircraft. The name Hekla Aurora comes from Hekla, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes, and Aurora, the Latin word for dawn or goddess of dawn. The livery also has a special feature: its interior is illuminated with mood lighting that recreates the northern lights inside the cabin.

The Hekla Aurora livery was designed by Edmond Huot, a livery designer and founder of Forward Studio. Huot said that he wanted to create a livery that would capture the essence and beauty of Iceland and its nature. He also said that he wanted to create a livery that would make people smile and feel happy.

The Hekla Aurora livery is not only a stunning visual display, but also a powerful marketing tool for Icelandair. It showcases the airline’s identity and brand as a modern, innovative, and customer-oriented carrier. It also promotes Iceland as a destination and invites passengers to experience its wonders and attractions.


A Rare Visitor: Icelandair’s 767 at Manchester


Just over a year ago, the 30th of October, 2022, the runway of Manchester was adorned by the rare presence of an Icelandair 767. We were fortunate enough to catch this unusual visitor to Manchester live on one of our broadcasts, in fact, we've never seen an Icelandair 767 at MAN prior to this on our show.

The 767, however, had a challenging touchdown. The winds that day were fairy rough, and the awkward touchdown lead the classic airliner "going tech" – a term in aviation parlance meaning the aircraft required technical repairs before it could take to the skies again.

This lead to the subsequent departure back to Iceland to be cancelled, which was unfortunate as we couldn't see it depart again that day, and especially unfortunate for the enthusiasts who booked that flight just to fly that plane.

Incidentally, on Sunday 29th of October 2023, we saw the eventual return of this aircraft during our Charity Fundraiser Sunday show!

This time around, the aircraft absolutely "buttered" the runway on landing, she arrived, and departed that day.

Screenshot from the Sunday live show as the Icelandair 767 taxis past the Runway Visitor Park

In Moderation


Going through my note pad of ‘numbers galore’, I came across a few trinkets of info that I thought might be of interest to the inner nerd in you. Things like where do our commands come from, and why?

There’s a lot that goes on in the background, and although I can’t tell you everything, I can give you a few early snippets and the thinking behind them.

For starters, and don’t be scared, but I did not invent Nightbot. It was already a thing before I got my hands on it, but watching how other streams used him/her/it, I learned how to make it work for Airliners Live and tried to turn him/her/it into something you could listen to or believe. And ultimately something you could have a laugh with. And I would like to think, over the last two years as a mod, I’ve achieved something more than positive.

But how did it start I hear you ask? Well, I was coming to that, wasn’t I!

When I joined the team as a mod, Martin and Jon were in charge of the Nightbot commands and they were always open to ideas, or changes to the commands. For instance, the idea behind what we now know as !pos, was originally going to be called !clean, but we had a chat and went for !pos instead. It meant we could add more under the ‘positive’ umbrella, and it worked a treat in the end.
And keep in mind, we were still at only 34K subs on YouTube, so I guess building for the future paid off.

Around this time, Jon Fezza was trying his best to get a !metar command established, but it wouldn’t have it. Similar to the weather link I put up during live feeds, weather is the most unpredictable thing there is, so it has to be changed daily. Pointless really to use a command that is wrong, or still showing yesterday’s weather.

Who remembers the !eng command? It was a simple command in various languages asking people to use English in the chat. It worked fine in Europe, but we started to get a huge influx of Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern etc, people coming into the chat and, well, chatting really! And that’s where the problem lied. We didn’t have a clue. So, I spent a bit of time finding out the easiest way to say, ‘Please use English only in chat’ in various other languages and I split the command into two, because it became huge, well bigger than me and you standing together at a bar. Yep! That big!

The main issue is obvious to most, but if we don’t understand what they are saying, how can we ignorant English people moderate it? I don’t think any of us mods can speak a second language, except gibberish maybe.

We also had to change the original !english to !enge for Europe and !enga for Asia and beyond. The one language I realized I had to find was Arabic, because we had a lot of messages coming through from somewhere in Arabia, and for all I know, it could have been the same guy, but I hope he’s happy now that he can contact us, and we can still tell him to speak English in Arabic!

And this was still in the early days. In October 2022, having just hit 100K subs, Martin sent me the link to the command center, and I’ve been looking after Nightbot ever since. Jon in the meantime, went off to concentrate on his Flight Sim Shows, and improve his singing skills.

Nightbot gets updated at least once a month, but you will hardly notice the difference. My silly bot messages come and go, and no one bats an eyelid. They have all become aware of my Monty Pythonesque sense of humour and now it’s all part of what I do.

Nowadays, we probably have a command that covers almost anything that is being talked about in the show, and quite a few that hardly get used at all. We also have to be careful that we don’t go over our limit too. We already use 75 of the 100 allowed, so it’s steady as we go at the moment.

And that kind of brings us up to date. There is a lot more of course, but I’m trying to keep this under 800 words.

Next month will be something different, I just haven’t decided what it’s going to be yet.

I’ll see you then.

Tales Through Time

Henry Tenby

Hello everybody, this is Henry Tenby. I’m the presenter of the Airliners Live YVR show and I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss and share my passion in preserving classic airline films on celluloid cine film produced back in the 1950s and 1960s. The world’s airlines communicated their publicity through TV adverts and the distribution of custom produced. publicity films that were written to promote the airlines and their operations of the day. The movie films were distributed to libraries, schools, Rotary clubs, travel agencies, and other organizations that could promote the advent of airline travel, and the convenience of taking a holiday by air.

Throughout the 1950s, the vast majority of holiday travel was done by ship and ocean liner ports such as Liverpool, New York, Honolulu, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc. were the busy gateways of leisure travel of the day. The vast majority of passengers that had flown had only been on prop planes, and not yet experienced the comfort and convenience brought by the advent of jet travel.
The first mass market jetliners were only arriving on the scene in 1958-1959. Of course the De Haviiland Comet jetliner was about a decade ahead, but the crashes associated with the type delayed the mass adoption of jet travel until the US aircraft builders offered the larger 707 and DC-8 and Convair jets in the late 1950s, and into the early 1960s. 

Being born in 1964, I personally experienced a fair bit of travel on the first generation turbine powered airliners during my family visits across Canada in the 1960s and early 1970s. We often would fly on Air Canada and at the time Air Canada operated British built Vickers Viscounts, Vanguards, and Rolls Royce Coneay powered DC-8 jetliners. 

I loved my airline flights as a small child, and this resulted in my becoming a lufelong aviation fan with a special interest in Canadian airlines (in particular Air Canada). Back in 2013, I was able to digitize Air Canada‘s entire historic film movie archives going back to the 1940s, with full support of the airline and Archives Canada, the Federal Government agency that is the new owner and keeper of the archive. 

The arrangement was that I would be given access to the films to use in my aviation business endeavours such as my DVDs, and streaming service etc. in exchange for the labor effort involved in digitizing all the movies. Along with two other people that I hired specifically for the project, I spent a whole week in Ottawa at Archives Canada, working 12 hours a day, digitizing the Air Canada and Trans Canada Airlines 16mm film archives. 

This 16mm film collection of movies from Air Canada’s history now streams exclusively on my JetFlix.TV  aviation streaming service, and I have posted a number of teaser clips onto my JetFlix TV YouTube channel. 

However, there is still a major group of Air Canada (TCA) film content that I have not yet released, but will soon be working on and releasing for the viewing enjoyment of aviation fans like us.  I also digitized a large number of the 1960s and 1970s Trans Canada Airlines / Air Canada TV commercial movie clips. These short movie clips relive our fascinating memories of how air travel looked and was marketed during that long since past period of the 1960s and 1970s.
My plan is to release all of these TV commercials onto the JetFlix.TV platform in the coming months, and that will be my next big celebration relating to the good old days of airlines. As a sidenote, I’d like to share that I was recently featured on the TV evening news here in Canada, for my efforts in preserving Canadian airline history. In this news item they also included my being the Airliners live YVR presenter, so it was a great bit of local publicity that I very much appreciated. Here is the link to the global news clip that I was featured in:


Henry Tenby
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