About this website

I have loved aviation ever since Bristol Freighters, then Carvairs, used to fly very low over my house in Whitstable, Kent, in the 1950s and 60s, flying between Southend and Calais. I used to cycle to Manston to watch the military aircraft, civil operations including Invicta Airways and their Vikings, and the emergency landings on the foam carpet often laid for wheels-up landings.

I also regularly visited Rochester, Lympne and Lydd airports, and was a regular at the wonderful annual Biggin Hill Air Fairs.

I took photos then, most of which are lost, and have continued to this day. I started this website in, I think, 2002 (I've been in IT most of my working life) and see no particular reason to join up with the huge photo databases that are now available, but I do contribute some photos to Wikipedia, where I also create and edit articles.

My interest is broad, so there are photos of homebuilts, military, civil, helicopters, gliders, drones/UAVs, missiles, balloons, control towers and even airport markings and the occasional aviation celebrity here. There are also a few slightly amusing shots.

I hate it when photographers deface their own photos, so mine are all watermark-free. You are welcome to copy my photos for private use, and if you're putting copies online, then a reference or a link to rodbearden.com would be much appreciated. If you're going to use them commercially, then I do want a fee (contact me, please).

Some of the photos I include here are not of a high standard, but they may show aircraft or angles that are not otherwise available on the internet because higher quality photos are not possible due to location, lighting, access etc. I'm also a 'plastic' modeller, and sometimes any photo is better than nothing for us!

Photos are generally organised by trips that I make, or locations, and I think that makes browsing the site interesting and enjoyable. Using the Google Search field on the Photos Home Page allows you to find whatever you want (see "Searching" below).

I'm very grateful for any mistakes to be pointed out to me. You can contact me by clicking here.

Hints & tips

On pages with header pictures, refreshing or revisiting the page will change the picture randomly (so possibly to the same one again). The photos are related to that section. Clicking (or tapping) these photos or the heading above them will generally take you up one level.

On thumbnail pages, column headings with arrowheads allow you to sort the columns into that order. Clicking the heading again will reverse the sort order. (The sorting is done in your browser and the data isn't resent from the server.) To remove the sorting, refresh the page. This uses JavaScript, so it must be enabled in your browser.

Conventions on the site

I try to give everything its official designation by referring to its own website or Wikipedia entry. Sometimes I break the rule by accident, but sometimes I break it on purpose. Examples:

  • I use "USAF" even though it should sometimes be "USAAF" or its predecessors.
  • I usually omit "Royal", "Imperial", "Sultanate of" etc in front of Air Force, Navy, etc names, but I'm British, so it's "RAF" rather than "AF".
  • I avoid customer references in aircraft names, so I use for example Boeing 737-300 rather than Boeing 737-36Q. This makes most searching easier.
  • I refer to winglets only when they are not standard fit for the model. For example not all Airbus A320s have sharklets, so I add /W to those that do, but all A320neos do have them so I don't add the /W.
  • If a page is dedicated to a particular operator, I don't include its name on each entry.
  • Searching

    The Google Search box on my Photos Home Page works well to find any text or photo name on my site. Many people don't seem to know the basics of Google searching, probably the most important of which is "phrase searching". This is most relevant in searching for aircraft registrations involving hyphens.

    If you search for, for example, G-FRED, Google will show all pages that contain g by itself along with FRED by itself. So you might get a page with G-ABCD and my name is fred as two separate entries. But if you search for "G-FRED" including the double-quote marks, it will only find pages with G-FRED. The same goes for an airline name like British Airways. If you just search for that you will also get results of pages with for example British United along with Virgin Atlantic Airways. Put double quotes around the name, and you will get only British Airways references.

    Google never cares about whether you use capital letters or not. These rules apply to all Google searching, not just on my site.

    Aviation home page