Press Release: September 16, 2015
September 15, 2015 www.allspitfirepilots.org, the first ever global Spitfire pilot database is announced today on the 75th Anniversary of Victory in the Battle of Britain.
The site, which allows historians and aviation enthusiasts alike to add pilot data including specific aircraft flown, images, comments, video, and bio is introduced by trailpeak.com founder, Kurt Turchan. Trailpeak is Canada’s largest national database for more than 10,000 trails and is considered the nation’s pre-eminent destination for outdoor travel such as hiking and trekking.
"Allspitfirepilots.org represents a new adventure in acquiring information and creating a centralized, user-friendly site that people interested in aviation history can access. Although not as numerous as the Hurricane, the Spitfire was an important element in the Battle of Britain and beyond. It's a key draw at air shows today, and captures the imagination of would be pilots, enthusiasts, and history buffs. Spitfire pilots were often Hurricane pilots and vice versa" said Turchan. Users are encouraged to add Spitfire and Hurricane pilots to the site.
The site, which is in BETA stage, already includes preliminary content describing 200 pilots. Other key features includes the:
• Ability for any user to add pilot information, sortie details with serial numbers, images, links, comments, or questions
• Ability to search for pilots in several ways including by name, country, town, and status, if known
• Ability to maintain a profile and follow pilots which includes email notifications when information on a pilot page gets updated
• Addition of 21,000+ Spitfire serials loaded into the database allowing users to add photos, comments, and links to these pages
• Ability for aviation experts or other enthusiasts from around the globe to engage others through a forum on every pilot and aircraft page
Turchan has opened up the BETA site to gather feedback and hopes to donate his work to a historical society once fully tested. He wants to attract half a dozen digital curators from various countries. Andrew Pentland graciously allowed his database of Spitfire serials to be included in the site. Once a complete serial number database for the Hurricane is located, plans are to support it.
“Over the years, I kept coming across engaging stories in the news and online about former WWII pilots, and one who recently caught my attention was Spitfire pilot Tony Snell from the U.K. He was one of the first pilots I added in part for his wartime escapades which included running away from a firing squad. His post-war adventures include roaming the world as an entertainer and then setting up a cabaret styled resort in the British Virgin Islands. Various content including a video, links, and his Spitfire have been added to his page. Whether pilots were aces or flew just a few sorties, www.allspitfirepilots.org wants to honour them all", said Turchan.
Users from around the world are invited to enter content to build the database. Groups and historians interested in using the site or contributing to it are asked to contact Mr. Turchan at email@example.com.
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