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Classic Air Force Website

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Classic Air Force Website

It's been a privilege to build and feed this site for so many years. Sadly it's all coming to an end with the retirement of founder Mike Collett and the sale of the truly unique collection he built. By the time you read this the site - and the collection - may be no more than an extremely fond memory.

This has been a big, ever-evolving project. It was based on a heavily customised version of my WInAB (Web in a Box) content management system. As such, every element was editable by the client. During the display season, the site was cheerfully handling daily hits well into the thousands. A Google search for nearly all of the aircraft types in the collection returned results that saw us sharing the number one and two slots with Wikipedia.

Here are a few highlights:

Classic Air Force Collection

Aircraft Explorer

Every aircraft was detailed, with tabs being automatically generated for type history, history of each individual airframe and full specifications. This was all controllable from the WInAB interface. When the collection was put up for sale, a status system was added so that offers and sales could be instantly recorded.

Keeping Up With the Collection

One of the joys of a visit to CAF was the opportunity to see these vintage classics in action. An extension to the aircraft explorer allowed CAF staff to show forthcoming aircraft movements in a dedicated area of the site. With just a few mouse clicks, detailed itineraries could be created to allow enthusiasts to know when and where their favourites would be on the move.

Flght Booking System

Flight Booking System

The flight booking system would put many full-size airlines to shame. WInAB allowed CAF to set up and configure complex events spanning several dates and a number of aircraft. Flight schedules could be created, and then the system would do its work.

Visitors could select their desired location, date and aircraft and the system would inelligently allocate seats, maximising the loading for optimum cost-efficiency. It would automatically open and close off flights so that parties could all fly together, but CAF would never find themselves with a half-empty aircraft. Pricing, membership and concession discounts would all be calculated and the customer could then buy online through a seamless payment system powered by Sage Pay.

Event Ticketing

Event Ticketing

As organiser for CAF's largest events I needed to set up a robust, fraud-resistant online ticketing system, so the WInAB Event Manager was born. It handled pop concerts or air shows with ease, automatically recording essential Gift Aid information to allow the charity to claim this vital extra income. Fulfillment wasa one-click process, with tickets barcoded and despatched automatically.

Farewell to the Sky

We were privileged to host the Vulcan to the Sky Club for their farewell event as the magnificent Vulcan made her valedictory appearance exclusively for the people who had supported her. The system took constantly updated membership information direct from the club's administration and automatically validated members' ticket eligibility and ticket allocations.

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