This website started as an out of curiosity Photoshop
practice, but in 4 years got totally out of control.
Back in 1997 I started to experiment with Photoshop
(v4 if I remember well) to try and design some cool
graphics for a website about flightsimulators. At that
time a new simulator was about to be released, called
TFX, standing for Tactical Fighter Experiment, from
Digital Image Design. This simulator featured the F-22
among some other planes and once I flew it, I was lost,
spending many hours flying around and shooting at everything
I came accross.
This had to be told to the world asap. Photoshop and Frontpage
became my best friends.
Work on the flightsim site resumed and release 1 of the
site gradually grew. I spent hours and hours on the internet
looking for the - at that
I could find and the amount of visitors grew bit by bit,
although the site was hosted by Compuserve on one of such
impossible compuserve url's like ourworld.compusere.com/homepages/blablabla...
- sparsely available information about the F-22
and the technology which makes it such a special
Many companies were contacted by email for background
information, which I hardly got because of the confidential
nature of the material.
Another activity was to add the site to virually
any search engine
Somewhere in 1998 the domainname changed to www.f-22raptor.com
(thanks mike!) and from then on my visitor numbers started
to increase rapidly. Domainnames really can make a big
feedback as well as a guestbook were implemented. A news
section was added to inform visitors about the political
debates about continuing the F-22 program, or not and
of course the technical developments were closely monitored.
|In the meantime my
Photoshop skills had evolved as well as the knowledge
on how to use JavaScrips and the site got it's first
Although it was not a very spectaculuar one, I got
many very nice reactions through email.
Various browser imcompatibilities were resolved
and a way to send
Things are becoming serious
During 2000 I started my own webdesign company, called
SiteLab, allowing me to spend even more time on the project
We are talking 2001, when I started noticing a relationship
between world events and the amount of visitors I got.
During for instance the Kosovo crisis, Saddam screwing
up, bombings of US property and the deeply sickening events
of 9/11 the amount of visitors the f-22raptor.com was
peaking. CNN.com even linked the site for background information
on the F-22 program. In other words, F-22raptor.com was
becoming a serious F-22 information source for the internet
Time for a new release of the site, with the goal of becoming
the #1 F-22 site on the internet. This meant clear to
underastand language, the largest collection of pictures
and video/audio material on the net.
|Release 3 of the site
was being made during 2002 and put live in january
Besides an entire new look a lot of background information
has been added to the site, like the "Learn
more" pop-up boxes which clarify issues, mentioned
on each page. Links to related websites have been
added as well as ways to inform more people about
I have had a lot of fun until now building the site, which
currently serves around 10~12000 visitors every week.
Your positive and very nice feedback is really appreciated,
so keep it coming.
Wim van Diermen