Virtual Airline


Contents and quick links

Arrivals   Screenshot   Fleet Update   Aviation news   Flight Safety   Quiz   Flightsim News   Videos   Funnies

Click the above links for quick access.

Doesn’t the time fly by? It only feels like a few weeks since the last ramblings from the newsroom inflicted themselves upon the Internet!

As I’m sure you're all well aware the BAC Concorde (an amazing British plane rumoured by some to be built with a little assistance from the French) was the plane that could cross the Atlantic faster than any other commercial airliner. A little less well known is that the 2nd fastest plane to cross the Atlantic is also British - .the gorgeous looking Vickers VC-10. Those aircraft were produced when the UK aircraft industry was at it's height. Later those companies would be amalgamated into BAC (British Aircraft Corporation), then BAe and now simply BA (British Aerospace). Just when you thought the wound  was healing, along comes Andy UKD579 picking at the scab with a repaint of the Super VC-10 for FSX (and FS2004, P3Dv1-3)


Alive and Well

After mysteriously disappearing in Portland Oregon, Senior Flight Captain John May UKD103 has been found back in Blighty.

In March 2016 Johns Beechcraft Baron was found seemingly abandoned in KPDX with the keys still in the door and a Ginsters pasty tantalisingly uneaten.. Until now his whereabouts had been a total mystery.
CCTV has recently captured him in Salisbury along with another person believed to be none other than former UK Direct impresario Dave Finney.
Our sources can confirm that John has been linked to a rival organisation FlyUK but according to their sources John was just sightseeing and hoping to see the famous Haunch of Venison Inn and it's preserved mummified hand as well as other well appointed hostelries!

Glad to see you still in the virtual skies John and don't be a stranger. Drop by and say hello anytime but don't expect your pasty back!

THERE IS NO QUIZ AS I HAVEN’T MADE IT YET - Check back in a month, it will be there.
Newshound aka Mark UKD171 and Graham UKD140.

A superior pilot uses his superior judgment to avoid situations that would require the use of his superior skills!

A collection of pictures sent in by Graham UKD140
Saab340, Boeing 737-400 and Airbus A318

Do you have a screen shot you are proud of? Please send it in and share it with us.
To enter in the next e-magazine send your entries to Newshound: mark[at] 

Don't worry about editing pictures, sending them as a full size bmp is best and I’ll edit them for Directions

Compatible Sims

Aicraft model


Model team

Free v Payware

FSX P3Dv1-3 FS2004

Vickers VC-10




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 Some screenshots of UKDirect Vickers Super VC-10 taken by Andy UKD579, of his own repainted aircraft for UKDirect pilots to use. They are freely available for download from the Fleet page.


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Boeing 737 Production Bounces Back
Overcoming its supplier bottlenecks, Boeing delivered 48 narrowbody 737s in August, compared to just 29 deliveries in July – one of the lowest monthly production levels for years.
Boeing said it was continuing to make “good progress” in resolving supplier issues by the end of this year, and it expects 737 production to increase from 52 per month to 57 per month in 2019. By comparison, in August 2017 the company  delivered 50 737s.
Boeing previously stated that deliveries would be lower in the third quarter of 2018 and pick up again in Q4 due to the well-documented production problems. Despite this, the company told analysts who visited their Renton plant in August that the firm still expected to achieve their full year target of between 810 and 815 deliveries.Boeing 737 Production Line
Primary external suppliers involved in 737 production include CFM (a Safran and GE joint venture), and Spirit AeroSystems who produce the fuselages. Philippe Petitcolin, Safran chief executive, commented that the “unprecedented” increase in demand from the two aeroplane makers [Boeing and Airbus] had put his company under pressure

Across the entire product lineup, Boeing delivered a total of 64 aircraft in August, an increase from the 39 July deliveries. The aerospace giant said its net orders for 2018 to to the end of August totaled 581 aircraft, including 90 orders in August alone for 737 family variants from unidentified customers and leasing companies.
Elsewhere, arch-rival Airbus this week posted 219 net orders for the January to August period, including five in August itself.  The company said in the first eight months of this year it has delivered 349 single-aisle aircraft, including five A220s.


The first Airbus A220-100 for Delta Air Lines has rolled out of the paintshop at the final assembly line in Mirabel, Quebec.  Delta is the first US airline to order the A220, and will join existing operators air Baltic, Swiss International Air Lines and Korean Air.First Delta A220 rolls out of paintshop in Mirabel
Delta’s fleet management team project manager Larry Cato commented: “There’s nothing like seeing years of planning come together in the shape of a freshly painted aircraft.  It’s a major milestone for the future of our fleet.”
Delta plans to put the new jetliner, which is expected to make its first flight in autumn, into service in early 2019. The airline has a total of 75 A220-100s, previously known as the Bombardier CS100, on order, together with options for a further 50, the largest single purchaser for the type.
Although Delta was the first US customer, in July 2018 JetBlue announced a new order for 60 A220-300s at the Farnborough Airshow, with deliveries to start in 2020.
According to the Airbus website, as of August 31, 2018 there were 402 orders for the A220 family, with 42 aircraft delivered to date.

First ANA A380 take-off

The first of All Nippon Airways’ (ANA) Airbus A380s has lifted off from Toulouse, flying direct to Airbus’ Hamburg facility. Upon arrival, the aircraft will be painted in ANA’s special colour scheme and have its cabin installed.
ANA is the first customer for the A380 in Japan, ordering three examples in 2016, taking on three aircraft which were originally intended for Skymark Airlines.  Handover to the airline is planned for early 2019, and the initial route for the superjumbo will be the highly popular Tokyo/Haneda to Honolulu, Hawaii.  ANA intends to paint each A380, which is configured in a 520-seat layout (383 economy, 73 premium economy, 56 business class, and eight first class), with a special turtle livery, each with a blue, orange or cyan colour.

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Biman Bangladesh Fleet Expansion

Bombardier has announced the sale of three new Q400 turboprops to Biman Bangladesh Airlines, with a value of around US$106m at list prices.
The order is being facilitated via a purchase agreement with the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), which is the country’s international government-to-government contracting organisation.
Franois Cognard, Bombardier’s vice president sales, Asia Pacific, said: “We are very pleased that Biman is expanding its Q400 fleet with this order for three new aircraft. The Q400’s mix of turboprop economics and jet like performance were the best match for Biman’s mix of short and long-range routes.”
Managing director and CEO, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, A M Mosaddique Ahmed added: “We currently operate two Q400s and without hesitation, we can say that these aircraft are ideal for our domestic and regional operations.  With its outstanding economics, comfort and operational flexibility, the Q400 will allow us to offer high frequency services within Bangladesh and neighbouring countries.”
The order is part of Biman’s wider fleet renewal programme – on August 19, Biman received the first of four new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, with the Bangladeshi flag carrier already operating four new Boeing 777-300ERs and two new Boeing 737-800s.  The Dreamliner arrival forms part of a 2008 order, where the national airline ordered 10 new aircraft worth US$2bn directly from Boeing. Biman currently flies to 15 international and seven domestic routes.


Aeroflot Orders 100 Sukhoi Superjets

Russian flag carrier Aeroflot has agreed to take a further 100 Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft. The new jets will be configured with 12 business class seats and 75 seats in economy and are due to be delivered between 2019 and 2026.

Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100
The agreement was signed at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok earlier this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin present.

Vitaly Saveliev, CEO of Aeroflot, said: ‘We have signed the largest aircraft delivery agreement in Aeroflot's history. Including the expected delivery of 50 MC-21, by 2026 Aeroflot will operate 200 Russian-built aircraft. Aeroflot has historically been the largest operator of Russian aircraft and has helped to improve all Russian aircraft models currently in operation. It is Aeroflot’s top priority to act in the interests of Russian aviation and our country.’

Yury Slyusar, President of UAC (United Aircraft Corporation) added: We have worked with Aeroflot for many years. As the first and largest operator of SSJ100 aircraft, Aeroflot has significantly helped the development of Russia’s aircraft industry. The signing of this new agreement marks the next stage of our cooperation. We are happy to continue working with Russia's leading airline. Aeroflot is currently operating 49 SSJ100 which serve the domestic routes including Belgorod, Perm, and Sochi, as well as international services to destinations including Dresden, Vilnius, Gothenburg, Bucharest and Zagreb.

The news will be a welcome boost for UAC, as Mexico's Interjet ‘one of the few Western airlines to operate the aircraft’ has faced well-documented technical problems with the Superjets.

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I’ve colour-coded the news below - GREEN text is a non-fatal incident or accident of interest,
                                                               RED has fatalities so now you can skip those if you want.

17 SEP 2018  Boeing 747-400  UKDirect    VH-U05     First flight: 12/10/2006 (11 years 11 months)

UKDirect flight UKF115 was ferrying cargo for the McClaren F1 team when it impacted the terrain on approach to runway 06 at Sochi with a high vertical velocity. Weather conditions at the time were good with a 6kt headwind and there were no personal injuries.. The aircraft was configured for landing and the extended wheels first struck a house-roof which was built from nothing in a matter of seconds (a likely story!) which ‘just appeared from nowhere’. Wreckage from the undercarriage was found littering a field around the threshold. During the post-crash investigation the pilot claimed that the ground rose up in front of him as he approached, “either that or the runway sank into the ground”. Pilot Mark UKD171 was released after being detained for pyscho-evaluation and narcotics tests - the results of which were not conclusive!. Damage to the Jumbo is estimated to be around 40m which the airline paid upfront after finding the money in a biscuit tin from the tea-boat fund. A UKD spokesperson stated “the money will be recouped by savings made from not buying Chocolate Hob-nobs”

Wreckage from 747 impact

09 SEP 2018   Let L-410UVP    Slaver Company   UR-TWO   C/n: 841328  First flight:  1984
Total: Fatalities: 20 / Occupants: 23       Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)

A Let L-410 aircraft crashed into Lake Yirol, South Sudan, close to the destination airport.
The aircraft was owned by Slaver Company, Ukraine as of April, 2018. It had been overhauled in 2016-2017 after having been stored for eight years.

Let L-410UVP

17 SEP 2018   Ilyushin Il-20M   Russian Air Force  RF-93610    C/n: 173011504  First flight: ?
Total: Fatalities: 15 / Occupants: 15       Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)

An Ilyushin Il-20M reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force crashed into the sea off Latakia-Khmeimim Air Base, Syria, after being hit by a missile.
The aircraft had departed Khmeimim Air Base at 20:31. At 22:07, while turning towards the air base over the Mediterranean Sea, it was shot down by Syrian ground forces using an S-200 surface-to-air missile system.
According to Russian official, about the same time four Israeli F-16 jets were in the same area, targeting Latakia.

20 SEP 2018   Boeing 737-85R (WL)    Jet Airways    VT-JGS    C/n: 34800/2085   First flight: 10/10/2006
Total: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 171  Aircraft damage: None

Jet Airways flight 9W697 returned to land at Mumbai Airport due to a cabin pressurization issue.
The aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, departed Mumbai at 00:42 UTC on a service to Jaipur. Five minutes into the climb, after passing 10,000 feet, the oxygen masks dropped in the passenger cabin. The flight crew stopped the climb and descended back to 10,000 feet. It was decided to return to Mumbai, where a safe landing was made at 01:24 UTC.

A DGCA official reported to local media that that 30 passengers had reported nose bleeding, few had ear bleeding and some were complaining of a headache. Airport sources added that about 10 passengers have been taken to hospital for further check-up.
The DGCA official further stated that during climb, the crew forgot to select the bleed air switch due to which cabin pressurisation could not be maintained. As a result, oxygen masks deployed.

Answers to last Directions quiz:

  1. Lufthansa
  2. Alitalia
  3. Hapag lloyd
  4. Air Cananda
  5. Sabena
  6. Iberia
  7. Varig Brasil
  8. Japan Air Lines
  9. British Airways
  10. Transbrazil

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Correct replies to last Directions quiz:

  • =1 Phil 101
  • =1 Ruud 104

Phil’s mug is on it’s way, Ruud already has a mug so a substitute prize will be found.

Time to get that grey matter working!. Email answers to mark “at” or use the message facility on FS Airlines.  Answers will be posted in the next Directions but if you email me your guesses I will reply straight away (in confidence - so no need to worry about embarrassment).


The next competition will appear here, as soon as I have made one!

Prize - UKD Mug

An ‘artist’s impression’ of the UKDirect Limited edition, camera-shy, quiz winners mug.


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Flightsim News


PMDG Updates 737/777 Packages/747-400 Update

Updates pushed for 737 and 777 base packages:
We pushed updates via the PMDG Operations Center for the PMDG 737NGX and PMDG 777-200LRF base packages. These updates were pushed for FSX, FSX-SE, P3Dv3 and P3Dv4 versions. These updates are important in that we have been able to find a few rare instances in the 737 and 777 that might cause the airplane to stop responding to user input, and we also eliminated a few CTD issues that appeared in both products.

PMDG website


The Aerosoft A320/A321 is the first release of a completely new development where virtually every part of the previous releases is overhauled or redone. What remains is our dedication to the basic idea of the product. We simulate flying the aircraft and the aircrafts systems are just a tool, not the goal.  Using this product will bring flight simulation as close as possible to the experience of a real pilot – from interacting with the MCDU to opening the flight deck door using the correct procedure.

The project is a development for 64-bit platforms and uses the very latest of technology and compilers making it highly future proof and as light as possible on your system. It is not a recompiled 32-bit product.

Orbx Acquires Earth Simulations Assets - PRESS RELEASE

By Aimee Sanjari, August 1 in OrbxDirect Release Announcements

August 1st, 2018 - Toowong, Australia: Orbx Simulation Systems has recently purchased all digital assets from Earth Simulations Ltd, which ceased trading in 2015. Over the coming year, the Orbx team will be developing completely refreshed versions of their popular Channel Islands and Isle of Man titles for Prepar3D, Aerofly FS2 and X-Plane 11. Orbx CEO John Venema today said "This is a great result for both the former users  of Earth Simulations and also the Orbx community.. It has been a desire of mine for some years to carry Darren and Vicki's benchmark scenery titles forward and give them a new lease of life."

The sceneries will be split into four products:

Isle of Man

Each will be priced competitively based on their land mass and features, and all will be completely rebuilt from the ground up using freshly licensed imagery from 2015 and 2016. We will add a vast selection of Orbx library objects and completely overhaul the performance of the autogen and models in order to  provide state-of-the-art destinations for simmers.

John added, "Our colleagues at Turbulent Designs have been tasked with these projects for FSX and P3D and I am confident their team will produce a rock solid set of products."
Following the FSX/P3D releases, the scenery will be ported to XP11 and AFS2 and the usual 40% cross-platform discount will apply for Orbx customers. Because this project has involved a substantial investment in new imagery, contractor, and other license fees there will be no free upgrades for previous owners of the ES versions of these islands from 2015 and earlier. These titles will be exclusively available from OrbxDirect.

Darren Vincent - the former director of Earth Simulations - said today, "I'm very pleased that Orbx have taken custody of our work and will give it a new lease of life across these simulator platforms. I am sure our previous ES customers will embrace this redux of our sceneries which we are very proud to have made back in the day. I wish John and his team all the best with their plans!"  John concluded with "We will make use of the many digital assets that are available from the ES files, which you will see in products like TrueEarth Great Britain and elsewhere."

The first channel island to be released will be Alderney for FSX/P3D which you can expect within the next 3-4 months. Previews will be shown once it has entered into beta testing.

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Saitek X55 Rhino H.O.T.A.S. System - Fly Like a Pro

The X55 Rhino, the top of the line flight sim accessory from Saitek, should provide a high quality flying experience for any flying game enthusaist. But does it? I guess there's only one way to find out...

Asus Bezel-free Kit makes monitor edges disappear

Asus ROG’s new Bezel-free Kit is a pair of mountable monitor lenses that use light refraction to remove the bezels of gaming monitors. That way, you can have one image stretch seamlessly across three screens, as the picture bends from monitor to another. The device, jsut a prototype for now, is getting pricing and a release date later this year. But Asus says it will work on 25, 27, and 32-inch monitors.

Nosy Be

Nosy Be
Free Scenery Designs have released a new file for Nosy Be in Madagascar. As the name suggests it is freeware and compatible with Prepared v4. Click here for their Facebook page

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 Take a small look at what Environment Force is all about during an interview with AirdailyX. - Future in the Environment! Reed Stough shows how their app handles shaders in P3D to bring life and realtime changing elements in the simulator : clouds shaping or dissipating, light and shade updated live according to weather conditions, and much more.

A2A Accu-Feel v2

Prepar3D | Add-on Spotlight | Accu-feel v.2 for P3D V4 [10.26]

The extra level of FS realism provided by the Accu-Sim component of A2A's aircraft has long been a selling point and now all pilots in P3D v4.1 or later can enjoy some of that experience with A2A's new Accu-Feel v2 Air, Land & Sea add-on.

Built using the physics-driven Accu-Sim sound system, Accu-Feel enhances ground and water physics, adds dynamic tyre sounds, brake squeals and vibrations, dynamic wind, turbulence modelling, fuselage drag rumble, new cabin sounds and more.

Accu-Feel will set itself up intelligently for each aircraft you fly but allows you to have the final say on each feature via the user interface pictured above - watch the first video on the product page for a helpful introduction to Accu-Feel's capabilities.




GSX Level2 Expansion

GSX Level 2 [4.48]

GSX Level 2 is an Expansion for the base GSX product (doesn't work without GSX), which offers the following two main features:

Visible Animated Passengers
SODE replacement Jetways worldwide

Animated Passengers, boarding/unboarding the airplane using either Staircases or Jetways
Many different characters, each one with his own different animation and walking style
Visible Pilots and Crew boarding/unboarding the airplane
Loadmaster assistant replaces the Crew on Cargo airplanes
SODE replacement Jetways at every airport
Complete Jetway editor, to fully customize the Jetway appearance at each parking spot
More than 80 different Jetway types, modeled after real-world specification, each one available in different variations
Jetway Numbers using DX11 (Prepar3D 4 only)
Jetway with Air and Power units, which can keep the airplane battery charged
Default Jetways are replaced automatically
3rd party Jetways using the default animation system can be excluded on demand, in the airport customization

System Requirements
FSDreamTeam Ground Services X (GSX) - This is not a Stand-Alone product, the base GSX Product is required
Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator X DVD with SP2 or Acceleration (FSX)
Microsoft Flight Simulator X Steam Edition (FSXSE)
Lockheed Martin Prepar3D v1, v2, v3 or v4 (P3D)
Prepar3D 4 IS fully supported.

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The iFly Boeing 737 NG Full Review [15.05]

A review of one of the most advanced and most realistic addons available on the FS2004 market: The Boeing 737 Next Generation developed by IFly Simsoft (-600, -700, -800, -900, BBJ, BBJ2 BBJ3). All thanks to the IFly 737 developers and thanks to Flight1 for this wonderful addon. Please subscribe for more content from this channel!

[Prepar3D v4] QualityWings Ultimate Boeing 787 | First Look and Review [26.41]

After many years in development, the QualityWings Ultimate Boeing 787 is finally available for Prepar3D v4.

ORBX for FSX/Prepar3D Explained [20.29]

If you've been wondering what the various ORBX products do with your FSX/Prepar3d scenery, this is the video for you.

This video is not sponsored by ORBX or any other company or individual.


EPKK Krakow Balice 2012 X (for FSX & P3D)  v1.4 Update  (13 Sept)
Seattle Airports XP  v1.1 Update  (7 Sept)
Seattle City XP  v1.1 Update  (7 Sept)
MilViz B737  v4.180823 Update  (7 Sept)
MilViz C310R Redux  v3.180904 Update  (7 Sept)
Valley Corridor Route  v1.02 Update  (6 Sept)
Real Traffic for Tower!3D  sp6v9a Update  (30 Aug)
Alabeo PA-22 Tri-Pacer (for X-Plane 10/11)  Update  (29 Aug)
Alabeo PA-23F Aztec 250 (for X-Plane 10)  Update  (29 Aug)
Alabeo PA-31 Chieftain 350 (for X-Plane 10/11)  Update  (29 Aug)
Alabeo PA-44 Seminole (for X-Plane 10/11)  Update  (29 Aug)
Carenado C340 II (for X-Plane 11)  Update  (29 Aug)
Carenado PC-12 HD Series (for X-Plane 11)  Update  (29 Aug)
Super Traffic Board for FSX  Update  (29 Aug)
ChrisTrains Stadler Flirt 3  v2.1 Update  (28 Aug)
MilViz DHC-3T Turbo Otter  v1.180816 Update  (28 Aug)


Current SODE version

SODE V1.6.3
Important for GSX users: The latest live update of GSX has somewhat broken its support for SODE V1.6.2. You need to install the newly released SODE V1.6.3.
FSUIPC latest versions:

FSUIPC5 5.14 for use with Prepar3D 64-bit Version 4  August 3rd 2018 (3.3 MB)

FSUIPC4 4.971 for use with FSX, FSX-SE and Prepar3D 1.4-3.4.   Released August 16th 2017 (3.3 MB)


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 Vickers VC-10 The Last Of The All British Built Jets. [8:03]

A clip from a BBC documentary.


BOAC Vickers VC-10 Travelogue - 1964 [11:38]

Fantastic Promo featuring Vickers' gorgeous VC-10! Lot's of great footage of the aircraft wearing her 1st BOAC livery, plus many interesting locales as well. Be sure to check my channel for the best in VINTAGE & RARE airliner videos!


AirbusA320 OUTSIDE CHECK explained by CAPTAIN JOE [10.52]

Every pilot has to check if his aircraft, helicopter, gilder, little sports plane or a big commercial jet, hasnt encountered any damage or leakage from prior flights. Aviators call this regular procedure the outside check or exterior walkaround !

Lets take the Airbus A320 as an example. After completing our first checks within the cockpit, the last item on the "preliminary cockpit preparation checklist” reads, “EXTERIOR WALKAROUND —— PERFORM !


Heathrow: Britain's Busiest Airport [46:11]

This prime time ITV documentary series explores life behind the scenes at the UK’s biggest and busiest airport. Filmed over nine months, the series follows Heathrow’s army of 76,000 staff – from baggage handlers to air traffic controllers – as they attempt to safely process 200,000 passengers every single day, and race to get thousands of planes away on time.

NASA 60th: How It All Began [5.45]

Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, on July 16 and President Eisenhower signed it into law on July 29, 1958. NASA opened for business on Oct. 1, 1958, with T. Keith Glennan as our first administrator. Our history tells a story of exploration, innovation and discoveries. The next 60 years, that story continues. Learn more:


Why Are The Dreamliner's Windows So Big? [7.01]


JUST A MUST PLANES: Airbus A220-300 (CS300) ULTIMATE COCKPIT MOVIE [AirClips full flight series] [1:13.40]

airBaltic is a state-owned Latvian low-cost carrier and the country's flag carrier. The Bombardier CS300 delivery was much anticipated by airBaltic, since this new aircraft type will replace most of the airline's Boeing 737-300's and Boeing 737-500's. The delivery of the CS300 happened on November 29 2016. The airline received two CS300 in 2016 and expected to receive six in 2017, eight in 2018 and four more in 2020.



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Paul McCartney Answers the Web's Most Searched Questions | WIRED [17.48]

Sir Paul McCartney takes the WIRED Autocomplete Interview and answers the internet's most searched questions about himself. Why is Paul McCartney's nickname "Macca"? Why did Paul write "Let It Be"? Did the Beatles play at Woodstock? Paul answers all these questions, and more!


Trump vs. The World: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) [19.14]

A word of warning - this is from a late night American TV show so it contains ‘past the watershed’ material!.
America's reputation is being damaged by its own president. John Oliver, several dinosaurs, and the NYC Gay Men's Chorus remind the world that our country is...complicated.


taming of wild Sukhoi 24

Taming of wild Sukhoi 24


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 | 2018-3