About This Website
Welcome to the Steen Aero Lab website. We know it's been a long time comin'. To anyone we've offended by spending our weekends on other Steen projects, we apologize. To the vast majority who have kept the faith, our sincere thanks for your patience.
No dynamic, active website is ever really "finished" but we think we're off to a good start, with much more on the way shortly. There's a great deal that's been developed and is being tested and refined behind the scenes.
The underlying technical structure is complete, and it's a sleeping giant. This same web application platform, written in Macromedia's ColdFusion, is now being used for heavy hauling in other applications in our corporate family. (One of the reasons for the delay in the development of the Steen site was waiting on this new platform to be available to us - it was a year and a half in the making). We own the source code for everything in the structure - a custom platform from which we can manipulate all sorts of dynamic data in a secure and robust manner. The foundation includes an advanced e-commerce module and a state-of-the-art interactive forum. You can expect a maximum of real substance and useful content, and a minimum of flash and sizzle.
A multimedia database generalizes access to still photos, audio, video, CAD files, and can send and receive imagery in a wide variety of unusual formats, including fax. How would you like to enter some search terms... say, about a certain part of your building project... and see photos of exactly that part? It's coming!
Expanding the current content is now the task at hand. We have provided numerous seed examples to show where we are going. Fleshing things out will be a lot of fun.
So... here is a brief overview of our vision for the site -
We are dedicated to providing a great deal of historical content about our airplanes. We are all historical packrats, and we have a great deal of historically-significant memorabilia available which deserves to see the light of day, so we are working to make it available. When Hale first showed us the original drawings and sketches by Vernon Payne, I got a big lump in my throat. Here was his entire life's work in a few big cardboard boxes. We have carefully preserved the originals between acid-free paper. We are honored to be the caretakers of these kinds of things.
For each of our airplanes, we have a large collection of original letters, sketches, thousands of old photos, nearly every old trade magazine. We want to make these things available as a kind of online museum. Many kind folks have sent us historical treasures, from as far away as Spain, and we will really enjoy seeing these online and providing credits as to the circumstances and sources.
We have received permission from the industry trade magazines to use content regarding our airplanes. These are being scanned and the images converted to text using OCR. See Examples -
We have many hi-res digital construction photos which have been taken here at Steen Aero. These are being provided in construction photo galleries for each airplane type. The good news... we have taken literally thousands of photos. The bad news... you will get lost in them. See Examples -
On our list of coming applications is a means by which you can quickly and easily find specific photos and materials. It will be a simple interface - we don't want you to have to waste your valuable time struggling to find what you need.
Yet to do - sort the construction photos by fuse station, waterline and wing station as appropriate and provide a graphical map to get you in the ballpark. This will be a great tool for tech support. In many cases, all we will need to do is provide a vector to the appropriate photo.
Submitting Content -
The platform provides a rich set of tools to allow interactive submission of multimedia and eases the process of making it available to others. This will allow individual Project Galleries for our builders and Airplane Galleries for those who want to show and tell about their flying airplanes. This area is being refined - please feel free to send us photos and tell us about your airplane and we will make sure that it is included. We have also provided a helpful guide to taking good photos of your project so that it will really look great when we post it: Photo Guidelines
Aircraft and Construction FAQs
The facility is there, but the content is limited. We have a bunch of work to do here, filling in the many commonly-asked questions we hear. We are working on this as quickly as possible, and expect it to become a really good resource for everyone.
The good news... the subsystem is complete and ready for business including secure credit card ordering. The bad news... It's currently offline awaiting product content. Shortly after Oshkosh, we will populate the store with easy items like hats, shirts, mugs etc. It will take a while (and a bunch of photography) to get the majority of our parts and pieces online.
Technical Reference Area -
We have been collecting and gathering together reference data for some time to populate this area. Things like specs for AN hardware, 4130 tubing metrics and capacities, aeronautical design formulas and the like. It will take some time to scan, OCR and type these materials. It will be a nice, friendly resource.
Virtual Facility Tour -
This will be a lot of fun. A specialized image gallery, you'll be able to browse thru the existing shop (and the new one). Heaven forbid you would see the shop as it is this moment, getting ready for Oshkosh. Our usually neat, orderly shop is a casualty, we're afraid.
Automatic Notification -
If you like, you can do a simple registration (only your email address is required) to receive automatic email notices of significant website additions and product announcements. These will be limited in volume, and will only herald cardinal events and updates. Your address will never be shared with others, and it's easy to unsubscribe if you wish - Email List
Links Area -
Apologies in advance for all the friends and partners whose links are yet to be included here. Please email the Steen Webmaster to have a link to your site included - Links
Thanks for visiting Steen Aero Lab Online. From these modest website beginnings, you can expect great things from us.
Warm and gentle breezes to you,
The Steen Aero Team