The Livesay Files

A lot of people in the free flight community miss Dave Livesay's Briefcase, a huge online collection of free plans that disappeared in October 2009 when Yahoo pulled the plug on GeoCities. For the past month, there's been a lively discussion in the Small Flying Arts forum about making the files accessible again. The question is how to do it.

A group of SFA members is working on a project to distribute the files on CD in the same manner as a chain letter. That will get the collection (over 1200 files) into more people's hands, but it doesn't address the problem of making the plans permanently and readily accessible to anyone who wants them.

The Internet is obviously better than CDs for distributing digital media. So why doesn't someone create a new website for storing the Livesay files? That's what Chris Boehm decided to do. He just started the merlin236 Yahoo Group (Merlin's Free Flight Group) and has already uploaded hundreds of peanut plans. In so doing, he's used 78% of the group's storage space, meaning an upgrade will be needed to accommodate all of Livesay's Briefcase.

Incidentally, it is possible to view some defunct websites (or parts of them) using the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. For example, here's a snapshot of Livesay's Briefcase back in 2002. And here's a look back at another site we miss, Deathtrap Squadron Plans.