Aviation enthusiasts and professionals, as well as the general public, came together at the Airliners International 2023 convention held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas on June 22-24, 2023.
Besides being a great place to find historic aviation material and collectibles, the convention also offered the opportunity to put faces to names (or user names), meet new people, and catch up with old friends and acquaintances. In the era of social media, I find that the opportunity to interact face-to-face is one of the most important aspects of the convention.
Airliners International 2023 was particularly special in that it allowed the younger generation of aviation enthusiasts to connect with the old guard, which is essential in order to keep the passion for the aviation industry alive and carry it into future generations.
Between walking around the tables looking for hidden gems and talking to people, I did not take as many photos as I would have liked to, but I still managed to get a fair amount of material to capture the essence of the show. Enjoy:
Below you can get an idea of the crowd shortly after the doors openned at noon on Thursday. In the foreground, you can see the table of the Airplane Shop, which had some decent discounts going. Next to them was one of the editors of Airways Magazine with a huge collection of long-sold-out GeminiJets, which unfortunately was not priced to sell briskly. And behind them, the GeminiJets table being manned by Todd from @toddmodels
A very large cutaway replica of DC-8-51 N8008D (demonstrator) was located on one of the corners of the main hall. There was an additional smaller exhibition hall behind it.
NG Models samples:
Mr. Russell, one of the oldest members of the Diecast Aircraft Forum, and "member of the board" at GeminiJets:
The Aeroclassics table. The 1:200 Viasa DC-8 next to the American 720 would be mine shortly after this picture was taken:
A larger crowd on Friday morning. Some extra tables were set up also. You can see YouTuber Noel Philips on the left edge of the frame. He did a seminar later in the day.
These airplane tails seem to always be present at these shows. "Mr. Inflatable Southwest 737 hat" in the background.
Ms. Aimée Bratt. Retired Pan Am Flight Attendant and author. Also a familiar face in the airline-collectible show circuit:
There were plenty of aviation slide films:
These KLM houses are also always present:
West Coast Die-cast table:
The Grayland Station table had some nice 747 posters for sale:
Mr. Scott from Suqatchy's Die-cast Hangar talking with Todd from GeminiJets:
Squatchy's had the best 1:400 collection sale in terms of variety and prices. Unfortunately, they arrived a day late due to a flight cancelation.
It is a bit sad to see Herpa Wings, once the most prominent brand of small-scale precision aircraft models, fade away from the mainstream.
Enhanced Aircraft Models specializes in enhancing stock die-cast aircraft with extra details such as lights and antennas. You can find their products on eBay.
The younger crowd scrutinizing NG sample molds late on day 2.
While some more people come to check out the NG samples, Paresh (400 Scale Hangar), and Connor (Model Airliner Forum/Redriver Aviation) sit with Dan (West Coast Die-cast), to let their legs rest after a lot of walking and standing.
And that was the last picture I took of the show floor on the second day before I grabbed that empty chair myself. Shortly afterward I helped Dan pack up for the night and everyone headed out to dinner in small groups. I stopped by for a bit during day three to say goodbye and pick up some last deals but did not take any photos.
As stated earlier, there was much more on the show floor than what I captured with my camera. Not to mention the seminars, tours, and dinner gatherings. All in all, it was a lot of fun and a nice break from the computer screen. If you have the opportunity to attend one of these conventions, don't let it pass!
Jorge A. Zajia