Back in the 1980s, ABC produced a show on VHS tape called ABC’s Wide World of Flying. Aviation enthusiasts could subscribe to the series, and receive a new episode in the mail on a regular basis. Then future AOPA president Phil Boyer was one of the producers and regular hosts.
Other segment hosts included aviation luminaries like Barry Schiff, Bill Cox, Rod Machado, Jeff Ethell, and many others.
At some point along the way, the series’ name was changed to ABC’s Wonderful World of Flying, and it was apparently cancelled sometime in the early 1990s. Obviously, this isn’t HD video, but it’s still awesome content. And someone took the time to digitize the entire series and post it on YouTube. If you haven’t watched it yet, I definitely recommend going through a few episodes (or, if you’re like me, all of them).
Avionics have certainly progressed quite a bit since those days — the reviews of groundbreaking LORAN units aren’t that relevant anymore — but the physics of flying haven’t, and there are plenty of lessons to be learned from the series.
The closest thing we have to WWoF today would have to be the growing community of aviation YouTube channels that have been sprouting up in recent years. Hopefully those guys continue to attract viewers and sponsorship dollars so that they can keep creating fantastic flying video content.
The next time you’re stuck on the ground and you’ve already watched the latest FlightChops video, fire up this classic flying program. Just make sure you have some free time. Chances are you won’t be able to stop at one episode.