Interview: Pieter Johnson from Xtended

Xtended baner

Krzysztof Kuska: Could you tell us what is Xtended?

Pieter Johnson: Xtended is an Internet radio programme or more often called a podcast. There are many aspects to Xtended but we are best known for our monthly aerospace radio programme. It’s free to download and can be found either at our website or through places like iTunes.

Xtended focuses on the aerospace industry and we like to look at stories from a European viewpoint. Our mission is to help promote the industry through insightful and interesting content. We cover stories and features from general aviation, commercial aviation, the military and the space sector. Whilst we like to promote positive stories we do not shy away from challenging or contentious articles either.

Some of our best content has come from areas that would appear to be negatively viewed such as our acclaimed article with Earl Moorhouse who survived the very first Boeing 747 crash. Items such as our space focussed special episodes and those covering historical and Cold War aviation have been very popular. In some instances we have seen our tweets reach over 250,000 views even though we have just over 1,000 followers. This is due to our reach within the industry as our listeners and followers come from all areas of the industry from test pilots to enthusiasts, from engineers to astronauts.

When did you start producing the show and how did it happen?

We started producing the show in 2011 after I had been working with the great team at the Airplanegeeks podcast. I produced the European desk for this programme weekly for over 180 shows. In fact I interviewed the Editor of this website for a feature on the aviation sector in Poland.

I really enjoyed producing the European desk called Across The Pond, but I never had enough time to really get into too much detail with my guests and topics. As a result Xtended was created to allow us more time to focus on aerospace stories and features in more depth.

Could you tell us a few words about the team of Xtended?

We have three Presenters for the show, Gareth Stringer, Tim Robinson and myself.

Gareth is Executive Editor of Global Aviation Resource (www.globalaviationresource) an excellent photo driven website with features across the whole of the aviation sector. As I said I think the greatest thing about GAR is the quality of its visual and written coverage. They get great access to key individuals in the business and can therefore bring leading edge features to their followers. Gareth has worked in the sector and has a strong marketing and PR background, helping us to deliver quality presentation and penetrate key market articles. He also has a fantastic knowledge of military aviation and is a keen photographer and reader of aviation books.

Tim is Editor In Chief of Aerospace magazine, the flagship magazine of the Royal Aeronatutical Society (www.aerosociety.com). The RAeS is an amazing organisation that is based in London but spans the globe and its membership comes from both individuals within the aerospace industry but also the major suppliers and providers. Tim works predominantly in the Press arena and travels extensively to major aerospace suppliers, conferences and industry events all around the world. He is extremely knowledgeable and has a great recollection of aviation history, aircraft types and individuals. He is a keen flightsim pilot.

I present the show with Gareth and Tim but I also produce the programme. This involves the scheduling, planning and pre show preparation as well as the post show editing and production. Making the show fit together is my job, whilst Gareth and Tim really bring a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to our discussions.

I have a small covering brand XTPMedia which is the holding organisation for production and allows me to deliver other media productions.

What are the main areas of your interest while producing the show?

The main editions of our programme have several regular segments. We often start off looking at what’s caught our eye in the news during the previous month. It’s is not a Traditional news segment as our schedule of monthly shows often does not allow timely reporting.  We prefer to take stories not heavily covered elsewhere or, stories that we can discuss and debate.

The next part of the regular show is to feature a guest or series of guest interviews. Sometimes we do feature segments on topics rather than interviews. These prove hugely popular as our guests are often industry leaders in their fields.

Tim produces a Top 10 list for most shows called X10 our Top10. He chooses an aerospace topic and then gives his Top 10. For example a recent X10 was the Top 10 celebrity pilots or another was the Top 10 Carrier Aircraft. This segments gets a lot of listener engagement through twitter, Facebook and email and is proving very popular.

We round out most shows with Promoting Aerospace a feature that allows us to pick a good cause that we would like to promote in the industry. It could be an aviation focussed charity, an airshow, an event or, a blog. In fact anything that helps to promote something positive in the aerospace industry. This was a major a reason that we started the programme and is important to us.

One listener (Joseph Cheung http://www.josephcheung.co.uk/blog/2015/03/18/installing-aviation-xtended-aircraft-livery-boeing-737-800-winglets/) produced us a FSX logo for our own Airline Boeing 737-800.

We believe that we should do as much as possible to engage with our listeners so we try and get gifts and awards to give away when we can. However, we produce this programme entirely from our own resources and only have small sponsors although we are looking to change this and hopefully will be getting sponsors to support us. We are always looking for supporters so please contact us if you can help.

Podcasts aren’t that popular in Poland so could you tell us if it takes a lot of time „behind the scenes” to produce a show?

Podcasts can be very easy to produce and it depends on what you want to do and cover. Then there is all the equipment and the techniques to learn. It is not complicated but the more detailed and quality focussed you want to be then the harder the production becomes.

To produce each episode of Xtended takes anything from 10 to 40 hours. Some episodes require travel with long distances and this can be challenging if the interview only lasts 10 minutes. The only way to see if it is worth it, is by people listening and enjoying or learning from the programme. It’s a balance between delivering a good programme people want to listen to and just throwing something out recorded on a smartphone. We find that our listeners are very different and they listen in different ways. Some listen on the train, in the car, whilst working or doing things around the home. We have one listener who has a glass of wine and listens in the bath.

Xtended is produced by XTPMedia and we would be happy to look at how you could develop a production for your audience. Otherwise we would be happy to do a Polish feature episode with you sometime.

How our readers can reach your show?

The best place to start is our website www.aviation-Xtended.co.uk you can download or listen to each episode directly from the website or you can subscribe using iTunes or Stitcher.

We are on Twitter @AviationXtended and on Facebook as well at Facebook.com/AviationXtended

Much of our activity between episodes is delivered through Twitter and to a lesser extent through Facebook which we use for more visual material.

If you want to listen to a short 1 minutes promo for the programme you can hear these directly at SoundCloud.com
Here’s some links


Thank you for the interview!



Autor: dr Krzysztof Kuska

dr Krzysztof Kuska , analityk bezpieczeństwa, specjalista w dziedzinie lotnictwa wojskowego, historyk. Współpracował m.in. z magazynami: "Jane's Defence Weekly", "Defence and Security Alert", „Airforces Monthly”, „Combat Aircraft”, „Lotnictwo Aviation International” , „Lotnictwo", "Polska Zbrojna". Więcej na krzysztofkuska.com.