Flying Models

Flying Models was a monthly magazine dedicated to model aviation published by Carstens Publications. It was the oldest continuously published magazine dedicated to model airplanes, having started as Flying Aces in October 1928. Flying Models was acquired by Carstens Publications in 1969, and ceased publication in 2014. The headquarters of the magazine was in Newton, New Jersey.[1]

Flying Models
Flying Models Magazine Cover April 2012
EditorThayer Syme
Categoriesmodel aircraft
PublisherCarstens Publications
Year founded1928
Final issue2014
Based inNewton, New Jersey

The Flying Aces Era

The magazine was launched as Flying Aces in October 1928[2] by Periodical House, Inc.[3] It was originally printed on coarse, pulpy, 7x10" paper, with more than 100 pages per issue, and sold for 15 cents per copy.[4] In November 1933, the magazine moved to a slick format, printed on 8½x10" glossy paper,[5] and began featuring full-sized plans for model airplanes in every issue; issue size was reduced to 74 pages.[2] In addition to adventure stories, non-fiction aviation articles and aviation news were added, as were articles related to model airplanes. The magazine’s tagline became "Fiction, Model Building, Fact — Three Aviation Magazines in One."[6]

The Flying Models Era

During World War II, the magazine had been subtitled "Magazine of the Flying Age". The content focused on the war effort, with little advertising, and late in the war the name changed briefly to Flying Age. In later years, model airplane construction features started appearing more regularly and became more and more dominant, until finally in 1947, the magazine was renamed Flying Models. It was sold to Carstens Publications in 1969 which began to publish the title without the fiction content.[7]

Flying Models was set apart from its competition as it featured in-depth model construction features and new product reviews, and catered to specific interests within the model airplane construction hobby, such as soaring, control line, and stunt flying. The magazine also reported on the latest technology related to radio control, ducted fan, and electric flight. Editors Fanelli and Wiggin were both active hobbyists themselves, having built and flown many models of their own over the years. In December 2011, Flying Models expanded its reach with the debut of digital editions for home computers, laptops, and select mobile digital devices.[8]

Closure of Carstens Publications

Editor Frank Fanelli retired in 2014, and Thayer Syme took his place. Associate editor Jim Wiggin and production editor Maureen Frazer tried to carry on with the publication.[9] After years of financial struggle, Carstens Publications president Henry Carstens announced the company's permanent closure on August 22, 2014. No announcement was made about the future of Flying Models magazine.

Magazine monthly columns

Because there are many aspects to the model airplane hobby, Flying Models carried a number of specialty columns each month.

F/F Sport - This column was authored by Larry Kruse, and pertains to free-flight sport flying.

Electric Flight - Don Belfort reported on the latest in electric flight.

Vintage Views - This was a look back at the history of the hobby with Bob Noll.

R/C Acrobatics - In this column, Dave Lockhart explored the world of radio controlled acrobatic flight.

Fan Facts - Greg Moore reported on the emerging world of ducted-fan model airplanes.

C/L Combat - This was geared towards those interested in combat flight using control line models, by Phil Cartier.

C/L Stunt - Allen Brickhaus and Dennis Adamisin authored this column for those interested in stunt flight using control line models towards the end of the magazine's tenure. Previous columnists for this section of the magazine included Bill Simons, Windy Urtnowski, and Bob Hunt.

Small Talk - This column was authored by Pat Tritle.


  1. ^ David J. Maloney, Jr. (January 2003). Maloney's Antiques and Collectibles Resource Directory. Krause Publications. p. 520. ISBN 0-87349-732-5. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b Aircraft Magazines Guide
  3. ^ Dinan, p.85
  4. ^ Carr, p.168
  5. ^ Schreiner, p. 130
  6. ^ cover of the January 1937 issue of FLYING ACES magazine.
  7. ^ Marshall, p. 147
  8. ^
  9. ^

External links

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Carstens Publications

Carstens Publications, Inc. was a publisher of books and magazines related to the railroad and airplane hobby fields until its permanent closure on August 22, 2014. Many of the titles published by Carstens were older than the company, and have long established histories in their respective markets. Carstens was the chief competitor to Kalmbach Publishing in the scale model hobby and enthusiast field. What made Carstens stand out from the competition was the in-depth detail and active voice of the books and magazines. The company's list of monthly magazine titles included:

Railroad Model Craftsman

Railfan & Railroad

Flying ModelsThe company also published a line of annuals dedicated to modeling narrow gauge railways and railroad photography, which included:

The On30 Annual

The HOn3 Annual

Great Railroad PhotographyCarstens also published a number of books on the subject of railroad history and scale model railroading, as well as a few select titles related to the world of aviation and model airplanes.

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Harold Becker and David Lean were originally to direct before Spielberg came on board, initially as a producer for Lean. Spielberg was attracted to directing the film because of a personal connection to Lean's films and World War II topics. He considers it to be his most profound work on "the loss of innocence". The film received positive reviews but was not initially a box office success, earning only $22,238,696 at the US box office, but it eventually more than recouped its budget through revenues in other markets.

Flying Aces (magazine)

Flying Aces was a monthly American periodical of short stories about aviation, one of a number of so-called "flying pulp" magazines popular during the 1920s and 1930s. Like other pulp magazines, it was a collection of adventure stories, originally printed on coarse, pulpy paper but later moved to a slick format. The magazine was launched in October 1928 by Periodical House, Inc. It featured stories written and illustrated by known authors of the day, often set against the background of World War I. Later issues added non-fiction aviation articles, as well as articles and plans for model airplanes. The latter became more prominent, and eventually the magazine was renamed Flying Models, and catered exclusively to aeromodeling hobbyists.

Frog (models)

Frog was a well-known British brand of flying model aircraft and scale model construction kits from the 1930s to the 1970s. The company's first model, an Interceptor Mk. 4, was launched in 1932, followed in 1936 by a range of 1:72 scale model aircraft kits made from cellulose acetate, which were the world's first.

Polystyrene models were introduced in 1955, which offered kits of aircraft, ships and cars in various scales. By the 1970s, Frog's catalogue included a large number of lesser-known aircraft types, manufactured only by the company, as well as a number of ship kits.

The last Frog-branded kits were produced in 1976, whereupon many of the Frog moulds were sold to the Soviet Union and marketed under the Novo name.

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Jetex motors are powered by a solid pellet of guanidine nitrate, which burns to release a variety of gases in copious volume, leaving no solid residue or ash. Thrust developed is fairly modest, suitable for horizontally launched flying models rather than vertically launched rockets. The exhaust gas is not excessively hot, which confers a safety advantage. Fuel and wick to ignite the pellets was manufactured by Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). The engine casing was made of an aluminium alloy and was reusable, new fuel pellets and ignition wick being a consumable that could be bought and used in the engine.

Jetex power made a big impact in the late forties and early fifties, allowing new sorts of models, scale and duration, to be designed. Its popularity waned after the mid-fifties, although the motors were used quite extensively by AP Films/Century 21, during the 1960s for producing model vehicle exhaust effects for the 'Supermarionation' TV series.

By the late 1970s Jetex power had been largely forgotten.

Recently, there has been a reawakening of interest in Jetex; in the mid-1990s, a similar device called the Rapier was launched, and many old plans for Jetex powered models were dusted off and built with the new motors.

Compared with modern Estes-type rockets, the Jetex is quite different. It has a much gentler, cooler exhaust, so flight characteristics tend to feature gradual acceleration rather than firework-like performance. The cooler exhaust is easier to handle and does not require extensive flameproofing of the airframe. However, the fuel is more toxic and requires special handling to keep it dry and in working condition (the fuel is slightly deliquescent and will gradually absorb moisture from the atmosphere which quickly renders it inactive). As a result, Jetex were quite unreliable, often failing to ignite.

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Model aircraft

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Static models range from mass-produced toys in white metal or plastic to highly accurate and detailed models produced for museum display and requiring thousands of hours of work. Many models are available in kit form, typically made of injection-moulded polystyrene.

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Powered aircraft

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Roller coaster

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Scale model

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Wilhelm Kress

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