Aeroplane Icons - your thoughts?

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5 years 11 months

Posts: 463

We've been developing the Aeroplane Icons series, and we've introduced new features and style… but there's more to do!

I wonder if any of you have any thoughts - good or bad - on the subjects, content, style, etc. It would be very helpful to get some feedback from readers so that we can do even more to cater for the interests of enthusiasts. As some forum users will already know, I'm a devoted aircraft enthusiast so I already have my own thoughts on what is worth reading, what is worth publishing, etc. But obviously my views aren't shared by everybody, so some feedback from others would be a great help. We're aiming to make the Icons series as interesting and useful as possible, but we can only do so much based on our own views. We need to know what everybody else thinks too!

If you've any opinion to express, then let us know! Good points, bad points, ideas for the future, whatever you like. Over to you! :)

www.aeroplaneicons.com

Original post

Member for

19 years 11 months

Posts: 3,208

Too many jets, same old subjects that have already been done over and over to death already and therefore offer nothing new. For that reason I've never bought one, so probably am not your target audience anyway!

Member for

19 years 11 months

Posts: 1,707

I'm afraid I agree with Mike J. These sort of specials have been done a hundred times before, just updated with better photos. Probably good for the pocket money crowd but too generalist for the specialist audience.

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5 years 4 months

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The only thing I could offer would be personal experiences of the types I used to service in the RAF.

Profile picture for user Canopener Al

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13 years 8 months

Posts: 269

Concur with everyone else.. Proof reading is rubbish as well, but I have already said that in other places..

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5 years 11 months

Posts: 463

Well I would offer the usual reasons why the more obvious subjects are chosen - availability of material, commercial interest, etc., although we will strive to tackle less-obvious subjects too. But if the subjects don't grab your attention, what subjects would? Do tell! And what about the actual contact - more text, more photos, more colour schemes, more drawings? What looks like a "perfect content" look like for you?

Profile picture for user charliehunt

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7 years 2 months

Posts: 11,141

Looks like you have opened a rather out of date can of worms with this thread, WH!! The definition of an icon is always subjective so one's list is bound to be personal. My icons are really those which I grew up with and for whatever reason, resonated with me at the time and have left a lingering "buzz", some were successes, others failures. In no particular order or category I would number these at the top of my list, but there are more.....

Auster
Meteor
Provost
Dakota
Valiant
Brabazon
B 29 and 50
B 36
B 47
B 52
DH Comet (jet)
Constellation
Dragon Rapide
DC 4
Mosquito
Fairey FD2
Swift
Hunter
Shackleton
Lightning
Canberra

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5 years 11 months

Posts: 463

It is indeed a can of worms but I think it's worth opening! I'm an enthusiast first and foremost and I don't want to forge ahead in splendid isolation without hearing the thoughts of my fellow enthusiasts. Like everyone, I have my own interests so it's valuable to hear what everyone else thinks whenever possible. Same applies to the content/style as much as the subjects.

I take your point on the"Icons" term. Obviously it's used in a very loose sense as a title. Your idea of an Icon is probably different to mine (and different to everyone else's) - it's very subjective, so the best one can do is to try and get a broader feel for people's tastes.

You mention some interesting subjects there, and I will certainly take note. You'll be pleased to know that some are already identified as possible future editions, while others (Mosquito, Meteor, Lightning, Canberra) have already been done. One subject that you mention is encouraging - it happens to be the next edition I'm working on! :)

Profile picture for user charliehunt

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7 years 2 months

Posts: 11,141

I like the sound of that last sentence!!;) And so it's bound to be a welcome surprise. And I realised some of my choices had already been done. And there is of course another list which covers those aircraft perceived as iconic by a majority of both enthusiasts and aviation lovers. Some of those will be at Duxford next month and I can't wait for the annual fix. But I did not grow up with most of them, or at least only through the eyes and ears of a toddler during a war, so they are not personally iconic.

Member for

19 years 11 months

Posts: 3,208

Charlie's list is the main reason why I don't buy these things, the view that aviation history suddenly began in 1945 (or even 1939!)

Profile picture for user charliehunt

Member for

7 years 2 months

Posts: 11,141

Whoever said it did begin then??:confused: I expressed my opinion as to my interpretation of the term "icon". That is entirely different from an aviation enthusiast's view of the term which would of course encompass aircraft from the Wright Brothers onwards, as I implied. Iconic status, for me, is born out of personal experience and mine only goes back 70 odd years!!

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14 years 8 months

Posts: 2,895

I can only suggest additional types as I haven't read any of the (so far) published titles. Will gladly express views if there are any free samples going :highly_amused:

Like pop groups or Hollywood stars any list of icons is affected by it's date of creation. So, as the likes of the Lancaster, P-51, Spitfire, me.262, Hunter, etc. have already been covered so many times, I would go further back. What were the iconic aircraft in the 30 years before WW2?

Vickers Vimy - due to it's pioneering flights but also covering it's operational career in the RAF and it's various derivatives.
DH.60 Moth - again many pioneering flights but also role as a sporting light aeroplane.
Bleriot XI - it did a lot more than being the first aircraft to fly the English Channel.
Boeing 247
Avro 504 - operational career and it's importance in helping make the UK population 'air-minded'
DH.88 Comet
Hawker Hart and derivatives
Gloster Gladiator
Supermarine S.6b - perhaps also covering the other famous (iconic in their time) Schneider racers ie Macchi, Curtiss.
Fokker Eindekker
Boeing 707
Zeppelin (do airships count?)

I could go on...... (and on...)

Roger Smith.

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14 years 1 month

Posts: 2,810

The DH Dragon Rapide is appealing however I would extend the coverage to include the Dragon and Dragonfly. Lots of interesting stories around these types,my particular interests are Blackpool joyriders and Scottish pioneer air services.

Another type mentioned is the Auster family which seems overshadowed by the influx of American light aircraft,the last article I have is a 2 part history in Aviation News.

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5 years 11 months

Posts: 463

MikeJ and RPSmith I think you will know why there's never much material on aircraft from that era! I seriously doubt if we'd ever find enough decent material to produce an "Icons" on some of the types mentioned. Begs the question though, would it be worth covering more than one subject if there wasn't enough good material to produce a complete issue on just one subject? Obviously that would enable us to look at less-common topics but then you'd no longer have the same 20k of text (so it would be an even shorter potted history) and not as many photos. Is it better to cover the more obscure stuff to the best of our ability, or better to concentrate on the subjects we can make a full issue with?

Profile picture for user charliehunt

Member for

7 years 2 months

Posts: 11,141

Scotavia - totally agree. My single entry suggestion was not meant to be restrictive - in fact those which comprise a family of types can be extremely interesting. I share a similar specific interest in the Rapide as it was the first aircraft I flew in - joyriding from London Airport as was in 1947/8.

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10 years 9 months

Posts: 1,521

Fairly fox, and other Fairey biplanes, particularly the Phantome, but I like Rpsmith's list as well.

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7 years 7 months

Posts: 641

Here's my list.

Piper Pawnee
Zlins 126 to 526
Cessna 150
Bucker Jungmann & Jungmeister
Pilatus P2
Yak II
Tipsy types. Trainer, Belfair and Nipper
Beagle Pup & SA Bulldog
BN Islander & Trislander
Percival Mew Gull
Stampe SV4
Pitts Specials
DH Heron

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14 years 11 months

Posts: 597

Of course there was once a superb reference and picture archive located in West London, which comprised the ex JWR Taylor and Pilot Press collection. Which was combined with a rather stunning collection of airbrushed artworks....

Tim S

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13 years 2 months

Posts: 8,840

Cessna 150

And the 152

Totally agree, it brought flying to the masses and will never be seen again, Cessna looked at re-opening production, but sadly production costs would have priced it at the same as the 172 / 182 family, hence they were resurrected as opposed to the 152.... There is simply nothing to replace it.

..

Profile picture for user J Boyle

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15 years 1 month

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I'm a huge fan of general aviation types. There has been several good books, but more are always welcome.
Back in the 80s, Edward H. Phillips wrote nice type histories of Cessna, Beech and Piper. It had each models with the yearly improvements. Very good reference books if you're at all interested in GA types.

I also agree with the need for information on pre-war types.
Personally, I'd like to see a book on the single engine airliners that (briefly) were popular.

Also, please don't forget helicopters.
If the individual types aren't enough to support a book, how about families?

Sikorsky (and Westland) a family of winners with the S-51...the world's second commercial helicopter (Dragonfly), 55 (Whirwind), 56, 58 (Wessex), 61 (Sea King), 64 (Sky Crane), 65 (H-53), and 70 (Black Hawk) and their military offshoots.
and the Bell types...the 47, UH-1 and 206 JetRanger family...all were hugely important.

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11 years 4 months

Posts: 674

Surely where not enough material is available for an "Icon" bookzine then the place to publish is the Database section of Aeroplane. If you feel there is too much information to fit the monthly page limit then spread over two issues. If you (publishers) keep pushing the single type mag then there will be no material left for the Monthlies.