View Full Version : Best vintage/veteran/warbird magazine.....

Mr Proachpoint
4th Nov 2003, 18:21
I'm curious. What are our individual favourites and why?


4th Nov 2003, 19:07
Used to be FlyPast but Aeroplane now I think - the Database features are absolutely superb and generally worth the cover price alone plus they seem to be doing a bit better on keeping up with news, which used to be their weak point.

4th Nov 2003, 19:09

I note that you are relatively new to PPRuNe so I thought I had better mention that your post will invoke a modicum of advertising which is not allowed on PPRuNe, except to those who pay for it. FLYER magazine is one and we have to protect them, and others from mags getting free space. I am sure you now see the point.

The occasional mention is OK but links to a magazine is a big no-no.

So there ya go. Sorry, but PPRuNe is vastly expensive to run these days and if we give advertising space away then PPRuNe would suffer. Not, therefore, an option.


Philip Whiteman
5th Nov 2003, 01:05
Well, CamelPilot, I won't mention my current magazine, nor the one I used to edit...

Having read it, off and on, since the first issue, I would certainly recommend Aeroplane (they've dropped the 'Monthly' bit from the title) because it is accurate almost to the point of being definitive, has a high standard of English and is very well designed.

Worth reading - although infamous for its poor repro and quirky layout - is that wonderful U.S. publication (pretty much an institution) WWI Aero. If early and pioneering aircraft are your bag, this is one you cannot miss. Subscribe now, and help keep dear old Leo Opdyke afloat!

Of course, there are many others out there that deserve praise: thankfully even the wobbliest issues of the most indifferent flying publications never sink to anything near the standard of the average C5 TV documentary!

5th Nov 2003, 02:51
Hi Philip.

Just the sort of post I would have expected from you. Thanks very much. Can't complain about your approach to it but I do know the mags to which you refer.

A clue. I wrote an article in Aeroplane a while back. Leisure Sport should tap a nerve.


5th Nov 2003, 03:05
'The Aeroplane', every time. As Phillip quite rightly says, definitive, correct, factually accurate, and a good standard of 'English (UK)', as Microsoft quite delicately doesn't put it!

Flypast is OK-ish, but does have its 'nothing happens in the world apart from the USA, moments' But at least the editor knows what he's talking about, unlike Pilot..which was good once, but then a huge multi-title conglomerate company bought it and it went rapidly down the pan..

The rest? Waste of space & money IMHO

5th Nov 2003, 03:56
Aeroplane, no doubt, just getting better and better. The Database section is very strong ,best, perhaps when featuring less well known types (eg Ambassador, Gannet in recent issues). I tend to think that the quality of Aeroplane is like having a Putnams book in minature every month.

5th Nov 2003, 14:56
Absolutely agree with all said above, shifted to Aeroplane several years back - apart from anything else, I find it clearer to read - Flypast's typeface became too small for "comfortable" reading!

5th Nov 2003, 15:14
The best-known monthlies — you know who they are! — are both excellent in their diverse ways. But what is lacking (and apologies to those who know me and have heard me banging on about this for years) is an aviation equivalent of ‘Classic and Sportscar’ or ‘Classic Cars’. That is, a title that would provide total coverage of the vintage/classic/neo-classic/warbird/preservation/museum/aviation history scene with news, gossip, event reports, product news, ask-the-man-who-owns-one marque analyses, informed flight tests, technical tips, personality profiles, history, nostalgia and information of interest to owners/would-be owners, enthusiasts and ‘anoraks’ alike, all presented in quality writing and photography. Alas, a mere glance at either of those motoring titles will tell you why it can never happen: they have huge revenue-generating advertising bases that aviation simply could not duplicate. And of course there are many, many more classic car owners/would-be owners/enthusiasts/dreamers out there than there are aviation equivalents. Until a benevolent publisher comes along who is willing to absorb the losses such a title would undoubtedly suffer, it will remain forever a pipe dream. (And if you think such a person exists, you must be smoking some very funny stuff in your pipe.)

Philip Whiteman
5th Nov 2003, 17:36
Spot-on, Aerohack - but then you'd not expect me to disagree, would you?

CamelPilot: having long been fascinated by the Leisure Sport replicas - and knowing L S pilots Brian Lecomber and the late Tony Harold (still greatly missed) - I remember that piece very well.

I should add that, as well as that magnificent and informative section on the Wright brothers' aeroplanes, Aeroplane does us all proud in covering civil machinery so well: we all get tired of wall-to-wall warbirds in the end...

Mr Proachpoint
5th Nov 2003, 17:52
Camel Pilot - I'm hearin' ya, although I wonder if individual opinions can be seen as advertising?

5th Nov 2003, 20:15
Aerohack, you produce it. I'll buy it... I''ll even hep you produce it. I know what you mean...

CamelPilot, you mentioned that piece you wrote for Aeroplane to me before - I can't find it in any of my copies so assume it predated me buying it regularly. Any clues as to which issue? And time we had another drink... :ok:


5th Nov 2003, 20:36
Warbirds Worldwide, IMHO, gave the best warbird specific in-depth coverage of any magazine/periodical during it's time. I had always wondered how 'they' built / re-built such machines, and WW offered a wonderful insight into the 'nuts and bolts' of it, together with some top-notch photography, reproduced on quality glossy paper.

My copies, purchased before it's unfortunate demise, will give me pleasure for many years to come.

5th Nov 2003, 21:10
Treadders: Find me that benevolent vintage aircraft fan with a large fortune that he'd like to turn into a much smaller one and we'll do it.

5th Nov 2003, 21:47
Hairyplane, it would appear your presence is requested! :E

5th Nov 2003, 21:54
Hairyplane and I exchanged views on this a while back.

5th Nov 2003, 23:02
I'm just nipping out to buy a lottery ticket...

6th Nov 2003, 02:08

It was the October 2001 issue. Spooky was on the front cover.

Time we met for our glass of lemonade. Well, yours is, I colour mine with tea! :yuk:

Mr P.

I did say that individual opinions are OK. What is NOT acceptable are links to the mags. People are well able to do that for themselves.

Hope that clarifies it for you.


6th Nov 2003, 04:02
Wings Down Under is always a useful read, if only to give an alternative point of view.

For some interesting little Gems I find The Fighter Collections quartely magazine "Fighter Log"

a) stunning quality for a volountary production
b) always comes up with something different.

Dunno who puts it together for TFC though?


6th Nov 2003, 15:40
and c) is inevitably late!

You after a share of my Lottery winnings? I forgot to go...

CamelPilot, Thanks for that, I must have it somewhere... Lemonade it is, week beginning 17th suit?


7th Nov 2003, 07:00
Don't hold you breath, CP. If Treadders get lucky and bankrolls The Mother of All Vintage Aviation Magazines, there'll be nothing left for sharing. Take a tea-flavoured lemonade off him while you can... I'll take one too, Treadders. :ok:

I have control
7th Nov 2003, 12:01
I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the Smithsonian's "Air & Space" magazine, because it wins by a country mile IMHO.

7th Nov 2003, 15:33
Anytime, Aerohack... be a pleasure to meet you.

Better get on with making my effort less late, or rather not any later... and before my employers demand their pound of flesh for the day... wonder if they'd sponsor a Mother of All Vintage Aircraft Magazine...

7th Nov 2003, 16:09

Head down for the last couple of weeks - our annual trade show. Surrounded by lots of semi-naked lovelies for 3 days.

Somebody has to do it.........

I'm a FlyPast fan and buy it regularly from the Shuttleworth shop. A great read.

I've chatted to Ken Ellis (diamond geezer) at length on this subject too.

I understand that the overall readership of this type of magazine is shrinking year on year.

How many youngsters read them? Play Station rules. They would rather fly their (incredibly good and getting even better)simulators than read 2D material.

Like any business, a magazine has to make a profit. It doesn't need to make a profit straight away. My business took 5 years of sleepless nights. The banks weren't interested.

A backer will of course understand that there will be losses for, say, 3 years but there needs to be a huge carrot dangling there in year 4.

My guess is that the basic ingredients for success aren't there. The costs would be huge.

I think we should be grateful for the efforts of those who produce such excellent magazines for us.

My other favourite title? Classic Wings Down Under. Available only via direct subscription. Check out the website and subscribe.

Back to the lovelies - I also employ a load of them!

For the curious. ....What do I do? Check out -



8th Nov 2003, 18:15
Flypast always trumpets the fact that it is "Britain's top selling aviation monthly". Any idea if this is true............what are the circulation figures of Flypast versus Aeroplane?

8th Nov 2003, 18:37
Blimey HP,

I never realised there was so much interest in hair extensions!!!


arthur harbrow
9th Nov 2003, 02:58
Moondance, a few years back i think it was roughly 50000 to 35000 in favour of Flypast, but i think Flypasts circulation has dropped a few thousand.
I no longer take Flypast but Aeroplane Monthly for me just gets better.

9th Nov 2003, 04:35
I'm surprised to find so many in agreement with my favourite which is of course Aeroplane. My rule of thumb with magazines is that if I fail to read them from cover to cover every month, then I stop buying it. Flypast failed that test many years ago although I cannot quite put my finger on why, but I'm obviously not alone. Not only do I read Aeroplane from cover to cover I often pick out a back number at random to read again. Next favourite is Flight Journal, the American magazine which I believe is comparable to Aeroplane in many ways with a similar mix of articles with an American slant.

9th Nov 2003, 06:29
I tend to buy both FlyPast and Aeroplane each month, but my personal view is that Aeroplane has become the more innovative of the two over the last three years. The Database section is very impressive, and there's also more depth and substance to their news items. They also seem to realise that Mustangs and Spitfires aren't the be all and end all.... ;)

9th Nov 2003, 16:55
I've always preferred Aeroplane to Flypast. Not that the latter isn't very good; but if I'm strapped for cash and can only buy one then it has to be the former. Aeroplane has always been rock solid, has a great mix of civil and military and very interesting reading. Flypast hasn't been quite so consistant in character over the years, tends to be slighly more glossy, and is just a bit too warbird reliant.

I tend to buy them both whenever I can though, so I guess that must endorse their product!