Modern British Aircraft (BFG-4)
1953 J. & J. Beaulah Ltd., 24 Airplane + 1 Ad cards, United Kingdom

Set Overview

Series Title: Modern British Aircraft
British Trade Index: BFG-4
Issued by: J. & J. Beaulah Ltd.
Issued with: Beaulah's Canned Fruits and Vegetables
Country: United Kingdom
Number of Cards: 24
Card Numbering: 1 to 24 on reverse
Type of Card: Food Issue
Card Dimensions: 68 × 37 mm
Circa: 1953
Checklist: Checklist

During 1953, J. & J. Beaulah Ltd., a canner of fruits and vegetables located in Boston • Lincs, Lincolnshire, England, issued a set of 24 airplane cards. The set was 25 cards since it contained an additional advertising card for Beaulah's Illustrated Cards. The set was titled “Modern British Aircraft” and was issued the British Trade Index designation of BFG-4. The dimensions of the cards are 68 × 37 mm. All 24 aircraft card fronts are in a “landscape” format with color images derived from photos. The images are boxed with a thin black frame and centered within a white margin surround. A truncated title of the aircraft is in the lower left-hand corner of the image area.

The 24 aircraft cards feature the latest “state-of-the-art” aircraft deployed by the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and British airlines. All 24 of the aircraft are of British Commonwealth design. Many of these aircraft were quite successful with additional “Marks” that were developed to meet specialized specifications. However, several of these aircraft never went beyond the prototype stage or were deadly catastrophes.

Card #1, the Bristol Barabazon Mk.1, one was a colossal flop with only one aircraft being built. This aircraft was a “design-by-committee” aircraft that was meant to provide transatlantic service. Unfortunately, it never lived up to expectations and was summarily canceled. Card #2, the de Havilland DH-106 Comet Mk.1 was the world's first jet airliner to enter service. However, it had a fatal design flaw. Within a year of entering service, three of these aircraft suffered catastrophic in-flight break-ups with the loss of all souls. The cause of the disasters was attributed to low cycle fatigue of the fuselage and the “square” window design which produced stress cracks at the corners of the windows. Therefore, all modern passenger aircraft now contain some form of rounded windows.,/p>

Obviously, de Havilland had to correct the problem and after various redesigns they came up with Mks.2, 3 and 4 Comets. Meanwhile, over in Seattle Washington, the Boeing Company was developing the Boeing 707 Airliner. The Boeing 707 instantly took over the jet airliner market, and the de Havilland DH-106 Comets never saw extensive service.,/p>

One problem with “airplane cards” is that the publishers of these cards never seem to give the full designation of the aircraft depicted on their cards. In many cases, the captions are incorrect. Therefore, for the checklist presented below, we have included the entire designation of each of the aircraft.,/p>

The card backs are presented in a “portrait” format with dark green toned text. The card contains the usual set titles and company advertisements on the tops and bottoms the cards. However, this set provides a well written description of each of the subject aircraft. All in all, the “Modern British Aircraft” set is very well presented and provides some nice “eye candy” for airplane buffs.

(BFG-4) Image-Guide

The following Image-Guide shows computer enhanced images of the fronts and backs of the 24 cards in the BFG-4 set. Behind each thumbnail image is a 900-dpi computer enhanced card image that you may access. In addition, directly beneath the (BFG-4) Image-Guide, in tabular form, are links to the original scans used for this article.

Ad Front
Ad Back

(BFG-4) Checklist

We have provided two versions of the checklist for this set: (1) An 8½ × 11 inch PDF version, and (2) the web version shown below. Click on the PDF graphic below to access on print-out the PDF checklist version.

1953 “Modern British Aircraft” (BFG-4)
J. & J. Beaulah Ltd., 24-Cards, United Kingdom
xCard Title
1Bristol Type 167 Brabazon Mk.1
2De Havilland DH-106 Comet Mk.1
3Gloster Meteor N.F.11
4De Havilland DH-104 Dove
5De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk
6Supermarine Type 541 Swift
7Fairey Gannet A.S.1
8Vickers Valiant B.1
9English Electric Canberra B.2
10Hawker Hunter F.1
11General Aircraft (Blackburn) GAL-60 Universal Freighter
12Vickers Varsity T.Mk.1
13Avro 698 Vulcan B.1
14Hawker Sea Hawk F1
15Vickers Supermarine Attacker F.1
16De Havilland DH-110 Sea Vixen FAW.1
17De Havilland DH-112 Venom N.F.2
18Boulton-Paul Balliol T.2
19Short SA.4 Sperrin
20Bristol Type 173
21Bristol Type 175 Britannia Series 100
22Vickers Viscount Type 701
23Airspeed AS.57 Ambassador 2
24Westland WS-51 Dragonfly
n/aJ. & J. Beaulah Advertising Card


John Shupek — John is retired Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineer that lives in Southern California. John's 36 year aerospace career/adventure started in the mid-1960s when he worked for Pratt & Whitney at their “FRDC” … Florida Research and Development Center, West Palm Beach, Florida. John was part of the P&W jet engine design team for the CIA/USAF's Lockheed A-12/SR-71A “Oxcart/Blackbird” engines (J58/JT11D-20). He also worked on the RL-10 rocket engine and the JTF-17A which was P&W's entry into the United States' SST competition between Boeing and Lockheed. Several years later, John moved back to California and worked at the AiResearch Mfg. Company at LAX and Torrance. He originally worked on the thermal design of the HRE (Hypersonic Ramjet Engine) which was a supersonic combustion Mach 7 ramjet engine that was to be tested on the North American X-15. John did about three more years of jet engine design work before he disappeared for 13 years into the classified DOE “GCEP” (Gas Centrifuge Enrichment Plant) Atomic Energy program for the enrichment of U235. After the GCEP program was canceled by the DOE in 1985, John was hired by Northrop Aircraft to do the thermal design for Northrop's entry into the ATF (Advanced Tactical Fighter) competition, the Northrop YF-23A “Black Widow II” stealth supercruise fighter. He also worked on the Northrop Grumman B-2A “Spirit” stealth bomber. After several years on a classified stealth missile program, John worked the remainder of his Aerospace career as one of Northrop Grumman's Program Directors on the United States Navy's F/A-18E/F “Super Hornet” jet fighter program.

During John's career at Northrop Grumman he served for five years as Northrop's “Vintage Aircraft Club” Commissioner and the Curator and Webmaster for the Western Museum of Flight in Hawthorne, California. Several years later, John was the volunteer webmaster (for about 3 years) for the Yanks Air Museum, Chino, California. He also served as President and webmaster for two different NPO's after his retirement. The Whittier Historical Society & Museum and Whittier Meals on Wheels.

John's love of aviation history and aviation photography lead to the establishment of this website in 1998. The site has continued to expand and will always grow and will never be completed. It's sort of analogous to a snowball rolling down a hill without any trees to stop it. In approximately 2002, John remembered that he had collected Topps “Wings” (ACC# R707-4) airplane trading cards while in High School. Somehow the cards had disappeared over the years. So at this point, he started to re-collect airplane trading cards via eBay and become an airplane card “Image Collector” rather than a “Card Collector” per se. After John scans an airplane card for the website, he has no further use for it and he puts it back into circulation via eBay. John's mission statement for the is basically to restore and preserve high-quality card images/artwork associated with the various airplane card sets from the early 1900s to the present. These cards are wonderful historical “snapshots” into aviation history showing which aviation events and aircraft were important at that point in time. For the website, basically if it is a trading card collection that features things that fly, but doesn't have feathers, it is eligible for consideration on the website. John always welcomes inputs and high resolution scans (600-dpi) that can be used on this website. John can be reached via the “Contact Us” navigation button on the left.


  1. Shupek, John A. “Modern British Aircraft (BFG-4) J. & J. Beaulah Ltd..” The Skytamer Archive (600-dpi Image Scans). Skytamer Images, Whittier, CA, 2017. Digital Image Database.

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