“Airplane Flash Cards” (F270-1) [1,2]
By: John Shupek and Pete D'Luhosch

  • Series Title: Airplane Flash Cards (Set #1)
  • American Card Catalog Reference Number: F270-1 (unofficial)
  • Issued by: Carnation Corn Flakes (Albers)
  • Published by: Frye & Smith, Ltd., San Diego, CA
  • Issued as: Over-the-Counter (OTC) or Point-of-Sale (POS) set of 42-card pack-box of airplane flash cards
  • Country: United States of America
  • Key Features
    1. Corners: Small rounded corners with a radius of 0.095 inch
    2. Branding: Single line of branding on reverse “CARNATION CORN FLAKES”
  • Number of Cards: 42
  • Card Numbering: unnumbered (cards listed alphabetically)
  • Type of Card: Over-the-Counter (OTC) or Point-of-Sale (POS) card set
  • Card Dimensions: 3.50 × 2.25 inches (88.90 × 57.15 mm)
  • Circa: 1952
  • Checklist: Download Checklist

Carnation Five Sets Overview

During the past several years, there has been controversy about the actual composition of the “Aircraft Recognition Cards” (F270-1) series by Carnation Corn Flakes (Albers). The interest in this set peaked several years ago, when veteran non-sports airplane card collector Albert Kramer discovered the rare “Douglas D558-2 Skyrocket (red)” card. At the time of its discovery, the “Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket (red)” card was thought to be a proof or test card that was never put into circulation.

However, research during the first five months of 2016 conducted by Pete D'Luhosch of PJD Enterprises, and John Shupek of Skytamer Images, has documented the existence of five distinct Carnation (F270-1) sets of “Airplane Flash Cards/Aircraft Recognition Cards” cards, with five distinct checklists and 211 individual cards, including the unique “Douglas D558-2 Skyrocket (red)” and the “North American T-28 Advanced Trainer (straight tail)” cards. Each of the five individual sets is easily distinguishable by the configuration of the card corners, the number of branding lines on the card's reverse, and the size of the 3-view image on the back side of the card. The key recognition points for each of the five sets is shown on the F270-1 Overview page.

Set #1 — “Airplane Flash Cards” (F270-1)

During 1952, Carnation Corn Flakes (Albers) issued a 42-card set of “Airplane Flash Cards” that were over-the-counter (OTC) or point-of-sale (POS) trading cards issued as a set of 42-cards in a pack-box. This “boxed” set of “Airplane Flash Cards” is considered to be the “Ground Zero” set for the five Carnation Corn Flakes F270-1 series of airplane cards. The box (shown above) is labeled “42 Airplane Flash Cards”, and was published by Frye & Smith, Ltd., San Diego, California, and was packaged in a typical PLC card pack-box. The notation “Natural Color Reproductions” also appears on the sides of the box. In reality, the Carnation Corn Flakes series of airplane cards should have been known as “Airplane Flash Cards” rather than “Aircraft Recognition Cards” as they are commonly known. The key features of this set are illustrated below.

  1. “Boxed” set of 42 unnumbered airplane cards.
  2. The cards are PLC type cards with small radius corners of 0.095 inch.
  3. One line of branding — “Carnation Corn Flakes” appears on the back of the cards.
  4. This set includes the RARE Douglas D-558-2 “Skyrocket (red)” (error) card. This is an ERROR card since the 3-view drawing on the back of the card is for the “raised” versus the “flush” canopy version of the Douglas D-558-2 “Skyrocket” configuration. This is the only set that includes the Douglas D558-2 “Skyrocket (red)” card.
  5. The Douglas D-588-2 “Skyrocket (white)” card is also an error card since it contains the 3-view drawing for the Douglas D-558 “Skystreak” card, rather than the 3-view drawing for the Douglas D-558-2 “Skyrocket” with the “raised” canopy, which is actually on the back of the “Skyrocket (red)” card.
  6. This set does not contain a separate Douglas D-558 “Skystreak” card.
  7. This set does not contain the Northrop F-89 “Scorpion” cards.

As noted above, both of the Douglas D-558-2 “Skyrocket” cards are “ERROR” cards! The origin of the errors is due to modifications of the Douglas D-558-II “Skyrocket” during the aircraft's flight test program. The Douglas D-558-II “Skyrocket” was originally configured with a flush cockpit canopy (Figure 1) [4], but visibility from the cockpit was poor, so he aircraft was re-configured with a raised cockpit with conventional angled windows (Figure 2) [4]. This resulted in a greater profile area at the front of the aircraft, which was balanced by an additional 14 inches (36 cm) of height added to the vertical stabilizer. Like its predecessor, the Douglas D-558-I “Skystreak” (Figure 3) [5], the Douglas D-558-II “Skyrocket” was designed so that the forward fuselage, including cockpit, could be separated from the rest of the aircraft in an emergency. Once the forward fuselage had decelerated sufficiently, the pilot would then be able to escape from the cockpit by parachute. Photos of the two Douglas D-558-II “Skyrocket” configurations are shown below in Figures 1 and 2, and the Douglas D-558-1 “Skystreak” is shown in Figure 3. As a side note, it should be noted that the Douglas D-558-1 “Skystreak” was flown in both red and white livery, which could easily have contributed to the errors. It should also be noted that the Douglas D-558-2 “Skyrocket” was never flown or painted red livery.

Now let's talk about the actual errors and typos in this set of 42 “Airplane Flash Cards”.

  • ERROR 1: The “red Skyrocket” card front should never have been used since this aircraft was never painted red. In addition, the back of the card shows the 3-view drawings for the Figure 2 aircraft configuration which had the raised cockpit and the heightened vertical stabilizer. Instead, the white Skyrocket card front should have been used in place of the red Skyrocket color drawing card front.
  • ERROR 2: The “white Skyrocket” card front should have been replaced by the Douglas D-558-I “Skystreak” card front that was used in the subsequent series. The back of the card shows the proper information and 3-view drawings for the Douglas D-558-I “Skystreak”. See Figure 3 for the actual Douglas D-558-1 “Skystreak”.
  • TYPO 1: The Republic F-84F “Thunderjet” (REAR VIEW) card is actually the Republic F-84F “Thunderstreak” (REAR VIEW) card
  • TYPO 2: The Republic F-84F “Thunderjet” (SIDE VIEW) card is actually the Republic F-84F “Thunderstreak” (SIDE VIEW) card
  • TYPO 3: Typo: Bell 47-D is the Bell 47D
  • TYPO 4: Typo: F7 U-1 is F7U-1
  • TYPO 5: Typo: F94-A is F-94A
  • Note: Typos 1 through 5 are systemic throughout all five of the Carnation sets.

The fronts of the 42 unnumbered “Airplane Flash Cards” (F270-1) all feature American-built aircraft. Forty one of the 42 cards are presented in a landscape (horizontal) format and show the aircraft in flight. One of the cards, the Convair XF-92 Delta Wing is presented in a portrait (vertical) format and shows the aircraft on the ground. The RARE Douglas D-558-2 (red) “Skyrocket” shows a drawing of the original configuration of the Douglas D-558-2 “Skyrocket” climbing off of the desert lake bed with a RATO (Rocket Assisted Take Off) boost (Note. Both of the “Skyrocket” cards are error cards).

The backs of the cards are presented in a portrait format and feature (starting at the top): (1) the card title; (2) a brief description of the aircraft; (3) a 3-view OML (outer mold line) drawing of the aircraft; and (4) the single branding line of “CARNATION CORN FLAKES” at the bottom of the card. As noted above, the cards have small radius corners, and a single line of branding. The overall dimensions of the cards are 3.50 × 2.25 inches (88.90 × 57.15 mm), and are assigned the unofficial American Cards Catalog reference number F270-1. The fronts and backs of a typical card, in this case the RARE red Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket, are shown at the top of the page. Click on these images to expand them to a full 600-dpi computer enhanced image.

Image-Guide [1,2]

The following 1952 “Airplane Flash Cards” (F270-1) 42-card set by Carnation Corn Flakes (Albers), Image-Guide shows computer enhanced images of the fronts and backs of the 42 cards in the F270-1 set. Behind each thumbnail image is a 600-dpi computer enhanced card image that you may access. In addition, directly beneath the Image Guide, in tabular form, are links to the original scans used for this series.

1952 “Airplane Flash Cards” (F270-1)
Carnation Corn Flakes

Checklist [1,2]

We have provided two versions of the 1952 “Airplane Flash Cards” (F270-1) 42-card set issued by Carnation Corn Flakes (Albers), United States of America. An 8½ × 11 inch PDF version, and the web version shown below. Click on the PDF graphic below to access the PDF version.

1952 “Airplane Flash Cards” (F270-1)
Carnation Corn Flakes (Albers), 42-Cards, United States of America
Unnd.xCard Title
(1)Bell 47-D Helicopter
(2)Bell X-1
(3)Boeing B-29 Superfortress
(4)Boeing B-47
(5)Boeing B-50 Superfortress
(6)Boeing C-97A Stratofreighter
(7)Boeing Stratocruiser
(8)Chance Vought F7U-1 Cutlass
(9)Convair - Liner
(10)Convair B-36 Bomber
(11)Convair Turboliner
(12)Convair XB-46 Bomber
(13)Convair XF-81 Escort Fighter
(14)Convair XF-92 Delta Wing
(15)Douglas AD Skyraider
(16)Douglas C-124 — Globemaster
(17)Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket (Red - RARE)
(18)Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket (White - ERROR card with D-558 Skystreak back)
(19)Douglas DC-6A Liftmaster
(20)Douglas Super DC-3
(21)Grumman Albatross
(22)Grumman F9F-2 Panther
(23)Lockheed Constellation
(24)Lockheed Constitution
(25)Lockheed F94-A All Weather Interceptor
(26)Lockheed F-90 Penetration Fighter
(27)Lockheed P2V Patrol Bomber
(28)Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
(29)Martin 404 Transport
(30)Martin AM-1 Mauler
(31)Martin Caroline Mars
(32)Martin P4M-1 Mercator
(33)Martin XB-51
(34)North American AJ-1 Attack Bomber
(35)North American B-45 Tornado Jet Bomber
(36)North American F-86 Sabre
(37)North American T-28 Advanced Trainer (folded tail)
(38)Northrop X-4
(39)Northrop YRB-49
(40)Republic F-84F Thunderjet (rear view)
(41)Republic F-84F Thunderjet (side view)
(42)Ryan Navion 205
(n/a)“Airplane Flash Cards” Box-Pack
Note: Numbers in parentheses (xx) indicate unnumbered cards presented in alphabetical order.

Non-Sports Cards for Sale

If you by chance need any Aviation or Military related Non-Sports cards and/or card sets, be sure to visit our online store, the SkyCardShop, to see what we currently have listed for sale. If the cards you need are not there, please drop us a note at and tell us what cards you need. If we have your cards, we'll post them on the SkyCardShop. However, as we post them, we'll also send you a “heads-up” email so you can get them before someone else does. We can also set up “Private Sales” via PayPal and skip posting the cards/sets on the SkyCardShop. We're looking forward to helping you fulfill your non-sports cards needs.

Since 2002, we've been buying vintage aviation and military related non-sports cards to feature on our website. We are currently in the process of populating our website with approximately 400+ non-sports card sets, mostly aviation related. Nearly all of the sets that we feature include both “original” and “computer enhanced” 600-dpi scans of the fronts and backs of all the cards in the individual sets. We also include printable PDF checklists for each of the card featured on the website. By the way, if you print out these 600-dpi card images on any high-quality computer (including photo paper) and trim them, they make great full-size “Filler Card Images” to use before you acquire the real card. We should note that we are actually “Image Collectors” rather than “Card Collectors” per se. Once we've scanned a card for he website, we're therefore have no use for it, and eventually post it on the SkyCardShop.


Ken Bush — We would like to thank Ken Bush for the photo of “42 Airplane Flash Cards” box-pack for this Carnation Corn Flakes set.

Pete D'Luhosch — Pete is a retired IBM programmer/manager who lives in upstate New York. He graduated from Union College (Schenectady, New York) in 1963, with a degree in English Literature. Pete's 38-year IBM career, at their semiconductor development and manufacturing facility in East Fishkill, New York, spanned the time from punched cards and hard wired “unit record” machines being the norm, up to the time when computers were populated with chips containing millions of transistors that were “printed” on 12-inch silicon wafers. Pete's introduction to computers came on an IBM 1401 computer that was as big as a refrigerator and had an astonishing 4k of memory. Pete then learned IBM 360 programming and for many years worked on application programming at IBM East Fishkill. He eventually moved on to systems analysis and then held various management positions in support of chip manufacturing and statistical analysis. When he retired, Pete was a programmer/analyst in a staff department supporting the Director of the East Fishkill Semiconductor Laboratory.

Pete's interest in card collecting came, as many did, with baseball cards in the early '50s. The 1951 Bowman baseball card set is still his favorite. Sad to say, all Pete's cards disappeared while he was in college. He rekindled his love of cards in the late '70s, working on Topps baseball card sets with his kids, and attempting to re-create some of his sets from the '50s. When baseball cards became too expensive, Pete remembered another set he once collected: the 1952 Topps Wings set. On a whim, he bought a couple of them on eBay, just to see if they were still as cool as he remembered. Naturally, that led to years of trying to complete the set in the best condition he could find. Today, Pete's collecting interest lies almost exclusively with airplane cards from the World War II and Korean War periods. Some of Pete's card sets can be found on the SGC Registry.

Pete has written articles on the 1951 Bowman baseball card set for Sports Collectors Digest and articles on Topps Wings and Card-O Aeroplanes for The Wrapper. He has developed his own website that contains a lot of airplane and baseball card reference material. The website can be found at

Albert “Al” B. Kramer — A very special thanks to Albert B. Kramer, President of Roll-EZ Wheels, for loaning us his entire collection of over 200 Non-Sports aviation trading card sets to scan for our website. Without Al's generous help, the scope of the airplane trading cards on this website would be significantly less. Al is a retired Air Racing pilot who raced during the 1980s in his famous “Cobra #22” Biplane Air Racer (N12FE). After his Air Racing career, Al went on to become Owner and President of San-Val Aviation located at the Van Nuys Airport. Al recently “retired” and turned his hobby of large scale model trains into “Roll-EZ Wheels”. Roll-EZ Wheels specializes in the finest large scale model train wheels, and other exclusive products strictly for large scale model trains! Be sure to visit Al's Roll-EZ Wheels website.

Al's Non-Sports card collection consists of War Cards, Presidents, Indians, Cars, Boats, Ships, Planes, Rockets, Movie Stars, Dogs, Licence Plates, Flags of the World, Headlines, Cigarette, and Cereal cards. Al's collection includes the first-known example of the Carnation “Airplane Flash Cards” (F270-1A) Douglas D558-2 “Red Skyrocket”. Al obtained the Carnation “Red Skyrocket” card in a group of 12 different cards that he bought on eBay. He originally thought that the cards were a batch of Nabisco cards until he turned over the “Red Skyrocket” card and it instantly became Al's most prized Non-Sports card. Al believes that the “Red Skyrocket” was made as a sample for Carnation and somehow got into circulation. The Carnation “Red Skyrocket“ (Douglas D-558-2) was an artist drawing, while the Douglas D-558-2 “Skyrocket” included in both the Carnation F270-1A & F270-1A1 (single line) and the F270-1B (two-line) normal circulation sets were color photos, rather than drawings. As a sidenote, the Douglas D-558-1 “Red Skystreak” was also an artist drawing, but went into general circulation and was included in the three other Carnation sets. All of the other cards in both of the Carnation sets appear to be photographs.

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 cancelled 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 NPOs 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. D'Luhosch, Pete. “Airplane Flash, Cards, Boxed Set of 42 Carnation Corn Flakes Airplane Cards”. 600-dpi Color Scans from The Pete D'Luhosch Collection, 2016
  2. Shupek, John. “Airplane Flash Cards, Boxed Set of 42 Carnation Corn Flakes Airplane Cards”. Enhanced 600-dpi Color Scans from the Skytamer Archive, 2016
  3. Bush, Ken. “Use of Carnation Box Photo.” Message to Skytamer Images. 17 February 2016. E-mail.
  4. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket
  5. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Douglas D-558-1 Skystreak

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