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The Five Carnation Airplane Card Sets (F270-1x)
By: John Shupek and Pete D’Luhosch


During the past several years, there has been controversy about the actual composition of the “Aircraft Recognition Cards” (F270-1x) (Note: “x” indicates subset designations) series by Carnation Corn Flakes. 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 John Shupek of Skytamer Images and Pete D’Luhosch of PJD Enterprises, has documented the existence of five distinct Carnation (F270-1x) 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 following is a quick synopsis of the key recognition points for each of the five sets.

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

During 1952, Carnation Corn Flakes issued a 42-card set of “Airplane Flash Cards” (F270-1) 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 below) 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.

Set #2 — “Aircraft Recognition Cards - Type A1” (F270-1A1)

This “square cornered” 42-card set, is considered to be the second of Carnation’s “Aircraft Recognition Sets” in which the title of the set has morphed from “Airplane Flash Cards” into “Aircraft Recognition Cards, A-Type 1” (F270-1A1). Set #2 corrects the two Douglas D-558-2 “Skyrocket” cards from the original F270-1 (Set #1) set and introduces the Douglas D-558 “Skystreak” card in place of the Douglas D-558-2 “Skyrocket (red)” card. Set #2 also makes sure that the 3-view drawings on the backs of these cards are consistent with the aircraft configuration shown on the card fronts. However, it does contain an error card, the North American AJ-1 card. The 3-view drawing on the back has the CLASSIFIED notice on the back side of the card reversed. This error was eventually corrected in Set #3 (F270-1A2) 42-card set with the “large radius” corners. We believe that these cards were not distributed in Carnation Corn Flakes cereal boxes, but were probably some kind of proof or presentation set. The key features of this set are shown below.

  1. The set is comprised of 42 unnumbered airplane cards.
  2. The cards are PLC type cards with square corners.
  3. One line of branding — “Carnation Corn Flakes” appears on the reverse side of the cards.
  4. The Douglas D-558 “Skystreak” card replaces in the Douglas D-558-2 “Skyrocket (red)” card included in Set #1 (F270-1).
  5. The Douglas D-558-2 “Skyrocket (white)” card with the error back has been corrected.
  6. The set does not contain the Northrop F-89 “Scorpion” card.

Set #3 — “Aircraft Recognition Cards - Type A2” (F270-1A2)

Set #3 (F270-1A2) is actually the second of the “Aircraft Recognition Cards” named card sets. This “large corner radius” 42-card set, corrects the North American AJ-1 error card presented in Set #2 (F270-1A1) in which the CLASSIFIED notice on the back side of the card is reversed. We believe that these cards were probably the first set to be distributed in Carnation Corn Flakes cereal boxes. The key features of this set are shown below.

  1. The cards are PLC type cards with large radius corners of 0.219 inch.
  2. One line of branding — “Carnation Corn Flakes” appears on the reverse side of the card.
  3. Set #3 is comprised of 42 unnumbered airplane cards, and has the same composition/checklist as Set #2 (F270-1A1)
  4. The error on the back of the North American AJ-1 card from Set #2 has been corrected.

Set #4 — “Aircraft Recognition Cards - Type B1” (F270-1B1)

The F270-1B “Aircraft Recognition Cards” set was originally thought to contain 44 cards, which included both versions of the North America T-28 Advanced Trainer card (“folded tail” and “straight tail”). It became apparent that the two T-28 cards actually belonged to separate sets: Set #4 (F270-1B1) contained the “folded tail” T-28 card, while Set #5 (F270-1B2) included the “straight tail” T-28 card.

Set #4 (F270-1B1) is a “small corner radius” 43-card set, which shares the same checklist as Set #3, with the addition of the Northrop F-89 Scorpion card. Sets #4 and #5 are the only two sets that contain the Northrop F-89 Scorpion card. The key features of this set are shown below.

  1. The set is comprised of 43 unnumbered airplane cards.
  2. The cards are PLC type cards with small radius corners of 0.095 inch.
  3. Two lines of branding — “This card from a package of/Carnation Corn Flakes” appear on the reverse side of the cards.
  4. This set includes only one T-28 card, the “folded tail” version.
  5. The Northrop F-89 Scorpion card has been added bringing the total number of cards in Set #4 to 43-cards.

Set #5 — “Aircraft Recognition Cards - Type B1” (F270-1B2)

Set #5 (F270-1B2) is a “small corner radius” set similar to Set #4 (F270-1B1) except the Republic F-84F Thunderjet/REAR VIEW card has been removed, and the “folded tail” T-28 card has been replaced with the “straight tail” T-28 card. The major change to this set is that the size of the 3-view drawings on the back have been reduced to 87.35% the size of the previous Set #4 (F270-1B1). This set also serves as the 42-card template for the Country Peach Ice Cream F49 “Airplanes” 42-card set, and the 3-Minute Oats F285 “Airplanes” 42-card sets.

Set #5 is most likely the rarest of the five Carnation Corn Flakes airplane card sets. First of all, Set #5 was just thought of as being a variety of the “Aircraft Recognition Cards” F270-1B set (with 44 cards). It was not until early 2016, some 64 years after the sets were issued, that Lee Kalk and Pete D’Luhosch, noticed differences in the sizes of the 3-view drawings on the backs of several of the same “F270-1B” cards. They then realized that the F270-1B Carnation “44-card” “ Aircraft Recognition Cards” set was in reality two different sets, with two different checklists. The first set (F270-1B1, aka Set #4) containing 43 cards, and the other set (F270-1B2, aka Set #5) containing 42 cards.

Most likely when Set #5 was first issued, the young collectors of that era were pretty much finished with their collecting of the “F270-1B” Carnation cards and simply tossed them in the “round file cabinet”, since they already had that two-lined card. The cards were probably just considered to be a F270-1B variety rather than a set. Anyhow, hats off to Lee Kalk and Pete D’Luhosch for discovering the existence of Set #4 (F270-2B1) and Set #5 (F270-1B2).

  1. The set is comprised of 42 unnumbered airplane cards.
  2. The cards are PLC type cards with small radius corners of 0.095 inch.
  3. The 3-view drawings on card backs are 87.35% the size of the previous sets.
  4. Two lines of branding — “This card from a package of/Carnation Corn Flakes” appear on the reverse side of the card.
  5. The Republic F-84F Thunderjet/REAR VIEW card has been removed.
  6. The 3-view drawing on the North American T-28 Advanced Trainer card is the “straight tail” version rather than a “folded tail” version used in Sets #1 to #4.

The transition between Set #4 and Set #5 is certainly worthy of a quick look. The North American T-28 Advanced Trainer card was the “Eureka” card which proved the existence of the two different sets, Set #4 and Set #5. First of all, the two 3-view drawings were different, and secondly, the sizes of the three 3-view drawings were different, proving beyond a doubt that F270-1B was actually two sets, rather than one.

As a side note, there are only two cards that appear only once in all of the five of the Carnation airplane card sets. The Douglas D-558-2 “Skyrocket (red)” only appears in the “boxed” Set #1 (F270-1). The North American T-28 Advanced Trainer with the standard (straight) vertical stabilizer only appears in Set #5 (F270-1B2). Again, this was not know until early 2016.

Carnation “Airplane Flash Cards/Aircraft Recognition Cards” Comparison Checklist

The following composite checklist shows the composition of all five of the Carnation “Aircraft Flash Cards/Aircraft Recognition Cards” airplane card sets.

Carnation F270-1x “Airplane Flash Cards/Aircraft Recognition Cards

CHECKLISTS
Set 1Set 2Set 3Set 4Set 5Card Title
xxxxxBELL 47-D HELICOPTER
xxxxxBELL X-1
xxxxxBOEING B-29 SUPERFORTRESS
xxxxxBOEING B-47
xxxxxBOEING B-50 SUPERFORTRESS
xxxxxBOEING C-97A STRATOFREIGHTER
xxxxxBOEING STRATOCRUISER
xxxxxCHANCE VOUGHT F7U-1 CUTLASS
xxxxxCONVAIR B-36 BOMBER
xxxxxCONVAIR-LINER
xxxxxCONVAIR TURBOLINER
xxxxxCONVAIR XB-46 BOMBER
xxxxxCONVAIR XF-81 ESCORT FIGHTER
xxxxxCONVAIR XF-92 DELTA WING
xxxxxDOUGLAS AD SKYRAIDER
xxxxxDOUGLAS C-124 — GLOBEMASTER
 xxxxDOUGLAS D-558 SKYSTREAK
x DOUGLAS D-558-2 SKYROCKET (red)
xxxxxDOUGLAS D-558-2 SKYROCKET (white)
xxxxxDOUGLAS DC-6A LIFTMASTER
xxxxxDOUGLAS SUPER DC-3
xxxxxGRUMMAN ALBATROSS
xxxxxGRUMMAN F9F-2 PANTHER
xxxxxLOCKHEED CONSTELLATION
xxxxxLOCKHEED CONSTITUTION
xxxxxLOCKHEED F-90 PENETRATION FIGHTER
xxxxxLOCKHEED F94-A ALL WEATHER INTERCEPTOR
xxxxxLOCKHEED P2V NEPTUNE BOMBER
xxxxxLOCKHEED T-33 SHOOTING STAR
xxxxxLOCKHEED 404 TRANSPORT
xxxxxMARTIN AM-1 MAULER
xxxxxMARTIN CAROLINE MARS
xxxxxMARTIN P4M-1 MERCATOR
xxxxxMARTIN XB-51
xxxxxNORTH AMERICAN AJ-1 ATTACK BOMBER
xxxxxNORTH AMERICAN B-45 TORNADO JET BOMBER
xxxxxNORTH AMERICAN F-86 SABRE
xxxxn/aNORTH AMERICAN T-28 ADVANCED TRAINER (folded tail)
 xNORTH AMERICAN T-28 ADVANCED TRAINER (standard tail)
 xxNORTHROP F-89 SCORPION
xxxxxNORTHROP X-4
xxxxxNORTHROP YRB-49
xxxxn/aREPUBLIC F-84F THUNDERJET/REAR VIEW
xxxxxREPUBLIC F-84F THUNDERJET/SIDE VIEW
xxxxxRYAN NAVION 205
4242424342<--- Number of cards in full set (211 cards total)

Similar Company Sets

At this point, it appears that the Carnation #5 set (F270-1B2) artwork and 3-view drawings served as a template for three other company sets. All three of these 42-card sets include the “straight” tail version of the North American T-28 Advanced Trainer card and do not include the REAR VIEW Republic F-84F “Thunderjet” card. As a side note, the Republic F-84F was actually named the “Thunderstreak” not “Thunderjet”. The three additional sets are: (1) “Airplanes” (F49) manufactured by HP Hood, LLC, Lynnfield, Massachusetts, which were packaged with Hood Country Peach Ice Cream; and (2) “Airplanes” (F285) by 3-Minute Oats; and (3) “Premiere Trading Cards - Airplanes”(R724-1) set that was issued by the Oak Manufacturing Company. This particular set resembled a traditional non-sports trading card format with square corners, however the fronts and backs of the cards mimicked the Carnation Corn Flakes Set #5. Examples of these card sets are presented below.

Contributors


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 https://www.pjdenterprises.com.

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 his Skytamer.com website in 1998. The Skytamer.com 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 Skytamer.com 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 Skytamer.com 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 Skytamer.com 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.


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