1935-39 Heinz Famous Airplanes and Aviators (F277) Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Heinz Famous Airplanes and Aviators (F277)
Year 1935-39
Size 1 7/8″ x 3″
Images Color
Type Food
Number in Set
Varies by Series

1935-39 Heinz Famous Airplanes and Aviators (F277) Set Overview

This confusing series was issued by Heinz in the 1930s. While it is often considered to merely be a 1935 or 1936 set, cards were actually issued from 1935 through 1939 with several printings.

The cards are listed as F277 in the American Card Catalog. But collectors should understand that the F277 designation actually includes a total of six different sets — even if only five are listed in the catalog. The five sets in that book are F277-1, F277-2, F277-3, F277-4, and F277-5. However, two different F277-4 sets exist.

Here’s an overview of all six releases.

  • F277-1: Famous Airplanes (Only one card number on the front) – 25 cards
  • F277-2: Famous Airplanes (Two card numbers on the front) – 25 cards
  • F277-3: Famous Airplanes (Large 9X13 Photos) – 4 photos
  • F277-4A: Famous Aviators (Series 1) – 25 cards
  • F277-4B: Famous Aviators (Series 2) – 25 cards
  • F277-5: Famous Aviators (Large 9X13 Photos) – 4 photos

Cards

Cards feature both airplanes and aviators.

F277-1 and F277-2 focus on the airplanes. The checklists for these two sets are the same, even though the pictures are different. These cards have often been misidentified, even by grading companies. It is easy to distinguish the two types, however. F277-1 cards have the card number only once on the front and have a script type of font. F277-2 cards have the card number printed twice on the front and the font is a small capital letter font.

While the cards of the airplanes are somewhat popular, it’s the aviators that most collectors are after. So the emphasis in this series is typically seen in F277-4.

F277-4A, specifically, is the key issue. That 25-card set includes five rare cards including Amelia Earhart, Laura Ingalls, Howard Hughes, Edwin Musick, and Frank Hawks. Those five cards are important because they were replaced in the second series (F277-B). The second series checklist is virtually the same as the first but with those five aviators replaced by Short Schroeder, Harold Newman, Dick Depew, Bob Vaughn, and Major de Seversky.

Like many card sets, these cards were intended to be pasted into collectible albums. Heinz created albums with placeholders for the cards. Thus, it is somewhat common to see them with back damage if they have been since removed.

Various Card Printings

Backs help collectors to determine which year a particular card was printed. The cards have somewhat cryptic codes but as this page explains, the formula is simple.

Each card has a numerical code. The last two numbers in that code indicate the year a card was printed. The preceding numbers indicate the day a card was printed.

Here are the codes and their print dates of the airplanes:

  • 23235 – Printed on the 232nd day of 1935
  • 9836 – Printed on the 98th day of 1936
  • 14636 – Printed on the 146th day of 1936
  • 13137 – Printed on the 131st day of 1937
  • 3238 – Printed on the 32nd day of 1938
  • 22738 – Printed on the 227th day of 1938
  • 0969 – Printed on the 96th day of 1939

Here are the codes and their print dates of the aviators:

  • 32236 – Printed on the 322nd day of 1936
  • 13137 – Printed on the 131st day of 1937
  • 22738 – Printed on the 227th day of 1938
  • 0969 – Printed on the 96th day of 1939

Photos

Finally, two sets of premium photos were issued.

In 1937, Heinz issued a set of four photos of famous airplanes (known today as F277-3). A photo could be obtained by completing a 25-card set of Famous Airplane cards.

Similarly, a set of four photos of the aviators were available, too — presumably for collecting an entire 25-card set of the aviators.

All of the photos in either set are quite rare. Only four photos for each set were issued and they are essentially large versions of the trading cards.

1935-39 Heinz Famous Airplanes and Aviators (F277) Checklist

F277-1 Famous Airplanes Photos

  1. Roscoe Turner’s Original “57” Racer
  2. Boeing 247 Transport
  3. Sikorsky Flying Boat S42
  4. Kinner Monoplane R5
  5. Aeronca C3
  6. Douglas Amphibion
  7. Stinson Model No. 7
  8. Stearman Model 80
  9. Beechcraft
  10. Lockheed Electra
  11. Northrop Delta
  12. Waco Model D
  13. Great Lakes Sport-Trainer
  14. Kellett Autogiro K-4
  15. Pitcairn Autogiro PA-19
  16. Vought-Corsair
  17. Fairchild 24
  18. Curtiss-Wright Condor Transport
  19. Douglas DC-2 Transport
  20. General Aviation GA-43 Transport
  21. Vultee 1-A Transport
  22. Bellanca Aircruiser
  23. Amphibion Privateer P3-B
  24. Martin Bomber
  25. Consolidated (Navy Patrol) Model P2Y-1

F277-2 Famous Airplanes Photos

  1. Roscoe Turner’s Original “57” Racer
  2. Boeing 247 Transport
  3. Sikorsky Flying Boat S42
  4. Kinner Monoplane R5
  5. Aeronca C3
  6. Douglas Amphibion
  7. Stinson Model No. 7
  8. Stearman Model 80
  9. Beechcraft
  10. Lockheed Electra
  11. Northrop Delta
  12. Waco Model D
  13. Great Lakes Sport-Trainer
  14. Kellett Autogiro K-4
  15. Pitcairn Autogiro PA-19
  16. Vought-Corsair
  17. Fairchild 24
  18. Curtiss-Wright Condor Transport
  19. Douglas DC-2 Transport
  20. General Aviation GA-43 Transport
  21. Vultee 1-A Transport
  22. Bellanca Aircruiser
  23. Amphibion Privateer P3-B
  24. Martin Bomber
  25. Consolidated (Navy Patrol) Model P2Y-1

F277-3 Famous Airplanes Photos

  1. Roscoe Turner’s Original “57” Racer (#1)
  2. Boeing 247 Transport (#2)
  3. Vought Corsair (#16)
  4. Consolidated Navy Patrol (#25)

F277-4A Famous Aviators

  1. Charles Lindbergh
  2. Amelia Earhart
  3. Eddie Rickenbacker
  4. Roscoe Turner
  5. Laura Ingalls
  6. D.W. Tommy Tomlinson
  7. Howard Hughes
  8. Edwin Musick
  9. Frank Hawks
  10. Louise Thaden
  11. Clarence Chamberlain
  12. Casey Jones
  13. Jimmie Doolittle
  14. Al Williams
  15. Ruth Nichols
  16. Clyde Pangborn
  17. Dick Merrill
  18. Boris Sergievsky
  19. Jack Frye
  20. Phoebe Omlie
  21. Art Chester
  22. Bennie Howard
  23. James Ray
  24. Harold June
  25. Brent Balchen

F277-4B Famous Aviators

  1. Charles Lindbergh
  2. Shorty Schroeder
  3. Eddie Rickenbacker
  4. Roscoe Turner
  5. Harold Neumann
  6. D.W. Tommy Tomlinson
  7. Dick Depew
  8. Bob Vaughn
  9. Major de Seversky
  10. Louise Thaden
  11. Clarence Chamberlain
  12. Casey Jones
  13. Jimmie Doolittle
  14. Al Williams
  15. Ruth Nichols
  16. Clyde Pangborn
  17. Dick Merrill
  18. Boris Sergievsky
  19. Jack Frye
  20. Phoebe Omlie
  21. Art Chester
  22. Bennie Howard
  23. James Ray
  24. Harold June
  25. Brent Balchen

F277-3 Famous Aviators Photos

  1. Charles Lindbergh (#1)
  2. Eddie Rickenbacker (#3)
  3. Roscoe Turner (#4)
  4. Louise Thaden (#10)

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