Taking Off in Public: The Journey Begins

Craig Fuller’s love of Flying magazine began when he was young—much like his son, McClain. Courtesy Craig Fuller

Editor’s Note: “Taking Off in Public” is a new digital series written by Craig Fuller, the new owner of Flying magazine. In this series, Fuller will provide insight into his plans for Flying and a first-hand look at how Flying is being built for the next generation.

Last week, I acquired Flying magazine from Bonnier Corporation. Having the chance to own the iconic aviation media brand is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

How It Started

As a kid growing up in the ‘80s, my love of all things aviation was influenced by the movie Top Gun and the first Microsoft Flight Simulator. It was reinforced by my subscription to Flying magazine. I saved up money from odd jobs and chores to become a subscriber.

Flying has been around since 1927. It was the first magazine launched by iconic publisher Ziff Davis. Back then, Flying started out as Popular Aviation and it was Davis’ first publishing project. He went on to create dozens of others, many of which were focused on emerging technology and hobbies.

In specialized consumer publishing, Davis was the dominant leader for most of the 20th century.

Most of Flying’s history is anchored around the print magazine. Being able to thumb through the print pages of a magazine creates an important connection between the content and the reader. That connection gets stronger when you’re thumbing through beautiful photographs and stories that bring the adventure of flying to life.

One thing is for certain: There’s room for improvement in the print version of Flying.

How It’s Going

Early next year, we plan to overhaul the print edition of Flying. We’ll double down on beautiful photographs of airplanes doing cool stuff and stories that grab the reader and bring them into the cockpit.

We also plan to upgrade the paper stock and covers. As I told the staff, the print version of Flying should be like a piece of artwork that you want to own and proud to display.

Fuller looks to bring his experience in digital media directly to Flying’s audience with enhanced, targeted content developed by an expanded team. Courtesy Craig Fuller

Overhauling the digital version of Flying is also something that I’m very excited about. I’m a digital media executive and have had great success building a transportation media outlet that is entirely digital. I think we can take a similar approach with Flying digital.

What does that mean?

  • More frequent stories
  • More visual elements like bold photography and engaging video content
  • Digital storytelling that will combine written word, photos, videos and other engaging visuals
  • Ambitious streaming content

In short, we’ll provide a content hub for the aviation community.

Changes in our digital product will come sooner, so look for some significant upgrades to the online user experience in a month or so.

Join The Flying Journey

We are looking to expand the Flying editorial and content team. We have open positions for:

  • Journalists
  • Photographers
  • Editors
  • Adobe motion animators
  • Newsletter and social media experts

Check out our LinkedIn page in the near future for more on these positions.

Flying is an iconic name in aviation, much the way Sports Illustrated is in sports. The responsibility ahead of us is great.

I truly believe that you never actually own Flying. You merely look after it for the next generation. My staff and I are honored and humbled to have the chance to look after it for a while.

A pilot for more than three decades, Craig Fuller is owner and CEO of FLYING parent company Firecrown Media.

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