Soaring Magazine Index

Introduction to the Soaring Magazine Index

(Combined and updated version of the Introductions that accompanied the first three Indices - 1937 to 1971, 1972 to 1977 and 1978 to 1979)

Soaring magazine has a long history, having been published by The Soaring Society of America, Inc. for all but the first five of SSA's years.   The Society was incorporated in May of 1932 (see "The Summer of '32," p. 21 of the May, 1972, Soaring) just after the organizers began publishing a mimeographed newsletter called the Gliding and Soaring Bulletin.   Bulletin #1 was addressed "To all who believe in the future of motorless flight in America." The soaring enthusiasts involved were aiming their efforts and financial contributions at ensuring a safe, respectable and "sporting" 1932 National Soaring Championships.   But what started out to be a limited publication with a goal of six issues and 300 subscriptions ($1 each) was to continue on for five years.

Bulletin #12 of volume 5 contained the announcement:

"On January 1, 1937, the SSA is coming out with a real honest-to-God publication which will be highly illustrated with photographs.   We are planning to send out our first issue to a mailing list of 10,000 in a drive for new members.   It will be a publication of which the present members of the SSA should well be proud.   It will incorporate both foreign and domestic news, technical information, and drawings."
Soaring began and continued as a twelve-page, monthly publication until February, 1940, when financial problems forced a cutback to publication once every other month.   This situation continued through the 1950's.   A monthly schedule was resumed with the July, 1959 issue.

In TBD date, the name of the publication was changed to Soaring and Gliding to reflect the merger of Soaring with Motorgliding which was published between TBD and TBD.

Soaring has had a long list of distinguished editors:

EditorFirst issueLast issueIssues Edited
Lewin B. BarringerJan. 1937Feb. 193926 
Henry N. WightmanMar. 1939Jan. 194012 
Floyd J. SweetFeb.-Mar. 1940May-Jun. 1941 9 
Parker LeonardJul.-Aug. 1941Mar.-Apr. 1942 5 
Alexis Dawydoff/Ben ShupackMay-Jun. 1942Nov.-Dec. 1942 4 
Ben ShupackJan.-Feb 1943Nov.-Dec. 194412 
Taylor BoyerJan.-Feb 1945Jul.-Aug. 194716 
Richard ComeySep.-Oct. 1947Nov.-Dec. 194914 
Fred C. ObarrJan.-Feb. 1950Mar.-Apr. 1950 2 
Eugart YerianMay-Jun. 1950Jul.-Aug. 195214 
Julian StagSep.-Oct .1952Mar.-Apr. 1953 4 
Jack R. KempMay-Jun. 1953same 1 
Jon Carsey/E. J. ReevesJul.-Aug. 1953Jan.-Feb. 1954
Robert C. ForbesMar.-Apr. 1954May-Jun. 195720 
Lloyd LicherJul.-Aug. 1957May 1964 plus Sep. 196572 
Alexis DawydoffJun. 1964Aug. 196515 
Richard MillerOct. 1965Sep. 196724 
Bennett M. RogersOct. 1967Aug. 197035 
Doug LamontSep. 1970Mar. 1983151 
Bob SaidApr. 1983Apr. 198637 
James AlgarMay 1986Mar. 198711 
Paul SengebuschApr. 1987Dec. 1987
Mark KennedyJan. 1988Aug. 1999140 
VacantSep. 1999Apr. 2000
John GoodMay 2000Aug. 200339 
Denise LaytonSep. 2003Mar. 200855 
Chuck CoyneApr. 2008present

Soaring magazine for much of its history has been edited by volunteers, and paid or not, all have unselfishly gone beyond the call of duty in providing SSA members with a first rate publication.   A paid staff was only available during 1937- 41, while SSA had a paid General Manager, 1957-64 after SSA had begun once again a paid position (Executive Secretary, later re-titled Executive Director) and 1964 to the present when SSA and Soaring had grown sufficiently to support a fulltime editor.   An organization of less than 1,000 members, who for many years only paid $4 annual dues, was not enough in itself to stay viable. It was through the strenuous efforts and financial contributions from many individuals and groups that SSA was able to continue publication of Soaring into this more successful era of growing recreational activity.   Benefactors included Richard C. du Pont, Schweizer Aircraft, the Chichester du Pont Foundation, the Elmira, New York, Association of Commerce, the Texas Soaring Association and many, many others.

It was in Soaring's spirit of volunteerism that Jean Doty of Phoenix, Arizona, almost single-handedly compiled the first comprehensive Soaring Index.   It covers 35 years and 305 issues of Soaring dating from 1937 to 1971.   This installment was published by The Soaring Society of America, Inc., in July, 1972 with a second printing in August, 1973.

In 1979, Jean was asked to serve the Society once again by compiling an Index covering 1972 to 1977.   She completed the Index in July of that year despite an ongoing illness, and in November, she passed away.   This installment was published by The Soaring Society of America, Inc., in July, 1979.

Although the 1978 and 1979 Index was compiled by SSA staff members and volunteers, in recognition of Jean's extended service the Index was named the Jean Doty Memorial Soaring Index.   Jean's generous spirit will be missed by many in and out of soaring, and it is with utmost respect for her that the Index, published by SSA in January 1980, was dedicated in her honor.   Jean Doty opened the "gold mine" of information in past issues to those who seek it.   We all owe her our hearty thanks for a job well done.

The Indices for the years 1980 to 1984 and 1985 to 1997 were compiled and made available by the SSA staff.

In 2003, Bertha Ryan, of Ridgecrest California, undertook the daunting task of scanning the rare copies of the fading, original, typed Indices into a computer, and then painstakingly editing them.   She entered the recent years all by hand, and scanned in all of the covers from 1951 to 1971, and 1988 to 1996!   What we have available is the fruit of her labors.

Jonathan Gere, of Camp Hill Pennsylvania, contributed all of the covers from 1971 to 1987. Jack Wyman, of Manchester Michigan, contributed all of the covers from 1937 to 1952.

Michael Steckner, of Richmond Heights Ohio, and Gonzalo García-Granero, of Navarra Spain, made available their indexes of Technical Soaring, which we have filled out and integrated into the listings and search.

In 2009, Kathleen K. Taylor, of Los Alamos New Mexico, scanned in all of the uncopyrighted issues, and the treasure trove of content is now available to everyone thanks to her extraordinarily generous contribution.

We are actively seeking collaborators, with access to the original issues of Soaring Magazine, to help in the cleaning up of the indices.

[ Based upon the introduction to the first installment, and updates. ]

Return to the Soaring Magazine Index table of contents

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