Introduced in 1918 and probably discontinued that same year. This is one of four extremely rare World War I back designs that were part of the War Series. They were manufactured on or about 1918 and their rarity suggests that they were never actually released to the public, perhaps because the war ended that same year.

Only a handful of complete decks from the entire War Series are known to exist today. The other three designs are Dreadnaught, Big Gun, and Invincible. I am only aware of two existing Flying Ace decks, one red and one blue. The blue one has been parted out for singles (to use an automotive term). As a result, blue singles appear on the market from time to time, but I have never seen a red single offered. The whereabouts of the blue box is unknown to me.

Pictured below is the back and front of an original Flying Ace box. The last image shows a couple of cards from other manufacturers with a similar theme. The card pictured on the left is called "Democracy." Lee Asher wrote an informative article about the back design in Issue 35 of Card Culture (October 2017):

With the goal of setting out to publish an all-American deck of playing cards, patriotic artist James C. Gaffney succeeded in spades (no pun intended). Replacing the traditional cards with Ace airmen, Navy officers & Red Cross nurses, this deck was eventually granted a U.S. patent in 1918 (see paperwork below), and called the Democracy Deck. Because Gaffney absolutely had no means of manufacturing playing cards, he allowed Russell Playing Card Company to produce the deck for him. Gaffney’s deck was printed in various colors such as rose, blue, purple & gray. They were also advertised as coming with a heavy linen gilt-edge. God bless America!

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Two biplane themed cards from other manufacturers, one old, one new.