Updated: August 27, 2015
VOYAGE FLYING SUB AURORA KIT #01
A reissue kit from Aurora Models in 1975. With new box art, with the same
kit enclosed. A great collectible for Voyage and model fans. I purchase
this item from Alan Bussie of Lexington KY on 3/3/02.
Introduced in "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea's" full-color second season
(1965-1966), the Flying Sub represents the beginning of the show's slow
but steady decline from imaginative but otherwise realistic
action-adventure to pure fantastic hokum. Taking its lines from ray-fish,
the vehicle launched from a berth beneath its mothership, the SSRN
"Seaview," and could move at high speeds underwater, or at even higher
speeds by taking to the air. Inevitably, the craft would be shown
nose-diving back into the ocean -- a maneuver that must have knocked the
freakin' wind out of the poor pilot and passengers who had to endure such
a watery impact.
The Flying Sub's elegantly curved lines and pointy nose heavily influenced
the design of the Spindrift spacecraft featured in Irwin Allen's final
sci-fi fantasy TV series, "Land of the Giants" (1968-1970.) The craft
also appeared in Allen's 1969 pilot-turned-made-for-TV-movie "City Beneath
the Sea," redubbed the "Aquafoil."
Odd Design Feature: Although the Flying Sub front end featured two
intakes for air and water, its rear-mounted jet engines were provided with
no access to these essential mediums. In fact, in both the studio set and
this model kit, the jet engines simply sit in the middle of their own
compartment. This immediately begs the question: Where did they get the
media necessary to produce thrust? Released by Aurora Models in 1966, the
Flying Sub kit featured a removable top panel that exposed a complete
interior -- including those two awkwardly situated jet engines. However,
like many of Aurora's vehicle kits, the model was not particularly well
engineered and, if the interior was built as instructed, the top panel
never quite sat right. For appearance's sake, this kit was built with
only the forward pilots' seats in place behind the forward windshield, but
with no other interior features present.
Aurora briefly re-released this kit with new box art shortly before going
out of business in the mid-1970's. This same box art was subsequently used
for a brief 1979 re-release by Monogram, for an even briefer 1990
re-re-release by Japan's Tsukuda company under the moniker "OLD TIME S.F."
then again for another Monogram re-re-re-release in the mid-1990's. The
Monogram kit has been regularly available ever since.
Many thanks to Allen B. Ury for the updated info and photos!