AERO Australia magazine
Background and information
AERO Australia was created from the long publishing relationship between Ray Berghouse and Stewart Wilson. In the early 1980s Ray and former partner Tom Floyd, now retired, published many titles written and or edited by Stewart. Most of these titles were on motor sport with the occasional air show book.
The pair collaborated on the 2001, 2003 and 2005 Australian International Airshow official programmes which were successful. Ray and new partner, John Kiddle, felt it was time for their company to take a permanent place in the aviation magazine market. Their business, Chevron Publishing Group had two highly successful motoring titles: Motor Racing Australia and Australian Muscle Car. In addition to these magazines Chevron published trade programmes, motor racing year books, produced videos and DVDs on many subjects and it has a wide range of merchandise (shirts, jackets, caps).
It was a natural fit to expand into the aviation market. Stewart and Wendy Wilson were asked if they would like to produce the new magazine (yes!) and be prepared for at least five years of hard work. It was jointly decided the magazine would be produced quarterly for a least the first year, it would be printed on high gloss quality paper stock, it would be features-based with large format illustrations, news would be in photographic style, it would cover all things aviation and set new standards for magazines in this market.
This was an exciting period for Stewart and Wendy as they came to grips with organising a network of people to work with them on the new magazine, coming up with a suitable name, deciding what should be in the magazine and much more. After months of making lists and disagreeing over suitable names and with a deadline approaching, it was decided to use Stewart’s working title AERO Australia.
Stewart and Wendy wanted the magazine to reflect their interest in Australia and being the best – so the majestic Australian Wedgetail Eagle was chosen to form part of the magazine’s logo. Mat Clancy of Emsee Publishing, the art director for AERO, took the eagle and transformed it into the striking logo you see on the magazine.
About Us – First Issue
AERO Australia issue one went on sale on 24 December 2003 and was met with resounding approval from its Australian and New Zealand readers. The magazine had 112 pages plus covers – larger than any other locally published aviation magazine at the time. Over time the page size of the magazine was increased, the first Australian aviation magazine to do so. The number of pages was reduced to 100 so the magazine complied with Australia Post weight limits.
Much has changed in the years since AERO Australia hit the market. Chevron and the magazine was taken over by nextmedia Pty Ltd in 2008 which in turn was taken over by a German company in 2013. Stewart and Wendy Wilson’s company, Wilson Media Pty Ltd, was given the opportunity to acquire AERO Australia in 2014. Its first issue #44, Oct-Dec 2014. AERO Australia has come home!
AERO Australia is available from newsagents in Australia for $AU12.95 and in New Zealand for $NZ13.99. Subscriptions are available by contacting Wilson Media on +61 2 6238 1620, by visiting www.aeroaustraliamag.com or by filling in the subscription form the inside the magazine. Aero Australia is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, so please join the conversation!