Last week's post about standard sized Topps sets that might have been designed with their Giant Size issues in mind has led me to the 1957 Planes set. Seemingly unremarkable, this 120 card aviation themed issue continued a commitment by Topps to feature airplanes and other flying craft in wide-ranging sets. They did it in all different sizes too: with Wings in 1952 (Giant Size), a Hocus Focus subset in 1955 (in two sizes, no less: OG gum tab and one never-seen-again size issued in panel form inside nickel packs at 1" x 1 9/16") before coming out with the 240 card Jets set (a "tweener"the same size as Scoop and Look 'N See) in 1956. Jets was designed using real black and white photos --almost a Topps first barring the 1954 Baseball inset photos--that could be saved in collector albums themed to the set.
So it's unclear to me why Topps went with an illustrated set just a year after Jets had apparently sold through the roof. Perhaps they were held back, or maybe using real photos proved too costly; possibly they just didn't want another B&W avaition set but it's kind of a head-scratcher.
Planes look more like Wings than anything else: