AUGUST  1932

Volume 1 Number 5  (5 of 88)


This issue of Popular Flying magazine features the “Biggles” story


The Blue Devil



This issue runs from page 257 to page 312 (56 pages)


Page 259 – Contents Page

(The style of the contents page has now changed so the contents are divided into ‘Fiction’ and then ‘Fact Articles’ and then ‘Pictures’)


Page 262 – The Editor’s Cockpit – W. E. Johns

(A paragraph at the end informs readers that the plan to give them free flights has had to be shelved)


Page 264 – The Volunteer – ‘Icarus’


Page 266 – Finland to the Cape – Capt. Bremer


Page 268 – What would Drake say?


Page 269 -  Knights of the Air : Baron Manfred von Richthofen

(This two page article was written by W E Johns and gives details about the famous Baron’s 80 victories in the First World War.  In April 1917 he shot down 30 planes in 30 days!  He concentrated on attacking two seaters coming over the German lines and advised always to go for the man, not the machine – but with a two seater you have to get the rear gunner first, not the pilot.  He himself was shot down and killed on 21st May 1918 – states this article – but this must be an error as future articles confirm he was killed on 21st April 1918)


Page 272 – British Flying Schools No. 5 National Flying Services, Hanworth



The Blue Devil


Page 274 – The Blue Devil – A “Biggles” Story – William Earle

This Biggles story continues on page 275.

The illustrations are by Howard Leigh.

William Earle was, of course, a pseudonym for W. E. Johns, his first names being William Earl (without the ‘e’)

In August 1932 this story was published in the first Biggles book – “The Camels are Coming”


Page 276 – A Day in the life of a Moth


Page 279 – Women and Air – Hon. Mrs. Victor Bruce


Page 282 – The Lost Oasis  (click here to see the article)

This article is about the Lost Oasis of Zenzura and the possible recent discovery of it.  Fans of the Biggles books will know that this Lost Oasis was the basis for the story in

 “Biggles Flies South”  and cheekily, W. E. Johns even has Ginger saying he read about the Lost Oasis in “Popular Flying” and another character reads quotes from this article!


Page 283 (due to a typesetting error this is printed as Page 83) – Planes of History – The Fokker Triplane

(Baron Manfred von Richthofen was killed on 21st May 1918 flying one of these – states this article – but this must again be an error as future articles confirm he was killed on 21st April 1918)





Pages 284 and 285 - The Centre Pages – an illustration by W. E. Johns – Intercepted!



Page 287 – Falcons of France – A Thrilling Serial of War in the Air – Charles Nordhoff and J. N. Hall


Page 290 – Believe it or Not! – Some Modern Aircraft of Unorthodox Design


Page 292 – My Most Thrilling Flight – “Brevet”

(This account was published in 1936 in the book ‘Thrilling Flights’ as the 6th of 20 accounts.

Johns adds a note that the writer of this article has to ”appear under a nom de plume for reasons which will readily be appreciated by readers who are acquainted with service regulations” and he has only allowed this “because the writer is known to me and I can vouch for the truth of the story in its essentials”).


Page 295 – Where to Fly


Page 296 – The Motoring Airman


Page 299 – SHELL advert that lists “some of the greatest Pioneer Flights in which Shell are proud to have participated”


Page 300 – It’s a Gift

(A short article about “The Modern Aircraft” – a book where you can lift up flaps and see what is underneath the aircraft.  To be given away free – “you will find a postcard ready for posting at the end of this issue of POPULAR FLYING”.  Not surprisingly ……….. there isn’t one in my copy!)


Page 301 – Shots from New Films


Page 302 – Told on the Tarmac


Page 304 – Round the Schools and Clubs


Page 308 – Air Post Stamps – Francis J. Field


Page 311 – The Buyers’ Log – Aircraft for Sale – Where to Fly – Opportunities



John Hamilton Advert


Inside the back cover there is a John Hamilton advert for German War Birds (illustrated with a picture of Manfred von Richthofen) and the advert also includes The Pictorial Flying Course by H. M. Schofield and W. E. Johns and for back issues of the first two issues of Popular Flying Magazine “price 8d per copy, post free”.


Click here to see a much larger picture of the cover artwork – the artist is uncredited