Volume 2 Number 5  (17 of 88)

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


The Maid and the Mountains



This issue runs from page 237 to page 292 (56 pages)



Page 237 – Full page advert for a Percival Gull – The Fastest 3-Seater Cabin Monoplane


Page 240 – Contents Page


Page 242 – Who’s Who in Aviation - A Photographic Portrait of Mr. W. J. Thompson

– Managing Director of the Scottish Motor Traction Company – in uniform of Lord Provost of Edinburgh




Page 243 – The Editor’s Cockpit – W. E. Johns

(Subtitled – Stop Stupid Stunting – this contains one of Johns best ever anecdotes about speaking to a pilot who claimed his S.E. 5 could loop of the ground.  Johns watched him try and he crashed into the ground at 300 mph and killed himself instantly.  The whole thing only took about 5 minutes.  Johns was still smoking the same cigarette …..)




Page 245 – The Maid & the Mountains – A Biggles Story – W. E. Johns

This Biggles story continues on pages 246, 247 and 282

The illustrations are by Edward Oldham and Howard Leigh.

W. E. Johns is not credited at all on this story.

There is a box in the centre of page 247 that states “There is more in this series of Biggles stories than mere fiction.  Each story demonstrates, not only the usefulness of an aircraft in unusual circumstances, but the fact that it is capable of carrying to a successful issue a service or duty which could not easily be undertaken by any form of surface transport”

In August 1934 this story was published in the fourth Biggles book – “Biggles Flies Again”


Page 248 – The Dawn Brigade – Marcel Desoutter – The manufacturer of the aircraft that bears his name

(I note with interest an advert on page 240 for “A Unique Souvenir!” - An ashtray made from the 400 gallon petrol tank of the aircraft “Miss Columbia” which has flown the Atlantic twice.  This is being sold by a certain M. Desoutter, The Cottage, Stormont Road, Hampstead Lane. N6. who I presume is the same person)


Page 252 – Who was the First Englishwoman to Fly? – Flying was an adventure in those days! – Mrs. Guy Repton


Page 254 – New Skylines for Air Lines – A Review of the Possibilities of Air Transport in the British Isles

– Flight-Lieut. Christopher Clarkson


Page 256 – My Most Thrilling Flight – Flight-Sergt. J. M. Hargreaves (Aerial Gunner to Captain L. W. Brabazon Rees)

(“A very modest story of a fine achievement – Ed”

This account was published in 1936 in the book ‘Thrilling Flights’ as the 17th of 20 accounts)




Page 258 – One of the most remarkable air photographs ever taken.  The crater of El Misti, a volcano in Bolivia


Page 259 – The Past from Above – An Interesting Sidelight on Aviation – L. G. Branson


Page 261 – Planes of History – The Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8. – illustrated by Howard Leigh


Page 262 – The Result of the 830 Miles Air Race for the King’s Cup – won by Capt Geoffrey De Havilland


Page 263 The King’s Cup Race – photographs and results




Pages 264 and 265 – The Centre Pages – In the Beginning – Photographs from 1914 and Display Day 1933


Page 266 – Fly South – G.G.


Page 267 – The Auxiliary Air Force – Some Interesting Facts about Britain’s Flying Territorials – “Rigger”


Page 270 – Sideslips – Geoff Dorman


Page 272 – Slipstream – A Summary of the Month’s Aviation News


Page 274 – Motor Mutterings – “Janus”


Page 276 – By Air Mail 20 Years Ago – Commander Sir Walter George Wyndham


Page 278 – Told on the Tarmac


Page 280 – Round the Schools and Clubs

(This features two caricatures of George E. Lowdell (Chief Instructor of Brooklands School of Flying) and Major H. G. Travers (Chief Instructor of London Aeroplane Club)




Page 281 – This is the actual full page advert for “Will’s Gold Flake Cigarettes” (issued by The Imperial Tobacco Company) the picture from which appears on the cover of this months Popular Flying


Page 284 – Heard in the House

(A new feature, recording matters of Air interest that have been raised in the House of Commons in the past month.

I note with interest that one point raised was about Germany building Police aeroplanes to prevent the distribution of anti-Nazi leaflets by unknown aeroplanes.  This would be a breach of the Versailles Treaty queries states one MP.  Of course Hitler had come to power in 1933 and was setting about completely reversing the treaty ……….)


Page 288 – The Model Corner – The Boulton & Paul Mailplane

(My copy has a number of pencil calculations where somebody has obviously had a go at making this)


Page 290 – The Aviation Bookshelf


Page 292 – Under the Windstocking

(Readers’ Correspondence)




On the back cover is the usual John Hamilton advert – this time for 14 of their books.

They include new titles – “The Spy Flyer” by Flying Officer W. E. Johns (actually it was published at The Spy FlyerS) and the QUEST of the Condor by Flying Officer W. E. Johns – which was the second Biggles book published (in August 1933) and actually called “The CRUISE of the Condor”.  Was this an error or was there a last minute title change?

‘Wings: Flying Adventures’ edited by Flying Officer W. E. Johns is also advertised



Click here to see a much larger picture of the cover artwork – A Will’s Cigarette advert - the artist is unknown