April 1934

Volume 3 Number 1  (25 of 88)

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


Three Weeks



This issue runs from page 1 to page 52 (52 pages)



Page 3 – Contents Page




Page 4 – “O What A Fall Was There, My Countryman!” – A Photograph of a Lady Landing by Parachute

(“A Parachutiste (sic) in an undignified position in front of the camera-man”)


Page 5 – The Editor’s Cockpit – W. E. Johns

(Subtitled – A Matter of Money – “Yes, there is no doubt that to you and me £135,000 would be a tidy sum, but to a starved Air Force it is about as much use as a railway sandwich is to a famished elephant.  Yet, after all the talk, and the public indignation at the inadequacy of the number of aeroplanes in the R.A.F., that is the paltry net increase in the Air Estimates this year, not including the Fleet Air Arm grant, and appropriations-in-aid.  A fat lot of use.”)




Page 8 – It Can Be Done! – An astonishing photo of the Sopwith Company’s Works in 1918

(The machines are Snipes and Salamanders.  Sopwith became the Hawker Engineering Co. Ltd., after the war.

Thomas Sopwith, who founded the Sopwith Company went on to live to be 100 and he died in 1989 I understand)


Page 10 – Wings Round the World – Colombia and Bermuda – Martin Raymond


Page 13 – Flying in China is No Joke – Harrison Forman


434Page 16 – My Most Thrilling Flight – Flight-Lieut. L. E. M. Gillman, R.A.F. (Retd.)

(Subtitled – The Caterpillar Club and How I Became a Member.

This account was not published in 1936 in the book ‘Thrilling Flights’)


Page 18 – The British Klemm “Swallow” – Flight-Lieut. C. Turner Hughes




Page 20 – Three Weeks – A Biggles Story – W. E. Johns

This Biggles story continues on pages 21, 22, 44 and 46

The illustrations are by Edward Oldham.

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

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


Page 23 – Some Photographs of the Escadrille Lafayette


Page 24 – Escadrille Lafayette – by the Editor (W. E. Johns)




Pages 26 and 27 - The Centre Pages – Sport from the Air – Aerial Photographs of Famous Playgrounds



Page 28 - Planes of History (No. 25) – The D.H.2 – illustrated by Howard Leigh


Page 29 – Under the Windstocking

(Readers’ Letters.  Conducted by the Editor


Page 30 – The Gotha Raiders (Continued from Last Month) – Thomas A. Lloyd


 Page 32 – Model Masterpieces


Page 34 – Told on the Tarmac

(On offer here to readers – for free(!) – is a book by Messrs. C. C. Wakefield & Co., Ltd called “Achievements of 1933” – which sounds almost like a forerunner of the Guinness Book of Records, because “in graphic word and picture the book tells the story of the world’s longest, fastest and highest flights, and the world’s land-speed record”)


Page 36 – Round the Schools and Clubs


Page 49 – Under the Windstocking (continues)

(There is a rather poignant letter here from Arthur H. Smith, asking if anyone has an photos of his son.  His son was Sydney Philip Smith and he was killed on 6th April 1918 – the 76th victim of Richthofen – The Red Baron - (who was to meet his own death later that month after his 80th victory).


Page 50 – The Ghost of Montrose – A letter from Major P. L. Holmes, D.S.C.


Page 52 – The Buyers’ Log




On the back cover is the usual John Hamilton advert – but for the first time the advert is for none of their books!

Instead, the advert is for “Eight Fine Reproductions in full colour of Paintings by Stanley Orton Bradshaw” and also “Reproductions of 24 Etchings by Howard Leigh” (presumably the ones later published in his “Planes of the Great War”)


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

The cover is a Shell advert and the same picture is used again on the December 1934 and February 1936 covers