May 1934

Volume 3 Number 2  (26 of 88)

This issue of Popular Flying magazine was the last ever to feature a “Biggles” story


The Sheikh and the Greek



This issue runs from page 53 to page 104 (52 pages)



Page 56 – Contents Page


Page 58 – Alex!  Ras-el-Tin, the beautiful harbour at Alexandria

(A photograph of the harbour “now a port of call on the Imperial Route to Capetown”)


Page 59 – The Editor’s Cockpit – W. E. Johns

(Subtitled – Petrol and Propriety – “Petrol in this country is subject to a tax of 8d per gallon, and in case you wonder how or why any commodity should carry a charge so disproportionate to its value, I will tell you.  The reason is because any government, when it is in desperate straits for money, will tax to the limit any indispensable article for which there is no substitute, or any industry that has no alternative but to accept its imposition.  In the past it varied from salt to windows, both of which were essential; later, it became tobacco, alcoholic beverages and tea.  Petrol, a new but widely used commodity without an efficient substitute, was certain to feel the blast.  Naturally, the Government does not say that; the upkeep of roads was made the excuse for the exorbitant tax.  The patient to be bled was, of course, the motor car industry, and it is quite possible that Aviation was not even taken into consideration; but to inflict upon a baby industry the same crushing burden as on an established one, was something approaching infanticide”)




Page 62 – Aftermath – Another astonishing photograph – this time of the destruction of the German Air Force

(“Last month we published a double page picture of the Sopwith Works, mass-producing War machines.  Now observe the other end of the stick – the harvest, so to speak – which should please our pacifist readers – if we have any.  We trust they will not overlook the fact that the scenes pictured below, the breaking up (or down), of the entire German Air Force equipment, were made possible by the one published last month.  Think it over, and apply the moral to 1934, 1935 or 1936”)


Page 64 – Britain was First – Captain J. A. Sinclair

(“But the truth of the matter is that the airship, as it is today, was actually perfected by British brains …….”)


Page 68 – Humours of Flying in Persia – Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah

(“The noted Afghan traveller and explorer.  Author of “The Golden East”, “Arabia”, etc.”)


Page 70 – The D.H. Leopard Moth – Flight-Lieut. C. Turner Hughes


Page 72 – Flying Wires – Condensed news items intercepted during the last month




Page 74 – My Most Thrilling Flight – D. G. Lewis

(Subtitled – An Encounter with Richthofen – the last person shot down by Baron von Richthofen tells his story)

This account was not published in 1936 in the book ‘Thrilling Flights’.  I can’t understand why, it is one of the best.)




Page 76 – The Sheikh and the Greek – A Biggles Story – W. E. Johns

This Biggles story continues on pages 77, 80, 81, 90, 92 and 102

The illustrations are by Mendoza and 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”

A note at the end of this story says “This is the last of the present series of “Biggles” stories that will appear in

 Popular Flying.  The complete volume, including the remainder of the stories, will shortly be published by

Messrs. John Hamilton”.

No Biggles story was ever published again in Popular Flying Magazine




Pages 78 and 79 - The Centre Pages – As it Was – And is Now

A magnificent memorial now marks the desolate spot where man conquered the air





Page 83 - Planes of History (No. 26) – The Halberstadt – illustrated by Howard Leigh


Page 84 – Navigation for the Amateur Pilot – P. Goudime


Page 87 – Apex – The International Air Post Exhibition


Page 88 – The MacRobertson International Air Races – London – Melbourne, Oct 20, 1934


Page 94 – Motor Mutterings – “Janus”

(A note on this page under the heading of – Under the Windstocking – says “We very much regret that owing to lack of space this popular feature has unavoidably been held over.  Letters arranged for publication this month will therefore appear in the June issue.  The Editor takes this opportunity of thanking those readers who were good enough to reply to the April “Cicelet” query; the information will be published in due course”)


 Page 96 – A Classic Model

(A Bristol Fighter F 2B, in skeleton, that took two years to build.  Scale 1 inch to 1 foot.  The controls all work)


Page 98 – Round the Schools and Clubs


Page 100 – 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 104 – The Buyers’ Log


On the back cover is the usual John Hamilton advert – again 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 W. E. Johns himself