July 1936

Volume 5 Number 4  (52 of 88)


This issue of Popular Flying magazine features NO “Biggles” story.  The last “Biggles” story was published in the May 1934 issue

This issue of Popular Flying magazine contained a free supplementary print illustrated by Howard Leigh



Running the Gauntlet

A Hawker “Demon” intercepted during air operations by three Gloucester “Gauntlets”



This issue runs from page 169 to page 228 (60 pages)




Inside Cover – An advert for Vickers (Aviation) Limited and Supermarine Aviation Works (Vickers) Limited


Page 172 – Contents Page

(The contents page is on the same page as a small photograph with the caption

“Saro “London” Reconnaissance Flying Boat.  Two Bristol “Pegasus” engines”)


Page 174 – Volunteers – No. 604 (County of Middlesex) (Fighter) Squadron, equipped with Hawker “Demon” fighters


Page 175 – The Editor’s Cockpit – W. E. Johns

(Not subtitled – Johns talks about the biggest menace to world peace and says “The greatest menace which civilisation has permitted to come into being is the fact that one or two men, actuated by mercenary or personal motives, can, by means of subtle propaganda in the newspapers they own, sway an entire nation into a mob of gibbering fanatics, thirsting for the blood of another nation that has never done them any harm, or even contemplated doing them any harm – That, of course, is only my personal opinion.  I may be quite wrong”)


Page 178 – Flying Luck – G. D. Fleming, R.A.F.O.

(The author talks about his various flying experiences.

On page 180 there is a photo of “the author with the lioness he shot on Nairobi aerodrome”)


Page 182 – New Equipment – Howard Leigh

(This is the first every article I have seen in Popular Flying Magazine by the renowned artist, Howard Leigh.

On page 184, a paragraph reads “The Hawker Aircraft Company have added another machine to their long line of worthy aircraft.  This time it is a low-wing high performance single-seater monoplane. Designed as a fighter, it is equipped with retractable undercarriage, wing-flaps and enclosed cockpit with sliding panels.  No information has yet been published regarding performance, but it is well known that the machine has set a new standard which will be hard to surpass”.

I assume this must be the first reference in Popular Flying Magazine to the Hurricane.  Designed by Sydney Camm, who began its design in 1934, the prototype first took to the air on November 6th 1935 at Brooklands and the initial production Hurricane (Mark I) entered R.A.F. service in December 1937 with Number 111 Squadron.  Powered by the famous Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, it became the first R.A.F. monoplane fighter with an enclosed cockpit and retractable undercarriage and was the first R.A.F. fighter monoplane capable of exceeding 300 mph in level flight

 – still no mention of Supermarine’s Spitfire though…….)


Page 185 – Devotion to Duty – by “McScotch”


Page 188 – Other People’s Air Forces – Howard Leigh

(“A short review of some of the Air Forces of the World”

This is only the second ever article by Howard Leigh and it is in the same issue as his first – see above)


Page 192 – The Development of Formation Flying in the German Air Force – John C. Hook

(An account of the scout Jagdstaffels and jagdgeschwaders during the War)


Page 195 – A Stratosphere School in Italy – E. Bartch


Page 196 – My Airship Adventure – J. H. Vickers




Pages 198 and 199 – The Centre Pages – “Seconds out of the Ring!” – A typical dog-fight in the roaring days of 1918

– illustrated by Howard Leigh


Page 200 – Grecian Interlude – Sidelines on War flying from a new angle – L. A. Jessop


Page 203 – When Soldiers Flew the Mails – Nigel Tangye


Page 205 – Flying Wires – From All Quarters

(These brief news items again make no reference to the very first Spitfire flight which took place on 5th March 1936)




Page 206 – Our Jokes Page


Page 207 – Under the Windstocking

(“Readers’ Correspondence, conducted by the Editor” –

The main correspondence this month is about the letter signed by Major A. M. Miller and his observer Howard Long that was with the wreath dropped over a German aerodrome following the death of the famous German pilot, Immelmann.  The Johannesburg “Star” in South Africa traced Miller and interviewed him for their newspaper following publication of the letter in the April 1936 issue of Popular Flying Magazine “from which paper I have unblushingly stolen it in order to print it here” says Johns.  The interesting postscript to the story is that Long was later captured by the Germans and because of the letter he was very well treated.  The letter had been kept by the family of Immelmann and had been published originally in a Munich newspaper, which lead to it’s appearance in the April 1936 Popular Flying.  “It only needs the Editor of the Munich paper to see this and print the full story in order to complete a cycle” comments Johns.)


Page 210 – Noted on the Tarmac – and – An idea – A Warbirds Club

(W.E.J. suggests the formation of a Warbirds club with a suggested subscription of £2. 2s per annum and invites possible members to write to him.  “Only officers and other ranks of the R.F.C., R.N.A.S and R.A.F. who have served on active service overseas are eligible.)


Page 212 – An advert for the R.A.F. Display at Hendon on Saturday, June 27th 1936


Page 216 – Aviation Bookshelf

(“Rockets Through Space” by P. E. Cleator is reviewed.  “The multi-stage space rocket, of which he gives some working details, is described as being capable of carrying four people to one of the nearer planets.  It is impractical, however, as due to the enormous amount of fuel necessary under present conditions, it would weigh nearly fifty-thousand tons and cost twenty million pounds” – Of course, some 33 years, July 1969, man landed on the moon.)


Page 222 – An advert for “Men Only”

(“Devoted Entirely to Men’s interests.  It doesn’t want Women Readers ……………. Won’t have them.

 It is unique in British Journalism)


Page 228 – The Buyers’ Log


On the inside back cover is the usual John Hamilton book advert, this time headed “Aviation Publications”

and advertising 33 books.  5 of Johns books are advertised but the advert includes no Biggles books.


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