October 1936

Volume 5 Number 7  (55 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 runs from page 333 to page 384 (52 pages)




Inside Front Cover – Advert for Rolls-Royce

(At last!  The first mention of “The Supermarine monoplane, “Spitfire” Rolls-Royce engine”.  This is the very first mention in Popular Flying magazine (that I can find) of the Spitfire, which first flew on 5th March 1936)


Page 334 – Contents Page

(The contents page is by a advert for cigarettes but does not have the usual aircraft related photograph with it)


Page 336 – Ships of the Line – A photograph of four Hawker “Ospreys” over the harbour of Alexandria


Page 337 – The Editor’s Cockpit – W. E. Johns

(Not subtitled – Johns talks about how he has been approached by both sides in the Spanish Civil War to find pilots to fight for them.  He fears that English pilots will end up killing English pilots.  “It seems to me that the Air Ministry should take this dangerous-looking bull by the horns right now, and refuse to licence any pilot who will not give a contract to refrain from fighting abroad without permission”.  Johns goes on to criticise the lack of credit given to British “Aces” in the Great War.  A British pilot had to shoot down 10 aircraft to be an Ace.  For other Nations they only had to shoot down 5.  Johns says that it is appalling that everyone has heard of certain German pilots but not British ones who shot down more.  At the end of his editorial there is a warning to pilots about exporting aircraft to Spain and making false declarations about where planes are to be taken abroad.)


Page 339 – The Schlesinger African Air Race – William Courtenay

(“This has been sponsored by Mr. I. W. Schlesinger, the South African philanthropist and the British Empire Exhibition at Johannesburg has been made the occasion for the event”.  The article goes on to say “Not until 1940, when the work on the R.A.F. expansion programme will show signs of slowing down, may we expect to see time and labour available for indulgence in air racing”.)


Page 341 – Memories of the Old Masters – Grenville G. O. Manton

(This article is about the early days at Hendon, 220 acres of pastureland cleared and levelled by Claude Grahame-White, that became the centre of British flying)


Page 344 – China Spreads her Wings II – Harrison Forman




Page 348 – Who Invented the Zeppelin? – J. J. Lynx

(The inventor was David Schwarz a Jewish timber dealer from Austria-Hungary.  He died just before the first successful test flight and Count Zeppelin bought up all the patents to be exploited solely by his firm ………..)


Page 350 – Air Film News – Shots from the air films now in production

(This includes a photograph of James Cagney on the set of “Ceiling Zero”)


Page 351 – Prisoner of War – John C. Hook

(“An account of the capture and escape from French Prison Camp of Karl Menckoff, German Ace”)


Page 353 – The Testing of Aircraft – Flt.-Lt. C. Turner-Hughes


Page 354 – Flying Wires – Interesting News from All Quarters

(This includes the news that Louis Bleriot, the first man to fly the English Channel, died in Paris on August 1st 1936 but still nothing about the Spitfire)




Page 356 – More Memories – The Fortune of War – W. E. J(ohns)

(This is Johns account of how he met a beautiful French girl the night before he was shot down on 16th September 1918 and taken prisoner.  As a result of that he never had the opportunity to see her again.  This event is the basis of the character of Marie Janis – from the penultimate story in the first Biggles book “The Camels are Coming” (published in August 1932) called “Affaire De Coeur”.  Marie Janis was Biggles long lost love.  Biggles was to meet her again in “Biggles Looks Back”, published in February 1965, some thirty two and a half years later …………….)




Pages 358 and 359 – The Centre Pages – “See the World from the Air” – Berlin to Batavia


Page 360 – Modern Aircraft – The Curtiss “Hawk”, Type III


Page 361 – My Most Thrilling Flight – Capt. F. S. Symondson, M.C.

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


Page 362 – With Sun Yest Sen’s Rebel Air Force – Charles Kennett


Page 366 – Homeward from Kosti – An Adventure with a Moral – Oliver Warner


Page 368 – Under the Windstocking

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


Page 370 – Aviation Bookshelf

(Seven books are reviewed – none by Johns)


Page 372 – Trade Notes

(This contains brief news items about various companies)


Page 374 – An Advert for John Hamilton Books

(Six of them – none of them W. E Johns books)


Page 384 – The Buyers’ Log


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