January 1937

Volume 5 Number 10  (58 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 497 to page 548 (52 pages)


Page 498 – Contents Page

(The contents page is by an advert for Wills’s Gold Flake)



Page 500 – Wide Awake – A photograph of the wake of a sea plane


Page 501 – The Editor’s Cockpit – W. E. Johns

(Subtitled – Those Days are Gone – In one of his most amusing and entertaining editorials, Johns talks about how the headline “Twenty-eight ‘Planes in Dog-fight over Madrid” took him back to his war memories.  He then goes on to talk about how everyone accepts the need for Bombers – something Popular Flying had been saying for years – but how our bombers don’t have the necessary range.  He talks of other things and gives his views on Communism ………………

“Bolshevism reminds me of a mad dog.  It must bite somebody, even those who have befriended it.  There is only one thing to do with a mad dog.  Shoot it.”)


Page 504 – Hands Off the Air Force – (author uncredited but presumably W. E. Johns)

(“The Admiralty knows no laws, it recognises no Cabinet decisions, and it is determined to smash the Royal Air Force”)


Page 506 – Inland Air Lines – William Courtenay

(This article is about the lack of internal air lines in the United Kingdom.  One sentence is reads  “The theatre is dead in the provinces anyway, and only flourishes now in the West End.  It can flourish exceedingly by the use of air travel in this way”)


Page 508 – Modern Aircraft – The Lockheed “Altair”


Page 509 – Naval Eight

(“I am indebted to Mr. E. G. Johnstone, late of No. 8 Squadron, R.N.A.S. for the following story, which consists of excerpts from the Squadron History, published under the same title as this article.  Until Mr. Johnstone showed me a copy of this book the other day I had no idea it existed.  Written by officers who served in the Squadron it is the real thing; probably one of the best war-flying books ever written.  What a tragedy that other Squadrons did not compile such a wonderful record!  Mr. Johnstone still has about a dozen copies of the book for disposal.  Proceeds go to the Old Comrades Association of the Squadron, which, besides being a re-union organisation, looks after old members of the Unit who have fallen on evil days – another fine institution which all Units might well have inaugurated – Ed”)


Page 514 – The Royal Air Force Reserve Services – Nigel Tangye

(“So you’re crazy to fly, are you?  And you haven’t any money to learn?  Don’t let that worry you.  So long as you are sound in mind and limb there are ways in which you can learn to fly not only free, but earning good money for the privilege into the bargain.  Impossible?  Not at all.  Here, very briefly, are some of the ways you can do it.  If you want more details ask for them from the Air Ministry, Adastral House, Kingsway, W.C. 2.”)


Page 516 – Moose Glue Prop – Philip Godsell (Former Field Officer for the Hudson’s Bay Company and Author of “Arctic Trader”)

(An account of how a bad landing on the frozen MacKenzie River in the sub arctic was fixed with a home made propeller)


Page 519 – Air Minded Russia – Planes on Peace Work – Geoffrey Trease

(“who has just returned from six months extensive travel in the Soviet Union”)


Page 520 – Flying Wires – News from Far and Near

(One news item is “An order has been issued by President Roosevelt forbidding the export from America of the latest military and naval aircraft” and another is “During the year 1935, twenty thousand, four hundred and thirty-one men, offered themselves for enlistment as airmen in the Royal Air Force”)



Pages 522 and 523 – The Centre Pages – Some British Air Fighters


Page 524 – Remote Control – Doctor Helmut Klotz

(An article about the development of a “remote-control craft, which was charged with high explosive (and) directed towards enemy warships and automatically exploded” – effectively a torpedo)


Page 527 – Films and Flying

(Scenes from the Warner Brothers film “China Clipper”)


Page 528 – Electrical Equipment – For Power-Driven Model Aircraft – D. A. Russell


Page 530 – Liebe Garda – Short Story – Carmichael Earl

(This short story is by W. E. Johns son and would have been edited by Johns as well.  I wonder how much input, if any, he had?)


Page 532 – The Aviation Bookshelf – Books reviewed by J. C. E. (Johns son)

(Four books are reviewed)


Page 534 – The International Aero Exhibition, Paris 1936 – by A. C.

(“The Hawker Aircraft Company had hoped to show the “Hurricane” fighter, but were prevented from doing so by a last-minute ban by the British Air Ministry”.  There is no mention of the Spitfire but “Amongst the engine exhibits …… Rolls Royce showed a sectional Kestrel engine and the more recent “Merlin” which carried a notice stating that it developed 1,065 horse-power!”.  It was the “Merlin” engine that famously powered the Spitfire.)


Page 536 – Under the Windstocking

(“Readers’ Correspondence.  Conducted by the Editor”

One letter asks for details about “the multi-barrelled anti-aircraft guns which are now being fixed on our battleships”

 – Johns replies “Sorry, new anti-aircraft devices are very much under the hat – and rightly so”.)


Page 538 – John Hamilton Advert

(An advert for 27 books, of which three Johns books are mentioned – ‘Air V.C.’s’ – ‘Thrilling Flights’ and ‘Milestones of Aviation’)


Page 541 – On this page there is a heading “Liaison” which gives the following information

(“An interesting new service is now available to the British Aircraft Industry through the medium of Air Roads and Patents Ltd, of 86, Strand, W.C.2.  This company, in spite of its somewhat misleading title, now specialises in providing a liaison service between the principal Air Ministry contractors and the large number of sub-contractors who have recently been approved by the Air Ministry Inspection Department for the carrying out of aircraft work”.)


Page 548 – The Buyers’ Log



Inside Back Cover – An Advert for Player’s Airman Mixture and an advert for Railton Holden’s books

(This includes a caricature similar to the one done previously for W. E. Johns)


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