April 1938

Volume 7 Number 1  (73 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 1 to page 56 (56 pages)


Page 2 – Contents Page

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


Page 4 – Hurricane by Name and Hurricane by Nature - A photograph of a Hawker Hurricane

(with Rolls Royce “Merlin” Engine) which has lately been putting up some very fast speeds.




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

(Not Subtitled – Page 5 has a postcard attached to it addressed to Messrs. C. C. Wakefield & Co. Ltd. where the reader can send off for a free copy of “1937 Achievements”.   Johns then writes and amusing account of placing his typewriter in a dustbin and then discarding various possession as he makes his way to France and travels through it enjoying the food and wine until …………… he wakes up.  Johns then makes an important announcement.  “POPULAR FLYING” magazine is to have a little brother which will be called “FLYING”.  This new magazine with be weekly rather than monthly and will cost 3d instead of 6d.  As a side note I would just add that “FLYING” magazine was published every Friday from 2nd April 1938 until 4th November 1939 inclusive, when it closed for the duration of the war, probably due to paper shortages.  There were 84 issues published and by pure chance, the day I originally wrote this was the day I purchased a complete set of “FLYING” magazines.   In due course I intend to put up pictures of the original covers and note the contents in the same way I have done for “POPULAR FLYING” magazine)


Page 8 – Fair Play for the R.A.F. Pilot – Nigel Tangye

(The author bemoans the fact that the R.A.F. do not have radio beams to assist in landing in conditions of bad visibility on their aerodromes like the civil aviation aerodromes have)


Page 11 – Winged Dragon at Bay – How China Built Up Her Air Force – by “Vigilant”

(“Despite its 30,000 characters, the Chinese language had no means to convey expressions such as “horizon bank” or “engine torque”)


Pages 14 – The Future of Civil Aviation – William Courtenay

(“We do not necessarily hold the same opinions as our contributors, but we do not veto articles on that account – ED”)


Page 18 – The Freedom of the Air – J. M. Spaight

(“Those who imagine that an airman merely has to fly a straight course to reach his destination will be surprised to learn that nothing could be further from the truth ……………… prohibited areas, compulsory routes, corridors, and the like will soon make a cross-Continental flight a nightmare.   Naturally, “dictator” countries like Germany and Italy are even more exacting”.)


Page 21 – Modern Aircraft – The Chilton Low-Wing Monoplane


Page 22 – Retractable Undercarriages and Tail Wheels – Wing Commander G. W. Williamson

(“Whether undercarriages are retractable or not, there must still be a provision for taking up of landing shock”)


Page 24 – The Significance of Air Records – by “Quis”

(“The Air Ministry is reported to be considering an attack on the air speed record and the air distance record.  As Great Britain holds the height record, success in the other two of the Eternal Triangle of the air would spell a fair increase in our progress as an air-minded people”)


Page 26 – Flying Wires – Air news items from all points of the compass

(Interesting items are “The Union Government of South Africa has ordered three Hawker Hurricane fighters.  The cost of each machine is £9,000.” And “Nearly 2,000 aircraft are now in operation on air transport services throughout the world.”)



Pages 28 and 29 – The Centre Pages – The Re-Shuffle of the German Pack – Eighteen photographs of the “Court cards” of the German Air Force


Page 30 – ‘Planes and Personalities – A Monthly Causerie by “Observer”

(This continues onto page 32 where there is the following paragraph.  “The latest air story now going the rounds concerns a short-sighted but very enthusiastic R.A.F. candidate who was appearing before the eye specialist of the Air Ministry’s Central Medical Board.  Eager to convince the examiner of his exceptional powers of vision, he commented on the presence of a pin, which he had previously dropped, on the floor at the end of the room.  “Pin?” said the examiner.  “Where? I can’t see any pin!”.  “Yes, there is, sir,” replied the candidate proudly, “over there – in that far corner.  Come and look.”  And as he moved in its direction he fell over a table!  This story is interesting because it was used as a scene in my favourite film of all time “THE GREAT ESCAPE” (1963) when Donald Pleasance was trying to convince Richard Attenborough he could see.  Although, rather than fall over a table, Richard Attenborough puts out his leg and trips Donald Pleasance up.)


Page 34 – “They Disappeared” – John C. Hook

(A interesting article outlining various disappearances of pilots and aeroplanes, mainly over the oceans)



Page 38 – War Birds on Parade (7) – How many can you name? - Six glossy black and white photographs of aircraft from the Great War

(“No further prizes can be offered for correct solutions, as we find it inevitably leads to correspondence.  Several readers were one hundred per cent. correct last month, but the first opened was submitted by Mr. N. Richardson, Princes Risborough, to whom a book is being sent.

 Answers: (31) Vickers F.B.11; (32) Vickers F.B.5 ; (33) Vickers F.B.12; (34)  Vickers F.B.7; (35)  Vickers F.B.9; (36)  Vickers E.S.1.)


Page 40 – Under the Windstocking

(“Readers’ Correspondence, conducted by the Editor”

One interesting letter is from L. R. Sexton, “I am very interested in your splendid paper, although I am only a mere woman.   I was engaged to one of the pilots of No. 13 Squadron, “C” Flight, France who was killed somewhere round the date of October 3rd 1918 ………..  I should be very gratified if anyone knowing Lieut. J. J. Elder and the circumstances surrounding his death would either write to me, or through your paper”.)


Page 56 – The Buyers’ Log


Inside Back Cover – Advert for Greys cigarettes


Back Page – Adverts for Covmo Mark S.S. Piston and Brico Cylinder Liners


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