August 1938

Volume 7 Number 5  (77 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 221 to page 276 (56 pages)


Page 222 – Contents Page

(The contents page is by an advert for Air France – “Fastest to the best places”)


Page 224 – A photograph of a firework display from above – taken by Mr. H. H. Harris at Boston, U.S.A.


Page 225 – The Editor’s Cockpit – W. E. Johns

(Subtitled – “David and Goliath” -  Johns writes with contempt for the Navy shooting down a remote controlled “Queen Bee” aircraft in training.

He says it is nothing like the real thing.  Johns then talks about the air show he saw at Gatwick.

Organised by ‘The Daily Express’, it attracted some 80,000 people.  He speculates whether the R.A.F. might revive their display.)


Page 227 – Two photographs of unusual looking sand dunes


Page 228 – The U.S. Army Air Corps – W. J. Boylhart

(“This year the United States ranks sixth among the seven air powers of the world in the number of military service aircraft available for immediate use”.  The figures given are of interest.  “1,650 regular officers; 1,350 reserve officers, 16,000 enlisted men; 2,500 flying cadets and 2,330 serviceable aircraft of all types.”)


Page 232 – Ups and Downs – A few words about “Bumps” – J. R. D. Drummond

(An article about turbulence – which doesn’t actually use that word)


Page 234 – Air Titan of the East – by A Special Correspondent

(An article about the Japanese Air Force)


Page 236 – Aerial Treasure Hunt – Douglas Ross

(An account of a trip to Cocos Island)


Page 238 – The King’s Cup Air Race, 1938

(The winner was Mr. Alex Henshaw, in his Percival Mew Gull)


Page 239 – Russian Pilots in the Great War – A. H. Pritchard

(“In the December, 1937 issue of Popular Flying, W.E.J. wrote an article entitled “Aerial Russia”, and a line in it read:

 “Little is known of what Russia did during the war – if, in fact, she did anything at all”.

Although it must be admitted that the Imperial Russian Air Service was something of a comic opera unit, it did have machines and they were flown on war patrols.  So, for the first time in England, here is a short account of the war work of Aerial Russia”)


Page 242 – Gliding at the Cape – New South African Records – N. K. Lock

(An account of South Africa’s first National Gliding Rally on 15th December 1937 where new height, duration and distance records,

were established for the country.)



Page 244 – My War Diary – by The Baroness von Richthofen (Verlag Ullstein, Berlin.)

(“The Baroness von Richthofen, mother of the celebrated war ace, Manfred von Richthofen, has just published, in Germany, her memoirs under the title of “My War Diary”.  The book has not yet been translated into English, but we feel that it is bound to be of such interest to the admirers of the famous German pilot that we offer this brief account of the contents – Ed.”)


Page 246 – Flying Wires – Brief News from Far and Near

(One particularly interesting items of news from 1938 is that

“A four-engined Junkers aeroplane has established a new height record while carrying a load of 96.86 cwt. reaching a height of 23,798 ft.”)



Pages 248 and 249 – The Centre Pages – France Spreads Her Wings – Six black and white aviation photographs



Page 250 – New Light on George and the Dragon – Malcolm Logan

(A comedic look at the well known legend – with cartoon illustrations)


Page 252 – ‘Planes and Personalities – A Monthly Causerie of Men and Machines – By “Observer”

(“It is generally known that the Royal Air Force have for some time had designs on the world’s aeroplane speed record now held by Germany and are planning to produce a Supermarine Spitfire with a specifically “boosted” engine which will do a lot better than the present record figure of 379 miles an hour.  I don’t know and dare not attempt to guess the top speed of a Spitfire but if any reader of POPULAR FLYING who cares to be shot at dawn likes to work out the speed of the standard Spitfire I saw arrive at Brooklands the other day after it had flown the 48 miles from Southampton, helped by a slight tail wind, in 7 ½ minutes, he will realise that the present record is far from being safe.”)



Page 254 – A photograph of a Spitfire (as the article on page 252 continues)


Page 256 – Jump With Confidence – by “Caterpillar”

(“Our Contributor, who is a member of the “Caterpillar Club” – membership of which is confined to those who have saved their lives by jumping – has been associated with the drop-testing of parachutes at Henlow, and was one of the Virginian pilots in the last R. A. F. Display.”)


Page 258 – Those Happy Days – L. J. Delaney

(A fascinating account of a R. F. C. pilot learning to fly and being posted to the front – and the near death experiences he had on the way!)


Page 268 – The Aviation Bookshelf – Books of the Month Reviewed by Denis Desoutter

(Three books are reviewed this month)



Page 270 – When Policemen Fly – An advert for an article in the July Pearson’s Magazine

(I wonder if this had any influence on W. E. Johns post war decision to make Biggles a flying policeman?)


Page 272 – War Birds on Parade – The solutions to the final set

(War Birds on Parade 7 appeared in April 1938 so it had taken four months to publish the answers, which were

No. 37, Sopwith Scout, No. 38, Nieuport, No. 39, Morane Biplane, No. 40. Sopwith Bomber,

No. 41, R.N.A.S. Kitten, No. 42, Martinsyde Two-seat Fighter.)



Page 276 – The Buyers’ Log

(This carries the same Royal Air Force adverts for vacancies for pilots and vacancies for air observers as set out in previous months)


Inside Back Cover – Advert for Greys cigarettes


Back Page – Adverts for Brico Piston Rings and Covmo Mark S.S. Pistons


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