March 1939

Volume 7 Number 12  (84 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 577 to page 624 (48 pages)


Inside front cover – A striking advert for Lockheed “Retraction!” Undercarriage


Page 578 – Contents Page

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


Page 578 – An interesting advert for Shell

(“East and West, North and South.  Wherever you fly Shell will be there to receive you”  Johns had Biggles fly in all those directions in book titles)


Page 580 – A photograph of three Martin Bombers


Page 581 – The Editor’s Cockpit – W. E. Johns

(Not Subtitled – “One day I hear glowing reports of rising production figures, and the next, tales of such ghastly

inefficiency that I wonder seriously if a democratic government can long survive in the face of totalitarian thoroughness”

 – Johns lavishes venom on those who have left democratic Spain to its fate and then talks about how complex some of today’s British aircraft are when there is really no need for it because it is hampering production.  He then talks about his visit to the K.L.G. sparking plug works and his astonishment at how they are made and his respect for the workers.  He also notes with satisfaction how Gatwick Airport is now making a profit.)


Page 584 – Balloons and the Barrage – by “H. W.”

(A history of the use of balloons in warfare)



Page 588 – This Freedom – J. Harrison

(A rundown of some of the rules and regulations concerning flying)



Page 590 – Herr Hitler’s Aerial Chauffeur – by “Vigilant”

(A fascinating article all about Hitler’s pilot – Hans Baur. He became a pilot in the Great War after writing to the Kaiser about joining.  He was extremely brave and on one occasion attacked 10 French aircraft on his own – with just him and his rear gunner.  They shot down 4 and the other 6 fled.  He was awarded the Medal for Valour and given a commission.


Page 593 – Air Pilgrimage to the Near East – by V. L. G_____g

(The author writes about how easy it is to fly to the “near East”.  “There are two alternatives:  (a) Via the Balkans and Turkey to Syria and Palestine, and (b) Via Southern France and Italy and hop across to North Africa, along the Northern Coast to Egypt and Palestine.  The North African route is easier, more comfortable and longer”)


Page 594 – Flying Wires – Air News from all Points of the Compass

(One particularly interesting item of news is that “Gliding will be included in the syllabus at the Olympic games at Helsinki (Finland) in Jul 1940”.  There would of course be no Olympic games in 1940 as Europe would be at war)


Page 596 – The Imperial Chain of Airports – Robert Brenard of Imperial Airways

(A run down of various airports in exotic and far away places)



Pages 599 and 600 – The Centre Pages – Putting America on the Map – Six photographs showing how aerial maps are made


Page 602 – ‘Planes and Personalities – A Monthly Causerie of Men and Machines – by “Observer”

(One item is “a speed of over 500 miles an hour is, I am told, confidently anticipated from the very “hush hush” low-wing monoplane which Heston Aircraft are building for an early attack on the World’s absolute speed record”)



Page 604 – Sidelights on Gas – Malcolm Logan

(In another similarly humorous article as last month, the author sets out more thoughts of his “Uncle”)


Page 606 – Interceptions by Spitfire

(More comments and views in separate paragraph headings.  The author bemoans the fact that accidents

 involving British aircraft receive a lot of publicity when those involving foreign aircraft do not)


Page 607 – Bombs on Venice – The Story of the First Bombardment from the Air

(An account of the first aerial bombardment which took place in 1849 when Austria used balloons to drop bombs on Venice)


Page 609 – Flying Amazons – Women Who Were Pioneers in the Air – Evelyn Riley

(An account of the first women to fly in balloons as well as aircraft)


Page 610 – A Light - Weight Duration Monoplane – F. S. Camm

(Plans for the making of a balsa wood model)


Page 612 – Six Days in the North Sea – H. J. Wilson

(An account of a German Seaplane forced to land in the North Atlantic and drift for 140 hours whilst the two crew members ate the plane!)


Page 24 – The Buyers’ Log

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



Inside Back Cover – Advert for the Aviation Book Club


Back Page – An Advert for Lodge Spark Plugs noting the World’s Land Speed Record of 357 miles per hour!



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