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Wonders of World Aviation

Part 2

Part 2 of Wonders of World Aviation was published on Tuesday 15th March 1938, price 7d.

This part included a colour plate showing a Miles Magister monoplane which accompanied the article on Learning to Fly.

There was also a central photogravure supplement showing various gliders which illustrated the article on Modern Soaring Flight.

The Cover

There are no editorial notes about this cover which shows a De Havilland DH.90 Dragonfly of the Rhodesian and Nyasaland Airways.

According to the Aviation Safety Network database, this aircraft crashed near Gwelo, Southern Rhodesia, on 20 December 1938, nine months after this Part was published.

 De Havilland DH.90 Dragonfly of the Rhodesian and Nyasaland Airways

Contents of Part 2

Into the Stratosphere (Part 2)

The First English Aeronaut

Seaplanes and Their Work

Modern Soaring Flight

Modern Soaring Flight (photogravure supplement)

Evolution of the Aero Engine

Learning to Fly - 1

The Miles Magister Monoplane (colour plate)

Round the World in Eight Days (Part 1)

Flying Boats and Floatplanes

FLYING BOATS AND FLOATPLANES from aircraft carriers of the Royal Navy during exercises in the Mediterranean. This photograph illustrates the two types of seaplane. In the foreground are two Supermarine Walrus amphibian flying boats. On water these craft can alight on their hulls, the floats on the wings serving only as stabilizers. To alight on land the amphibians let down wheels. The Fairey III F’s and Ospreys are floatplanes, and are fully supported on the water by their main floats.

(Page 38)

Seaplanes and Their Work

Special types of aircraft developed for marine uses. Seaplanes may be divided into two principal classes: floatplanes and flying boats. The amphibian is a type which can alight on or take off from either land or water, and so may act as a landplane or a seaplane. This chapter is by Captain Norman Macmillan.

(Pages 37-42)

Modern Soaring Flight

Engineless flying in gliders and sailplanes. There is a school of thought which frowns on the art of gliding and soaring flight or even goes so far as to treat it almost with derision, but it is, after all, linked historically with the beginnings of our subject, and since it provides a sport which attracts exponents throughout the world. Whatever may be one’s view of its utility value, it is none the less interesting to study, as was shown in a recent Royal Aeronautical Society lecture by our contributor, G M Buxton. Many now well-known personalities were active on gliders in the more or less pioneering days and much valuable work was done by them. As shown in the chapter on the history of flying in Part 1, the early glider experiments were the first steps to controlled heavier-than-air flight, and the coming of the internal combustion engine changed this dream into reality.

(Pages 43-50)

Learning to Glide on the Downs

LEARNING TO GLIDE on the Downs near Dunstable, Bedfordshire. In these simple gliders, which are held back against the strain of a rubber rope and then released, men and women learn to glide as a preliminary to the higher art of soaring.

(Page 43)

Modern Soaring Flight

Photogravure Supplement

THE WINGS OF A SAILPLANE are covered partly with plywood, generally about 1½ millimetres thick, and partly with fabric. The wing has a main spar at the leading edge and a light spar or spars near the trailing edge. The main spar has to carry the bending moment caused by the forces on the wing.

(Page 47)

Modern Soaring Flight: Photogravure Supplement

GLIDER BEING LAUNCHED by rubber rope. The rope falls off the hook when it has become loose, and the flier then glides down until his craft comes to rest on the skid, above which he is sitting.

(Pages 48-49)

Modern Soaring Flight:

Photogravure Supplement

SOARING ABOVE THE LONGMYND, a hill near Church Stretton, Shropshire, is a sailplane named The Professor, from the Midland Gliding Club.


(Page 50)

The Gipsy Six I Engine

INVERTED. The Gipsy Six I is a six-cylinder air-cooled motor of 200 horse-power and weighs 468 lb. The cylinders are below the crankcase. Two Gipsy Six engines were used in the D.H. Comet, which won the England-Australia race in 1934 in 2 days 22 hours 58 minutes. A smaller model, the Gipsy Major I, is fitted in the Tiger Moth and similar aeroplanes.

(Page 51)

Evolution of the Aero Engine

The quest for efficiency with lightness and reliability. The evolution of the aero engine is a fascinating story of progress and mechanical achievement and it rightly takes its place in this Part. Your Editor’s own first experience was with the 50-hp rotary Gnome, in which the cylinders revolved round the crankshaft, wasting a good deal of oil in the process! But it was the Gnome which did so much to make flying possible, even though (or so it appeared) it sometimes delighted to cease to function at the most inconvenient of moments. Forced landings, however, were slow landings in those days and complete disasters were rare from that cause. This chapter is by L H Thomas.

(Pages 51-55)

You can read more on aircraft engines in Wonders of World Engineering.

Into the Stratosphere (Part 2)

The first ascent of over ten miles by Professor Auguste Piccard. This chapter is by L H Thomas and is concluded from part 1.

(Pages 33-35)

You can read about flights in the stratosphere in Wonders of World Engineering.

An Airspeed Queen Wasp

RUNNING ON THE STEP is the expression used to describe the hydroplaning of a seaplane on the surface of the water. Before hydroplaning, the floats plough through the water, build up a bow wave and gradually climb up the “hump” so formed. The floatplane illustrated is an Airspeed Queen Wasp.

(Page 37)

Round the World in Eight Days (Part 1)

How pilot and navigator encircled the earth from New York to New York. One of the most outstanding flights of recent years was that of the Winnie Mae, a small monoplane in which the late Wiley Post and Harold Gatty flew round the world in eight days sixteen hours. This chapter is by L H Thomas, and is concluded in part 3. It is the first article in the series Great Flights.

(Pages 61-64)

Harold Gatty and Wiley Post

THE AVIATORS AND THEIR AEROPLANE. Harold Gatty (right) was the navigator and the late Wiley Post (left) the pilot of the Winnie Mae, a monoplane belonging to F. C. Hall, the sponsor of the flight.

(Page 61)

Ground Instruction in Map Reading

GROUND INSTRUCTION in map reading. The instructor, seated in the machine, is explaining to his pupils how to fold a map for reading in the air, and the importance of oreintating the map so that the route to be followed lies in the same direction as that in which the machine is flying. Such ground instruction is as important as the lessons in the air.

(Page 56)

Testing the Instruments in the Gondola

TESTING THE INSTRUMENTS in the gondola before the ascent. During the ascent the instruments and scientific apparatus for the study of cosmic rays were fixed on circular panels round the walls of the gondola, which was 7 feet in diameter and was built of an aluminium alloy.

(Page 34)

The First English Aeronaut

James Sadler (1751-1828) gained the distinction of beingASCENDING FROM MERTON FIELDS, OXFORD, on July 7, 1810, James Sadler made a voyage of two and a half hours in this balloon the first Englishman to fly.

The first Englishman to ascend, and perhaps the first man in England to make serious contributions to the art of ballooning, was James Sadler.

This article, which provides a biography of his life, is by H G Castle.

This is the first article in the series Makers of Air History.

(Page 36)


ASCENDING FROM MERTON FIELDS, OXFORD, on July 7, 1810, James Sadler made a voyage of two and a half hours in this balloon before landing at North Crawley, Buckinghamshire.

Testing the Instruments in the GondolaAn Airspeed Queen WaspFlying Boats and Floatplanes

Fins or Seawings

FINS OR SEAWINGS are fitted instead of wing-tip floats to this Martin 130 transoceanic flying boat, to provide the necessary lateral stability when the aircraft is resting on the water.

TAKING OFF FROM SOUTHAMPTON WATER. The Imperial Airways flying boat Capella, in the same way as all her sister Empire flying boats, is fitted with outboard, or wing-tip floats. In the background are two troopships, distinctively painted white with a blue band round the hull.

(Page 41)

Fins or SeawingsLearning to Glide on the DownsA sailplane in flightGLIDER BEING LAUNCHED by rubber ropeGLIDER BEING LAUNCHED by rubber ropeSOARING ABOVE THE LONGMYNDThe Gipsy Six 1 Engine

Learning to Fly - 1

Preliminary instruction on the ground and in the air. “Learning to Fly” is a branch of our subject of which this is the first chapter, submitted by Arthur Clark. Several more chapters will appear in due course so that the reader may have a complete and up-to-date account of flying tuition and what it means today.

The large numbers of clubs and schools make it a comparatively easy and inexpensive matter to learn the preliminaries of flying, quite apart from the wider opportunities offered by the Royal Air Force, and there is an ever-growing number of pupils reported from all such organizations. Of the making of pilots, we may now say, there is no end.

The standard of flying instruction is high and the facilities numerous. Your Editor looks back with some amusement to the time when, perched upon the side of a Henry Farman type biplane, I had my first lessons by leaning over an instructor’s shoulder and holding the joystick. Later, he had to lean over my shoulder, and trust to my immature footwork with the rudder-bar. But it all seemed very normal then and nobody, least of all the instructor, worried much about it.

The method worked and was better than teaching oneself to fly, which was not so easy. One of my instructors (there were two, the Pashley Brothers, whose services we had) is still teaching at the same aerodrome, Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, for what is now the South Coast Flying Club and with a total of more than 10,000 flying hours to his credit.

His career has been singular in that most of it has been devoted to instructional work, for which he has an enthusiasm amounting almost to a passion. Most pilots vary their activities, but C. L. Pashley likes nothing better than teaching the tyro. His brother Eric Pashley was killed in France in the war of 1914-1918. It is a far cry from those distant days of primitive instruction to the present up-to-date schools which exist in such great numbers.

(Pages 56-60)

Ground Instruction in Map ReadingTHE MILES MAGISTER is a low-wing cantilever monoplane often used for instructional purposes

The Miles Magister

THE MILES MAGISTER is a low-wing cantilever monoplane often used for instructional purposes. The pupil who is learning to fly sits in the back cockpit, his instructor in the front. There are dual controls and complete sets of standard instruments in both cockpits, with a special hood so that instruction in blind flying can be given. The Magister has a maximum speed of 145 miles an hour at 1,000 feet and a stalling speed of 45 miles an hour. The service ceiling is 18,000 feet. The engine is a De Havilland Gipsy Major of 130 horse-power.

(Facing page 58)

Harold Gatty and Wiley Post