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Wonders of World Aviation

Part 30


Part 30 of Wonders of World Aviation was published on Tuesday 27th September 1938, price 7d.


This part included a colour plate showing an Avro Anson. This was one of the illustrations in the article on Trainers of the RAF.






The Cover


This week’s cover shows one of the gliders competing in the National Gliding Contests held at Dunstable, Bedfordshire, in July 1938. At these contests, on July 9-10, a world record for two-seater gliders was made by Flight Lieut. W. B. Murray and J. S. Sproule, who remained in the air for 22 hours 13 minutes 35 seconds.

A glider competing in the National Gliding Contests held in July 1938


Contents of Part 30


Pioneers of the Parachute (Part 2)

Jersey Airways

The French Air Force

Experiments with Ornithopters

Famous Flying Partnerships

Trainers of the RAF

The Avro Anson (colour plate)

Flying Boats and Their Work (Part 1)


Jersey Airways


The oldest constituent members of the British Empire - the Channel Islands - are connected with England by the newest form of transport. Five air routes connect the south coast of England with the Channel Islands and they are described in this chapter by Major A. P. Sinkinson. This is the fifteenth article in the series on Air Routes of the World.

(Pages 804-806)


Experiments with Ornithopters


An ornithopter is a wing-flapping device designed to imitate the flight of a bird. This chapter, by Miles Henslow, describes a number of ingenious devices designed to imitate the flight of birds.

(Pages 811-812)


The Short Singapore III

A FOUR-ENGINED TWIN-TANDEM BIPLANE, the Short Singapore III of 1934. This is a four-engined reconnaissance and coastal patrol flying boat. The span of the upper plane is 90 feet and that of the lower plane 76 feet. The length is 64 ft 2-in, the height 23 ft 7-in, and the wing area 1,834 square feet. The four Rolls-Royce Kestrel twelve-cylinder water-cooled engines are mounted in tandem pairs. The maximum speed at 2,000 feet is 145 miles an hour, the cruising speed is 105 miles an hour and the range 1,000 miles.

(Page 822)


Jumping from less than 300 feet


JUMPING FROM LESS THAN 300 FEET, Carl Siemendl demonstrated a new type of parachute at Luton Airport, Bedfordshire, in July 1938. The parachute is the invention of an Austrian, Joseph Eschner. It is not advisable to use an ordinary parachute at heights less than about 1,000 feet, although safe descents below this height have been made.

(Page 801)


Pioneers of the Parachute (Part 2)



The concluding part of Sidney Howard’s chapter describing the different technique needed when parachuting from aeroplanes and some of the pioneering parachutists. The article is concluded from part 29.

(Pages 801-803)



The Avro Anson


THE AVRO ANSON is a twin-engined low-wing monoplane used for training pilots who are to go to bomber squadrons and who will fly other twin-engined Service aircraft. It is used also as a Service type for coastal reconnaissance work. Each of the Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX radial air-cooled engines develops 310 horse-power at 2,100 revolutions a minute at 6,000 feet. Each engine installation is entirely interdependent, with its own petrol and oil tanks. On top of the fuselage and behind the cabin is the rear gun position which is equipped with an Armstrong Whitworth totally-enclosed rotating gun turret. A Lewis gun is used in this position.


This colour plate previously appeared as the cover design to Part 16.


(Facing page 820)


Flying Boats and their Work (Part 1)


The flying boat is the air equivalent of the ocean liner. This chapter, by Captain Norman Macmillan, describes the service and commercial uses of large aircraft that operate from water. This article is concluded in part 31.

(Pages 822-824)


The Opening of Jersey Airport

THE FIRST MACHINES TO ARRIVE at Jersey Airport, opened in March 1937, were four-engined D.H.-86 Express Air Liners belonging to Jersey Airways, Ltd. Jersey Airways is one of the few unsubsidized air companies operating four-engined aircraft exclusively.

(Page 805)


The French Air Force


Historical associations bind the Royal Air Force and the French air force closely together. The early development of both services took place under the stress of the war of 1914-18 and each helped the other with men and materials. In this chapter, by Major Oliver Stewart, the development of the French air force is described. In particular how the Armee de l’Air has been completely reorganized in recent years. This is the second article in the series Air Fleets of the Nations.

(Pages 807-810)


Potez 63 Monoplanes

POTEZ 63 MONOPLANES at Villacoublay, eight miles south-west of Paris. These aircraft are made in three classes: fighter, bomber and reconnaissance. They are fitted with two Hispano-Suiza 14 HBs radial air-cooled engines, developing 670 horse-power at 3,500 metres (11,480 feet). The span is 52 ft 6-in, the length 36 ft 3-in, and the height 9 ft 10-in. The maximum speed of the fighter models is 285 miles an hour at 4,000 metres (13,120 feet) and the cruising speed 199 miles an hour at the same height. The armament of the fighter comprises two 20-mm cannon fixed beneath the fuselage and one flexible machine-gun in the gunner’s cockpit.

(Page 807)


Famous Flying Partnerships


Record-making and long-distance flights by French aviators have produced some notable partnerships. Teams of pilots of proved ability performed nearly all of the various flights. In this chapter, Sidney Howard describes some of these historic flights over long distances and in closed circuits.

(Pages 813-816)


The Miles R. R. Trainer

A HIGH-PERFORMANCE MONOPLANE for advanced training to be used in the Royal Air Force. It is the Miles R. R. Trainer, and is fitted with a Rolls-Royce Kestrel engine and a three-bladed controllable pitch propeller. Two seats are provided and the aircraft is to be used for the training of fighter pilots. A maximum speed of nearly 300 miles an hour is attainable.

(Page 817)


Leonardo da Vinci’s Ornithopter

MODEL OF LEONARDO DA VINCI’S ORNITHOPTER. To obtain the up-and-down lapping motion Da Vinci arranged two arms, pivoted at the centre of a framework, with cords to be attached to legs. The act of stretching out the legs pulled the wings downwards; the arms, pushing upon a pair of rods, swept the wings up again into position for the next flap. There is no evidence to show that a full-sized example was ever built.

(Page 811)


The “Joseph le Brix”

NAMED AFTER A FAMOUS FRENCH AVIATOR, the Joseph le Brix, piloted by Paul Codos and Maurice Rossi, beat the world long-distance record in August 1933 by flying from New York to Rayak (Syria), a distance of 5,657 miles. In the following year Codos and Rossi flew the same machine from Paris to New York. The Joseph le Brix was a Bleriot 110 monoplane, fitted with a 500 horse-power Hispano-Suiza engine. The length of the aircraft was 47 ft 3-in, the span 86 feet and the height 16 feet.

(Page 813)


Trainers of the RAF


Training aircraft in the RAF are used to train pilots how to fly and navigate, but also how to fight. Some of the trainers used for elementary tuition are similar to trainers used in flying clubs and schools, but the advanced trainers are nearly the same as certain Service aircraft. Three classes of trainers: primary, single-engined and twin-engined, are used to train British pilots. This chapter is written by Arthur Clark.

(Pages 817-821)

JUMPING FROM LESS THAN 300 FEET, Carl Siemendl demonstrated a new type of parachute at Luton Airport in 1938The Opening of Jersey Airport in 1937POTEZ 63 MONOPLANES at Villacoublay, eight miles south-west of ParisMODEL OF LEONARDO DA VINCI’S ORNITHOPTERThe Joseph le Brix, piloted by Paul Codos and Maurice Rossi, beat the world long-distance record in August 1933The Miles R. R. Trainer, fitted with a Rolls-Royce Kestrel engine and a three-bladed controllable pitch propellerThe Avro AnsonThe Short Singapore III of 1934