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The Story Behind The Cover


“Flying Aces, May 1936″ by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on May 20, 2024 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we are once again celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Mayshark took over the covers duties on Flying Aces from Paul Bissell with the December 1934 issue and would continue to provide covers for the next year and a half until the June 1936 issue. While Bissell’s covers were frequently depictions of great moments in combat aviation from the Great War, Mayshark’s covers were often depictions of future aviation battles and planes, like May 1936’s thrilling story behind its cover which imagines what an action test of the mighty Douglas bombers vs the new Northrop Fighters might look like!

Action Test of the Mighty Douglas

th_FA_3605OUT of a brilliant blue haze, several streaking shapes suddenly appear. They are mid-winged, twin-motored, super-streamlined bombers. And as they come screaming down the airways, they give one an impression of darting, kill-mad hawks. Their objective is an important army field in the distance. At the critical moment, these bombers will release explosives—tons of explosives—and the field and everything on it will be blown to smitherines.

The bombing of the field is an order to be carried out—a purpose to be accomplished. The crews within the hurtling bombers close their eyes to slits, set their mouths in a firm line indicating grim determination. That field will be blown up! It must be destroyed!

But the field ahead of the stalking bombers has now come to life. In the radio room, an operator is rapidly typing a warning message which is coming in over the air. An orderly scuttles back and forth between the radio room and the C.O.’s office. Terse commands are barked out. Pilots slap on their helmets, don chutes. On their way to the hangars, they are joined by tense-looking gunners.

The greaseballs have already begun to trundle out sleek, vicious-looking Northrop fighters, and in a moment, after the pilots have clambered into their cockpits, inertia starters are gunned. A series of choking coughs ensue as the sliding pistons force out dead gas. Suddenly there is a drawn-out sputter—then, contact!

The throbbing motors are jazzed for a moment or two, then the brakes are released. Like snarling panthers, the Northrops dart forward. In a twinkling they are off the ground. They bank around tightly even before they reach the required five hundred feet. Up . . . up . . . they spiral. Then, as they reach a thousand, the pilot of the number one ship “spots” the Douglas Bombers sizzling toward the field.

The Douglases are near three thousand, but they are slithering down on a steep angle. After a moment, their speed becomes tremendous. The double-banked radials screech wildly, and the slipstream spangs out far behind the arc-ed surfaces of the glistening cantilever wings.

The Northrops scatter. They have received their combat signals via radio. Now they spread out fan-wise, still roaring away from the space over their field. But as the first of the bombers approaches, the Northrops quickly bank in from each side, knife-like, obstructing the way to the field. As they close upon the Douglas ships, they begin to spew tracer. The forward guns of each attack plane bellow grimly. The Northrops have now flashed up and over the bombers.

Suddenly the Northrop gunners swing their black-muzzled rear guns into action. A criss-cross fire from all the Northrops results. Lead flies, metal zings. The chattering is the voice of Death.

The terrific barrage makes the Douglas crews apprehensive as to their success. But they retaliate with fierce abandon. Rear gun turrets pop up, and the bird cage gunners in the bows hurl lead upon their attackers.

Abruptly, the pilot of the first Northrop slumps in his cockpit as slugs from the nearest bomber puncture his body. His ship falls off, plunges out of control to destruction below.

But the remaining Northrops knife in again upon their adversaries. One of them hurtles down the sky, flutters up under the belly of one of the enemy to strike at its vitals. Bullets pencil up at the great bomber. Suddenly, the Douglas staggers, then seems to stop altogether. It teeters drunkenly, then flames belch out and it plummets toward the earth, the whistling slipstream fanning the fires. The men within are helpless. Their ship is now their coffin.

WHAT would be the ultimate result of such an encounter between these latest Douglas Bombers and the new speedy Northrop Fighters? Will the other bombers reach and blow up their objective, or will the fighters be successful in holding them back?

We can’t say. Of course, attempts have been made to find a theoretical answer to such questions by staging sham air raids. Judges preside, and at the conclusion of the battle, a decision is rendered. But can we really tell until such an air skirmish actually happens?

FLYING ACES describes this Actionized sham battle and pictures the encounter on its cover simply to give you some idea of what it might be like. In the painting, firing is depicted and a ship is shown falling in order to make this test of the Douglas and Northrops appear more realistic.

Performance figures on these two new ships have not been released. However, we are able to tell you that 90 of these new Douglas DB-1 bombers have been ordered by the Army on a $6,498,000 contract. The experimental ship was tried with both the Pratt & Whitney “Hornet” engines and with the Wright “Cyclones.” A crew of five is carried, and in addition to bombing facilities, machine guns are fitted at strategic points offering arcs of fire covering every approach. The top speed of the Douglas approaches 250 m.p.h. (Also see description of the ship in Modern Planes Album, this issue(below)).

The Northrop Corporation (a subsidiary of Douglas) has recently been awarded orders for some 115 of the attack planes pictured on our cover at a total cost of $2,560,074. This fast ship is reputed to have a high speed of 250 m.p.h. when powered with the 750 h.p. double-banked Pratt & Whitney radial engine. The plane carries four 30 cal. fixed machine guns and one 30 cal, flexible machine gun mounted in the rear cockpit.

With the production of these two ships, a big step forward has been achieved in the field of American military aviation.

The Story of The Cover
Action Test of the Mighty Douglas: Thrilling Story Behind This Month’s Cover
Flying Aces, May 1936 by C.B. Mayshark

 

Here is the description of the new Douglas DB-1 bomber from the Modern Planes Album section of the May 1936 Flying Aces:

The Douglas DB-1 Bomber

THE new Douglas bomber which competed against the Boeing 299 and the Martin for Army Air Service favor, has several of the characteristics of the Douglas D.C.2 commercial job. It is a mid-wing monoplane with a deep body, swept-back wings, and retractable landing gear. What made the DB-1 a mid-wing was the unusual depth of the ship’s belly. In this it is much like the Martin.

So far both Wright and Pratt and Whitney radial motors have been used in the experimental job and its best top speed is said to be 250 m.p.h.

Very little is known of the machine outside of official circles. It is an all-metal job, of course, carrying two pilots—one acting as navigator and co-pilot. A gunner is mounted in the nose in a well-protected turret and it is presumed that he will be equipped with two high-speed Browning guns. A rear gunner has a turret set well down the fuselage near the fin. This turret is completely covered during ordinary flight. It also has a tunnel outlet directed under the tail to ward off attack from below.

The DB-1 carries considerable military equipment, including two-way radio, camera mountings, and the like. The bombs are carried in racks fitted in the deep body. Several types of projectiles may be carried. The wheels fold away into the deep roots of the wings.

We learn from one source that a number of these ships have been purchased for new equipment in service squadrons. The real details on the actual speed and general specifications will probably not be officially released for many months. (The Douglas DB-1 is also pictured this month on our cover (above))

An interesting comparison in the general design of this machine and the Italian Piaggio P.16 may be made if one overlooks the fact that the Italian ship has three engines whereas the Douglas is powered with two.

“Flying Aces, April 1936″ by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on May 13, 2024 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we are once again celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Mayshark took over the covers duties on Flying Aces from Paul Bissell with the December 1934 issue and would continue to provide covers for the next year and a half until the June 1936 issue. While Bissell’s covers were frequently depictions of great moments in combat aviation from the Great War, Mayshark’s covers were often depictions of future aviation battles and planes, but April 1936’s thrilling cover was a bit different, featuring the Trans-Atlantic Shuttle heading off over land towards the sea!

Flying the Trans-Atlantic Shuttle

th_FA_3604ALTHOUGH the art of aviation is today making great strides forward, flying, like air conditioning and television, will not enjoy its real “arrival” until tomorrow. True, the present generation is placing more and more emphasis on aeronautic progress, but the man in the street is still somewhat hampered by a kind of Nineteenth Century transportation hangover. His traditions tend to make him feel a lot happier on the ground. But even so, the speed of aero development is phenomenal.

It is only a few short years since Lindbergh made his immortal flight across the grey wastes of the Atlantic. For completing that initial scheduled air trip to Europe—we say “scheduled” because he arrived non-stop at his chosen destination—he was hailed as a Twentieth Century Christopher Columbus. He was lauded as being years ahead of the rest of us.

But now we suddenly find that he was not so many years ahead—only about ten, it now appears. For already plans are being laid for regular passenger and mail service between North America and Europe via the air lanes. The launching of this service will constitute the dawn of that tomorrow we spoke of above.

Giant flying boats will soon ply East and West, transporting passengers over three thousand miles of water at speeds undreamed of thirty-five years ago. Steamers on the water below will look as if they are going backwards. Those who make the trip will have just about enough time to enjoy a detective novel and indulge in a rubber or so of bridge before they disembark at their destination, whether it be New York, London, or Paris. Businessmen will save valuable hours—indeed, valuable days. Much money will be saved by the commercial world. Best of all, a more neighborly spirit will come to exist between the two continents.

And so it can be seen that in spite of that oft-repeated warning that “speed will kill us all,” we are going ahead. Many of the old stick-in-the-muds, in fact, are now coming over to our side; but still others will not give way. “You’re fools,” they tell us, pointing a trembling finger in our direction. “God gave us feet as a means of locomotion,” they say, “and He gave us good, solid brown earth on which to walk—so why in the name of all that’s sensible don’t we use them and stop all this monkey business of tearing around the heavens in fearful flying machines?”

But the individuals with such beliefs will soon pass on, taking all their mediaeval hoopla with them into the “good, solid brown earth” of which they have so much to say.

You who read these words won’t have quite so much trouble in carrying out your ideas when you get the reins. And then, ludicrously enough, another generation will spring up after you which will think your ideas are old fashioned.

BE THAT as it may, trans-Atlantic travel by air is soon to be a reality. FLYING ACES, to be sure, cannot at this early date predict the precise means by which this route will be established. But the newspapers these days are telling us that the foundation stones are already being laid for the U.S.-to-Europe airline.

The names of Pan-American and Sikorsky have figured prominently in the plans, but these companies will probably not have the corner on the lucrative business which will ensue from this enterprise. There are several European organizations, notably Imperial Airways and Air France, which undoubtedly intend to share in the project.

Presumably, by the time the line is ready to carry passengers, a ship suitable for the route will have been developed. In light of experiments to date, it would seem that a flying boat capable of high speeds at great altitudes would be the most logical solution to the problem. Such a plane would carry from forty to fifty passengers and travel at 250-300 m.p.h. at about 35,000 feet. The planes would fly from Northern Europe to Newfoundland, Bermuda, or both.

Bringing such a big ship into the busy and often fogbound harbors of Eastern North America might be a risky and hazardous undertaking for a large flying boat. Not that it couldn’t be accomplished. It could. But a more feasible and reasonable method has come to our minds—the use of shuttle service amphibians which could land on our larger Eastern airports as well as on the sea.

The idea of a shuttle service for air travel is not new. As a matter of fact, the Department of Commerce now has before it specifications for three ships, one of which will be built in quantity to supplement the long distance runs of the new high-altitude airliners which will replace the transports now being used on the transcontinental routes. Before long the word “shuttle” may be just as common to air travel as it is at the present time to our New York subway transportation.

The Sikorsky Manufacturing Company is building nine of the recently developed S-43’s for Pan-American Airways. The ship is brand new, and it incorporates all the latest aids to aerial navigation. It is of the amphibian type and is powered with two radial engines. Its seating capacity is for less than twenty passengers. Such a ship would be ideal for a shuttle service between New York and the two terminals of the big ocean-going transports at Newfoundland and Bermuda. Passengers could embark at Floyd Bennett Field or Newark and be whisked in a few hours to either of the two bases. They would there make connections with a trans-Atlantic airliner for European ports.

ON OUR cover this month we show a Sikorsky S-43 flying out over New York at night bound for Bermuda or Newfoundland. The passengers aboard are confident, and they know that in an amazingly short period of time they will be in Europe—three thousand miles from New York.

Of course, it is impossible for us to say definitely that the trans-Atlantic route will be carried on exactly as we have pictured it. The whole thing is a matter of conjecture at the present time. But it will be well if we prepare ourselves mentally for what is bound to come. Within the next two or three years, trans-Atlantic air travel will be a reality.

The Story of The Cover
Flying the Trans-Atlantic Shuttle: Thrilling Story Behind This Month’s Cover
Flying Aces, April 1936 by C.B. Mayshark

“Flying Aces, March 1936″ by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on May 6, 2024 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we are once again celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Mayshark took over the covers duties on Flying Aces from Paul Bissell with the December 1934 issue and would continue to provide covers for the next year and a half until the June 1936 issue. While Bissell’s covers were frequently depictions of great moments in combat aviation from the Great War, Mayshark’s covers were often depictions of future aviation battles and planes, like March 1936’s thrilling story behind its cover which imagines what a clash between Russia and Japan might look like!

Russia Clashes with Japan

th_FA_3603A NEWLY-ESTABLISHED Japanese air base in the Nippon-controlled area of Manchuria is suddenly startled into great activity. A distant purr of motors has been heard, and in a moment the purr becomes a roar—not the staccato roar of a single, hurtling ship, but the slurred thundering of a dozen or more. The unscheduled racket means but one thing: Attack from the air!

In a moment the foremost ship of the raiding flight plunges into view. A Japanese observer on a tower excitedly jots some characters and figures on a slip of paper. Then he grabs his phone.

“Commanding officer? Tower observer speaking. Russian reconnaissance planes leading bombing attack. Objective—either flying field or naval vessels in outer harbor. Planes at about four thousand feet. That’s all, sir.”

Suddenly the telegraph instruments in the communications room crackle to life, while three or four radio operators get busy at the dials. In two or three minutes every Japanese commanding officer in the area is advised of the Russian air offensive.

IN JUST such a manner as we have portrayed above, the Far East may at any time be plunged into war. But we hasten to say that our imaginative clash is the second act and not the first act of the drama. Initially, there would probably be some detonating altercation at the border in which each party would be as much to blame as the other. Diplomatic relations between Japan and Russia has, in recent months, been considerably strained. With these two powers rubbing each other the wrong way, some slight misunderstanding at the frontier might set off the powder keg. The territorial controversy is so entangled that either might be the aggressor. In short, our scene above might just as likely find Japanese planes raiding a Russian base as vice versa; for by that time, the trouble will have already begun.

In the meantime, we can only hope that relations between the two countries may improve to a point where such a war may be sidestepped.

The last “official disagreement” between Japan and Russia occurred in 1904-05. Before the entanglement, numerous diplomatic conversations took place, the main discussion revolving about the vast stretches of land to the North of China. Eventually, however, relations were severed and war declared.

And now history may repeat itself. Whereas there has as yet been no severance of relations, it is the belief in many quarters that the patience of officials of both governments has already been taxed to the breaking point.

But a new Russo-Japanese war would be different from the last one. With the turn of the century, mechanized warfare had just come into its own and the 1904-05 Far Eastern conflict was a prime example of the new mode. But that war will seem like a practice maneuver alongside of a Far East war 1936 style. To be sure, there were several large scale battles in the last entanglement and many thousands of lives were lost. But what is the annihilation of a body of troops trained in the business of war against the possible butchering of a huge civil population?

The 1904-1905 war was, in the main, a series of naval engagements. Actually, the decisive battles took place on land; but it was the Japanese navy, adroitly handled, which assured success for the Land of the Rising Sun. Russia, too, had plenty of strength on the sea, but she couldn’t cope with the masterful tactics of the Japanese commanders who were navigating in waters close to home. The Russian fleet as well as her troops were too far away from Moscow to move intelligently and cooperatively. And so Japan won the war.

Peace ensued for a number of years, but now once more the old story springs into the headlines. Japan needs to expand. And she may encroach upon Russian sovereignty in doing it. And Russia, quite naturally, balks. What will be the outcome? Will there be war? Very likely Japan has become nervous over the manner in which the League of Nations has launched sanctions upon Italy. Maybe both she and Russia will think twice before going to war in earnest. Effective sanctions would certainly cripple Japan in short order. True, Japan is no longer a member of the League, but sanctions could still be imposed.

Now let us consider such a 1936 Far East conflict. Russia is not so far away as she was in 1904. The mileage is the same, of course, but the transportation time is vastly less. Russia’s main difficulty in 1904 was in transporting troops and material with only one railroad line. Today facilities are better, but that is only part of the story. The air aspect will be the most important feature in a new war.

With the fast, mammoth ships of the air recently built by Russia, men and materials could be transported across the wastes of Siberia with a speed that would make the rail trip of 1904 look silly. But the transportation problem is only one angle which would be solved by airplanes. The important offensive and defensive gestures would be carried out by means of aircraft—not only on the part of Russia, but Japan, as well.

AND now let us return to our raid. As the Russians attack, a flight of seaplanes quickly takes off from a nearby base and rushes into the fray. On our cover, we show one of these craft intercepting a Russian plane. What will be the outcome? We can’t tell. It is hard to say which of two military planes will be victorious in an air battle which has never been fought and which may never come to pass.

But this much we do know: A new war in the Far East will be a veritable hell on earth. And that hell, ironically enough, will come from the direction of heaven—via the air lanes.

The Russian plane is an R-5 biplane powered with a 650 h.p. M-17 (Russian built B.M.W.) motor. The ship is equipped with two Lewis and two Vickers guns. The Japanese ship is a Kawanishi 90 reconnaissance seaplane powered with a 450 h.p. Japanese-made “Jupiter.”

The Story of The Cover
Russia Clashes with Japan: Thrilling Story Behind This Month’s Cover
Flying Aces, March 1936 by C.B. Mayshark

“Lifeline!” by Arnold Lorne Hicks

Link - Posted by David on April 22, 2024 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we present another cover by Arnold Lorne Hicks! Hicks worked in the pulps primarily from the late ’20’s to the mid 30’s, producing covers for such magazines as North-West Stories, Navy Stories, Police Stories, Detective Dragnet, Sky Birds, Golden West, Western Trails, Love Adventures, and a couple covers for Flying Aces!

“Lifeline!”

th_FA_3011THIS month’s cover shows a daring rescue of a Yank airman by a fellow flyer. Seeing his buddy going down in a flaming plane, the flyer swoops down and throws a knotted rope to the Yank. He grabs it, and is shown in the act of pulling himself up from his blazing crate toward the rescuing plane.

   

   

The Ships on The Cover
“Lifeline!”
Flying Aces, November 1930 by Arnold Lorne Hicks

“Beware of the Heinie in the sun!” by Arnold Lorne Hicks

Link - Posted by David on February 26, 2024 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we present another cover by Arnold Lorne Hicks! Hicks worked in the pulps primarily from the late ’20’s to the mid 30’s, producing covers for such magazines as North-West Stories, Navy Stories, Police Stories, Detective Dragnet, Sky Birds, Golden West, Western Trails, Love Adventures, and a couple covers for Flying Aces!

“Beware of the Heinie in the sun!”

th_FA_3010THIS month’s cover shows you the reason for that warning phrase heard in every Allied airdrome during the war—”Beware of the Heinie in the sun!” German flyers had a habit of hiding in the sun, so that Allied airmen could not see them until they were ready to swoop down with machine guns blazing. In our cover, the Yank pilot has just caught sight of tho German plane silhouetted against the sun. Vickers will soon be trading tracers with Spandaus.

The Ships on The Cover
“Beware of the Heinie in the sun!”
Flying Aces, October 1930 by Arnold Lorne Hicks

“A Fiery Rescue” by J.W. Scott

Link - Posted by David on January 22, 2024 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we present another great cover by J.W. Scott. You may recall we featured his brilliant covers for Sky Devils a couple years ago. This time is a cover he rendered for Flying Aces! Scott painted covers for all kinds of magazines—from aviation to science fiction; from the uncanny to the Wild West; from detective stories to Woman’s Day. Here, for the September 1930 issue of Flying Aces he depicts the daring rescue of a flyer whose plane has caught fire!

A Fiery Rescue

th_FA_3112A TENSE dramatic moment is pictured in this month’s cover—the daring rescue of a Yank flyer by his buddy. In the dogfight which has just taken place, the gas tank in the Yank’s plane was punctured by Spandau bullets, and his plane caught fire. As the flames spread, threatening to envelope his body and send him down in a fiery dive of death, another American plane swooped down. In it was his buddy. Almost on top of the burning plane he came, and near enough so that the other Yank could grasp his landing gear and pull himself up—to safety.

The Ships on The Cover
A Fiery Rescue
Flying Aces, September 1930 by J.W. Scott

“Fonck Gets Guynemer’s Slayer” by Paul J. Bissell

Link - Posted by David on November 20, 2023 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we present another of Paul Bissell’s covers for Flying Aces! Bissell is mainly known for doing the covers of Flying Aces from 1931 through 1934 when C.B. Mayshark took over duties. For the December 1931 cover Bissell put us right in the action as Fonck gets the pilot who shot down Guynemer!

Fonck Gets Guynemer’s Slayer

th_FA_3112FIVE miles below lies the earth. Above floating white clouds, two planes maneuver, silhouetted dark against the sky. One, a Spad, is piloted by the famous French ace, Rene Fonck; the other, a Rumpler, has in its cockpit Captain Wissemann, who just three weeks before had downed France’s beloved airman—Guynemer.

A dive puts the Spad under the Rumpler’s tail, and Fonck maintains his position there where the enemy bullets cannot reach him. Now back on his stick! Carefully he brings the red machine in line with his Vickers. Then one short burst—just six shots, but six shots from France’s super-marksman of the air. And the German pilot is dead at the stick, a bullet through his head!

Three of the other five bullets have found their mark in the observer. A fourth has punctured the gas tank. The Rumpler’s tail kicks up, the whole plane twisting as it goes over, throwing the observer out of the cockpit and clear of the machine. For an instant he hangs, twisting and clutching, before he starts his plunge, racing the already burning plane to earth.

The Rumpler, a mass of twisting flame, spins crazily downward. Its wings fall away, and now, three miles straight down it plunges, a smoking meteor, carrying in its fiery cockpit the body of Captain Wissemann, brought down by Rene Fonck. Guynemer’s death is avenged!

The Ships on The Cover
“Fonck Gets Guynemer’s Slayer”
Flying Aces, December 1931 by Paul j. Bissell

“Immelmann’s Last Flight” by Paul J. Bissell

Link - Posted by David on October 23, 2023 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we present another of Paul Bissel’s covers for Flying Aces! Bissell is mainly known for doing the covers of Flying Aces from 1931 through 1934 when C.B. Mayshark took over duties. For the November 1931 cover Bissell put us right in the action as Lieuntenat George McCubbin downs the incomparable Max Immelmann!

Immelmann’s Last Flight

th_FA_3111IMMELMANN! Probably the most colorful name in aviation. He is the man who first attempted the earliest form of aerial warfare tactics, which is still used today in flying schools all over the world.

The man who invented the crafty Immelmann turn was one of the first acknowledged aces of the Imperial German Air Service. He came and went before Richthofen was ever heard of. He went in 1916 while flying a Fokker monoplane of an early type at the hands of one Lieutenant McCubbin, a British Vickers Fighter pilot. Do not confuse this ace with McCudden, who Later won the V.C. while flying S.E.5s. McCubbin was doing a patrol one day in company with another two-seater, when he was jumped on by Immelmann. In the fight that resulted, Immelmann was shot down and McCubbin got credit for it, although both he and his observer fired many rounds at the German airman.

The ship shown in the picture is a Vickers Fighter, one of the Fee types of pushers. The observer in the front had a movable Lewis gun and the pilot could use the observer’s rear gun in a pinch.

The Ships on The Cover
“Immelmann’s Last Flight”
Flying Aces, November 1931 by Paul j. Bissell

“Over Germany—1915″ by C. Heurlin

Link - Posted by David on September 25, 2023 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we present a cover by Colcord Heurlin! Heurlin worked in the pulps primarily over a ten year period from 1923 to 1933. His work appeared on Adventure, Aces, Complete Stories, Everybody’s Combined with Romance, North-West Stories, The Popular, Short Stories, Sky Birds, Sea Stories, Top-Notch, War Stories, Western Story, and here, the cover of the May 1931 Flying Aces!

Over Germany—1915

th_FA_3105SUCH a scene as that depicted on our cover this month could have happened only in the early part of the war. For the French bomber whose pilot you see sending a Boche plane down in flames while his observer drops missiles of death on German terrain is an old pusher-type Salmson that went out of use in 1915. At that time, the Fokker stormed the Front with a new type of machine gun that fired through the propeller, and this Salmson was too heavy and slow to compete. It had had its day of glory, however, for it was one of the earliest ships that were really battle-planes, in which the pilot and observer were protected by a metal-covered nacelle.

The Ships on The Cover
“Over Germany—1915”
Flying Aces, May 1931 by C. Heurlin

“S.E.5 vs. Fokker D7″ by Frederick Blakeslee

Link - Posted by David on July 31, 2023 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we have an early cover by Frederick Blakeslee for Flying Aces. Blakeslee did three covers for Flying Aces in 1930. The one below for the August issue of that year was his third and final cover for the magazine.

The Story Behind the Cover

th_FA_3008BRITISH against German—S.E.5 against Fokker—that’s the struggle depicted in this month’s cover. The S.E.5 has taken a long dive and is raking the Fokker from wing tip to cockpit. In this particular bit of action, the German was wounded in the legs, and with great difficulty escaped to his own lines.

Planes of the S.E.5 type appeared in France during the winter of 1917-1918. The German Fokker D7 was the only ship at the Front superior to the S.E.5—and our cover shows that the Fokker did not always win!

The Ships on The Cover
“S.E.5 vs Fokker D7”
Flying Aces, August 1930 by Frederick Blakeslee

“Martyrs of the Air: Frank Luke” by R.C. Wardell

Link - Posted by David on July 3, 2023 @ 6:00 am in

THIS week we present an early Flying Aces cover from March 1929 by the incomparable R.C. Wardell. Wardell turned out numerous covers for the pulps in the late ’20’s and early ’30’s for magazines like Under Fire, Flyers, Flying Stories, Prison Stories, Sky Birds, Prize Air Pilot Stories, Far East Adventure Stories, Murder Stories, Murder Mysteries, Zoom! and of course Flying Aces, signing most of this work as “R.C. Wardel.” Here he depicts American Ace Frank Luke, shot down behind enemy lines waiting for the enemy troops to advance and take him prisoner—if they can!

Martyrs of the Air: Frank Luke

A German in name, but a fiery, patriotic American at heart, Frank Luke, the greatest ace that ever emblazoned his name in aviation annals, died as he had lived—a flaming, fighting, fast-winged warbird.

th_FA_2903FRANK LUKE!

How much the name means to those few who knew how he fought, and died. And contrarily, how little it means to the vast majority of the great American people who knew so little about him.

Lieutenant Frank Luke’s career was short, hectic, and dynamic. He blazed across the wartorn skies of France like a flaming meteor and with equal brilliance. Very few people ever see the same blazing meteor in its dazzling course across the night skies; very few people ever heard of Lieutenant Frank Luke during his short but sensational career on the western front.

But to those who did come in contact with him, his valorous deeds and manner of dying will ever remain in their memories as long as they live. Frank Luke was the most courageous, the most audacious war bird that ever handled a control stick and pressed the Bowden triggers mounted on it.

Only Eddie Rickenbacker topped him in the final list of American Aces after the war was ended. Rickenbacker was officially credited with 26 victories. Frank Luke had 21. But the comparison is hardly fair to Frank Luke, for Eddie Rickenbacker was on the front for almost six months.

Luke’s front line career lasted only a little over two weeks, and even in that short space of time he was at one time the American Ace of Aces and there is no telling what score he would have run up if he hadn’t died. And how he died!

Bom of a German father who had emigrated to this country in the early days, and carrying a German name, Luke was looked upon with suspicion by his squadron mates who fraternized very little with him. Little did they suspect the intense hatred for the Germans that Luke harbored in his breast. He hated the enemy with an intensity of feeling that was only equalled by his supreme courage, and he swore when living that no German would ever take him alive. No German did.

There was another pilot in his squadron who had a German name and was of German parentage, a Lieutenant Wehner. The two, because they were more or less ostracized by the other members of the squadron, teamed up together. And what a team it was. The Germans soon learned to recognize the pair as twin furies of the skies, and would dash for cover as soon as the pair came in sight.

They were such dashing, daring fighters that the Germans gave them a clear sky when they came over, not even bothering to tarry and fight with them. Then it was that Luke originated his plans for bringing down German sausage balloons.

And what a terror the pair were to the German sausage observers—balloon after balloon fell before their streaking tracer fire. Finally, Wehner was killed while holding off an upper flight of German Fokkers who were trying to get at Luke below when he was diving on a German sausage with his twin Vickers guns blazing molten lead. Luke got the sausage, but the Fokkers got Wehner, and from that late afternoon on, Luke was never the same. He loved Wehner like a brother, and the Huns had got him.

“They’ll pay!” Luke stormed, and clenched his fists. “More than one Hun will pay for Wehner’s death.”

And more than one Hun did!

HE HAD been a terror before. After Wehner’s death he became a raving, tearing madman of the skies. Flying alone thereafter, he was the Lone Wolf of the sky trails. He had but one consuming passion; that was to get the Huns and then more Huns. Flying wherever he willed he tore up and down the front lines in search of Hun meat.

He paid no attention to orders and had absolutely no regard for discipline. One night would see his Spad plane bivouaced at some strange French airdrome far from his own squadron. The next night he would be way across France over in Lorraine somewhere. During his flights between he left a path of desolation. The German feldwebels dubbed him the Scourge of the Skies and scurried for cover whenever they saw Luke’s plane skirting down the trench lines.

His own commanding officer never knew where he was or what he was doing. An old army sergeant, one John Monroe, who had charge of an advanced emergency landing field right behind the front lines perhaps knew more of Luke’s movements during his short career on the front than any other man. Luke spent many a night sleeping with Monroe in his pup tent.

The sergeant would service his plane for him each night he landed and make it ready to take off before dawn the next day. Then while the two laid in the tent trying to go to sleep, Luke would tell the sergeant of the events of the day as he saw them from the sky.

Luke’s last day on earth was a spectacular one. He brought down two sausage balloons and one Hun plane, and was himself shot down about five miles behind the German lines near the little town of Murveaux. Luke was not shot to death in the air, but bullets from a Hun Spandau had shattered his propellor and damaged his engine such that he had to make a forced landing behind the German lines.

In addition he had two slight flesh wounds which were not in themselves serious enough to cause death, but they did make him somewhat weak from loss of blood. While the crippled plane was Winging down to a landing with the Hun attackers hovering overhead, Luke spied a cutover wheat-field and by agile manoeuvering, managed to set his plane down safely on it.

To any ordinary pilot, that would have meant the end of the war. But, not so with Luke. A small company of German infantry were stationed at Murveaux not far from the wheatfield, and when they saw Luke’s plane land, they sauntered out to take him prisoner.

When Luke’s plane staggered to a dead stop Luke jumped out of the cockpit on the side nearest the approaching soldiers. His left hand dangled loosely from his-shoulder and blood was on his tunic sleeve. His right hand he kept inside the cockpit, apparently holding himself up, for his knees buckled and he was half slumped to the ground, and so the approaching captors thought.
Luke looked at them and let them come. On they came in sort of a half run with their bayonets fixed. Luke watched them out of the corner of his eyes, and clenched his right hand tighter. His body swayed a little and he reeled slightly, nevertheless he held his feet, and when th approaching Germans got within about 50 feet of him, he snapped his right hand out of the cockpit. In it was a Colt Automatic. Luke leveled it and fired pointblank into the faces of the captors.

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!

Five successive shots rang out. Five of the approaching Germans fell dead, shot through the heart each and every one of them.

More shots rang out, from the German’s rifles this time. Luke slumped over by the side of his machine, dead, his body riddled like a sieve by the German fire.

But think of the cold, raw courage that was Luke’s. In the height of battle man might do that, many of them. But Luke had time to think while his would-be captors approached.

“Surrender, and live through the war? Or die fighting with the blood of his comrade Wehner further avenged?”

Frank Luke died, and how gallantly!

The Ships on The Cover
“Martyrs of the Air: Frank Luke”
Flying Aces, March 1929 by R.C. Wardell

Strange War Ships: Deperdussin Monoplane

Link - Posted by David on June 5, 2023 @ 6:00 am in

FOR FOUR successive months in 1933, War Birds ran a series of covers featuring “Strange War Planes.”—those freak planes that were used during the First World War. The covers were by Eugene M. Frandzen—known here for the covers he did for Sky Fighters from its first issue in 1932 until he moved on from the pulps in 1939. The Final freaky ship in the series was the Deperdussin Monoplane!

Strange War Ships:
Deperdussin Monoplane

th_WB_3309BEFORE synchronization of machine gun fire was perfected, many strange ways were devised to fire in the direction of flight. The Deperdussin Monoplane, with machine gunner mounted atop the wing was one of these. A rudder attachment kept the gun from whipping from side to side. The ship was armoured and a superstructure of steel pipes formed the gunner’s cockpit. A gunner on this ship had to have a sense of balance equal to an acrobat to be accurate with the gun.

The Deperdussin was the forerunner of the 5pad. This ship and the single place were used extensively on the Russian front. Germany, at that time, considered these ships the most dangerous used by the allies. The single seater had the phenomenal speed of 131 m.p.h. when stripped.

LENGTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24′
SPAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36′3”
AREA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226 sq.ft.
WEIGHT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1050 lbs.
MOTOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80 h.p. Gnome
SPEED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105 m.p.h.
CLIMB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .247 ft.per min.

Strange War Ships: Deperdussin Monoplane
Strange War Ships: Deperdussin Monoplane • War Birds, August 1933
by Eugene M. Frandzen

“Flying Aces, February 1936″ by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on May 29, 2023 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we are once again celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Mayshark took over the covers duties on Flying Aces from Paul Bissell with the December 1934 issue and would continue to provide covers for the next year and a half until the June 1936 issue. While Bissell’s covers were frequently depictions of great moments in combat aviation from the Great War, Mayshark’s covers were often depictions of future aviation battles and planes, like January 1936’s thrilling story behind its cover is a tribute to Pan American as it spans the Pacific!

Pan American Spans the Pacific

th_FA_3602MAN has fulfilled one of the most ambitious dreams of modern transportation! He has conquered the Pacific. Giant, four-engined Pan-American flying boats now ply in regular passenger and mail flights from California to China, with intermediate stops at Hawaii, Midway, Wake, Guam, and the Philippines. People are flying across the world’s vastest body of water in some 60 hours of flying time, whereas hardly yesterday such a journey consumed the greater part of a month.

To be sure, people now make this momentous flight for the novelty of it. But tomorrow the whole matter will be routine. It will be accepted in the same manner as the rising generation takes airplanes and radio for granted.

It’s possible that the passengers who make the inaugural flights in the clipper ships will be under the delusion that they are pioneers of some sort who possess in abundance that fortitude required to undertake hazardous adventures. Unfortunately, however, they’ll be wrong if they think so, for the real pioneering will have been long since completed when they board the speedy aircraft that will link the Occident with the Orient. In fact, there will be no hazardous elements whatsoever attached to their venture—the real pioneers have seen to it that the line offers the maximum of security.

“Still, we might satisfy the ego of the initial passenger by making a concession. We might, with a stretch of the imagination, term him an armchair adventurer. And when we say “armchair adventurer,” we mean just that. For as the huge China Clipper streaks across the Pacific skies, our friend will be slouched comfortably in an upholstered chair, tilted so that the maximum restfulness is assured. From this point of vantage, he can gaze out of the windows at toy objects thousands of feet below—ships. Or he can read his favorite magazine or book, play a hand of bridge, write a letter, doze off for a nap, or . . . . oh, well, he can do any one of a dozen pleasant things. Be assured that Pan-American has it all figured out.

And our hero doesn’t have to worry about navigation, radio communication, gas consumption, engine control, wind velocity, or any other of the hundred and one things which are checked constantly. There is a first-rate pilot, co-pilot, and radio operator in the control cabin attending to all of these things for him. And those men are the finest of their profession in the world. They have seen years of experience on the extensive routes of Pan-American in the Caribbean and in Latin and South America. They have intensive schooling in flight and theory behind them.

But there are other and more important elements which enter into the picture. The officials of Pan-American didn’t decide overnight to establish a transpacific air route. It is much more involved than that. As far back as early 1931, the project was outlined and experimentation launched. Juan Trippe, president of Pan-American Airways; Andre Priester, the line’s chief engineer, and Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh together conceived the idea of the Pacific run and directed the actual work. There were many angles to be considered—route, type of ship, fueling bases, servicing stations, ad infinitum. By the merest chance, the islands which were the most logical stepping stones for such a flight are in the possession of the United States.

And so the work of fitting out the island stations was started. On March 27, 1934, the steamer North Haven steamed out from the Golden Gate with enough equipment on board to establish five air bases—and the bases were built and in running order in four months’ time. One of the islands—Wake—heretofore has been devoid of human life. Radio and power equipment as well as food and knock-down houses had to be transported and set up. But the work progressed step by step, with the result that in a few months’ time a complete island air depot existed on a speck of rock and coral which had never before supported human beings.

At the same time that the route was being studied and laid out, the problem of the type of ship to fly over it was being considered. A large part of the Pan-American equipment consists of Sikorskys and it was logical that a new Sikorsky be built for the Pacific route. About a year ago the S-42 was completed and given her trial runs over the already established Caribbean routes. When it was decided that the new ship possessed the requirements for a trans-Pacifie run, it was brought to the West Coast and on April 15 a crew headed by Captain Edwin C. Musick took her off the water at San Francisco and headed her for Honolulu, 2,400 miles away. Several test flights over the Pacific were made in the new Sikorsky, and so thorough had been the planning and laboratory work that even these first trips were accomplished exactly according to schedule.

But when regular mail and passenger flights commence, a ship other than the Sikorsky will be put into service. Early in October, Pan-American accepted delivery from the Glen L. Martin Co. of the largest flying boat ever to be built in this country. The ship has been christened the China Clipper and it is this new huge, four-motored flying boat that’will see service on the new route.

AND so it can be seen that if our friend lounging in a comfortable armchair tilted back at the angle which most serves his convenience and gazing out of the windows of the streaking China Clipper has any fears, they are only imaginary. But very likely he will still insist that what he is doing parallels the feats of the pioneers in the early 1800’s. And that’s okay with us and probably with the officials of Pan-American, too.

The real story of the trans-Pacific conquest, to our way of thinking, centers upon the formidable work accomplished in laying the foundations of the line. The real heroes are the squads of men who struggled in the face of many hardships to construct the island stations in order that those who now fly the long route may enjoy the securities and conveniences which are one with modern transportation.

The Story of The Cover
Flying Aces, February 1936 by C.B. Mayshark
Pan American Spans the Pacific: Thrilling Story Behind This Month’s Cover

“Flying Aces, January 1936″ by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on May 22, 2023 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we are once again celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Mayshark took over the covers duties on Flying Aces from Paul Bissell with the December 1934 issue and would continue to provide covers for the next year and a half until the June 1936 issue. While Bissell’s covers were frequently depictions of great moments in combat aviation from the Great War, Mayshark’s covers were often depictions of future aviation battles and planes, like January 1936’s thrilling story behind its cover portrays one of the means by which military action might be applied against Italy, whom the League regards as the aggressor in the Italo-Ethiopian conflict by the other League of Nation members!

Legions of the League

th_FA_3601FOR the first time since the inception of the League of Nations, members of that international body have combined in an effort to restrain a member State from pursuing a “war of aggression.” The invocation of the Covenant’s dreaded Article XVI sets a decided precedent, and those peace-loving inhabitants of the earth who place their faith in the League are proud of the fact that at last a united exertion of power has been mobilized in opposition to conquest by the force of arms. The League Covenant states that a member may not go to war, either officially or unofficially, against another member for the purpose of annexing territory. If an act of war is committed in defiance of the Covenant, the other members have the right to punish the offending nation with a view to ending hostilities. If economic and financial sanctions fail to provoke an attitude of cooperation on the part of the aggressor, then the only course open for the League is the application of force. In other words, the League may declare a war to end a war.

This month we have portrayed on our cover one of the means by which military action might be applied against Italy, whom the League regards as the aggressor in the Italo-Ethiopian conflict. The ominous shadow of the powerful air forces of the three leading members of the League—England, France, and Russia—might prove in itself to be a threat of sufficient force to curb Italy. On the other hand, it might not.

Italy is rightly a proud nation. More than once in the course of her colorful history she has been the most powerful nation on the face of the earth, and the Twentieth Century finds her among the world’s first rank powers. However, the consensus is that Italy cannot afford to resist such military sanctions as Britain, France, and Russia could array against her.

Thus far, Italy has turned a deaf ear to the dangers of economic and financial sanctions. As this is written, the League has just applied boycotts on Italian exports and has barred the import of key products. This drastic move is designed to cut Rome’s vital sales by 70 per cent, thereby putting millions of Italians out of work. Common sense tells us that if this move is effective, Italian resources will be strained to the limit if Rome intends to continue the African war. However, the likelihood of her immediately withdrawing her troops seems remote, however effective the League boycott may prove to be. It is with alarm, therefore, that we view the future if present sanctions fail to force peace. As has been said, the only recourse is the application of armed force—unless the League backs out.

If an actual conflict between Italy and the League members comes to pass, it is difficult to say whether it would take place on the Continent, in Africa, in the Mediterranean, or all three. The present concentration of Italian troops in Libya forces us to imagine a bloody slaughter on the rolling sands of north Africa. On the other hand, Italy’s fortification of her own borders is stronger than ever.

But wherever the struggle takes place, the fearful hum of League planes over the boot of Italy would be inevitable—providing such a fracas actually begins. And that is the picture that the League will attempt to force on the minds of those it blames for the continuance of current hostilities in Africa. For it is only with the realization of such opposition that Italy will retreat.

Of course it is ridiculous to suppose that a gigantic League air force would advance on Italy and bomb a helpless civil population. Only points of military importance would be marked for annihilation, but, as in all conflicts, the invading force would not be held responsible for damage done to civil property. And in the end, of course, the civil population always suffers the most.

Air raid drills for the protection of the populace are already being held in Italy. By posters, apparatus, and demonstration, the people will be taught how to face gas attacks from the air. Undoubtedly, this is throwing a scare into the entire Italian population, but the people are being assured that there is no chance of anyone finding a new gas against which they cannot be protected. That, however, must be taken with a grain of salt.

But all of this may not come to pass. The desperate peace overtures now being pushed by the League may be successful, with the result that the general mobilization moves now in progress all over Europe will come to a halt. Yet the tension that exists as this is written is greater than at any time since 1914. Each government involved in present negotiations hardly desires to retreat or give quarter for fear of losing international prestige. And prestige is something that is coveted by every country. But a way out may be found. If a treaty contains provisions for Italian expansion, very likely peace will ensue.

A parting word concerning the attitude of our own country, the United States: An arms embargo is now in effect and provisions are being made to halt the export of key implements and products to the belligerents. It is obvious that our nation does not want war. The likelihood of our remaining free of the conflict is possible only if we show a disposition to steer clear of the brief and dangerous profits that invariably ensue from an armed contest. It appears that we are taking adequate measures to prevent menacing foreign entanglements.

THE three planes on our cover are symbolic of the air forces the League might call into action. The British ship is a Handley-Page “Heyford” night bomber equipped with two Rolls Royce “Kestrel” engines. It is a single-bay biplane with dihedral on both wings. Automatic slots are fitted to the upper wing, giving lateral control and added stability. Three gun positions are provided, being so placed that the gunners are afforded excellent arcs of fire.

The French ship is a new style Breguet bomber and is touted as “the fastest bomber in the world.” It has only recently been adopted by the French Army, hence no details on the ship are available.

The Russian ship is an Ossaviachim Air 7. It is a low-wing monoplane and is classed as an attack ship. Figures on the performance of this plane are likewise unavailable.

The Story of The Cover
Flying Aces, January 1936 by C.B. Mayshark
Legions of the League: Thrilling Story Behind This Month’s Cover

“Flying Aces, December 1935″ by C.B. Mayshark

Link - Posted by David on May 15, 2023 @ 6:00 am in

THIS May we are once again celebrating the genius that is C.B. Mayshark! Mayshark took over the covers duties on Flying Aces from Paul Bissell with the December 1934 issue and would continue to provide covers for the next year and a half until the June 1936 issue. While Bissell’s covers were frequently depictions of great moments in combat aviation from the Great War, Mayshark’s covers were often depictions of future aviation battles and planes, like December 1935’s thrilling story behind its cover gives us a possible glimpse into the future (of 1935) of what could happen should England go to war with Italy over access to the Suez Canal!

Sky Skirmish Over the Suez Canal

th_FA_3512A BLOODY war that will draw in all the nations of the world—a conflict that will drain civilization of its youth—a conflagration that will make the World War seem like a series of practice maneuvers! All that, and more, is what many experts insist is now in store for us.

There is no doubt but what the Italo-Ethiopian situation is the gravest impasse that has confronted Europe’s statesmen since 1914. Proposals and counter-proposals have devolved into quibbling and bickering. As this is written, peace moves have been of no avail, and instead of the positions of the various nations becoming clearer and more easy to define, they have now been tightened in a web of confusion. It is extremely difficult for even those “on the inside” to make an open-minded analysis of the situation. Indeed, most reports are colored so that they overly favor either one faction or another. It is clear that it would be ridiculous for us to attempt to predict success for either side. Moreover, it is not our purpose to pass judgment as to right or wrong in this imminent war or even to vouchsafe an opinion as to the outcome. We seek to offer only a purely fictional viewpoint dealing with possibilities.

Newspapers are replete with news of the British Fleet maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea. There is not one iota of a doubt in anyone’s mind as to the purpose of the operations. As a matter of fact, the British Government finally acknowledged the fact that the operations were other than routine. During the summer, the Italian Government has transported hundreds of thousands of troops and millions of dollars worth of war materials through the Suez Canal to the territory adjacent to Ethiopia.

The Suez Canal is controlled by the British, and one might think they would be happy at the thought of the increased traffic and the correspondingly increased revenue. That, however, is a much too simple conclusion. The problem that the Suez Canal offers is much more involved than that, for this thin strip of water is the key to the widespread British Empire.

As a matter of fact, the British are so adverse to an African conflict that there has even been talk of closing the Suez Canal. Should things come to a head, it is very likely that the Canal will be closed. Certainly the repercussions of such an act would be far reaching, and it was this thought that gave birth to the idea for our cover this month.

Assuming that the British have denied the Italians access to the Suez Canal, we can likewise assume that the Italians will retaliate. Let us suppose that a flight of flying boats has been dispatched from a base in Italy to proceed to the Canal region to force access, or gain it by intimidation. But a British aircraft carrier is found lying in the mouth of the canal, and with the first appearance of the Italian planes, orders are issued for flight preparations of several British two-seaters. As they take the air, the Italians veer off. Perhaps they did not expect any stiff opposition. However, the British are determined. The orders read that the aircraft carrier must remain in the mouth of the Canal and deny the entrance of any ship flying the Italian flag. Nor is the British Naval commander taking any chances on being bombed by the persistent Italians.

Sensing the fact that they must beat down the British two-seaters before they can accomplish their purpose, the Italians swing into action with a vengeance. Attacking in an echelon formation, they sweep in upon the British with all guns roaring. The leading Italian ship is the first one to become entangled, and the two-seaters pounce upon it with the vigor of tigers.

Banking and climbing with everything they’ve got, the British ships finally manage to attain a position of advantage. But the Italian flying boats are fast and easy to maneuver, and the two gunners in the bows of the twin hulls spray their opponents with lead. The bomber officer inside the Italian ship is also on the job and several bombs are released. As shown on our cover, these projectiles have caused a conflagration among buildings on the shore, but thus far the aircraft carrier has not been touched.

But how long can the British planes protect their mother ship—or, on the other hand, how long can II Duce’s machines be effective? Will some of those bombs blow the carrier to smithereens? All that is only a matter of conjecture. In an air battle, anything can happen. Nor does victory always go the strongest.

THE armaments of Italy and Great Britain present a truly interesting picture. England is admittedly the strongest on the sea, but the question of strength in the air is something that requires careful analysis. Italy possesses approximately 1,600 service planes and the home flying fields of most of the Italian squadrons are within easier striking distance of most of the areas where hostility is likely to occur than are the air forces of Great Britain, which is naturally forced to keep a good part of her air strength at home. Most likely the only British planes which would see any real action are those carried by King George’s aircraft carriers and by his other naval vessels.

At the present writing, it would seem that a war between England and Italy would be a war involving ships and airplanes. There is nothing which would be indicative of the outcome of such a conflict. Certainly. Italy’s submarines would supplement the fight of the Italian airplanes and surface craft, but on the other hand England’s ability to blockade Italy and thus inflict severe damage on Italian commerce must be taken into consideration.

Such a set-to, however, may never come to pass at all. The League of Nations is making a concerted effort to preserve the peace of Europe—and of the whole world. There is always a chance that the various overtures which are being made will finally be successful, and it is our devout hope that this will be the case. Yet, if worst comes to worst, it is likely that the conflict will be of short duration.

The Italian ship shown on this month’s cover is a Savoia-Marchetti S-55. It is a long range bomber and one of the most airworthy—and seaworthy—of the Italian flying boats. The British planes are Hawker Ospreys. They are two-seater, fleet reconnaissance ships and possess the fine features of performance that are to be found in all Hawker aircraft.

The Story of The Cover
Flying Aces, December 1935 by C.B. Mayshark
Sky Skirmish Over the Suez Canal: Thrilling Story Behind This Month’s Cover

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