THE MODERN BOY'S BOOK OF AIRCRAFT
First Published in August 1931 - 192 pages
This book was edited by W. E. Johns and contains a number of interesting articles by him. In addition, all colour plates are painted by Johns.
ALL’S WELL! - Colour frontispiece – Signed by Johns
THE AIRMAN'S PHILOSOPHY - Page 2
“Of two things, one thing is certain: Either you are on the ground or in the air.
If you are on the ground, there is no need to worry
If you are in the air, one of two things is certain: Either you are flying straight or you are turning over
If you are flying straight, there is no need to worry
If you are turning over, one of two things is certain: Either you are will crash or you will not crash
If you do not crash there is no need to worry.
If you do crash, one of two things is certain: Either you will be injured or you will not be injured.
If you are not injured there is no need to worry.
If you are injured, one of two things is certain: Either you will recover or you will die.
If you recover there is no need to worry.
If you die you CAN’T worry!”
Whether this is written by W. E. Johns or not is unclear. It is not credited. I suspect it is, because Johns uses this again as “Biggles’s Philosophy”
at the beginning of “SPITFIRE PARADE” published in August 1941 where it was amended to the following:-
“When you are flying, everything is all right or it is not all right. If it is all right there is no need to worry.
If it is not all right one of two things will happen. Either you will crash or you will not crash. If you do not crash there is no need to worry.
If you do crash one of two things is certain. Either you will be injured or you will not be injured. If you are not injured there is no need to worry.
If you are injure one of two things is certain. Either you will recover or you will not recover. If you recover there is no need to worry.
If you don’t recover you can’t worry.”
BLUE RIBAND OF THE AIR - Page 3 – by Flying-Officer W. E. Johns
WITH THE R.A.F. ON ACTIVE SERVICE - Page 9 – by Old Campaigner
ABOVE THE CLOUDS - Page 15 – by A Pilot
TRICKS OF THE TRADE - Page 17 – Wiles and Dodges Employed by Pilots in Air Warfare
SPOTTING THE AEROPLANES - Page 20
CRAZY FLYING - Page 23 – by Fleetwing
PLANNING A LONG-DISTANCE FLIGHT - Page 25 – by C. Sprigg
FLYING WITH THE FLEET - Page 31 – by Flying-Officer W. E. Johns
BATTLE PRACTICE! - Colour plate between pages 40 and 41 – Signed by Johns
HEROES OF THE AIR - Page 41 – by a War Pilot
SKYWRITING - Page 45 – How the Scribes of the Air do their “magic” smoke - writing
SPECKS IN THE SKY - Page 46 – by Old Campaigner
OUR GREAT AIR PORT - Page 49 – by Flying-Officer W. E. Johns
HOW THE AIR WAS CONQUERED - Page 55 – The story of Mankind’s struggle to achieve the Mastery of the Air
DOWN THE ALL RED ROUTE - Page 59 – The Romance of the England – India – Cape Town Flying Mail
THE FIRST SOLO - Page 65 – by Flying Instructor
A LONG-DISTANCE RAID - Page 69 – by Flying-Officer W. E. Johns
AVIATION ON THE GROUND - Page 73 – by a Traffic Manager
QUEER CRAFT - Page 79 – by Fleetwing
PLANES AT THE "PICTURES" - Page 83 – by V. E. Grimley
THE DAWN PATROL! - Colour plate between pages 88 and 89 – Signed by Johns
FORCED LANDINGS - Page 89 – by Flying-Officer W. E. Johns
SOME OF THE WORLD'S FIGHTING PLANES - Page 94
MARKINGS OF THE WORLD’S CIVIL AIRCRAFT - Page 96
GLIDING AND SOARING - Page 97 – by Fleetwing
THE LATEST IN THE SKY - Page 103 – Some of the most up-to-date additions to Britain’s aircraft
LEAPING FOR LIFE - Page 109 – by A Pilot
WINGS OF THE DESERT - Page 113 – by “A Service Flying Officer” (The author prefers his name not to be known)
FUN UNDER THE WIND-STOCKING - Page 117
THE SONG OF A DARKENED TRAIL - Page 120
RUNAWAY PLANES - Page 121 – by Flying-Officer W. E. Johns
HOW AIRCRAFT ARE BUILT - Page 127 – by Aeronautical Engineer
WAR BIRDS - Page 131 – by Old Campaigner
THE CAMERA GUN - Page 134 – by Christopher Sprigg
FULL OUT! - Colour plate between pages 136 and 137 – Signed by Johns
UNUSUAL USES OF AIRCRAFT - Page 137
AIR FLIVVERS - Page 141
GUARANTEED TO PRODUCE FLIGHT! - Page 144
MY JOB - Page 145 – by a Professional Pilot
LIGHTING-UP TIME – Page 149
NIGHT BIRDS - Page 151 – by a War Pilot
AIRSHIPS OF ALL SORTS, SHAPES AND SIZES! - Page 155 – by Aeronautical Engineer
UNTITLED BLACK AND WHITE PAINTING – Page 160 – Signed by Johns
GALLANT FAILURES - Page 161 – by John Erskine
AERIAL TORPEDOES - Page 169 – by C. Sprigg
MYSTERIES OF THE AIR - Page 175 – by John Erskine
CATAPULTS AND PLANES - Page 179 – by Fleet Air-Arm Pilot
AIRMAN'S LANGUAGE - Page 185 – A glossary of everyday terms in use by flying men
THE BRISTOL BULLDOG - Page 187
AVIATION AS A CAREER - Page 189 – by Flying-Officer W. E. Johns
CONTENTS – Page 191
The Modern Boy's Book of Aircraft
Subtitle - The Romance of Man's Mastery of the Skies in Picture and Story
Publication Details - originally published by Amalgamated Press Ltd.