St Rota & Dragon


One of the numerous boy’s magazines from the inter war era, featuring a Cierva C-30 or Avro Rota autogiro. Specifically The Modern Boy No. 387 Vol. 15 19th January 1935. The registration, G-ACMB was in reality allocated to a DH.60X Moth. Even more surprising is the other subject, a inflated monster, something like a Nessie, but which has just been punctured by a shot from the autogiro.


Despite the civil registration, the headline says ‘St George of the R.A.F. and the flying dragon’. The dragon’s friendly countenance, the fact it’s obviously a shaped balloon and the crowd packed airfield perimeter below maker it evident the story is relating to an airshow event, probably something like the R.A.F. Hendon annual pageants. Consulting with Dr Brett Holman, with a good insight to the actual events at Hendon he adds:

“…it certainly looks like it’s meant to be at Hendon, with the big crowds in the aerodrome below. Plus the date, 6 July 1935, was one week after Hendon. But I don’t think there was any such event at that year’s Hendon. There was a similar ‘funny’ event the year before, with an autogyro and a 504 taking down balloons shaped like giant animals (from what I can tell – a pink elephant and so on) and in 1932 they had Pterodactyls vs Martian ‘monsters’, so an autogyro vs a dragon would certainly be in keeping, but it doesn’t seem like it happened.”

As was common in the era, the two colour plates show what could be done with the artistic design creativity required. Friends monsters and Ciervas, what’s not to like?

James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.

Image found here. Autogiro was the Cierva trade name for the generic term autogyro.

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