View Full Version : 1940s "Spotter" magazines

blue up
19th May 2007, 19:27
A neighbour was having a loft clear-out. He has given me about 100 copies of "The Aeroplane Spotter" paper magazine from 1940 to 1947. Weekly publication with photos and drawings to help identify all sorts of aircraft, Gazetting lists, lists of MIA and dead, handling reports on captured aircraft, cut-away drawings (fantastic! By the famous J.H. Clark) etc etc etc.

Anyone know where to send them so they get a good home?

19th May 2007, 22:37
See if there has been any movement on EBAY.
Its the sort of place collectors would look.

blue up
20th May 2007, 05:08
I was thinking more along the lines of Museum or Air Cadets, although the ATC might not even recognise the majority of aircraft in them. Albermarle, Me 163, Supermarine Sea Otter, FGZ.76 (aka V1), Fleetwings Sophomore (first ever stainless steel trainer?), Bell P59a, Short Gurnard, Cornellius Mallard (1940s X29?), Miles M39b Libellula (Rutan Twin-eze 50 years early?)etc etc. All in one issue.

20th May 2007, 13:51
An independent museum such as Newark might appreciate them. They have a quite a good uniform, etc display for the period.

21st May 2007, 11:12
Sound like an interesting read! Maybe you could upload a photo of something interesting?
They probably have information and illustration's that cant be found in other publications of the time, albeit even today.
If I was in your position, I would contact the likes of the IWM and just ask... The beauty of this is that they might be scanned and archived digitally for future generations to peruse if they were so inclined.
Thats what I would do anyway.
Its interesting that spotting has a documented history, but then again, spotting is no doubt as old as aviation itself.

21st May 2007, 13:06
These magazines can be a blessing and a curse... There's no doubt that as archive material they have significant value, but in most cases very little in monetary terms.

Ebay or specialist Aviation Autioneers would probably see them finding a good home... The museum suggestions are also valid.

I confess to having collected literally hundreds of (old/historic) aviation books and magazines.... The trouble is finding the time to read them all...

As I can`t bring myself to part with them and in an effort to put the conent to good use I`m building a couple of sections on my Website to feature selected material from them in a different context. The first section is called Snapshots In Time which attaches to my airfields site and features individual articles about events that occurred at those airfields in times gone by... The other section is Iconic Aircraft Advertisements... (Art for Art's sake)

So far these have proved quite popular with people interested in a particular or local aspect of aviation...

Maybe you could do something along similar lines...

21st May 2007, 15:47
blue up
Tangmere Military Aviation Museum might appreciate them. http://www.tangmere-museum.org.uk/

24th May 2007, 14:03
I often feel there would be a market for sets of such magazines to be scanned, put on a DVD, and sold on the enthusiast book market. Places like IWM probably have complete sets of many of the major periodicals.

24th May 2007, 23:30
I was stationed at 5 FTS (RAF Thornhill) Rhodesia in 1951-53 and a former colleague who was there at the same time as me mentioned he had a nearly full collection of the RAF Thornhill station magazine "BUKA" and would I like to borrow them? I jumped at the chance, having after 50+ years only vague but fond recollections of the contents. He duly sent them to me and using Adobe Acrobat I scanned them as PDFs and burnt the results to CD.

Thinking these magazines were rather unique I had a word with one of the curators at the RAF Museum at Hendon and he said he would be delighted to add the PDF copies to their collection, the RAF Museum having very little about the RAF's post-war activities in Rhodesia in their collection / archives.

The only snag as far as I was corncerned was the time it took to scan each magazine, with 30-40 pages per magazine it took an age, but at least it's been done and the RAF Museum curator was happy with the result and sent me a very nice letter thanking me.

I mentioned to the magazine's owner that he ought to consider donating the originals to the musuem, but doesn't have a computer (to read PDFs) and said preferred to hold on to them.

25th May 2007, 01:35

If you are the Tony Hawes who created the magnificent collection of RAF Thornhill photos on this site:


you have done great service to the preservation of aviation history. There are some excellent photos in that album and the others you posted.

Well done sir!

blue up
25th May 2007, 04:48

Who has a scanner and a few days' worth of spare time?:E

You can keep them afterwards if I get a copy of a CD.

Atcham Tower
25th May 2007, 08:10
I seem to remember that Aeroplane mag issued a set of Aeroplane Spotter on CD ROM a while back? ATC sqdns probably not a good idea as the mags are liable to be dumped in due course. (Like the many donated airframes which eventually went for scrap.)

27th May 2007, 22:07

If you are the Tony Hawes who created the magnificent collection of RAF Thornhill photos on this site:

http://groups.msn.com/TonyHawesRAFSe...53.msnw?Page=1 (http://groups.msn.com/TonyHawesRAFService195163/rafthornhill19511953.msnw?Page=1)

you have done great service to the preservation of aviation history. There are some excellent photos in that album and the others you posted.

Well done sir!

Yes that's me.


Tee Emm
28th May 2007, 13:26
"The Best of Aeroplane Spotter" is a CD that covers all the issues from 1941 to 1948. I obtained my copy from:
1998 Air Archives Pty Ltd,
PO Box 8031, Coffs harbour, 2450, NSW, Australia.

I think the cost was around $40 Aust dollars back in 1998. Well worth it and I treasure my copy. At the same time I obtained the complete series of Tee Emm from the Canberra War Museum. The writings were hilariously witty, and full of wisdom. Hence my user name...

15th Jun 2013, 16:06
I am just digging up this old thread in the hope that someone out there has a copy of the October 5th 1946 edition, which I am told carries an article about the Goodwill Tour of the USA by 35 Squadron.

Could you please get in touch if you have this issue and would be able to send me a copy of the article.

Any help would be much appreciated.



13th Oct 2013, 22:08
Yes I have a copy Aeroplane Spotter Nbr 172 October 5, 1946. It has the article about the visit of Squadron 35 to the US. Are you still interested? I would try to get a readable copy as the font is rather small. Cheers. Pete.

14th Oct 2013, 10:12

Thanks for the response; very much appreciated.

Someone did get in touch with me at the time and sent me a copy, so I do have the information now.