Thrills! Chills! Mystery in the Air!
In the 1930s and ’40s, heroic pilots engaged enemy aircraft — every Saturday morning.
- By Rebecca Maksel
- Air & Space magazine, November 2010
Courtesy Bill Allen/Allen Airways Collection
(Page 3 of 3)
To outsmart a Black Samurai agent bent on hijacking their Fairchild 24, Smilin’ Jack and Janet Thompson use Pig Latin; little do they know that more agents follow closely behind in a Lockheed Vega. In a nice use of stock footage, Smilin’ Jack is escorted into Chungking by the Flying Tigers.
In an effort to console the Mandan governor, whose first trip out of the kingdom isn’t going according to plan, Gertrude Muller points out,
“Well, it surely hasn’t been monotonous. Shot down by Japs, imprisoned in a sub tender, and finally escaping in this eggshell.”
In this post-Hiroshima serial from 1946, Hop Harrigan and sidekick mechanic Tank Tinker run a small charter service at Blakefield Airport. Although they’ve just landed a cushy job hauling gold from the nearby Atlas Mine, they decide to subcontract it in order to fly mad scientist Dr. Tobor to his mountain lair, where he has developed a new power source more potent than atomic energy. They’ll soon find out that the villain—the oddly named “Chief Pilot”—is also after the deadly ray. With this ray, Dr. Tobor powers his lightning-fast Mystery Plane (a PT-26 with the prop removed). It’s doubtful that Hop and his employer, Mr. Arnold, will be able to keep up in their respective Stinson 108 and Bellanca 14.
First bad guy: Who fired those shots?
Second bad guy: Somebody with a gun.
Associate editor Rebecca Maksel is a fan of Captain Midnight.