War in the Air was a partwork issued weekly, costing 7d. The first issue, in which this article would have appeared, came out on 7 November 1935, a few days before Armistice Day; once complete, all the issues were collected together in a bound volume (which is what I have) around the middle of 1936.
Boyd Cable was the pseudonym of Ernest Andrew Ewart, a Boer War veteran and newspaper correspondent during the First World War. I’m not aware of any specific expertise he might have had in aviation outside of his war experience, though he did write several books with suggestive titles: Air Men o’War (really?), The Flying Courier, Air Activity, The Soul of the Aeroplane: the Rolls-Royce Engine (okay, that one’s particularly suggestive). He wrote a number of other ‘Things of Tomorrow’ stories in like vein for War in the Air, which I’ll discuss in future posts.
The editor, Sir John Hammerton, was the doyen of partworks; Harmsworth’s Universal Encyclopedia sold 12 million copies, and I suspect the wartime The Great War:The Standard History of the All-Europe Conflict and the 1933 A Popular History of the Great War (among other works) were highly influential in shaping the memory of the First World War. (Dan Todman in The Great War: Myth and Memory suggests that these and similar partworks have been neglected by historians, just what I was thinking!) War in the Air also devoted a lot of space to that war, but it was also explicitly framed as a warning about the next war, as the advertisement above, from Daily Express, 7 November 1935, 4, shows