Saturday, July 22, 2017

Postblogging Technology, June 1947, I: Coffee-Coloured

Reginald C_.,
Royal York,
Toronto, Canada.

Dear Dad:

I'm going to dash this one off and send it via Auntie Grace, instead of putting it in hand in Fort Rupert. Yes, I'm going back there. There aren't many other places where you can put the northwesternmost radar station in the mid-Canada line, so we're going to spend a week or two doing low level surveys 'till we find a place with acceptable radio reception. Problem is, our ship has a dodgy engine --I say, though Chief disagrees with me. So instead of worrying about getting this done while we're trying to fly a new engine from Honolulu to the mud puddle at the end of the world, I'm sending it out now. 

Hope you're not expecting much gossip. Had a nice afternoon at the movies in San Fran. (Great Expectations really lived up to the hype.) Dropped B. at Santa Clara, then V.  at her college on the way back. (Tricky business, as we just missed curfew, and she doesn't want to get called back to Chicago for the summer.) A. hitched a ride to LA, where he had some business with you-know-who. I ragged him about where, exactly, foreign spies end and "liberals" start, but he got all huffy about how it's important to the left as well as the right to get the Communists out of the unions, especially influential ones like SAG. I decided not to push him too hard about exactly how you can tell someone's a Red, because, after all, you and I know they've got some sources there. I hope Mr. Wallace steers clear of 'em. Though, frankly, I don't see what the big deal is with working for the Reds back in the Depression, if that's all A. and his bosses and Hoover have got. 

Yr Son,

We'll be revisiting "Armstrong Siddeley" in two weeks. 

Flight,  5 June 1947


“Towards an Ideal” John Northrup gave this year’s Wright Memorial. He explained that flying wings are the best, and suggested that they would be even better if they were deliberately built unstable. Flight says that that is daring new thinking. I say, “desperation.”

“Pioneering Again” Alan Cobham is still working on in-air refuelling, and Flight explains why. It’s awful interesting the way it goes into the British government ban on buying new American air liners. The way Flight thinks about it, refuelling smaller British civilian airliners in the air might remove a handicap on British airlines. Another leader goes on about this in more detail, pointing out, for example, that mid-Atlantic refuelling might increase the number of passengers and weight of cargo that BSAA Tudors can carry, and that this kind of thinking might be behind Don Bennett’s defence of the Tudor. I think Bennett’s defence of the Tudor is based on the fact that he’d have to shut down operations if he couldn’t use them. Admittedly, I have James and Auntie Grace both telling me that Bennett is an absolute horse’s ass, but the whole BSAA thing just seems so dodgy to me. He's asking those pilots to make landfall on Bermuda flying west. Now, I understand that civil airline pilots make one landfall after another on whole chains of islands in the Pacific, but they're flying in the tropics. Bermuda is much further north than people think! Also, most of the island stops are parts of larger atolls. Bermuda. Bermuda is a 20-square mile island. Canton is twice that size, and just north of the Phoenix Islands. If you miss Bermuda, that’s it, no landfall ‘till America.

“Five Days with BAFO, Part I” BAFO is the British Air Force of Occupation, and they have Meteors and Tempests, in case when Bormann leads the Werewolfs out of the woods, they turn out to have planes, too. (But not Foo Fighters or what have you, because then BAFO would be up the creek. So it’s a very specific kind of thing that can’t happen.) 

They also have the battered wrecks of some experimental two-seater Me 262 night fighters. There was a navy squadron of Spitfire XVIIIs visiting while Flight’s reporter was there, too. The subtitle says, “Good Shooting,” and that’s what the fighter boys basically do all day; shoot guns, and especially rockets, at ground targets.  There were also some Mosquitos, but they were just visiting to train the ground control boys on night work.
It looks like a dumb idea, given the Me 262's difficulties interfacing with tarmac, but one pilot got 20 kills?

In shorter news, Sir Ben Lockspeiser talked vaguely about a plastic wing with an internal paper honeycomb structure, although even Flight can’t figure out what it might be for. Sir Edward Appleton announced that the Government is setting up a new mechanical engineering research centre. De Havilland is quite pleased to have sold £4 million in Doves, mostly to hard currency countries, and £2 million in Mosquitos to Turkey.

Here and There

The BOAC staff at the Airways Terminal at London Airport are now handling 9000 passengers a week, although this includes BEA, BSAA and all foreign airlines, except KKLM.  BOAC and BEA have got together to form a new company, Airways Training, Ltd, which is for training, surprisingly enough.  A neat bit about how eight men, including carpenters and engineers, took twelve hours to load 5 tons (and some “cwt,” whatever they are) on a Scottish Airlines Liberator “recently,” so that the big, awkward machinery could reach the motor tanker British Sincerity, laid up at Basra waiting for spares. 
It's not even vaguely British Sincerity, but it is a BTC tanker. By British Tanker Company -, PD-US,

I wish more regular people could see how much a loadmaster has to do to get these things in the air, but I’m afraid it’s all going to be lost on regular Flight readers, who know this stuff too well to be amazed. SBAC is having a display, some French air press reporters had a nice dinner in London, the Russians are sending an air expedition to chart the limits of the northern ice ahead of some passenger and freight transports heading up there. Australian National Airways is still carrying livestock on its planes, or is carrying more, or Flight just put this in because Australia is a funny place. (Flight then basically cops a plea, pointing out that strange animal cargoes don’t just happen in Australia, because here is a story about a passenger plane in South America carrying snakes [unh-hunh.] 

A. P. Rowe is off to Australia to establish a scientific advisory committee to advise on “long range weapons organisation.” The scuttlebutt is that the Brits will test their rockets and the atom bombs they are not talking about in Australia. They can’t test them in Canada, because it is a mosquito-infested wilderness of muskeg and maple syrup bogs. And because the Canadian dollar is convertible. Hunting Aerosurvey has been hired to photograph 2554 square miles in the Wadi Tarthar area of the upper reaches of the Tigris, while Indian surveyors work the ground level. It’s all about a proposed reservoir. (Flight goes on to explain what reservoirs are good for, sounding a bit pompous in that Pom way.)
Saddam Hussein built a "resort city" on Lake Tarthar, because of course he did. Source.

“Manx Week-End in Perspective” I think this is the end of an article about an air meet on the Island of Manx from last week.

“Widening the Foundations” Mr. Sopwith gave the speech at the annual general meeting of Hawker Siddeley this week. He wants to get the company into cars, diesels, “light alloy products” and pre-fabricated houses, to even out its dependence on the air industry. He mentions that Avro Canada has a jet airliner under development, and that the company has two “straight-through” jet turbines that it hopes to get into production soon, as well as one “similar to, but larger than” the one in the Meteor[?].

American Newsletter

“Slump in Light Aircraft Business: Production Scaled Down: Trends in Private Owner Types” Last time, “Kibitzer” explained the “temporary, but sharp, slump in the airline business of the United States.” This time, he explains why that fifty-thousand-private-planes-a-year business never materialised. “Kibitzer” points out that he predicted this from the first, then goes on to point out how, in the later years of the war, people were talking about how all the war-trained pilots would want to keep on flying. At this point, he could point out that it is even more inconvenient and expensive to keep a plane than it is to keep a pony, and that they are equally entirely hobbyhorses, and that there was no way that planes were going to turn into the new automobiles, and point an accusing finger at the boosters and con artists. But that would be rude, so instead he goes on for a bit until everyone forgets about blaming his pals, before adding that maybe it will all come true, but with helicopters and roadables, which is where the future is, in my opinion.  (But they have to be really good cars, because winter happens.)

“Concordia Volante” I never heard of this twin-engine feeder airliner, but that’s because it is just the Cunliffe-Owen Concordia again, and the title means that it has now flown.

All-Wing Aircraft: Their Advantages,Development and Problems Outlined Before the R. Ae.S.: Precis of the Wright Memorial Lecture, Given by John K. Northrop” “If you make the right assumptions, an all-wing aircraft has at least a 35% advantage in range, hence lifting capacity because they leave off fuel, over conventional airplanes. From these numbers, which I have pulled from my fresh-as-a-daisy pants, I show that Northrop’s investors haven’t lost all the money that I have dropped on all-wing aircraft, and that they shouldn’t fire me.”
Got there eventually, sort of. 

Also at the annual meeting, Roxbee Cox was elected president. In shorter news, the RAF has sent some Dakotas to drop pine seedlings on small Japanese villages as part of Japan’s forestry programme. They are not being dropped to seed, but in bundles, for planting by villagers. Two Superforts are visiting various English airfields this summer. Secret trials of a secret ship will be held over a huge chunk of the middle of England in the first two weeks of June, and pilots should exercise particular caution in these areas so as not to collide with anything secret.

Civil Aviation News

“World Air Tramp Returns” Dr. Graham Humby, of London Aero and Motor Services, is back from his round-the-world tramp freight run in a Halifax, which he thinks is the best plane for this kind of work, which he thinks will grow by leaps and bounds.
A York freight charter taking off from Stansted Airport in 1955; Dr. Humby had been diagnosed with tuberculosis and sent off to the sanatorium at the end of 1947, but the tramps kept on flying out of Stansted's Nissen-and-garbage strewn grounds until 1966. Another great RuthAS shot. RuthAS - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

“Flight Refuelling Proving Trials” It’s summer, so Alan Cobham and Flight Refuelling, Ltd. must be back in the air, this time showing their stuff to BSAA. It all sounds great in theory, but I’m not impressed with the details of how the hoses are linked up. Flight mentions something about recovering the hose with a harpoon! There's got to be a better way. The British Airline Pilots’ Association is in court over its pension scheme. The old Imperial Airways scheme allowed a £330/annum payment for retirement at 40, up to £605 at the ancient age of 50(!) The new scheme reduces the payments to 300 and 550, respectively, and the BAPA is upset.

Lucky Lady II refueling during its 1949 round-the-world flight. After years of scamming and stunting and scrambling to interest airlines, Cobham finally closed a deal with Carl Spaatz to equip the B-29 (-50) fleet and got to retire in comfort. Yay! Well, except for the "nuclear armageddon" part, but that hasn't happened yet, and B-2s have global range, so, I guess, yay after all.

In shorter news, Pan American celebrated the first year of its New York-London service by pointing out that it had flown 368 services and carried 9,120 passengers in that time. Also, British West Indies Airlines will coordinate its flights with BSAA next year. Heathrow, which is what London Airport is called in this paragraph, will throw its enclosure open to the public next week. I have no idea what an “enclosure” is. Mr. Donald J. Wheeler has won a contest for choosing the best personalaircraft, the ‘Wheelair,” built by Puget Pacific Planes, Ltd.

“History on View: Bomber Command Ops. Room Preserved in Operational State” The new Bomber Command Ops room is presumably underground at High Wycombe, leaving the historic one for viewing and re-enactments.


G. R. Whittard thinks that the Air Ministry is BUNGLING the RAFVR. G. Ellis agrees with another correspondent that the “Supermarine Attacker” should have another name, perhaps starting with “S.” R. S. Greenwood, of Gloster Aviation, writes to point out what I said last time, that fast flights are not records. C. B. G. R. has another suggestion to help visualise the runway when landing in blind approach conditions –a “flare path” on the instrument panel. G. H. Parkes writes to further justify his stereoscopic “picture show” method of blind landing. S/L H. R. Bunn, of Flight Refuelling, read with interest an article about high pressure hoses for refuelling, and writes to describe how Flight Refuelling does it.

The Economist, 7 June 1947


“Agreed Division” The Economist says that the new White Paper means that the plan for India is guaranteed division into two countries. You know all about the details –my brain is swimming with the geographic and religious details!

“After Margate” I think that the Labour Party had a meeting in Margate? Politicians gave speeches there? The Economist liked the one that Mr.Morrison gave, I think? But it can’t really say that, because it doesn’t want to be forthright about its opinions. Auntie Grace has a very low opinion of The Economist, mainly because she thinks that it pretends to be “objective” while really being very partisan. Also, it’s always pessimistic, which she thinks is a cheap trick for writing fast articles. She says she reads it for the economics/technology news, and just jokes about the political articles, but sometimes I think that she reads the politics articles just to get riled up. No worry about that from me! I don’t really understand English politics. For example, The Economist is the Liberal paper, and the English Liberals are like the old New Dealers; but really it supports the Tories, who are like the Taft Republicans? I have no idea how that works, and I’m not sure I should be learning about it by reading this magazine.
Figuring out English politics

“The New German Government” Us and the Brits are merging our occupation zones to form a six state “little Germany.” The state legislatures will be allowed to sit, and select members of an “Economic Council” that is really a government in disguise. Since most of the states have conservative (Christian Democrat) majorities, it will probably also lean conservative, but that does not mean that it will be able to get away from economic planning, just because of Germany’s condition. Then the article ends on a weirdly pessimistic note. On the one hand, it doesn’t think that this little Germany can be self-sustaining, that is, export enough industrial goods to pay for all the raw materials and food that Germany used to either import, or get from the Russian zone. On the other, once the industries of the combined zones get back on track (they’re not nearly there), they’ll be competing to sell too many industrial goods to too few Europeans, unless there is “economic integration,” which I’m not sure how it will solve the problem of there not being enough buyers, and even that will depend on getting lots of dollars for “reconstruction.” Finally, having rained on everybody’s parades, The Economist says that of course “vast” plans are needed for vast problems.

“Deadline for the Refugees” So the big meeting in Switzerland ended with all the countries somehow replacing Unrra with Unrra. (I hope they hurry up and decide which letters get capitalised soon!) They also voted an annual budget of $112 million, and took over the ships already chartered by something called the IGCR to carry refugees to the Americas. (There’s also a big article later about how all the alphabet-soup agencies managed to find places for the refugees they’re moving, which ain't many.) The big problem, apparently, is that Unrra is too cozy with the Communists, so Congress is mad at it, and also LaGuardia stuck his nose in, and you know how the Midwest is going to blow up over that! But that’s not all, because the Brits are saying that Unrra is helping Jews get to Palestine. The Economist ends by telling the American and English governments 

Notes of the Week

“Dogged Does It” Something about Mr. Bevin fighting with the “Keep Left” movement at Margate and winning, and that being good, because the Keep Lefters have good intentions, but no idea how they are going to stop WWIII, bring the boys home, integrate Germany into Europe, and who knows what else.

“The use of Womanpower” The Ministry of Labouor says that even though there are 700,000 more women and girls in industry than in 1939, that’s not enough, because there are vacancies for 300,000 more. So the Government is launching a drive to recruit even more. So, I was talking about this article on the phone with V. last night, and she asked me, “What industries?” And I said, “Oh, clothing, textiles, boots, shoes, hosiery, hospitals, laundries,” which I read off the page. Then I put my foot in it, and said, “You know, women’s work.” So she says, “Unh-hunh,” and me, being not completely dumb, went “Unh-hunh,” back; and let her rip.
If you're wondering why Reggie is so woke, I can't help you. The Wallace thing is just his age.

Why do I tell you this? Because The Economist is on about how the reason that all the women came to work in the war was because of the labour draft, and they can’t draft 'em in peacetime (although they thought about it!), and so the campaign probably won’t bring in more than another few thousand. But V. points out another difference from the war years, which was that the jobs were in the engineering sector, and were for good money. Now, it’s likely that their husband is still in engineering, and making good money, and the Government wants her to go back to work making knickers or whatever, and earning a woman’s wage. It’s not on, at least, not without nurseries at the factories, and those will need even more women working.

As you might guess, the next article is “Dilemma of Equal Pay.” The dilemma is that equal pay, even within the civil service, where the Government could put it through if they’d just listen to the party delegates, would cost £30 million a year, which is too much, so women will just have to keep on working for less than they're worth so that the Government can have more money. Seems fair!

“Incentives for Building” As I understand it, the Brits, like everybody, need new homes by the million, and are building them by the low thousands. Unlike in America, it’s often done by the Government, but also by private builders, and also local councils –which are like county governments? —and The Economist writes like I’m supposed to understand all this, which I know I’m complaining about a lot, and I guess I shouldn’t, because I owe Auntie Grace a million favours ____  The point might be that there should be more incentives for “private builders.” Maybe.

"Central casting is sending an extra to play the
French premier in the crowd shot."
“Widening Rifts in Europe” Communists are terrible; Americans aren’t great, either. Everyone should listen to the English more, even though Labour is in charge. There are also separate stories about Italy, where the communists have left Gaspieri’s administration; Hungary, where the government is getting more communist; and France, where the communists have left Ramadier’s government, and there is a food shortage, and the communist trade unions are making trouble. (The part where Americans don’t come off well is that some people think that we've been encouraging the Communists to leave.)

Then there’s bits about how the House of Lords is dealing with the conscription bill, Irish politics, and something about a parliamentary boundary commission, which I can see could be a real hot potato. The Economist says no way, then turns around and says it will “cause uneasiness” in a Labour politician it hates.  Way down at the bottom of the section, there’s also a story about how a report on education says that English schools are over-crowded, classes are too big, and there’s not enough industrial education.

After that, it’s on to some trade-relevant subjects, including the Canberra talks for a formal peace agreement between the Commonwealth and Japan, the Anglo-Soviet trade talks, which might allow the Brits to source some things they’re currently paying dollars for, then Indonesia. This isn’t really a trade issue, more The Economist saying maybe the Dutch are going to copy the French in the Hundred Yue.
The Dutch. Pacifying Java. Seriously.

Development by Groundnuts” Groundnuts is English English for peanuts. There’s a scheme to develop vast tracts of land in Tanganyika, Kenya and Northern Rhodesia for “mechanised cultivation” of peanuts. This will meet the world’s shortage of edible fats, including concentrated animal feed, soap, and all the other uses of peanut oil, develop the railway system, make business for new harbours, and beat chronic low productivity and poverty. If it works here, it might also be spread to West Africa, where peanuts are already being grown by the peasants.

Because what do peasants know about growing crops, anyway? Source: Zlithgow's Flickr about the Scheme.

Under shorter notes, Mr. Ness Edwards said in Parliament that the English have brought over 10,000 DPs, mostly Ukrainians and Balts, to work in agriculture, and complained about Stafford Cripps invalidating all 1945—46 and earlier clothing ration coupon books effective 1 November. This is because shopkeepers are having trouble keeping old clothes in stock, but the Economist wants to speak up for those who have, well, economised.  Makes sense!


According to my note from Auntie, I’m to pay special attention to this column, because only very famous and important people get their letters published in The Economist, unlike the bored cranks who write to Flight, and the maniacs and jokesters who get into Time.  But then the first letter is by the head of a press, complaining that the Government isn’t allowing enough books to be printed, and another one complaining that the letter by Michael Vivyan that provoked the first letter, is crazy. So I didn’t think I needed to pay that much attention even before I got to the letter from James Drabble about how the English should extend restrictions on the amount of money that travellers can carry abroad, to the sterling balance countries. Perhaps he is a great economist who can see how this makes sense. Also, Kenneth Syers thinks that the new Jugoslav government is wonderful.

From the Economist of 1847


Eugen Kogon is an Austrian sociologist who was a German political prisoner at Buchenwald. Now that he’s free, he has written a book that I parse into English as “The SS-State,” which is about how the SS prisons were “an essential part of the Nazi system –perhaps, of any system in which the State is supreme.” Along the same lines is R. W. Cooper’sbook on The Nuremberg Trial, which is good except for the bit where it lets the Russians off on the charge of “waging aggressive war.” Not on the same subject in any way are Oba Awolowo on The Path to Nigerian Freedom, and MartinWright, The Gold Coast LegislativeCouncil.

American Survey

“Frustration in Housing” The housing crisis is back on. You might think that it is about not enough homes being built, and it turns out that it is, but first, let's wander around the site. Even though many houses are being built, some are standing empty. Is it because of shortages of some crucial thing, such as pipes, needed to finish the job, like last year? No. is the number great? Well, no. But why is it the case? Is it because of finance? No, there is much liquid finance in the public’s hands, easy credit at 4% (veterans) or 4 ½% is available, for up to 90% of the purchase price, and on terms of a twenty or even thirty-year mortgage. That is why mortgage debt stands at a record $25 billion. So, what is the problem? Not the vacant houses, actually. The Economist doesn’t explain why it started off with that,, just goes on to say that the price of houses will soon fall so far that the mortgage will be worth more than the house. So the problem is that the builders aren’t working hard enough, because they feather bed and resist all the new ways of building houses.
Glad we got that settled.

“A Hundred Notorious Years” The Chicago Tribune was founded in 1847, taken over by Joseph Medill in 1855, and has been run by his grandson, Colonel McCormick, since 1907, and it has been awful since before the Hearsts swindled their first grubstake.
"A Hearst employee killed a  man who refused to sell his claim, but was acquitted in court after all the witnesses disappeared." Then his son used his inheritance to buy some newspapers and spent his life explaining what the American Way was, start wars in Cuba and promote MacArthur for President. In conclusion, Fox News is an unprecedented development in American history. 

American Notes

“The Budget and Tax Rates” The Senate has cut the tax cut approved by the House and sent it over to the President, who has promised to veto it, because the Treasury says that, contrary to the Senate’s projection that it would lead to an $8.4 billion payment against the national debt, it will only give a $5.8 billion reduction, which will be eaten up by increased expenditures, mainly on international aid. The labour bill is still bouncing around Congress, but will come in for the same treatment next week, probably. I hear that it’s more likely that the veto will be overturned on this one, though. The Republicans are also hoping that the Geneva trade talks collapse, so they won’t have to vote on a foreign trade bill in 1947 –at least, that’s how I read it.
The GOP: Fighting the deficit since forever.

“Mr. Hoover’s Prescription” The College Man is a veritable “Republican elder statesman,” and urges immediate peace treaties with Japan and Germany to bring the (expensive) occupations to an end, whatever Russia and the rest of Europe think.

In shorter notes, there are more indications of a business slow down, gold imports were over a billion dollars in the first six months of the year, increasing the national hoard to $20 billion, and the latest version of the peacetime draft is six months compulsory training for everyone. 

The lead short, which I’ve left for last because of the personal connection, is The Economist tells England about the Committee on Un-American Activities going to Hollywood. A.'s already had a sit down with the College Man’s youngest (Imagine! He’s the president of the movie star union now!) to talk about Red spies. I don’t even want to imagine what the Committee will do after Wallace wins next year!

The World Overseas

“Communism in Eastern Europe -I” The Communists are taking over all the countries Russia has taken over. In other words, blah, part 1.

“Immigration to the New World, I: Canada” Is Canada underpopulated? “One witness” thinks that Canada can hold 200 million people. Premier Drew thinks that Ontario can hold 25 million, Canada 50 million. The CLC says “several million” immigrants, over “the next half century,” and Doctor Forsey says that Professor Hurd says only 80,000 new farms, which means not that many more people, because most of Canada is muskeg. The Government’s official policy is blah blah de blah, because that’s how King does it; maybe  25,000 immigrants, total, this year.

“2. Brazil” Brazil has taken a first shipment of 897 people! Brazil says that it is ready to take 120,000 people a year, but that’s because it has feudal landlords (The Economist’s phrase!) who’ll take all the peasants they can get. Even though only one farm in four has a plough, and most of them are wooden ones(!) This might be exaggeration, though, because in its next breath, the Brazilians are asking the International Refugee Organisation and the World Food Council to send tractors, which isn’t exactly their job. Maybe Brazil could import a factory’s worth of workers, and make its own? Just a thought.

The Business World

“Argentine Rail Compromise” British investors used to own the Argentinian railroads, but then the English bought a trillion tons of canned bully beef, and now they have to sell the railroads to the Argentinians, and they’re not happy about it, and to square everything up, the Argentinians have to buy English stuff, even if they might prefer American –or, at least, say that to get a better deal. Everyone is steamed, except probably the steam locomotive makers.

“Sort Common for Consumers” Grace does a trick where, if an article is interesting but boring (I know, I know, contradictory), she cuts out a graph or a table or a chart and sends it along. Now, obviously I can’t comment on one, if I do that, because then someone who intercepts this package might break the family codes! (Offer void when it’s a bit from Flight.)

Business Notes

“The Sterling Negotiations” Are with Norway now. (And Brazil, but that’s separate.) And Uruguay. Not with Egypt and India, because, really, there’s no settling with them, and the English will probably have to have “old” sterling and “new” sterling to prevent the Egyptians and Indians from spending all their sterling on stuff they want, because what would be the use of money, then?

Also, blah blah about money, before getting around to talk about the oil deal in the Middle East, and some cant about how “the next forty days” (or six weeks) will be vital to England’s future, since industry might catch up the entire lost winter season if it just tries hard enough. Only it won’t, especially as holiday season is on them. Also, cotton exports are up around the world, including from England, although that still means very small exports due to how much the industry shrank during the war.  I think this is the part where we worry that, soon, there’ll be so much cotton that Japan and England will be fighting again.

Out in the great, wide world, the white miners’ union in Northern Rhodesia is fighting to keep the colour bar, come what may (it has already been extended on the state railroads), and Canadian wheat plantings are down (although barley is up), which worries The Economist.

Flight, 12 June 1947


“Progress” Since there have been more air accidents, Flight reminds us that it has only been 28 years since the first Atlantic air crossing, and yet there have been 3,670 commercial crossings since the war, 2,898 by the Americans, 194 by BOAC, 189 by KLM, 174 by Air France, 113 by Scandinavian. So that’s a lot, and it shows that “[F]lying, or at any rate trans-Atlantic flying, is not as dangerous as the distorted picture served up to the general public is calculated to suggest.”

“Headaches Ahead” The Australians have decided to nationalise Qantas by buying out BOAC’s share, and Flight thinks that there will be problems ahead. No, this is not about all the arcane financial stuff, or that the Australian government will BUNGLE private flying, or what have you. It’s about flying boats. Of course.
" A Short Sandringham similar to the aircraft involved in the [Bukken Bruse] accident" that nearly killed Bertrand Russell in 1948.

B. J. Hurrren, “Potentialities of the Great East: Air Transport Taken for Granted: New Companies Springing Up: The Navy’s Need for Communications Aircraft” B. J. begins by pointing out that the Great East has Borneo, New Guinea, Malaya and Singapore, so that we will know where he is talking about. Then he points out that it is much more substantial than people think, because when he asks his friends, they suppose that Java has a population of 2 million, whereas it is actually 60  million, making it that much more productive and important. 

Parahyangan highland near Buitenzog, 1865--72. Hurren might be the last writer for 70 years to discuss Java as a productive place and a large market, instead of in terms of "overpopulation." Sometimes it helps to be dumb and out of touch! By Tropenmuseum, part of the National Museum of World Cultures, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Then he points out that it is full of  the “coffee-coloured race,” but also Chinese, who, for example all but run Singapore, Hurren says.  Then he reports that a business executive he talked to in Batavia wants to buy a feeder-sized plane, but for some reason settled on a Beaufighter instead. Then Mr. Hurren went to talk to the Director of Civil Aviation, Malaya, who allowed that Orientals now thought that flying was here to stay. This is important, because there are a lot of Orientals. (This group turns out to include both coffee and non-coffee coloured people.) 
I take it back. The Asiatic Exclusion League's work, Powell Street, Vancouver, 7 September 1907.

This is shown by the fact that many new charter air companies have been formed, and not by the fact that the Navy has Fireflies, although that is what Hurren talks about next, before he talks about how the Navy needs its own air transport service, although it could never persuade the Air Ministry of this during the war. Then he talks about how General Smuts thinks that the Great East has tents[!], or something. (Just kidding; he says that the Brits should get their act together in Malaya, because the area is getting pretty restive.)

“Amphibians in the Antarctic” Sir Jon Grierson gave a nice talk to the Royal Geograpic Society about the recent experience flying Walruses off the Balaena. It sounds like a fun way to spend a winter, which is actually summer in Antarctica, but not really, because it is so cold.
I've mentioned the story about the Kerguelen whaling station where they ran out coal and began firing their rendering boilers with penguin corpses, right?

“Activities at Hatfield: Some News and Views from a Walk Round the shops and Tarmac of de Havilland’s Aircraft Factory” Flight sent a photographer to Hatfield to photograph Doves, Vampires, Chipmunks and so on.

Here and There

The Radio School has sent off a Lincoln II on a liaison flight to Canada and America, where they will spend five weeks discussing the problems of radio training during a tour of 13,000 miles. An Army V-2 rocket being tested at White Sands veered off course and landed two-and-a-half miles from the centre of Juarez. 
According to the El Paso Times, it was a bit more exciting than Flight makes it out to be, what with the gigantic explosion and the buildings rocking in two cities and all. Showing genuine class, Lt. Colonel Harold R. Turner proceeded to blame the "German-made" guidance gyroscopes.

The Australians are setting up a factory to produce Rolls-Royce Nenes, while the RAAF helps out on a mission looking for oil in the Broome area of Western Australia. An Auster Mark VI recently put in a very impressive performance towing the Slingsby experimental glider, TX8[?]. 

English weather+gliding=really, really cold. Paul Blanchard and unknown co-pilot. By Blanchardnick1000 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Scientific Instrument Manufacturer’s Association is putting on a show in Charing Cross subway station. The Russian Medical Service is using air ambulances, now. It is reported that when de-icers are turned on, the DC-6 gains 20mph speed. Some helicopters have been used to lay oil pipeline in the United States.
Helicopters are useful!

Cult of the Heroic Inventor, Part A Million. Note how
the article has the Lockheed Vega making the reputations
of Wiley Post and Amelia Earhart. And it's true!
“All Wing Aircraft” Part II of Mr. Northrop’s talk to the R.Ae.S. explains why the power-boosted hydraulic control systems of the B-35 have solved all the problems experienced in earlier Northrop flying wings. Well, not all of them because he goes on to discuss the pitch up problem, which currently is holding the B-35 to half of the allowable centre of gravity shift of conventional aircraft; he explains that it is not a problem, will soon be solved, and may already have been solved. He then explains that elevons solve the rudder problem so well that they solve it too well. He notes that automatic pilots cannot fly flying wings right now, then describes a simple modification of the automatic pilot on the N9M that completely solved the problem, but which has not been used on the B-35 because it’s just not that big a deal. He admits that proposals to put passengers into flying wings haven’t really allowed for windows, then suggests that they can have a forward viewing galley through windows pierced right through the leading edge, or downward through the floor, or upward, “if desired.”  Then he throws out a bit about supersonic flying wings, which the Germans apparently drew pictures of, so they’re probably gold.

I dunno. Reading that over, I sound pretty “snarky.” I guess I’m picking it up from reading Auntie Grace? Or maybe it’s because I’m still almost a teenager! But you know how Auntie Grace is always dropping names of the people she met during the war? I’m going to do the same about Jack Northrop here. He has a good name in the business, Dad, but he’s in way too deep on the flying wing, and people who want to keep their money need to stay the hell away from him and his brain storms, because at this point he’ll say anything to keep them flying. He is out of Northrop Aircraft with his desk in an apple box if the B-35 isn’t selected, and there’s no way it will be. Also, I may be young, and I may not be a world-beating writer or anything, but I know my aerodynamics, and he is selling the flying wing far too damn hard!

“Metrovick Progress: Type Test Completed for the F2 Series 4”After 1000 hours bench running, the first F2 Series 4 has been stripped down, and a maintenance review completed. Compressor stators and some fuel burners lasted the entire run, everything else had to be removed for inspection at least, if not replacing, while the turbine was completely rebladed at the 1000 hours mark, which counts as lasting the run, but only barely.
Metrovick F. 2/4 Beryl. Reading Hermione Giffard now. As far as I can tell from a very fast preliminary skim, she thinks that Metrovick's problem was that it just didn't get aero-engines, with their requirement for compact complexity and weight reduction. 

H. F. King, “Five Days with BAFO” We finally learn the name of the author of the article about the visit to the British Air Force of Occupation in Germany. For the last part of his visit, he went to see the Mosquitos of 140 Wing and to do some gliding at Oerlinghausen. The Mosquitos spend most of their training time at low level, flying training attack runs on the 7th Armoured Division, especially its Lorried Infantry Brigade. They also do regular low overflights of the “shambles” of ruined German cities. These are “shows of force.” This is all so boring that the only interesting thing anyone can think of to do in the last days of the visit was to go off glider flying.

“Solely for Research: The “Belphegor” for Aerodynamic and Cosmic Ray Study” The French air force has built a special plane, powered by a DB 610, to do cosmic ray research and other meteorological research.
The DB610. As with a number of other cramped designs, spontaneous fires could be a problem. Source. However, the French built the He 177 and variants for the Germans, and probably knew how to handle it.

“Gas Turbine Combustion: Determination of Efficiency: Airflow Pattern and Turbulence: Fuels and Atomisation: Chamber Design: Fire Risk: Precis of a paper by R. A. Watson and J. S. Clarke” Gas turbines burn up to 500 times as much fuel, measured in “therms per hour.” This makes it very hard to achieve the kind of combustion efficiency that is taken for granted in, say, gas burners; but there is much to be learned. In the first successful gas turbines, such as the Whittle, air entered through a “swirler” that imparted rotary motion and created a vortex, allowing for turbulent conditions that ensured rapid combustion. The authors added a “colander” inlet to create even more turbulence. Fuel is introduced into the combustion chambers via a vaporiser. This arrangement, which is still retained in Metrovick turbines, is “somewhat unpredictable,” and has largely been replaced by swirl atomisers. Ignition is achieved with torch lighters, but the potential of this method is reduced by lack of a proper refractory material (I think that’s ceramics?). In the meantime, flame tube temperature is held to 750 to 800 degrees. Fuel efficiency also falls if the engine is rotating at too low a speed although a the moment that mainly means idling.

Civil Aviation News

“ICAO Conference Ends” ICAO has approved a budget, set up lots of working committees, recommended that the metric system be standardised in air/ground communications; but that distances should be measured in nautical miles. Members discussed a preliminary draft of an agreement on commercial rights in the air. An American spokesman is upset that there is not enough British competition, and fears that further restrictions will be placed on American carriers if the British cannot keep up. A de Havilland man was sent to poke his nose in and tell everyone that the Government was right not to buy any more American planes, and promised that the DH 106 jet airliner would solve all problems.
Unless corporate hubris leads to the sale of dangerous, under-tested aircraft. It could happen! Source.

New regulations have been issued for American charter airlines, and the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators is having elections for its Court, which is what old-time guilds call their boards, even when they’re not actually old-time. Avro Canada’s jet transport is described a bit further.

Not as well known as the Arrow, but still a sad story.


J. H. Stevenson, of the Aeronautical Engineers’ Association, writes to point out that Skyways “labour policy” of paying staff more, for a shorter work week, is working out well for them, and would work out well for the rest of the industry, if it were tried. J. Neville Stack, General Manager, Hunting Air Travel, Ltd, writes to point out that misleading air accident statistics could be reduced further by not counting some things as accidents. Hugh Kendall writes to point out that the reason that at least one Miles Gemini flying in the Isle of Man race didn’t retract its undercarriage was that he was the pilot, and he forgot. T. I. Marker is upset that there are not hordes of British jet bomber prototypes flying around, unlike the Americans, and that there is no conventional replacement for the Lincoln in sight. 

The Economist, 14 June 1947


“Mr. Marshall’s Challenge” The Economist is so excited about the Secretary of State’s Harvard speech last week that it faints. We should be so lucky! It goes on for pages and pages about the international division of labour and the need for European economic integration, and the fact that food aid is good for Midwestern farmers, whatever the Tribune and Hearst papers say; and communists may or may not hate it, which can't be bad. (Either way, somehow.)

“Agriculture and Politics” The Agriculture Bill is supposed to “guarantee the industry’s prosperity” while “rais[ing] the industry’s efficiency.” It doesn’t “tamper” with ownership, and “scarcely” with the means of operation. There will be guaranteed markets, guaranteed profits, and some kind of local tribunals that will be able to force the one or two percent of very inefficient farmers to rent out their land and retire. The Economist supposes that this will guarantee England’s food supply but be very expensive in the future, perhaps "hundreds of millions annually." However, it has not been decided how this will work out in practice. Will there be subsidies for farmers? Tariffs on imports? Details! It also thinks that the Conservative response (which is that there should be even more money for farmers, with fewer strings attached) is “sad.”

“The Watch on the Straits” The Turks are continuing their armed mobilisation or national state of siege or whatever it is vis-à-vis the straits that link the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, because the Russians talked about seizing them in 1806, 1878, and 1943 or 1944. Thanks for the history lesson! I have no idea what the Russians are supposed to do with that, what with having no navy and all, but at least the Turks are now doing something to earn their hundred million in military aid. Whatever you think of the chances of WWIII breaking out over “the Straits,” you must admit, it sells Mosquitos! As The Economist more-or-less actually comes out and says.

Notes of the Week

“The Transport Bill in the Lords;” “No Equal Pay Yet” The Labour government is going ahead with nationalising the railroads, all guns blazing, but not with equal pay for the civil service. (On the bright side, something about Cambridge.)
I guess good TUC men on the rails count for more than good TUC women in the secretarial pool. The Economist is very happy about this, because maybe secretaries don’t work hard enough, or something. If that sounds like an outrageously stupid thing for a man with a secretary to say, I come to the next bit, about the Treasury Secretary (they don’t call him that in England, obviously) announcing that national insurance will come into effect on 5 July 1948. That’s because the Government can’t delay it any longer, The Economist says; and the reason that it would want to delay it longer is that it’s all awful, that it’s not just about soaking the rich, but about taxing people’s work to pay for benefits, which means that people need to work harder, and they haven’t been, and the Secretary is right to waggle his finger and demand that the secretary do more …secretaryising. With the letter-poking clickety clack thing, and those books with the red lines, and writing stuff down, and why won’t the phone stop ringing?

Speaking of things not working for no reason anyone cares to know about, Parliament had a debate about “the recent deterioration of the postal service,” because obviously it is just nonsense that not having enough manpower will lead to less work, leading to next day service after 6:30 PM due to the permanent end to late night pickups, and thus an end of return by post for working people, and even, perhaps, to The Economist going to the Post Office on Friday and being delivered in Scotland on Sunday. Actually, it is because the Postmaster is spinelessly giving in to the Union of Post Office Workers’ demand for a 40-hour week and “no night work if it can be avoided.” 
In Europe (by which I mean, on the other side of the Channel), a week has passed, so Hungary must be getting even more communist, and we are that much closer to an Italian peace treaty, and to there being two Indias. Bouncing over English stuff, I should also mention that Sholto Douglas says that while the June grain requirements have been secured for Germany, July is still doubtful, so the current ration will be continued. Lord Pakenham, however, promised more incentives for farmers, but The Economist harrumphs that it is the coal and steelworkers who need incentives more, and, anyway, why did incentives for farmers wait so long? As of 15 August, Japan is open for trade, and foreign merchants will be able to travel there privately, although it is likely to be adventurous. Not as adventurous as being smuggled in on a Russian-flagged American freighter and out in the backseat of an Avenger that doesn’t really have a back seat any more, I’ll bet! Also, there is “hope for Lebanese democracy.” Hurrah! In Italy, de Gasperi recently pointed out that Italy is going to continue to need American trade credits, and even the Communists are saying nice things about America.
“Manpower Trends to 1951” I’m including two figures, but the long and the short of it is that everything is awful due to low birthrate and everyone getting old. Speaking of, the most recent statistics for Foreign Service recruiting shows that most of the successful applicants are still coming from a few schools and only two or three universities. “Six successful candidates did not go to a university at all.” This is bad, because recruits are still being drawn from a “narrow circle,” and these figures show that the problem is that all the other universities are educating boys wrong. Which is certainly one conclusion! Finally, speaking of what going to university does to a boy, the Building Trades Council and the Government-thingie that goes to coffee with it now agree that there needs to be a university degree in general contracting so that houses can be built by university-trained “super-managers.” I’ll bet!
Very important people saying very important things, very important people. . .
Oh, to heck with it. I. J. Pittman writes a full page about bonds and shares and blah blah; F. Neuberger responds to David Eccles on the same subject. G. E. Toulmin is on about how more woman need to join the workforce, Margaret Richards, Secretary of the National Union of Students, thinks that there won’t be enough students because it costs too much to go to school, W. W. Rostow wonders why the United States of Europe is taking so long.
Basil Davidson went to Jugoslavia in the war, and has a Partisan Picture. It’s also partisan in that he is far too pro-Communist, The Economist thinks. John Gunther’s Inside USA is side-splitting (I think), and that is bad, because being funny is bad. Life is very, very serious. M. Francois-Poncet, who was the French ambassador to Germany from 1931 to 1938, has memoirs about what an odd place it was, and what an odd man Hitler was before he turned out to be evil.
American Survey
“80th Congress, First Session” The sum up: The GOP brought three rakes to Washington, threw them on the ground, and managed to not step onone. Although the jury’s out about that until we see where the union vote goes in swing states.

The Economist seems to hope that the effect will be a third-party vote for Wallace, which would be bad, I agree. That's why we have to work to make sure that he's the Democratic nominee! Now Congress is off work until January, unless the President calls an emergency session over Europe, which he should, because at the rate they’re going, the Republicans will step on more rakes. (Down below, it’s noticed how the Republicans are taking the blame for the increase in cost of living, due to free enterprise not solving the problem.)
American Notes
“Underwriting Europe” Yes? No? It’s the GOP that has to be persuaded, and there’s reason for optimism: first, they’ve given up on their tax cuts, so what’s another $5 billion. Second, once the $5 billion is spent on American grain, Taft can blame it for the rise in the cost of living. Third, farmers are a swing vote. Fourth, Taft now seems to be on about reducing prices by reducing demand (like the Great Depression brought prices down!), which ought to make the whole Party think seriously about stuffing him in a steamer trunk and sitting on it. Local elections are already starting to swing the Democrats’ way, and Wallace Democrats are coming on strong!
In news that is hardly news, we notice, again, that preferential freight rates are going away, which will make the West and South happy; there’s yet more talk about the bright future of trade with South America, and the world is still worried about American farm prices.
At what point does the fact that this is obviously expat housing get dropped out of the conversation?

The World Overseas
“Interim Report on Geneva” The talks on reducing world tariffs are so tortuous that I cannot for the life of me figure out why anyone needs an “interim report.” (Much less an “interim report” on the debate over the “proposed Charter” of the “International Trade Organisation.”) But I am not an international import-exporter.
“Communism in Eastern Europe –II” Make it stop! Make it stop! This is a handy phrase because it sums up the point of the article and the reader’s reaction to all the words.
The Business World
“China’s Debt Problem" It turns out that it is bad for you when your eyes roll that far back. This is important to the British, since they hold some Chinese debt which, I am sure, the Koumintang are going to start servicing out of customs dues very soon now. Nothing could please the Chinese public more than finally paying for all the nice opium they were sent! (No, I’m not sorry for being so ungracious to our ancestors. Good men and women as they were, they were not right in all that they did!) There are figures on the arrears --£33 million jumps out at me from the page—but it is ridiculous to think that it will be paid.
“’Bottlenecks’ in Containers” The latest thing that England is short of is bottles! I didn’t mention it in the story about the “tramp air freighter,” but one its cargoes was a big load of beer bottles that were flown back from Samoa to New Zealand so that the New Zealanders would start shipping beer again. In England, the shortage is blamed on the coal shortage, when manufacturers cut back on production of not only bottles but boxes and cardboard cartons (“fibre-board” in English English?) and tin-cans, but it can’t just be an English thing, because it is hitting other countries, too.
Business Notes
The Transport Bill is being wound up, and the Lords have won a small concession on the membership of the board. Sterling talks with Scandinavia are also winding up, and even the Russian talks are going well. After being off the subject since before I took this job on, The Economist is on the warpath over coal miners not working hard enough again. At least rayon, iron and steel production is up, so it can’t complain about that. Also Brazil imports, Argentina, stocks and bonds, blah blah blah. In financial news that matters, the French are still going ahead with the Saar mark. The world linseed oil supply remains deficient, with the main hope being increased American plantings this spring. More coal has meant more building supplies. 

In shorter news, the forecast is that the American wheat crop will break the record again this year.
Aviation, June 1947
The big news is that, starting on 7 July, Aviation becomes Aviation Week. This seems like a huge investment by McGraw-Hill after all the cutbacks, but they are merging Aviation and Aviation News, so perhaps not. We’ll see next week, if all goes well.

Actually, we won’t, because UBC Library won't renew its subscription ‘till January.  I’m going to use Aero Digest for the last six months of 2017.
What’s New
This feature continues to feature the kinds of things airports buy in bulk lots, rather than exciting new engineering products that have Uncle George calling his broker.
Aviation News
Congress has given up on the “chosen instrument” again; and on shipair, for the first time. Probably because of the publication of those statistics about how American airlines dominate overseas flights even without a monopoly. Airline bookings seem to be recovering. Aviation supposes that the CAB is backing off on regulations for freight forwarders because air freight is turning out to be a good business. Ground maintenance might be good, too. The “GCA-ILS controversy” is dying down. There will be 72 GCA stations functioning by the end of the year. Howard Hughes 16lb cockpit radar obstacle warning system will start going into TWA planes very soon. “Teleran, Lanca, GRS, Naviglobe, omni-range, DME, Navar, VHF direction-finding and what else” might follow on soon, making GCA and ILS seem quaint and old fashioned.

In the interest of sexual equality in honeyshots.

Howard Stark Hughes, in the cockpit of a Constellation, "Demonstrating a new radar clearance warning system. . ." About which I've been able to find exactly nothing, as it seems to be swamped in the historical record of Hughes Aircraft, such as it is, by all the other publicity he generated.

“The progressive school, or name it yourself” now has the field in small planes, after the big names and conventional planes have struck out. So look for roadable planes, rotary wing, jet rotors, combination wing and direct lift, and “anything that might fly” coming to your neighbour’s garage, soon.
The Wheelair,referenced elsewhere. Blaine Stubblefield's Wikipedia biography keeps on getting longer, which is nice; I'd still like to have a clearer idea of when he was laid off by McGraw-Hill and returned to Idaho. As far as I can tell, that has happened by this point, and his writing for Aviation News is being done out of of the wire services. 

The AAF now has five 500mph jet bombers on order. All are powered by the GE-Allison J-35; but military procurement remains small, and will remain small until WWIII gets going, leaving the industry to live off research. The AAF and Navy are arguing about who will deliver atom bombs. The AAF wants strategic bombers, the Navy wants something that can fly off aircraft carriers, so that it can have aircraft carriers. Or the other way round –I fly Navy strategic bombers, so I get confused.

To be fair, so did the Navy.

 Further on atom bombs, the Army, Navy and AAF are looking at underground factories, after noting that the 35ft concrete roofs on Nazi factories[*] were not busted by Allied bombs until war’s end. It turns out that caves and mines are not good choices to work with, because they tend to be badly located, uneven and wet, so the factories will probably be dug under hills. War officials keep pretending that this is crazy stuff and that they don’t want to talk about it, but Blaine Stubblefield knows what’s really going on.

Worlddata says that TCA ran a deficit last year due to lower-than-expected air mail revenues, and notices the Canadian jet airliner, and also a new RCAF jet fighter. It thinks that “public opinion” forced the cancellation of further BOAC Constellation orders, and the removal of all US aircraft from British routes, to the extent possible. That means Ju52s replacing Dakotas until Vikings come in, and possibly BOAC selling its Constellations once the Tudor 2 is ready. In Australia, the government has now taken over all airports.
Canadair CF-100 Canuck; the only Canadian-designed and built fighter to enter mass production., with Orenda engine.

Eric Olsen, Manager, Aviation Division, Wayne Pump Company, “Underwing Fueling and How it Was Engineered” Underwing fueling is when you couple the hose below the wing, instead of above, and feed in fuel under pressure, instead of gravity, giving four times the fuel flow, with obvious increase in coupling speed, and just as much safety. That is why this is by a pump company guide. It’s old news compared to the Flight talk about pressure fueling, but it’s still moderately interesting to read about the safety features that prevent ground crew from splattering avgas all over the hard stands. It’s not just valves, either. Companies like Simmonds Aerocessories and Minneapolis Honeywell have been involved in making fuel gauges.

It's a moon rocket, obviously; but you have to tell
Congress something. So, uhm, weather soundings.
C. H. Smith, M. W. Rosen and J. M. Bridger, Naval Research Laboratory, Office of Naval Research, “Super Altitude-Research Rocket Revealed by Navy” The construction details of the Neptune rocket, built to double the ceiling limits of the V-2, are revealed.  It is another liquid oxygen-alcohol rocket with manganese catalyst, turbine pumped. But it is bigger, and the design is refined, and the Office is confident that it really will reach two hundred miles, and not Mexico. Course and roll correction will be by a gimballed thrust chamber, controlled by both an onboard gyroscope and radio. The gyro is, in turn, controlled by a neat, loaded (to prevent phase mismatch) electrical circuit that produces an error signal proportional to the correction lag. Hopefully, it will be big enough to demonstrate “the practicability of extraterrestrial exploration within the foreseeable future.” 

S. A. Tucker, “Power ‘Dividends’ Seen Available for Turboprops” Brown Boveri has announced a “new fundamental gas-power process,” an “impulse wave compressor,” in which air is pre-compressed before entering the gas turbine by a diverted stream of exhaust gas. This “Comprex” device was developed for locomotives, but Brown-Boveri thinks it would be useful in turboprops, and probably car engines, although it looks like a lot of extra plumbing for your average Ford.
Brown Boveri's persistent efforts to break into the gas turbine business is worth a technical appendix. As is the weird, forty-year delay between this article and the "introduction" of Comprex in 1987.
Joel Whitney, Thermodynamicist, Ryan Aeronautical Co., “Thermodynamic Factors in Turbine-Aircraft Design” Ryan designed the Fireball, a strange internal combustion+jet turbine “hot ship” a few years back, and Whitney knows something about all the ducting needed to cool the IC engine, oil cooler, and the moving parts of the turbojet engine itself. He goes over the preliminary calculations behind the design, which seem to me dangerously rough. “Since accurate data on propeller ram ere not available, it was felt reasonable to assume that entrance losses would equal propeller ram, hence calculations could neglect both factors.” A good approach if you’re going to do bench trials on a series of experimental engines; less so if you’re getting a fighter into the air tomorrow! I don’t want to be mean; he’s good at describing how you’d do that series of bench trials to work out the actual heat flow of this engine; which I guess is the point of this article.
F. Zwicky, Engineer, Aerojet, “Morphology and Nomenclature of Jet Engines” This is a weird article about how there are many different kinds of possible “jet” engines (he even includes a water jet, or “hypothetical hydroturbojet”). This can make it hard to have a standardised naming system and drawing conventions, but Zwicky is here with a “six-dimensional array” that makes it easy. Then he makes the six-dimensional array easy. It seems a little nuts to me, but it can be hard to distinguish genius from insanity, etc.

H. R. Crago, Industrial Engineering Division, General Electric, “Explosion-Proof Electric Units Seen ‘Must’ for Future Craft” At first glance, this seems nuts, too; but it’s just about how electrical devices for aircraft have to be designed without free volume (or with venting) to prevent damaging overpressure from the detonation in the engine cylinders.
Harris S. Campbell, “Practical Engineering of Rotary Wing Aircraft, Part X” Auntie Grace thinks that the author of the first eight parts of this series was fired to save money, which may be true; thing is, he was also one of the principals of Cierva, and his big thing was stability equations that showed that actual helicopters were all going to fall out of the sky, at least compared with Cierva autogiros. (At least, that’s the “slick” take. Those old articles have a lot to chew over.) Point is, Campbell has a more practical approach, and this is useful, too. This article is mainly about ways of attaching the rotor to the driveshaft, and all the ways that can get complicated. Not surprisingly, it’s not just a matter of a ball-thrust bearing.
“Design Highlights of Northrop Pioneer” The main design highlight of the Northrop Pioneer is that someone at Northrop decided that a trimotor was the thing to build in this day and age.
“Speedy Combat Servicing Designed into Republic Thunderjet” Basically, someone writes this article about every new fighter; and then some ‘erc writes, “Servicing These Goddamned Fighters Is A Goddamned Nightmare!” And they’re both right!
“Martin Proving Six-Jet XB-48” The XB-48 has a laminar-flow airfoil with six(!) underpowered turbojets installed, which makes an “unconventional” undercarriage (specifically, two main wheels) necessary. The result is a wackadoodle ship that only a mom or a manufacturer could love, but they’re trying to sell it to the AAF, so I guess anything’s possible.
I don't want to overuse that Jennifer Lawrence gif., but WTF?
“New Personal Four-Placers Announced by Cessna” Whatever. 

Cessna's last radial engined plane, notorious for its oil consumption, which is what you deserve when you try to pull that trick where you use the oil cooler as a substitute radiator. 

“Latest Private Wings” What I said.
“Canadian DH Readies Beaver Light Freighter” What is this? A stag party?
For Better Design
This section’s gone to the dogs, too. The leadoff is an armrest! 
So where did this technological modernist design style get its start?

Jack Andresen, Kollman Instrument Division, “New Simplicity in Servoes Improves Automatic Control” Reducing the number of instruments that the pilot has to control personally is a good idea –I’ll say, and also plug an article coming up in Fortune that really explains what we’re up against—So that’s why the builders put them on automatic servoes. But then you’ve got to adjust the servoes! Well, Kollman thinks that the time has come for automatically-adjusting servoes! This one is for a follow-up servo, where a small physical motion is picked up and “amplified” into a big control response. (I use the quotes because you’re not actually increasing the original signal, which is something I find a lot of people, especially my stereo freak friends, get wrong.) It almost eliminates adjusting for hunting, says Andresen. The day when you don’t have to fuss over “George” may be a way off, but it’s a start. They’re also putting the arrangement into airport barometers, which seems wide of the original idea, and radiosondes, where it’s exactly what’s called for.

Raymond L. Hoadley, “Why South Africa Rates A-1 for Export” For reasons that can’t be explained to me, at least so far, by the big brains, the fact that South Africa mines gold means that it can pay for whatever America exports, because gold is way more useful than, say, cotton cloth or steel tube. 

Scholer Bangs, “Enterprising Service Has No Limits” I’ve met Bangs. Back during the atom bomb trials. Did I ever tell you that? The Navy had the sense to keep him off Bikini, but he was hard to miss if you dropped into the PX on Kwajalein on a maintenance run. Let me tell you, he’s a bit of a hollow leg when someone else is buying. Watch out, though, because he’ll go for the mixed drinks if you don’t. In this case, that’s a company called PacificAirmotive; and if the length of this article about how wonderful they are is any indication, they broke out the good gin for this one.
Fortune, June 1947
“To the Boards of Directors of American Business” The idea here is that WWIII is coming unless American spends about $100 billion fixing the world. I thought that this would then launch straight into the Secretary of State’s plan, but that’s silly, because this magazine was in like Flynn long before Marshall came clean of all the hints. In fact, it’s got something a lot more interesting to say. As you might have read if you picked up an Economist instead of relying on my dumb interpretations, the Brits are in trouble because they can’t afford the stuff they buy in America, due to the price run-up. So, one solution is to cut American prices by 15%. Which sounds hairy to me, because i) that’s just deflation, and we know where that leads; and ii) Taft is on about this right now, and if there's one guy in America right now who wants to go back to the Great Depression, it's Robert bloody Taft! But, Fortune has a different idea, which is that American corporate profits are too high. Boards have to take the first step, and cut profits to cut prices, which would save three-quarters of a billion a month, at the price of, as I say, profits. After that, everyone else will have to do their share, but it’s quite the first step!
What Fortune says next is even more interesting –so interesting that I called Auntie Grace, and she says that I must talk it over with Uncle George when he gets back to California. Ten years ago, Fortune says, it published an article by Harold G. Moulton called “The Trouble with Capitalism is Capitalists.” In it, Moulton said that capitalists had “Failed to obey the primary commandment of capitalistic dynamics, which is: constantly expand markets by an orderly, systematic and slowly continuous passing on of technological improvements to consumers in the form of lower prices.” The job of the capitalist is to continuously exert downward pressure on prices by technological improvement. Instead, I suppose, of taking the margin as profit. Another way of expanding markets (or the same way, read differently), is with export loans and line of credit –so at this point Fortune joins the General Marshall “Hinting I’ve Got An Explosive Request to Make When You’re In A Good Mood After Dinner” show, already in progress. (A pal of mine took me along to dinner with his Dad at the Waikiki, and it turned out to the moment he broached the subject of needing a cool grand to fund his wedding. So embarrassing for everybody.) Point is, America probably is going to have to lay out $20 billion funding the world to buy American goods –and it can afford it! It’s got to share American technological know-how, too. Also, America has to take over England –for its own good. It’s because is coal industry is inefficient. (Okay, that’s not quite what Fortune says, but it comes close.) Then it bashes Wallace for some reason. I guess that goes to figure, since it boosted Wendell Willkie at the beginning of the article. What is it with these guys and Willkie?

The Fortune Survey this week is kind of boring, since they surveyed factor workers and found out that they groused a lot, which seems like you wouldn’t need expensive polling companies to find out.
“The U. S. Situation” “How fares the Republic?” This is the kind of question you ask at a party when you want the whole thing to go flat as a pancake. Good thing Fortune isn’t in a conversation, and can just tell you what’s up. Which is, America has had an Industrial revolution, which, admittedly, so has the rest of the world, but then it blew itself up, so America’s pretty much the most industrial revolutionary of all now. But not communistically revolutionary, because that’s Russia, and that’s bad, and so America’s good, and if we could just restart the Industrial Revolution in all the countries that got blowed up, we wouldn’t have any of that Communist malarkey. In conclusion, America fares communism bad. What? Now let me introduce my good friend, Mr. Marshall, who has a tiny little request to make. Nothing big, really, I mean, it’ll sound big, but it’s not. And, oh, by the way, Mexico, we need your oil.
John Davenport, “Letter from Athens” The Greeks need money, getting rid of communists, and a means of keeping the Greeks in Greece, as otherwise they’ll all emigrate to places where there’s work.
“Paramount: The Studio Masses All its Talent for One Musical” A big feature on Paramount studios isn’t very interesting, but the group picture from the set of Variety Girl isva-va-voom! 

Now let's check to see what's going on in Kaesong right now.

“Rents and the Real Estate Lobby: Wartime Controls Survive” The bad horrible magazine publishes a bad horrible article about how rent controls are good for the economy and should stay. Then it goes and kicks a puppy and steals candy from a baby.
“Korea: the U.S. Gets to Work” The only thing Korea needs right now, says Fortune, is more America. I guess it’s hard to disagree that giving Korea $5540 million over the next five years is a good idea, even if it’s not enough to make up for the loss of access to the North and even, whatever else you can say about their role in Korea, the Japanese market. Also, the American occupation is not the “running dog” of American business, because we haven’t thrown Kimm Kiusic, Syngman Rhee or Kim Koo in jail yet. In conclusion, communism is terrible. Syngmann Rhee, in particular, can be forceful and difficult, and, even though he is a representative of the “extreme right,” some of his domestic policies include nationalising large industries, and of a separate, independent, southern Korean state. Americans don’t want that, but have I mentioned that communism is bad? Other Americans are disgruntled by the fact that the Koreans obviously don’t want them there, by the fact that the “Koreans are the Irish of the Orient,” which is bad; and that they speak Korean, act Korean, and do Korean things, which naturally makes them beat their servants Have I mentioned that the Americans in Korea think that they have been sent to the “end of the line,” and can’t wait to get out?

“Merck” Merck and Company, of Rahway, New Jersey, makes ”over twelve hundred fine chemicals,” and has tripled business over the last ten years by “nervy management” that added four new lines, but which “left no choice but more risk. “The four lines include Vitamins B-1 and B-2; sulfa drugs (under British license);  DDT; and antibiotics, which I suppose is counted as one line, in spite of being two chemicals, penicillin and streptomycin. “Research is management” is the motto of this family-held, family-managed company, which seems a bit swell-headed to me, and comes close to taking credit for the four lines, of which only streptomycin and Vitamin B was really due to Merck-funded research, and even there they just funded the work of a Government scientist and a Harvard man, respectively. There’s a bunch of new antibiotics under development, though, so that may change things, and you actually have to give the company credit, because the decision to go from development to production is very risky (hence the quotes at the top). It also has heavy inventory costs. One thing it does not have, fortunately, is a high marketing budget. It does not need many salesmen, as the burden of direct merchandising is left to wholesale druggists. What it does do is direct mail and advertising in professional journals.
As for the current export boom, Merck has not been heavily involved, thanks to a long-standing arrangement with “E. Merck,” of Darmstadt, Germany. This was cancelled in 1945 in a consent agreement rising out of an anti-trust, and Merck is now willing to consider exports, cash in advance, after all domestic needs are satisfied, a “sane, conservative, and probably short-sighted point of view.”

R. C. Kramer, “Japan Must Compete: To Keep Alive, the Ex-Enemy Must Import: To Import, It Must Do Business: Will the Business be with the United States, Or Against the United States?” That’s not actually the title, or, it could be, depending on how you treat the sub-titles. I put them in because they just about sum up what’s going through the brains at General MacArthur’s headquarters right now. It is also going through an inflation, while the first wave of Japanese salesmen, ready to leave for Manila, are understandably worried about their reception. But, says Kramer, “If Japan becomes a pacifist nation, the attitude of the Far Eastern population toward japan may ultimately be better than before the war,” and Japan might be a stronger competition with the United States than before.
And now a message from our sponsor, the myth of automation.

“Trouble in Synthetic Rubber” The fact that the synthetic rubber business is in trouble has been out there for a while now, but it’s probably good to have a summary. We need the stuff, but it’s not economical to produce in the volumes that will be needed if the auto industry is allowed to go back to natural rubber tyres, which has the rubber farmers saying, “Why exactly not?” That’s also what drivers say. Is this just prejudice? After all, surely sciencewill improve on natural rubber eventually? Fortune leans towards “the public doesn’t know what’s good for them,” but even it admits that artificial rubber still tends to break down at high temperatures and heavy loads. This sounds okay until way down at the tail end of the article, it says that “If you drive at 70mph in the Mojave Desert, you are crazy.” Well, maybe so, but no-one wants to drive slow through the Mojave Desert? And, actually, after all the beating around the bush, the problem turns out to be amortising the cost of the big wartime factories.
Bernard de Voto, “The National Parks” It’s summer. Go to Yellowstone or Yosemite or Grand Teton; Also, “The Men in Green” Here are pictures, and an article about the history of the Park service.

Mainly pictorial, with lots of old chestnuts by Ansel Adams and other members of the California School. The article by Bernard de Voto takes a jab at business interests that want to exploit parklands. Seems a bit on the nose for these days. Dong Kingman.

“Airline Captain: Physical Risk is Always Present: But Economic Fears are the Basis for the Insecurity of a Commercial Pilot’s Life”
Dedicated to everyone who feels the need to insist that robots are going to take our jobs, in spite of having no idea how to do those jobs.
Captain Proper points out that during the TWA strike, people got the impression that the fight between the pilots and the airlines was a “conflict between capitalists,” as airline pilots were all filthy rich and made $15,000 a year, which is actually only true of the hotshot Constellation pilots, whereas Proper makes $8,718, and even this is base pay ($183/month) plus hourly and mileage pay that only accrues during flying. This is admittedly more money than a coal miner or a teacher, but still not that much for the kind of work he does. More importantly, he could wash out of flight duties at any time if he fails a physical.
Proper also seems to have good work hours, often less than 80 hours a month flying. However, he is responsible for covering missed flights, and with middling seniority, cannot always get the flights he would like. He is also responsible for a great deal of work outside of flying hours. His physicals are on company time, and he needs to do up to 30 hours study of routes and airfields before taking on a new route, plus six flights as a passenger in the cockpit. Like the title says, it is long term job insecurity that has the pilots on edge. Proper went looking for work in 1935 with a bachelor’s, 222 hours in the air, an engine mechanic’s license, and a lot of luck. He got on with Panagra in South America, then quit and joined American in 1940 with 2000 hours in his log book and a connection. Clyde sends his daughter to a Catholic parochial school, although he is Protestant and his wife Greek Catholic; he would like to go out more, especially to the Bayside Tennis Club, but he and his wife cannot find a sitter; or a piano. His best friend is insurance man, Pat Finn, and his car is a 1940 Buick. They have a cleaning woman, and a year-old $180 Bendix washing machine that easily saves that in a year on laundry bills. Last year, the Propers couldn’t even make ends meet, and have had to stop buying avocados. The biggest expense, the one that led him to cash in $700 in war bonds, was his life insurance, accident insurance and retirement annuities. When all the policies mature, he will, at age 60, have a monthly income of $525, or, $610 when he turns 65 and starts receiving Social Security. That is, if he is able to keep on flying until he retires, or is lucky enough to make the transition to management.

Shorts and Faces

As I understand the way Uncle George handled this feature, he wants to imply that Henry Luce is a playboy, and have an excuse to make snide comments about people who appear in gossip columns. That’s not my kind of thing, so I’ll just mention the people, companies and maybe some interesting facts in the shorts, instead. Okay? First off is Cracker Jack, the candy company, because the founders, Fred and Louis Rueckheim, are long gone and the new managers aren’t dramatic. They make good money and have prizes in every box, but lately the prizes aren’t very good due to the fact that you just can’t get anything in America anymore. Maybe they could make them in Germany or Japan? Harley W. Jefferson is the president of Waitt and Bond, which is “a leading cigar firm.” He was the WPB’s leading tobacco man during the war. Coleman, of Coleman’s Lanterns, is still in the family, owned and run by Clarence and Sheldon, sons of W. C. Coleman, but their main business is now oil-fired portable heaters and pocket stoves, and they did very well out of the war. Technology Instrument Corporation was started last year by H. H. Scott, L.E. Packard, and R. W. Searle. They started out making various esoteric instruments for the music industry “Z-angle meter, Precision Variable Resistors, and a sound level meter,” but are now working on a gadget called the DynamicNoise Suppressor, invention of the company’s President, Hermon Hosmer Scott, a thirty-eight-year-old radio engineer. It’s designed to get rid of sound across the whole range of a music recording, so that high-fidelity is also less scratchy, etc.  

At least as of right now, it appears that no-one has a clue about the actual history of dynamic noise suppression. 

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