Saturday, July 1, 2017

Postblogging Technology, May 1947, II: Unfit to Lead

Wing Commander R. Cook (ret.), OBE,
Oriental Institute,
London, U.K.

Dear Father:

Well, I promised Aunt G. that I'd continue these letters while she's in the bloom of motherhood --Should I spoil it by saying my new nephew or niece's name? No, it's hers to tell! Aside from that, I know Auntie always adds some family gossip, but I've got nothing. I've been spending half my time at the field in Hawaii, wiring the P2Vs that Lockheed's been able to deliver so far, and the other half doing radio proving flights all over the North Pacific. In fact, I'm just down the road from Quatsino, and will be handing this package off to George Wallace in a sec. 

The one advantage of this is that I'm all over the place and get to see everybody. We're flying down to San Fran after we finish up here. Tommy'll get to see his wife and kid, and I'm going to hook up with the old gang. A., is over on the West Coast to meet up with some sources. (If you're wondering, like I was, they're union guys with something to say about communists in the ranks; but with stuff in their background they don't want coming out, for which the FBI has a bit of a reputation), so V. is coming out, and B., too. We'll see a movie, then maybe dinner and some dancing, just for old time's sake. 

/s/, Your Son, Reggie.


It's coming. There's no point in fighting.

Flight, 15 May 1947


“Full-scale Research” The paper digs the dirt with an extended toe, shrugs, eyes cast down, and says, “Ah, shuckey-darn, tain’t no big deal that Pratt and Whitney just licensed the Rolls-Royce Nene.” Then, because it figures it has to do something with the leading leader besides brag, it quotes Major Halford and Roxbee Cox to the effect that the Americans have much nicer research facilities than the English. The paper says that the Government should be held to its promise to fix this. Remember when it was Germany that had better facilities? In fact, looking through all those old issues you kept for your son, remember when it was Italy? France? America? “Fool me once, shame on me. . .”

Actually the Pratt and Whitney J48, which is a licensed Tay, which is an enlarged Nene. By Greg Goebel -, CC BY-SA 2.0,

“Accident Statistics” The paper leans towards passenger-mile statistic being a good measure of civil aviation safety, but suggests that it varies from route to route. Some longer flights, notably the South Atlantic route, are more dangerous, making passenger-miles a valuable measure. However, on some routes, the danger comes in take-offs and landings, and a per-trip statistic is more useful. In conclusion, if the papers would stop mentioning air accidents, everything would be fine. 

 “Wait and See” Don Bennett has just said that the Tudor is not an interim type, but rather as good an airliner as any. The paper would like to make the obvious point that this is arrant nonsense (loud engine, tailwheel, low seat capacity), but can’t bring itself to point out that Bennett is a Benzedrine freak. 

As it turns out, BSAA Star Tiger and Star Ariel didn't crash on a deserted island or go through a portal into a parallel dimension, nor were the passengers abducted by aliens or stewardesses from the future. They probably just ran out of fuel or flew into the sea. 
“Portsmouth Air Display” Ten thousand people came out to see planes flying and had “an enjoyable day.”

“M. A. S.,” “Ercoupe in the Air: Flight Impressions of American Two-Control Two-Seater” This is more important than just another small plane, because it is the latest attempt to “simplify” flying. It was okay.

“Naval Aircraft: Design Problems and Equipment Discussed Before R.Ae.S: Precis of Talks Given by W. S. Farren, L. Boddington, But Not F. M. A. Torrens-Spence, Who is Held Over To Next Week” Farren is with Blackburn, Bodington is with Farnborough, and Commander Torrens-Spence is a naval aviator. Mr. Farren calculates that for a jet aircraft with swept wings and low lift, hence high wing loading, approaching the flight deck of an aircraft carrier steaming at 30 knots, at 1.24x its stalling speed, only a very heavily flapped design can hit the arrestor gear at the limits of existing equipment. This is a particular problem since carrier aircraft have to be flexible, and flexibility is most easily achieved with a very heavy load, meaning high wing loading. This means better arrestor gear. At the other end of things, he thinks that more needs to be done to “use the carrier’s own power to get the aircraft into the air.” Whatever that means. The point is that high lift can only go so far, which means higher takeoff speeds than current catapults can make. He also thinks that since the shock of landing and takeoff can be transferred to the ship, there is a unique opportunity for an undercarriage-less aircraft that might have a higher performance than a land plane. He also thinks that the Navy should press research into more economical turbines as hard as it can, because of the need for long range in carrier operations. 

HMS Theseus is so ready for leave in Japan (1951). There's a picture of it launching in this week's Flight, with a coy reference to "certain features" being obscured by canvas, but it turns out that it was Warrior that was used in the flexible deck trials to which Farren obliquely refers. Speaking of Farren, I wasn't able to find biographical information, but I did find this.

⦁ Mr. Bodlington talked about equipment, and specifically catapults. The Fleet Air Arm uses both “trolley” and “tow” catapults, but the American-style “tow” is the coming thing. There were old experiments with cordite-fired catapults, but the current equipment is powered by compressed air, and can produce an acceleration of 3.25 “gs” in the cockpit. “Retarding” the catapult is important; American catapults achieve their full acceleration on 0.3 seconds, British in 0.6 seconds, and the longer delay puts much less stress on crew and equipment. In general, bigger aircraft mean stronger arrestor hooks, stronger cables, more powerful catapults, etc.

“Development of the Goblin Engine: Extracts from a Lecture by E. S. Moult to the R. Ae. S” The paper promises more interesting details, but that’s a stretch. Moult repeats an American anecdote about the engine running hot in California in the Curtiss-Wright XP-15C, which required adjusting the burners to prevent hot spots, and notes that turbine blade shapes and locations changed slightly in development. Rapid advances in metallurgy allowed the builders to fix problems with the initial design. In discussions afterwards, Moult diplomatically suggests that getting rid of Whittle allowed de Havilland to do away with his hare-brained “reverse flow” scheme. 

Ordering the competition from Curtiss is one way to make Ryan look good.

Here and There

De Havilland has sold some Mosquitoes to Turkey, and the Dutch will buy either the Meteor or the Vampire next year. KLM’s new Constellations will be equipped with the Speedpak external freight carrier to maintain heavy duty, high-payload operations. Argentina has bought “a quantity of” not-Nazi Meteors. Juan Trippe said something nice about English jets, and the paper is chuffed. Hindustan Aircraft, Limited, will make the Percival Prentice under license. The B-36 has a pressurised tunnel through the bomb bay, similar to the B-29, but has a four-wheel scooter to make navigating it easier. Air Commodore Whittle predicted in Toronto that air speeds in excess of 1000 mph might be normal in the near future, with a 5 hour Atlantic commercial service. 

 “Attacker: Performance: Design: Structure: Equipment” I didn't know that the Attacker was a tail-wheel plane, almost the first jet to use that configuration. They make some lame argument about how it improves deck handling. It has “bleeds” to remove boundary layer air flow, an ejector seat, conventional controls borrowed from the Spiteful, a 24v direct current earth-return power system, VHF radio, and basically the wings of the Spiteful. (The split flaps are bigger, because it's a carrier plane, and the slotted ailerons have spring tabs.) The engine is the Nene, currently giving 5000lbs thrust, and the boundary layer bleeds allow the engine air intakes to receive a normal air flow. The required long jet pipe has an exhaust cone bleed volute, valve and outlet. The pipe is made of a special grade of stainless steel sheet, and the orifice was very carefully designed for correct air flow. It has three fuel tanks, but at full go, the fuel will only last an hour. There is a “gallons gone” needle gauge in the cockpit, but it spins too fast to be read, and only one of the tanks has a capacity gauge. There is, however, a 270 gallon drop tank, the largest yet made, tested to 24 lbs/sq inch internal pressure. The guns are the standard 4x20mm Hispano, but they are electrically fired and have between 167 and 145 rounds each. 

Civil Aviation News

Stowting Crash Conclusions” The Chief Inspector of Accidents has some recommendations for avoiding similar accidents, mainly having to do with making sure that there are crew who know the route on board, and proper navigational information; but his basic conclusion is that airlines shouldn’t hire bad pilots. 
On the one hand, Air Commodore Sir Vernon Brown is busy creating modern air safety. On the other, air safety is boring, so I understand why there's no Wikipedia biography.

“BSAA and the Tudor IV” Don Bennett expects the Tudor IV to speed through its Certificate of Airworthiness trials and to be on service by the summer. This is the plane with a 6ft fuselage extension, allowing it to take 32 passengers and 650lbs of freight, with a range of 3200 miles. Fuel consumption, which was higher than expected on the Tudor I, has been brought down by aerodynamic refinements. The Tudor IVs will only be used on the East Coast route to the Argentine until Tudor Vs become available, after which they will be shifted to the Mexico City route. In shorter news, another Italian airline is running, this one using G. 12s, a development of the old Fiat G. 18. British Commonwealth Pacific Airline has begun a new DC-6 service from Auckland to San Francisco that cuts out the overnight stops in Fiji and the Canton Islands, but it is still slower and less frequent than the Pan Am service. New Zealand’s National Airline expects to fly 140,000 people this year. The paper shows a picture of a light plane powered by a Gipsy Queen 51, so they do exist.

Kiribati has declared them a maritime protected zone. 


One correspondent really enjoyed “Vertigo’s” article about flying in stormy weather. Another points out that there is a good reason that cockpit control layouts aren’t standardised. It’s not just human perversity. Admiral J. W. Reeves, of the Naval Air Transport Service writes to defend the passenger-mile air accident statistic, because it is not yet the case that accidents only happen at landing and takeoff. Several correspondents comment on D. W. Weaver’s travel story. “Navigator Type” thinks that Weaver was exaggerating a wee bit about some harum-scarum flying he ran into, and Peter Bagshawe takes the opening to gas about his adventures. 

Time, 19 May 1947


Terrence Ruttle writes to point out that the reason that chinchillas are going for three times their pelt value right now is that they are being sold as breeding stock, and that this is a “bubble” racket that will burst very soon, and that Time should do its job and warn off widows and veterans. James Cunningham, director of the Veterans College associated with Dartmouth writes to tell eager applicants that it can only accept eligible veterans living within commuting distance of Providence, Rhode Island. Dexter Masters, of New York, is upset that Time didn’t pay enough attention to non-network Peabody Awards. Robert Bell, M.D., of Palestine, Texas, did not enjoy his time in the Solomons, whatever the tropical medicine guys say. The letter from the publisher was farmed out to the advertising director, who was over in Europe recently, where he learned that the English liked to stand in queues, the French are worried about political chaos, the Dutch want some “encouragement” in “colonial affairs,” and everyone wants more coal and European unity.

National Affairs

“Facts of Life” Secretary Acheson says that the facts of life are that America is going to have to provide more international financial relief, because there is “economic anarchy,” children are starving, and they’ll go communist if America doesn’t come through. Korea, too; and Time says that the Administration is about to do a turnaround on China and the Koumintang will ask for a cool billion. Watch San Francisco real estate go through the roof, then! The only people getting richer than the Soongs will be their straw buyers, not that I want to be too hard on an old family business. Even Mexico is getting a hundred million to repair all the war damage. “A senior Administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity,” predicted a peacetime Lend-Lease plan, soon. Though Lend-Lease cost $50 billion, and this one will probably only go to $4 billion, which is pikers against a national income of $177 billion.

“Every Man for Himself” The GOP is going to make “the Truman doctrine” a free vote, as they say. All the paper’s least favorite people are against it: the “far right,” the “isolationists” and the “fellow travellers.” Also, some communists were in the visitors’ galley being obnoxious. In completely unrelated, and very weird news, there’s a bit about how the Republican ladies of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, visited their Congressman in Washington and made a real scene.

It's a weird story, and the point is, "Ladies, amiright." Here's Congressman Kunkel. 

⦁ “Congress’ Week” Congress was mainly busy taking the axe to every department and program in sight. (Except the FBI, which got every penny of its appropriations, as usual.) Some of the cuts are pretty ridiculous, and I’m not just saying that because the Navy wants new planes. For example, they say that the office that runs Voice of America overspends and employs too many foreigners. Is that a reason to cut Voice of America entirely? The CAA’s navigational aids program was cut in half, because, someone said, “The only way to stop air accidents was for people to stop flying.” What’s more important; people dying in plane crashes, or a tax cut paid for by $4 billion a year in cuts? Another story, about an $83 million cut at the Bureau of Reclamation that has the Western governors, led by Earl Warren, up in arms, makes the point. Are you really willing to lose the western states and the Presidency in 1948 over $83 million? But let those decisions pile up, and you won’t have $4 billion for your income tax cuts any more! 

“Beaten and Broke” ATT has broken the telephone strike. The operators have agreed to $3--$4 a week and come back to work. I get twenty minutes of long distance every Thursday when I’m on base. The trick is being on base and not some Godforsaken place like Fort Rupert (not the same as Prince Rupert) doing radio readings in the cockpit of a grounded B-24.

“Call on Me” Some Communist veterans visited Senator Martin of Pennsylvania to complain about the Truman Doctrine and got a blistering from him about how you can’t be a communist and a veteran at the same time, because communism is bad. If they were in Moscow doing this, they would all be sent to the camps!  Paul Robeson is also a communist, which is bad, and that means that some people try to keep him from performing, which is also bad. 

Senator Martin is a veteran of the Spanish-American War, Mexican Expedition, and was a general in WWI. So he's a real veteran. Take that, commies!

“Ill-Starred” TWA just lost another Constellation, fortunately in a training flight over Delaware Bay; but that’s no consolation to the four man, who might have ducked a wing on a low-level run. Time called the Connie “ill-starred,” which isn’t good news for Lockheed. You know, it’s funny. The English builders are in trouble because they didn’t go ahead with big liners in the war. Lockheed’s in trouble because it did, and now it’s first-of-their-kind planes are crashing. The only winners are Douglas, because the DC-6 was a half-measure, and because C-54 crashes don’t get the same press.

“No Danger” The Honolulu police tried to prosecute a fruitcake Japanese Buddhist priest for speaking out of turn this week, but the court slapped them down. In other legal news, the Supreme Court had a big spat over the Fourth Amendment.


This is the section with the short bits about “American customs, manners, and morals.” It turns out that includes word that the median income is up to $2378, with 13 in 1000 families earning more than $10,000/year. We’re a tip top tyee family! The number of registered motor vehicles rose 10.8% last year to 33,945,817. The 1941 record of 34,427,145 will be broken sometime this year. 

“Hope Deferred” The Navy is going to let the Samoans and "Guamanians" be American citizens, sincce the United States is seeking a United Nations Mandate for the Pacific islands and it wouldn't look right to keep people that America has been ruling for half a century stateless. The Navy still gets to run the islands, though. In other news about exotic people in America, Krikor Arakelian, "the watermelon king of Southern California" has brought over a faith healer named Avak Hagopian from Armenia (Azerbaijan, Time says, so there must be Armenians inAzerbaijan, which I think is awful confusing of them) to cure his son's epilepsy.

"Super-Armed Peace" "Two years after the defeat of German militarism, 19,000,000 men in the world are under arms; this costs the world about $27,400,000,000 a year, not counting what is spent on atomic and other secret research," according to Hanson W. Baldwin of the New York Times, whose research shows that there are more soldiers under arms today than at the eve of war in 1938. Only seven nations spend as little as 10% of their budgets on armaments. China  has the largest armies, Russia the largest ground force, while America gets along with 670,000. America can't disarm until the communists stop being terrible, and Russia is waiting for the next Great Depression to turn America fascist soon. If fighting communism is best done with money, the World Bank, now three years old, isn't doing very much; its biggest loan so far was $250 million to France for 30 years at 3 1/4%, plus a 1% commission on the outstanding balance that goes to its special fund.

On the Record" Palestinian Arabs and Jews are besieging the United Nations. The Arab rulers of the five surrounding countries have chipped in hire Henri Cattan to speak for everybody of an Arabic inclination, which sounds like quite a job for one lawyer! In another story, the paper covers the fact that the air-conditioning is on too high down at the New Zealand end of the committee room! What?
There's a vague point about the UN not having good housekeeping, but that's the story.

"For 1,413 Lives" Field-Marshal Kesselring was sentenced to death by firing squad for the Ardeatine Massacre and the reprisal killings of 1078 other Italans; List and Maximilian v. Weichs were indicted for the killing of 13,000 people in the Balkans and Norway.

 "More Important than Battles" Korea is divided between communists, who are less terrible this week, but terrible; and General Hodge's military administration in the south. General Hodge can be mentioned in the same breath as Wendell Willkie, so he must be one swell guy, says Auntie G. 

"Bloodsucking Rice Worms" Is a verse from a  little ditty that Hsiao Kuai-leh sang over the radio in Shanghai last week. It's about rice sellers in Shanghai, who are not happy about it. But, then, neither are the people who have to pay the price of rice, which is up 100% in a month.
"Centrifugal Politics" India is coming apart and it is terrible. Gandhi visited Jinnah and it didn't make a difference, which probably shows that Gandhi is a "fool."
"Mission in Doubt" The French Empire is also coming apart. The war in the Hundred Yue continues, with the French taking heavy casualties trying to kick the Viet Minh out of the outskirts of Hanoi; the Algerian independence movement is "fiery," if ineffectual; the Sultan of Morocco visited Tangiers the other day, in way of suggesting that Morocco bloody well wants it back before it goes communist out of disappointment; there is even trouble in Madgascar. At home, the Ministry of Overseas Affairs says that the empire is dead and that it is now the French Union, but correspondent Robert Sherrod says that the mood amongst French troops in Annam is that the point of the war is that white people should never have to defer to Coloured!
Communists are awful, Latins are excitable, the British are in a low mood over the prospect of having to ask America for another loan, due to the rapid rise in prices of American commodities over the last year, the bad British harvest, and the slow recovery of harvests in soft money countries. 
Cuban communists are awful as well as excitable. Brazil's communists are illegal as well as excitable. Madame Peron is flamboyant. Paraguay has a navy, even though it has no sea. A Canadian MP named Ludger Dionne has asked Parliament to consider bringing in D.P.s to help with the labour shortage in the textiles industry. Other MPs disagree about whether England's government is awful or not.
This week's cover story is English cinema mogul Arthur Rank
Lewis Lapham. By Source, Fair use,
"Down Again" Auto production is off, down to 50,000 a week from a projected 70,000, and 50,000 workers laid off, because of steel shortages. US Steel says that under current conditions, there is no chance of a price cut, after all. 38-year-old Lewis Lapham is the newest chair of the family business, the American-Hawaiian Steamship Company. The only problem is that, apart from lucrative Maritime Commission charters that are likely to come to an end soon, there practically is no steamshipping to do --they don't even have a Hawaiian run, any more.

Science, Medicine, Education
"Quicker than the Ear" "Inventor S. Young White" has invented a generator for ultrasonics; a "doomsday trumpet" that can set paper on fire and knock strong men silly for five minutes. He uses a serrated steel wheel 3 1/2" in diameter with 80 teeth that spins against a disc with 80 holes. When spun fast enough, it creates acoustic vibrations with a frequency higher than audible hearing --although the "paralyzing" sound is in the audible range. He thinks ultrasonics might have many applications, and points to a story from England about the possible use of ultrasonics to clean clothes, inplace of water and hard-to-come-by soap.

All Wikipedia says is that ultrasonic cleaners came into use "about 1950." Watch this space for further developments.

"Mark of Merit" Dr. Eugene DuBois, the nutritional expert, got this year's Kober Medal from the Association of American Physicians.
"Death in the Valleys" Verruga fever, a frightening Peruvian disease spread by sandflies, is spreading; the Peruvian government is going to try an all-out DDT attack on infected areas.

"300 Million to Go" Jimmy Yen's BasicChinese movement has increased Chinese literacy from 15% to 35% in twenty years.
"Crisis in Crates" The Library of Congress has almost 8 million books crated up due to millions of new and wartime acquisitions, and will ask Congress to double its appropriation to $11 million and 1900 staff to deal with them.
Press, Radio, Art
The New York Times and Life won the bidding to serialise Churchill's memoirs, for a rumoured  more than a million dollars. Viscount Camrose, who brokered the deal, as British Empire rights. (Another story says that his Daily Telegraph is doing very well these days after a difficult war.) This year's Pulitzer prize for foreign news reporting is controversial, with one judge criticising the others and suggesting that the winner was soft on communism. Time reveals that The Economist has sent Barbara Ward to America as a special correspondent. Ruth Etting has a new radio show, even though bobby-soxers haven't heard of her and will think she's old fashioned.

Claude Hooper boosted the subscription price for his radio audience surveys by 15% this week. Hooper has been in business for ten years, employs 500 people in New York, uses IBM tabulators to speed his surveys, and has no clear idea what his rating points mean in numbers of listeners. Grandma Moses is getting a new edition of her picture book, Grandma Moses: American Primitive. Which sounds rude, but V. says that it is a compliment, because the opposite of "primitive" is "sophisticate," which is bad. That's when I told her that I was completely confused, and she told me that I'd undersand if I went to Stanford and not some technical institute where they only teach you how to grease  a slide rule. So then I started to tell her about the signal filters, and darn if there wasn't a telephone strike! Maurice Sterne isn't a primitive or a sophisticate, but he did go to Bali and his wife married a Pueblo Indian.
Bess Myerson, Miss America 1945, is the Queen of Cotton at the International Textiles Exposition in Manhattan this month. Rita Hayworth has been picked as the most wholesome star of the year by the League for Health Education, who sound like they would know from "wholesome." Time hates Margaret Truman. The Independent Theatre Owners of Ohio are boycotting Monsieur Verdoux because Charlie Chaplin isn't wholesome. Diana Barrymore has been arrested for assault and battery. Jane Withers has come into her maturity and a $250,000 fortune. John Alden Loring, Jeff D. Milton and Harry Gordon Selfridge have died.
The New Pictures
The Imperfect Lady is an English import, and "dated nonsense," although the paper says that Theresa Wright has pretty eyes. It isn't a movie review, but the paper mentions a Dr. Siegfried Kracauer, who has watched a jillion German movies and has discovered that because The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was a very weird movie, Germans were ripe forHitler. Although I probably shouldn't say "silly," because I had a bit of a fight with V. the last time something like this came up.
The stuff people will make up about California history!

"Milton is O.K." Somehow, this is actually a story about T. S. Elliot.
(Janet Miriam) Taylor Caldwell's There was a Time is the kind of thing that people want right now.  Which means all that jazz, because Time doesn't want you to somehow get the idea that Mrs. Taylor Caldwell isn't awful. Anotherawful person is Karl Marx, according to Leopold Schwarzschild, who debunks himup a storm in this book, Time thinks. A novel it did like is Christian Werfenbaker's Write Sorrow on the Earth, which is about the French Resistance, and sounds like the kind of book
Flight, 22 May 1947

“The Few” Mr. Noel-Baker presented the official German Air Force casualties of the Battle of Britain to Parliament this week and stirred things up something awful by pointing out that the RAF only shot down 1800 planes instead of 3000. I can just imagine the fighter jocks reacting to that!

“Recessional Ruminations” Auntie G. is always going on about how Flight can’t bring itself to say “turboprop,” because Americans said it first. Well, let this Canuck be the first to say that being fussy about using “recession” for a business slump is just too much! Point is, Flight’s got this guy, “Kibitzer,” who writes from California, and his column this week talks about the recession that might be on us, and the talk about how the aircraft industry is in bad shape. They say that General Spaatz is bending the ears of every journalist as will listen about how American air power is falling behind Russia and England and whatever. Now, Auntie G gets all pinko about that. Generals and admirals are always saying that, says she. (Speaking frankly, and I love her dearly, I’m not sure how much of that is her bleeding heart liberalism, and how much of it is the fact that she’s counting down the day to the big tax cut. It’s tough being a San Francisco Republican!) Flight goes on to point out that part of the problem is that the American manufacturers are carrying oversized, redundant plants on their books, which is interesting considering that the same plants were the best thing since sliced bread three years ago.

Study in Support: Instructive Demonstrations at Westdown Ranges and Netheravon” This is something neat! Flight’s correspondents were invited out to a show of assorted plans shooting guns and rockets (that’s the “demonstration” part), A clipped wing Meteor showed up to fly low and fast, and they had a bit of the old Grummans Iron Works over to fire the new “Uncle Tom,” a half-ton rocket torpedo with a 500lb warhead. This made up for the fact that the neighbours wouldn’t let them drop a 4000lb bomb. Bomber Command put on a show, complete with Pathfinder Mosquitos doing target marking and Lincolns dropping 400lb bombs instead of ohe the promised 4000. There were jets, there were newish planes, and a helicopter and then there were a bunch of transports dropping 36 dummy paratroops. (I don’t know why they had to tell us that these paratroopers were dummies, but maybe some of the readers haven’t met a real paratrooper.) They also dropped a 57mm,, a jeep, and even a gun crew of seven. 
I can't find an image of either an Uncle Tom or its Red Angel successor for the life of me, so here's a Blackburn Firecrest, instead. 
KZ-VII In the Air” M.A.S flies another light plane; follows a story about a summer air rally over in Belgium. At least, I figure it’s Belgium, considering that the place’s name starts with a “Y.”; then there is a story about an English light plane that hasn’t even flown, the Essex Aero Sprite. 

“Naval Aircraft” This is a continuation of that series of talks at the Royal Aeronautical Society, by Commander Torrens-Spence, who James really doesn't like, I find out. The commander thinks that carriers should have planes for air cover, surface strike, “the deliberate engagement of ship-based aviation” with land-based, to cover landings, and something called “set-piece raids,” by which the Commander means to remind everyone that he flew on the Taranto strike. Let me stop the Commander right there, because James reminds me that he’s a Swordfish man. As an Avenger driver, I can sympathise. Neither of us got to enjoy the holt "get" what it's like to fly a Corsair or a Seafire off the deck, but I think the Commander might have a different idea about the costs of providing standing air cover for convoys, or fighting short-legged land planes in a “high-performance” carrier fighter if he had. It’s not that it’s impossible, it’s that it is hard, you’re never going to get rid of leakers, and as the Old Man points out, an entire Japanese attack wave “leaked” at the Marianas. They were out of fuel, so it didn’t turn out too bad, but if you saw the Intrepid and Bonhomme Richard burn. . . Maybe it’s the ham in me talking, but it just makes sense that if you want to be able to shoot rockets at incoming bogies, get rockets; not planes disguised as rockets. 

Viking 10, although currently they're called "Neptunes."
Anyway, he wants tricycles, because they don’t jump over the arrestor barrier. He also wants twin-engines, for overseas flying, all-weather deck landings, and more carriers for faster-tempo operations. 

Here and There

Mr. T. Smith, of Filton, Bristol, is turning an Airspeed Horsa into three trailers, each of which, he says, or the paper says, can sleep four people. Which sounds about as bad as being in the actual gliders, although with less crashing at the end, and faster action if anyone's had beans for dinner. Dr. D. A. Spenser, the technical adviser to Kodak, thinks that Germany might be policed by photo recce after the occupation. I guess we’d fly over and look for tanks, or, more likely, atom bombs? I suppose we’ll have to look for atom bomb factories that way some day, when the plant engineers discover how to strain out the isotopes before they go up the chimneys. The Turks who are travelling England looking for planes to buy are in a placed called Woodley. They’re to get 500 fighters. The RAF will sink HMS Hawkins in bombing trials this summer. The Navy has a new rocket, the Neptune, which, Flight reports, costs £21,000, so a cool six figures each. It has a 250lb engine, can reach 235 miles straight up, and reaches three times the speed of sound. An Australain dentist named John Homewood flies around New South Wales in a Tiger Moth with all of his equipment. This is news because it is Australia, where they have places with names like “Woollamalonga.” The Russians will have their top secret B-29 copy on show at May Day, rumours say. Group Captain Cunningham flew a Vampire to Sweden very fast. “It is believed that this constitutes a new European speed record.” Or it would if it was “properly documented and homologued by the FAI,” as Flight would say if the story came out of America! Pan Am is cutting the time of its flight from San Francisco to Sydney from 72 hours to 46 hours by cutting out two overnight stops.

Tupolev Tu-4

 A nice spread about the Miles Mergansar comes after. It’s strictly a feeder liner and a very conventional design. It even has fabric control surfaces, with the structure scheduled for a complete revision in later models, but it’s neat to see that the factory uses flush-rivetting and that it has high-power pneumatic servos and that the engine mounting is made of machined forgings and not the old steel tubes. All the new war improvements are getting into the simplest planes. 

American Newsletter

“Kibbitzer,” “Conditions of American Industry” Many American manufacturers and airlines are running in the red. That is why there is a “recession” in American aviation. Recession conditions will probably spread to other industries, but aviation’s problems are particular to it. For the airlines, it is that capacity has risen from 24,000 in 1943 to 40,000 in 1948, and that this, combined with faster planes, will soak up the passengers –and more. For the industry seems to have over-expanded based on war uses, and the winter of 1946 caused the usual drop in air travel for all the usual reasons, plus the newspapers supposedly launching some kind of sensationalistic campaign against air travel, etc. Meanwhile, the Republican cuts to defence spending will probably not have their full effect until 1948 and 1949, when the backlog of large transports will have been worked through. “Kibbitzer” points out that the pessimism is overdone, that bookings have begun to rise again as summer comes on. He also figures that there will be some kind of subsidy for the airlines, since the Army and Navy rely on civilian transports.
The Cold War is kind of like a subsidy

“Atlantic Met Stations” As Uncle George would say, it was fun to report that there were going to be weather ships in the Atlantic the first few times, so let’s do it again! They will be the tiny little antisubmarine corvettes, they will be expected to ride out Atlantic storms hove-to, and they will require careful navigation to be anywhere near where they think they are. Upper atmosphere conditions will still be reported by radiosondes launched from 9 stations in the U.K.

 Civil Aviation News

“Telecommunications at London Airport”

London Airport has the best telecommunications system in the world, the Ministry of Civil Aviation says. Eighteen teleprinters handle 1000 outgoing messages a day, some sent to as many as three addresses for each message. There are many radios and associated D/Fs. As many as 25 aircraft a day still ask for old-fashioned M/F bearings, so “old habits die hard.” The met section produces three forecasts a day. The transmitting side has 16 transmitters and many telephones. GCA is installed, but staffed only in daylight hours. Airfield Control Radar will be installed shortly, and used along with the Standard Cathode Ray Tube Automatic Direction Finder, similar to the one shown to PICAO. 

Miles has announced its new four-engined cargo plane, the Miles Merchantman. It has a calculated unstick distance of 250 yards, and is being designed for conversion from transport to passenger version in a few minutes at the airfield. Italian airlines “are in transition” because they have pilots and planes, but no airfields, which the Fascists failed to develop inside the country, preferring to focus on the colonies. Alitalia has all sorts of plans for new liners, such as a proposed 50 ton Breda-Zappata four-engined type, for which Centaurus engines might be ordered. The English are still wandering about the south coast looking for the perfect place for a flying boat “base.”
Breda-Zappata B.Z. 308

In shorter news, there are vacant seats on the first BSAA Tudor South American service still available. The TWA Constellation crash at Shannon on 8 December was probably caused by an altimeter reading error caused by an inadvertent reversal of the primary and alternative static lines during a routine check. The installation was not checked, although the paper work said that it had. 
We have crashes because of inexperienced, pilots and radio operators; we have planes catching fire because the design left wires exposed; we have one major crash caused by the ground crew forgetting to remove the gustlocks and another caused by them putting the altimeter back together backwards and then faking the paperworks. But, yes, the fall-off in passenger flying is surely due to press coverage. 


Vertigo” writes that the proposed blind approach method in a recent article, in which the pilot watches a stereoscopic projection of a pre-recorded daylight approach as long as the aircraft is in the beam, and goes black when it leaves it, won’t really work, because right now the necessary continuously updated range and altitude information isn’t available, and the stereoscopic projection will blank out frequently even “in the beam” due to right and left deviation changing with distance. S/L H. R. Bunn proposes parachute airmail. At least N.E.R knows that he is trying to make a joke.

Time, 26 May 1947

Correspondents disagree about the article about Italian Communists. Some think that the paper is hysterical, some that Communists are terrible, and some that communism is terrible and will be all over us unless we feed the hungry, etc. Margaret Lee Southard read the article about Headmaster Fuess of Andover, who worried that it was becoming more expensive and exclusive, and exclusive, and thought that it should increase its scholarships, and points out why that is self-defeating. The Reverend Carl Gieseler, of Denver, writes to tell everyone how much he hates the Pope for not being a good Christian like Jesus and the Apostles. Two correspondents liked the article about how normal Russians aren't awful. Hilda Findley is sharp with Patricia Forth, who thinks that student veterans' wives are awful, pointing out that it is hard to be a philosopher when a sick baby means eating oatmeal for dinner for a week. James Spalding Boldero, a "fourth generation non-Asiatic Hawaiian," defends the common Japanese-American name of Yamamoto "that quietly adorns the grave memorial of many American soldiers of Japanese descent." The Publisher's Letter reminds everyone that foreigners can't buy our exports unless we buy their imports, and that's why Time sells advertising all over the world.
An ad and not a letter, but Rise Stevens has all that jazz.

National Affairs 
"Flight from the Past" The Army staged a 135 B-29 raid on New York last week, although only 101 bombers showed up for the massed flyby, as one squadron got lost in a rain cloud and another got lost, period, because we're talking about the Army, here. The paper compares this to a massed raid by "mostly obsolescent planes" in 1933 and notes that 135 Superbombers were "[V]irtually the entire effective heavy bomber strength of Strategic Air Command," which will be quite embarrassing if we have to fight WWII again tomorrow.

This has nothing to do with the New York stunt. It's the Kee Bird B-29 that ran out of fuel on a "top secret mission to the North Pole" in 1947. 

"Crack in the Front" Meanwhile, the Administration's strategic worry is economic, not military. Between the winter and the late deliveries of American aid, Germany is in a panic and the Western alliance is cracking. "The margin of economic safety was thin," and Secretary Marshall has put a staff of economists to work on a survey of all of the reconstruction needs of Western Europe from Norway to Greece. With that kind of intelligence, he hopes to come up with a way to meet these needs.

"After Four Months" Congress is very pleased with all that it has accomplished in the last four months. Time points out that the $1.65 billion cut in the Army and Navy appropriations falls far short of the promised $6 billion, and that the Senate will probably put some back, but "Republicans were at least trying to make good their promises of economy." It goes on to point out that Congress had a "fair record" of legislation.

"Considered Opinion" So far, Americans haven't let their sympathy for Europe's Displaced Persons to influence their insane-but-profitable views on immigration. For example, "Mississippi's frog-voiced" John Rankin said the other day that letting "so-called refugees" in whould just lead to "communism, atheism, anarchy and infidelity." (Infidelity! Will those foreigners stop at nothing?) This week, though, the House Judiciary Committee commenced hearings on William G. Stratton's bill, which would admit 400,000 DPs over four years by using the unfilled wartime annual quotas. The paper also covers what the new labour rules are going to look like in some detail, with some editorial slanting to suggest that they're a great idea, because the editor can be that way. For example, it's mighty pleased that Phil Murray is cracking down on communist unions at the CIO. And the sidebar in this page is a massive excerpt of a twaddling Senate speech by "Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, grandson of a famed statesman, an artillery officer in World War II, and a junior member of the Foreign Relations Committee." I guess we know who the publisher's friends are! (It's about how the Greece/Turkey thing is a good idea but. . .)
While we're on the subject of the statesmanship of Henry Cabot Lodge.

"The American Twang" Congress was up in arms over the OIC and Voice of America this week. Time dug up a Kentucky congressman saying something ridiculous (everyone already knows that Americans are the "kindest, most generous and mostd sympathetic people on the face of the Earth") and then introduced a hero, another Congressman, named Karl Mundt, a former teacher who really loves the sound of his own voice. He really appreciates Voice of America, and if there are too many "lisps" and foreign accents on it, the solution is to make sure that it has an "American twang" instead. Everyone was so convinced that they decided to have the FBI check up on the loyalties of all OIC employees, get rid of as many foreigners as possible, and then give it some money so it can twang and drawl to the world. Shuckee-darn! No dwelling on it, but I bet that "lisp" thing goes down smooth for people who've never had an Uncle George. Speaking of twangs and the FBI investigating people with a lisp, the judge in that lynching trial in South Carolina just put 21 men up to stand trial for murder, and the mayor of Hoboken was finally turned out of office after twenty years. 

"Waiting for the Day" The Supreme Court has ruled that the railroads regional rates discriminate against the South and the West. Jubilant governors celebrate the dawning if a new day of universal prosperity. 

Americana says that the 625 registered lobbyists in Washington earned $4 million last year. 

"Unfit for Leadership" In Vienna, massed demonstrators held up pictures of that pile of kerosene-soaked surplus potatoes in Arkansas and pointed out that they were hungry. Time points out that it is the same kind of "insane" logic that breaks out in any political system, for example the Russians killing five million peasants to achieve collectivisation. (Translation: communists are worse.) Anyway, Germans are starving, and there's a fuss in England, where Franklin Bicknell says that everyone is slowly starving. Premier Ramadier said that American couldn't be trusted to keep its promises, as the bread ration was cut from 10.5 ounces to 8.3. 
Berliners harvest potatoes from the municipal gardens, 1947

"Overstatement" The Arab presentation to the United Nations on Palestine was "overstated," and that means that the Zionists are right. Everyone is alarmed at the diabolical scheme behind the Russians backing a Jewish state in Palestine, even if they are not sure what it is. 

"These Three United States" Various people have various views of the United states. For example, Carolyn Lejeune explained Hollywood's America in the New York Times Magazine, and she was funny. (Actually, she was!) Also, some Russian papers said that Hollywood's America is awful because it is so pro-capitalist. Time gets all huffy, pointing out that, actually, Hollywood is way too liberal about unions and stuff. 

"Chih-k'o on Roller Skates" This week's cover story is about Chen Li-fu, "head of the notorious CC clique." Is he a villain, as they say, or a hero? Here, have many thousands of words. I think that Time doesn't like him, but it's not like I am going to waste any time on this article.

⦁ "Lord Pakenham's Prayers" The 40 million people in the American and British zones in Germany need 850,000 tons of grain a month. America was supposed to supply 330,000 tons, with England paying half the bill. The rest was to come from German production. However, American shipments have fallen 130,000 tons behind, and Germany is 200,000 tons short of its quota. The German shortfall is due in part to the harsh winter, but more to the "breakdown of the Germans' own food collection and distribution system," which is why it was such a scandal last week when the police raided a farm near Berlin which had, amongst other things, 2 tons of potatoes in store. The problem is that farmers aren't selling food for useless marks, and no-one wants to anger them, because they have all the food. Farmer Hans Schweiger pointed out that his farm will yield 6000 marks this eyar, of which 500 goes to taxes, 500 to the blacksmith, 1000 to seeds and fertiliser. When a pair of shoes for his wife costs 800 marks, you can see why he is tempted to trade bread and potatoes for nails or machinery, instead. "Before the farmers starve, every single city dweller will starve first." Perversely, in the Russian zone, where farmers only have to sell 60% of their produce to the state and can sell the rest privately, the basic ration is being met. The Americans have chartered additional merchant ships to get a million tons of food to Germany in the next two-and-a-half months. Also, various people think that the Germans are being too conceited and self-centred for being so focussed on the fact that they were starving when other people were, too. The prayer bit is because Baron Pakenham is the new Minister for the British occupation zones. In other foreign news, "hink pink" is all the rage in England, maybe because the Royal Family has been gone so long, and you know how a puppy can get when that happens!

The February release "The Puppy Love Song" doesn't seem to be on Youtube, so here's Paul Anka in 1962, instead.

Everyone ignores the Latin America and Canada sections unless there is something really interesting going on. Does this stuff with the Brazilian communist party count? Brazilians say that the Americans put them up to it, and the way Time carries on about how it isn't true reminds me of the kid and the cookie jar. Also, the premier of Ontario is in London shopping for emigrants because he thinks that Canada needs workers, and that as many of them as possible should be of "British stock.


"Change in the Wind?" The stock market just keeps going down, even though first quarter profits were satisfactory, and business is getting the labour rules it says it wants, and production of goods and services keeps on increasing. Although the increase was very small, showing that "the boom was about to peak." (I don't see how that shows anything at all, but I am just a student engineer, not a giant-brained financier.) So why is the stock market down? Maybe it is because prices are up, there is a "buyers' strike," employment is down, consumer credit is up, and inventories are rising. Or maybe it's because Wall Street is just in that mood. 

"Help!" The aviation industry's push for new government contracts gets around to Time, which reports that members of the Aircraft Industries Association went around Army, Navy and State Department offices explaining how they needed big orders to keep up payroll and stock dividends. Glenn Martin, who has had to take a $25 million RFC loan to keep operating, explained that modern air power is at a supertechnical stage where you can't just swing an axe at the Army-Navy budgets and expect everything to be all right. Lockheed's man explained that America is about to be overtaken by England on speed and Russia on numbers, which is more reasonable than "third rate power," although still ridiculous when you take the X-planes into account, as well as the usual shenanigans about numbers. Ten thousand plywood Yaks in storage are no match for 10 B-29s actually flying! But, tragedy of tragedies, maybe the C-99 will be a museum piece, and it will take "five years" for the country to mobilise its production for air war if it had to do it again. Major General Echols (ret), President of the AIA, says that the Government needs to commit to producing 5,780 aircraft a year to keep the industry going and, I don't know, fight communism or something. (I'd lobby for something newer than a P2V, but here I am driving a B-24 around Hell's half acre because we haven't enough Neptunes for bush flying yet, never mind an idea of what a replacement would look like.)
These pictures were pretty generic in 1944/45. I'm not sure people appreciate just how dangerous it was to fly a high performance plane on and off a carrier in 1945.

"The Price of Liberty" Liberty Films, the studio formed around Frank Capra, William Wyler, and George Stevens, has decided that enough is enough. Capra's Wonderful Life still hasn't made back the $2.3 million it cost to produce. People figure that it is because it hit the screen just when movie attendance began to fall off, and, with that in mind, there was no point going on with Liberty, and Paramount offered them $4 million in stock and work. The thinking in Hollywood is that the writing might be on the wall for the other wartime independents. 

⦁ "Back in Business" About 2.5 million of Japan's prewar 12 million spindles are back in business, but even at that level, the cotton mills of Japan are having trouble finding a market for their grey goods. American mills are fighting to keep their market share --the Army has even committed to buying only American raw cotton in Japan through the end of 1947! Japanese silk is also in danger of overproduction, and the United States Commercial Corporation, which is in charge of selling Japanese exports, is now under fire from a new flank, as General MacArthur tells them flat that they are in charge of selling what Japan can produce, and lower prices for silk seem like the only answer. Japan might be getting back into business just as Americans get out of buying. 

"Kick in the Pants" A detailed survey of American attitudes to advertising is a kick in the pants to the industry because Americans have beefs. They think advertising can be too frank, too crass, too revealing, and too intrusive when it comes to radio ads. They also want tighter Government control of food labellling. In related news, Gray Development Corporation, of Los Angeles, is selling a gadget that automatically mutes the radio for fifteen seconds or sixty, depending on what button is pushed, so that listeners aren't afflicted with ads they don't like. The company moved 1000 units in the first week at $2.95 each. 

Science, Medicine, Education

"Diggers" Abd Es Salam, an Egyptian architect, has a new theory about the "blunted pyramid" at Danshur, twenty miles south of Cairo. The working theory is that it is a primitive pyramid, built by an early Pharaoh named Honi; but Es Salam's theory was that the builders set out to put up a regular pyramid, but left the top off when the structure started to crack. Not much point in putting heavy stones on top when the whole thing is about to go! Excavating, he found a seal of Snefru, who lived long after the Egyptians built regular pyramids. Figuring that grave robbers might have skipped some stuff because of how shaky the structure was, he is now excavating, hoping to find an unrobbed royal tomb from 5000 years ago. Hopefully, he is as lucky as Greville Healey, an archaeologist for the United Fruit Company, who was led to the Mayan lost city of Bonampak by Lacandone Indians. Some archaeologists don't plunder tombs or find lost cities. They read old tablets they pick up at the market. Dr. Samuel N. Kramer, of the University of Pennsylvania, has one that tells the story of Enmerkar of Erech's [sic] psychological warfare against Aratta. The interesting thing being that people that long ago used psychops instead of just jabbing each other with sharpened sticks.
That article about Healey is worth a look. Not only did he discover 28 lost Mayan cities [citation needed], he was an expert stellar navigator, and in optics and astronomy, spoke seven languages, and "worked on the development of alloy metals,  including beryllium for the Space Program." Seems legit.

"Everybody's Secret" Time really liked Selig Hecht's Explaining the Atom, because it finally made Time understand what a "neutron" was. It also likes that he explains that there is no "atomic secret," because the sooner the Russians have atom bombs, the sooner we can have a bang-up WWIII. Nothing like a world war to sell papers. For the eight hours or so it takes the B-29skis to arrive, but better than nothing!

"Setback" Three helicopters crashed this week, including two Bell 47Bs that at least seemed to break up in mid-air. Bell has grounded the fleet until they figure out what is happening. Time says taht this is shocking and surprising to all the enthusiasts who think that helicopters are "extra safe and extra easy to fly." Time explains that they are actually hard to fly. Fortunately, Laurence Bell says, helicopters are only nine years old, so it's okay if they explode in flames in mid-air. 

"Death in Convenient Bottles" Five years ago, Drs. Theodor Rosebury and Elvin Kabat wrote a confidential letter to Washington about the prospects of germ warfare. The authors were promptly hired on. I'm sure whether that means that we had a Manhattan Project of germ warfare that we haven't heard about because we never dropped a bug bomb, or that Washington was just keeping a lid on things. (Remember that bat bomb guy? Bug bombs have the same problem. Germs don't take to low pressures and temperatures and such the way that chunks of plutonium do.) Anyway, last month, the letter --actually a 40,000 word paper-- was published by the Journal of Immunology. They think that Weil's Disease, botulism, anthrax and pneumonic plague have the most potential. Anthrax doesn't spread very well, but might if it were dropped, mixed with mustard gas that would create the lesions through which anthrax enters the blood. That really sounds like reaching. On the other hand, word is that they're really underestimating the potential of just plain old anthrax spores. 

 "Golden Days" The Wall Street Journal says that the one thing that the Class of '47 doesn't have to worry about is a job. Engineers, chemists and physicists will go to the biggest money and the widest choices, as companies like GEneral Motors have been shopping the campus for the best prospects for months. MIT's 548 seniors can turn down two jobs for every one he picks. 49 PhDs have 25 job offers apiece. (Except it's better than that, because they don't count us poor Navy hitch-ups.) The average going wage for a Bachelor of Science is $225--$300 a month, while PhDs can fetch up to $500. A liberal arts decree is worth 15% less, but there's plenty of jobs out there in finance and sales, and the article doesn't say anything about long term chances for a whip-smart Stanford graduate who can talk rings around you about literature and sociology and history and stuff. 

In case you were ever wondering how  much job security it took for the Greatest Generation to invent the three-martini lunch.

"Rising Man" Time wants George Stoddard to like it. He's the most risingest child psychologist in the nation, known for proving that environment affects children's IQ as much as heredity. The idea isn't so much better child welfare, apparently, as better schools, which will lead to better child welfare. (Because to have better schools you need more teachers and child psychologists, which means more community colleges and even a state university system for New York, which he is pushing for.) Stoddard's psychological knowledge also makes him think that [the Showa Emperor] should be hung, and that Japan should have an alphabetic script. In connected not-news, the retired dean of Princeton, Christian Gauss, popped up to complain about education and lack of religion and democracy these days. Thurgood Marshall isn't an educator, but he is suing the State of Texas over educational segregation. 

Press, Radio, Art

"Shiny New Post" Benn Hibs is the new editor of the Saturday Evening Post (as of five years ago.) Is his plan of attracting younger readers and women working out? He pays more for hopefully better pieces (up to $600 for beginners,; $1500 for old hands); $2500 for Norman Rockwell covers, $60,000 for Bullshit --I mean, "Bull," I mean, "Bill's"-- memoirs, which I'm sure will be worth every penny, even if he gets "A." to write 'em for him and they turn out to about the Old Man instead. The Post is also trying to moderate its politics. It still thinks that Henry Wallace is the most dangerous American alive, but it will run articles by Edgar Snow. It also sent its West Coast copy out via the Panama Canal till '39. And I thought it was just Vancouver that was a duckberg! Also, there's a paper fielding Walter Winchell in Washington again. All the old papers boycotted him, but there's a new one, the U.S. Journal, that's hoping to get an angle.

"Mr. Television" NBC now does 28 hours of television a week, and about 23 hours of them have the same announcer, Robert S. Stanton. He does Giants games, prize fights two evenings a week, Campus Hoopla, and all the out-of-studio remotes, like NBC's coverage of the U.N. Palestine hearings. That pretty much put him in charge of figuring out how to be a television announcer, and everyone hangs around his studio to pick up tips. 

Joan Miro, Andre Marchand and Lucien Freud are the names that bubble up to the top of the art world this week. 


"Merit was winning recognition all over the place," the paper says, mentioning that Henry Ford II, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., John W. Snyder, Phil Murray and James B. Conant all received medals or other honours this week. It is better than falling through a railing, like John Steinbeck, or being hit by a taxicab, like John Boyd Orr! The paper kids Janis Paige for having titles such as "Miss Bowling Girl" and "Miss Best Table Decoration." June Allyson is 1947's "Most Lovable Movie Actress." Our own honour roll ex-president must be awful lonesome, because the College Man went on a radio show about fishing to tell stories about Calvin Coolidge, now that Silent Cal is too dead to correct the impression that he, or anyone else, ever liked the Wonder Boy. T. S. Eliot went to Harvard and was impressed by how serious and hardworking the campus is these days. Archbishop of Boston says that the problem with these days is that people don't work hard enough these days. Doctor Charles Mayo of the Mayo Clinic thinks that you should always hire the guy with the ulcer first, because he's apt to be on his toes. Al Jolson is in the news for some reason. 
The New Pictures

The paper loves Great Expectations. I mean, really loved it, as they go on and on about it. I'm flying in and out of Alameda next week. Maybe I could catch it while they're turning my bird around? I hope that the movie is better than the book! (Or that my memories are affected by reading it in class.) Honeymoon is another comeback vehicle for Shirley Temple. I don't think the paper liked it.


Sinclair Lewis has a book out that's about a family learning that they have a you-know-what in the woodpile. A touch of the tarbrush, as they say. (Uncle George would say, "So just a regular American family, then.") The paper hates it. Upton Sinclair, who must get confused for Sinclair Lewis a lot, has a new Lanny Budd novel out, Presidential Mission. If you don't know the books, Lanny is a fictional character that Sinclair inserts into world events so that Sinclair can write about them with a light touch. So Lanny has met Einstein, Churchill, Harry Hopkins, William Donovan, Admiral Darlan and a bunch of big Nazis, and in this book he is a special agent for President Roosevelt. Secret agents tend to have adventures --I guess that makes me a secret agent, although frankly, sitting on an airfield in Nagasaki, waiting for the car that is bringing Fat Chow, or an atom bomb, whichever came first, is absolutely the least thing like a book adventure I can think of-- and Lanny is an adventure hero who "excels in doing the impossible." P. G. Wodehouse also has a book out, and so does Anthony Thorne. The last is a mystery, and Time spoils it a bit on principle, since it thinks that the first twist has been used too much, but it doesn't not like it. There's also a sort-of mystery by Gerald Kish, Prelude to a Certain Midnight, and a novel about a Fascist named Curzio Malaparte, disguised as Dario Duvolti, by Percy Winner. If you're wondering why, the review tries to explain, but I think you have to know who Winner and Malaparte are, first, to care. 

 Flight, 29 May 1947


Back to Bleriot?” Some Americans work on an obvious good idea that no-one has ever been able to make work, in this case, castering undercarriages; American journalists write articles about how they have just invented this great new idea; Flight clears its throat and points out that the English are also working on it; then notices how that sounds, and lists all the people who tried to do it before 1914, when no-one had any idea what was possible. The idea has so much potential for saving money by reducing the number of runways an airport needs, that the paper then talks about it in a second leader. On a related subject continued, it talks about Mr. Farren’s idea for abolishing the undercarriage, which is much more practical with jets than with props, because the props don’t dig into the runway. (Though they melt it good.) 

“Strong Words” The British Air Lines Pilot Association is upset at the Air Safety and Technical Committee for saying that the pilots involved in the Speke and Yundum crashes were idiots. It points out mitigating factors. We’re waiting to hear from the Flight Mechanics Association about reinstalling altimeters backwards and then not checking them.

“Designed to Strike: S. 28/43: Features of Blackburn’s New Dive Bomber/Torpedo Aircraft Discussed” Okay, the problem is very simple. It is hard to pull heavy planes out of dives. And torpedo bombers have to be heavy! And the faster and more surviveable they are, the heavier they will be! The “Firecrest” is an even worse case, because it was designed as a fighter, with no “built in headwind." The author also thinks that the Firecrest is the first naval strike aircraft Blackburn has ever designed, which is just ignorant.

Also not the first Blackburn naval strike aircraft, the prewar Shark was the metal-clad counterpart to the Swordfish. The Navy ordered 200 (and the RCAF 12, which were built at Boeing Vancouver in a very curious episode), then scrapped them because by the outbreak of WWII, it had over 600 Swordfish alone for seven carriers. 
The one advantage of the torpedo strike modification is that it gives a deep fuselage, allowing the cockpit to be put up over the main wing spar giving greatly improved visibility, so that you only have to guess where the carrier might have gone for a few seconds. It has the usual recent separate-section, swinging, slotted flaps as combination high lift and to assist the dive brakes. Blackburn believes that it has improved on this by dividing the flaps into main and auxiliary, giving a total of four slotted flaps, two on each wing. It also has powered hydraulic wing folding, controlled from the cockpit, which is nice. Blackburn is proud of the way that it has kept the weight of the wing down using a single spar with cutouts. This is because of how heavy double-folding designs are apt to get. In fact, the Firecrest has the lowest structure weight for any naval folding-wing aircraft, 29.56% of total empty weight. It will also have power-boosted ailerons with balance tabs in the last two completed. The Bristol Centaurus 59 is flexibly mounted on a round, tube steel frame, and gives 2825hp at takeoff with methanol/water injection. This is a single-prop engine, and as the plane was originally designed with a short undercarriage on the assumption that it would have contra-props. You'd think this would have been a problem in carrier operations. 

Here and There

The Swiss have decided to buy Vampires and not Meteors. 1946 was the busiest year ever for Australian civil aviation, with freights, passengers, air route miles, etc. more than doubling in some cases. There is another writeup of the North American supersonic wind tunnel. G/C Geoffrey L. Cheshire, better known as Leonard Cheshire, the CO of 617 Squadron, who was to have flown to British Columbia to found another “Vade in Pacem” settlement, won’t do that, after all. He has had a “breakdown in health.” 
In a strange synergy, while the former CO of 617 Squadron didn't found a cult commune in British Columbia in 1948, the 7th Marquess of Exeter, Martin Cecil, did; in 100 Mile House. The former cultists live in a neighbourhood  behind the original road house inn, and the kids like to tell scary stories about them. On the other hand, there's a celebratory mural depicting their history on the wall of one of the town's two malls. 
“The Concordia: Structural Details of the Cunliffe-Owen Light/Medium Feeder Airliner” It sounds like just another feeder. It’s a very long article! The only interesting detail is that it was designed with reversible prop for shorter landings in mind. They’re not needed, which is lucky, because Lockheed nasn’t delivered any, yet, but there it is. 

In shorter news, Philip Lucas has resigned from Hawker Siddeley for differences in policy [sic?]. 

Norecrin in the Air: Flying Characteristics of a Light French Air Tourer” Flight was not impressed.
378 built; Can't knock it.

The Australian Defence Minister, John Dedman, answered a question about some displaced Aborigines by explaining that a secret delegation had been sent to a secret destination in central Australia on a mission so secret that they can’t even talk to Aborigines, which is why they were removed from this secret place. Also, Mr. H. J. Thomas, assistant managing director of Bristol Aeroplane, has died at the age of 55, as has Charles Desoutter.

“Skyway’s First Anniversary: The Years Work: Middle and Far East Contracts” Skyways has 1300 employees, rents Dunsfold airfield from the Government, and has many lucrative contracts for its large fleet. 

Civil Aviation News

”Allocating the Blame” The BALPA’s criticisms of the Chief Inspector of Accidents, in more detail. For example, at the Yundum crash it was found that the BSAA York crash landed on a very different bearing from its takeoff, implying that the pilot had to turn, suggesting an engine failure. Both inspector and Association agree that the conditions at Yundum and the load of the York were such that only the most experienced pilot ought to have been flying the plane, but the fact that the pilot wasn’t experienced has no bearing on the possibility of an engine failure. 

“Melbourne Airport” Is being expanded. Indian civil flying saw only one accident in 1946, and there are fifty civil airfields. The usual lot of new services includes an airline in the Canary Islands and a London-Shetland service. Remote islands in the Pacific might be losing their services, but the Atlantic is making up for it!

“British Corporations Aircraft” The three British airlines are currently flying 7 Ansons, 5 Constellations, 42 Dakotas, 44 DH89s, 7 Ju52s, 19 Lancastrians, 14 Lodestars, 6 Vikings 38 Yorks, 3 Boeing 314As, 1 Short “G,” and 21 Sunderlands of various kinds. BEA’s internal services are up to 40,000 seats a month. 

“Runway Approach Lighting” Westinghouse’s new system incorporates existing runway perimeter lighting, but with higher power lamps; with new arrays of powerful halogen lamps intended to serve as final visual markers for the last stages of an aircraft’s approach in good visibility night landings. 36 9 million candlepower lights flash in sequence to give the effect of a streak of lightning pointing down the runway. The actual runway designator is a red cross with a green arrow, both picked out by halogen lamps. Green arrows indicate runways clear for landing, while red crosses indicate closed runways. 


Arthur Sansom writes that now that the RAF’s claims for the Battle of Britain have been deflated with German official returns, the Americans should get the same treatment. T. P. Wright writes to say that he didn’t mean to neglect earlier work on castering undercarriages. “Just a PhD” invites critics of cockpit instrument layouts to do it for themselves and see how easy it is to standardise them. Kenneth J. Key writes to explain why nosewheels are better for jets, period. (It’s because of weight distribution.)

Scientific American, May 1947

I am going to let this stand on its own. It's Greyhound's fault, really.

No comments:

Post a Comment