Sunday, December 10, 2017

Postblogging Technology, October 1947, II: Queen of the Seas

R_. C_.,

Dear Sir:

I've sent along a thank you note through the post, but I that's not enough for such a beautiful present. Vivian and Carole almost died with jealousy when I tried it on for them, not that I noticed such things! If I were not the best dressed girl on campus before, well. . . .

I should also thank you for the chance to wear it out! I doubt A. could have got us invitations there. I don't know what it says that you can be in San Francisco for my 21st, and my parents can't! But you have already heard me out so patiently that I won't bother you again. Nor will I bother you again about what you talked about with A. after dinner. Spy stuff? Don't worry about talking in front of me, I am very discrete, and have almost no friends named Ivan or Katyusha!

Further on spy stuff, Mrs. C. is upset that she has been called back part-time to cover wiretaps of a certain unnamed "institution that is concerned with Pacific affairs at a university whose nickname starts with B." I do not think she is committed in her heart to official secrecy, not that I blame her given that she is being torn away from her baby to type out banal, English conversations. At least, she says, they could find a Russian or Chinese spy to spy back on.

If they have any, she adds, glaring at A. My fiancé shrugs his shoulders at that, and just says, "Washington." No one cares about it now, but if the President's rise in the polls continues through next November, expect to see this stuff back in the news, he says.  

Yrs Sincerely,

Flight, 16 October 1947
“Reconstruction” There was a cabinet shuffle that included ministries that have to do with airplanes, and Sir Stafford Cripps. Flight likes him because his big, burly brain is dreamy.

Fair Harvard

“Large Aircraft” The Bristol 167 giant plane has been christened the “Brabazon,” which is exciting, but it will take forever to prove its engine, and anything can happen in that time.
“Tudor Benettdiction” Everyone hates the Tudor except Don Bennett, so I guess the question is whether everyone else is right, or Don Bennett.
Here and There
For some reason it is still news that racehorses fly. The Russians are going to have an air college, next. For some reason it is still news that hajjis fly. The Americans are working on a nuclear-powered aircraft, while their latest aircraft carrier, the Coral Sea, cost twenty-two million pounds. Under Britain’s new plan for scientific expansion, there will be apprentice scientists, with 160 positions available to 16 year-old boys and girls who meet the criteria. It will be a five year course with practical training. The Detroit News says that American rocket planes have already achieved 1700 mph in secret experimental flights being carried out on a lonely island off the Virginia coast. The Stratocruiser recently reached 406mph in shallow dives to test vibration problems. BEAC has chosen the Decca Navigator as its helicopter navigational system.

Still not a documentary.
 “Pressurisation: Some Problems of Cabin Air Control, and Modern Trends in Their Solution: Precis of a Paper Given to the Royal Aeronautical Society by W. M. Widgery[*]” Military pressurisation systems bring cabin pressure up to the minimum that allows crews to function in oxygen masks. This was not practical in civil aircraft, but larger cabins allowed higher pressures, safely. This means that military systems could not be adapted to civil airliners. It also means that humidification becomes important in civilian applications, with five gallons of water being needed for every five hours of flight. The blower must also be cooled and filtered, the cabin heated, and the blown air dehumidified if the moisture content reached excessive levels. Heating the small space available to each passenger to comfortable levels is a new problem in climate research, and so is air circulation. Blowers are, for now, single stage, operating at very high rotational speeds, but, in the future, will have to be multistage. Refrigeration will also be needed in many routes, and might as well be installed in all passenger air liners. The Tudor installation weighs 770lbs, but this is not all dead weight, because it allows the removal of some oxygen gear.
“Britain’s Test Pilots, No. 24: H. A. Marsh, Test Pilot and General Manager of the Cierva Autogiro Co., Ltd” Marsh joined the RAF in 1918, left it as a licensed air instructor in 1930, took on with Cierva because he needed a job, with a retirement gratuity of £1/year served! Much of his piloting consisted of giving free instructional courses to promote the autogiro, but he took over as test pilot after Cierva was killed in an air(liner) accident. During the war, he flew an autogiro in a radar calibration squadron, and now he is back with Cierva. His only colourful flying story is a couple of mechanical failures in a Sopwith Snipe in Iraq just after the war.

C. A. H. Pollitt, “That New Ideal: Some Comments on Sir Roy Fedden’s Suggested Executive Aircraft” Polllit thinks it’s dumb, too. He offers his own solution. (Which is dumb, too.)
H. F. King, “A View of France: Part II of a Diary of a Ten-Day Tour of Industrial, Scientific and Military Centres” King had a tour of the Grand Sniffle (“Grande Soufflerie”), visited the Arsenal of Aeronautics, (Chatillon-Sous-Bagneux), which is for making or designing or whatever, the Government stuff that goes into planes. They are fiddling with large piston engines, whose day is “not yet over.” This includes a tandem Hispano Suiza 12Y, called an Arsenal 24H. It gives 4000hp, is an utterly hopeless project (Uncle George explains), because by the time it is finished developing, the day of the large piston engine will be done, but is maybe interesting for those who wonder what the French might have got up to during the war, if they hadn’t lost it in 1940. They also showed off a gadget for doing boundary level experiments, and a “high speed research aircraft” with a prop engine, which is not how you do “high speed research” these days. Then off it was to Le Bourget on a cold, wet morning for a nice breakfast and a flight to an airbase in the west of France where there was a reception, and much research was done on wine and cheese.

“Four-Seater Silvaire” The Luscombe II, or Silvaire, is a new American utility light aircraft being developed by the Luscombe Corporation, because you just can’t waste too much money on small planes these days. A would-be Canadian distributor brought this Silvaire over to England to show it off, because as see above. 
“Operation Neptune: Qualified Success of First Experiments” This was the first trial flight of one of the high speed, unmanned, rocket-powered test models. It was “Operation Neptune” because the model was aimed at the sea. Telemetry from transponders, radar tracking, and a chase Meteor were supposed to see what happened. This turned out to be hard, as the model promptly tipped over, dove into the sea, and exploded, and the Meteor pilot unchivalrously declined to follow. “[T]his misguided missile misbehaved itself to the extent of shying at the sonic hurdle under controlled flight –which is the basic reson for its existence.” Hee!  I have no idea how to translate that literally (it alliterates in English), but, trust me, you won’t see Flight, The Engineer or The Economist writing like that very often. At least, Flight points out, the separation was clean. In the first trial, last week, the model slammed into the belly of the launching aircraft before plummeting, out of control, into the sea. It’s the fact that the model went into the sea on its own that makes this a “qualified success.”  In shorter news, the ICAO (formerly PICAO) is having a meeting in Geneva, a Rolls Royce Dart has flown, and the Italian Aero Club is having a rally. (I hope it’s not Communistic!)

Civil Aviation News: “Tudor IV Returns From Successful Tour: Full GEE Coverage for U.K.: Vickers Viking Freighter”
Not to be outdone by the social butterflys of ICAO, IATA has had a meting in Rio. Sir William P. Hildred gave a speech. It is summarised. The Tudor IV tour mentioned involved “A.V.M. D. C. T. Bennett,” of course. It is said to be “10 per cent better from point of view of comfort, silence, payload and cost of operation and equal in speed” to the Constellation.  The “silence” has me skeptical, but the new exhaust tailpipe has solved all problems, and the Tudor IV is the quietest passenger aircraft Bennett has ever experienced. The cinema in the cabin will be a talkie!

A blizzard of costing numbers show that the Tudor IV, flying with a payload of 12,000lbs, will be far more profitable than the Constellation. Pressurisation worked perfectly at 22,000ft, and tail buffeting was confined to within 5 or 6 knots of stall. A GEE chain is to be provided for Scotland, and testing for ground stations has been going on for the past four months. A Vickers Viking freighter is “inevitable.” In shorter news, the Beechcraft Model 34 20 passenger transport flew for the first time in October. Pan American carried almost two thousand passengers across the Atlantic in the week ending 27 September, the highest number for any airline, yet. Northholt handled 51,880 passengers during August, London Airport, 32,000. American airlines have requested a moratorium on new routes in the Untied States. There are various new routes, and American International just landed the flying boat Bermuda Sky Queen at Foyne with 52 passengers and a crew of 7, the first flying boat landing there since flying boats were taken off the North Atlantic service in 1943.
Froman was "seriously injured" in a 314 crash near Lisbon on 22 February 1943

R. B.S. points out that the manpower shortage at the Ministry of Civil Aviation could be fixed by hiring more people. “Dingbat” writes to clarify that there were Heinkel 113s, they were just renamed He100s because of superstition, or maybe the reverse. H. F. King patiently replies that there weren’t, and that is the fact, and that there were also not nearly as many crashed German planes in Kent as people thought, and he would know, because he was one of the men who had to go look for them, including a midnight traipse through a miserable swamp looking for an alleged He 113. “T. T. Marker” has opinions about the Pathfinder badge that veterans can wear. Or maybe can’t wear. Or not veterans. I don’t care about badges! (Even Girl Scout badges, B.) 
The Engineer, 17 October 1947
Seven-Day Journal
"Fuel" for growing families!
“The Melchett Lecture, 1947” This year, Mr. Kenneth Gordon gave a talk on “Hydrogenation in the Fuel and Chemical Industries,” with special attention to the fuel, petroleum and chemical industries. He points out that the synthetic ammonia industry was the first to use high-pressure methods (of hydrogenation, I guess), and that this led to the manufacture of hydrogen on an “unprecedented scale,” and then all the other chemical engineers got into the business, making first synthetic methanol out of carbon monoxide and free hydrogen, which is what Mr. Gordon cares about, and also some other stuff that probably other people care about, like the Fischer-Tropsch process” as applied to “olefins.”

“The Electricity Returns” The official returns to the Electricity Commissioners show that Britain generated “3,150,000,000 units of electricity” in September, as compared to 3.105 billion last year. Some other returns show increases in the same range, but the “total units sent out from the generating statins of authorised undertakers” was up more, at 4.3%.
Various people have been added to the Scientific and Industrial Research Advisory Council and the Scottish Council (Development and Industry); and Dr. Percy Good is the new President of the Institute of Electrical Engineers and gave an inaugural address that appears elsewhere in this issue, as this space is for his biography. Herbert Morison also gave a talk, to a meeting of industrialists in Birmingham, where he talked about the importance of leadership, by which he means, good labour relations. There is a draft code of practice for “Site Investigation” circulating for comment by site inspectors.
Eric Burgess, “German Guided and Rocket Missiles, Part III” this part of the series is devoted to a variety of aircraft-launched missiles “of original and often unorthodox design.” They include the “X-4” air-to-air wire-controlled missile and the X-7 ground-to-air or air-to-ground projectile. The X-4 was intended as a fighter armament, to be aimed at massed day bomber formations and guided by small metal combs situated on the tail fins, electrically linked to the fighter by two insulated wires, 0.008 inches in diameter and up to 18,000ft in length. The rocket was designed to spin at 60rpm, with spoilers on the wing vibrating, either regularly when no control was needed, or with a bias in one direction or another when a turn was needed. The missile could fly at 550mph and climb at 3000ft/min, and it was made of aluminum alloy with a 55lb warhead with a proximity or acoustic fuse. The rocket motor, gyros and battery were in the aft fuselage, and the total weight was 132lbs which propulsion was from a bi-fuel rocket motor using nitric acid and “R-stoff” oxidiser. (So in answer to your question when I phoned, yes, it is the usual “witch’s brew.”) The engine plumbing is gone into at length, which is important, as it is a regenerative type, and it is neat and ingenious considering the size and weight limitations. The X-7 was a smaller version of the X-4, except an experimental type using a solid fuel of diglycol dinitrate, which, since it doesn’t sound like a fuming acid, is probably safer. It’s also a two-stage motor.

At Rheinmetal-Borsag, they worked on designs developed at the HermanGoering Research Institute. Again, liquid fuels with aggressive fluids, in this case “T-stoff” (hydrogen peroxide –they say Nazi Aryans should be blond, and someone was taking it seriously!) and Z-stoff (sodium or calcium permanganate). This engine was giving 132lb of thrust for up to 25 seconds, giving an acceleration to a maximum velocity of 920ft/s. Not surprisingly, this design was “not developed as a weapon.” The F-25, which followed, was given a solid fuel, again, with roll stability through ailerons on the wing tips again, controlled by a gyroscope activating electromagnetic servos. It was to be launched from a ramp, and had not been made into a useful weapon at the end of the war. Details of a German anti-aircraft barrage rocket close out the installment.
“Institute of Metals, No. II” The Institute of Metals heard several papers on corrosion of magnesium metals. Discussion is summarised here. High purity magnesium alloy plates are found to have sometimes very rapid rates of corrosion under various conditions; but the variation is great, say E R W Jones and Marion K. Petch. It might be due to iron contamination, or it might be due to poor handling of the statistics, but the people who say that manufacture magnesium. My take on this is that because Uncle Henry is involved, there must be something shady going on, and that is probably very unfair to the other magnesium makers.
“ATC Developments on the GWR” In plain English, the Great Western Railway is experimenting with automatic train control and audible cab signalling. GWR now has 2462 distant signals and 3364 locomotives equipped with cab-signalling and train-control apparatus. The new four-indication colour light signals will allow more trains to run on heavily-used tacks, especially high speed expresses barrelling onto routes used by slower trains “running with close headway.” I don’t like the sounds of that! There’s lots of technical details, but it is about horns that blast and lights that flash, which doesn’t seem all that technical to me. It’s the other extreme from the write up of the Bristol 171 rotor drive!

“Moving the Bristol Brabazon I” The Bristol Type 167 has been finished, christened, and us so large that it was an extraordinary effort to move it from the erection shed to the assembly hall. So they built a turntable underneath the plane to turn it around so that it could be moved.
“Crankless Air Motors” Broom and Wade, Ltd. of High Wycombe, stopped making crankless air motors to concentrate on air compressors and pneumatic tools. Now, it has reintroduced three models of these motors, in 3, 6 and 30hp settings, modernised for the demands of the fast-paced world of today, etc. As usual, the article gives me not a clue about why you would care that your air motor was crankless, and focusses on the new features, which mainly involve a “distributor” and its connections to the “cylinders.”

The British Welding Research Association has an annual report out. It has been researching cracking in welds of both ferrous and light alloys, and knows much more about the fatigue and resonance vibration that cause that cracking. The British Non-Ferrous Metals Association has responded by increasing its research into stronger aluminum alloys for welding.
“The Launch of the Orient Liner OrcadesOrcades, the largest passenger liner built since the war, was launched by Vickers-Armstrong in Barrow this week. It will cut the England-Melbourne time down from 36 to 28 days. It has a gross tonnage of 31,000, and can carry 1500 passengers and 608 crew. Power is by a Foster-Wheeler water-tube boiler driving Parsons gear, the steam conditions being 525 lb/sq inch, 850 degrees Fahrenheit. I shall consult the experts to determine if this is satisfactory.
By PhillipC on Flickr -, CC BY 2.0,

“Standardisation and Production” Mr. Percy Good’s talk to the IEE focussed on this. Making less things more is better. Non-standard parts creep into production designs when a drawing office feels that it cannot deviate too much from the dimensions in the original specification, so even though it may  have a full list of standard parts, it won’t use them. Other arguments for non-standard parts is that it increases the range of products on offer, and reaps the profit of supplying spare parts. But these are luxuries these days.
Bigger is always better.
“Tools for the Agricultural Job” England and Wales currently use 178,850 tractors of all types, 155,000 tractor ploughs, 83,00 disc harrows, 56,000 disc harrows, 120,000 self-binders, and 3570 combine harvesters. This pool of machinery needs to be maintained. The National Farmers’ Union estimates that the country needs 41,000 tractors a year, and so on, and the industry must not only supply those, but also make its contribution to the export programme. Not only that, but the industry could use more machinery; but with the steel allocation, all it can do is produce replacements and make its export requirements, even as the exports crisis means that food imports must be cut, so that British agriculture must produce more. New, bigger and more efficient machines are needed to square the circle.

Percy Good, “Industrial Standardisation” Since The Engineer has talked about this talk twice, it is time for the talk! It is about the kinds of standardisation that are good (simplification, national standards, standards of performance, and kinds that are bad, such as the tyranny of the metric system), and how to achieve it through sampling and certification. It is also to be hoped that more exact terminology can be adopted to make it easier for manufacturers to understand what is wanted.
“A Small Hydraulic Pump” LML Industries makes two “interesting” hydraulic pumps, one a constant delivery, the other a variable delivery. The constant delivery gives 5 gpm at 2000lb/sq in, while the variable delivery gives between 0 and 5gpm at 2000lb/sq. in. The constant delivery pump consists of a hollow cylinder rotated by the driving shaft at 1400rpm. The cylinder contains two pistons, which are reciprocated as the rotor turns by two cams, which are mounted on the piston via slipper pads, in such a way that, as they rotate, they cause the pistons to reciprocate, first plunging towards each other, and then apart, giving two pressure and two suction strokes in each rotation. There are inlet and outlet valves, and that’s that. In the variable delivery pump, one cam can be rotated with respect to the other, so as to vary output from zero to maximum capacity. I’m not sure how, as it is clear that I misunderstand how the cams work, but hopefully you’ve got the gist of it.
“A Potato Harvesting Machine” Globe Harvesting Company, of London Colney, has a new potato harvester out. It digs the potatoes, cleans them, and elevates them to the point where they can be automatically bagged, although they must be manually sorted from stones and clogs first. It is tractor-drawn, lightly built of primarily aluminum, and, with two pickers and a bagger aboard, clears 30 hundredweight an hour. The cleaning discs and elevator are driven from the tractor’s power takeoff.

“Curved Safety Glass” Triplex Safety Glass Company can now supply safety glass, which will make automobiles much safer, either because now they have safety glass windows, or because now you will be able to see through them without obstruction.

“Side Pits at LPTB Rolling Stock Depots” Modern rail passenger cars don’t have equipment compartments, because they reduce passenger space. Instead, the equipment is on the bottom of the car, which makes them hard to inspect, which is why it is fascinating that the LPTB has put in pits so that inspectors can go down and look at them. I think it is fascinating because I never realised that you had this additional expense when you bought modern passenger cars for your subway!

“The First Commercial Axial Flow Blower” Built in 1901 for supplying blast to a lead-smelting furnace, this machine is now an antique, and has been donated to the London Science Museum.
“A Maximum Power Demand Alarm Device for Factories” Glacier Metal Company has built a siren that sounds when a factory hits its maximum power use, so that workers know to turn things off. There’s a bit of engineering complication, in that it isn’t easy to measure maximum power demand.
William MacKenzie, “Seaweed Harvesting Methods, Part II” They harvest seaweed? They do! I have no idea why, but they use boats and shore stations and cutting gear to cut it up. The article is mainly interested in the equipment that does the cutting.
“North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board Distribution Scheme for Seil,Luing and Easdale” It’s a transmission line.
That is, the "Slate Islands," which used to "roof the world."

Continental Engineering News
During the war, the six locks between the Meuse at Liege and Antwerp, and the sixty-six bridges that crossed the Albert Canal were all destroyed, closing a canal that could accommodate 2000t barges, and which was built over ten years, at a cost of 2 billion Belgian francs. It is now reopened, after a 23 day operation to pump it full of water again. The Port of Flushing is almost fully reopened, and the city of Leningrad is to have an underground railway with three main lines and an overall length of 25 miles, to be completed by 1950.

Subways and canals are the same; they're an awful lot of work, and when they're done, it's hard to tell that anything has been done at all. 

French engineering news is for some reason a separate section, and notes that the Signals and Electrical Firm at Riom is open for business, that another dam has started generating power, and that, except for the Orne bridges, Normandy’s rail system is working well enough for the metal industry to start up again.
Industrial and Labour Notes
Wages are up, Sir Stafford is setting up Regional Boards to coordinate “Economic Affairs,” and iron and steel production is up.
Time, 20 October 1947
More correspondents than you could stuff in a phone booth think that if the Cold War is a chess game, Russia is . . . something. I don’t care! Wilfred S. Reynolds of Birmingham, Alabama, and Allan E. Bulmer, of Revere, Massachusetts, writes to say that, like Robert S. Allen, the average soldier didn’t think much of Patton, although Ralph Del Mont did. Thomas D’A. Brophy writes to assure everyone that the Freedom Train will not be segregated, so Langston Hughes’ poem about segregation on the Freedom Train is wrong and bad. Joe Copps writes to say that skiing in Colorado is much cheaper than skiing in Chile. Al Capp writes to defend his comic strip, a

nd M. Whitney Lee, of Tucson, to attack it. The publisher’s letter reminds everyone that correspondent Frederick Gruin travelled to Tihua, Sinkiang Province, “Where the racial blood of all Central Asia mingles in the faces on the street—” I think because everyone has nosebleeds? Then he interviewed everybody and established that the Russian communists are surrounding Sinkiang, and, specifically, the “mountain oasis” of Peitashan. Then he missed his flight back, fortunately, as it crashed, and instead took a truck twelve days to Luchow. In conclusion, COMMUNISM!

National Affairs
See above. The Herter Committee is back from Europe, where it established that life is hard, and charity is good, and the Marshall Plan would be better, because COMMUNISM and because Europeans are excitable. Hurrah! Four pages down! (Time isn’t done with COMMUNISM yet, and has a weird bit a few pages on remembering the time when Jimmy Byrnes fought Hank Wallace over Viv Molotov.)
“Horatius at the Icebox” I would explain the classical reference, but it’s actually a Nineteenth Century Scotsman making bowel movements on paper. -Oh, I’m sorry, please don’t tell my Mother that I am not a proper lady, yet. If we’d all eat less and have eggless and meatless days, the food would be carried across the ocean by he president of my college in a big, red sleigh pulled by nine reindeer. (So he’d basically sit, crack a whip, and take credit for the reindeers’ work when it was done.) It’s Chuck Luckmann’s idea, and Clint Anderson is in trouble for suggesting that it’s all “symbolism,” and  that it is like going to Church on Sunday, which is probably insulting to the church going crowd, if I know them.
“Passing” Oh, here’s a rare one. Walter White, the NAACP president who is, by cosmic irony, light enough that “he frequently has to explain that he is, in fact, a Negro,” talked to the Saturday Review of Literature last week about how “every year, approximately 12,000 white-skinned Negroes disappear –people whose absence cannot be explained by death or emigration. Nearly every one of the 14 million discernable Negroes in the United States knows at least one member of his race who is ‘passing—’ the magic word which means that some Negroes can get by as whites. . . “He goes on to point out that while some of these “passers” are not important people, others are, including members of Congress, “certain writers,” and “several organisers of movements to ‘keep the Negroes and other minorities in their places.’” Time points out that Coloured athlete, Chester Pierce, played in the Harvard-University of Virginia football game last week, and the Southerners in the crowd didn’t riot or anything. I can tell you that if the team lost 47-0, like Harvard did against Virginia, there'd be a riot here, and it wouldn’t be about race!

Then there are stories about a Socialist being elected mayor of some town in Massachusetts, a union boss who is fighting communist activists, and the NLRB reversing its course and ruling that the top officers of the AFL and CIO wouldn’t have to sign an anti-Communist oath required under Taft-Hartley. Inshorter political notes, it turns out that there’s going to be a Presidentialelection in 1948. 
“Pigeonhole for China” General Wedemeyer’s report says that America has to give the Koumintang a boatload of money RIGHT NOW, or the country will fall to the Communists. You’d think Time would be in favour, because then the Communists wouldn’t surround China any more, but, no, it’s still not satisfied, but thinks we have to soft-pedal the China thing until the Marshall thing is through Congress, because that’s how politics works. Wow. I get the New Criticism. I can explain what Existentialism really is. I’m even coming, slowly, around to the idea that Aristotle has a point about drama; but I can’t make heads nor tails of this. (There’s another story about how America will have to pay the bill for reconstructing Germany, because the British can’t. It might cost $700 to $800 million, which at least is short of the $1 billion required for China!!!!
“What was a Cop to Think?” Several New York city cops have been suspended by Mayor O’Dwyer for throwing their weight around with people they oughtn’t be, such as reporters. The Americana feature says that the Census Bureau says that America gained 2.279 million residents in 1946, the biggest increase in history, and is up to 142,673,000. Psychiatrist Johann G. Auerbach was given a ferocious lecture from the bench for leaving his eight-month-old baby daughter parked in the street on 48th while he gave a lecture on “The Cultural Importance of the Theater to Our Present Civilisation.” Traffic noise, the judge thought, also has a (bad) cultural influence on Our Present Civilisation.

The UN has a flag. It’s blue. Vishinski is terrible. Russia is terrible, because it is not cooperating, has formed the “little Chloroform—” Oops! Cominterm! And because it probably has the atom bomb. Time reassures us that Russia does not have the atom bomb, because the moment that they do have one, the War Department will detect it. I don’t know; Maybe all those flights over the North Pole are looking for Santa Claus? Or Herbert Hoover?
"The Lady of the Lake:" B-29 abandoned near Eilson AFB. It was dumped in a quarry, not crashed. Source:

This is all in aid of Time’s opinion that “frank words” do not cause war, so it is okay to be very, very frank with the Russians, as Winston Churchill is being. Also, the Little Chloroform is spreading its communistic cobwebs to the Russian zone and Poland and other places where people spell their names with more “zs” than is decent, and to Latin countries where excitability could lead to Communism. Also, Harold Laski is communistic, and that’s why he is awful. (He used to be awful because he was socialistic, and he was always awful because he is Jewish, but you don’t say that, because it is rude.) If all of this seems rambling and silly, it is, and there’s a reason, because buried in the middle of this second four-page wander around the idea that communism is bad, is a passage that outright says that a good Red Scare is just what we need to get the Marshall Plan through Congress, and we need the Marshall Plan.
So, there’s a plan to get the Plan through, and it consists of implying that the Russians have a plan. Got it!
Foreign News
“Enter the Technocrats” Because if there’s one thing that the land of Flight, The Engineer and The Economist needs, it’s technocrats. This is a story about the cabinet shuffle, which those other papers have talked around; Time has the details. Shinwell’s out because he can’t raise the coal. He’s gone to the War Office, so that instead of not having coal, Britain will have no war! Hugh Gaitskell is in at Fuel, Harold Wilson at the Board of Trade, the youngest ever. George Strauss is in at Supply. Sandwiched in between this and a story about awful canned fish from South Africa is the news that Princess Elizabeth will leave Buckingham Palace at 11:16, and that Prince Phillip will be at Westminster Abbey waiting from 11:15. Then it is on to Greece, which is in terrible shape because Western “liberals” keep demanding that the Communist rebels be given a chance to surrender. I am not sure why “liberals” has to be in quotation marks, but I thought it was important enough that I would talk about this story about how –heavy sigh—communism is bad in Greece, which crawls down the side of the page besides a huge box story about how communism is bad in France.
“Be Seeing You?” The Mufti of Jerusalem, who is not in Jerusalem because he muffed up there (It's a pun in English. Sigh. I should probably edit it out), is now in Lebanon, waiting to cross over the border with Arab League troops. Associated Pressman Joseph Goodwin took a trip along the border, and could not find these alleged troops, and the Russians and Americans, surprise, surprise, agree on the partition plan; so maybe there won’t be a war.  My fiancé says that Goodwin has friends over there, and that Central is working with him.
“Autumn Offensive” The Communists are on the advance in Manchuria, but the Nationalists are confident that they can hold the cities through the winter. It is the spring offensive that they are worried about, and by that time they are hoping to have their American aid, and etc.
In Latin America, the Chilean president, Gabriel Videla, has broken with his communist allies, while Argentine factory production is down 40%, foreign exchange and gold reserves are vanishing, and shortages are multiplying. In Brazil, people are making pilgrimages to the parish of PadreAntonio Ribeiro Pinto in Minas Gerais, to be healed by his miracles. Canada doesn’t have miracles, and neither does it have housing, with one-fifth of the population of Halifax doubled up in houses or in attics. C. D. Howe promises 6000 homes next year. Maybe you were at the speech? You seem like you might have an in with the Minister of Everything! On the bright side, says Henry Luce’s organ –Don’t tell my Mother!—Canadians make good yachts.

Henry's organ likes something. 

“Where Are the Cars?” A shortage of railcars, which may be due to the steel shortage, may cause a coal shortage this winter. Production was “only” 6000 this August; but car builders also blame the railroads for not moving the steel in “even flows,” leading to shortages, leading to production hold-ups. Senator Clyde Martin Reed has called everyone to Washington to explain, and perhaps put together a plan to allocate steel. The steel shortage has also nipped auto production, and 37,000 workers have been laid off, with GM at only 65% of capacity. Ford is putting $18 million into its own rolling mill.

“Alam Kabeh” The oil refinery at Palembang, “only recently cleared of insurgents by the Dutch,” has begun producing oil again, and perhaps hit its prewar production of 45,000 barrels a day by this summer. It has been a tough go, because the company hasn’t been able to pay its employees, mostly extracted from Japanese camps, because, the natives won’t take any of the three currencies circulating in Sumatra (guilders, occupation yen, and Indonesian rupees), because they deem all three worthless. The company is therefore paying in food and “credits.” I suppose that, say, American dollars or silver are out of the question, because that would be expensive.
“Too Big?” In a special, boxed article, Time says what the British press will not: The Brabazon I is far too big to be practical.
Bigger is always better.

“Plan for Abundance” The Department of Agriculture is laying plans for “parity,” which will lead to permanent agricultural abundance by ensuring that farmers are paid enough for their work. Cue raging slap-fight over definition of “enough.” There follows a neat story about RKO Studio, which I am torn between quoting word-for-word, and ignoring, because I don’t see what it has to do with technological progress, and later one about the children’s music division of Decca. Eh, you probably don’t care, anyway.
Second generation kids are bigger! There's apparently a gain on grandparents' height, too; and there's interesting questions about social mobility. . . 

State of Business Covers off the ICC granting a request for a 10% increase in rail freight rates because business is good. David Lilienthal, former Evil Master of the TVA and even more Evil Presidential Nominee to Head the AEC, is now just plain Commissioner Lilienthal, and thinks that commercially feasible atomic power is at least a decade off. Regulators have also signed off on converting the Big and Little Inch into gas pipelines, to move Texas natural gas to the East Coast, marking the defeat of the CIO’s attempt to keep the market for coal gas. 
Science, Medicine, Education
“Vicky” Time covers the high-speed drone that high speed dove into the water, mentioning that Gerald Bernard Lockee Bayne of the Ministry of Supply “touched” the button to launch it. The British press says that “Vicky” broke the sound barrier, but it did not; Americans say that even if it did, they have broken the sound barrier with rockets, and that it doesn’t count. The British reply that the American supersonic rocket was much less complicated than “Vicky,” so it counts more, except for not counting at all.
“American Face” So, apparently, someone called “Tepexpan Man” is the oldest known American. “He” is a skull dug up in Mexico City, to which Vienna-born sculptor, Leo Steppat, has attached a face made from “statistics and Plasticine.”
“Bacteria and Sex” Scientists used to think that bacteria, being simple, single-celled organisms, only reproduced by splitting (so, you know, like your basic Hollywood star). But, the other day, dirty old bacteriologist E. L. Tatum happened to be sitting in his laboratory, looking through his microscope (WHY?) and, well, ooh-la-la! No, it involved slides and stains and X-rays and all that science stuff, but the conclusion was the same.
“Hooded Airline” All-weather flying is happening in America, but not on the private airlines. The Army’s All-Weather Flying Centre at Wilmington, Ohio, says that it has done a daily round-trip scheduled flight from Ohio to Maryland for the last fourteen months, with planes landing in zero-zero soup, thanks to pilots who have mastered instrument flying “under the hood.”
“Pestilence in Egypt” Asiatic cholera has been detected in Egypt, thefirst outbreak since 1902, when the cholera swept the country, killing 34,595, a mortality of 85% before spreading worldwide. “[L}ast week, a vast machine reaching from Russia to the U.S., swung into action. Troops sealed off the infected areas; cinemas were closed; new water wells were dug; two thousand doctors began the slow and dangerous task of mopping up the disease.” A US Navy DC-4 flew in enough anti-cholera vaccine for 200,000 people. More followed, including a plane from China with a million doses; Russia is sending a million more later in the week. The modern treatment begins with sulfa drugs, and a saline drip to thin the blood, and the vaccine is effective in preventing new infections. DDT spraying will prevent malaria from rising in the wake of cholera. However, far too many Egyptians are undernourished, live in crowded conditions, and have no built-up resistance to cholera.
“Fat and Unhappy” Dr. Hilde Bruch, of Columbia, has made a major scientific breakthrough, establishing that overweight is caused by overeating, and not glandular imbalances, which affect at most 1 in 200 people. She thinks that it is largely due to children being spoiled as children, leading to a rotten personality, while many girls stay fat because “it is a protection against men and sex and the responsibilities of womanhood.”

“Nobody Gets Any Younger” Doctor Albert Lansing, a 32-year-old geneticist at Washington University in St. Louis, has been studying microscopicanimals called rotifers, and has discovered many interesting facts about how minute, water-dwelling, multicellular animals age. I read the article waiting for a conclusion about how this might lead to a cure for human aging, but Time’s Medicine page is on its best behaviour this week. Perhaps it is terrified of a scolding from Dr. Bruch? I know I am!
“Markup” The cost of tuition at private universities is up 29% since 1939, and tuition in law schools is up 46%. The Office of Education warns that when the GI Bill winds up, colleges will either have to cut tuition, or be satisfied, with well-to-do students. There follows a long story about Maria Montessori, the “forgotten progressive,” and about Soviet Russian education. Even though the Russians spend a larger proportion of national income on public education than any other nation, they don’t get much form it, because it has to much communism and too much military. 

Press, Radio, Art, People
“Lifting the Curtain” The Herald Tribune sent a team of reporters to the darkest of dark continents, which lies behind the Iron Curtain, to learn about the revival of the Chloroform. Their reporting is full of what Time calls “unemotional factualism,” and not mixed metaphors.

“Land of the Middlebrow” Cyril Connolly is a British editor. He edits Horizon. Horizon does special issues about countries. Horizon just did a special issue about America. It thinks Americans are “middlebrows.” This is news. (If my punchline worked, all those simple, declarative sentences were worth writing. I have to admit they were much easier to translate!)
“Hiring the Boss” Charles R. Denny has quit as head of the FCC to become general counsel at NBC(!)
“Dizzy Blonde” Marie Wilson is following in the footsteps of Gracie Allen and Jane Ace with her own situation comedy, My Friend Irma. Lever Brothers took it up after twenty weeks and put it on Sunday night between Jack Benny and Charlie McCarthy. The man running the show is Sy Howard, who describes himself as an egomaniac and a tyrant. Wilson herself is apparently actually a dumb blonde.

“The Good Old Drawings” Just to show how eclectic it is, Time starts off with Illustrators of Children’s Books, a 527 art book published by Horn. Next up is the Pittsburgh Carnegie Annual, which gave its $1500 first prize to Zoltan Sepeshy for Marine Still Life.

Betty Smith, of A Tree Grows inBrooklyn, has a book coming out. Intrepid photographers got a shot of Greta Garbo in Southampton, on her way back from Sweden. Franklin Roosevelt’s furniture and books, at least those held in his mother’s Manhattan house, have been burned in a fire. General Eisenhower is not house-hunting any more, as he will be living in Columbia’s presidential mansion. Ambassador Douglas’ wife is upset that she can’t find an American-made prefab house for their California ranch in America, but could find one in a housing project in Birmingham. Orville Wright, General Frank Merrill, Senator Vandenberg and wife Hazel, Lila Lee, and, lastly, Congressman John F. Kennedy are in hospital for reasons ranging from tuberculosis to malaria. Yehudi Menuhin, Xavier Cugat, Vivian Della Chiesa and Johnny Meyer are in family court, or just out of it in some cases. Maria del Rosario Cayetana has married, as has Kathleen Harriman. Arthur Padway, Samuel Hoffenstein, Baron Henri de Rothschild and Sidney Webb has died. Time can’t resist one last, snide line about the Fabians’ “dullness.” Would it prefer them as flaming revolutionaries?

The New Pictures
Body and Soul” is a movie about prize fighting, introducing a theme of people being slapped in the face that continues through a review of Fun and Fancy Free, which is another Disney mix of cartoons and live actors. The lead story, Bongo, was written by Sinclair Lewis, which makes me sad, even though it is the best part of a bad movie. In The Unsuspected, Claude Rains gets mixed up in a murder, which makes me wonder how they could possibly justify the title. Magic Town is another of the “seriocomic fables in favour of the American way of life which . . . cannot be made without Jimmy Stewart.” (No charge for fixing your joke, Time!) Well someone didn’t like It’s a Wonderful Life, but since Mr. Luce isn’t allowed to complain that he is the model of Mr. Potter, so he's on the warpath.

Olivia Manning has a book about Stanley “rescuing” Livingstone, entitled, The Reluctant Rescue, the point being that the heroic story has a dark and seamy side that has nothing to do with its being set on the Dark Continent. Lionell Trilling’s new book gets a review which I do not agree with at all, about which I would tell you at enormous length if I weren’t still burning with embarrassment at takin so long to notice how much I was boring you about The Wasteland the other day. Cleveland Amory has written a book about how stuffy Boston is, for a town founded on piracy and opium. What is this? Westbrook Pegler? The third volume of SirOswald Sitwell’s autobiography is out, which is news for those who know who Sitwell is.
Flight, 23 October 1947
“Confounding the Critics” The Bermuda Sky Queen’s “emergency alighting” in the mid-Atlantic is a triumphant demonstration of the wonderfulness of flying boats, since it kept floating long enough for the passengers to be rescued.

“Alternatives” People say that flying boats can’t land on alternative (or any) airfields, and not on most stretches of water, and certainly not on the open ocean. This is true, Flight admits, but what about giant planes that can’t land at most airfields? What about them?
“Turbines: Taking Stock” It turns out that turbines are still unreliable and not very fuel efficient, so it is very embarrassing that the British do not have new piston engines coming on.
“Safir in the Air: An Analysis of the Equipment and Flying Qualities of a New Swedish Three-Seater: SAAB 91 with Gipsy Major 10 Engine” Yay! An article I don’t have to read! In shorter news, what will probably be the largest air evacuation in history is now going on in Delhi, while SquadronLeader T. S. “Wimpey” Wade, is joining Hawker as a test pilot.
“Robert Carling,” “Casual Commentary: Need for Continued Piston-Engine Development: A Word for the Corporations: ‘Drag-Consciousness’” I wrote something longer about this, but when I set out to translate it, all I got is, "We're stuck with the Stratocruiser."

Here and There
Prestwick town is getting a bus factory, which is news here because Prestwick has an airport. I guess. The XP-86, the first swept-wing fighter designed for the USAAF, is undergoing ground tests.

Trans-Canada is halving the fare for food parcels on its trans-Atlantic flights. The Gas (Turbine) Establishment is putting on courses on industrial turbines. The AEC has put the University of Chicago in charge of the Clinton Laboratory at Oakridge, in place of Monsanto. The Australian who recently flew across the Tasman Sea solo is courageous and determined, just like the five who did it before him. Olympia is hosting a machine tools exhibition next summer. And to think I doubted the newsworthiness of the last article!

Monsanto had a lab at Oakridge? I'm calling my local conspiracy theorist!

S/L P. J. Garnier: Photographs of his Last Flight in the WestlandWyvern” Squadron Leader Garnier was killed in this flight, and Flight decides to run the pictures it was taking before the propeller broke from having its double reverse inverse reduction gearing spinning at opposing rotations at a million miles an hour (that’s not in the article, but I have a source). This makes me sad, and a bit angry at Flight.
“Offensive Support” An article about a demonstration of Air Force and Navy planes dropping bombs, shooting rockets, skipping bombs. Twelve Lincolns were also supposed to drop 130 bombs under direction of pathfinders and a master bomber, but the weather was bad, so they went home. A Vampire showed that it could drop bombs on army targets by flying with undercarriage down and air brakes extended, so that it could go as slow as it could. A Hastings and Valetta were supposed to be there, but were too busy with developmental flying.

“Power-Plants for Helicopters: Weight, Speed, Mounting and Cooling are the Problems” When you just try to put an existing engine in a helicopter, it has to be put on its side, and the crankcase drains. Helicopters don’t go very fast, so there are cooling problems, and I guess reduction gears for the rotors are hard to design.

H. F. King, “A View of France: Part III of a Diary of a Ten-day Tour of Industrial, Scientific and Military Centres” This article covers the six days to the end of the tour, because the first two were so boring. Mostly, King flew around France in a Dakota popping into one factory after another, including one where they build gliders, including powered gliders, which still doesn’t make sense to me. Otherwise, he was mostly shown drawings of prototypes of planes with confusing number-letter names that mostly start with “S.,” although at one he was invited to fly a six-year-old giant flying boat. However, on one day, the Dakota’s second navigator was killed in a flying accident (in another plane), and King had the plane to himself while most everyone else went to the funeral, and used the opportunity to fly down to Toulouse to look at the Navy’s air forces’ laboratory, which used to be the National Veterinary School, where they are  using some test equipment to play with that twin-engined torpedo carrier plane. He probably had a nice lunch, and that must have been some consolation when he was kicked out of France for being so damn insensitive.

You think that's big, Frenchie? Let me show you big!

American Newsletter, by Kibbitzer: “The Martin 2-0-2/Convair 240 Race: Pampered Passengers: Busy Airports: Timing of Speed Records” Kibbitzer spends the first third of his column complaining about how inconvenient it is to meet airlines’ slapdash schedules. If they’d just take off when they say they will, you wouldn’t have to be waiting at some hotel for the airline bus all the time! Or, worse, show up at 11 for a 12:30 takeoff. Ridiculous! US airports have very high traffic figures. For example, LaGuardia has 11,528 commercial landings and takeoffs a month, and the busiest airports, Atlanta, Cleveland and Phoenix, have over 40,000 each. This is “interesting” given complaints about delays at Heathrow. However, these figures aren’t really reflected in passenger miles and revenue growth. The Convair group has been sold by AVCO to Mr. Odlum, husband of Jacqueline Cochrane. Benny Howard is also involved. This might allow the 240 to take the lead in the development race. I didn't even know there was a race? speaking of, K. has opinions about the speed record that are even more "shop talk."
Civil Aviation News
The Cunliffe-Owen Concordia has been sent on a world tour, in case anyone wants to buy it. The Ministry says that it is going to have a FIDO operational at RAF Manston so that planes coming into London and Northolt without the range to divert to somewhere outside of a London fog, will have somewhere to land. I am not sure whether I feel better or not! The Ministry is buying some Airspeed Consuls to test civil pilots for renewal of their instrument landing ratings. The Consul will be equipped with an instrument console consisting of a Standard Beam Approach receiver, a STR. 9 VHF set, and a Murphy Type 24 receiver for the Consol transmission. So it will be a Consul with a console for training with Consol. Got it! Prestwick Airport is to have its runways resurfaced to take the new Stratocruisers in bad weather (because rain makes the mud underneath the tarmac to muddy to take heavy loads, I’m told, although not here). There was a disagreement between the Ministry and Scottish Aviation, but the Ministry said that it would make the planes divert to a nearby NAS if the work wasn’t done, and now it is underway at an estimated cost of £200,000. The pilot strike at American Overseas Aircraft is continuing as of press time. C. D. Howe recently flew on the first Trans-Canadian transcontinental DC-4M proving flight, from Vancouver to Montreal. The DH Rapide will son be available with an new manually-variable-pitch airscrew that will reduce takeoff run by 16% to 450 yards, increase cruising speed 15% to 141mph, and improve economy while reducing engine wear. Flight then prints part of the Reuters report on the Sky Queen accident, which I will cover when it comes up in a newspaper that isn’t wearing egg on its face.
Another reminder that London "fogs" were terrible in 1947.
“Flying the Ambassador: Some Impressions from the Pilot’s Viewpoint: Good Basic Characteristics” Flight says that it is printing the “Ambassador Progress Report,” “exactly as received.” So, in conclusion, the manufacturer thinks that the prototype Ambassador is “outstanding.”
E. Howard-Williams still thinks that his book is wonderful, and that all the mistakes in it aren’t really mistakes, or, at least, are typesetting mistakes. J. Lankester Parker, of Shorts, writes to say that Dennis Powell is wrong about flying boats not having air conditioning. Or, more accurately, that he’s right but it doesn’t matter, and, anyway, it’ll hopefully be fixed soon. “B-Licence Pilot” writes to point out that the American achievement in automatic flying across the Atlantic was impressive, and that the British are only now catching up with technology the Americans have had since early in the war, since the SEP1 is the first British electrical or electronic automatic pilot, six years or so after the American types that have led to the Sperry A-12 used in the flight, and, contrary to British criticism, both SEP and A-12 need to have an radio-controlling operator in sight of the plane for landings, as neither autopilot has altitude control or pitch trim control yet. Flight apologises and explains that its article was “really” intended to counter the claim that the British could have done the flight ten years ago (when the Queen Bee appeared), and criticisms of the A-12, specifically. (My sources tell me that the Sperry autopilots used to have an awful reputation for hunting due to lack of rate-rate control, but that is largely fixed now.) Ann M. Finnie, of Airworks, writes to say that her company’s experiments with cloud-seeding were perfect, and that the critics are wrong.
That’s quite the letters column! Mr. Howard-Williams sounds like the usual idiot who clogs up the pages, but the rest of it is substantial, even though I think that Mr. Parker protests too much.

The Engineer, 24 October 1947
Seven-Day Journal
The new session of Parliament has begun, and this has some implications for the engineering industry. London Transport is undergoing a crisis on the busses because there are no replacement busses and hardly any spare parts available. The Engineer covers the final statement on which factories are to be dismantled in Germany to cover reparations. There are 496 in the British zone and 186 in the American. The 302 war plants must be dismantled, and so must the non-ferrous metal producing plants, as Germany is no longer allowed to produce aluminum, beryllium, vanadium and magnesium, but this is silly, and will be changed. The production of synthetic rubber, synthetic gasoline, ball and roller bearings and ammonia is temporarily allowed, and these plants have not been scheduled for dismantling yet. I think the controversy in Hamburg covers a “war plant” that has been reconverted for civilian production. Lloyd’s Register shows that shipbuilding is up. The British engineering industry is upset that the basic petrol ration has been cut, because their workers will give up on life if they can’t drive. A further reduction of the Home Fleet to one cruiser and four destroyers is contemplated, so that released crew can replace national servicemen, who will, in turn, be released to industry. The cuts are strictly temporary, the Government says, and research and development has not been affected.
All that work to build it, and  now we can't play with it?

“Historic Researches, No. XXV: Conduction of Electricity Through Liquids” Since I don’t think there has been room for twenty five instalments of this series since last we left The Engineer, I am going to take a guess that this is . . . filler. It’s very long filler, taking things down from 1725 to 1800 or so. (Intrepid girl abbreviator makes googly eyes. Then scrunches them in that "Watch out, mister" way.)
Eric Burgess, “German Guided and Rocket Missiles, No. IV” I can’t remember if I gave the author credit in my last. I could look, but what would be the fun of that? This issue covers the “unguided barrage rocket,” the “Taifun” in more detail, before moving on to yet another ground-to-air guided missile, the “Enzian,” which is basically an unpiloted Me 163 with a very large explosive charge. It has another of the Walter rocket motors with solid-fuel boosters. Nothing is said about the guidance system, whatever it might be, in contrast to the discussion of the Natter, which follows, as it is technically a manned aircraft. Finally, another ground-to-air missile is a cut-down version of the V2, the A-4.  I apologise for not discussing the chemistry of the rocket engines in any detail, but I’m told that the Germans were barking up the wrong tree, and so it would be a waste of timeto go into it.

The Germans were spending money on this in 1944. Tell me again about the efficiency of totalitarian regimes.

“Launch of the Orient Liner Orcades” This is the same article as last week, but with more details about the luncheon put on by Vickers for the Orient Steam Navigation Company and its chairman, I. C. Geddes. Why is that name familiar?
Kingston upon Hull Water Undertaking, 1447—1947” Kingston-Upon-Hull has had some kind of municipal water supply since 1447. In 1947, they also had a celebration of five hundred years of water, with pictures of a municipal pumping station that might be more impressive if this paper could afford better printing.
“An Anti-Vibration Machine Mounting” The “Cushyfoot,” by Metalastick is a rubber mounting. The next article, describing an electro-pneumatic gauge by sigma Instrument Company, is a bit more interesting. I don’t even know what to say about the concluding installment of Mr. MacKenzie on seaweed harvesting.
The leaders cover joint production committees, which are a new thing in Britain, and the Atomic Energy Commission, which is old enough to file its second annual report to the Security Council. Actually, there are two commissions, and this is the UN one. The report calls for inspectors to go everywhere in Russia looking for atomic bombs, while the Russian counterproposal is for the Americans to destroy all atom bombs and their factories. The compromise solution is for everyone to not say anything while the Russians create their atom bombs, after which the Americans and Russians will each stand in their own corner and glare, wild-eyed, each daring the other to be the first to Stone Age-ise the planet.

Obituary: Sir Leonard Pearce, CBE Sir Leonard had been the chief engineer of the London Power Company for twenty-one years. Since he was born in 1873, that means that he was chief engineer from the age of 53 to 74. He built various power stations, travelled extensively on business, and was a member of the Alpine Club, the Alpine Ski Club, and the Swiss Alpine Club. Dying slightly younger is Frederick S. Hayburn, formerly managing director of Marconi, and G. L. Groves, partner in the civil engineering firm of Messrs.. Mott, Hay and Anderson. Chief engineer on the Newport Bridge over the River Usk, and the reconstruction of the Wearmouth Bridge, Sunderland. He worked on the 10-mile extension of London Transport’s Central Line from Liverpool Street to Ilford, and on plans for the Severn Bridge.

“Internal Stresses in Metals and Alloys” This is a summary of a symposium on the subject held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on the 15th and 16th. It heard 36 papers over twelve hours, with eighty speakers. X-ray diffraction is getting quite good at measuring what’s going on inside metal pieces. What is needed is confirmation from mechanical methods, and higher accuracy of measure.
“Cold Repair of Broken Castings” Metalock Casting Repair Service, of London, is a British company, formed by an associate company in Canada, to bring an American-developed method to British shores. It basically involves fasteners, although the method of creating a fluid-tight seal around the area where the fasteners are applied is patented, and involves the new “Metaloy” material.
E. M. Trent, “Manufacture and Application of Sintered Carbides” Sintered carbides use alloying metals such as nickel and cobalt to produce very hard steels that resist very high temperatures.
Continental Engineering News
All but one of the Danube bridges at Budapest were destroyed during the war, and the survivor, the Arpad bridge, was in sad shape. They cannot be repaired now because of the steel shortage, so the semi-permanent Kossuth Bridge has ben contrived to take the traffic, along with two floating bridges on pontoons. Antwerp overtook Rotterdam as the most important continental port this year. Dutch Royal Shell is building a large refinery in Holland. Under French notes, ball bearing deliveries are now delayed from eighteen to twenty-four months by the destruction of the SRO plant at Annecy.

Quite the engineering story.
“North of Scotland Hydroelectric Board: Gaur Project” A dam is to be built on the outlet of Loch Eigheach on the River Gaur, with a fish race. The loch, which is in the middle of “boulder strewn moorland,” will be doubled in size, and generating capacity will be 500kw/h.
Overlooking the reservoir

“Experimental Electric Lighting sets on a GWR Locomotive” A turbine, running off the exhaust, will provide electric lighting in the cabin of the experimental locomotive, St. Brides Hall. The arrangement must be constant-speed somehow, as it gives 12v across a “wide range of load and boiler steam pressure.”
South African Engineering Notes
This feature is usually a waste of ink, as there is hardly any engineering in South Africa; this one covers the extension of irrigation in Capetown Province, and associated water supply schemes; a plan for making oil from coal in the Transvaal, mineral surveying and irrigation development in Southern Rhodesia on the Saabi River, expansion of the manganese industry, and plans for a new road that will bring Port Elizabeth within a day’s drive of Cape Town. Eight passes between the George and Storms River will be eliminated by the new route, and four miles of distance removed by eliminating curves.

Port Elizabeth city hall. I had no idea Cape Province was so big. Shows what I know. 

Industrial and Labour Notes
 Grimthorpe workers heard the first report of the fact-finding committee struck to look into the strike there. The total working population of Great Britain in August was 20,146,000, down 8000 from July due to there being 14000 fewer women at work. The total working population is up 396,000 from 1939 (230,000 fewer men, 626,000 more women). There were 5,486,000 people manufacturing for the home market; 1,580,000 for the export market, up 1,170,000 since August 1945. 239,912 insured persons were out of work, and 14,097 uninsured. This includes 8000 men who have had no employment since release from the services, 30,000 married women who are probably not coming back to work, and 4370 boys and girls under eighteen who have not yet entered industry. British overseas trade was £99 million last month, up £6 millions from August but down £11 millions from July. Imports were at £160 millions, a substantial reduction over the previous two months. Everyone is impressed at the way that the iron and steel industry has increased output, and the TUC reminds everyone that unions must be consulted about things.
Notes and Memoranda
The GWR is reconstructing the Feeder Bridge at North Somerset Junction that carries the Paddington-Penzance main line. The Road Safety Committee report emphasises that if all vehicles were roadworthy, road accidents would be “considerably decreased.” The GWR has arranged for a special weather service giving 24-hour notice of fog conditions.

Newsweek, 27 October 1947
The American Legion and Herbert Hoover’s private secretary are upset at Newsweek. Hoover wants it to know that he did support the war effort. Bob Long is on the case of sending American food scraps to Germany, or something. (Germans are starving, so it is wrong to feed scraps to hogs in Des Moines. I don't get it?) H. H. Davenport writes to defend General Lee. Two correspondents weigh in on the question of whether the West Coast slack cut is too slim-fitting for American women.

Source: Vintage Dancer

The Periscope
The Herter Committee went to Europe, they are still drafting Eisenhower, Jimmy Byrnes’ memoirs are out, the President hopes that any of his staff who resign will do so in the next few months, because there’s an election in ’48. Some people say that everyone says that most people say that the Marshall Plan is all right with them. Harold Ickes has memoirs coming out, and Bill Draper is back from Japan convinced that  we need to stop purging–You know what, I’m just going to read this as saying that Japanese businessmen finally have enough money to bribe the Occupation. Sweden and Greece are fighting over what’s happening on Greece’s borders, which are next to Greece, but policed by Swedish observers. (Are we still looking for International Brigades?) Italy’s “African colonies” are still in the news, because some people can’t get over the fact that Italy is not getting them back.
Not the first time Ronnie has crossed paths with the father of Silicon Valley venture capitalism, and not the last, either.

Washington Trends The Marshall Plan is a trend. Republican threats to cut taxes as soon as the next Congress convenes aren’t a trend, because the President doesn’t think that they can get themselves together to do it. Meanwhile, the President continues to gain in the polls in spite of high cost of living. It is thought that next month’s Kentucky election will be a bellweather that weathercocks the turning of the metaphor. The Luckmann campaign is a runaway success. There’s going to be a Presidential election next year.
National Affairs
We lead off with a bit about free trade negotiations, about which my opinion is neither needed nor solicited. Also feeling left out is Will Clayton, who is coming home to retire, which has something to do with trade. At this point you ask yourself, “Have I heard anything about the Marshall Plan and the Paris Plan lately?” I mean, pages (by which I mean a page) have passed since I heard about that. Well, good news, because here’s a boxed article on “Stopping Up Holes in the Paris Plan.” Hurrah! Then there’s a bit about Luckmann’s poultry-free days, and a bit about the controversy over Greta Kempton’s portrait of the President, and a longer bit about the President’s gain in the Gallups, and then a bit about Colonel McCormick’s pick (not Eisenhower!) in the Presidential election which, you might not have heard, is happening next year. Also, Admiral Nimitz is stepping down (Newsweek is sure to tell us that Uncle Chester can’t retire, because he is a Fleet Admiral). And Glenn Taylor is making an ass of himself by publicising plans to ride (partway) across America as a tribute to Paul Revere. Are the British coming?
“Rescue at Sea”
Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but Bermuda Sky Queen landed in the middle of the Atlantic this week, next to the Coast Guard weather ship, Bibb, because the navigator had just realised, after flying right over the Point of No Return, that they were 22 hours out from Newfoundland, and not 19, and that there was no way on God’s green Earth that they were going to make it.

Sky Queen took off at least 10,000lbs overweight, which is what you’d expect carrying 62(!) passengers in a ten-year-old plane. Since Martin couldn’t have got off the water if he were not trimmed to the weight, he had to have known he wasn’t going to make it, Reggie says. Second, there is no way that you can land a ‘314 in 30ft waves. The Reuters dispatch makes it clear that the thirty-foot conditions only blew up overnight. A landing in five-foot waves is impressive enough. The only reason to gild the lilies is that so much egg is on the face of the CAB inspector who certified the Sky Queen and American International Airways owner, J. Stuart Robertson.
Charles Martin, a 33-year-old ex-Navy man made an “’incomparable landing at sea amidst waves as high as three-story buildings.” Reggie was beside himself at this. First, although Martin blames heavier-than-expected headwinds, nolandplanes reported same. The only way to reconstruct the plot is if the plane took off at least 10,000lbs overweight, which Martin would have had to  have known, because he would have had to trim the aircraft for takeoff.
Conditions on the Bibb must have been pretty extreme, too. The story notes that planes flew overhead to drop diapers. 

Newsweek barely mentions the fact that, because of the sea conditions, Bibb had to hold off rescue efforts all night, with forty passengers still on-board Sky Queen, “prostrate with seasickness,” whatever “prostrate” means in an eighty-foot boat in thirty-foot seas. It’s a miracle that no-one drowned.
Not miraculous at all is a story about Secretary Marshall giving a talk to the CIO, except in the sense that I don’t have to read it.
Sponsor's message. 

Washington Tides, with Ernest K. Lindsay, “What Our Congressmen Found in Europe” Starving children, raging Communists, I bet. (The intrepid girl abbreviator puts on her reading glasses, about which NO ONE MUST HEAR, and reads.) Yes. That’s what they found!
“Lewis and the AFL” Finally, political news that’s more boring than the election! The AFL, the CIO, the UMW, around and around they go, where they stop, nobody knows.
“Many the Tasks and Short the Time,” and “Safety First” The world is barrelling towards the end of the British mandate in Palestine, at which point the Jews will implement partition, and the Palestinian Arabs will not, and the rest of the Arab world will –we don’t know, and we don’t know what the United Nations will do about whatever they do. Uncle Henry actually had a very good point about this, the other day: When no-one is doing anything, you need to decide what you’re going to do, and do it, and apologise later, if you have to.

“Reparations Repercussions” Germans are upset that they are losing their factories. French actresses are upset at losing their clothes. Also, Stalin is terrible and Konni Zilliacus is a socialist.
Even in 1947, and even granted Henry Luce's batshit politics, Newsweek was still sleazier than Time. At least once Time got rid of the correspondent who filed all those rape fantasy stories. 

“Socialised Banking” The Australian plan to socialise the banks is still going ahead over fierce objections from people with money. (My Dad is so mad it’s funny! Though I shouldn’t point my finger, after getting my ear talked off by yourself. No, no, please don’t feel the need to telephone. I take your points –I’m not some raging socialist like your son!)
“China’s Part in the Peace Stalemate” After glancing through this all too quickly, I’m not even clear where peace is supposed to be breaking out, although I do gather that the only place that is likely to happen is Japan.
“Said the Duchess” The Duchess of Montoro’s wedding is the biggest royal news of the month –sort of an appetiser for Elizabeth’s nuptials. She really is the prettiest bride. Newsweek has a short bit on the leadup to the wedding next, and the drydocking of the entire Home Fleet.

Foreign Tides with Joseph B. Phillips “The Fate of Little Compromise” Communism, Andrei Gromyko, and Fellow Travellers are awful. (It’s an allegory.)
“Plan for Germany: A Businessman’s Report: Unify Germany, Feed It . . . Let It Produce in Plenty for Itself and for Europe” I’m including a clipping, since I get the feeling that this is “floating” an official plan.

How many years of six day work do you suppose you can ask of manual labourers before you start to hit the point of diminishing returns?

Most of this week’s Canadian Affairs section is devoted to “See Here, Uncle,” which is a lecture disguised as a newspaper column. Canadian journalist Leslie Roberts can’t contain himself, as he condescendingly explains what Americans are doing wrong. Thanks, Les! The tanks roll tomorrow! Meanwhile, in Latin America, less communism, more Americanism, in celebration of which, the President gives a nice flag to the Mexicans in honour of the Martyrs of Chapultepec, and I can’t see a problem, here! (Even Dad remembers he’s Mexican when it’s time to talk about Chapultepec.)

“What to Blame for High Prices” The President says that food prices are up because of grain speculators. (Dad says that it is the Agriculture Department, buying to support prices so those “damn Democrats” can be re-elected. He does concede that it is good for Europe.) The Agriculture Secretary says that it is the drought.

“End of Easy Money” Marriner Eccles has won some kind of obtuse concession that allow him to step in and “end easy money,” which is why the stock and bond markets are slowing. “Ending easy money” means that the interest rate on borrowed money is rising, which means less borrowing, and so less spending of borrowed money on, well, stocks and bonds. However, Eccles can only go so far, since an increase in interest rate payments on government bonds would be such a heavy load, but he thinks he has enough room to manoeuvre.
“Offspring of the Jeep” James D. Mooney left GM in January 1946 to do something exciting,a nd now we see what, the “station sedan” version of the Willys-Overland Jeep, a “college boy’s delight.” It’s one of five new Jeep models that are driving Willys-Overland to comfortable profits.
So why is Mom showing it off?
“Teen-Age Achievement” West Laboratories, of Newark, New Jersey, makers of Rose Crème Hand lotion, are showing a profit of $90 on sales of $233, which wouldn’t ordinarily make the national paper, except that the stockholders, officers and employees of West Laboratories are all students at West Side High School in Newark.
Products The new products feature puts the spotlight on children’s waterproof mittens with flannel linings and outside coverings of red rubber, a juke box for bars with a choice of television program, recordings or a radio show, a tubeless tire that is self-sealing and almost puncture proof, cookpots with copper sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel, which spreads heat evenly, keeping food from sticking and burning, and a washable, electrically  heated sheet to sell at less than $30 from Westinghouse.

The old waterproof ones were awfully clammy, but good for skiing. Source: Chronically Vintage

Trends and Changes Coal producers say that there will be enough coal for the winter, if there are sufficient railcars, but there will be spot shortages of special-purpose coal such as the kind used by the steel industry. The Committee for Economic Development has given up worrying about right now, and is making plans to “avert a major depression in the 1950s.” Gasoline prices are up after crude oil prices advanced 20 cents a barrel to the highest level since 1920, in the fifth major round of increases since VJ Day.
Business Tides, with Henry Hazlitt “Are Profits Too High?” Can you guess what Henry says? Can you? No, they are not. The very high numbers we have heard reflect the high volume of business and the inflation and the taxes and bad statistics. In fact, they are too low!
Damn it! The dreaded folding, spindling and mutilating error has eaten the Science page! It looks as though there is a big article about something to do with Sperry gyroscope examining bees flying to improve their “directional locator,” but everything is too smudged to read.
“Don’t Play with Nails” Two Atlanta doctors have a story in the New England Journal of Medicine about extracting a nail that had become lodged in a boy’s intestines with a magnet.
“Spleen Extract for Cancer” Spleen extract is one of those “controversial” cancer treatments. Well, Dr. George F. Watson, of Kitchener, Ontario, and Drs. Irene Corey Diller and N. Volney Ludwick of Philadelphia have now published a paper which has “revived interest” in the treatment.
As my brother points out, when you remove tubercular patients from the community to southern sanitariums, and then let them die without informing the next-of-kin, you stop being seen as "medical care" and start being seen as "the Gestapo." 

“Corset Ulcers” Up to about twenty years ago, women had four to five times as many gastric ulcers as men, but now the situation is reversed. Dr. A.C. Ivy, of the University of Illinois, thinks that it had to do with corsets, and warns that the New Look is going to bring them back.
And it’ll be worth it!
“X-Ray Warning” It turns out that too many x-rays are bad for you.
Great Issues at Dartmouth” President Dickey of Dartmouth says that instead of having a fuddy-duddy (I cannot believe that is a character, but my dictionary would not lie!) Great Books series, Dartmouth will have a Great Issues programme which will feature lots and lots of international relations.
“For Would-Be Freshman” The good news for non-veterans hoping to enter college next year is that there will be more of them. Hmm. The point is that while there will be ten percent fewer veterans in the University of California next year, the overall enrollment will be up from 40,800 to 44,000.
Press, Radio, Art, Transitions
“Four on Their Jobs” Newsweek is tired of hearing about the war and heavy, global problems. How about some newspaper people who would write about what really matters –newspapers! Well, this week Al Laney, Bill Mauldin and Matt Weinstock did just that. While I agree that there are too many bad stories about “heavy global problems,” I don’t think they’ll care about the old days at the New York Herald Tribune in seventy years, either, much less the Rochester News.

I'm guessing that's already a gross, sexist insult by 1947.
Jimmy Byrnes’ memoirs are big news, and that means that the Washington radio show he went on to promote them is, too. It is Pauline Frederick’s show, and she gets a nice little feature about the “Spinster at the News Mike.”
“Vishinsky versus Winchell” Vishinsky is terrible, and Walter Winchell is on him.

“The Modern Art Racket” Newsweek jumps up on the “My Five-Year-old could do that!” bandwagon. It’s a review of Robsjohn-Gibbings’ book, and it swallows his nonsense whole.
John Pershing had a birthday party, Margaret Truman is on tour, Graham Moulton, of  I Spy, is getting divorced. There’s something shady up between Vann Johnson, Diora Costello and Pepi Campos. Leon Josephson is going to jail for refusing to testify before HUAC, and Eugene B. Casey for income-tax fraud. James Farley tells a Wellesley College dinner(!) that there can never be as woman president, because the weaker sex is too weak. Even Newsweek thinks that that is bad politics. Gitz Rice and Ellsworth Huntington, “leading authority on the effects of climate on man,” have died. There’s a lovely baby picture of the latest Barrymore.
Stories about the Barrymores are just inherently sad, so instead of the baby picture, here's the illustration for that Time review of the children's art coffee table book that I couldn't find yesterday morning for some reason. 

Newsweek went to see Green Dolphin Street, and is grumpy about it, since it went on much too long, and was much too silly, although I think it was funny when the review suggested that the plot was best explained by “hereditary imbalance.” Or not so much funny as true-to-life when I look at my synopsis of the film's plot.

The Swordsman is a “Western” set in Scotland in the Eighteenth Century? That’s your Waverly era, if you care about fussy old Scottish novels, and it is just impossibly romantic, and of course I’ve been to see it, and of course I loved it. Newsweek, not so much. Variety Girl, the Paramount movie with everybody in it, is out, and everyone except the audience has a swell time. That’s not Newsweek being grumpy, by the way. I didn’t like it, and neither did Vivian, who is usually an easier sell on this kind of thing. (Vivian says “Hi,” by the way.)
Fortunately, others read this newsletter, and some of them are less naïve about the risks of a flirtation between Reggie and Vivian. Grace, rereading this in 1993, will think of that, and Green Dolphin Street.

Three Kirkus reviews in a row, for that 
old-timey feeling. Remember when "war 
books" were a drug on the market?
­­Something about the Civil War –This is the page that got overwrapped with Science (everything sandwiched between is fine, but the two outer pages of the bundle got sticky somehow. There, aren’t you glad you asked for the details!) I don’t need to read it to guess that it is all thud and blunder and much more satisfying to Newsweek than “modern art.” Speaking of thud-and-blunder, Walter Millis has a book out about Pearl Harbour, helpfully entitled, This is Pearl. Two steamy novels are also out, Country Place, by Ann Petry, and The Sure Hand of God, by Erskine Caldwell. If you were wondering what we shall be reading while you men are reading the latest by the author of Road to War and The Martial Spirit, about which my eyes are not rolling in any way whatsoever!

Perspective, with Raymond Moley, “The Propheteers Were Wrong”
No mention of the defence cuts, either. Different times! 
“Propheteers?” What is this? Time? Moley points out that all the prophets were predicting a depression last spring, but he was converted to skepticism by April, when he contemplated the election. Why, didn’t B. M. Baruch say, then, that “We couldn’t have a depression if we tried?” That sounds a bit sinister, but it’s not a New Deal plot. Somehow. Business management has proven more foresighted and skillful than business prophecy, and the current state of the national income suggests that there will be room for a tax cut, debt reduction and European aid, too. The original budget said that there would be 41 billion in revenues, $37 billion in expenditures, and a surplus of $4.667 billion, but the national income came in at $191 billion, the surplus will be closer to $8 billion, and with $3 billion for debt reduction, $800 million for Europe in this year’s budget (but much more next year), that leaves $2—3 billion for a tax cut. The unfortunate side of that is that business inflation will continue into 1948.

Flight, 30 October 1947
“Design Policy” Leslie Frise, of Bristol, has written the Times to say that it was a waste of money and manpower to develop a coupled Centaurus engine for the Brabazon prototype when the Proteus was coming along. Flight aggressively misses the point and then adds that the coupled Centaurus will allow the prototype to do test flying, and the Proteus might take awhile yet, so it wasn’t a waste, after all.
Bristol Britannia with four Proteus engines. Gorgeous, but inlet icing . . . By RuthAS - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

“Axing the Future” The Economist is on about reducing capital expenditures and resource diversions to increase exports, which is all very well until the question turns to cancelling the Brabazon and the Saro SR 45 flying boat, because they are the future and just can’t be cancelled.

Gentlemen, I give you, "The Future!"

“Helicopter Progress” Flight was looking at the complicated rotor on the new Bristol helicopter, and it occurred to Flight that it is very complicated, and that the rotor head on a “gyroplane” isn’t complicated at all, on account of it not being a helicopter, and why can’t we have both? But mainly autogiros, because autogiros are nice.  On top of the bumpf for the Concordia and the Ambassador last week, this ad for Cierva makes it look like Flight has completely sold out to its spivviest advertisers. (Look at me talk like a Bright Young Thing!)

“The ‘Mambalanc’ Delivered” The ‘Mambalanc” isn’t Mom in a station wagon with a box of Band-Aids, it is a Lancaster with a Mamba engine in its nose. It looks really, really funny, but I guess it’s a good way to test a Mamba. Air Service Training oversees making sure it doesn’t fall off.  That’s a joke.

“Speed-Record Turbine” Details of the General Electric TG 180 (J-35) as Used in the 650-mph Skystreak” The TG-180 is an eleven-stage compressor stator axial-flow turbo engine with a single stage turbine, with shaft and hub forging of “4340” steel (the only steel specified in the description). It has a direct-flow combustion chamber, a multi-injector lubrication system, and air blast cooling on the fourth for the three rear bearings from the fourth stage of the compressor.
Flight regrets to report the death of Bernard Leak, a young aircraft designer.

On the other hand, if he's still trying to flog Chislea aircraft, that's just sad.

“The Sperry Pilot Aid: Introductory Details of a Simplified Autopilot for the Lighter Types of Aircraft” The Pilot Aid is the first autopilot viable in an aircraft of less than 15,000lbs. It has an air-driven vertical gyro with potentiometer-driven pick-offs with magnetic switches for detecting roll and pitch. Electrical DC signals are converted into movements of pneumatic valves (in other words, it is air driven with DC control signals). The linear servos from the pitch and roll pick-offs have feedback, and the directional gyro operates the roll relay valve to maintain direction through aileron control. The power supply required is 40v DC, with air pressure of 12 lb/sq in. Damping is purely aerodynamic, so stiffness has a roll limit that cannot be exceeded without oscillation. Stiffness can, however, be increased beyond the limits of the deadbeat valve with an adjusting gadget, since some oscillation is lost in general bumpiness. In other words, in rough weather, wiggle this thingamajig until the autopilot works or the plane goes into a spin. There is a control for limited turns without disengaging the autopilot; beyond that point it must be caged and reset. Since the gyro continues to run, on reset, the plane goes into a banked turn and levels out in its new direction with no waiting. “This all-British production meets the original specification requirements and is the lightest automatic pilot in the world,” at 17 ½ lbs, and, if a Directional Gyro is already installed in the plane, the installation weight is only 13 ½ lbs. On the basis of this work, Sperry has received a contract to build an automatic pilot suitable for even larger planes.

Here's one of those "1940s precursors to the IT industry" ads, so that I can admit that I can't find anything about the Pilot Aid on the Interwebs. Either it's because of official secrecy, or it's because no-one wants to write about autopilots. I suspect the latter: Making up stories about how the robots are going to exterminate us is much more fun than trying to understand how they actually work. 

In shorter news, Air Marshal Sir Hugh Lloyd gave a talk to the RUSI about how the Allies won the air war in the Mediterranean because they were smarter and politer and more charming than the Axis and always listened to their Mother when she told them what a properly brought-up young air force ought to do, and figures out from America say that operating a helicopter is quite expensive.
Here and There
The Netherlands have ordered some Meteors. BOAC wants you to know that it has your typewriter, folding perambulator, children’s toys, coats, books, spectacle and pipes at their Lost Property Office at the Airways Terminal. The Paris Air Show will not be held this year. The American post office is promoting airmail with talking post office letter boxes that say, whenever they are opened to drop a letter in, “Thank you for posting a letter. I hope it is airmail.” New York will have an air exhibition next year to celebrate the anniversary of something or another. Australia will be buying its carrier aircraft from Britain to go with its carriers. America has spent eighteen million pounds on radar, airfields and underground command posts in Alaska, and over a hundred flights have now been made over the North Pole and its vicinity to test men and equipment. South African Skymasters may soon carry movie projectors, if a test flight goes well. Air Marshal Sir Richard Peck is taking over the Savings Movement in the Forces after Field Marshal Deverell died last year. US air production is said to be below the level in 1939.  I know that Grace likes to summarise these claims by saying that America will be in trouble if “WWII happens again,” but with the situation with Russia, it doesn’t seem completely silly.
J. N. D. Heenan, “Proposed Fulfilment: The Designer of the Planet Satellite Discusses Sir Roy Fedden’s New Ideal” As far as I can tell, no-one takes either Sir Roy’s proposal, or the Planet Satellite seriously, so why should I? 
“Helicopter Research Trials” The included picture shows a helicopter flying very close to a lighthouse, presumably to lift off that keeper who is always getting appendicitis when the boat needs repairs. I would say, during the worst storm of the season, but I don’t think a helicopter would help then!
“Bristol Helicopter: First Detailed Survey of Latest British Rotary-Wing Aircraft” The prototype 171 is flying with a Wasp, but will receive an Alvis Leonides soon. The structure is a conventional tube build, the real details being in the engine and rotor drive, which is all a sea of technical jargon to me –a coaxial sleeve surrounds the crankshaft extension, running back to a bevel pinion which meshes with a bell-type crown wheel, the crown bevel being hub-serrated to a vertical drive shaft around which are pivoted the toggle-action wedging levers that carry the slippers that form the freewheel device. Straightforward! I see why the other writers tend to just include some negatives at this point, and I’m going to do the same. You want to see the “large diameter ball-type steady bearing,” well, it’s off to that darkroom you’re so proud of! Though I imagine you’ll get distracted with those beautiful garden pictures you do, and you’ll never see how the main transmission shaft is a 2 ¾ inch steel tube terminating at an 8-point Layrub coupling to the rotor head.  And at this point I am less than half done poking fun at the article, because the bit about the tail rotor is at least as long.

A Leonides, successfully turned on its side. Ten years of development is paying off for Alvis. By ChrisO - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

“Progress with the Newbury Eon: First Impressions in the Air: Development and Detail Improvement in Hand” The Newbury Eon is a nice little glider.
“Atmospheric Testing: New de Havilland Test House for Research and Development in Pressurisation and Allied Problems” De Havilland is the latest aeronautical company to build a chamber which can achieve the air pressure and temperature conditions that high altitude aircraft are likely to face. It’s only for components, though, as the working space in the chamber is only 12 ft wide and 27ft long, and so much for putting an entire flying wing in it. I was looking at the publicity pictures of the Northrop bomber, and wondering if the de Havilland airliner will be bigger or smaller, and, if bigger, just how large the chamber would have to be to test the entire thing at “altitudes up to 80,000ft”; but that is not on the table. There’s even a fuel test bay to determine how fuel is affected!

Under books, a short bit discusses Admiral Sir Gerald Dicken’s Fallacy of Total War, which is an answer to Air Chief Marshal Harris’ Bomber Offensive.
“High-Temperature Alloys: Metallurgical Problems of Gas Turbine Components: Precis of a Talk Given to the Royal Aeronautical Society by Sir William T. Griffiths, D.Sc.” As the Admiral is always saying, you can’t burn things in nothing; that is, if you’re going to burn gas or oil or whatever, you have to have a container that will stand the heat, or you’ll find that your welds are suddenly coming unwelded. Griffiths’ special concern was turbine alloys, which must withstand extreme mechanical stress as well as temperature. The combination of mechanical stress and temperature leads to “creep,” which is an exception from the usual rule of mechanical engineering jargon in that I think I can imagine what it means. The blades get longer, right? This is obviously terrible in a turbine engine, where the blades mesh like a meat grinder. Although it seems that the bigger problem is rupture. The experiments were intended to pinpoint the temperature at which the creep beings to speed up, and why certain alloys, notably the “Nimonics,” are so resistant. It turns out that it is due to the “solution and precipitation” of carbides of titanium, and this insight might lead to improved grades of Nimonic. Good that someone is working on that! 
“Irving-Bell Abroad: European Demonstration Tour on a Helicopter” Mr. Irvin Bell is taking his Bell 47 on a European tour to scare up sales. In similarly advertisory-related news stories, Roy Harben, DFC, of Air Schools, Limited, was going to open an Aeronautical College, although the timing suggests that we would call it an Aeronautical High School. This is going to be difficult now that he is dead, but the Board has been reconstructed, and now it will be Group Captain Wilcock, OBE, AFC, MP, who will open the college.
“Dart and Merlin Developments” The Rolls Royce Dart installed in the chin of that Lancaster has now done over 5 hours of flying in its initial trial programme, with hundreds of hours of bench testing lying behind. Rolls-Royce is also delivering the new Merlin 35 for Avro Athena and Boulton Paul Balliol trainers pending the possible eventual arrival of a turboprop engine. The new Merlin is a very nice installation with a single-speed supercharger.
Civil Aviation News
The IATA had some meetings and decided to keep international fares at their present level through the winter, except on the North Atlantic, where they will go up £6 4s 1d to £86 17s. The two Swedish airlines are amalgamating. Captain John Woodman, with 8500 flying hours to his credit, will be awarded the first British Master Pilot’s Certificate given out since the war. He joined BOAC in 1934 and has been flying the Atlantic route of late. Qantas’ chartered Bristol Freighter has had a “mishap” at Wau field in New Guinea “recently.” It landed safely on the field, which has a 1-in-twelve gradiant(!), but then “careened out of control” for a thousand feet before bouncing off the twenty-five-foot edge of the field, crumpling the starboard wing and tearing off the fuselage, although none of the passengers or crew were injured.

This is scraped from a site called "Pacific Wrecks," which is pretty vehement about not hotlinking without donating. I didn't hotlink, but I do feel guilty about taking their image.

The Chief Inspector of Accidents has filed reports on the recent Viking and Aerovan accidents.

By RuthAS - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

The Viking accident was concluded to be an undercarriage collapse due to excessively heavy loading and, as a result of that and “bad handling of the fuel supply,” a bad landing. The Aerovan accident was caused by an engine failure, but the Chief Inspector implies that the operators might have been negligent, as the paper work on the loading was incomplete. Russian civil aviation is making “rapid progress,” with more services in all directions all the time, while the American light aircraft market is declining rapidly, as nearly everyone who wanted to fly postwar has bought themselves some Government surplus, or one of the over-produced small planes now being dumped on the market. However, the Stinson division of Vultee reports steady sales in the “business plane” market. I imagine that there’s less competition, because business planes are expensive, and you can’t get into production with nothing but a dream (delusion?). In related news, Republic is selling the production rights to its Seabee.
“Reactionary” thinks that various people might be at fault for announcing the Meteor IV prematurely. “Ven Lai” thinks that Hong Kong Airways ought to be made to buy British.
This has nothing to do with the correspondent, or 1947, but it is interesting.

W. P. Kemp replies to David Brice’s “attempt to put a damper on the rapidly increasing popularity of the large flying boat.” Next up, W. P. Kemp explains to David Brice that Santa Claus and fairies really are so real. “Resurgam” thinks that there should be a “European Central Flying School” to train all Europeans to fly the right (British) way. He is disagreeing with the ICAO here, in a very long letter full of abbreviations, so here's mine: IDC. Guess what it stands for!
The Engineer, 31 October 1947
Seven-Day Journal
The Fire Officer’s  Committee reminds everyone that staggered hours raise fire risks by leaving less down time for inspecting, maintaining and cleaning machinery, and that care should be taken that temporary electric connections not be used unless the feed is of ample capacity and the work is carried out by competent electricians. The offices disseminating technical reports from Germany and Japan have been rearranged. The British Iron and Steel Federation reminds everyone of the vital importance of recycling iron and steel scrap. The Industrial Research Secretariat of the Federation of British Industries reports that 420 firms filed reports showing that they spent at least £1000/year on research, and that it can be estimated that British industry is spending £30 million a year on industrial scientific research, the work being carried out by a staff of 45,000, including 10,000 qualified scientists and engineers. Three out of five firms intend to extend their research effort, and 3 million feet of additional laboratory space is planned to accommodate a total of 2500 more qualified staff, especially chemists, physicists and engineers. The British Road Federation presents findings proving that roads should not be included in deferred capital expenditures during the current crisis.
The “Historic Researches” article leaps ahead all the way to 1833 this week.
“Internal Stresses in Metals and Alloys, II” Professor Leslie Atchinson presides over a session on removing internal stresses. I’m impressed by a brief bit describing A. G. Warren’s work on “autofrettaging” gun barrels and pressure vessels, where it is frankly admitted that the theory under which they were proceeding was wrong, even if the method works. Engineers! You can see why when you see papers from groups who were spinning turbines for long periods of time to see if they fail, and, if so, why. The same principle could be applied to many of these papers. They heat up bits of steel and other metals, and cool them down, and kick them and prod them, and, if they fail, peer at x-rays and try to figure out why.
Eric Burgess, “German Guided and Rocket Missiles, V” Rheinmetal Borsag also produced a guided missile to the ground-based anti-aircraft missile specification, the Reintochter, in two types. The R-1 was a radio controlled missile launched from a complicated ramp with booster rockets for main thrust. It had the German “Kugelblitz” proximity fuze and a very large warhead, and control was via a gyro unit acting on the elevators via servos. The later R-3 used liquid fuel with booster units. The company intended to use radio and radar control, with two Mannheim radar detectors, one for following the missiles, the other for tracking the aircraft. The control bunker would contain a Siemens computer which would record the signals from the Mannheims while the operator attempted to align the signals by manual control. This would cause the rocket to converge with the target, providing the 1200MHz control signal turned the missile appropriate and “window” didn’t jam the Mannheims. If it did, the operator would take over visual control, using a flare in the tail of the missile. The actual design as completed to war’s end still had a radio-actuated fuze, the proximity fuze being a work in progress. Burgess than moves on to the long range rockets –the missile designs leading up to the V2. I think these are pretty much old news, although I’d never heard of the supersonic winged missile (A9 with A10 booster, which sounds very ambitious. I thought that wings still tended to tear off when things go supersonic, and the V2s are very, very supersonic.) In conclusion, Burgess points out, the Germans did so much work, so fast, in so many places, that it will be years before it is all sorted out.

So, almost a documentary. 

“Physics Laboratory of the British Iron and Steel Research Association” It is a very big, very impressive laboratory, with a math section, an aerodynamics section, a heat and thermodynamics section and an instruments section. The model side-loading convertor that was such a hit at Olympia is still there, and the laboratory has good relations with Professor Hay at the Royal Technical College, Glasgow, Professor J. H. Andrew at Sheffield, and H.V. A. Briscoe at Imperial[!]. The Association hopes that it will be able to take the international lead from the Americans.
Metallurgical Topics
This month’s installment is “Metallurgical Embrittlement of Steel” All mild steels get brittle as they get older and are worked. Bessemer steels are especially vulnerable. This used to be thought to be due to their high nitrogen and phosphorus contents, but this has only been partly confirmed. Still, the Germans, who had to make heavy use of the basic Bessemer (Thomas) process to allow open hearth steels to be reserved for special purposes, did their best to keep nitrogen content down, with good results, by careful control of lime additions, by a vigorous boil, and by “killing with aluminum.” Besides that, more careful annealing will also reduce strain-age embrittlement
“Oil Engine Performance” A paper read to the Diesel Engine Users Association by their president, Mr. Clifford Green lays out best practices for getting highly reliable work out of the high speed diesel engines which are more important now, during the coal shortage, than ever. A Dunswell machine with a built-up crankshaft that permits the use of case-hardened journals and crankpins has been particularly successful. High speed, heavy duty oil engines are much more reliable than anyone ever expected them to be.
“The King’s Speech and Economics” Exports need to be up, and imports down. You may have heard.
Obituaries Harold JohnAllcock, deputy production director of British Insulated Callender’s Cables has died at the age of 50, and the Earl of Lytton, who, while not an engineer, was the chairman of the London Power Company.
Lord Dudley Gordon, DSO, MIMechE, “Iron and Steel and Refrigeration, I” This series should be very interesting when it gets past 1850, which is where Lord Gordon leaves us today, with Mr. Whitworth using a hydraulic press to test chilled iron.
A Universal Worm Gear Testing Machine” David Brown Tool Company has developed a machine which can quickly and accurately check all dimensions on a worm gear.
“The Maple Lodge Sewage Disposal Works” The Engineer was recently invited to see the plant, which consists of a series of tanks that gradually tame the unmentionable effluent, and burns the methane gas produced in the power house to provide enough steam to run the pumps and aeration paddles and all the other accessories.  The sludge, after final treatment, can either be sold as nitrogenous fertiliser or burnt in the furnaces. There is a neat control device to shut things down if a fog plugs the air filters.
H. Eckersley, “Manufacture and Application of Sintered Carbides: Application of Industry” Eckersley discusses the kind of cutting tools that already exist, and suggests that there are many other applications where high speed cutting tools would save manpower and increase productive capacity.
“The Whitehaven Colliery Disaster” The Chief Inspector of Mines has turned in his report on the 15 August disaster that cost 104 lives. The Inspector concludes that not enough thought has been put into the use of shot-firing explosives in longwall mining, and recommends trying out several proposed safety measures. The Engineer also covers the Mamba-Lancaster and a “small grinding machine” by E. H. Jones (Machine Tools) on this page, following up wth an opaque article about “electrical traction machines in Holland.” It talks about pantographs. Those are the antenna-things on trolleys? Little James is obsessed with the one on his toy streetcar.

American Engineering News
The Fort Peck and Sardis dams have been acting up due to the high pH content of the water corroding steel pipes, and because of seepage below the predicted maximum depth, which was to be relieved by drain pipes, which corroded too quickly, because. . . It is noted that improved mining methods lead to better labour relations, especially using elevators instead of making men climb “2000ft and more to their working places.” Northern and Western Railway has introduced a new steam shunting locomotive that is as efficient as the diesel shunts usually used in America thanks to a modified mechanical stoker.

Fort Peck Lake is in Montana. 

Industrial and Labour Notes
More Councils and committees, and strikes in the Scottish fields are cutting into coal production.
French Engineering Notes
Coal, gas and electricity production is up in the Saar. The locks at Dunkirk are almost fully reconstructed. France aims to produce 15 million tons of steel a year when its development plan is completed.
Notes and Memoranda

The London Transport Board is hiring 350 luxury coaches to supplement the bus fleet. Southern Railway is experimenting with insulation around the water pipes as a way of preventing freezing in water towers, instead of the expensive old coal braziers. Mr. E. A. Forward, curator of the railway collection at the Science Museum, has a book out on Railway Locomotives and Rolling Stock that is very interesting. James Sim, chief draftsman of G. and J. Weir, has died. He joined the company in 1909. 

Das Rheingold: Prelude and Rhinemaidens

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