Thursday, August 19, 2021

Postblogging Technology, May 1951, II: Domestic Vermouth

R_. C_.,

Dear Dad:

This one is going to be a bit rushed because am a bit rushed, on my way to catch the slow plane to China. Unless some angry Navy pilot in a Privateer finds me and shoots me down. Well,no, that won't happen. Though we should probably look into getting the Goose a Panamanian registration, just to be sure. You should hear from me at a bit more leisure from the Avenue of Harmony in a few weeks. In the mean time, don't take any domestic vermouth in your martini or a  home movie in your pre-med calculus lecture, which some mooks are trying to pawn off instead of first-class instruction at innovative, small Southern liberal arts colleges. Isn't it cool that I can find a Chinese translation of "mook?" Though I don't know why I am emphasising it so much. It is not like it is some kind of anachronistic in-joke about educational fads or anything like that.  

Your Loving Son,

(Classic for a reason)

Aviation Week,
21 May 1951

News Digest reports that the first US-registered De Havilland Dove has arrived in the States after a 28 hour flight across the Atlantic. The last 22 B-36As have been upgraded to RB-36E standard by the replacement of the 3000hp Wasp Majors with Turbo-Wasps and the installation of four J-47s under the wing. Lear is in the exclusive club of companies that managed to lose money this year. The RAF has ordered the Supermarine Swift, and the French have bought two Comets. 

Sidelights reports that the ATA has pushed the question of a subsidised feeder airliner before the Senate Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, while the House Appropriations Committee will be investigating the Armed Forces' public relations activities due to suspicion that some of the money has gone astray. NACA's reduced budget has been approved. Talk at Northwestern is that president Croil Hunter might be on his way out. If the CAA reduces the gross weight for C-4s, it will not affect cargo types. Dapper Jack Todd, the "human bomb" got a $100 fine and a year's jail time for carrying a vial of nitroglycerine onto a plane last year in his jacket pocket. The Chamber of Commerce's 1951 programme calls for  federal development of a "new transport plane," federal modernisation of airway navigation aids, a civilian pilot and technician training programme using private industry, turning as  much maintenance over to private firms as possible, simplification of regulations, more regulations for nonskeds. 

Industry Observer reports that the Douglas C-124A is a very big plane. Photo Switch, Inc.'s Fireye aircraft fire director continues to go forward in Defence Department testing but J-48 production is lagging, leading to the possibility that F-94 production will go back to the Allison J-33. The J-48 is wanted in the long, afterburner-equipped version for the F-94 and the shorter, no-afterburner version for the Grumman F9F-5. Production has been subcontracted to Chrysler, which was to build a new plant to make it, but there is as yet no word that the plant has started construction. Convair's XF-92 has gone back to Edwards AFB for more flight testing with a new Allison J-33-A-29 engine. North American's T-28 tandem instructors are coming out with ultraviolet and infrared lighting on the instrument dials so that trainees vision-limiting goggles can see the instruments. (But not anything else, for instrument flight training during the day.) Chase Aircraft is not going ahead with the installation of Allison T-40s in the XC-123A even though some military authorities think that it is the best thing since sliced bread. West Coast aviation observers think that Convair might be merging with Hiller Helicopters.

Katherine Johnson's Washington Roundup reports that all Washington is now in on the "go slow" approach to defence, with the US aiming to be "ready for war" by 1952. The defence budget for Fiscal '52, beginning in July, is not going to be increased, even though it assumes that the Korean War will be over by then, which isn't looking likely. The thing is that what is being used in Korea isn't going to be missed. We have plenty of ammunition and we aren't losing enough planes to matter (212 up to the moment). The budget will be revisited, but probably not before January. The "Go-Slow" hits guided missile development very hard, with the current projected appropriation cut by two-thirds to $33 million. Congress still hasn't voted on a proposal to include pilot training in the ROTC programme, which would require more contracts with private operators like the ones that the Army has already signed. (The Amy needs pilots because it is getting more planes and helicopters and hasn't very many.)

Ben. S. Lee reports, "Kaiser Deal Spurs New Drive on C-123" Edgar, not Uncle Henry, is in the news as Kaiser spends $2.5 million to buy 49% of Chase Aircraft stock. Edgar is the new President and CEO of Chase, with Michael Stroukoff, former president, becoming vice president and chief engineer in chrarge of research and development. Stroukoff will be looking at a "twin-engined local service plane" that might revolutionise this and that. Chase is now looking for a factory to build the C-123, which it has been assembling in Trenton and at two bays at the Bechtol-McCone-Parsons plant in Birmingham, Alabama, as its plant in Trenton, New Jersey is not really suitable for producing the plane, although it might be with modifications. All of this is a bit in the air, because the Air Force wants a second production source for the plane, and would prefer it to be another aircraft manufacturer, while Kaiser/Chase is hoping for a second Chase factory. Kaiser has promised to go full on with C-119 production even though it is now involved with the C-119's rival/possible replacement, which seems like just such an Uncle Henry thing to do. 

"How Rentzel Sees the Transport Future" Commerce Undersecretary Don Rentzel gave a talk to the fourth Wisconsin Aeronautics Conference that sounds pretty small potatoes except for the usual bit about helicopter transport service being everywhere in about five years or so, with the usual by-helicopter-from-downtown-to-the-airport pitch that ignores aircraft size, noise, safety and landing grounds. Maybe they can try building a floating airfield on the Thames again or landing on the roof of a Post Office plant. 

"Navy Studies Radical New Fighter: Convair and Lockheed Are Building Convertiplane-like Prototypes Around Allison T-40 Turboprop Engine" Here's another solution to the carrier problem; not needing a flight deck at all. This would be another version of the old Naval surrender of the air to land-based fighters, since there is no way that a convertiplane could match a conventional fighter, but it could be fleet defence against bombers and shadowers, unless it is too slow to take them on, too, like the old Skua and the Dauntless "Scout Bomber." The aircraft would have a six-blade dual rotation prop.

"Study Civil Air Role in A-bomb Defences" A conference of all parties involved at Washington's Mayflower Hotel will study same (and, I am guessing, make headway on the controversial "Domestic vermouth in martinis, yes or no" question) over the weekend. 

"B-36 Too Big?" Recent crashes too enormous say critics! Not that many crashes say Air Force! "My Daddy can beat up your Daddy," say others. There have been five fatal B-36 crashes involving 48 deaths. No pattern has emerged, although I would suggest that there are enough similarities to suggest that 3000hp+ internal combustion engines have big teething problems. I'd say that they're too complicated to be reliable, but of course I could be wrong and don't want to eat all my hats, in case the come back into style. 

"High Flying Bell" Bell sent a nice report about its financial year around to Aviation Week, which prints a summary, because why not? Bell made lots of money building aircraft and helicopters for the American taxpayer. Some are secret, especially the X-5, which is so secret Bell can't even tell you about it. Oops! And it is going to make a convertiplane for the Army, since they're all the rage right now. The Wage Stabilisation Board is looking at the Fairchild and Republic wage pacts, and F-86E production at Canadair in Montreal continues to rise, by which Aviation Week means that it will start by this summer once tooling is complete. Once that is done, Canada will look into a bomber. 

David Anderton reports for Aeronautical Engineering, "The Atom:Power for Flight" I feel like writing Aviation Week to get 1/200th refund on my subscription. Radio Digest did better than this five years ago! 

"Jet Engine Cans Give Protection" Aviation Week can afford it with the money it saves by paying monkeys peanuts for writing headlines on advertorial inserts. Point of story? GE is saving on wear and tear by shipping jet engines in steel cans. With cushions. 

"Ceramics: Exhaust Protection" Ryan Aeronautical is continuing to experiment with a thin layer of pottery on exhaust stacks. For example, there's a thousandth-inch thick layer on the "exhaust parts" of a PAA Stratocruiser on trans-Pacific runs. The rest of the article is about tests done during overhauls that show that the ceramic layer isn't thinning very fast, allowing overhaul periods to be lengthened. Then when it notices that the article hasn't taken a full page, it discusses how Ryan makes the body of the headers out of 19-9DL steel, which is the coming thing. And explains that the "Ryan" ceramic coating is actually applied by California Metal Enameling Corporation. 

Did you miss the McGraw-Hill World News Service last week? I know I did! It's back this week with "Jet Turbine Blades Tested in Flight." Well, yes. They are. In 100+ fighter scrums up in MiG Alley. most recently. What World News means is that Rolls Royce is doing some strain testing in flight with the assistance of EMI, which puts really tiny strain gauges on the blades with mercury slip-ring contacts. Also of note, they've replaced camera filming of the instruments with direct magnetic tape records of the electrical output. Also, GE wants us to know that it is working on a 180,000hp air pump drive for the biggest wind tunnel yet, with airspeeds of up to 900mph. (It's actually three units giving 101,000hp that can be overrun.)

NACA reports has one on skin friction at turbulent boundary layers, a theoretical approach to estimating control gearing and time lag needed to damp a constant-time-lag  autopilot, and some stability and knock-on control effects of a booster in the B-29's elevator control system.

Avionics has "AMC Redesigns Plane Intercoms" and "Bendix Makes Tiny Airborne Amplifier" Which is fine, but it isn't tubeless, which is something you can do now. And by that I don't mean fussing with hydraulics instead. So it doesn't really solve the "vacuum tubes aren't reliable" problem that we've been grappling with since the war.

New Aviation Products has a "Tough Duty Seal" from Crane Packing Company, which is a packing for rotating shafts. It uses Du Pont's new Teflon in place of leather or artificial rubber, which makes it more resistant to corrosives than ever before, and is also flexible and withstands higher temperatures. Communication Companyhas yet another two-way, portable VHF-AM radio for airport vehicles. American Time Products has a new frequency standard, which is the way the industry says "metronome," only fancier because they have an electrical output, so you can just hook them up directly to your rheostat or whatever. It has a 10w output and is good for 50 to 500Hz. 

Production has "Tool Reserve Speeds Mobilisation." It is good to get $2 billion of old equipment out of storage and into use, but what about the industry's tantrum about not enough new tools? (Also, the story is mostly from Lockheed and leans heavily into what the company is doing with the tools to make up space on the page. Refitting B-29s for service, is what they're doing. No Jennies in sight. Yet!

Equipment has yet another 100% monkey-written headline that I want to share, "Meeting Seen Increasing in Value," which is about the ATA Engineering and Maintenance Conference again, covering propellers and engines. Maintenance engineers don't think that thicker hollow-steel propellers are making any difference, are tired of bolts coming off, and are aware that the Douglas DC-3 is "responsive" to propeller frequency harmonics but can't necessarily do anything about it. Feathering, and in particular, interrupting feathering, is a continuing problem. On engines, maintenance engineers are leaning towards using detergent oils to clean out sludge. Wright people showed up to discuss  the use of "chip detectors" due to false alarms, want to reduce the number of seals in the fuel system and to do something about master rod bearing failures in the R-3350 and ignition failures, which result from all sorts of internal engine wear damage. Carburetors continue to be black magic. PAA says that it has started just removing the regulator and not the throttle body during trouble shooting. Pratt and Whitney replies "Please God Don't Do That!" KLM likes the exhaust stacks on its new Connies except they set things on fire. EAL might have a solution. Coated valves, automatic spark advance, and nitrided creeper gears on R-2000 clutches seem to be doing well. A bewildering variety of electrical reliability problems were discussed. My hair rises at discussion of defective circuit breaker schemes. Structures are better with forgings and extrusions, which should be cleaned carefully in case the factory left acid on them. 75ST is fine for planes if treated properly. Douglas is a fan of the new Zyglo and Dycheck systems for checking structural elements. I'm going to ignore the ignition section because it is a dying industry.  In spite of the fans of low-tension, most pilots are more likely to transition to jets than to new ignition schemes. Everyone likes instrument standardisation. There is grousing about dials fogging up and magnetic horizons failing to erect. Autopilots continue to get  more reliable thanks in part to ruggedised tubes and amplifiers. There are improvements in fuel and oil.

Linewide editorial explains "Why Controls are Necessary" one more time for the back of the hall.

Editorial has Robert H. Wood highlighting some bad customer relations stories, by EAL this time.  

Time, 21 May 1951

The Perons make the cover!


Everyone loved the MacArthur issue; Lots of people don't like the President, but only one letter made the column. Time gets in trouble for implying that Alpher and Herman are saying that Earth is at the "exact centre" of the expanding universe, when the actual explanation is more likely to be that the whole universe is expanding.  Hugh Moorhead of Chicago and Elmer Schlageter of Colorado have no time for the Jehovah Witnesses forbidding blood transfusions. George Change explains that the point of calling attractive women "amygdaline" is that they are almond-shaped but poisonous. Robert dean explains early Bible manuscripts, since Time muffed it, Piedad de Salas also catches a mistake, G. F. Hull points out that corporations can avoid excess profits taxes by simply voting the executive suite a big bonus or making a big donation to a private college. Our publisher points out how hard it is to keep up with medical progress when many of the medical associations are more interested in headlines than facts. On the other hand, after featuring Dr. Samuel Thompson's miracle operation, Time was responsible for getting him many new patients, 

The MacArthur Hearing I came out of my hiding place under the stairs long enough to check in with Time and confirm that the point of all of this is that we'll probably bully Communists around the world more, and definitely never, ever, ever give up Formosa and the Koumintang. Ever. Did you know that General Marshall graduated 15th in his class from VMI? His father was a steel executive in Pennsylvania, so although he is a "distant relative of Justice Marshall" (that "distant relative" bit being a classic dodge), he wasn't necessarily a natural VMI pledge, and he went into the infantry on graduation. Catch an infantryman as CIGS before Monty and Slim! I thought he was supposed to be a brain!

National Affairs

"Warning to the Allies" The Senate is very upset about our allies trading anything with Communists anywhere. Also, the President is cheering up and the Fulbright Committee is still all over the RFC, and the GOP brass got together in Texas to agree that Robert Taft was the man to beat in '52, that Eisenhower was the ideal GOP candidate, and that no-one wanted MacArthur. A bad person who used to work for bad Mayor O'Dwyer has had to retire with no pension, and all the world rejoiced from Manhattan to Queens! General Wedemeyer has retired. If you're wondering why anyone cares, Time reminds us about the "Wedemeyer Report" that could have reversed the course of events in China, and which General Marshall personally suppressed.


"Talkout" Talking about talking about a Big Four foreign ministers' conference continues in Paris, but everyone is so tired of talking that they are talking without talking. Apparently the Glosters shows that Britain has to be more accommodating to American  demands for trade embargoes against Communism, because Churchill said something cutting in the house. It's like he's leader of the Opposition or something! Fine, says Atlee. We'll ban rubber exports. But we still think that the Communists run China! Russia proposed a joint Allied peace treaty with Japan, which the State Department thinks would just be an excuse for having a veto at the table. Russia is sending 50,000t of wheat to India as food aid, which is pathetic because it isn't nearly as much as regular American exports and the American 2 million ton aid bill is almost ready to go before Congress, so eventually there will be 2 million tons of American wheat, which will be that much more than the 50,000 Russian tons already coming. 

War in Asia

"Attack" The Chinese will probably attack soon, which will be bad; or else they will retreat north to where the peninsula widens out, which will be bad, because it will lead to an "indefinite and costly stalemate." Meanwhile, the Allies have advanced back up to the high ground. 

"Show of Power" The biggest US strike of the war so far, by 312 F-80s, F-84s, F-86s and F9Fs and Mustangs and Corsairs, hit the Red airbase at Sinuiju on the south bank of the Yalu this week . Fifteen Red aircraft are reported destroyed on the ground, while American losses due t flak are not given. 

"Germ Commando" Brigadier General Crawford Sams, Army Chief of Public Health and Welfare, gets a commendation this week for conducting a commando raid into North Korea to diagnose the epidemic spreading there. It turns out to be smallpox and not the feared bubonic plague. Time also notes that the Reds are accusing the Americans of deliberately spreading the disease.

"Going Home" The Army hopes to increase the rate if troop rotation through Korea to 20,000/month by the summer.

Foreign News

"Down the Incline to Hell?" Time covers events in Iran in order of decreasing importance; Premier Mossadegh has been saying dramatic things in parliament. On the one hand he is just trying to win votes, which you have to do. On the other hand, he's being dramatic. Second, some Iranian Communists have issued threats. One of them even met with a UP reporter in an abandoned hut on the outskirts of Teheran and threatened to possibly assassinate the premier. No wonder the Iranians are afraid of the Communists. Some are even afraid of the British! Finally, and least important, The Economist says that the British are getting ready to invade, and "four thousand crack paratroopers" have been assembled at an undisclosed location for training for an undisclosed emergency assignment. Germany now has a new Nazi party that is allowed to run in elections and gets about 10--15% of the vote. This isn't actually hot news, but trust Time to get the real story. The new German Nazis are secretly pro-Communist! Speaking of countries that aren't at all Fascist, Spain is having food riots over inflation, while Israel had a military parade in Jerusalem with tanks, armoured cars, artillery and fighters overhead, while the border war with Syria is over, with no agreement on the draining of Lake Hula, which is apparently still on. Liberia had a fixed election, just like always. French Communists are terrible. The claimant to the Austrian imperial throne (an Archduke with about a million Christian names that I'm not going to write out) got married in Nancy, which is in France, this week. News! 

The ongoing Chinese Red Terror gets a column and a half. Time reviews Freda Utley's The China Story for five columns in the middle of Foreign News because. It. Can't. Let. It. Go. 

The Hemisphere

An earthquake in El Salvador, a revolution in Panama, dubious election in Bolivia, the Perons. Except for no boring Canadian or wacky Mexican story, it's the hemisphere being the hemisphere.


The US dollar is worth only a bit more than half what it was in 1935--9, says the Bureau of Labour Statistics. Cattlemen are up in arms over price controls. More than usual. Or it's more of a story than usual. 

"College Lesson" In a story in the Harvard Alumni Bulletin last week, Harvard Treasurer Paul Codman Cabot explained how the Harvard General Fund managed to hit $250 million, largest of any college endowment in the United States. Was it because of tax-preferred donations, non-profit status, big  name, famous alumni? Is it because a stable endowment earning allows it to buy stocks when they're low and hold them for generations? No! Well, partly. It has been around for a long time. For example, it had to write off its Middlesex Canal stocks. But mainly it is because Treasurers with names like "Cabot" and "Adams" are just so darn smart. 

Speaking of earnings, they're up. Again. The Warner Brothers sale has fallen through, and so has a planned sale of ABC to ITT. Edward Noble of American Broadcasting has also previously talked to 20th Century Fox, the Philadelphia Inquirer's Walter Annenberg; more recently targeted CBS and United Paramount, asking for $28 million. Now he says that ABC is off the market, because it has occurred to Noble that a television network is actually a pretty good investment that will probably be worth even more than $28 million some day. 

"Enter Dacron" Du Pont is about to destroy all competitors in the entire rag trade with Dacron artificial silk blouses and suits. Summer-weight Dacron suits (55% Dacron, 45% wool) are expected to sell at $95 at department stores across the US because they are light, cool, and will not wrinkle.

"Fair Exchange?" The Torquay talks on reducing global tariffs have ended up in a stinging American defeat because the Commonwealth countries were so mean; but it is okay because it proves tht the "US is willing to do more than its share to lower tariffs and help free world trade for the benefit of all." 

"Trailer King" Time checks in with Roy Fruehauf of Detroit, whose Fruehauf Trailer Company is behind more freight vans pulled behind trucks ("tractor-trailers") than any other. Fruehauf tells Time that he invented the tractor trailer 36 years ago. Today his sales are at $132 million and net earnings are up 24% over last year at this time. He  has two main problems right now; a shortage of rubber for tires; and growing public anti-truck sentiment. 

ATT became the first company in the world with a million shareholders last week. Then Time checks in with the new president of Budd Cars, a junior Budd. 

Science, Medicine, Education

"Birds of Mars" No, science hasn't found birds on Mars, and I am very disappointed. What's happened is that the talk of US aircraft factories, "every technical institute and every electronics laboratory," is "guided missiles." What is  up with guided missiles? Time sent its Science editor, Jonathan Norton Leonard, to find out. What he found is that the Air Force, Navy and Army are all testing out guided missiles to do this and that. Mainly shoot down airplanes and sink ships; but maybe even carry atomic bombs between continents. (I feel safer already!) It's a big feature, but disappointingly short of new information. The best part of the treatment is a very lucid description of the main guidance means. Except for the guy talking about television guidance who says that instead of using television guidance, by which he means watching the ground and adjusting a missile's course from a map that says that the river is supposed to be going east to the town, not south, he can use a camera to "guide" a missile right into the town's mayor's office. Time points out that all the various radar and radio guidance methods are limited to the radio horizon. Beyond that, it is currently "stars and magnetism." I still think that automatic celestial guidance is black magic. I understand how it works; a , photo cell is held on a star, and when the star's image moves away from the centre of the cell, the voltage drops. A pick-up takes the voltage drop and turns it into a correction output to the attitude motors. As long as the motion isn't too violent, so that the photo cell loses the star or there is a negative feedback loop, the missile is corrected back onto course. See, I know how it all works. My brain just keeps on throwing up reasons why it can't work!(Also, compasses and gyros, the former obvious, the last so mysterious that Time doesn't even try to explain them.)  Time does explain the computers (one computer: REAC, at JPL) being used to design guided missiles, or at least simulate test flights. Time is impressed by the rigmarole around launchings from White Sands, including the safety measures to ensure that we don't bomb Mexico again, and the awesome silence of the vacuum of outer space, as heard in instrument transmissions from the Vikings being used to probe the airless heights. Missile men, Time says, are pretty sure they've got propulsion figured out, with rockets going strong and ramjets coming on. It is guidance th at remains a dark art, and not just because it is difficult in principle. Electronics are unreliable, and hundred grand missiles are being lost to a failure in a 50 cent electronic relay. In the future, missiles will be vulnerable, as we air pirates are now, to enemy countermeasures such as jamming, false instructions and "electronic mirages." Counter-counter measures are in development to beat the countermeasures. 

Good news for engineers; Missile development is already being held back by lack of qualified scientists in some fields, and Time was told that the government should shut down the television industry to free up electronics scientists to work on guided missiles, so that the Missile Age can come even quicker. 

"Experiment in Prevention" The Bronx's Montefiore Hospital is doing a trial of "preventive medicine," in which 20 families will be given regular physicals and given helpful medical advice about diet and exercise to see if they die less. As a control variable, Montefiore Hospital will ignore another 20 families. If more of the ignored families die, this will prove that it works, and Montefiore will charge an extra subscription so families can enroll in preventative medical care.

"Life Without Adrenals" The adrenal glands wrap around the kidneys, and before this modern age of wonder drugs, no-one cold live more than a few weeks after they were surgically removed, which makes you wonder why anyone would bother removing them. Last week, Dr. George Thorn gave a talk at Boston's peter Bent Brigham Hospital in which he described patients living as much as nine months and counting after the adrenals were removed because of damage due to critically high blood pressure. The thought is that hormones secreted by the adrenal glands are the cause of the high blood pressure, so out they come. The patients were put on regular desoxycorticosterone and cortisone, and so far not only are they alive, one went ice fishing and the other got a job. 

"Deadly Boric Acid" Boric acid is a traditional treatment for eye inflammation, diaper rash and prickly heat, but last week, Dr. Russell S. Fisher, Maryland's chief medical examiner, told the College of American Pathologists that it can be a deadly poison; not just when baby swallows some, but when it gets into the bloodstream through breaks in the skin when used topically. Baby powder with boric acid is still fine. 

Some French doctor with one of those wise man beards says that doctors should be more careful prescribing. Or something. He seems to be talking to the other smart people who understand Continental philosophy, like my wife, and not a dumb old engineer, like me. 

"The Rollins Row (Cont'd)" The other Big Story continues. It seemed over last week, when President Wagner was told that he would have to resign by the board of trustees, which sent instructions down to campus to come up with a plan for replacing him, and presumably for a revised economy plan. But, this week, the student body came out on strike and the undergraduate newspaper published a special "anti-Wagner issue" accusing him of cooking the books to exaggerate the budget shortfall. President Wagner threatened to suspend the student membership of the paper if they didn't retract the story, the newspaper doubled down; the trustees decided to fire Wagner immediately and roll back the faculty reductions. Wagner responded by refusing to be fired on the grounds that the trustees were meeting out of state. Which seems a bit crazy to me! They can just take the train down to Florida and do it again.

I wonder whatever happened to that story about how the former Bell and Howell salesman was going to save on faculty costs by using home movies to replace lectures? Has all of that been forgotten?

"Acquittal at Boulder" Last December, Dr. David Hawkins of Colorado University said that he was not a Communist when he did a historical project at Los Alamos in late 1943, but that he had been a member from 1938 to early 1943, and refused to name names. This led members of the Colorado legislature  to wonder what a non-squealing, ex-Communist was doing on the faculty of their university, so the Board of Regents had an inquiry, and found him not guilty, and obviously it is a headline story, although Dr. Hawkins says that his most controversial opinion these days is that you can use domestic vermouth in martinis. Speaking of which, Dean Robert Hamilton of Wyoming University's College of Law, who might have a bit of time on his hands, you would think, has a study out explaining some of the laws that cost American schools when students fall through bad walls and get punched by professional boxers during school trips. If only they had a better sense of the law, they might get into less trouble! He is going to have a whole series of guidebooks on subjects ranging from school busses to loyalty oaths and fraternity pranks. 

Press, Radio and Television, People 

"Exit from The Nation" The liberal magazine that is just too pink and which is also edited by a woman(!!!!) has seen its executive editor and two contributors resign, or at least take their names off the masthead: Harold C. Field, Reinhold Niebuhr and Robert Bendiner. Therefore, Communism, etc. The editor of The Atlanta Constitution wrote an editorial about how there are too many Pulitzer Prizes now and they don't mean anything. "Many" other newspapers (by which Time mainly means Time) agree, even if others don't. I don't get it. There were only thirteen Pulitzers given out (no awards for National Reporting this year). Though I notice that none went to Time . . . 

"Circulation Bait" Is there anything as bad as a newspaper ginning up a controversy to sell copies? For example, The Daily Worker and the National Guardian have both published lists of names of US POWs held in China, taken from the pages of China Monthly Review and The Daily Worker, which is obviously treason. (China is supposed to publish the names of POWs under the Geneva Convention, but China is not a signatory of the Convention.) In fairness to Time, the lists have been published along with statements from POWs condemning the Korean War, so there is some propaganda mixed in, and it is a British MP and not Time calling it treason, although Time does seem to agree. 

"Fog Cutter" Boston University's Doctor David Manning White has been campaigning against newspapers using "fog" words like "ubiquity" and "obfuscation" for a Year now, and The Boston Herald has given up on the point in its editorial, although it goes right on using "fog words" in headlines. The example is actually pretty interesting, in that the week after editorial conceded, the headline was something about Dean Acheson being "ubiquitous." White did a man-in-the-street survey to see what readers thought that the headline meant, and most of them thought that, since it was about Acheson, that "ubiquitous" meant "wrong." Convenient! 

"G.I.'s Disc Jockey" The prettiest girl on armed forces radio is Rebel Randall (which is not a real name). She has a 36" bust and hips and a 24" waist, and she can talk. With words and everything! She gets a thousand pin-up requests a week. I can't see how anyone would know about her figure if it weren't for Rebel Randall telling them (unless they went to see Danger Zone. Or Booby Dupes. Maybe they saw Booby Dupes). For that reason I am going to go out on a limb and say that she's partly to blame for this Dirty Old Man coverage in Time, ,but maybe she is sashaying for a (Pinko!) reason, because she gets in a sting at the end about how her job disc jockeying for overseas GIs is likely to last for a long time

 Harry Vaughn, Mickey Cohen, James Hilton, Walter Winchell, Bernard Baruch, Paul Douglas, assorted royals, Emily Post, Jacqueline Ariol, Jacqueline Cochran, Matthew Ridgway, Rita Hayworth, the Aly Khan and General Eisenhower are in the page. Douglas (and Cohen), had trouble with the IRS, Miss Ariol set a new speed record for women in a modified Vampire, Eisenhower did not quite deny that he would run for President in '52, and Rita and the Aly Khan are still getting divorced.  Li'l Abner is in trouble for something about "Peppi-Borgia," which is bad because it is too close to "Coca-Cola" and "Pepsi-Cola." I think Pravda could make something of this if it could bare to spend the time explaining plotlines in Li'l Abner. 


Jimmy Stewart and Gloria McLean have had their first children, twin girls. "Otto" is that Archduke's name, if you were all on tenterhooks. Warner Baxter, Colonel General Vasily Vasilievich Ulrich, John Kee and Oscar Stanton De Priest have died.

The New Pictures

In industry news, HUAC's new chairman has broadly implied that if Hollywood knows what's good for it, Larry Parks will get a new contract. 

The Emperor's Nightingale is a puppet movie re-enacting the Hans Christian Anderson fable, from Czechoslovakia, in Nu-Agfa Colour.  The Great Caruso is a "quasi-biography:" of the tenor, with nice music but no facts or plot on show. Five is a Columbia attempt to imagine "what life would be like for the last five survivors of a worldwide atomic catastrophe," directed by Arch Oboler and pretty much showing what Arch is good for, which isn't a movie like this. 


W. R. Burnett's Little Men, Big World is a "speedy tabloid novel" about crime in the big city. John Richard Alden's General Charles Lee is a biography of an American Revolutionary hero, a British soldierwho came out in the Fifties to fight in a French war, married a Seneca "princess," got on as a mercenary in the Sixties, became an American general, has been accused of being a traitor. I wonder if he was related to Robert E. Lee? Lion Feuchtwanger's This is the Hour is a Book-of-the-Month Club offering on the life of Goya, a Spanish painter with a dramatic life and a vigorous sex life.  Paul Blanshard's Communism, Democracy and Catholic Power is about just because the Kremlin is a global menace, we shouldn't forget that the Vatican is also a global menace. There can be two global menaces! Only Catholicism is worse, a conclusion that leads Time to conclude that he's too crazy for Time. The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats doesn't even need an editor, because Yeats is just that famous. Speaking of crazy people. Cardinal Spellman has a novel! It's The Foundling. "Nobody expects a cardinal to be able to write a great novel," and it turns out that Nobody is right! 

Time, 28 May 1951


Southerners loved the the Willie McGee story and Time has no use for critics like Alexander Ayers of Maryland who deny that the Communists only took the case to "increase racial tensions."  Lots of letters on MacArthur, including a surprising amount of balance. A. B. Mason of New York points out that the war is being fought by the UN, so MacArthur's plan has to get by the General Assembly, not the Administration. H. A. Dye of Pasadena points out that it was MacArthur who told Truman that the Chinese wouldn't get involved in the first place, which makes it even more dubious when he tells us that the Russians won't. Peter Flesch of Philadelphia points out that General Marshall might be "old and tired," but he seems a lot less old and tired than General MacArthur! An anonymous old cowboy points out that by the time  you're that age, you've seen many men lose their job. It's just not that big a deal. Charles Jamieson of Buffalo doubles down on "MacArthur got it wrong in the first place, so why are we listening to him now?" Not a good Letters for Mac! The chewing tobacco industry writes to say that they're doing just fine, and the "Buy Truman a hat shop"letter gets angry letters. Also not a good Letters for Senator Taft, as no-one is impressed by his excuses for not getting involved in Europe. Opinion is marginally against Nehru. Our Publisher checks in with subscription, which reminds everyone that they can change their mailing address to the summer place for the summer.

National Affairs

"In Time of Trouble" Time reminds us that the Koumintang is America's booboo binkie forever and that Nanny must never take it away, not even to wash it, or Time will cry and hold its breath until it turns blue. On a more serious note, check out the Chinese I'm learning now! All this baby talk vocabulary will come in seriously handy the next time I have to translate for ambassadors! Also, US casualty returns, which are still not up to date with the Chinese offensive, are up 1462 to a total of 64,354. The MacArthur Hearing is still a section, but basically devoted to just General Bradley's testimony and committe manoeuvring, which blew up on the joint committee as it tried out its strategy for damaging Dean Acheson on Bradley before realising that Bradley was actually popular. 

"The Truman Way" Besides taking all responsibility for firing MacArthur, Truman gave a poll speech to the National Conference of Citizenship at the Statler the other day and then again at the Armed Forces Day Dinner, which  had three Medal of Honour recipients in attendance. Their citations take up a solid column with a lot more action than the speech, although Bob Taft is as dead as a Chinese platoon! At a lower level of the Administration, Dean Acheson is sticking around but David Niles is out. Congress is still trying to tack obnoxious clauses onto the Indian wheat relief bill, this time with Everett Dirksen making it into some kind of personal injury settlement, "Always get your fee while the tears are hot." Now that's how you do charity! 

"Wreck of the Red Arrow" Determined to prove Robert Woods right, the Pennsie sent their Red Arrow electric express roaring down through the Main Line suburbs (Ronnie explains that that's where the rich people live) on its way to a blind curve just before the Bryn Mawr crossing, where it rammed into the rear end of the Philadelphia Night Express with 8 dead and 63 injured, which qualifies for a Disaster heading because of, I think, where it happened, and the fact that the engineer was 63 and blind in one eye. 

A Coloured Councilman was elected in Greensboro, N.C. with White votes. It's a new age! Wile in Charleston, W. Virginia, 20 nurses at the st. Francis Hospital walked out when the hospital hired its third Coloured nurse. A story about the Republicans' no-hope candidate for mayor of Philadelphia is, somehow,  a story. In Chicago, where ex-mayor Ed Kelly died last fall, the probate on his estate shows $854,000 in assets, which has his widow accusing the executors of hiding $1.2 million, because apparently this proof that the old major wasn't quite as corrupt as he seems means nothing if she doesn't get the cash. Various American heirs of the Gape estate (including Caxton Manor, with 1000 acres and three farms, plus St. Michael's Manor in Hampshire) are thinking about turning it down because it is in Britain and over there they're stuck with Socialists and food rationing, and also because of death duties and the fact that the income is only $5000/year. 


"Blow at China" The General Assembly has voted a trade embargo against  China, denying it strategic stuff. China's foreign trade with countries such as Britain and West Germany has been growing rapidly, but now they can't import various materials, of which rubber is the currently pressing one. The embargo is going to be a bit hard to enforce, but so far the General Assembly has not endorsed a naval blockade. 

"Diplomacy by Swoon" Iran's Premier Mossadegh is always swooning at the climax of his speeches to the Iranian parliament, because that is the kind of man that he is, and now Iran's ambassador to the United Nations has done the same thing over the Security Council vote to condemn Israel for bombing Syria in retaliation for Syria shooting seven Israeli soldiers during the Lake Hula affair. The Council voted 10-0 to condemn, Russia abstaining, probably because of the Iranian dramatics and not because the Israelis are messing around with the drainage of Syrian land without permission. It is sad around Lake Success, from where the UN has vacated to Flushing Meadows. Sperry Gyroscopes has taken over the building for war work.

Progress at NATO, where everyone agrees that Turkey and Greece belong in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and where the US, Britain and Canada have agreed to standardise more arms, adopting the "Walker  Bulldog" as their standard new light tank, and agreeing on 400 other items including 8", 75mm, and 240mm howitzer ammunition, fuel, lubricants and electric voltage systems. Only in rifles, where the British are going ahead with their .280 calibre automatic rifle instead of a .30 firing the same ammunition as the M-1, has standardisation failed. The US has also agreed to let some of its raw materials stockpiles go to North Atlantic allies, and the French are set to spend some 11% of their gross national product on defence next year. 

"Solution by Gromyko" Andrei Gromyko's solution to the reference to West German demilitarisation in the draft communique for the Big Four talks is so reasonable that Time just has to gripe at him.  Which is a bit unsatisfying, so Time digs up a British bus driver who used to be a Communist but isn't any more because of the Glosters. Time reminds us once again that the point of the massacre of the Glosters is that the British can't criticise Americans any more. 

War in Asia

"Second Flop" The second phase of the Chinese spring offensive is a big old flop. General Van Fleet gave a speech, then more on the offensive. The Chinese attacked against ROK lines in the Imje sector and broke through, with "96,000 howling Chinese swarm[ing]" around the flanks of the 2nd Divisin, which held the line next to the ROK troops. US armour counterattacked and held roadblocks while the division retreated to a new line. Another offensive nearer Seoul, also against ROK troops, went nowhere. 

"False Flag" Time is very upset about all those Panamanian-registered freighters doing business with China, and sent a man down to Clark to fly the Yankee Air Pirate beat in a Navy Privateer. Hey! That's almost my job! I wouldn't be caught dead in one of those old jalopies (five years, man and boy), but still! The crews are very upset that they just have to fly over and take pictures. There's also an idiotic bit that  you'd think Time would know was idiotic by now, about how being taken prisoner and sent to Siberia is worse than drowning. News flash! The younger generation thinks that being alive is better than being dead! and by "Younger generation" I mean everybody.  

"New-Style Ace" James Jabara of Wichita, Kansas, is America's first jet ace. Already a WWII ace with 6 1/2 planes, he claims six MiG-15s in Korea. 

"Comfort Mission Time quotes some Chinese entertainers on a tour of the front being political. Good thing Americans don't spout the party line! Never ever give up Formosa. 

"The Appetite of All" President Rhee is fighting with the National Assembly over corruption in South Korea's Replacement Army, which is padding the books! This is in a subsection entitled Allies, so it is off to Singapore, where an American-British-French conference was interrupted by bad French behaviour and British enemy-coddling. Time thinks that the French deserve more, because they are valiantly fighting Communism in Indochina. Various terrible politicians and diplomats are floating rumours of talks of ceasefire negotiations taking the 38th paralllel as the border line. Time is not sure what to think except that it loves to make fun of most of the people involved and it would be giving in to the Communists to give them "what they seemed unable to win on the battlefield." I don't  understand? The proposed ceasefire line is the actual front line? I thought? 

Foreign News 

"Fear" Iran is still full of "fanaticism, misjudgment and threatening disaster." Iranian newspapers are full of "hectic" "scream[ing" about how the British shouldn't invade, and the Iranians seem determined to go ahead with nationalisation unless someone can give them a good argument why not. At least the Communists and ultra-nationalists are worse than Mossadegh, Time thinks. 

"Mad Moor" In Morocco, where the French rule with the help of the mountaineers, they are also now conducting a manhunt in the "barren Atlas mountains" for a Berber veteran who has killed seven Europeans. In Poland, anti-Soviet disturbances are reported in Szszecin due to bad Soviet hehaviour. The Chinese Red Terror has reached Manchuria, while the Chinese press has turned against some "Stakhanovite" heroes of labour. That was fast!  Time still hates Nehru. In this hemisphere, Austrian atomic wonder worker, Ronald Richter, has reportedly been arrested for being a fraud, although the press story that broke the news, says that it won't be publicly acknowledged, since it is so embarrassing to Peron. Colombia's Korean volunteer battalion is off to Japan for final training. Bolivia has had a coup, as the Army is not going to let Victor Paz Estenssoro return from exile to take over the presidency. And boring Canada is back with Time catching up with American-Canadian military cooperation and Lord Beaverbrook visiting his home province of New Brunswick to endow the University of New Brunswick's library with some books to go with the current collection. 


A long list of consumer industries were told that they would have to cut back on production next year to make up the arms programme's shortfall, mainly in iron and aluminum. 

"Mr. Horsepower" This week's cover story is devoted to Frederick Brant Rentschler, the boss at Pratt and Whitney, who is "Mr. Horsepower," and whose J-57 might finally put America in the lead in jet power. 

Science, Medicine, Education

"Atomic Housecleaning" A night watchman at Hanford took a wrench home with him from work that turned out to be contaminated with plutonium. Now he is radioactive, and so are a bunch of places he or the wrench touched. A crew went around town cleaning everything up with soap and water, and now everything is keen. The source only emitted alpha radiation, so no-one was in danger unless they licked the wrench. 

"G. I. Zoologist" Buster Old, currently a signalman with the 25th Division, is the youngest member of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, and is sending samples back from Korea. News!

"Liquor and Work" Publishing in the New York Sate Journal of Medicine, Cornell biochemist, Louise J. Daniel, confirms what drinkers, and everyone else, has been saying all along, which is that alcohol is digested and used as food. It was controversial because doctors didn't see how it could be digested directly, but Daniel found that it jst gets oxidised i nto acetaldehyde, and then the digestive system is off to the races. 

"Grey Matter" "Psychosurgery is older than the pyramids" says Time. That is, old-time Stone Age surgeons were already cutting plates off the skull and lifting them off. Time assumes that they were trying to let evil spirits out, which makes it psychosurgery, as opposed to relieving a depressed skull fragment, which is something that happens when you get hit over the head, a quaint Old Stone Age courting pleasure, or so I'm told. (Ronnie is against.) Psychosurgeons have been delving into the old grey matter with abandon in the last few years, but haven't got around to agreeing where to cut. In the current issue of Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, six leading surgeons summed up their work. Dr. Lothar B. Kalinowsky theorises that the frontal lobes are a good place to mess around if less drastic measures like electric shock doesn't get rid of the evil spirits. For example, there's the lobotomy, which does a world of good for the patient apart from all the unpleasant side effects. Dr. Walter Freeman, formerly the main American proponent of cut-open-the-skull-and-have-a-stir school, says that his surgeries have a 41% improvement rate, 34% have bad results, and death in 3%. So they are now doing a "transorbital lobotomy," where you stick the ice pick in through the eye socket and proceed as before. Some doctors think that blind cutting in the brain might not be the best idea, and want to lift off more skull, in which case  you can just have the frontal lobes right off, in full or in part. Dr. Harry Solomon reports on hundreds of such cases. On the other hand, Dr. Paul Hoch of Columbia tries to focus on just the gray stuff, leaving out the "long white fibres," and so only take out about an ounce on each side. Another procedure tried by Ernest Spiegel of Philadelphia was to drill down from the centre of the head into the thalamus. He then inserted an electrode and gave the nerves way down in there a good burning-up. He reports that about half of his patients improved as a result. Edward Wilk, of Taunton, Massachusetts, points out that all of these procedures lead to "personality blunting," and the public isn't going to let psychosurgeons into their brains to operate for neurosis until you can cure neurosis without turning a person into a vegetable. His surgery therefore involves "selective cortical undercutting." He might now know what that grey matter he's cutting out does, but he takes less of it, so it's fine. "In all of these experts' reports, there is an unreality," says Time. 

Funny, I was just going to say something like that. Time finishes up Medicine by checking in with James Tucker Fisher, an American Freudian, who, whatever you want to say about Freud, never once cut open a skull and cut out some gray matter to see what would happen. 

Time makes a gesture at summing up this spring's honorary doctorates, decides it can't be bothered, segues into a long article about General Marshall giving the convocation address to VMI, which Time then laboriously explains. It's a military college! It's all about integrity and responsibility. (I would love to hear about the military academy that teaches cheating and just getting by. Bet it would produce better generals, too!) Yale is cutting back on campus guards and chamber maids, because it can save some money, and, I mean, seriously! 

Art, Press, Radio and Television, People

checks in with James Earl Fraser, Famous American Sculptor (as usual, we have to tell you this so you'll know  he's famous, although he did End of the Trail, so the work is famous, if not the man), Dutch painter Charley Toorop, who took up painting to make ends meet after her marriage broke up with three  young children, and who made enough to get a retrospective show at the Hague; and for some reason prints Dong Kingman's "Chinese Firecrackers at Time Square" in a full-page spread while cutting everything else to do with it. 

"How to Use a Newspaper" The editor of the Christian Science Monitor says, "Use with care." They're not objective! You have to sort it out for yourself! That's why it is so important to get the facts right. 

"Report from Rainbow Line" The British don't follow American politics and life as close as they ought to, and instead rely on Don Iddon's "Don Iddon's Diary," also known as the "Report from" etc. He makes Americans out to be over-eating, unscientific, extravagant and easily-panicked people. It's all terribly disgraceful. 

Boston's WBZ-TV is going to start showing the Catholic Mass, while "highbrow station" KPFA had to shut down after two years of operating a 550W FM station in Berkekely, California, funded by a $10/year subscription from each of 300 subscribers, which is ridiculous. So then the community rallied and found them $25,000 and a 16kW transmitter spare from Raytheon. 

This just in from Chicago's Social Research, Inc. People don't like commercials! 

Frank Lloyd Wright, Sir Thomas Beecham, Baron Gottfried v. Cramm, Robert Ruark, Sugar Ray Robinson, Oksana Kasenkina, Lee de Forest, Alger Hiss, Arthur MacArthur, Greta Garbo, Judge Learned Hand, Harold Medina, Emanuele Orlando, Bruce Cabot, Agnes Morehead, Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal and Rita Hayworth are on the page. Wright doesn't like American culture, Ruark doesn't like roadside diners, MacArthur likes his tutor of the last five years, Mrs. Phyllis Gibbons. Other than that, nothing going on here. 

Charlie Chaplin has  had a baby. Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Peniakoff, Field Marshal Lord Birdwood, Henriette Cox Broun and "General" Jacob Sechler Coxey have died.

The New Pictures

The industry news for the week is that moviegoing is down so far that Hollywood needs to take a pay cut.

Goodbye My Fancy has Joan Crawford as a Congresswoman who gets involved in a college scandal. It is based on a Broadway play where the "gadget" that drove the play was an anti-war documentary, here turned into a "movie preaching academic freedom," which is interesting social commentary for those who like that stuff. Not me! I have no opinions! Eve Arden puts in a good turn. Appointment with Danger is an appointment with Alan Ladd.  But they splurged for a plot and skipped the love interest this time, so it's okay. Pandora and the Flying Dutchman has Ava Gardner, bull fighting, car racing, murder, archaeology and I think there's a plot in there somewhere? Go for Broke! is the slogan of the all-Nisei 441st Regimental Combat Team, and this is a movie about them.  Progress, except for the part where it still seems to need a White leading man. 


Norman Mailer's Barbary Shore is a left wing novel and Time hates it. Wright Morris' Man and Boy is also a novel, but the author isn't a badly behaved celebrity with another famous book already, so who cares? Madame de Lafayette's The Princess of Cleves was published in 1678. Time has no good excuses for not getting the review out faster, but there's just so many books these days and it got lost in the shuffle. Nancy Mitford did up an introduction. Roger Buliard's Inuk is the memoir of a Catholic missionary to the Eskimos. Time liked it. P. G. Wodehouse's Nothing Serious is a collection of his short stories with not a sign of Bertie and Jeeves, which is probably why it gets reviewed. 

Aviation Week, 28 May 1951

News Digest reports that the Convair XP5Y-1 has resumed flight testing. Air Material Command has awarded a grab bag of flight simulator contracts for 6 different planes ranging from the B-36 to the F-86D. The French have received the first 14 F-84s, while the SO. 1120 Ariel III, the first jet-powered helicopter, has made its first flight, powered by the Turbomeca Artouste turbine via rotor-tip combustion chambers. Canada will spend a billion dollars on aircraft engines and airframes over  a three-year period, which is the largest single expenditure in the current defence budget and does not include $400 million for new electronics equipment, most of which is going to the RCAF. Avianca is the first Latin American company to buy the Constellation. 

Sidelights reports that the Air Force has confirmed that it will buy the Lockheed F-94D, a new, single-seater fighter-bomber variant with the long-nozzle, afterburner-equipped version of the J48, with a rated thrust of 6250lbs and additional fuel tanks replacing the radar operator of the F-94C.  Del Rentzel, who had a publicity blitz last issue, is now rumoured as the new Commerce Secretary as soon as the President accepts Charles Sawyer's resignation. William Fullbright is concerned about an "unhealthy" situation at CAB involving "ethical laxity," perhaps similar to the ones his committee has found at the RFC. CAB's investigation of Colonial Airways is going to focus on stock hijinks and free transportation. Slick Airways is taking over US Airlines and its 3 C-46s. Cosmopolitan told the Senate that American Airlines ordered 2000 copies of their article attacking the nonskeds and suggesting that all air transport is unsafe. The gas tax is going up. 

Katherine Johnson's Washington Roundup  reports that the Senate is teeing up for a showdown over the 150 wing air force. Senator Lodge's scheme calls for a three year plan with Air Force appropriations rising to $34.6 billion to reach 150 wings, followed by a steady level-off cost of $25 billion. The programme would make the Air Force the unquestioned leading service, with a budget $5 billion more than the Army's $20,8 billion. (If you're wondering, the Air Force just turned "groups" into "wings," which have additional supporting units compared with the old groups, and that is why we are now talking about a "150 wing" instead of a "150 group" air force.) Over at the Joint Chiefs, Hoyt Vandenberg thinks that the biggest strategic threat is Russian long-range bombing, while Admiral Forrest Sherman expects a whole series of small wars, while General Bradley thinks that air power is paramount but ground power is also paramount. Congress is still down on the CAA and armed forces public relations, and the guided missile slowdown seems real as Congress retrenches on the latest surge of interest, probably because it is turning out to be harder to guide them than we expected. 

Due to no-one understanding the black magic of electronics, it goes without saying.

Industry Observer reports that  the Air Force's tests of the Convair Jetliner is going to lead to orders for Convair T-29 navigation trainers with T-38 turboprops instead of piston engines. The Spruce Goose is absolutely for sure going to resume flight testing soon. NACA jet helicopter trials show that they continue to be terrible ideas, but for new reasons. (The combustion chambers cause drag, which ruins auto-rotation. Who could have guessed?) The experimental F-86 with Orenda engine is beginning tests. The tenth versions of the Navy's long-running Project Skate, for a Convair jet-powered, water-based, supersonic fighter, is now flying. In model form. It's practically ready for production! Bendix has made a proposal to the AEC for a private atomic reactor for isotope production. The NBS notices that it hasn't bored us for several issues and releases news of its new automatic weather station for dropping behind enemy lines, which was kind of exciting when we heard about it first, last month. 

Alexander McSurely reports, "NACA Tunnels Bare Secrets of Transonic" Congress cut NACA's wind tunnel budget so it is time for retaliation against poor, innocent readers, in the form of a long article about what we already know. Still beats the next article on the rising use of subcontractors!

"One Man's Specs for USCG Flying Boat" Captain D. B. McDairmid of the US Coast Guard San Francisco station seems to have some time on his hands, because he went off to the SAE New York meeting to explain that he thought that the Coast Guard needed a flying boat that could land and take off from rough seas and rescue up to 40 people. Yes, it will need completely new equipment and some kind of invincible prop that could survive submerging during a turn into the wind in rough seas, but that  kind of thing is what you have engineers (or, as McCairmid calls them, "wizards") for. He goes on to specify the necessary performance specifications for the magic plane that someone is going to design for him. So very helpful you are, Captain McDairmid!

"Latest Missile Work Revealed: NACA Show at Wallops Island Gives Glimpse of Push Button Research on Pilotless Supersonic Flight" What kind of pilotless plane wouldn't be pushbutton? A Dial-twister? Knob switcher? I want to know these things! 

The important story here is that NACA took a junket of important people up to the coast for a clam boil and scientific demonstration. (We want to know: Was domestic vermouth served?) Have you ever flown model rockets? That's what NACA is doing. They're big rockets, so you need radar. But model rockets. 

Oliver Parks, who took over Norton Field outside of Columbus, Ohio, in December of 1949, is selling it as a 127 acre housing subdevelopment, but wants his old friends in aviation to know that he is still airminded. It's just that there was all this money sitting there. 


A. F. McDonald of De Havilland Canada writes about the recent Wiggins Airways/De Havilland Dove dust-up. He feels that the way that Aviation Week is covering it, the story seems to make the Dove look more expensive than the Cessna, which it isn't. Aviation Week explains at length. Wiggins was running a five-passenger airmail service in New England with Cessnas, and was looking to upgrade to either DC-3s or Doves, either of which would give more capacity on their routes. The Doves were the cheaper option with fewer seats, but the CAB seems to think that any upgrade in seats would be a bad idea, and therefore stepped in to scuttle the upgrade to either the DC-3 or Dove. Of course the unspoken point is that it staved off a penetration by a dreaded overseas competitor. Speaking of CAB, Edward Slattery, Chief, Public Information, writes from CAB about its investigation of Colonial Airlines, which it thinks Aviation Week misrepresented. 

In Aeronautical Engineering, David Anderton helps build my case for a subscription refund by explaining how an atomic reactor works. It is actually a pretty good treatment for someone who has never read up on atomic reactor design, and I am not sure that any of us have actually covered that in these letters. By about the third page, where he is discussing how the control process is necessarily a hunting one, and laying out alternative fuel options (natural  uranium, enriched uranium, plutonium, thorium-232), moderator and heat-transfer media options, he is actually fairly interesting. Did you know that there is a tradeoff between compactness and controllability? This is why the article is in Aviation Week, after all, they're talking about an atomic plane. It seems as though an airplane reactor would have to be a high-heat one producing high-energy neutrons with a low capture cross-section, making them harder to control (and more dangerous.) A civilian power-plant installation would use conventional graphite as a moderator, might use molten lead as a heat-exchange media, and a conventional steal turbine to generate electricity. 

"'Flying' F-89 Mockup Saves Time" Northrop Aircraft wants us to know that it is  using an absolutely authentic mockup of the flight controls of the "600-plus mph F-89 Scorpion" to ensure that the Air Force's latest all-weather interceptor is ready soon. And by "latest" I mean, "really, really late." 

"How Critical Metal Problems Are Licked" Aviation Week can't spell "Critical Keeping-the-Ads-From-Being Right-Next-to-Each-Other Problems, but its heart is in the right place, and there's an article from the Pratt and Whitney house magazine to copy from! After only three years, the J-48 uses only metal from this hemisphere, and not metal from Communist places and potentially Communist places like the Eastern Hemisphere and possibly other hemispheres yet to be discovered. They did this by the radical analytical technique of seeing if alloying materials from this hemisphere could be used to substitute for cobalt and columbium from the other(s). 

Irving Stone reports for Production about "Plane Fabrication's Ace in the Hole," which is a story about Republic using the Dornier method of mass production to produce the F-84. It sounds like just old-fashioned "Fordism," but what do I know? I'm just a wizard! In other news from the companies, Ryan Aeronautical is very excited about its new Bullard Cut Master lathe, and hawker Siddeley is going to buy the machine tools it can't get at home, in Detroit. Boeing thinks that its new countersink rivetter for the 75ST panels on the B-47 wing is very fun. 

Equipment has "TWA Connies Join Luxury Parade," which is about their swank new interiors. Also, Townsend is very pleased with its Nylok Type E nut. 

New Aviation Products has a glideslope receiver to replace WWII surplus from Aviation Accessories, to be used with Bendix and Collins antenna. GE's new solder melter is a Calrod heating element bent to follow the shape of various hermetically-sealed instruments to remove the solder holding their backs on, and is ideal for small repair shops that lack demand for an induction heater. Tube Reducing Company of Wallington, NJ has tubing especially for fabricating hydraulic cylinders. It is very smooth. Telechron has a sealed, self-oiling gear train perfect for the transmission of small amounts of power. 

The CAA airworthiness directive laying out the timetable for Martin 2-0-2 modifications is out, and the Navy is calling back all of the DC-4s it leased out to EAL, which will severely curtail its coach services.  

Robert Wood has decided to bore us with yet another Editorial about how terrible the railroads are, followed by one about how the Air Force is censoring details about contracts it lets. 

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