Sunday, May 1, 2022

Postblogging Technology, January 1952, II: Niobium and Zirconium and the Flying Enterprise

R_. C_.,

Dear Father:

For those in peril on the seas and skies. Captain Carlsen is back in America receiving a ticker tape parade for staying aboard the Flying Enterprise, but the people who died in the Sandspit and (first two) Elizabeth crashes are still dead, and I am sending this before the details of today's third crash at Newark Airport in three months have a chance to sink in.  

But is there something more to it? As you'll hear below, Newsweek has heard a rumour that the cargo included 50 tons of columbite ore, and columbite is a "niobate" of niobium, iron and manganese, I learn by visiting the science wing and looking it up in a geological dictionary. Niobium is, as Newsweek says, used in the "super alloys" that they use in axial jet turbine compressor blades, and in very small amounts of about 0.1%, which means that even 50 tons of ore is a lot of blades. So it would be quite a blow to aircraft production, but why would it be such a secret, and why was an ore mined in Brazil sailing from Europe? Captain Carlsen's heroics were meant to prevent the rescue tugs from making a salvage claim, and that is certainly important to the owners, but why are people treating him like a national hero? My imagination leaps to secrets so secret they even have to be kept from the British! And, because I am not an atomic physicist, to the fact that columbite contains uranium and thorium and is "radioactive to some degree." That might make it an atomic secret, which we are keeping from the British. And, of course, from day to day we are expecting the super-bomb! Put them together and I glimpse the outlines of some unguessable secret, inadvertently revealed by the half-wits of Newsweek. Sure, it is all made up in my head, but people are trying to keep secrets, they say so themselves! And just to get back to the top, three air crashes in three months at one airport, with one airplane after another just missing schools and orphanages, doesn't exactly fill me with charity for the powers that be. 

Your Loving Daughter,



Julius Sumner Miller, who signs himself Professor of Physics and Mathematics at Dillard University in New Orleans, thinks that the survey that showed that Cincinnati school children were basically the same whether they watched tv or not, must be wrong because in the old days they said that progressive education was fine, but it turned out it wasn't, and now all the kids are coming up illiterate, and the comparison is so obvious when you're a Professor Physics and Mathematics that you don't even have to have statistics to answer statistics. Dillard is a Coloured school, so that's bad; on the other hand,  Professor Sumner writes a lot of letters of letters to the editor that stick in the mind for being dumb, so I am just going to write this one off as their being one of them on every faculty. Some Ohioans write that even though they are in the Midwest, they are for Eisenhower, not dumb old Taft. Franz Stuerm of the I Like Switzerland Society Bunches With Hugs and Kisses Society of New York and Henry Frey of Bern are offended by the comparison between Switzerland and Uruguay. K. Grieve[?], of your city and, judging from content, your neighbourhood, writes to explain that people get discretely drunk at the opera in lots of cities, not just Chicago. Two readers, one at "Ozone Park, New York," like the longer Periscope and Washington Trends sections that began earlier in the month when yours truly was reading the Annual Office Boy's edition of The Economist instead. Let's see how many plants from Lana Turner's agent there are in this week's issue! For Your Information gives us the rundown on two new bureau chiefs and tells us that Ernest K. Lindley, who was a Rhodes Scholar from Idaho, don' t you know, has a residence at Yale this year. I thought he was a bit of a twit, but I didn't realise he was a Yale man! How much competition for the Idaho Rhodes scholarships do you think there was in 1920?

The Periscope reports that the Flying Enterprise, whose loss is big news this week, was carrying five tons of scarce Brazilian columbite ore, which will put a crimp in jet engine building. Insiders report that Stalin had heart surgery four weeks ago, which, at 72, means that you need to look into your funeral suit. The Army and Air Force are feuding so hard they are taking separate planes when they junket. The only reason Howard McGrath hasn't been fired is that no-one wants the job, and the President is down in the dumps like never before. Taft doesn't seem too happy with the GOP foreign policy, Kay Summersby is denying that she'll write a book to cash in on the Eisenhower campaign, Governor Shiver of Texas will be leading the 1952 Southern Democrat revolt at the convention, Governor Shiver of Texas's office wants you to know. Taft promises to use cloture to get Hawaiian statehood through the Senate if a Southern filibuster develops, and Senator Butler, a bitter foe in the past, will let it go through this time. Churchill was very upset that his drink was delayed at the White House dinner, and declined to call the President, "Harry." Ambassador Robert Murphy, currently in Belgium, has been tapped to be the first ambassador to Japan, David Bruce will replace James Webb as Under-Secretary of State, Eleanor Roosevelt is promoting Senator Saltonstall as the next US chief delegate to the UN. There's talk that the FBI has found a Red cell in the Signals Corps, while Harold Stassen's organisation in Wisconsin is in tatters. Army Ordnance has leased 14 acres of caves near Atchison, Kansas, for "special war production machines," and will soon open a school for "secret guerilla warfare and sabotage" at Fort Bragg for Army and CIA agents. The US Signals Corps has just got hold of all the old German aerial negatives of Russia and is very excited, while the Navy is over the moon at its new antisubmarine rocket. Canada is getting rid of shorts in the military uniform, some Yugoslav pilots are in the US for special training, Oerlikon is trying to buy "a big acreage" near Asheville, North Carolina for its American plant, two Soviet experts are at the Skoda Works in Czechoslovakia to get it up to speed, while the Netherlands is cutting diplomatic relations with Rumania and two Russian atomic experts are missing, one believed to be in British hands, while the other is seeking sanctuary in Switzerland. 

Washington Trends reports that there is going to be a Presidential election in 1952 and Eisenhower and Taft are competing for the Republican nomination, while Estes Kefauver might run against Truman. The surprise cuts in the military budget will mean a sharp fall in draft calls, but if the Reds attack in Southeast Asia, Britain and France will press for a Korean-style response. The Pentagon isn't going to like that, and would prefer to bomb and blockade China. And that's it for the extended Washington Trends. Hurrah for US elections cutting my work load!

National Affairs

"Truman Finds U.S. Strong But It Must Be Made Still Stronger" In other words, the State of the Union Address was pretty much nothing. The President looks dumb for pressing for the Fair Deal every year, and he didn't talk about defence spending, so as of this page, "Bevan Was Right" is still a secret. Or "secret."

Styles Bridges is going to be the new Senate Minority Leader, Voice of America has turned into a giant government department, General Clark has withdrawn his name from the nomination of Ambassador to the Vatican, because of too many Americans being upset at the idea that there should be an Ambassador to the Vatican, and Oliver Barrett's collection of historical artefacts is going to be auctioned off, because the Illinois Historical Society couldn't hit his bargain price of a mere $220,000. Which is news, for some reason. 

Oh, and you may not have heard, but there is going to be a Presidential election this year, and General Eisenhower is seeking the GOP nomination. (Another page-and-a-half.) 

The Navy wants to build super-carriers at the rate of one per year, at $218 million each. The Secretary of the Navy hopes that some of them will be atomic powered. And with a hop and skip over the Churchill visit (he will be staying with Bernard Baruch in New York while meeting his publishers), it is on to crime, with a sensational but obliquely reported sex crime and a Chicago Mob-related outrage

But wait, strange, strange, technology-related news as an outbreak of exploding sweaters sweeps the nation, finally traced to rayon produced by Philip Toffler of New York, who claimed not to know that rayon was flammable and needed fireproofing. 

Ernest K. Lindley's Washington Tides has "Eisenhower and the Independents," which appears to be about how General Eisenhower is running for the GOP nomination for the Presidential election this year, and has more appeal amongst independents than Taft. 


"The Courage of Captain Carlsen Reinspires a Dispirited World"

Newsweek covers the sinking of the Isbrantdtsen Lines freighter, Flying Enterprise. I'm sure you know the details. Hit by a hurricane on Christmas Day, four days out of Hamburg in the Western Approaches, Flying Enterprise suffered a cracked hull and flooded hull, and was left unable to steer. Crew and passengers abandoned ship on the 29th, but Captain Carlsen tried to save the ship single-handedly, steering the ship while British tugs tried to bring it into Falmouth and American destroyers stood by. The tow parted just off Falmouth and the ship went down, but Carlsen and a British tugboat crewman who was assisting him, managed to swim to safety. 

"Far East, Truman, and Churchill" Everyone met and talked about the Far East. We're still upset that the British recognised China, but Churchill isn't going to change that. Admiral Radford gave a presentation on how an American naval blockade and bombardment would shut down the Chinese economy, so just try something, you dirty Commies. Churchill pointed out that, international communism aside, the Russians and Chinese will inevitably split over Manchuria, Mongolia, and other areas of friction. The and French British talked about Southeast Asia. The French were reassured that Indo-China had the top priority for arms aid. 
Dean Acheson says that Japan is the lynchpin of Pacific security, and the US services are going to have to learn to live with giving up some of their bases there to make the Japanese  happy. The British say, "fine, as long as they don't undersell our cotton." Everyone can at least agree that the Americans talked a lot.

"Jet Bomber Squadron" The British revealed the world's first operational squadron of jet bombers west of the Iron Curtain this week, RAF 101 Squadron, flying Canberras. On the debit side, the sole prototype Valiant burst into flames in the air this week and crashed, killing one of the five crew. 

Over on the continent, such inconsequential affairs as the passage of the Schuman Plan through the German parliament, the fall of the Pleven government, and the death of General de Lattre de Tassigny, following a cancer operation, competed in the news with more important matters like the infighting in the Taft and Eisenhower campaigns. 

Tiring of tedious facts, Newsweek is off to Russia for delicious rumours about Stalin's successor, who might be Malenkov or Beria. And then what's below facts or rumour? Pantomime? Specifically, UN General Assembly votes in which Russians propose, Americans dispose, or vice versa. In Korea, the armistice talks are going nowhere, but that's still progress because they haven't stopped, as such, which means everyone wants the war to end. How hard can it be?

"Handy Helicopters" Technically this is under Korean War, so I'm insulting the section by not giving it a header, but the balance of the section is a nothing story about armistice negotiations and a huge special report on the helicopter "coming of age." So far, helicopters have carried and rescued personnel, delivered critical supplies, scouted along exposed flanks, delivered assault troops, rescued 3600 personnel, including 790 from behind enemy lines, and medically evacuated 6000 casualties to MASH units. (Stands for "Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals.") They're also great for liaison. The only problem right now is that there aren't anywhere enough of them, and quantity production is taking forever. 

In Latin America, the rapidly growing Peruvian fishing industry is demanding an exclusive fishing zone extending 200 miles off the coast to exclude American fishing fleets, and the issue is testing American-Peruvian relations. We also check in with Point Four and Hemispheric aid and assistance, which has been going on for ten years, and invites us to a remote part of Paraguay where Americans have supported rice mills and air drying plants which have vanquished the Communist menace there. Is someone pulling a French major's leg?


Periscope's Business Trends reports that the IRS is going to crack down on audits because it is embarrassed by the scandal, word to the wise; that residential real estate property values are expected to spike due to construction cutbacks; that the Post Office is about to give some mail contracts to trucking companies instead of the railways; that rearmament has hit a roadblock in electronics as many small contractors run out of capital to finish the contract, leaving defence officials with the choice of goig to the bank for their contractors or transfer the contract. Copper companies are worried about all the substitutes which  have been developed due to the shortage, while more lead supplies are on the way. Have you heard the one about intercity helicopter passenger transport flights that are going to start up really soon? They really are, and it is really, really soon, says E. W. Wiggins Airways of New England, which is applying for a route with the CAB. Sporting-good suppliers say they are in a slump because television is keeping teenagers indoors and because of the draft. Twenty percent of workers in aviation factories are now women, halfway back to the 40% peak of the last war. Labour unions are being embarrassed by strikes by their own office employees, but employment is going to edge back up this year because of etc. etc.  As this isn't nearly enough repetition, a full page story on the next page repeats it. Then it repeats The Economist's story about the President's comments about the economy in the State of the Union, which doesn't really count as repetition because it is in another paper. 

"Automobiles: Today and Tomorrow" It must be time for some pretty pictures of the 1952 models, which are much easier to the eyes than the headline about "Hearings on Steel." Are we going to have a steel strike? Are the steel companies not expanding enough? Let's talk about it! 

Week in Business reports that Hercules Powder is building an $8 million plant in Wilmington, Delaware to make phenol, para-creosote and acetone. The Supreme Court says that the International Longshoremen and Warehouseman's Union owes Juneau Spruce $750,000 for an illegitimate strike, the first use of the Taft-Hartley Bill to penalise a union for unfair labour practices. Firestone has had a record year, and so has American advertising, according to Printer's Ink. The column also repeats the story about record steel production. Honestly, Newsweek! Then it is off to puff up Marshal Field's. 

"New York to London" Ambassador Walter Giffords, back in New York from London, where he is the Ambassador to the Court of St. James, (and why would you skip a chance to say that phrase, Newsweek?), repeated his inaugural trans-Atlantic phone call of twenty-five years ago for historic commemoration purposes. ATT and the GPO remind everyone that the toll has fallen from  $75/minute to $12, so get on the line for a round of cross-the-pond gossip! 

Products: What's New reports that the Kangaroo Bush Company has a 2" paint double-brush, with a push-button to extend a fine brush for detailed work that absolutely won't jam up and make a mess when it is coated in fresh paint. I added that bit, because I have painted, and so I am skeptical. Steam-O-Mist's Steam-O-Matic iron now comes with a line of liquid fragrances so that ironing can smell good! Ironing isn't my favourite chore, but I already thought it smelled good. A consultation has determined that if you press a lot of starched fabric you know the drill, and I know nothing. B-B Pen's Xm eyeglass defogger is the best eyeglass defogger ever. Bliss Manufacturer's baby bib is the best baby bib ever. It's soft for wiping and has a pocket!

They told Henry Hazlitt that we're going to have a deficit, so this week's Business Tides has been replaced with a page of random letters produced by Henry repeatedly sitting on his typewriter. (He meant to bash it with his forehead, but it is easy to confuse them when you're Henry!) 

Science, Medicine and Education

"Sulphide Queen's Dirt Finally Pays Off" So there's that ghost town at Mountain Pass on Highway 91? It's from a gold play, or two, actually. The first was back in 1869, the second was in 1934, and even got a $150,000 RFC loan to pull $12,000 of gold out of the ground. Which means at least they found gold, which is better than most gold plays. So now there's yet another rush, this time because the ore also contains the "rare earths," meaning lanthanum, cerium, europium, gadolinum, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, yterrbium and lutetium. Besides being good crossword clues, they're used to dye glass and incendiaries and sometimes in exotic alloys, and they're radioactive, too. America used to get its supply from tropical countries like Brazil and India, and from beach sands, too! Now we've found out that the richest deposit of all is right here in California, because of course, it's California.

Gulf Oil's director of engineering manages to get a story in Newsweek claiming that he's the first guy to ever think of irrigating a cutting tool's edge with a high pressure cutting oil spray, and now Gulf Oil is manufacturing a machine tool accessory to fit to existing tools with Thompson Products and it will extend the life of machine tools and isn't he smart? Aviation Week would be embarrassed to run this story. (I'm exaggerating. It would run it in the time it takes a supersonic propeller to break every window in Los Angeles. Which is a very short time, is what I am trying to say.)  

You know what hasn't got a long, celebratory article in Newsweek lately? Tulane University, and that awful neglect is fixed right here. (The Mayo Foundation promptly throws a fit because it is jealous, and gets one of its own in Medicine.

"For Safer Flying" The 1950 BEA Viking crash at London Airport has led to a postmortem to "present some practical points on safety in air travel." Since the plane only caught on fire enough to kill everyone (but see below), and not enough to reduce the bodies to ash, they could be autopsied." Sixteen were killed by being cut in two by their seat belts, more-or-less, which goes to show that the seats should be turned around, or possibly that they need shoulder belts. Twenty-three were not killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, but five were, with carbon monoxide levels high enough in the blood of all 28 to indicate that they were unconscious when the fire started. It turns out that the tail of the plane is the safest, and two men seated back there would have lived if they hadn't hit their heads so hard due to the seat belts. A stewardess in the tail actually lived! (Actually, she and one passenger. You may not remember this, and Newsweek certainly doesn't, but this is the plane that the fire crews couldn't find for sixteen minutes because of the fog, which is probably why the postmortem is such big news. Everyone wanted to know if the passengers were trapped by the wreckage and their seat belts and burned to death alive. Morbid!) 

"Arctic Skill Tests" Lt. Robert McCleary, a doctor at Johns Hopkins, was given permission to experiment on some Air Force volunteers by putting them in a deep freeze in standard Air Force cold weather gear and making them do some tests with tools to see how their skills were affected by fifty below. He doesn't actually have any results yet, but Newsweek thought that the experiment was interesting enough to report on, anyway.  

"For Adults Only" The Centre for the Study of Liberal Arts Education figures that the reason that many old people don't go back to school for liberal art education is that modern liberal arts education is too swinging and in the groove for their fussy old-person tastes. So it is taking a "small" Ford Foundation grant of $160,000 and using it produce liberal arts education courses that smell like lanolin and vanilla and complain about how their knees hurt when it rains. 

Press, Radio and Television, Newsmakers ("People")

The New York Post is awful because it runs exposes of any press people to it's right, and so now that it is going after Walter Winchell for having ghost writers and also so is Compass and Dorothy Schiff and Ted Thackeray, and, it turns out, Expose, the scandal sheet that set it all off a couple months ago in retaliation for a Winchell column criticising Josephine Baker after she complained about being discriminated against at the Stork Club, which is where Winchell hangs around while ghost writers do his work for him. I feel like a nursery school teacher listening to a four-year-old blame their imaginary friend for the oh-oh in the corner. You'd be hard put to know that this started out as an actual news story about the Stork Club giving Baker the cold shoulder back in the fall. Then it is off to Paris to check in with Realites, the magazine that's quite successful like a real American magazine even though it is over in some foreign country where they usually just sit around being pink. Speaking of which, Canadians are sometimes odd, as well as boring. 

WOR-TV's new studio is purpose-built in the heart of the "metropolis" of New York and is just so gosh wow that all the goshes have been used up. New York is being New York, is what I am trying to say. Dorothy McGuire's Claudia and My Friend Irma are being brought to television by Joan McCracken, which is a lot of confusing girls' names unless you are with it to the second, which I give you permission not to be. The Ford Foundation's sideline (main line?) in radio shows that are good for your brain and not bad for it, now has an actual show to show off. It is called The People Act and I would tell you more about it except my brain fell asleep. The healthy kind of sleep, not beauty rest, which is. . . I give up, and won't force you to hear about John O'Hara and Pal Joey, which is going to be a television show


Winston Churchill, Mickey Rooney, Nina Warren, Anna Neagle, General Lemuel Shepherd, Charles Eaton, Harry Gross, Samia Gamal and Sheppard King, and James Mason are in the column for the usual lack of reasons. Except accountant-to-the-mob Harry Gross, who is writing his memoirs. Meanwhile, Agnes Sasser of Atlanta, who got remarried after her husband was reported killed in Korea, has divorced her second husband after  hearing that Sgt. Walter Dixon, her husband, was actually alive in a POW camp, and Halsey McGovern, the father of two boys killed in action in Korea, has refused their awards, including a Medal of Honour because the President isn't fit, he says, to confer them. 

Franklin Roosevelt, junior, has had his third child, Rudolph Bing has had a birthday, Sumner Welles has married, George Stratemeyer is retiring, Foster Kennedy, Frankie Baker, Betty Thompson, Dr. Henry Link, Clement Melville Keyes, and, as covered earlier, General de Lattre de Tassigny have died. Since I think Betty Thompson probably won't get a Who's Who entry, I'll mention that she was a 19-year-old cancer victim who got a story in a recent Newsweek. 


The Greatest Show on Earth is a great circus movie, but unfortunately has a plot that gets in the way of the action, although Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Dorothy Lamour, Gloria Grahame and Lyle Bettger do their best with it. Charlton Heston and Jimmy Stewart are also in it. It's A Big Country is about how America is a "grandiloquent" celebration of America, which is very big in more than one way, says MGM! Bonnie Prince Charlie is about, no, I'm not telling you, you have to guess! Okay, it's about Bonnie Prince Charlie and his search for US dollar export earnings with the ultimate secret weapon, picturesque Scottish landscape, which the army unfortunately leaves behind to march on London, producing "one of the most turgid and boring films on record." Another Man's Poison might be more successful on the dollar front because it has Bette Davis and the Yorkshire moors. 


Russell Grenfell's Main Fleet to Singapore was written specifically to make Uncle George cry. Paul Bowles' Leopard in the Grass is a "morose melodrama," although the book shows promise. Professor John Wilson of Ohio State University couldn't get too bored of faculty life because in his head he was revising Nell Gwyn: Royal Mistress, and she was the most fun women who ever was, although the reviewer wonders how all these scandals came to be so publicised and carefully recorded. "What did all these scandals conceal?" That's a very interesting question, reviewer! Except your answer is the usual one about Charles taking Louis XIV's money to introduce absolutism and maybe Catholicism to the realm. Boring! Ann Bridges' The Dark Moment is "a Turkish romance" about a British man and a Turkish girl, which ends, and then he goes home, and it is very historical, except marred by too much history, that is, the protagonists and the novel know far too much about what was happening then, and would happen later. I can see how that would be a problem! 

Raymond Moley wants us to know that he knows all the Republicans and has the inside scoop on "the Senator and the General," which he will not share because that would lower the tone of the election, which would be a disaster for America, or the GOP, if there's a difference!

Aviation Week, 21 January 1952

News Digest reports that the first Martin XB-51 has been flown to Edwards Air Force Base for USAF testing, which I think illustrates how silly it is to think of the design as being somehow a rival of the Canberra. First plane versus first squadron. Northeast Airlines just landed a Convair 240 short of the field at LaGuardia, which means, in the water, although with no fatalities. Antonie Strassman, the pioneering German aviatrix and Do-X crew member, has died in a sanatorium in New York City. Propeller and parts shipments are up 78% in the first six months of 1951. Colonial Airlines has sued former President Sigmund Janas for the money he stole. KLM and partner, Garuda Indonesia, have ordered 14 Convair 340s.
Industry Observer reports that Curtiss-Wright has assembled two J-65s and delivered a prototype to Buick, which will be the second-source supplier, just 18 months from buying manufacturing rights from Armstrong-Siddeley. Tasman Airlines has ordered "a number of" Bristol 174 airliners (four Proteus) to replace its existing Solent flying boats because they are much faster and carry more passengers and don't land on the stupid water. An air defence official in Ottawa says that Avro is working on a "British transonic delta wing fighter," although Avro Canada has denied working on the Avro 707 or one of the other British delta wing test prototypes. 

Chrysler Australia is halfway to tooling up for production of the Canberra, using at least some parts manufactured in Britain. Production of the Australian F-86 is meanwhile being held back by difficulties mating the Rolls Royce Avon to the airframe. The first two Lockheed P2V-5 Neptunes have been delivered to the RAAF. It will take another six months to rehabilitate Chevrolet's Tonawanda plant, which will be making the Wright R-3350. A separate Observation reports that the same plant's metal division will begin production at the same time, but is held back by lack of machine tools. Fleet Aviation's backlog is declining, while the 40 Vickers Viscounts on order will use rocket assist to takeoff in tropical climates and at high altitudes. 

Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup reports that Congress is cooling on the B-36 now that the USAF is preparing to "ring Russia with air bases," and can use medium bombers with fighter escorts and carrier aviation. Some, maybe most, in Congress still support an intercontinental bomber force, but not necessarily the B-36. And the Army and Air Force are fighting over tactical air, this just in. Nonsked operators are upset at Donald Nyrop's New Year's Day visit to the Continental Charters crash, thinking it was a publicity stunt. The Marines are still pushing their four wing air force through Congress and are still likely to get a member on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which everyone but the Navy and Marines thinks is unbalanced. Blair Moody says Uncle Henry says that Willow Run could employ another 15,000 workers if it just got enough airplane orders. The first C-119 from Willow run is expected to be delivered in March, and it is the only aircraft being built in the Detroit area. Aircraft schedule cutbacks are reported to be hitting Beech, Convair's T-29 deliveries, and the B-47, although subassembly plants are not going to be affected. Northrop's scheduled F-89 production has been particularly affected. The Navy has not been affected, because its production is already below targets. 

Industry is talking with the Defence Department about patent rights again. 

Natt McKitterick reports for McGraw-Hill World News Service that "Men Around Churchill Push Air Power." I'm not sure what he's reporting, since most of the long article is devoted to regurgitating the parliamentary biographies of the more air-involved members of Churchill's cabinet, although there's a tidbit about the P. 1067 fighter not reaching squadron service any time soon, and a bit about Air Commodore A. V. Harvey is "[while] not expected to give up the directorship he holds at Handley Page to take over a post in the Churchill cabinet, he nevertheless will continue to be a chief spokesman for the Tories in aviation matters."

The first gratuities trial at Dayton, of Larence Razete, of Cincinnati Electronics and Rayotronic Electronics, has begun. Operators are asking for new laws legislation to "free helicopters from local restrictions designed for fixed-wing aircraft," while the ATS is forecasting a critical shortage of mechanics and technicians for the 143 wing air force due to declining enrollments in technical schools for various reasons.

Aeronautical Engineering has "CAA Crash Studies Give New Safety Data" Fire is the most significant single cause of deaths in air crashes. The CAA is working on a fuel tank that will withstand a 20g crash, which should help. They are also working on improving the crash strength of other parts, have looked at some design features that have been claimed to be crash-damage prone without much result, and have a neat set up for testing strengths in crashes, which involves throwing them from catapults.

Next Aviation Week reports the same story about Robert McCleary's experiment with Air Force volunteers doing manual work with tools in a low temperature chamber that we'll see next week in Newsweek, which I have already written up, even though it comes on the next page of the letter, so I am not going to repeat myself for the first time for you. 

Avionics has "AF Base Uses Homemade Homer," which is about a homing antenna built for Columbus AF Base by three employees of California Eastern out of spare parts. It is a 121.5 mHZ emergency distress beacon broadcast by a parabolic antenna, and is 75 ft tall to the tip of the antenna on the mast. 

"NBS Unit Sorts Telemetered Data" 

"Hello, NBS? We have a sudden lack of content around here and we've already stolen the only interesting article in Newsweek. Are you working on something really boring right now? How about dropping us an incomprehensible summary?" 

The NBS Unit is a "calibrator unit" that "supplies each intelligence channel of the telemetering equipment with four sequential references of modulation. In this way, the record is provided with known levels of modulation from which received ata may be interpreted." The switches are noise-free and "cam operated"! "The mechanism can also be used to modulate the transmitter during pre-flight checks," the article says in the second-to-last sentence, inadvertently sharing the information that we are telemetering aircraft. 

It is definitely Christmas vacation time around here, as Production runs yet another advertorial, this one devoted to the dollies that Ryan uses to move parts. Racks on wheels, that is. Future, here we come!

Oh, someone has to work, and that someone is George L. Christian, working the Equipment beat with a visit to AirResearch for "Air Research Extends Gas Turbine Field," which is an article on those auxiliary power turbines that AirResearch makes, including a recent $47 million Navy contract for alternators for the Martin P5M-1 and Chance Vought F7U.AiResearch uses an "inward radial" turbine blade, which is like a centrifugal turbine turned inside out, which is unique to them, and use more automation than their competition, it is suggested, so that's the story here. Speaking of competition, BEA has gone to Stratos for the cabin superchargers of their sky-coach Connies. Someone from Equipment also checked in with Capital Airlines, which has a walkie-talkie radio setup on the ground at Washington International. 

New Aviation Products has a cold chest good for -95 degrees from Revco, good for testing parts and materials. Kasnar Manufacturing has a "gang nut channel multiple nut fastener, which is basically a wrench with up to four sockets in a row for "speed[ing] aircraft assembly" in "some applications." It takes five paragraphs to describe. Nechi Protective Coatings has a "quick-drying synthetic coating" to use on "synthetic acrylic products." Alcoa has B50S-O coiled aluminum tubing, otherwise "Utilitube," for fuel lines, more or less.

I hope that Kasnar gets a free ad later in the year when people are reading aviation magazines again. Because that was one great job of using up two columns of empty page!

McGraw-Hill's line-wide editorial has "How to Help Britain . . . and Ourselves,"  Britain does not produce enough to "pay its way." It used to cover the gap with invisible exports. The war cut into that. It needs to produce even more than it is producing for export right now, which is a lot, and cut back on domestic consumption, but that can only go so far because the British standard of living is half of American, which is bad. Therefore the British must increase their productivity so that they can produce even more for less. Which is the same old exhortation which has been repeated for years now, and even though British production, and presumably productivity keeps increasing, the crises keep getting worse, and they seem to have more to do with rubber and copper and tin than with cars and jet engines, so maybe the problem is where we see it, with the sterling/dollar relationship? We'd investigate that, but it is likely to hit passive income and not sell McGraw-Hill magazines, so we won't. 

Air Transport looks at the CAB-Airline fight over coach fares, part the million. The CAA is looking at more, or better radio navigation aids, is investigating the Elizabeth crash, and is thinking about Aero Sonic's mufflers, which might allow a noise cut, that is, regulations reducing the maximum amount of noise from air fields. The DPA is looking at more aggressive tax write-offs, Sophia Berkman's "synthetically compounded catalyst" gets another look. I cover this next week in Newsweek, too, but missed the part where she claims that her cylinder head coating (not additive) improves gasoline performance by the equivalent of 25 octane numbers as well as cutting carbon deposits. I would the next page, but it is already written and I would get shavings all over the kitchen table, and I don't want to do that. 

Also, there's a nice illustration of the DC-7, and final CAB reports on the causes of the Monrovia and Fort Collins crashes, which were both caused by radio interference compounding pilot error. The Air Navigation Development Board is being revived with new members after Douglas Ewing resigned in March and left with most of the board members. ANDB will work on data display and transfer equipment and a magnetic drum for storing flight plan information, to be developed by Engineering Research Associates. 

What's New is thrilled by Publication B-13, Anaconda Welding Rods and Procedures, which came out just too late for Christmas and gives physical constants and properties for 46 free cutting and general purpose rods. A Guide to Selling to the United States Air Force, 1952 edition, is out, and so is Internnational Nickel's Rapid Identification (Spot Testing) of Some Metals and Alloys.

Letters runs "Scare Headlines," a letter from W. G. Womble (which is a real name) of the Raleigh News and Observer, which requires a reply from Robert Wood so long that, between them, they take up the full page. Womble is upset at Aviation Week's anti-stunt flying editorials and thinks no-one would care if the papers just avoided scare in favour of fun, sensational headlines that sell papers. Wood points out that that "no news is good news" only applies to airline crashes, and speculates that there is no way of selling headlines about air crashes without driving away passengers, no matter how much fun "Girl on Wing Decapitated" might be. 


Francis X. Giblin and Anthony Read write in to correct historic quotes.  V. Arthur Jonas writes from Chicago to point out how one "Communist truce mapper" at Panmunjom is using a Parker '51 pen, which goes to show that even Communists appreciate fine Parker products. Warren Lacher of Pennsylvania thinks that Newsweek is prejudiced against Senator Taft, although the Taft Organisation liked it. Hal Ackerman of KRUX Radio, Phoenix, is happy about the coverage of Ray Boley's recording of the Navajo air, "Sunrise Song," while Howard Keepe of WSPR, Springfield, Massachusetts, liked the article about Stanley Beveridge and Boys Town. Mr. Lacher really hurt For Your Information's feelings and, boy, does it go on!

The Periscope reports that MacArthur has been told that if he makes speeches against Eisenhower, all the other generals will say what they think of him. The Administration points out that the regular leaks from the Loyalty Review Board to Senator McCarthy means that some member of the Board is doing exactly the same thing they criticised John Stewart Service for doing. That will show them! (It will not show them.) The French are upset that Churchill promised the US British support if the Korean truce was violated after agreeing to make the same announcement in a joint statement with the French.  I do not feel one bit of sympathy with the French, who should have seen it coming, although I do feel it for the poor British, who are stuck with the man.  The Air Force is thinking about putting the men who got forced down in Hungary before a review board to see if they have forgotten how to fly a plane. Reports are that Donald MacLean and Guy Burgess have been thrown in the Lubyanka prison for spying for Russia. That will show them! Morale at the Joint Chiefs of Staff has sunk to a new low because General Vandenberg is so disappointed about the delay in the 143 wing Air Force. The outlook for the St. Lawrence Seaway bill is also gloomy, because Senator Connolly is in for a tough re-election fight in Texas and the Gulf ports are opposed to the Seaway. Hawaiian state supporters are worried about a parliamentary manoeuvre that will ditch their bill after it was joined with one for Alaskan statehood, while farm and labour groups are complaining that far too many college boys get rated 4F compared with non-college men. An unnamed general has been assigned out of the Pentagon after crippling the army with demands that the furniture be rearranged and harmonised. Air Force officials are getting gloomy about Korea because "the US has been losing several times as many planes as the enemy," because our fighters are fighting over enemy lines and enemy pilots and antiaircraft gunners are getting better. The Vatican probe into the "Knights of Malta scandal" is turning up some very sensitive information.

Rumours from the Ike camp show that he is indulging his advisors. Army Ordnance is interested in Sergeant Ralph Broner's one man tank. The B-47 is taking so long to build because it is just so darn complicated and has so much wiring, in case you found your eyebrows rising at the news that, somehow, the Canberra was the first Western jet bomber to reach squadron service. US Intelligence hears that the Chinese are issuing their men plastic trousers to protect against mines, while US tankers are getting armoured nylon vests. Communist propagandists are awful; General Rommel's notebooks, which are now being translated, say mean things about British generals; The Arab and Latin American blocs in the General Assembly might get together to control all the plum UN appointments; Hjalmar Schacht is thinking over an offer to help the Egyptians run their economy; Glubb Pasha is leaving Jordan while Cyril Joad is joining the Church of England; Wealthy Iranians are trying to get out of the country; Rumours say that a popular Roumanian peasant leader has died in prison because Communists hate that sort of thing; a new TV show of dramatic readings by Charles Laughton and others is coming; TV is going to have more cheesecake. Newsweek reports the stories about a Sousa biography picture and reports a possible movie based on Rachel Carson's documentary, The Sea Around Us.

Washington Trends reports that tax returns are going to be examined more closely this year because come on, Newsweek! This is pathetic! Although to be fair there are details about what the IRS might be looking for, which there were not in last week's issue. Washington is very worked up about the Detroit unemployment problem, and, perhaps not unrelated, tells Washington Trends to warn the Reds some more about what will happen to them if they step out of line in Korea. 

National Affairs

Election coverage is top of the news, from which I mainly glean that I don't want Senator Taft to win, which I already knew. So typical Newsweek coverage. On the Democratic side, if Truman doesn't run, the nominee might be Fred Vinson, Adlai Stevenson, or Estes Kefauver, the President's preferred choice. Also, the Senate is in an uproar as the Democratic majority tries to steer the membership of the Privileges and Elections subcommittee of the Senate Rules Committee towards a composition that will vote to advance a censure vote against McCarthy to the floor of the house.  For the second week in a row, the murder story of the week involves a homosexual. Are you trying to tell us something, Newsweek?

"Plane Output Slowdown: Is it a Necessity, or Politics?" Both! Well, some aircraft manufacturers think they can produce more aircraft than the reduced schedule calls for, and some others are worried about having to let go some of their hoarded labour, and there is even talk of the Fairchild Chicago plant closing, but in general the President's point that a shortage of strategic materials means that the industry can't build to the original schedule, is taken. However, because we have to stand up to the Commies, who have more and better military equipment, and because running the country right will help him be re-elected, it's still all politics. General Spaatz chimes in with his occasional column to explain that we need the 143 wing air force now, or the Commies will rule the world, and, more importantly, stop-and-go production will waste even more money. 

Speaking of old querulous old men, an entire story about the figure Churchill cut in Washington. He also asked for a million tons of steel for more guns. 

"Volume vs. Vatican" The White House's biggest avalanche of hate  mail since MacArthur hit it starting last October after General Clark was announced as Ambassador to the Vatican. And, unlike the MacArthur mail, it was "unremitting," and the heaviest campaign ever seen, far outpacing the MacArthur mailing. But it wasn't very passionate, so that's good. 

The latest scandal out of Illinois is meatpackers selling horsemeat as beef. There is also a breakdown of the big, giant budget and giant  but-not-giant-enough tax bill and the cuts the President is seeking in the defence budget.  Ernest K. Lindley's Washington Tides has "Notes on the New Budget," which does a fine job of summarising the news story immediately to the column's left. So I looked him up in Who's Who and it turns out that not only did old Lindley get the Idaho Rhodes fellowship, but he received it when his father was President of the University of Idaho. 

The Korean War

"What UN Allies Plan to Do If Reds Try a Doublecross" So remember how Washington Trends had to put in a paragraph about how their would be hell's bells and buckets of blood if the Commies put their foot wrong over in Korea? Here's a full half-page, the rest being taken up with a dramatic graphic showing just how many  the UN has lost in Korea. (To be fair, some ink is spent investigating whether the Reds are planning to break off talks.)


"West Discovers a New Unity in Tribute to a Fallen Hero" I thought that to be "fallen" you had to die in the war, and not of cancer? I know I shouldn't be mean. The General lost his only son only a few months before his own death, and I can just imagine his widow's state of mind right now, but if unity means sending British and American troops to fight in their doomed Indo-China war, I question celebrating the "fallen hero." Also, France has a new government, so cancel that crisis, and on the other hand the "civil insurrection" in Tunisia cost 11 dead and some 300 wounded, because the Tunisians really, really don't want the French there, have never wanted them there, and have never been shy about pointing it out, and would it be the worst thing in the world if we just listened to them? 

King Farouk has had a son, America has declined Churchill's invitation to send some troops to help hold the Canal Zone, again. The State Department reminds Britain that it has said that can keep the lid on the Canal Zone by itself, and invites it to do so. Germany says that it is going to have twelve of 43 divisions of the European army on a "basis of complete equality," and an air force to match, which will mean drafting one-third of German youth between the ages of 19 and 21. Germans are also upset that American officials in Germany are living in the lap of luxury. The Japanese are intimating that they will or won't recognise the Koumintang and the Communists equally, or, if they recognise the Koumintang and not the Communists, it won't be a real recognition. 

General Templer, who is taking over in Malaya, gets a puff piece. For what it is worth, he doesn't sound like some blood-soaked martinet. Except for the part where he fired Konrad Adenauer once. 

"Sterling-Area Crisis" The meeting of the nine finance ministers of the sterling area was "gloom-filled" and held in a "grimy" building, but they can't be too gloomy because London's got them all hostage thanks to their sterling reserves. Leave the sterling area and lose all that money in the bank! (Or see its value collapse.) 

Winston Churchill tried to make Canada less boring for four days, gave up, went home after saying he wasn't there to borrow money, even though he needed it, because of the socialists. Also, Conservative MP, General George Pearkes, came back from Europe to report that Europeans don't really need Canadian troops, who are awfully expensive to maintain way over there in Europe. Canadian Liberals are  happy, as always, to watch Conservatives shoot themselves in the feet.


The Periscope Business Trends reports that gas, oil, and natural gas prices are all set to rise; that truck builders had a banner year in 1951 as automakers hit the skids, and expect another one this year;  that skilled labour will still be short next year due to all the research and development involved in new weapons, that machine tools are 17% behind schedule, that savings and commercial banks would love to get back to investing in stocks if Congress could just see its way clear to repealing that pesky bill from 1934 that directly forbade them to do it because of all the banks going broke. California is going to allow savings and loans to give more interest in the new year, department stores expect dollar volumes to fall next year, but only in the second half, with a good first half of the year. Glove makers are running into Japanese import competition, the meat supply isn't quite as rosy as it was last year due to the high price of feed, Pyrenone is a great cow anti-insect spray that will really boost butterfat production. 

"The Nation's Latest Scandal: 'Case of the Missing Grain'" There has been corruption at the Commodity Credit Corporation over the grain stockpiles that were supposed to stabilise prices. It seems as though some farmers were selling the grain they were supposed to be stockpiling. How high does the rot go? I guess we'll find out by November or never! Also, the railroads are trying to head off complaints about the high price of railroad meals by adopting some of the same tricks as the airlines, inclidng frozen food. Considering airline food, yay. Follows pretty pictures of this year's cars, Part 2.

Notes: Week in Business reports that Anaconda Copper is building a uranium-ore processing plant in western New Mexico, that the price of beer is going to go up almost a full cent a bottle, that Ford and RCA are collaborating to premier the 1952 Ford by television for the first time, that the President is seeking Congressional authorisation to run our 28 synthetic rubber plants for another year, that Sears-Roebucks is getting orders for advertisements from its 1900 catalogue after a commemorative edition was published in Popular Mechanics, that Detroit-area car dealer Teale Motors is in trouble for violating Regulation W. (Kickbacks to salesmen.) 

The Salary Stabilisation Board is in trouble with professional athletes' salaries, which seem to be ignoring price stabilisation. Tom Watson of IBM gets a puff piece. 

Products: What's New reports that John Warner Company's plastic layout and make-up ruler that converts inches to picas is just the thing. J. A. Batson's "Krimzon Analyser" is an engine analyser for auto engine spark plugs. Stationer Supply Corporation's Target Punch Reinforcer is a paper punch that automatically reinforces paper holes as they are made with a tape feed. Wheeler Steel's steel scrap baler produces a uniform bale of constant density in just four minutes with four hydraulic rams and a finisher. Walter Briggs gets a puff piece.

Henry Hazlitt's Business Tides has "One Message Too Many," which is upset with all the reports the Administration has been publishing and speechifying lately, instead of just saying "I'm sorry, vote Republican." Facts from the Administration? Just say propaganda! He also hates communism, government spending, and inflation, which he thinks is caused by all this spending, which isn't actually wrong, necessarily, but it's a bit of a headscratcher how spending what comes in from taxes causes more inflation than just not taxing it in the first place. 
Science, Medicine

Sir Robert Watson-Watt has received one of those Awards to Inventors, for radar, while the United States Forest Service is launching its own weather forecasting station to predict avalanche weather in advance of trains setting out into the mountains during Pacific storms. It's a fancy gizmo for measuring snow buildup right out on the slope. Also, the Highway Research Board has found that heavy trucks do more damage to pavement and that faster trucks do even more, proportionately, which seems like common sense, with the value of the research in the numbers that we (understandably) don't get here. Last week's meeting of the National Science Foundation gave Congress a tongue-lashing for not giving Science enough money. 

Science Notes of the Week The USAF is setting up the Office of Scientific Research, based on the Office of Naval Research. Sophia Berkman of Associated Research and Development has a gasoline additive to prevent carbon deposits in cylinder heads, and Julian Crane and Reid M. Brooks have grown apricots as big as peaches by first thinning the orchards with an aerial application of weedkiller 2,4,5,T.

"Cold Culprits" A scientific investigation in Britain has conclusively proven that the common cold is because children are unhygienic, otherwise the virus would have died out long ago. 

"For Fewer Indians" It says here that "only famine prevents the almost unlimited growth of the Indian population, now figured at 361 million. With an estimated birth rate of 26.7 per thousand and a deat rate of 16 per thousand," an annual population increase of 4 million puts "disastrous pressures on the country's food supply." Which is why Dr. Abraham Stone of WHO is over in India promoting contraception and why Uncle George threw my copy of the magazine across the room and scared the baby. Did you know that the US birth rate last year was 24.4 per thousand, and that the death rate was 9.6 per thousand? Or that India has more than 10% of the world's entire arable land, 16,000 square miles ahead of the United States? Uncle George does, because Uncle George keeps company with assorted wild-eyed nationalists. 

Medical Notes reports that topical injections of Compound F (hydrocortisone, but with a fancier name) have been found to relieve rheumatoid arthritic pain. The National Tuberculosis Foundation has found that excising "wedges" if a diseased lung is almost as effective as lobectomy, in  which one entire lobe is removed. This makes me queasy. It must be quite a blow to a tuberculotic patient to have open-chest surgery that removes half of a vital organ! High-protein diets are good for babies. 

The US Office of Education has done an enormous survey of America's 1300 institutions of higher education and put them all on a giant stack of IBM cards for automatic sorting. It would like to tell ou what it's found out, but most of it is classified, except the part where the armed forces have leaned way too heavily on the colleges and crammed their labs full of all kinds of research that overwhelms their other work. Also in Washington-based educational agencies, the Educational Policy Committee has looked at the draft and decided that Universal Military Training is better than selective service. 

Could I pitch a Special Report on skiing as technology news, considering all the effort involved in lifting skiers up mountains so that they can slide down on fancy boards? No, I could not. 

Art, Radio and Television, Press, Newsmakers (People)

Colleen Browning got her start drawing maps at the War Office but now paints, and probably has a show in New York or she wouldn't be in the page, although Art never gets around to saying. 

NBC's early morning news television show is a "statement," it says here, and I have to agree. They are doing it in a street-level studio with picture windows so that passers-by can just look in and watch the show, and, not only that, from in front of the cameras. Like I said, a statement, and that statement is that it is immediate! I don't know how many people want to watch a morning television news show, but I guess we'll find out if they do, and, if they do, if this is the way they like to watch it. I'm trying to be all cynical and wait-and-see, but it looks like something to me!

The Indianapolis papers are fighting about something pretty scandalous for Indiana. Herbert Philbrick, the Herald-Tribune's snitch inside the Communist Party, is somehow in the news again, and so is Colonel McCormick, who is bestirring in Palm Beach retirement to write letters to the editor to complain, only because it's the Colonel, they have to write complaints about snow removal down in sunny Florida as a column. 

Edward Phelps, Jr., Benson Ford, Irving Berlin, General Eisenhower and his newest grand-daughter, King Ibn Saud, J. A. Thigpen (which is a real name), General MacArthur, George McVey, Allan Shulman, Tallulah Bankhead, Mrs. Estes Kefauver, Margaret Hartwell and her three children, Lily Pons and sister, Winston Churchill, Vera Clay of this paper and Jersey Joe Walcott are in the column for the usual reasons, except Mrs. Hartwell, who received her deceased husband's Medal of Honour, and Mr. Phelps, who got roasted when advanced excerpts of an "extemporaneous speech" he was going to give the next day, appeared.

King Farouk has still had a son, Laurette Soong is married, Gene Tierney is getting divorced, Marianne Moore has received an award, the abominable Samuel Shortridge has died, and so have Walter Owen Briggs, the Archduke Maximilian and Pat Morius Nef. 


Cry, the Beloved Country is a movie based on Alan Parton's novel about crime and race relations in South Africa. Newsweek liked it, except the part where a White man and a Coloured man lived in the same neighbourhood, which made it uncomfortable, although it has an excellent reason for it and it is not racist at all. Columbia's Scandal Sheet is one of those movies where a low-down scoundrel murders someone and then gets into trouble for it. Cary Grant and Betsy Drake do that movie about parents with lots of children in Room for One More, only this time it is foster children and is very funny, while Cage of Gold is yet another British misfire. For Men Only is an effective look at brutal fraternity hazing until sex comes along at which point it goes off the road like an alibi for a hazing gone too far. The Model and the Marriage Broker is a funny lonely-hearts movie. Sounds worth seeing!


The Antiquarian Bookman's annual collectors' number is out. A. P. Herbert's Number Nine, or The Mind Sweepers is a very funny book about how, in the near future, psychologists who evaluate candidates for the British civil service will be bonkers themselves and will give bonkers exams to endearingly eccentric candidates. Carl Jonas' new novel, Jefferson Selleck, is the fictional memoir of a Midwestern businessman and GOP organiser and is very funny, Newsweek thinks. Erich Maria Remarque has a new novel, and there you go, bang, middlebrow content done. Whoops. Had to come back to this, because Spark of Life is set in the last weeks of a Nazi concentration camp and I should not have been so flippant.

Raymond Moley uses his gigantic brain to prove why Keynes and Roosevelt and Truman are all wrong. True, it seems like they've been right so far, but if you squint at the numbers right you'll see that we're not getting more prosperous, that it is all an illusion and also a bubble that will burst soon.

I honestly never thought I'd see the day when even a conservative journalist would come out and say that America is getting poorer during a boom. Next he'll be saying that America isn't a beacon onto the nations!  


 Aviation Week, 28 January 1952

News Digest reports that former Secretary of War, Robert Patterson, was among the 31 killed in the American Airlines Convair crash at Elizabeth (23 in the air, 8 on the ground) on the 22nd, the day after the last Aviation Week and a month after the Miami Airlines crash. A Korean airlift DC-4, en route to McChord AFB, Washington, has crashed at Sandspit Airport, BC, with the death of 36 of 43 aboard. A Martin 4-0-4 has been put into service by Eastern Airlines.

Industry Observer reports that Convair is ready to sign a contract to deliver two prototype XF-102 automatic piloted interceptors, developed from the XF-92, powered by the Pratt and Whitney J57, with "automatic controls which will require a human pilot only for monitoring." A shortage of Wright R-3350 engines is hitting C-119 production at both Willow Run and Hagerstown, although Fairchild managed to get some, due to the Douglas Long Beach strike slowing down C-124 deliveries. Uncle Henry's company swears on its mother's grave that that's the only reason deliveries are late! Cessna has bought Siebel Helicopters so that it can get into the rotary wing game. The Air Force's forge press-extrusion programme will be more economical than predicted because it turns out that the presses can extrude billets large enough for the forging presses when they are not producing extruded parts. North American wants us to know that it is not as far behind its plane production numbers as it seems, because it has been making spare parts. Convair thinks that it is going to get a big order for the T-29B trainer based on the Convair liner, and maybe the YB-60, which is getting pre-flight vibration tests at Fort Worth. 

Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup reports that now that the 143 wing air force is off the table definitely, at least for now, the race for atomic weapons is heating up. Army wants to drop them on bridgeheads, Navy wants them for carriers, Air Force wants intercontinental bombers, Marines wants them to open beer bottles without a bottle opener. (That last part is just a rumor I made up.) The Army also still wants its atomic artillery and radioactive dust, while the Navy is talking about guided-missile cruisers maybe replacing carrier aviation. Navy airmen (my husband not included) are upset at the Secretary of the Navy giving up on atomic intercontinental flying boats, claiming that "takeoffs from land will require fantastically long runways." (Whereas takeoffs from water will require lighters policing up driftwood, sea lions, and lost boats for "fantastic" distances.) Air mail carriers are upset that they still can't compete with rail carriers because they get even more money than air carriers. Pat McCarren's scheme for a "construction differential" to make sure that US planes are always cheaper to US carriers than foreign planes hasn't a hope of getting through Congress. 

(The President also wants a cut of the airline subsidy because users of federal facilities should "pay their fair share.")

Katherine Johnsen reports that "Budget Asks $14 Billion for Air Contracts" There doesn't seem to be much new in the text of the article, but there is plenty of news in the form of a pretty extensive breakdown of the air budget. A breakdown of the total defence budget shows up just how dominant air power is, with almost $23 billion for the USAF compared with $21 billion for the Army, $16.2 billion for the Navy. Disappointed that it isn't spending enough money, the Navy has gone back to teakwood decks for the smaller carriers in place of the Douglas fir used for all carriers up to Midway. I think it is "back to teakwood" because Oriskany was refitted with teak laminate over Douglas fir and has proven that harder wood gives lower wear. I'm not sure why that's news?

"Funds Asked for Jet Liner Tests" The Administration is still worrying over the problem of getting an American jetliner into service somehow, and wants to develop the Navy F3D night bomber and B-45 as possible test liners.

"News Waits on the Navy" Exasperated, Aviation Week releases the illustration of the AiResearch gas turbine compressor that was supposed to run last week, but couldn't be cleared because the Navy thought it might still be secret even though it appeared in the January issue of Naval Aviation News. 

The aircraft backlog has hit  $10 billion, although magnesium production is up 5000 short tons over 1950.

Alexander McSurely reports that "Cutback is On," which explains, again, that it is hard to tell how much of the cuts in the 1953 aircraft production schedules are due to Truman's budget curtailment and how much are due to industry inability.


"Navy Gets Robot Carrier Pilot" Or, in less dramatic terms, Sperry Gyroscope is putting a (magslip) autopilot aboard the USS Oriskaney for service trials. In other continuing news, the Air Force is "Push[ing] Forge Press Programmes," with Uncle Henry getting a 35,000t, 25,000t, and two 8000t presses at two different plants, Reynolds getting a 35,000 and a 25,000, and fourteen lesser or later companies likely to get presses soon. We also hear that air plant expansion continues, that AF tools are still available at Marietta, and that the Valiant prototype crash won't delay production. It was nearing the end of its test programme, although it may be a year before the next prototype is available, delaying production by that amount. Speculation continues that the Valiant will attract American orders. 

Aeronautical Engineering has "Engineering the Cutlass Afterburner," a precis of a talk  by Harold O. Adrion of Chance Vought on "Experience of Installation of Turbojet Afterburners," given to the National Aeronautic Meeting of the Society of Automotive Engineers at Los Angeles. The Chance Vought F7U-1 is to get a Solar Aircraft-manufactured afterburner. The paper details Solar's efforts to develop a cut-off and burning control at the injector and in the cockpit, with automatic fuel metering and good combustion in the high velocity air stream.  Did you know that before designing the F7U, lead Chance Vought designer, Rex Beisel, worked on the F4U and the Vindicator?

AiResearch thinks that one major article and a correction isn't nearly enough coverage for two whole issues, so drops some advertorial about its new high-speed turbine engine starters that delivers 140hp from 35lbs. 

"Norden School" Norden tells Aviation Week about its company school for Air Force technicians tasked with maintaining their new electro-mechanical bombsights, which uses UHF devices and specialised electrical and mechanical components.

NACA Reports has commissioned/some works of modern American free verse/like Jackson Stalder (with the help of the corps de ballet)/ "HeAt TransfeR to BodiEs in a High-speed Rarified/Gas Stream (And it was so good)," which, like all modern American verse, has typographic novelties to show that form matters # Also, it evaluates the heat transfer predicted by applying the Knudsen numbers from the literature in several cases of rarified gas streams. I must howl or maybe scream the "Skin Friction of Incompressible Turbulent Boundary Layers Under Adverse Pressure Gradiants." Let J. Alfred Prufrock try to critically review available information about skin-friction in an incompressible boundary layer! Let him slouch towards a graphical form of evaluation for experimental data!  Jackson Stalder, never tiring, but supported by his companion, Vernon Zurick, finds that a "Method of Determining Initial Tangents of Contours of Flow Variables Behind a Curved Axially Symmetric Shock Wave" is a storm in which we are all lost. 

Production has "Metal Honeycomb Replaces Ribs, Stringers" It feels like just yesterday that Convair was ripping the metal honeycomb out of the 240s after it failed to save weight, and here we are at Northrop using it in . . .something. The article is more interested in telling us that it is made out of 3SH alloy and is assembled into a honeycomb on a wooden frame with an Oliver bandsaw, with United States Plywood's Plycozite 117C adhesive binding wood and metal. Meanwhile, a "Simple Jig Speeds B-47 Production." Something needs to speed it!

Irving Stone reports, "All America Helps Build the B-36" But mostly Convair. That's literally what the article says. There is one paragraph about all the subcontractors in the Fort Worth areas, but the first sentence says that it is mostly built by Convair, and the rest of the article is about how gigantic and modern the Convair Fort Worth factory is. 

Equipment has an interesting (for a change) advertorial about "Details of Automatic Plane Parking Device," which turns out to be a cable winch on a trailer on tracks that pulls a plane from the taxi ramp to the terminal for unloading, and not a ground-only autopilot, but is certainly an interesting and worthy Loadair product. No more long walks across the tarmac! Magnaflux wants us to know that it has "Redesign[ed] Inspection Equipment." Good news all round with airliners old and new falling out of the sky for unexplained reasons.

New Aviation Products has  a vane-type positive displacement "Davey Jones" pump from Romec. I have no idea why it is named after Davey Jones' locker at the bottom of the sea. Magnus 751 is the best cleaner for aircraft parts ever, from Magnus Chemical, exclusive to Northwest Airlines, now available to lesser airlines, or really, anyone with the money. The cleaner is nonflammable and there is an agitator or something tht is long-lasting. Electroquipt Controls has circuit guards, which trips a breaker if frequency in an AC circuit drops below 360hz and then resets it when the frequency goes over 400, protecting delicate avionics from inadvertent high current surges. Tropical Paint and Oil's Thermilite engine paint survives heat of 200 to 1000F.  Huck Mfg has a big-headed rivet that is just too full of itself, and is easy to install by one person on one side of the work.

CAB has determined that the Flagler air show crash was caused by reckless piloting and carelessness by the promoter, while American has opened an office at Idlewild and a Washington stop on its New York-Los Angeles coach run.  The CAA has a bunch of air safety projects on its 1953 schedule, including fighting engine fires, electronic aids to navigation improvements and runway lighting.

"NEA Crash Cause is a Mystery" Since, miraculously, no-one was killed in the NEA Convair crash at LaGuardia, we're allowed to talk about it and even show a picture of the plane being recovered from the East River. Pilots need to know that it wasn't a radar failure, and they shouldn't be avoiding radar monitoring. It was probably caused by wind gusts. CAB is suspending a reciprocal National-Cubana route permit, possibly because Pan Am is taking forever to sell Cubana. Canadian Pacific is still planning to operate a Pacific coast Comet service once it has Avon-powered Comets, while the CAB has found that the EAL Constellation belly landing on a Virginia farm last July was probably caused by the inflight opening of a hydraulic access door. Harvey Mace of California, a recent subscriber, is upset that Aviation Week hates fun (Girl on Wing Decapitated division). Harrison Holzapfel of Western Air Lines writes to complain about typos in the recent article about their maintenance division, which requires 2200 manhours, not 22,000 to overhaul a DC-3, 3,500 on the DC-4 instead of 35,000, and so on through the ConvairLiner and R-2800. Thomas B. Doe of Vickers Hydraulics loves Aviation Week because the "0"on Scott Reiniger's typewriter never sticks, unlike George L. Christian's.  

Robert Wood, to his credit, doesn't hide out in Editorial but goes directly at "What Causes Crashes" before complaining about security again with respect to that AiResearch turbine. What causes crashes? Well, who knows, so it is time for some good old fashioned "Look at the other guy," as he points out the "rather high accident rate in basic flight training at Goodfellow AFB," which the Johnson Committee will soon report on. This is just nibbling around the edges. Every time an airliner crashes, the CAB does an investigation and releases a report. The Air Force treats them like a secret. Really, if  you want to get upset about air safety, focus on the Air Force and leave the industry alone! 

Letters has the public affairs man at Kaman writing to thank Aviation Week for its coverage of the Kaman gas-turbine powered helicopter. Robert L. Hall of Grumman writes to correct William Strohmeier. The f9F Panther does not have boosted elevator control. 

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