Sunday, July 31, 2022

Postblogging Technology, April 1952, II: Staydown Strike!

R_. C_.,

Dear Father:

I talk about the Fairchild crash a bit more below, but with all the aviation safety news in the last tw weeks it has already been pushed out of the press. So I really wanted you to hear about my phone conversation with Mrs. Brown. She was not, whatever you may be hearing from Uncle George), "hysterical." What she was was a very reasonable young mother who saw a  bright flash from a crashing atom bomber in the snow behind your house, and then had to pull its crew oout of the snow and make them at home while the rescue services floundered. See if that doesn't fire up your maternal instincts! The Post-Intelligencer speculates that it was a magnesium flare, which sounds reasonable, but someday, and probably soon at this rate, it it will be a real atom bomb. This is already the sixth B-36 crash, and the second at Fairchild, never mind all the B-28 crashes.

 Reggie is also pretty skeptical of the likely service safety record of the B-47. There are going to be more of these crashes. Unless the entire Air Force pilot force joins the "stay down strike." (Not a mutiny!)

Uncle George mentioned to me that he offered Mrs. Brown a month of rent. (Plus, I think, a cheque to cover the liquor her guests drank waiting for the firefighters.) And that's great, but if we end up offering it to all seven of the houses in the cul-de-sac every time there is a crash, it will get very expensive. I know Reggie wqs taking about holding on to the houses for another ten years or so on the grounds that ducted fans will make planes much quieter and increase their value, but it might be better to sell now. We've already had another liner crash since Aviation Week was panicking all over the page about air safety in the 28 April issue. This might all blow over during the summer flying season, but on the other hand it might not, and if we do sell the houses ahead of a great national revolt against putting houses next to airfields, the sooner the better. 

Your Loving Daughter,


PS: What was the point of the "hit job" on Australia's economy this month? 

(Not Melba!)


F. J. Solon, Vice-President of Glass Fibers, Incorporated, of Toledo, writes to clarify to the public, employees and especially shareholders, that the "quartz fibres" which are better than the original asbestos were first made by his company, which has patents pending, in cooperation with the Naval Research Laboratory and the National Bureau of Standards (boo!), which also developed the quartz fibre paper that is so useful for all sorts of things. Clennie Hollon writes to make fun of hillbillies that buy television sets with some idea of commenting on the sixteen million TVs Americans have so far bought. The Knights of Malta write to deny knowing anything about the 100,000 tons of smuggled wheat, which they never saw on account of they weren't there at the time, and they can prove it. The Student Union of the University of Omaha is disappointed with Newsweek for showing a picture of Senator Kerr with mentioning that he was talking to students on the steps of the Union building. I think Senator Kerr and his boosters at Newsweek would just as rather we all forgot that Nebraska existed in the first place. Speaking of which, many readers write in to defend Senator Kefauver against charges of child abuse for dressing his son in dungarees. Lieutenant General O'Daniel writes to explain that the Army tries not to send morons to be military attaches, especially to places like Moscow. (It's just hard to avoid because the Army has a lot of morons.)  Governor Byrne writes to explain that he backs Russell, not Stevenson. Ah, says Newsweek, but what about a Stevenson-Russell ticket? Does that mean that
is going all in for its predicted ticket? Can you bet on Vice-Presidential nominations? Trying to think of the right way to make a "Newsweek always wrong" joke here. For Your Information explains why Newsweek is forgetting about that whole "objectivity" thing to launch an all-out attack on the President's steel takeover, and saves a bit of space at the bottom to explain the giant tank on the front cover. It's an M-46, the photograph was taken at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, but a Newsweek correspondent rode with it all the way to Korea, took in first impressions of its battlefield performance, which was great, and, oh, by the way, "[b]ased on what was learned by the experience, a re-designed medium tank, the M-47, has been developed." That was quick! 

The Periscope reports that the Taft campaign is secretly campaigning against Eisenhower! I know, I'm shocked, too! As part of the $4.7 billion House cut in the defence budget, unassigned five-star admirals and generals have been cut to only three aides apiece. Optimism about a Korean truce is coming from Communist journalists in Panmunjom, who have the inside word that the Reds are keen for an armistice. "An Air Force F-84, carrying a dummy A-bomb, has flown across the country, dropped it, and returned, by refuelling half-a-dozen times in the air. It would thus be theoretically possible to bomb Eastern Europe with U.S. based light planes, proved refuelling stations were arranged." "Theoretically." Congress seemed very excited about something or other when it turned out that the King sub-committee had records of phone calls to the Bureau of Internal Revenue, was very relieved to hear the FBI say that it had not time for such things, since it was too busy fighting subversion. The President has offered Charlie Wilson's old job to Mr. Bedford, who almost simultaneously resigned at Defence. It seems like a pretty thankless job, and Aviation Week says he is going to Willow Run to follow Edgar as President of Chase Aircraft, although Uncle George says he wants nothing to do with Willow Run after last time, so we'll see. The Justice Department seems to have known about Newbold Morris' connections to those gone-to-China tankers months before McGrath made him Witchfinder General, but no-one is volunteering details. The village of Cedarhurst, New York, in Idlewild's final approach path, has passed a  municipal ordinance forbidding planes to fly over it at less than a thousand feet. The airport is applying for injunctive relief (Ronnie talks like a lawyer!). What a mess! There's a shortage of aviation cadets, B-52s cost $68 million apiece and have far short of the claimed 10,000 mile range of the B-36, meaning that they will require air refuelling for transatlantic bombing runs, and the Air Force is refitting Constellation RC-121s as flying radar pickets, equivalent to the 24 Navy destroyer radar pickets now being recommissioned. (Don't mention this to Uncle George. He drinks too much as it is.) 

The Reverend Clarence Duffy, who works for Walter Reuther at the UAW, is a bad person because he is too Communist to be a priest. The Air Force mutiny, now ongoing, probably has something to do with the 550 USAF aircraft lost to accidents in the US last year, comprising 5.6% of heavy bombers, 16.8% of light bombers, and 20% of fighters, annually. Twenty percent!? Navy Secretary Kimball hasn't been scolded by the White House for saying that the US would cheer if the Koumintang invaded the mainland, but on the other hand "sources" say that the Koumintang army can't be ready for at least a year after it receives new American equipment. Sources also say that the Soviets will soon expand their germ warfare allegations to the British in Malaya and the French in Indochina, and also that the Soviets are working hard on their own germ warfare programme in Uzbekistan, with the help of German scientists. The Czech resistance force called "the Liberty Legion" is gaining strength in the Carpathians. The Reds are hushing up a coal mine disaster in Bulgaria, various Communist officials are about to be purged, a third of de Gaulle's deputies are set to break away from him and align with Pinay, General Franco is angling to be recognised by the Arab world as the "Protector of Islam," the Reds are covering up their anti-religious activities against Czechs who are religious in an anti-religious way (as near as I can make out), and radioactive waste turns out to be great for sterilising food, because nothing can live in its rays, including bugs. Hedy Lamarr is going to star in The Story of Esther, L. B. Mayer is going to make a movie about Joseph and Herbert Kline will make The Story of Ruth. Albert Schweitzer has spurned Hollywood and given the rights to his life story to Andre Haguet. CBS is going to conduct a television course for politicians to help them look good on camera while the coming atomic tests in Nevada will be televised nationally, and Jackie Gleason may be put on the CBS fall line-up opposite Milton Berle on NBC.  

Washington Trends reports that Taft's win in Illinois means that the Republican campaign will go all the way to the Convention. Eisenhower's camp expects to win on the third ballot. Kefauver and Russell will go to the Democratic convention with 300 delegates each, and Stevenson will have to work hard to scrape up the same, but he will still win. "Truman's seizure of the steel mills was a shrewd political move," it says here, but might be illegal. Etc, etc, steel seizure labour wage and price controls. The McCarran-Walter immigration bill, with its strict racial limits, will pass Congress and be vetoed by the President. Also, it turns out that the armed forces are fighting amongst themselves over the budget. Didn't see that one coming, did you?

"Ike Quits Nato for Politics: Backers, Taft Cheer Decision;" "Kefauver by Default?" and "Pennsylvania: Bosses, Not People, Pick the Candidate," pretty much sums up the campaign so far. As much as I rib Newsweek, I see no reason to doubt Washington Trend's predictions for the convention. Although having Ernest K. Lindley tell us, in his Washington Tides, "Don't Write Kefauver Off" is bad news for Reggie and for my effort to be "fair" to Newsweek. 

Tom Connally has quit, Congress is having trouble lopping the $14 billion off the $84 billion Federal budget needed to close the deficit, and Senator Morse has put a selection of documents before the House illustrating the Koumintang's lobbying efforts in Washington. Igor Bogolepov is the latest confidential informant to come out and tell the Senate Internal Security Sub-committee that Owen Lattimore was a Red back in the Thirties.

After all this important news, we just have room to wedge in a "personal interest" story about the massive flooding in the Missouri Valley before moving on to the Pan Am Flight 526A crash off San Juan, which is very important to everyone because Jane Froman's husband was the pilot and also because an entire New York family was wiped out in the crash.

Since it turns out that the rest of the victims were just Puerto Ricans, there is enough space to fit in the story of the Air Force pilots' "strike" at the B-29 crew training wing at Randolph Air Force Base, which has now spread to Mather Air Force Base. First Lieutenant James Bristol is a 35-year-old with a year of non-combat flying in WWII who was originally recalled for the Berlin Air Lift and was recently assigned to training flights at Randolph. After eight B-29 crashes at Randolph since the programme was revived in August of 1950, Bristol says that his wife is a "nervous wreck," especially considering that he has five children. So he applied to be transferred to non-flying duties. The USAF normally approves such requests automatically, but this year only 149 of 269 requests have been approved, which is why Lieutenant Bristol refused to fly, and was joined in his "sit down strike" by six other pilots. Now he has been charged with disobeying orders. Reggie says that this obviously isn't mutiny, because if it was mutiny, the Air Force would have to shoot Bristol, and that would lead to a real mutiny. 

The Special Section on the Steel Crisis and the Gathering Storm follows. Since you read how it came out in  your paper on Wednesday morning, I'm not going to spend my precious time on wading through pages and pages about how the President's actions were terrible and awful and counterproductive and probably illegal, complete with facing page columns by Raymond Moley and Henry Hazlitt, who chooses "It is Happening Here" as his title. That's right, President Truman is just like Hitler because he is stepping into the steel strike to back the union.


"Russia Continues Its Moves to Halt German Integration" and also "Money Talks" covers the first Nato Command Post Exercise, the Soviet 10 March note on German unity, the 25 March Western reply, and the International Economic Conference in Moscow. Nato officers are practicing for a war in Europe; Russia wants a four-power conference on German integration; the Western powers won't say yes or no in case the average German gets upset; and Lord Boyd Orr's unofficial British delegation to the Conference sent that telegraph about how the Chinese Communists want to buy 350 million pairs of knickers and get the mills working full time again. It's all a tapestry woven of strands connecting everything together in a great pattern that spells out "Communism is bad," and not at all a pointless snarl to be forgotten next issue. (Unless the Commies actually do buy all those knickers!) And that's all I'll say about that.

"Talk with Stalin" The Indian ambassador to Moscow was invited to a private talk with Stalin where he said nice things about India and, when asked about Yugoslavia, stressed that the Soviet Union had no hostile intentions towards any foreign country, but needed a "belt of friendly countries" to ensure its own security.

"Tory Discontent" The Conservatives have lost ground in the council elections, which are supposed to be a bellwether of the next election, which isn't until forever, so I don't understand why people are getting worked up about it, except that it's a good excuse to point out that Churchill is a demented old man and that there are no junior ministers offering "red meat" to the Conservative voter. Aneurin Bevan is funny. And he has very nice hair. 

"Family Feud" West Germans aren't one hundred percent behind paying for the 24,000 domestic servants they are supplying to the US Army's European Command and the American High Commission, amongst other support personnel including waiters and bartenders, and  US High Commissioner Chauncey Parker isn't either, as he points out that the bill ultimately comes back to the US through the military aid budget. European Command helpfully points out that Parker is some kind of State Department layabout, anti-American, and probably a pinko, too. 

Korean War

"Korean Truce: Is it Now or Never?" Newsweek explains at some length why it thinks that an armistice will be announced momentarily before moving on to "Newsweek Looks at Armaments, Detroit to Korea: Old Tanks Doing Job: Repair Service Terrific" which deserves a bit more attention, considering that weeks later, no armistice. 

General Van Fleet says that Eighth Army has never been stronger, that its ordnance position is excellent, and that "nothing that the enemy can bring into Korea can hurt the Eighth Army." In spite of this, the Army is still fighting with M4 Shermans, although, as the troops say, they're doing a fine job. The only new equipment they have is some M-46s (which are no longer in production), 3.5" bazookas, and "certain types of ammunition." Such M-47s as have been built have been sent back to the factory to fix problems with the turret and fire control, and the M41 force is similarly being fixed. It is unlikely that the new American tanks will show up in Korea unless some Joseph Stalin IIIs show up, as they are "the Patton's toughest known rival." WWII-era weapons are good enough for Korea, and they're cheaper. The M-46 is good --it says here that "in one recent engagement, a single M-46 Patton knocked out six T-34s in one hour."  The article goes on to explain that the high-velocity 90mm gun on the M-46 is better than the low velocity 85mm on the T-34, that the M-46 has an 800hp engine on 48t, while the T-34 has 500hp on a 38t hull, which, it says here, gives the T-34 an advantage, which I'm not sure I see since this would give the Patton a higher hp/weight ratio, but on the other hand the Patton can pivot on its own length, which, of course, the T-34 could always do, but is an improvement on the M4. It is further explained that tanks are quite hard to build, requiring 85,000 engineering drawings compared with 17,000 for an auto, which is why the Army still has M4s, but on the other hand the repair and replacement service is great, since the US left 63,000 vehicles scattered around the Pacific after the end of the war, and were beginning to consolidate them in Japan to have them repaired by Japanese tools and labour even before the Korean War broke out, and now all these vehicles are available for issue to Eighth Army. 

"A Gamble Pays Off" Newsweek explains that the M-47 is a fine tank and everyone loves it because its top-secret 90mm gun is even more powerful than the M-46s, it has an automatic compensator to put the gun back on target after every shot, a range-finder, and two control systems, one for the gunner, one for the commander, better fields of vision for the crew, and improved armour configuration. The gamble that paid off was the hasty approval of the basic design only 22 days after the war began, which involved putting the Ordnance-Continental 810hp air-cooled engine and Allison cross-drive transmission, with an improved turret, developed for the unbuilt T-42, into the M-46 hull. Also, even though it is a great tank and not at all "a bit pansy," it is being replaced in production by the M-48.

On this continent, the Mexican presidential election is going well in spite of rumours of a possible army coup, while in Bolivia,  the National Revolutionary Movement has shot its way to power and has told the press that it is not at all anti-American, just pro-high price of tin.

The Periscope Business Trends reports that the Administration's wage stabilisation effort is just going to lead to inflation, that the downward trend in machine tool orders is for sure going to end soon for Pete's sake, that US firms are more and more reluctant to invest overseas, but Canadian securities are fine. It is mainly because of fear of expropriation. Foreign purchases of American goods are falling and cheap imports from France and Britain are climbing. American nonprofits, such as the Ivy League schools, are putting ever more money into US stocks. The "free value of the dollar" declined in 46 countries in March, notably Tel Aviv, where it dropped 22%. 

Big stories in Business are the sudden department store Easter buying boom after weeks of figures falling below 1951 and even 1950 figures, the telephone strike, which is presumably one in a wave of strikes that we're seeing or about to see, the fight over the ownership of Colonial Airlines between National and Eastern, and a visit to the King Ranch to find out what's up with the price of meat. Also, Harry Ferguson has a $9 million settlement of his suit over the breakdown of his partnership with Ford to sell tractors, and Uncle Henry is not having much luck with his case against Otis and Company, the Cleveland investment firm that either did or didn't renege on a commitment to "float" a stock offer, depending on which court ruling is in effect right now. 

Notes: Week in Business checks in with Glenn McCarthy, the Texas oil and real estate promoter who has been told to straighten up and fly right by Equitable Insurance, which is evidently some of the money behind him; the Detroit Aluminum and Brass Company, which has begun to hand out a package of pamphlets to new irs as "trainee orientation;"  the AEC, which is building a billion-dollar uranium-235 separation plant on 6000 acres of Ohio; reports that air fares might be going up; and that the F. C. Russell Company of Cincinnati is offering a special insurance policy for glass windows broken by sandlot baseball players, because it makes glass windows and junior baseball players are just so cute. 

Automobiles has a story about two model sportscars with Fiberglas bodies being shown to attract public interest and perhaps a major manufacturer like Crossley(!) or Kaiser-Frazier(!!!). Mechandising has "Consumer Searching," which is about the latest promotions craze of putting one kind of product in another sort of store, as with Lincoln Continentals in department stores but also Kellogg trying to make its cereal boxes stand out more. 

New Products has a snap-on plastic fog-light lens for car headlights from Safety Industries of LA, Hyde Manufacturing's "Paper Helper," which prepares wallpaper for hanging. You just pull it through the machine and it comes out trimmed and pasted, ready for hanging. Neat! Bilnor had a "plastic cabana" which is an inflatable, tent-like shelter for beach trips and other outdoor activities, while Westinghouse has the "Flash-Check" test-bulb, which photographers can use to check the connections, batteries, and other components of their photoflash synchronisers. 

Science, Medicine, Education

"Cattle Quiz" Remember the Mexican hoof-and-mouth disease outbreak of 1946? Radio-television quiz presenter and former Hollywood star Robert Montgomery doesn't. Never happened, says he. Just an outbreak of "weed fever" that swindled $200 million out of the American taxpayer to the benefit of various speculators. Last week, called before the House Agricultural Committee to explain where he got is facts, he explained that he doesn't actually have facts, as such, that he is just asking questions about all the suspicious things that happened. An avowed Republican himself, Montgomery didn't seem to want to go up against the Republican members of the Committee. 

There is a problem here, though. Hoof and mouth disease is a deadly virus that costs the US ranching industry millions, but there is no research into the disease going on here in America because the industry has quashed any attempt to study it in America in case the virus gets loose from the laboratory, so America is dependent on British and Dutch work. This week it looks like some good will come out of Montgomery's little brainstorm, as a bill that funds a research lab looks like it will go through. 

"Plutonium's Edge" Atomic chain reactions happen because some elements, when they fission, produce more neutrons than it takes to cause the fission reaction. Just how many it takes to make the chain reaction go is unclear, because neutrons are lost from the reaction budget in various ways, such as wandering out of the picture, and, more importantly, being absorbed by trace impurities. This part is important because one of the most expensive and least-talked about parts of atomic science is purifying plutonium to get rid of these neutron absorbers. This week, the AEC released a review of the science and established that a plutonium decay ("fission") produces, on average, three useful neutrons after losses. This makes it more potent than U-235, which yields two-and-a-half.

"Foundation's Fellows" the National Science Foundation has finally organised its fellowship programme and will be giving graduate study grants to 624 young scholars this year to address the national shortage of scientists. (They will get anywhere between $1400 and $3000 to cover their expenses.) They include 38 women and 586 men, which is a lot more women than I expected, are roughly proportionate to their fields of study in numbers, are distributed between the big states, at least, as you would expect, population-wise. That is, most are from New York, fewer are from California, and who cares how many are from Arkansas. And lots of them are from Harvard!

"Cancer: How We Stand Today on Research and Treatment" Lots of money is going to research into cancer treatment, and this is paying off in various ways. The first page of this long article is devoted to cancer surgery, which has got bolder and more successful in recent years as surgical teams take on conditions that would previously have had them sending people home to die. At the University of Wisconsin, they are looking into the role of estrogen ("female hormone") in cancer formation. At Massachusetts General, Dr. John B. Graham and his wife, Dr. Mrs. Dr. John Graham (just kidding; Dr. Ruth Graham) are treating women with advanced cervical cancer with testosterone. The University of Illinois is using a 26 million volt bevatron to produce cancer-destroying radiation beams, while MIT is using a twelve million volt van de Graaf generator to produce what sound like proton beams, instead. Dr. Gordon Brownell of Massachusetts General Hospital sees those fundamental particles and raises them with antimatter, using a "positron" method to detect and locate brain tumours. (Patients are given radioactive manganese, which gives off the positrons, and also "goes directly to the brain tumours.") When he spots the tumours, colleague Dr. John K. Sweet aims to shoot them with neutrons. Dr. Leon Jacobson of the University of Chicago is on the track of another of those "mysterious substances" which seem to protect against cancer, which is a big uh-oh from me, but, who knows, maybe it is real. The National Cancer Institute is sponsoring a whole bunch of projects looking at chemotherapy, or, to put it in more scary terms, poisoning tumours without poisoning the patient (too much). At Sloan-Kettering, Dr. Alice Moore is using lethal viruses to attack tumours, instead. A virus that just infected tumours would be great, but Dr. Moore hasn't found one, so these trials have the same problems as other chemotherapy, only probably worse since the infection will grow on its own.

James B. Conant of Harvard gave a talk against public funding for sectarian education, which everyone, even religious people, can support. American Heritage is a very educational and also profitable magazine, and not  just because it prints the bawdier lyrics of "Fifteen Years on the Erie Canal," but not the bawdiest ones, I bet. 
Radio and Television, Press, Newsmakers ("People")

"The Troubled Thaw" The FCC has finally ended the freeze on new TV stations with a new allocation plan making room for almost 2000 more tv stations, but only as fast as the FCC can license them. Only twelve new licenses are likely to be issued by the end of the year on top of the 108 stations now operating. VHF is the most popular band, with 485 applications for VHF stations and only 37 for UHF. UHF doesn't carry as far, and so can't reach as big an ad market. The FCC points out that UHF isn't subject to all the interference that affects VHF broadcasts, but industry and critics are more skeptical. It looks as though the FCC is trying to solve the problem of big city stations "poaching" markets from slower-starting smaller city stations by making the smaller city stations broadcast on UHF, plugging the "holes" between big city stations. The FCC sees no problems with that kind of landscape, arguing that a station, whether UHF or VHF, will just be a number on their dial. Critics say that that makes no financial sense at all and will just drown local stations in red ink before they even have a chance to get off the ground.

"Counter-Counterattack" if you don't remember the awful story of Red Channels, it was that pamphlet published by Counterattack in 1949 alleging that "151 radio and television personalities" were pinkos. This led to Jean Muir being fired from her show because she was "controversial," and, it seems, other firings, too. Merle Miller's report on the affair for the ACLU, The Judges and the Judged,  shows that it was all a bunch of hogwash, and now the ACLU is filing civil suits against the networks and two tv stations. 

A newspaper in Independence, Kansas, is quite the newspaper with quite the publisher, because he is nine years old. Meanwhile, Harold Greenspun of the Las Vegas Sun is a grownup publisher with a grownup problem which is persuading Nevadans to stop voting for Pat McCarran. I approve, we all approve, but since twenty Basque shepherds are half the voters in Nevada, I'm not giving it much of a chance.  

William Hillman, SHAPE, Georgia Tech, Earl Warren's daughters, Captain Kurt Carlsen, Arthur Hutchcraft, Elia Kazan, Never Fail (which is a real name!!!), John Van Druten, Richard Rogers, Lorenz Hart, John O'Hara, Joe Dimaggio, De Forest Kelly, Herbert Hoover, and an assortment of Dutch and british royals are in the Newsmakers column for, in general, better reasons than usual. For example, Georgia Tech voted to go co-ed, Hutchcraft won a 77 mile bicycle road race for Yale, Kazan told HUAC he had  been a Communist in the Thirties, and the man with the unbelievable name is being divorced for carrying on with loose women out in their mutual home town of Knoxville, Tennessee. To be fair to, say, Time's awful People column, the rest is pretty thin. For example, the playwrights are just a list of nominees for a writing award, the Warren daughters are here because they took a nice picture during a campaign event in Texas, and Kelly and Hoover were at some kind of award presentation together where the College Boy showed that giant brain of his by complaining about radio commercials.

Mrs. Albert Covner, has given birth. Joseph Zylka (the first DP of the current dispensation), has arrived in America. Justice Douglas may be divorcing. Vice-Admiral Badger is retiring. George Tweed is injured. Louis Gerard Pagent, John Dickinson, and Florence Vanderbilt have died. And I have to give the editor a hand again, because this, which is actually from the Transitions column, is pretty good at following up on real news stories, including some that probably had us on tenterhooks, as well as actually famous and important people. Mrs. Covner, for example, is the widow of that guy who committed suicide after his babysitter stole $18,000 from his safe and took off to New York with her friends to see the sights. (I leave you to look up any other stories that catch your fancy.)


With a Song in My Heart is the very timely Twentieth Century Fox biopic of the life of Jane Froman. You may remember that she was badly injured in a 1942 DC-3 crash while touring overseas with the USO, and now just as the movie has released her husband was in a terrible accident involving a DC-4 somehow going into the water off Puerto Rico after one engine after another just conked out five minutes after takeoff. It's pretty good, and Froman can still sing. Also from Twentieth-Century Fox is The Pride of St. Louis, a baseball movie, and is pretty okay. Walk East on Beacon is a sequel to Louis de Rochemont's successful
The House on 82nd Street,
about the FBI's wartime fight against the Nazi Bund. In this one, the FBI fights Communist atomic spies instead, and isn't nearly as good. 

Howard Hughes has just about wound up RKO, he says because he's afraid it has been infiltrated by Commies, everybody else says because it isn't making any money. 


Paul Gallico's Trial by Terror is a novel that is the latest attempt to explain communist show trials and all those confessions. The bad guys use "black psychiatry" to rob men of their minds. There you go. It's easy when you know the trick.  Mysterious author B. Traven, of Treasure of the Sierra Madre fame, has another book out, The Rebellion of the Hanged, which is probably worth reading whether or not you're interested in the mysterious author angle. W. Stanley Moss' sequel to Ill Met by Moonlight is anti-climactic, which is odd because it is the memoir of the man to whom these swashbuckling adventures actually happened and he did all sorts of exciting things, but it seems sketchy and dreamlike after the first book. Valentin Gonzalez's El Campesino: Life and Death in Soviet Russia is also an exciting true-to-life memoir, this one about a Red bandit of Spanish Civil War days (and before), who fought the Fascists, had his family killed in retaliation, escaped to Russia, was a ne-er-do-well and eventually Central Asian bandit there, and then escaped to Paris where he is trying his hand at writing anti-Communist memoirs, instead.
Aviation Week, 21 April 1952

News Digest reports that the Gyrodyne Company of America has flown its Model 2C coaxial shaft helicopter; gives brief details of the B-36 crash at Fairchild, much less than the Post-Intelligencer story. Bendix has bought Northrop's Maddida electronic computer for such a good price that Northrop has thrown in its entire computer manufacturing department free! An American Convair lost its wing leading edge skin from fuselage nacelle while flying in severe turbulence between Boston and Buffalo this week, making an emergency landing in Rochester. AA is looking at the fasteners. I don't know if I would be happier to hear that they weren't screwed down (negligence) or failed (metal fatigue?).

Katherine Johnsen reports in Washington Roundup that  Congress is further extending the stretch-out, out of concern for the inflationary effects of the current $52 billion airpower budget. General Vandenberg's reappointment as USAF chief of staff is being held up. The current rationale is that another fourteen months of service would carry him to the thirty year mark, and does that set a precedent that if Curtis LeMay succeeds him, will he be kept on as Chief of Staff until his retirement ? He's only 45! The "current trend" is to "cut down on the number of types [of planes] and minimise gadgetry," says Johnsen. She quotes Secretary Lovett, who thinks that there are more Air Force and Navy models than necessary; and General Twining ot the effect that American aircraft are overbuilt and too heavy. Her sources don't seem to be saying what she reads into them. General Twining isn't calling for  getting rid of the gadgets (that my husband fits, test-flies, and designs in his spare time!), and Secretary Lovett is mainly concerned with the effects of having two air forces. Which we are not going to not have, so too bad for economy! Congressman John Kennedy of Massachusetts is a new friend of air power, Harry Sheppard and Edith Nourse Rogers are steadfast old ones, and Carl Vinson is a traitor, supporting cuts to aircraft procurement and the postponement of the new flush-deck carriers. 

Industry Observer reports that all the fuel in the new Fairchild big-wing Packet will be carried externally in pods. The Dutch Air Force is complaining that its F-84s did not come with spare engines, so much of its "F-84 equipment" is non-operational." The Navy says that the Forrestal's new catapult will launch as many as 32 jet interceptors in four minutes. Catapult launch is necessary in spite of Forrestal's long deck, because jets have no pep at the flag. (Says Reggie, talking like the hot rodder he's not.) Five new airpower plants are under way around Detroit with a total investment of $163 million. Douglas and the Navy have persuaded the Air Force that the B-66 (the Air Force version of the A3D), shouldn't be built at USAF Plant No. 8, Orchard Place, Chicago, because the wooden structure is inadequate for building jet bombers.

It may built the Northrop Snark, instead. The new stretch-out, which will delay the 143 wing air force until the end of 1956, now threatens B-47 production, as Lockheed-Marietta and Douglas-Tulsa may be pulled out of the production ring. The RCAF says that it will have two CF-100 squadrons by the end of the year, in spite of various delays. Hagerstown production of the C-119 has been extended to 10 types due to lagging (NO!!!!) production at Willow Run. Lockheed is making its Marietta, Georgia connection permanent, which is an odd thing to say in the same column that reports that the production contract assigned there might be pulled.

Aviation Week reports that "AMC Decentralises Wright Field Buying" Dayton will continue to buy airframes and engines, but other contracts will be let at AF depots.  Some 2000 AMC employees are upset that they're being asked to move out of Dayton, and some might quit, but I think that's the point! Also, the chief opposition is from Coloured employees who don't want to move to Jim Crow areas like Gadsden, Alabama and Memphis, Tennessee. The Piasecki YH-21 has had its first test flight. (In related news, Captain Jerry Mitchell of Air Materiel Command is the latest Dayton officer to be charged with "irregularities," including "gross negligence, recklessness in the performance of duties, and accepting gratuities." 

"Power Failure Blamed in Crash" Here's an in-column story about an air crash! Probably because it is the fifth US carrier accident involving fatalities so far this year, and also because it involved a Pan-Am DC-4 making a splash landing off San Juan and sinking within 3 minutes after the two starboard engines went out. Of 69 aboard, only twelve passengers and all five of the crew survived, "passenger panic" being blamed for the failure of any other passengers to escape. This brings us to a draft report from ALPA, the Airport Advisory Committee, the Airport Operators Council and the American Association of Airport Executives calling for more coordination and organisation of this and that, and, more importantly, that the airports be kept where they are, but with better zoning to keep people out of the crash zone. "Buried in the accident investigation report" on the Miami Airlines C-46 crash at Elizabeth are "broad hints that the CAA and CAB should tighten up the Civil Air Regulations." The accident was caused by an engine fire that resulted from the failure of the hold-down studs on the No. 10 cylinder of one engine, but the nonsked pilot had spotty emergency procedure training and failed to shut down the engine properly; and the airline employed pilot-mechanics, which is not a violation of the CAR, but is "not considered good and accepted practice." Also, Miami had already been fined for violating the Civil Air Regulations 16 times, 14 of those for overweight violations. 

In shorter news, the YB-52 has made its long-awaited first flight, while Fairchild has modified its R4Q Packet (the C-119, only for the Navy) to make it much more rugged, which apparently the Navy insisted on very strongly. Do they want to use it to make onboard deliveries on the Forrestals???  Anything is possible, is what I am saying.

"S-55 Cracks Up" Remember how Los Angeles Airways was just waiting to get on with helicopter passenger air service from LA airport just as soon as its next helicopter was delivered, on account of losing all of its previous helicopters in one accident after another? Well, the new helicopter has crashed now, too, "shortly after a demonstration flight in which Los Angeles civic officials participated"! Three passengers, including the airport's engineer and accountant, were injured. With a big repair bill in the offing, LAA has done the only reasonable thing, which is to ask the Post Office for higher mail rates. Yes, that makes sense! On the bright side, the "Steel Formula Won't Upset Aircraft Wages."

Alexander McSurely reports that "Safety Decision Reversed by CAB" Specifically, the CAB "has decided that automatic feathering was not a consideration in one-engine-out performance." What that means is that the airlines are installing automatic prop-feathering for when engines fail in flight. This means that the engine-out power performance can be calculated on the assumption that the other propeller is presenting minimum drag. CAB has now accepted this interpretation, which I read as allowing a lower power threshold for one-engine-out performance, or, in  other words, more economy and less safety. Also, the CAA is having a big safety meeting in Kansas City with all the division chiefs to get to the bottom of all of this "safety" stuff. 

Lockheed is installing wingtip tanks in its R7V-2s, which in non-Navy talk are the two Super Connies Lockheed is fitting with turboprops, and Lockheed is installing a jet service base at Ontario International Airport in Ontario, California, which is a very confusing name for a town. (National Aeronautical Radio's new course selector for omnirange headings is the lightest and cheapest  and cutest littlest VHF omnirange receiver for light planes ever.)

A. W. Jessup reports for Combat Report that "Future Navy Air Role Shaped in Korea" The Navy is struggling to show that its Korean operations demonstrate the value of fast carrier task forces flying jet-heavy combat air groups, because in the Korean War they weren't fast carriers so much as offshore airfields. Also, F9F Panther operations were not impressive. Equipped with only four five-inch rockets, Panthers launched from the light catapults of the carriers assigned to the Korean station "dipped sharply over the bow on takeoff shots." Essex, the only carrier with the new heavy catapult, was able to operate the only McDonnell F2H-2 Banshee squadron deployed to Korea. Besides the Banshees, Carrier Air Group 5 had one squadron each of F9F-2 Panthers, F4U-4B Corsairs, and AD-4 Skyraiders, "an unusually large number of aircraft types." Banshees have a "considerably longer" endurance than the Panther's 90 minutes, and it is hoped that an all-jet CAG equipped with Banshees and Skyraiders can be assembled to test their full operational capabilities. Banshees have been seen lifting up to 1500lbs of bombs, but could carry twice that, while the F2H-3 will have an even heavier bomb load.


Banshees also fly more sorties, because they are faster, are harder to intercept, and apparently have a much higher bombing accuracy, considering that they are almost keeping up with the prop planes in the railroad-cutting race in spite of carrying only half the bomb load per sortie. On a less happy note, the air group has lost 45 planes shot down, but it is thought that the Banshees and Panthers have a lower rate of loss because it is harder to damage the engines with AA fire. Banshee availability is higher and maintenance lower, for the same reason. 

So the Banshee is nice. What about the idea of fast carrier task forces attacking Soviet naval power at its source? The problem remains that carriers are not likely to be able to operate with impunity in either the Sea of Japan or the Mediterranean. To the extent that it can, it will need high speed jets, and not turboprops. The Navy has already ruled out the Douglas XA2D because the gearing won't work. Essex crew are looking to the Banshee and the F7U Cutlass and Douglas A3D, but they are still not quite the rugged, light, multipurpose strike aircraft with 3000lb payload which is wanted, various suggestions for improvement, often involving interchangeable wings and noses are brought up; but in the next breath, people are worried that the planes will be too heavy due to excessive gear. In conclusion, "The Navy has licked its jet bogey, but there's a long way to go." 

David Anderton reports for Aeronautical Engineering that "Duo-Mono Configuration is Now Stall-Proof" I know you will be as amazed as I am to hear about a new, simple light plane configuration that is stall proof thanks to an ingenious application of aerodynamic theory that can never, ever go wrong!  So expect Pardel Duo-Monos to be selling in the thousands to suburban commuters by the fall. This time for sure! (Honestly! A five-page article on this nonsense!)

Thrust and Drag reports that Lockheed has fifteen foreign scientists (mostly British) sitting around "in the ice-box" because they can't get security clearance. This includes Alexander MacLennan, straight from RAE, where you would think that he would have seen all the big secrets. The column is amused by a Lancaster being flown by Armstrong Siddeley with four Merlins, a Mamba in the nose, and an Adder turbojet in the tail, and by the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory and Armour Research Foundation which has discovered some weird habit of air flow that sounds to me like it might get a ticket from the Laws of Thermodynamics, but what do I know, that stuff is complicated. It's just I've been told that if I ever want to be a patent lawyer I need to be able to spot violations of the Laws of Thermodynamics, because that's what every second crank brings you. And this smells like one to me! (It's a thermometer that depends on cold air and hot air spontaneously separating if you shape an intake tube just right.) Also, did you know that carbon brushes operating in the stratosphere erode too fast and if you lubricate them with water it leads to losing too much water, so "British scientists" investigating a "specific heavy jet bomber" have found an "unspecified solution," but haven't fixed a problem with crews' exhaled breath being highly corrosive in stratospheric conditions.


I know! That's what I say about British teeth, too! And if you want to know what is happening with "sandwich materials" since they tore it out of the Convair 240, the ATSM has published a pamphlet summarising the papers from the June 1951 American Society for Testing Materials conference on same. 

"NACA Names Technical Committee Heads" is a very worthy article consisting of several columns of fine print. If you were wondering what the Naval Aircraft Factory is doing, it is fiddling with the Grumman Widgeon to create a sports seaplane with a quick change hull.

NACA Reports Call this report a method to predict performance in a turboprop engine by matching components to approximate the overall thermodynamic cycle. Its authors, Alois Sutor and Morris A. Zipkin did,  some time ago, when, because there was nothing to keep the theory grounded, they went on to just match compressor to nozzle and guess the output performance  like it was some big giant white whale you could catch. 

George L. Christian reports for Editorial (I have no idea why) that "Evaluation Speeded on Visual Computers" Three "pictorial computers" have been delivered to the CAA's Technical Development Center, Indianapolis, for evaluation. They include an Arma model, one from Aero Electronics, and one from Sperry Gyroscope. They're both versions of that gadget that traces a plane's course on a map with an air position indicator-driven stylus, and Aviation Week has a writeup of the Arma cmputer. Right now they show no ground altitude information, but that could be incorporated. Various fail-safe features include automatic tuning to the selected ground station, automatic synchronisation to the scale of the chart, and alarm flags for amplifier or servo failure. Various specific details about how the plane's course is displayed, follow. There is also a description of the optics system, which include a beaded-glass screen from Eastman-Kodak to give a brighter screen and a Fresnel lens to reduce distortion. 

UAL has bought five more air conditioners and Argentina's DC-4s are being overhauled by Lockheed. 

New Aviation Products reports that the coaxial switch from Thompson industries Products is the most rugged switch that closes one coaxial cable and opens another to "switch" currents at up to 11000 mHZ. Not to be outdone in the field of very big numbers of uncertain import, Cornelius Corporation has a 4500psi check valve for aircraft pneumatic systems.  United Aircraft Product's O-ring gasket seal is very tough. The toughest! Karwin Farms' has giant tent pegs to "moor aircraft and livestock." They'll hold down a DC-3, which I can see, but don't the cows complain? Magnus 72 is a new steam cleaning compound that cleans planes fast, from Magnus Chemical, while Tinperman Products has a self-locking sheet metal plate nut in 8/32 and 10/32 size. 

Production has an advertorial from Danly Machine Specialties, which promises a line of automatic (hydraulic) machines for working "tough jet metals." Not to get excited, as they are "piercers" and "slotters," and don't help with machining compressor blades. 

Philip Klein reports for Avionics that "AF Testing Avionic Amplifiers" Eclipse-Pioneer is working on two kinds of aneroid altimeters for very high altitude flights, in spite of there being no air up there. One uses a bellows to amplify air pressure, I guess, and with a dual bellows with servo assist, might be useful up to 150,000ft. The other, a "low high-altitude" device, uses the "Pirani" principle that relies on a relationship between declining air pressure and slower cooling so that they can use a thermocouple thermometer, although in the tradition of these articles the author struggles as hard as they can to make it harder to grasp than just saying that. Neither actually work that well, but Eclipse-Pioneer wants us (and the National Bureau of Standards) to know that they are on the trail of some promising improvements!  They also might be able to make one that measures the dielectric of the air in a sampling tube, which seems like the obvious solution, but is clearly the hardest. General Electrics wants us to know that its microwave relays are the smallest and the cutest, while its new dc relay is nitrogen filled for better cooling. Marion Electrical Instruments dc null indicator is very rugged. Air Force rugged! 

Facts for Filing explains the various types of jet engines and gives the MATS table of organisation. 

Letters has W.A.H. of New York City writes in to suggest that putting JATOs on airliners will make them safer, which does not seem well thought through, Howard Graninger writing to approve of Captain Robson's latest column. J. U. is a very prissy fellow and doesn't know what is talking about when he writes to criticise Aviation Week about clearances and security, and Joel Jacobson, the Vice-President and General Manager of Aircraft Armaments Corporation, is very upset at all the press attention that Oerlikon America is getting. 

McGraw-Hill World News reports that Australia is getting "jet transports" including Comets and Viscounts, and a fare increase to match. 

The actual Editorial page is devoted to "Letters on CAA." Nice job if you can get it, Mr. Wood! Everyone agrees that the "Old Guard" is terrible. 


Walter Cohn, the conductor of the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, has a bone to pick with Newsweek about the "Atomic Music" article. Edmond Powers complains that the Russians shouldn't be credited with coming up with a compressed-air-blowing breakwater when it was invented by an American back in 1907. Newsweek explains that the Russians deserve some credit for being the first ones to make it work. Everyone liked the story about Dutch royalty, and Dr. Louis Bauer and Executive Director of CARE, Paul Comly French, both liked the article about the organisation. The article about the US Postal Service gets lots of mail. Ironic! For Your Information previews Newsweek's exciting coverage of the exciting '52 election that General Eisenhower will win in a cake walk, sorry Senator Kefauver. (That's why the Democrats are nominating, and the right wing Republicans, are running, bald guys.  You don't play a king when the other guy still holds an ace!)

The Periscope reports that the Russians are saving their atom bombs for the Army, not the air force, because the Russians love their artillery. Pearl Mesta is campaigning for Eisenhower and Eisenhower has privately recommended Alfred Guenther to replace him. Polio insurance premiums are going through the roof, and the new rule against prescribing barbiturates by mail is bringing protests from epileptics. Kefauver thinks Eisenhower's wins will boost his candidacy, because Democratic Party bosses will decide to "throw him to the wolves." Also, he is privately reported to regret his two anti-civil rights votes against desegregating the army and against cloture in the rules-change fight to stop the last civil rights bill that avoided forcing Republican senators to vote up or down on civil rights. Truman will definitely continue to veto tidelands legislation, even if Eisenhower is saying he supports state ownership of tidelands oil in private correspondence. The McCormick press may be getting ready to throw in behind Eisenhower. Senator Humphrey of Minnesota has refused to join a "Stop Kefauver" movement, and is, in fact, angling for Kefauver's vice-presidential ticket. The Army is encouraging GIs to put their pay in an Army-run 4% savings account, because it is good for discipline, and is continuing to distribute Coloured troops individually through the army, abolishing Coloured units, although it is having trouble with Southern National Guard divisions. Intelligence experts are upgrading their estimates of the size of Red Chinese industry, mainly in Manchuria, just across the Yalu, on the basis of undisclosed information. The Pentagon is hushing this up, but Navy crash rates are much lower than Army, in spite of the hazards of carrier landings. The reason for the high rate of B-29 crashes  is said to be that the pistons of WWII-era engines just can't take what they're being asked to do. Czech purges, Gaullist non-purges. Queen Elizabeth reads her briefs much faster than her father did. Libya has solved its Communist problem by deporting all its communists to Italy, while the Belgian development budget for the Congo has been rendered obsolete by the rapid growth of the colony. Leopoldville alone has grown form 116,000 to 220,000 since 1947. East German Luftwaffe veterans are said to be off to Viet Nam to fight for the Viet Minh, while West Germans are joining the French Foreign Legion to fight there for the other side. All the third parties want the FCC to tell the networks that they should be on TV. Actor Tom Conway is working on a new TV show, Scotland Yard, while Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz are going to make a feature-length TV movie based on their hit show, Metropolitan Opera star Patrice Munsel will star in a biopic about Melba, and the first English-speaking movie starring Anna Magnani, Roberto Rosselini's friend, is being shot in Rome. 

Washington Trends reports that Stevenson Kefauver Eisenhower Russell blah. Stevenson's withdrawal from campaigning is the shock of the week, to be as fair as I can be, but Newsweek doesn't seem particularly interested in the idea that he is just playing hard to get and expects to be drafted at the convention. Kefauver can't win nearly enough delegates to win outright, and Stevenson will have plenty of pledged delegates, whether he runs in the primaries or not. Taft, meanwhile, is not carrying farm country as expected. His strength comes in industrial areas, which were expected to be hostile to the man behind the Taft-Hartley Act. Maybe because union members don't care who wins the GOP nomination, just a guess? 

The USAF is having enormous problems recruiting officers, and the "stay-down" strike shows one reason for it. Pilots across the air force have had enough. GI Bill benefits may be extended to Korean War veterans. 

"Spring Flood Waters Roll On. Controls Stymied by Bickering" We interrupt this presidential election with actual news about the floods that cover one and a half million acres of Missouri Valley farmlands and are still rolling downriver, overtopping dykes, wiping out homes, drowning towns and carrying away topsoil. The President, speaking at a press conference in St. Louis, put the blame squarely on Congress for refusing to authorise two dams on the upper river. The Hoover Commission found all sorts of nebulous reasons to oppose the dams proposed under the (also proposed) Missouri Valley Authority, and plenty of people had their own better reasons. They would be flooded out, navigation would be affected, and, of course, as the ads keep reminding us, private utilities would face competition from public hydroelectricity. So nothing was done, and here we are with the second billion dollar flood in two years.

We now return you to the presidential campaign, already in progress. Stevenson blah!!! Taft! Ike! Just to show how irrelevant everyone else in the race is, Ernest K. Lindley devotes this week's Washington Tides to "Observations on Harriman." In actual political news, Price Daniel (which is a real name) is considered a lock to take the Democratic nomination to run for Tom Connally's Senate seat in Texas, which basically means that he is the next Senator for Texas,. Why? Because that is how democracy works, silly! And it looks like I'm not the only person going a bit stir-crazy around here, what with the three prison riots this week. Also, steel, some more.

"The Reservist Revolt" The Air Force "stay down strike" has expanded to reserve officers, who are refusing call-ups to come serve in lieu of the air cadets the Air Force cannot hire and the regular officers it cannot recruit. The latest victim of the strike is Lieutenant Verne Goodwin, convicted of refusing to obey orders to fly and sentenced to two years of hard labour and dishonourable discharge. His wife miscarried in the court on hearing the sentence, which definitely does not look good for the Air Force!

You know what this calls for? Another edition of General Spaatz's Military Tides, where he explains what is wrong. It's the young folk today. They just don't want to fly. Actually and specifically, it is the twenty-something young folk. If the Air Force just recruited more teenagers, it would be all right! Except for the part where the Air Force can't recruit Air Cadets, great plan, General. Glad we have you around to come up with it!

The Korean War

"Truce Optimism Again Rises as Teams Renew POW Talks" It is not "now or never," but it could be soon! Meanwhile, the troops are bored and have nothing to do but drive around in Jeeps sporting the Confederate flag. 


"A Hustle and Bustle in Bonn as West Speeds German Pact" Details of the final settlement of the German situation. The big question is still whether there is to be a West German army or German units of a European Army. Meanwhile, Nato is moving out of its temporary digs in Paris into its splendid new headquarters at Soissons. 

"Constitutional Crisis" The South African Supreme Court has held the Nationalist Party plan to strip the vote from the Cape Coloured community to be unconstitutional. Prime Minister Malan has told the Supreme Court that, no, it is unconstitutional! The opposition United Party has formed an alliance with the "Torch Commando" of Afrikaner politicians led by RAF fighter ace "Sailor" Malan and is refusing to conduct regular parliamentary business. Malan seems to be talking about an election, which is what you'd think would be a solution, although on second thought that brings up the question of whether Cape Coloureds would be allowed to vote. That is a pickle! And also completely awful in every way.

"Sudan Stumper" Anthony Eden met with King Farouk over Sudan this week. No agreement; Those darn "sources" say the British are divided on whether to make Farouk King of the Sudan or just recognise its independence. This is tied to supporting the "moderately pro-British" Hilaly Pasha, who has just postponed the May parliamentary elections until Egyptian voters get less anti-British, and to launch a crackdown on "corrupt elements" in the Egyptian governmnet. Also, Swedish premier Tage Erlander is Newsweek's kind of guy, because during a visit he said that the American standard of living "appeared to be as high as our own," instead of playing on American sympathies. What's that, very, very smart reader? Was Sweden neutral in the World wars? It was! And in Britain, an invalid has been ticketed for speeding in a motorised wheelchair, which is something they have in Britain. In Japan, the Association for Construction of a Pavilion in Commemoration of General MacArthur has raised a total of $222 in donations. 

"Malaya: How Planters Endure a Sneak War, And a New Commander Plans to Beat Reds" Newsweek visits a planter's villa in Malaya. It is cool and comfort and full of all the "usual gadgets of so-called civilisation," and the only sign of trouble is the Special Constable at the gate. "Don't worry," the planter says, "There are trip wires that set off alarms and flood lights. We can give as good as we get." "We" does not include the "cooks, houseboys, and gardeners," who are assumed to be Communist spies, if not outright "bandits" by night. An estate manager left his revolver by the door when he came in to dinner. "It had notches on the stock." Various stories of ambushes were told, but Newsweek never got a chance to notch its revolver. Everyone is tense, but everyone is well-paid. Malaya earned $382 million with its rubber exports last year, and the export tax brought in $70 million. Rubber counts for  half the Federation's revenue, and 1.5 of its 6 million inhabitants depend on rubber for their livelihood. That's why 40,000 British troops and 100,000 irregulars are hunting a few thousand guerillas. The bandits are not "starving Red missionaries" eking out a living on their plots, "as some would portray them," but rather accomplished rubber bandits who account for as much as 20% of Malaya's export, mainly from areas considered too dangerous for tappers to visit. Chinese merchants buy the rubber, the "bandits" are Chinese, and Chinese buy any estates that owners sell as too dangerous. 

This leads naturally to Churchill's dynamic leadership, what with his vigorous hand sweeping away all the "desk wallahs" and sending out General Templer to punish recalcitrants and recruit confidential informers as a force of "whispering death." No mention of using herbicide on "food plantings," just ominous words about making the benefits of cooperation clear to the villages. 

Canada doesn't have Communist bandits, but it does have Lester Pearson, and that damn "socialist ditch," the St. Lawrence Seaway, which will be pushed forward by the State of New York and the Province of Ontario under the International Boundary Commission if Congress won't act. Canada is eager for American assistance, since an all-Canadian Seaway would cost the country $245 million. (I can't get over the fact that that is a quarter of the cost of the U-235 refining plant the AEC is building.) Also, the Canadians are thinking about allowing advertisements for liquor to fund their summer art festivals, which are vital for the development of Canadian art. 

The Periscope Business Trends reports that sales promotions will be big in the next quarter. One market that will be particularly active is Coloureds, because Coloured household incomes have risen 45% more than white incomes in the last decade, and their home ownership is up 129% compared with 81% for whites. Manufacturers will focus on products with "limitless" demand, such as air conditioners, electric air dryers and home freezers, which are still only in a few homes. Companies like Borg-Warner and General Foods are also putting more money into research, while Johnson and Johnson will hold sales forums to train drug clerks. Packaging is important at Westinghouse and American Can. It also reports growing concerns that invention is being stifled by the higher cost of research, excess-profits taxes, higher patent fees, and the government's mandatory share on inventions done under government sponsorship. Industry-pension funds are an important new source of capital investment, and jobless totals are falling rapidly in Detroit as ithe auto industry gets over the reconversion hump.

"Strikes and Strike Threats Besetting Nation's Industry" It says here!Also, more price controls are being relaxed, and this year's Mobilgas fuel-economy trial was won, on a gas "ton mileage" by a Mercury Monterey driven by Bill Stroppe, with an average  mile per gallon of 25.46. The Kaiser Deluxe placed third, behind a Ford Mainline Six, at 24.64 in the sedan group, while the Henry J. Corsair had the best asolute numbers of all, at 30.86, and a Chevrolet Imperial did worst of all, at just over 16. 

Notes: Week in Business reports that Cadillac buyers will get a refund of $25 for an accidental overcharge. The International Materials Conference says that world newsprint supplies are catching up to demand. National Tea has bought the 211 Midwest self-serve food stores owned by C. F. Smith. ATT is issuing some stock, and rail fares are going up. 

Products: What's New has a 10 key adding machine from Underwood that can add up to 99,999,999.99 in two columns at once. GM's versatile new diesel locomotives can be adjusted to fit several sizes of rail. Cornell Iron Works is selling a "rolling door with a big window." The description seems confused, but it might be 20ft high rather than 2, and seems to roll up, accordion style, and not sideways. Arma's new lightweight gyroscope weighs only 67lbs.
Henry Hazlitt's Business Tides has "Towards Equality of Income?" which explains the results of recent studies of income share by wealth done by Simon Kuznets, Arthur Moore and Geoofrey H. Moore, showing that the share of the national income enjoyed by the top 1% of the population has fallen from 17% in 1929 to 9% in 1948. Perfect equality of income, Hazlitt points out, would be achieved by a decline of 16%, so this is halfway there. How did this happen? Largely through a fall in the share of national income of income from property compared with income from wages. Hazlitt points out that when these things are caused by higher taxes or low interest rates, that is bad, but when it is caused by increasing productivity, the gains are good "and tend to be permanent." 

Science, Medicine

"Fruits of the Atom" Atom bombs are very big, but does that mean that atomic power is coming? James Bryant Conant said in a speech last week that it wasn't, and "many former believers reluctantly agreed with him." Walter Kidde Nuclear Laboratories, formed last week by the fire extinguisher company, does not, and is setting out to built atomic power piles without government help, with a team of young scientists pinched from the AEC at a time when atomic scientists are hard to come by. These include Karl Paley Cohen and William I. Thompson, whom you would remember from your bubble gum card collection of atomic scientists, if you knew what a bubble gum card was. 

"Back to Atlantis" Swedish oceanographer Hans Pettersen says that the Earth is halfway in astronomical age between wet Venus and dry Mars, and so will get drier in the future as water vapour escapes into interplanetary space, raising Atlantis from the depths. (In a billion years or so.) Apart from this being old, old news (has he read John Carter of Mars?), it doesn't make much sense, because just because it escapes into space doesn't change "what goes up, must come down." We get hit by meteors all the time! 

"The Key to Cancer" Even more recent research on cancer. Dr. George Grey of Johns Hopkins takes home movies of cancer cells to learn more about the difference between normal land cancerous, a process he calls "cine-photomicrography." Dr. Joseph Leighton of the National Cancer Institute grows cancer cells on sponges in a bed of normal cells and x-rays them to follow the progress of their invasion of those cells. Dr. Curt Richter of Johns Hopkins is working on an electrical skin test to detect  hidden cancers of the stomach and lung. IBM has supplied a $700,000 machine to the Chemical-Biological Coordination Centre to index information about drugs and chemicals with anti-cancer effects. Dr. Albert Tannenbaum is studying how low-calorie diets retard cancer growth, while Massachusetts General is experimenting with a new form of pain relief for cancer victims involving directly stimulating pa spot in the centre of the brain believed to be a "cross-roads of pain pathways." Dr. Sheldon Reed of Minneapolis is working to show that humans do not inherit cancer. Dr. John Bittner of the University of Minnesota is still working to refine his original discovery that some cancers can be spread by virus. Dr. Lloyd Law of the National Cancer Institute is studying the role of the thymus in cancer, while Helen Wallace Toolan is growing human cancers in rats. Dr. Joseph King and associates are using "almost lethal" doses of cortisone to shrink deadly breast cancer tumours, while Jesse F. Scoot of MIT is freezing cell samples to almost absolute zero to take more accurate pictures of them.

"Against Polio Paralysis" Dr. David Bodlan of Johns Hopkins and Dr. Dorothy Horstmann of Yale have discovered that a prompt polio vaccination, after infection but before the virus spreads to the central nervous system, can prevent infantile paralysis, it is reported to the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology this week. The research was conducted on monkeys and chimpanzees, but should be applicable to humans. The new theory says that the polio virus enters the body through the digestive system and not the blood, as previously thought, and spreads to the blood slowly, over several days. The researchers used gamma globulin from a recovered animal as the vaccine, which is too unsafe to be used on human children. So the results cannot be extended  until a vaccine is approved for human use. Mass trials of one vaccine will begin this summer. 

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

Charles Johnson Post, a retired Spanish-American War veteran of 78, is having a private show of his War-era watercolours at the 71st Infantry  Armory uptown. If there's one thing I miss about using Time for these, other than smart reporters, it is the Art coverage.  

The profile of Max Aitken (Lord Beaverbrook) is very long. It turns out that he is just as terrible as all the other high-circulation right-wing press barons. I'm not actually sure there even is such a thing as a left-wing news baron outside of New York City. 

"Trial by Jury" Du Mont's They Stand Accused is a tv show portraying court trials, with real judges and lawyers sitting to consider  made-up cases and with actors and actresses playing witnesses, defendants and plaintiffs.  Also, WOR is showing plays. 

T. Lamar Caudle says that he is a penniless vagrant now that he has been fired as Assistant Attorney General. Nine-year-old Jimmie O'Reilly of Boston likes Estes Kefauver. Bob Taft is swell because he gave fourteen-year-old Virginia Marstark an autograph and an excuse for being late for school. Walter Wanger, Jennings Lang, and Joan Bennett are in the news as Wanger's trial approaches the verdict, also Joan Fontaine and William Dozier for a different trial. Yehuda Menuhin, Prime Minister Nehru, Peggy Cummings and Mrs. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. are in the column for the usual reasons, jockey Joseph Nardillilo for cracking wise. Hugh Walpole, a former assistant professor of literature at the University of Chicago has predictably been arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct.

Rudolf Friml has married; Celeste Holm, Terry Moore, and Xavier Cugat have divorced. Ruth Steinhagen, the teenage fan who shot Eddie Waltkus, has been found sane and freed. George A. Barnewall, Viktor Mikailovich Chernov and Wallace B. Phillips (president of Pyrene), have died.


Miss Julie is a Swedish film released by Trans-Global and is a "brilliant . . .film translation of one of August Strindberg's most famous dramas." It stars Anita Bjork, who "has a good bit of the young Garbo's glamour and a good deal more than a bit of the young Garbo's pulse." Don't look at me. I may be one of the cinema-mad youth of today (I hope!), but I still don't know what that's supposed to mean. When in Rome is an awful MGM production of a Clarence Brown movie intended to be a celebration of Rome during the Holy Year. Never Take No for an Answer is a gentle Anglo-Italian fable, while MGM's Talk About a Stranger is a "brisk little film" starring a boy and his dog, only with philosophy. Newsweek liked it, and even mentions the author of the story it is based on, Charlotte Armstrong. 


Howard Spring's The Houses in Between is a panoramic novel with lots of characters set "from the opening of Queen Victoria's Crystal Pavilion to the present." It is mellow and thoughtful and doesn't contain a single discouraging word, which is why it  is a Book-of-the-Month club selection. I'm so glad to see other readers are avoiding actively offensive reading. It makes me feel better about being unable to stomach Time any more. And that is why I'm not reading the latest volume of The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover, about the stage in the College Boy's life when he was in charge of giving President Harding moralising lectures. Professor Frederick Pottle of Yale (real name, real school) has the lastest volume of Boswell's secret diaries out. It's the volume that covers Boswell's time as a student in Utrecht, which doesn't survive, and Pottle puts it back together from scraps and notes. And if you don't like it, Boswell's papers keep turning up, so the original might show up some day. Mel Heimer's Fabulous Bawd: The Story of the Saratoga will be the toast of the world from one end of Manhattan to the other as it tells the story of a hotel in New York that was quite fashionable in the day. Or maybe it was a club, or a race horse, or I don't know, sometimes the New York press doesn't understand how much other people don't care. 

Returning to the back page, Raymond Moley explains all about Alben Barkley. Definitely worth the time and space it takes up. 
Aviation Week, 28 April 1952

News Digest reports that a TWA Constellation has been destroyed by fire while refuelling at Idlewild. Two F-84Gs have made a nonstop crossing of America, refuelling in the air from Boeing KB-29P tankers while the Navy has accepted its first Martin P5M-1. (At Alameda, although it doesn't say that here, which is why I have my husband home! He's taking the train back to Baltimore on Monday.) The Sapphire is reported to give 8300lbs in the latest tests over in Jolly Old England, making it the most powerful officially announced engine ever. Air Vice-Marshal Broadhurst will be the new assistant chief of the Air Staff (Operational), and not AVM Pendred, as previously announced, and, speaking of previously announced, the new Vickers Valiant prototype is flying. 

Industry Observer reports that the Lockheed F-94C now entering service will have an all-rocket armament in place of conventional machine guns and cannons. The Avro C-102 Jetliner has been flown to Culver City, California, the headquarters of Hughes Aircraft, possibly to test "suitable radar equipment for the CF-100." The Air Force has reversed its position and has told Wright Air Development Centre to get the new GE lightweight fighter gunsight into service without delay. "A number of airlines have expressed interest in Fairchild's "forthcoming big-wing C-119H Packet." It says here. It doesn't say which airlines, so we can't short sell their stock. Too bad!  Some major avionics manufacturers are betting on the present omirange and ILS navigation equipment being the permanent solution, and not an interim setup, as the Air Navigation Development Board expects. Consolidated Vultee is working on parasite fighters for the B-36 again, this time F-84s attaching to the wing. Bell says that it is one of seven sources of liquid rocket engines, leaving Industry Observer to speculate on what the other six might be. Canadian defence production sources say that the first batch of F-86Es built by Canadair will cost $240,000 for airframes, while engines and other components imported from the US will cost $78,000 (all figures before tax.)

Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup reports that there is talk that the stretchout might be "checked" and the services given a free hand to spend the money they already have to buy aircraft and hardware on order, because the President wants it so, and Senator Taft is "obligated" to support the programme. However, it is also possible that Congress will stick to its guns and that the stretch-out will happen. On the civil side, there is talk of MATS being turned into a regular airline to provide competition to the industry, although the Small Business Committee is still fighting for the nonskeds to take that role. The Administration is also looking at user fees on airlines to fund the CAB. 

Alexander McSurely reports for Aviation Week that "Mobilisation Resignations Laid to Apathy" Wilson and Mr. Bedford's resignation, are explained as being in way of protests at lagging mobilisation efforts. Machine tool output and low jet engine production are still the biggest factors holding back production. General Spaatz says that there is no way that the Air Force will make the 143 wing target with the stretchout, and that the fact that the Chinese Communists can maintain a force of 900 MiGs in Korea, while America can only maintain 150 F-86s to oppose them, shows the risks. It is hoped that more engines will be coming from the new plants soon.

McGraw-Hill World News reports that Australia wants 12 Lockheed P2V Neptunes and some US-built F-86s to fill the gap until Fisherman's Bend-produced F-86s are available, and, later, that Australia is ordering a pilotless jet aircraft, to be made at Chrysler (Australia's) Finbury factory. It would be powered by an Adder, and be used as part of the British atom bomb tests. Meanwhile, the RAAF is cutting back on its Lincoln orders on the grounds that the plane  is obsolete. Australia is also going to make radar equipment at Electronic Industries, Ltd, Melbourne. 

Byron C. Dempsey reports that "Mixed Reactions Greet AMC Plan" An entire article on the pros and cons of decentralising Air Materiel Command's procurement functions never once mentions graft.  In other news of government agencies in trouble, the CAA may have to trim payroll by 1500 employees after its budget was trimmed. 

The French Secretary of State for Air, Pierre Montel, wants a big aircraft manufacturing centre in North Africa, as Western Europe cannot currently produce all the aircraft needed for defence, the Atlantic coach season starts 1 May with 10 airlines offering coach service, including TCA, which will have those cross-over exhaust mufflers on its North Stars by then for a quieter ride, plus 8 more seats for a total of 48 passengers.

"Convair Interest in Car Field Reported" The decision on the Convair/Kaiser-Frazier merger will be made in the next few weeks, but only if "a good future in the automotive possibilities" is reported.  Odlum is widely reported to have ambitions to compete with GM. 

David L. Anderton reports for Aeronautical Engineering that the Gyrodyne Model 2C is starting test flights. Which we already knew? 

Gyrodyne, which bought out Helicopters, Inc and then Bendix Helicopters to consolidate development in a coaxial helicopter design, offers this model with its torque cancelling features. The engine is a Pratt and Whitney R985, the transmission gearing is pretty simple, considering, and gross weight is 5400lbs, empty weight 3800. Gyrodyne wants to make a convertiplane next, if it can get a Navy service contract for the gyrodyne, or maybe a giant cargo helicopter. 

Convair is developing titanium alloy use starting with jet pods, while Ryan is pooling its ceramics research with California Metal Enameling. A short article on the Gemeaux IV, the French sailplane converted to fly under the power of the experimental Aspin ducted fan, one of the Turbomeca engines licensed to Continental Motors, follows. 

Thrust and Drag allows that the more you see of guided missiles, the more you fantasise about them, because they are so fantastic looking and some of the specifications are fantastic, too. But once you do go down the speculative path, you are appalled at the thought of the size of the economies needed to fight with guided missiles as weapons of war. Ultimately, a three-stage, atomic-armed rocket with intercontinental range is needed to cut through all the tactical applications of anti-submarine, anti-air, anti-ground forces missiles, and such a weapon might cost as much as $5 million each. Also, MIT is planning a seminar on aeroelasticity, while Frank Miller of Westinghouse was honoured at a company function for inventing a new thing, combustion wall of gas turbine engines-wise. 

NACA Reports hasn't heard nothing about no investigation of the theoretical force and moments due to sideslipping in various vertical tail configurations at supersonic speeds. And it would have heard if a bunch of wise guys like John C. Martin and Frank S. Malvestuto were poking their noses in that business where they didn't belong, which is why they might find themselves in concrete overshoes or possibly working out the math of the dynamic stability of the Douglas Skyrocket. But maybe NACA has heard about someone looking into the similarity law for hypersonic flow about slender three-dimensional shapes. But NACA's head is pounding and it could use a drink, oh, that should do it for a schooner down at O'Malleys, and now NACA remembers that it was Frank M. Hannaker and a bunch of goons who extended the similarity law to deal with that little business once and for all, hopefully everyone gets the message. But no-one isn't getting no dope about no analytical method for determining performance of turbo-jet engine tail-pipe heat exchanges. You don't cross Michael Behun and Harrison Chandler when they're investigating a  heat exchanger set in the shroud of a turbojet tail pipe. Best look the other way and keep walking when they're putting 780,000 BTUs through it for an engine performance reduction of 2%. 

Nat McKittrick of McGraw-Hill World News Service reports for Production that "British Bank on 'Super-Priority' Plan" Which is the fancy way of describing the new order-off-the-drawing-table push for Canberras and fighters, aiming to counter the ever-lengthening delays in getting planes into service. Aside from the Canberra, none of the new types will be in squadron service until 1955 due to shortages of machine tools, skilled workers, and design troubles.  Total British aircraft production this year will be $310 million, up from $84 million last year, and Cincinnati Machine Tools comes in for mention by name for not getting the specially-ordered Hydrotels across the Atlantic fast enough. 

Philip Klein reports for Avionics on "New Gains in Printed Circuitry," Stupakoff Ceramic and Manufacturing of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, prints its circuit packs on a "newly developed vitreous high-dielectric ceramic plate by a silk screen process," so they're printed on glass, which is why they have a much higher temperature range of function than previous printed circuits, which have proven very disappointing to industry due to their sensitivity to temperature changes. Although Stupakoff does have to guarantee that the capacitors will perform to specification, as otherwise the circuits won't be very reliable. 

McGraw-Hill World News Service has "Graphite Solution Ends Blip Distortion," describing a graphite solution which can be sprayed on radar scopes to prevent distortion caused by static electric charges on the Plexiglas tracking cursor, developed by Group Captain George Onufer, who is with the Airways and Air Communication Service wing of British Air Forces Germany in Frankfurt. Servomechanism's new flight transducers are Bourdon tubes, and turn a pressure range of 0 to 684mm of mercury into a 3 volt DC or 30v AC output. Engineering Research's plug-in amplifiers are so small and cute and can integrate circuits with substantial negative feedback without instability. 

A joint conference put on by the Ohio State University and the USAF has heard that heat is a real problem in avionics today, although on the bright side some ac motor-driven blowers from American Electric Motors cause no radio interference at all, it says so right here in this little blurb written by public relations at American Electric Motors. 

George L. Christian reports for Equipment that "New Camera Pinpoints Landing, Takeoff" Fairchild has built this "analyser camera" for American to record, well, landings and takeoffs. Four pages on what is basically a stabilised camera with a very high shutter speed and reliable time counter. And speaking of analysers, Bendix now has 24 customers for its Scintilla Analyser, including American, which is putting one in all of its planes. 

New Aviation Products has tube reaming, flaring and bending tools suitable for half-hard steel tubes rated for 3000psi hydraulic systems from Imperial Brass and subminiature slip rings suitable for air navigation instrumentation from Electro Tec Corporation. Kaynar Manufacturing's floating anchor nut is very light and strong, and so are Ciba Company's new resin adhesives. 

Letters has Robert Blodgett writing from Wilton, Connecticut, that civil aviation must stress safety. Jack Vosper of Vickers writes to tell the magazine that Vickers h as now sold  36 Viscounts, is expecting more sales, and there is no way that the Viscount will ever need rocket-assisted takeoff, even in Kenya. Henry Reuter, who has some kind of connection, explains the difference between the ARO Company and Aro Equipment Corporation. Lt. Commander Paige of the Fleet Logistics Wing, Patuxet, writes to tell off Captain Robson for not recognising that using nautical miles and miles per hour (knots) is a desireable simplification becasuse, as anyone who has ever been bored by an aerial navigator (but Reggie learned the errors of  his ways!) knows, there are a bushel of nautical miles in every furlong of latitude. Tom Carmody of McGraw-Hill praises Bell for accommodating handicapped employees, and Aviation Week for writing about it. Various readers liked various articles. 

Air Transport has "Sixth '52 Crash Spurs New Safety Pleas" On the same day (18 April) that the CAB proposed a regulation to raise pilot-training standards at the nonskeds, a Robin Airlines C-46 crashed into a hill near Los Angeles. Its the sixth fatal crash this year, as the headline says, but the first involving a nonsked, so at first glance it seems unfair that Robin has been grounded, but CAB cited 40 safety violations on the operator's records. We are now back up to a casualty rate of 2.4 per 100 million passenger miles for the scheduled airlines, so excluding the Northwest Pacific charter crash, up from last year's 1.3. (Comparable figures for the  nonskeds are 11.5 versus 7.8 for 1951.) In the wake of the San Juan crash, ALPA points out that the two water landings so far this year have led to 88 persons dying of drowning or freezing, and renews its demands for more life rafts and survival equipment for overwater flights.  CAB says everything is fine, and in spite of some airliners flying with as many as 82 passengers, no increased provision of exits or life rafts is required. ALPA's manual override for prop-reversal equipment is also not wanted on the voyage. CAB and the CAA are hot to regulate the nonskeds harder, though. Reviewing recent accidents, engine failure and navigational errors are the biggest factors in the six crashes so far this year and the six in the last quarter of last year.  (American Air Transport, out of Miami, has also been grounded by the CAA.)

Robert Wood is still on vacation from Editorial thanks to being able to reprint letters about how bad things are at the CAA Office of Aviation Safety, the lastest being from a disgruntled insider. He seems to think that all the bureaucratic manoeuvrings are darkly funny but I just find them confusion. 

No comments:

Post a Comment