Friday, November 27, 2015

Postblogging Technology, October, I: Forest for the Trees

Mr. R_. C_., 
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Dominion of Canada.

Dear Father:

I hope that you had a Happy Thanksgiving. Uncle George certainly did! When we collected him at the airport, he claimed that he was still so stuffed with turkey that he might as well have flown south on his own. (Turkeys can fly, right? I've heard that they are so inbred that they cannot, any more, but what would they do will all that breast meat, otherwise?) 

It will, alas, be a while before Uncle George takes up the brush again. He claims that he is more than ready to enjoy retirement, but in his eyes you see that it will not be easy for him.  

Now, as to Christmas. You have asked about plane tickets. I have bad news. It turns out that Lieutenant A_. has official business in Montreal this December, and our Chicago relations have kindly offered to foot the ticket for a return flight to San Francisco for both the lieutenant and their daughter. So "Miss V_.C_" will be flying from Montreal to Santa Clara via Chicago, where her parents will join her. Your son will now be returning by rail after the end of exams. 

Miss v. Q. and Fat Chow were married in a quiet, civil ceremony last month. They are still at loose ends in regards to a place to live. It's all a bit complicated, in that they are trying to find a place where they can also accommodate Queenie, and a neighbourhood which prizes the necessary privacy and convenience. Miss v. Q. argues for the Mission district, although the rents are high, Fat Chow for Chinatown --the difficulty there being a Berkely instructor with that address. 

Speaking of Queenie, Tommy will be getting Christmas leave --and then on to the South Pacific, where he has a confidential mission of some kind. 

As for Fat Chow, well, your commission was a bust. Your equestrian neighbour is not a blowhard. His stable reallly is doing well on the California circuit, and we did not need an ace private investigator to discover it! We did, however . . . Well, therein hangs a tale, or half of one. You will by now have heard of Eric W. Johnston's new position. I therefore notice with raised eyebrow that Fat Chow was so bored following up on your neighbour that he put some time in, and located the new head of the MPAA's father. "Mr. Johnston Senior" turns out to be living on the Colville Reservation with his third wife. Exactly what I am to do with this information is not clear to  me, but Fat Chow is keen to blackmail the network over Uncle George's friend, if some leverage vis-a-vis the MPAA and Columbia can be found. 

Essentially, we have some first-grade blackm,ail material, and no real reason to use it. Perhaps Mr. Johnston can get the Engineer off our backs? I am beginning to get a bit itchy about the FBI, for all that they owe us over the break-ins last summer. (We might hear more about that soon, I am told.) The first special delivery went well, but the next one is next month via San Francisco, and the port authorities on the Bay are more familiar with the old tricks and are close to the FBI. 

By the way, speaking of large commitments hastily entered into, I have recruited our old merchant marine friend for some of the work on the water with our special delivery. He is glad of the money, but reminds me about his his writing career, and I am still anxious about satisfying that promise. I have recruited Miss K. as a second eye --she is young, but has good taste, and she assures me that his stories are "fun." 

I just don't know. Placing a few shorts in pulp magazines is not going to make a career. . . Perhaps we could arrange for him to sell some movie rights?

Your suite in Arcadia will be ready by the middle of next month, if you care to join us for American Thanksgiving. If not, enjoy your November, and we will see you at Christmas.


Flight, 4 October 1945

“What the Army Thinks” Field-Marshal Alexander likes planes! The paper draws a heart around his picture, and pastes it to its wall. The paper’s mother will be upset, but the Field-Marshal is so dreamy!

“Luxury and Economy” The new Vickers Viking has both! This is a bit weak for three paras, so the paper also discusses whether real Vikings liked luxury or economy better.

“The Winster of Our Discontent” Isn’t Winster the writer of those funny books about the butler? No, as it turns out, he is the new minister of civil aviation, and Mr. Gandar Dower had hard questions for him in the House about American competition, with the papers full of news of the Skymaster’saround-the-world flight. Why don’t we have a Skymaster? Or a Policy?

G. Geoffrey Smith, “In Germany Today”

Uncle George’s heart-throb saw the Ruhr aluminum works, which is intact, but needs electric power. One of the things it will be working with is miles of tinfoil “chaff” collected up from our bombing raids. He also saw a huge airfield at Cologne with “probably thousands” of wrecked aircraft, mostly German, but including American, British, French and Italian. Some have had their instruments removed, and the undercarriages of the big bombers have been assembled together in a big dump, but there is an enormous amount of material yet to be salvaged.  At Cologne, the Hohenzollern Bridge lies wrecked, and long lines of trucks carrying precious coal are backing up on the temporary replacement bridge. There are warnings of mines on the roadsides, and the side streets of the Ruhr cities are impassible due to rubble. 

The Krupp works are a mass of twisted girders, with only the outer shell remaining standing, but the Krupp’s grandiose Villa Huegel is intact, and being used as the headquarters of the Control Commission. When negotiable, the Autobahn is a “great relief,” but frequent craters, hastily and poorly filled, slow traffic. Bailey bridges are a huge help. One of the things holding up German transport is that 40,000 railway cars are stranded by destroyed bridges. The number of locomotives, on the other hand, is enough to meet requirements, ,and railway services are coming back. Three rail bridges are now available across the Rhine. Road and air services are seeing heavy use to make up for the lack of rail transport. Coal production is up to 100,000 tons a day. The American zone is based at the I.G. Farben works in Frankfurt, and from Frankfurt, Smith went to Wiesbaden, then into Worms, Speyer, and Landau, skirting the French zone over bomb-damaged roads. Almost everyone is gloomy, the roads are terrible, street signs have been taken down, and in Munich, all the “corners” are gone, making it hard to navigate by road. The Air Ministry is running tests in BMW’s new high-altitude test tunnel. German jet turbine engines were fast, but had very low service lives due to lack of suitable high-temperature material. BMW adopted hollow steel turbine blades for lack of anything better, and Junkers, too, used austenitic steel hollow blades, although the multi-stage compressors blades used duralumin. German axial turbines had problems with internal stalling, and this caused the loss of a number of aircraft. This was a particular problem with engines of the 10,000rpm range. The best German engine, the He/Hirth unit of 2,860lb thrust, was not yet in service, and only twenty had been built. BMW was working on a 12 stage axial compressor with an annular combustion chamber and a three-stage turbine with 7500lb static thrust, and Brown Boveri, apparently not sulking over all the other firms being let in on their field, were (are? It’s a Swiss firm, after all!) working on a close circuit turbo unit. I’m not sure what that means. Combustion gas being taken off to run the turbines, as in turbochargers and reheat installations? Junkers was working on a 6000lb thrust engine and a turbine driving contra-rotating airscrews, something BMW was also working on. There was also work on ceramic turbine blades “an extremely important development which should be continued.” Ceramics are lighter than metal, and have excellent refractory properties, but their mechanical strength is usually an issue, so I doubt we’ll see these next week, but the future for jet engines really is golden.

Rockets are another question. The Germans have made great advances in rocket propulsion, or so I heard from one Londoner or another. Ah. I shouldn’t have run off at the pen. Mr. Smith means rocket propulsion for aircraft. While fuel consumption is high, so is speed. The HWK2509 unit installed in the Me 163B weighes only 3665lb and develops 3300lbs, although its fuel consumption at that rate is is 1000lb/minute. A German scientist calculates that the mails can be delivered from Europe to America in 25 minutes with future rocket planes. AS helicopter with rocket engines on the tips of its rotors, with an all up weigh of only 1400lbs and a 135hp engine is shown. This runs a centrifugal compressor which sends the combustion gas through the hollow rotors to the tips, so it is not quite a rocket-tipped rotor as I was imagining it. Several more conventional helicopters were also under development. Mr. Smith was also taken by a complicated Zeiss stereoplanagraph for photogrammetry, which automatically performs all of its own corrections, “enabling precise and mathematical results.” I think that means it makes good aerial maps from survey photographs, but I am sure you will enlighten me. I have a hard time imagining it as being useful for timber cruising, as opposed to town planning, and I doubt you could justify the cost to your shareholders, anyway. The Germans also showed him their Do 335, which they show everyone, the BP20 Natter, the Heinkel antiaircraft rocket, and the TA 154 twin-engine fighter. The “Kreislauf” closed-circuit submarine engine was vaguely discussed. This could be quite exciting if it is a serviceable Stirling engine, rather less so if it is just an internal combustion engine using self-oxidising fuel. (Although I was thinking of burning gunpowder, which is unexciting in a very exciting way!) Smith also notes that,due to the bombing, German piston engine production had fallen two-thirds between 1943 and 1945. Now, it is over, and “[b]utter, not guns, will be Germany’s cry for many years.”

“Future of Rolls-Royce Factory” Mr. Woodburn, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aircraft Production, visited the Glasgow Rolls-Royce plant and had a full and frank discussion with workers, although the future of the plant is still up in the air.

. “R.A.F.’s Wartime Expansion” Expansion on the ground, this time. £570 million on works during the war, including 100 millions for the American programme. 1942, the peak year, saw an expenditure of £145 million. Through the end of March, 1945, 430 airfields in used by the RAF and USAAF in Britain had been provided with paved runways. The area paved was in total 36,000 acres, greater than all the land within the boundaries of the city of Edinburgh, or of a 30ft road stretching 10,000 miles.

Here and There

Air Vice-Marshal Broadhurst has been appointed administrative head of Fighter Command. Air Vice-Marshal C. B. S. Spackman, a World War I veteran, has been made AOC No. 19 Group, Coastal Command. Mr. Wayne Parrish, editor of American Aviation, has received an aviation writing award from a competition run by TWA, for an article he published in Liberty Magazine.

The United States Navy intends to keep the 3 large carriers, 24 Essex-class carriers, ten light carriers, and 79 escort carriers in peacetime service, a reduction of only 3 27,000 ton carriers. Not to read too much between the lines, but I guess this answers Uncle George’s question about how they could possibly put Franklin back into service. A Russian parachutist has made a record delayed parachute drop of 42,000ft. The first DH 104 de Havilland Dove has been test flown this week. The Pathfinders are gathering to drink and reminisce. That was quick! The Ryan Fireball is reported to be in service in one squadron. Wing Commander Lord Malcolm Douglas Hamilton, who has been made Commandment of the ATC in Scotland, is all about trying to raise tone, morale, etc. I’m sorry. I don’t want to be snobbish in reverse, but this is just so British! Group Captain G. S. M. Insall, who won a VC in the last war, has just retired at 51. 
Woodhenge, as discovered in an aerial photograph taken by G. M. Insall in 1923. Source.

Sunderlands of the Indian Ocean Air Force have been converted to flying ambulances to evacuate 25 POW stretcher cases each, direct from Singapore to Ceylon. The first British aircraft sold in Chile in 15 years are on their way to Valparaiso.

C. B. Bailey-Watson, “Vickers Viking: Remarkable Passenger Comfort Coupled with Economical Operation at High Speed in Latest Weybridge Production” Bailey-Watson is one of Flight’s better correspondents, so ordinarily I would pay more attention to this article. But, honestly, haven’t we heard enough about the Viking by now? At least if the paper is to be trusted, it is economical and luxurious –the latter because the joints in the wing absorb engine vibrations, apparently. Which is interesting.

Major F. A. de V. Robertson, V. D., “After the ‘Cease-Fire:’ Disbanding the Luftwaffe: Feeding the Vanquished” 130,000 German Air Force personnel have been discharged through the end of August, with priority for agricultural workers, and, I suppose, although Robertson does not say so, coal miners. 60,000 tons of bombs have been found in the British zone of occupation, and must be disposed. Gas and sometimes phosphorus bombs go into the sea, but the explosives  must be safely detonated in some way. It being Robertson, however, one learns a little in a lot of words. German air surgeons are air surgeons! German airmen live in tents, but are not tightly packed in. One German colonel working on a British-controlled airfield might have been involved in the Hitler bomb plot!

Blackburn Firebrand IV: Details of Wings: Torpedo Crutch Interconnected with Undercarriage: Cockpit Lay-out: Five-Position Seat” The Firebrand, developed as a Sabre-engined fleet fighter, was turned into a Centaurus-powered torpedo strike aircraft. Quite a change! Blackburn had some neat ideas about how to build a fighter which were tried out in the first prototype, and then carried over when they applied all of their neat ideas about torpedo strike aircraft. They probably knew more about the latter than the former. I am getting the impression that it is a bit of a freak. Though a fine and well-designed freak! The cannon installation, for example, can be swung out of the wing in a single unit for easy access. The Fowler flaps and air brakes are impressive installations. The paper wishes it had had a chance to blow up some Japanese. Very unsporting of them to surrender when they did!  (That theme comes up in Fortune, below. Perhaps Dr. Rivers might like to visit around and tell his stirring Iwo Jima surgery stories. . . . Or perhaps Uncle George could be induced to tell his stories about repairing kamikaze struck picket destroyers. Although I am not sure that would help anyone's cause.)

“A.T.A. Farewell An Outstanding Range of Demonstrations at White Waltham” Various planes were flown in exciting ways. On the same page, the paper regrets the retirement of its long-time technical illustrator, J. Prochazka, who joined the paper in 1910, and has been drawing from the stick-and-string days to the stressed-skin era. He is retiring below the age limit, and although he hopes to take a well-earned rest, his colleagues hope to see his easel come out and be used on more edifying subjects.
“Last of a Famous Line: Supermarine Spitfire Mark XXI and XXII”  The last Spitfires aren’t that different from the previous models.

C. H. Latimer Needham, “Refuelling in Flight: A Possible Solution to Many Post-war Air Transport Problems” Air refuelling allows aircraft to take off with greater useful loads, and to fly further.  The author supposes that long-range services such as London-New York cannot possible be economical without refuelling in flight. Which might be true, but since no-one other than Flight Refuelling Ltd is working on it, seems to be a minority opinion. And the relative advantages of mid-air refuelling versus landing at the Azores or Iceland needs to be discussed.

“Defending the Lincoln: Boulton Paul “F” and “D” Type Power Operated Turrets in Latest British ‘Heavy’” The Lincoln has three powered, hydraulically served turrets, each armed with a pair of Browning .50 machine guns. (I gather this was contentious?) Unlike previous turrets, which took hydraulic service off the engines, these ones have hydraulic motors.

“The Miles Monitor” This is one of those now-it-can-be-told stories about an important war service aircraft. Except that it was a target tug-towing plane. It had to be quite big, and quite fast, to do the job, and the pictures look very martial for target practice. We’re told that it was the first plane designed as a target tow. Is that really an efficient use of resources? I ask because, well, it was the first, after all.

Civil Aviation News

A trunk service London-Cape Town is beginning next month. More survey flying over the North Atlantic, this time by Skymasters. Northwest Airlines is doing icing tests on top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire. Ireland is working on a big flying plane base on the Shannon, in case flying boats operate on the trans-Atlantic route. Goodyear is talking about starting a trans-Atlantic airship service, with one dirigible carrying 288 passengers at 75 to 90mph in first-class comfort. Finally, something more impractical than flying boats! A 42 to 48 hour Vancouver-Sydneyservice via Fiji are discussed. The current Australia-new Zealand service is still only carrying air mail, and only “serious” air mail need apply. Lockheed Constellations will be in service shortly. Twenty surplus service airliners have been allocated to American airlines by the Surplus Property Board. All C-54s, they will be flying international routes. 


H. E. Wimperis adds his praise for W. J Stern. Frederick Coates says that Gloster Meteor engines no longer smoke. “One of Many” thinks that ATC officers are being given a raw deal. “All For Air Safety” thinks that helicopter fire tenders are just the thing for airfield fires. “Indicator” replies to Mr. Brodie’s article on “What the Civil Owner Wants,” suggesting that he has no idea what he’s talking about.

The Economist, 6 October 1943

“Alliance or Settlement?” The Council of Foreign Ministersis meeting. Foreign Ministers are talking. The Russians are “intransigent.” Will there be a settlement? Of what? Everything!

How to Nationalise the Mines” There is a right and a wrong way to nationalise the mines. The right way, it turns out, looks a lot like leaving the coal owners in charge. (Except not the owners, their mine managers.)

“Liberation on South East Asia” Southeast Asians have been freed from the tyranny of Japanese rule by the reimposition of the tyranny of British rule! No, that’s not fair. The tyranny of British rule plus any local sultan who might have been left around. Meanwhile, in French and Dutch Indo-China, British liberation is not on offer, although small numbers of British troops are. It has been suggested to them that locals are disinclined to be liberated by the French and Dutch. This, the paper thinks, is due to the Japanese arming and supporting the nationalists. Soekarno’s nationalists are in charge in Java. The ppaer suggests that more British troops should be sent to establish a “clear cut transfer of power.” The Secretary of State for War does not seem to agree. and neither does Soekarno. The paper, appalled, suspects that some kind of “Indonesia for the Indonesians” policy is gaining ground. This would be terrible, because, after all, Dr. Soekarno collaborated with the Japanese! The paper will allow some temporisation, given the small numbers in place and the 50 million Javanese, but as soon as enough troops are available to liberate Indonesia from the Indonesias, liberation they will have! I hope no-one in Indonesia takes the paper, or things might get sticky for the British troops actually there. 
I don't know whether Indonesian independence wasn't photographed, or whether the photographs haven't been curated. Source.

As for independence now, only romantics believe in such things, because, after all, these places are ethnically mixed, and the Chinese might replace departing Europeans as the exploiting upper class. The paper's position: Europeans have to keep exploiting the Javanese and Annamese, or the Chinese will, instead! The paper does gently suggest “dominion status,” “eventually,” and recommends that something be done about aforeign ownership of plantations is bad for the local economy. Some way must be found to keep the money in the country to stimulate demand and a rising standard of living.

“Air Transport” You might think that with all of Flight to cover the issue, the paper could leave it alone. But, no, it cannot, because civil aviation must be administered, and how can the paper not talk about that? Boards! Plans! Corporations! Zones! Reports! The paper particularly hopes that the Government can find support from the back benches for plans to “free civil aviation from its wartime shackles.”

Notes of the Week

“Progress Report” The Council of Foreign Ministers has broken to take the waters. Here is a progress report: there has been no progress.

“The Demobilisation Statement” The government is BOTCHING demobilisation. The number of men and women under Class A and B who have been released by the end of the year will be 1.5 million, an increase of 400,000 over the previous target. Average weekly release from now through December will be 80,000 a week. Between June 18th 1945 and the end of June 1946, 3.115 million men and women will have been demobilised. The sole bottleneck is now transportation facilities. The paper infers from the planned demobilisation rates that the services are aiming at a peacetime strength of 2 million men, and suggests that this is pure moonshine. A million is the highest possible number, and 750,000 more likely. By June, the Army will be 1.15 million, the Navy 448,000, and the Air Force 661,000. (Implying, by the way, that air force releases will lag behind the other two services.)
“Assistance for the Jews” Something must be done, as they are suffering horribly in Europe. Something must be done, so long as something does not include sending them to Palestine in numbers. The paper urges that they be allowed into America and Britain, instead.

“Wider Government in Austria” And done the right way, too, with talks and Councils to consider administrative details!

“School Until 15” The school-leaving age is to be raised to 15 next year. Classes will still be too large, and teachers too far short, but 300,000 children will get an extra year of education. 11,000 more teachers are required, and £6.5 million in works. Hopefully, everyone will complain about the drafty walls, broken windows, and out-of-service loos, and get the government to work.

No comment. Source.

“Women Diplomats” The Foreign Office is thinking of letting some members of the gentler sex into the rarified realm of diplomacy. Can’t do a worse job than the men. . . Of course, they will not be sent to backward areas such as Latin America, although the Middle East would be fine. For Latins, having to talk to women will only be an “obstacle to understanding.”

“No Progress in Chungking” Helping make everyone reasonable are the American troops landing by air in Tientsin and Peiping to take the Japanese surrender before the Communists can come up and do the same. “The danger the Sino-Russian Treaty sought to remove is not entirely banished.” For no really clear reason, all of this Communist-thwarting is making the Communists feel thwarted.

“EAM Celebrates” EAM is winning in Greece, says EAM. Just look at how popular it is in the meetings it organises!

“A Home for UNO” It will be in the United States, and everyone is hoping for San Francisco. Fingers crossed!

“The Birth-Rate Inquiry” No complete data more recent than 1911 is available, and a family census is impractical right now, so the Inquiry will be surveying 140,000 women to find out what is going on. Preliminary results include the observation that birth control is not to blame for the declining birth rate. Although birth control is widely practiced, unplanned pregnancies are still common, and birth control is only the means of family planning, anyway. The reason for family limitation is “economic and social pressures.” This might seem to suggest that family allowances and social security might lead to higher birth rates, but the paper will have no truck with that sentimental tommyrot. “Unconscious motives” are surely in play, and it is well known that higher incomes correlate with lower birth rates, as the eugenicists are always telling us. Only bracing “the community’s own will” can ensure its “survival and vigour.” If only mothers-to-be could be braced with proper vigour.

“Training for Business” Ex-servicemen might want training to start in business. Sir Frank Newson-Smith has struck a committee to look into it. To do this well, we must first have intergroup consultations on coordinating committees. . . .

“Re-educating Germany” School has begun again in Germany. It is as Nazi-free as might be hoped under the circumstances. In this connection, the paper notices General Patton’s removal. The Americans are purging Nazis, and the Council of German Bishops have released a pastoral letter calling on Germans to work hard, share what they have, and to do penance for the sins of the Nazi era.

“The Law’s Uncertainties” Two rulings on city corporation’s responsibility to light air defence shelters appear to contradict each other. This upsets the paper. Perhaps it has been in the habit of careening around at night through the blacked-out streets, just missing pedestrians entering and leaving unmarked shelters? “Just before the sound of the crash and the horrible pain, as I flew through the air, I caught a noseful of the most awful B.O.”

Shorter Notes

London’s population has increased by 1.7 million in the August, 1944—August, 1945 period  as the evacuees returned, and 50,000 arrived in September alone. The second round of French cantonal elections confirms the general swing to the Left.


Another long page of letters. D. B. Gibe writes a page and a half on Dartmoor prison as a Borstal institution. Children in Dartmoor? W. M. Hood, Director of Cadbury’s, has opinions about the idea of a marketing board for West African cocoa. Cadbury’s is not opposed to any kind of marketing board that could be conceived, but only to any kind of marketing board that will be conceived. It only speaks for West Africans! Joan Robinson suggests that priority for tax relief should not go the Excess Profits Tax. It might be true that a high EPT discourages investment, but the Government actually has a vested interest in discouraging some kinds of investment, and therefore it would be better if Government loans and grants made sure there was enough investment capital around, instead of releasing profits to industry by tax reductions.
The mistress of the capital controversy was a flapper once, and young.

 J. E. Allen wants to reduce the actual tax rate on the first £165 in annual income, but at the same time reduce the exemption from £150 to 80, on the ground that there must be significant tax evasion going on,  mainly in the form of inflated room-and-board deductions. E. M Wagner, of Athens, writes that labour mobility should be embraced, not discouraged. For example, the current shortage of miners should not be addressed by training more miners when the coal trade is in an inevitable decline. Rather, we should hasten it by converting as many services over to (Sterling-area sourced) oil as possible.

American Survey

“Patent Reform” From A Correspondent in New York

OCNY writes that President Truman has struck a committee toreform the patent law. Traditionally, Americans have had a high opinion of inventors, and the patents they aim to secure. They are like, he suggests, the poets of other countries. They are allowed to be late for dinner, their hair uncombed. They are relieved from the responsibility of supporting their families, and their cheque books can be forever unbalanced. But the New Deal struck a rude blow to this old American myth. In 1938, the Temporary National Economic Committee held hearings on the causes and implications of growing economic power in the United States. Yes, yes, I know, it’s the paper talking about committees and hearings again. But these ones were held on this side of the Atlantic, and I can summon up a bit more interest. Please don’t repeat that to the Earl when you see him! (I cannot believe that he is visiting Vancouver. You must have really sold the trout-fishing hard!) The Committee, using examples from five different industries, showed how control of key patents allowed individual firms to control the price, distribution and nature of products offered. Americans were severely disillusioned, as the patent system, previously looked on as the hope of the small man, was revealed as the tool of the monopolist. Particularly offensive was a patent pool shared by Standard Oil of New Jersey and I. G. Farben, which was only dissolved when the war made it untenable. "American troops riding trucks with thin tyres of natural rubber into battle with the Japanese" were the final insult.

American Notes

“Mr. Crowley Goes Home” Mr. Crowley’s resignation, and the termination of the Foreign Economic Administration probably means something for ongoing talks on the American loan.

Scapegoat is in the centre

“Mutual Rebukes” Another story on difficulties between Administration and Congress over the Full Employment Bill.

“No Labour Policy Yet” More and more workers are out on strike, and the Administration does not yet have a plan.

Actual Americans seem to have plans, though.

“Proposals for Tax Relief” Abolition of the 3% “normal tax,” above the regular income tax rate; the war excises, and the Excess Profits Tax are being considered as a means of increasing employment.
“The Political Importance of Palestine” Governor Dewey has appeared before the American Zionist Emergency Committee to call for unlimited migration to Palestine and the immediate establishment of a Jewish Commonwealth. Mayor LaGuardia, who is expected to run for some kind of higher office, is suggesting a 100,000 Jewish quota. General O’Dwyer, who is expected to run for Mayor of New York, also has ideas. The upshot is that New York is likely to go to the most pro-Zionist candidate, and the President has to take this into account along with the difficulty of admitting Jews into the United States, as the paper reminds evveryone.

The World Overseas

“Trade Union International” An international trade union talk shop. What could be more interesting?

“Towards a Peace Economy in Switzerland” No starvation, no refugees, no industry at a standstill. I think they'll make it.

“Canada’s War Balance Sheet” Canada had lots of soldiers, spent lots of money, made lots of stuff. Canadians have ample savings, and their external debt is down. But, if  you squint, you can find reasons for pessimism. The English hate the French, and vice versa. The soil, forests, or mines might be depleted. And international trade might be about to collapse. Hurrah!

The Business World

“Cheap Capital” It has been three weeks since the Chancellor of the Exchequer promised to look into the question of whether lower interest rates and cheaper money might be achievable and desireable. I might have read up on the subject of “easy money,” so as to discover what the paper is on about, so I have a better sense of the issues. What I haven't is a sense of what this article is saying. The facts are clear enough. The 3.5% and 2.5% war bonds which are the larger supply of the national debt constitute “cheap money,” because these returns are low compared to other returns, mainly foreign. They can be used in trade for assets which do not have a high return, They will be around until 1952—4. But money could be cheaper, says the Chancellor? I would understand why, except I do not need to know financer talk to understand this article. I need a better editor. As near as I can tell, cheap money might continue, get cheaper, or get more expensive. Honestly. The article paper is wandering around like someone who has just been in a traffic accident.

“Machine Tool Disposals”

A decade of expansion of the British industry, combined with large imports, leaves the Government with a huge surplus of general purpose machines that can be turned over to industry. The problem lies in balancing this with the needs of the industry to not go out of business. The key might be a generous depreciation allowance to encourage industry to scrap the tools it has, take on the surplus, and eliminate the pool, so that the machine tool makers can get on with building new ones. As it actually happens, the machine tool industry is very nearly at capacity. And sales so far have only absorbed about 5% of the surplus.

“Germany’s Financial Crisis –II” Germans, like British, Americans and Canadians (and Japanese?), have an enormous amount of nominal spending power in their hands. Yet  the Occupying Powers are committed to preventing inflation. Germans can only keep their savings if they do not spend them. Moreover, one way of unleashing the inflationary tide would be to service Germany’s inrternal debt. Taking an optimistic view of it, and allowing 3.5%, this would require a sinking fund of 50 billion Rm, a fantastic number in a country whose 1938 national income was only 77 billion. One half to one third of tax revenues cannot be dedicated to interest payments! An indefinite moratorium on payments would strip the banks of assets, but that will happen anyway. In the future, some relief might be expected from increasing the German tax burden, which was very much lower than British during the war, and fell more on the poor. Germans do not like inflation, unlike Britons and Americans, who invite it to all of their parties.

Jesus sees you debasing the currency. Jan Sander van Hemessen, 1536. 

Business Notes

Demobilisation continues. There are worrying signs on exports. Americans still want an end to the Steriling Area. Some companies are handling transition well and paying dividends; the paper suggests what they have in common. There is talk of finances for special development areas. The Shipping Pool will continue until February, and Admiral Land continues to press for a very large American merchant marine on its dissolution. September saw a “record dis-saving,” as the public spent some of their savings on stuff –16.5 millions in September, compared with an average of 5.2 a month in 1933,, and 3.2 in 1942. The paper draws gloomy conclusions. The paper entitles a paragraph on new procedures cracking down on absenteeism in the coal mines with the headline “8 Million Tons of Coal.” This is Shinwell's target increase of 10% a month. Lever Brothers and Odeon have financials out. The former are disappointing, the latter not. Also disappointing were recent Exchequer returns. Expenditure isn’t falling fast enough, although the revenue situation is more satisfactory. The British authorities can already distribute relief in cash rather than kind in Singapore, because of the speed at which the Strait dollar is being reinstituted.

Flight, 11 October 1945


“From ‘Stringbags’ to Jets” It used to be said of the Navy and aircraft that “It didn’t know what it wanted, and it wouldn’t be happy until it got it.” The paper likes the joke, which is why it repeats it, but it hastens to tell us, it really isn’t true. The recent Heston show demonstrated all the nice planes that never got to blow up Japanese. The fact that it is buying jets shows that it has its eye on the future. Admirals Troubridge, Boyd and Slattery are proof of this, because they are aviators who are in charge of naval aviation. Well, except for Troubridge, but he’s from an old navy family, so good enough.
Fairey Spearfish: a single engined plane with an all up weight of 21,642lbs. Seems reasonable.

“Controlling Atomic Energy” The paper approves of the American decision to control information about atomic energy, since atomic bombs should not be used lightly. It also pleads for rapid work on the peaceful use of atomic energy. Perhaps, it says, if it were more advanced than it is, we would not be facing this awful winter in Europe.

Basically all the memes of the Atomic Age had emerged by the middle of October of 1945

“Interest in Jet Propulsion”

Air Commodore Whittle gave a talk on jet propulsion to a capacity crowd. The paper is pleased, because it proves that there is public interest. (Other things the public might prove to have an interest in: Frank Sinatra, South Sea vacations, sex.)

“Navy’s Newest Displayed” The Heston Show featured the de Havilland Sea Vampire, Fairey Spearfish, Blackburn Firebrand doing an inverted roll with a torpedo in the crutch, Griffon-powered Barracuda V, Griffon 74-powered Firefly IV, D. H. Sea Hornet, Hawker Sea Fury fighter, Supermarine Seafang (a naval version of the Spiteful), the Sea Mosquito and the old Seafires. Also exhibited were the Fairy “double aero engine,” 
"Fairey p24" by Aeroplanepix - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -

and an F. O. Maclaren system for dealing with cooler damage by automatically isolating damaged portions with cut-off valves, which sounds interesting, but hard to demonstrate.
Seafang. needs more prop.

Here and There

Flight has received the first number of an American paper, Atomic and Gas Turbine Progress. The first article, by R. Tom Sawyer, compares diesel engines with gas turbines, and there are no atomic articles.  The first mention of the radio proximity fuze occurred in a release by the U.S. Navy Department on 27 September. This week comes the first available picture, a sectional drawing, along with the confused comment that it was first used during the Battle of the Bulge. 

In fact, the British model, “known by the non-commital name of ‘Bonzo,’ was used by AA Command against the V-1s the previous summer.   General Aircraft is experimenting with a version of the Hamilcar powered by two Mercury engines. The ATA Pageant held at White Waltham raised £1000 for the ATA Benevolent Fund. Sgt. Henrietta Williams, the first American enlisted WAC in the China theatre, got the Air Medal from General Stratemeyer this week, for 25 missions as an air navigator within range of Japanese fighters. 

Sgt. Williams. Source.

“Test Instruments: Comprehensive Exhibition of Test Instrumentation for Aircraft at RAE Farnborough” ‘Comprehensive’ means that there are a lot of them. The ones that struck my attention  were a camera which took continuous pictures of the readings on a bank of instruments to give a record; and various rigs that went into aircraft to automatically measure speed (with external pitots) and engine performance.)

In shorter news, Air Vice-Marshal D. C. T. Bennett painted a picture of the Prime Minister declaring war by launching 6000 atomic rockets on an enemy without warning. Even if we were to live 5000 feet underground, he went on, we would not be entirely safe, as bombs with the requisite penetrative power could be designed. Bennett is convinced that, as long as the atomic bomb is controlled by only one or two powers, we are headed towards another war –an atomic war. The solution is international control.
Because the game is set in a giant underground fallout shelter complex? Or because "Bennet" and "paranoia."

“Airscrews: A Specialist Examines Their Future Scope and Probably Development in the Next Five Years” L. G. Fairhurst, chief engineer at Rotol, gave a talk at the Royal Aeronautical Society last Thursday, in which he discussed future airscrew arrangements to absorb the power of the 3000 to 5000hp engines on the horizon, and 10,000hp turbines after that. A 30ft diameter double, contra-rotating, reversible pitch, five-bladed airscrew is proposed. On the other hand, he is quite pessimistic about ducted fans. I don’t know. Given the amount of gearing in any contra-rotating installation, combined with the balance problems of a five-bladed airscrew, and on top of that the torsional loadings of a 30ft diameter disc, the physical problems of ductingenough air into a fan seem pretty trivial.

Good time to be a gear manufacturer.
Or not. 

“Escape Them Never: Work of ZSM: Checking Every Ship in Every Port: Measuring Speed by Bow Waves” ZSM was part of your organisation –the shipping section of the Allied Central Interpretation Unit. Eventually, they did actually check every ship in every port, and wer so successful that the ZR Section was set up to do the same to the German railways, after the invasion.

“De Havillland Dove: First details of Latest D.H. Civil Type: High Efficiency and Low Operating Costs” It would not be fair if I have the Dove more attention than the Viking!

Air Commodore Frank Whittle, CBE, RAF, MA, MIMechE, “Early History of the Whittle Jet Propulsion Gas Turbine” This is the paper mentioned in the leading article. This is a much politer version of the story that he was telling to anyone who would listen in LA a few years ago, with more illustrations.

“New U.S. Transports: The Unconventional DC-8 and Martin Model 202” The DC-8 is to be a 39,500lb gross weight, 15,585lb useful weight, 48 passenger airliner, with an unconventional installation of two Allison V-1710 engines mounted in the fuselage beneath the forward compartment cargo floor, powering two contra-rotating co-axial airscrews situated astern of the fuselage through long extension shafts. The advantages of this configuration include the fact that no airline will ever order it, so that Douglas will get cheap publicity without ever having to deliver on the design. The Martin is similarly facing a bit of an uphill battle, as in spite of being several years behind the Constellation, it is unpressurised. The thought is that there will be a market for main airliners flying sea-level operations. I hope they are right.

Civil Aviation News

More airmail, more survey flights, a Montreal meeting of the International civil Aviation Organisation, a SABENA Brussels-Croydon service, Russians air surveying in the Arctic, talk of a New York-Johannesburg service. England and Ireland are negotiating.


“Group Eleven” is very dissatisfied with the RAF uniform. 

Air Vice-Marshal Sir Philip Game, modelling for David Low
“Air Engineer” points out that the average time for mail from Ceylon to London is six days, not six weeks. The paper replies that the letter took 16 days to reach it. B. J. Hurren responds to one of many criticisms of his recent paper. Hermes was built as an aircraft carrier, but no-one had any idea how to do that at the time, so he is right, after all. C. A. Nepean Bishop thinks that the ATC might benefit from some converted Tiger Moths. Flt. Lt. A. N. Werner criticises “Potag” for being too critical in his letter. “Air Branch Type” agrees, and “Celeb” thinks that RAF aircrew are just as unrecognised as Fleet Air Arm types.     
The Economist, 13 October 1945


“The Bank Bill” The bill to nationalise the Bank of England has been brought before Parliament. The paper is fine with it, especially the excellent terms given to current shareholders. No comment.

“German Politics” Fresh waves of expulsions are bringing millions more Germans west, perhaps another two million into the British Zone. To prevent famine this winter, this must stop. Meanwhile, in the Russian Zone, the Russians are preparing to withdraw their army for the urgent work of reconstruction at home. Before this, the paper thinks, the Russians are pursuing a considered policy of destroying Germany power by destroying its wealth by removing factory equipment and other means. For example, land reform has “returned German agriculture to the strip farming of the Middle Ages.” The Russians are also appointing a “safe” administration for the soon-to-be-destroyed Germany.  The Americans, the paper supposes, are also trying to “pastoralise” Germany by destroying or idling factories. Meanwhile, American changes to German society are worked through Catholic and Conservative elements. The British, meanwhile, have stopped deindustrialisation and introduced a species of New Economic Policy. (I looked this up. It’s a reference to Lenin’s industrial “fake right, go left” play in the 1920s. Apologies for the sports analogy, but we’re in the middle of college football here. I don’t really care, but it is  easier to talk about than the baseball playoffs.) So I guess the idea is that the British only seem to be giving up on de-Nazification, and will purge the country and starve the rich peasants later? I’m going to leave it at that. The paper is seeing (pretending to see?) what it wants to see: sensible British reconstructing, rebuilding, and leaving the hard work of de-Nazification to the future. Also, a bulwark against “socialism” or “communism” is needed, because once it takes root, it will sweep to the Rhine! Capitalists are so insecure.

“The Depressed Islands” The West Indies are very depressed. The paper cites a picture it saw once of a “trash hut,” somewhere in the Leeward Isles, made of leaves and rough poles, 200 square feet, with no windows. (The paper is very concerned with windows. Without windows, how can you  have a proper English draft?) The caption says that “some, but not all of the people who live here are in the picture,” and the paper counts two adults and fourteen children, and concludes that there are too many children, of very nearly the same age, and concludes that this illustrates not just squalor, but the “lack of family life” in the depressed islands. Schoolrooms are also shown to be overcrowded. The obvious solution is welfare arrangements, paid for by the colonial power, but the paper rules this out. It would be expensive, but, more importantly, it would be immoral in some way, because it would encourage this “breakdown in family life,” and the “inexorable increase in population.” Also, the islanders are lazy. (Well, it doesn’t say that. It says that they are “content” to work 20 hours or so a week, just enough to support their trash huts.) Rather, there must be an effort to improve the standard of living, and the income per head, to permit the islanders to pay more taxes to pay for their own social services. The paper has no idea how to accomplish this, except to spend more money on “development.” It ends by concluding that since the islands are part of “the western world,” and have no “communal problems,” this will be easier than anywhere else, so we shouldn’t give up in despair just yet. Actually, we should give up in despair, since "development" here is impossible, and therefore even more so everywhere else. Now who is depressed?

“How Many Trees” Britain had to cut down all of its trees to fight World War I. This led to the Forestry Commission, which was set up to reforest the island. In spite of this work, the country was short of timber again in World War II. So the question is, how many trees should be replanted. Also, given that the Commission has recommended a very ambitious 2 million acres, planting 500,000 in the first decade at a cost of £41 million. So should we do that? What will be the return? Will there be another war that would justify it strategically, rather than on the basis of return on sales of timber? What about the proper ratio of hard and softwoods? The paper is against this reckless and expensive scheme. Of planting some trees, and spending a gobsmacking £4 millions a year. All that’s lacking for a perfect article is a proposal to reorganise the Commission with more local representation.

 Notes of the Week

“The Atom Secret” President Truman has announced that the atomic secret will be shared only with Britain and Canada. That is, not with Russia. Is this Russophobia, or good policy? The paper comes down on “Russophobia.” It will look a very short-sighted provocation if, in five years time, the Russians have their own bomb. On the other hand, perhaps it will encourage the Russians to embrace internationalisation? The paper is skeptical. Now that Senator Taft has said that the Russians will not get the bomb in five years, I am just going to go ahead and circle 6 August, 1950 on my calendar, so that I don’t make any engagements for Russian Atomic Demonstration Day. (Hopefully not Russia Blows Up San Francisco Day.)  

“Who Broke Up the Conference?” Now that the Council of Foreign Ministers has broken up, we can get down to the real work of fixing the blame. It was the Russians.

“Opposition in a Strange Role” The Conservative Opposition fell down on the job of criticising the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act, because it was too Tory for them to object to its various controls on industry and trade. The paper is appalled. Although at least it has the good sense not to remind an ungrateful electorate that there is still a Liberal Party.

“RAF Megalomania” As suggested last week, the RAF’s peacetime programme, as implied by its demobilisation schedule (the Government is BOTCHING demobilisation!), the number of airfields it is hanging onto, and “ugly rumours” that the airplane factories are to be kept running on a scale sufficient to re-equip the Air Force every eighteen months,  is too large for the paper.

Cabinet Changes in Japan” An Allied Control Commission will sit in Washington and give recommendations to General MacArthur. The Russians are welcome there, if they want a “say” in the occupation policy. Of course, so are the Philippines and Australia. Meanwhile, in Japan, a new cabinet has been formed, and “Americans are still compromising themselves with Japanese Big Business.”

“The Indo-Chinese Negotiations” In French Indo-China, things are going well, the paper thinks. The British have temporised long enough for the French to arrive, under General LeClerc. The one problem is in the north, around Hanoi, where Nationalist forces are encouraging the Annamese nationalists of the Viet Minh. That seems a little unlikely to me, although perhaps the Annamese are calculating that Chungking won’t be around long enough to call in its favours. Anyway, it makes a good excuse for the French to hurry north and strong-arm Chungking. Perhaps they are gambling on Yunnan, too? It would at least show more realism in Paris than in London and Washington –or the paper, which conceives Chungking’s support for the Annamese nationalists as alienating China’s neighbours.

“Uncertainty in Java” Dutch commanding officers have now arrived in Java. They don’t, however, appear to have brought enough troops to subdue an island of 50 millions, and what they suppose is going to happen in, say, Aceh, is beyond me. (Let it go now, count on anti-Javanese sentiment in the medium term, send a gunboat in the long run?) The paper broadly implies that British troops should be sent, or kept, to enforce the colonial regime. How that is to be reconciled with “the Government is BOTCHING demobilisation” is beyond me, too.

“The Washington Talks” You know what we need? A New talking about talking about topic: World Trade.

“Petrol Ration as Before” Mr. Shinwell has announced same in Parliament. Now it is not war, or shortage of shipping, but rather lack of currency.

At this point I lose a page of the paper to Enemy Activity (Reckless Toddler Division). You should imagine that you are reading about five or six short pieces on the need to administer effectively unwise proposed future initiatives in the field of spending money the taxpayer does not have.

“British –Married or Single” The paper is appalled that British girls who marry foreigners lose their British naturalisation. What’s worse, thanks to wartime amendments, it only applies to women who marry subjects of the Allied and neutral powers. The problem is that we have to get Australia’s agreement.

“Europe at the Polls” Communists in retreat, social democrats on the advance, ,”If they can find the courage, and the men.” And perhaps even the women!

“Can Nuremberg Succeed?” That is, the Nuremberg war trials. Will they succeed or fail? The paper would prefer to see them shot without a trial.

“Winter Quarters for DPs” There are between 1.1 and 1.4 million internally displaced persons in the western zones. The  camps they are living in are not winterised, and the inmates are not employed, and should be. Leaving the Poles, who will mostly return to Poland, aside, there are about 400,000 to be housed. The rest of the world should offer them permanent homes, but hasn’t yet. The paper rolls its eyes in the direction of America.

Shorter Notes

The paper thinks that the army in SEAC should hand their transport and supplies over to the new civil administration of Burma, so that it has some chance of actually administering. The government has accepted the Hankey Report on television, and the BBC will resume services shortly.

The invasion of Poland pre-empted this broadcast, so naturallly it leads off the BBC's gala first night of broadcasting on 18 June 1946. In retrospect, World War II wasn't all bad. (There are some hilarious anti-Semitic caricatures at about 3:40.) 

American Survey

“Success via By-Products” From a Correspondent in Oregon
The Portland Gas and Coke Company was formed in 1859 to light the infant village of Portland, Oregon (population 2,800), with coal brought in as ballast from Australia and British Columbia. Eight years later, the first coal gas was used for heat, to warm the boilers of the town’s steam engines between fires.  Electricity drove it out of streetlighting about 1890, and it laid heating gas pipes with a vengeance, bringing in gas plates and cookers by the trainload. Then came the end of the ballast days, and the company turned to the California coal fields for new supplies. Electricity invaded the domestic heating and cooking trade, and the company went to briquette-making for space heating. And benzene and benzol for industrial use, especially gasoline blending. Various other hydrocarbon extracts followed, especially once it began processing oil to make its own gasoline. Then came “heavy oil” distillation, then asphalt making, fuel oil, and, most recently, refrigeration. It’s an interesting story, but I haven’t the foggiest idea what makes it news.

American Notes

“The Secretary Explains” The Hearst and McCormick papers hate the British and the Russians, so they have more than enough people to blame the failure of the Conference on. It is up to Mr. Byrnes and Mr. Dulles to explain why the failure of the talks does not mean why America should be starting an atomic war with the rest of the world. Or something. I’m not sure what the Hearst papers actually want. No, strike that. They want to sell papers. Though, come to think of it, a global atomic war would sell papers –for the first few months (minutes?), anyway.

Mr. Lewis Emerges” The coal strike is technically illegal, and a threat to reconversion. It is also a challenge to the new head of the CIO, Mr. Murray. It is thought that if Mr. Lewis emerges as the man who ended the strike, he will also advance his cause within the CIO.

“Mr. Truman, the Scientists, and Congress” Mr. Truman has clarified that the atomic secrets America is not sharing are actually “industrial secrets.” That is, basic scientific principles are not being withheld, but the industrial know-how America developed in the course of making the bombs. This is how he reconciles Congress’s demand for secrecy, and the scientists’ demand for open sharing of knowledge. With various scientists predicting that the “secret” will only last from two to ten years, and the Oakridge Scientists’ Association all but threatening to go public, he has a bit of a rebellion on his hands. So it is as well to put this in more sympathetic terms. Scientists like patents, after all. Physicists need Lincolns, too, you know!  On another line of delay and compromise, a House Committee has recommended secrecy pending a complete sub-committee report. If it takes five years to compile. . .

“CPB Succeeds WPB” The Civil Production Board will act to curtail speculative hoarding, unbalanced distribution and consequent retrenchment, set priorities in the event of bottlenecks, etc, now that reconversion is basically at an end. Secretary Krug’s final report on reconversion is deemed too optimistic. Although production is up 50 to 60% on 1939 levels, the official projection of 8 million unemployed this time next year, and the lack of any visible scheme for dealing with it causes concerns. Meanwhile, the paper expects Congress to strike a final blow to the economy, because, well, you know Congress. Or the paper. One or the other is going to be very predictable. Actually, they both could be. We could be having a depression this time next year, and the paper will still be predicting worse days ahead. Cannibalism and starvation, and the paper’s last correspondent will be staggering around in the mud, hoarsely predicting the imminent return of flesh-eating dinosaurs. Fire-breathing? Oh, probably.

“Food Rationing” See infra, as the good professors say. That is, the discovery of 1.6 million tons of sugar being hoarded in Java has encouraged the Secretary of Agriculture to foresee an early end to rationing, which means American profligacy has no limits, which means that rationing will be eased to the point where all the food needed in Europe is consumed, leading to even worse rationing. Actually, the paper does not take that last, paradoxical step –that needs genius on a par with Our Correspondent in New York. I wonder if he is taking apprentices?

The Business World

“Tin Rationalisation” The discovery of a stockpile of 17,000 tons of tin in Malaya, and that small-scale production can resume immediately temporarily shakes the paper’s pessimism, before it rallies. Confidently, it predicts problems which will curtail production, or lead to overproduction, or overinvestment. The answer would appear to be rationalisation and the end of high-cost producers in Bolivia “and Cornwall, for that matter.” Bolivians will be pleased. . .

“Policy for Industrial Design” by a Correspondent

The Council for Industrial Design has a Centre for Industrial Design, in Manchester.  It has publicised its work through exhibitions since 1941, each attended by literally hundreds of visitors. More will follow, assisted by grants-in-aid of £10,000. Great things are expected. Again, a full page and a half is used up for this “news.”

 “The Stock Exchange since 1939” This the title of a pamphlet released by the London Stock Exchange to give financial education for newly-released members of the armed forces coming back to their jobs, but, really, everyone should read it, so as to lose their ignorant and cynical opinions of the LSE. As you may gather reading this, there is already far too much cynicism on the loose.

“Credit Expansion Slackens” Remember how people have been “dis-saving” at a record rate in September? This is that story again.

“Sweden’s Sterling Balances” They are up. Bad news.

“Anglo-Iranian Peak Production” Anglo-Iranian’s production last year was the highest ever, in spite of all the strains on it. . . . Good. . . news?

“US Coal Supplies in Europe” It was originally hoped that America would make 8 million tons available to Europe, but the coal strike is threatening that supply. Meanwhile, France is up to 75% of prewar production, mainly by adding miners; Belgium is still at 50%, Holland still less. There are no recent statistics for Western Germany, but all signs point to slow progress. Given Britain’s small relief shipments, the country is in no condition to moralise, but the sooner the American strike is settled and the promised 2 million tons/month shipment is resumed, the better.

Aviation, October 1945

Down the Years in AVIATION’s Log

25 years ago this  month, the first London-Paris airline recorded its first year in operation, with an average of 2.3 passengers per flight. Handley Page offered its slotted wing for sale, top speed in the Gordon Bennett race was 184.8mph, Mercedes shows off a supercharger with a full power altitude of 13,000ft. In America, the Navy uses interplane radio over a ten mile rangte, and Pioneer introduces a turn-and-bank indicator. Fifteen years ago, TWA begins flying the New York-Californnia air mail, R-101 is lost, and average airline revenue is 85 cents per passenger mile. Ten years ago, HowardHughes sets a landplane record of 315.7mph, and Polish planes take first and second in the Gordon Bennett race.

Line Editorial

“Labor and Management Meet: For Peace or Civil War” The annual Labor-Management Conference is meeting on 5 November at President Truman’s diurection under the shadow of an all-out strike in the automobile industry. The purpose of the conference is to replace the wartime War Labor Board with some kind of peacetime arbitration authority. Neither side wants ciompulsory arbitration to continue, but Mr. McGraw thinks that most disputes must continue to be resolved by arbitration, or “economic anarchy” will ensue. As well, there must be a general acceptance of the right to collective bargaining, or there will be too many strikes over the basic principles of negotiation. Labour union control of members must be strengthened to prevent wildcats, and everyone should talk about administrative machinery. It’s The Economist’s dream world. (Except the part where wages might go up.)

Aviation Editorial

“For Glamor, Easy Cash, and Sky-Gadding, Stay OUT of this Business” Okay, I will. Someone needs to tell Mr. Hughes and Uncle Henry, though.

Raymond L. Hoadley, “Don’t Sell This Industry Short” Is it okay if I sell Mr. Hughes and Uncle Henry short? To be fair to Mr. Hoadley, there are some densely packed tables of figures tending to show that airlines and builders are good investments.

“Two New Douglas Transports Spark Air-Carrier Race” The new carriers are the C-74 Globemaster, of which one prototype exists, and the new DC-8, which is even newer, and doesn’t exist yet. Douglas makes no prediction of when commercial production might begin.

“Keep Those Students Coming Back for More” Once commercial flying schools have enrolled student pilots, they should try to keep them around, and since locking them in the closet is illegal in most states, schools should try to not fail, bore or discourage them.

John Foster, Jr., Managing Editor, “Design Analysis of Messerschmitt Me-262 Jet Fighter” For a barely literate paper, Aviation sure does have a lot of editors. The aircraft is designed for blowing up bombers, with four low-velocity 20mm cannon grouped in the nose and converging on 450m, and for dive-sort-of bombing, with two jettisonable bomb racks. The structure makes extensive use of steel, for some reason –perhaps strength?—and uses the same flush rivets and capture nuts seen on the FW 190. The cockpit is very cramped, and was originally intended to be pressurised. Late planes often omit some of the instruments and have a very old gunsight. Poor quality labour is evident in some features, notably roughly made joints which have to be filled out to level, and ragged skin-to-skin joins. The wing had a marked sweepback of 20 degrees, with spar swept 12 degrees and trailing edge 8.5. This means that the ribs must vary considerably in construction. Trim tabs were intended to be servo tabs, but this was abandoned at a late date, and they are only adjustable from the ground. The wing fastenings are unorthodox, and, because of poor workmanship, dangerous on some of the machines examined in this country. Many features other than nuts and rivets recall the FW190 design. Tankage is 170 gallons, although an auxiliary rear fuselage tank was originally prepared for, doubling capacity.
Obviously more could be said about constructional features. I’ve just picket out the ones that tend to indicate that slave labour is not a very good way of making fighter planes, I am glad to say!

“U.S. Autojet Tops Nazi V-1 Engine” G. M. Giannini and Co., of Padadena, have built a V-1 that’s even better than the German V-1. At least on the drawing table and in the wind tunnel.

Ernest G. Stout, “Landing Anayses of Flying Boats and Seaplanes” I suppose that, as titles go, it beats “City Council Considers Proposal.”

Ralph Upson, “Designing Tomorrow’s Personal Plane, Part 7” This month’s installment considers the “roadable” plane, which can drive on highways. These are clearly superior to flying automobiles, Upson says. They are also the most expensive concept of the three (flying cars, driving planes, cars on planes.) All are impracticaland “fantastic.”

Dwight A. Wrigley, “Design Your Product for Efficient Servicing” In my daydreams, Mr. Wrigley is introducing the world’s first fully-serviceable stick of chewing gum, with a tiny little chewing gum-repair kit free in every pack. In the real world, the paper must be very short of good articles, although in my limited experience, some people, mainly former air force mechanics, are  very vocal about design for easy maintenance. There’s something sbout barking your knuckles 48 times while replacing the spark plugs. . . .

E. P. Humphrey, “Self-Contained Assemblies Feature B-29 Four Gun Turret, Part II” I think this sentence is wrong way round?

Alvin A. Meddock, Pacific Division, Bendix, “Floating Piston Equalizer Coordinates Hydraulic Cylinders” Of course it does?

The Maintenance section covers boot-type de-icers.

“He Gave Wings to the Steel Business” Steelman [Sam] Keener has a private plane he uses for business purposes! Let’s give him a three page article.

“CSA’s Recipe for Airfield Success” No landing obstructions, good drainage, and some business for the airfield to be in.

“Mammoth Hughes H-4 Nears Takeoff Line” That’s quite the gadding, Mr. Hughes.

“Radical Hull Design Tried Out in Blackburn B-20” Just before the war, Blackburn apparently experimented with a flying boat with a –retractable hull? It flew very satisfactorily, except for the part where the only prototype crashed and ended the programme.

Dixon Speas, Assistant to Vice-President, Engineering, and Marvin Whitlock, Chief Aircraft Engineer, United Airlines, “Beating the Fire Hazard” “Burning may be defined by rapid oxidation.”  Amusing illustrations show the lighter side of aerial fires

, while the authors make the argument that old-fashioned carbon-dioxide extinguishers really are good enough.
Just to underline:that's an overhead gasoline main, which has cracked open and caught fire. All in a day's work.

John Frederick, Professor of Transportation and Industry, University of Texas, “The Case Against Regulatory Integration” Some think that all forms of transportation should be regulated by the same Federal agency. Others, who are right, think the opposite.

Aviation News

The military is still planning a vast network of bases in the Pacific and Atlantic, in case the war happens again. The air force tells us that bombing really did so work, and it is going to do a survey to prove it. The Air Technical Service Command is going to have a rocket development centre on the East Coast. The Liockheed PV-2 Harpoon exists.
Lockheed Harpoon. It's odd that it would be coming off the secret list in late 1945.

A static test model of the Hughes F-11 reconnaissance aircarrft is now available to the air force. Noorduyn’s contract for Harvard trainers has been cancelled b the Canadian government. Canadair’s contract for DC-4s might be continued, and Trans-Canada is bguying seven “new” Douglas DC-3s for short runs in Ontario and Quebec.
Canadair Northstar. "Reliable, but loud."

Wasington Windsock

Some Navy people don’t think that aviation has changed everything. There will be vacation flying in peacetime! Vertical-takeoff-horizontal flight aircraft might be coming. Railroads and airlines might fight.

Tourists flying down to Mexico? Oh, Blaine, you wild-eyed visionary, you.

Aircraft Manufacturing

There won’t be any aircraft manufacturing, except for airliners and new planes. The Navy, for example, wants to buy 3000 new aircraft a year, and Northrop has a $2 million backlog. Bendix wants to put the features its B-29 carburettor to work in the consumer market. Aeronca sent in pictures of an actual private plane it has made. The French SN-30 Bellatrix airliner exists.  KLM is buying planes, the Australain nationalisation plan may or may not be advancing, and the situation in Mexico is confused. The AAF is testing out aerial spraying of DDT over “impoverished Rockford, Illinois” to combat the spread of disease.

Fortune,  Otober 1945

Russell W. Davenport, who reports on France for the paper in this number, knows it well from spending boyhood summers there, and attending high school in Lausanne, Switzerland. Which isn’t France, so I am not sure what the connection is. I thought the Swiss spoke German? I repeat the details because Mr. Davenport seems to be awfully comfortable for someone who has to write for a living. With this issue, the “America at War” and “Busines at War” features end.

The Job Before Us
The paper meditates on the way that being first in the market with an automatic hay baler let the small New Holland Machine Conpany “knife its way” into the industry, but encolurage it to set prices too high, showing that capitalists with monoplolies can be their own worst enemies. The paper is worried that the oiccupation of Germany will lead to peacetime partition, and reports that the peacetime armed forces might have 1.75 million men, including 850,000 peacetime conscripts, and a budget of $7 billion, down from a wartime $90 billion. Speaking of billions, T. V. Soong is looking for a $2billion loan, the Russians might get a $6 billion one, and the paper is worked enough about bad debt to suggest that Britian would be better served by a $3 billion grant in aid than a hard-to-pay-off loan. The paper hopes that passports can be simplified.

“It’s Wonderful: Industry Converts for the Boom, The Planners Plan (Against a Depression), and the Middle-oif-the-Road is Praxctically Jammed”

By mid-summer, 1945, individual liquid savings had reached $140 billion, as much as half of it saved by people making less than $5000/year. Liquid assets of business were about $75 billion, and civilian industry was hoping for a gradual reconversion as Japan was gradually despatched by a gradual succession of beach-head bloodbaths. (Gradual bloodbaths, so more like Iwo Jima than Tarawa.) Then, due to the atomic bomb, this didn’t happen, and everyone was surprised except for thye people who actually predicted that the war would end in 1945. Who do not matter. Now there is to be unemployment at more than 1.5 million for not less than 30 days, says the National Association of Manufacturers, while Sidney Hillman predicts 10 million, and other labour voices say 20. Sudden peace “scares the country,” and substantial unemployment is sure. Bob Nathan, deputy director of the WPB and an old New Deal planner, is scrounging to come up with a new “master reconversion plan”
and on 16 August the plan he is associated with came out. The paper likes it, because PM hates it. It essentially consists of exgtended unemployment benefits, a temporary cut in corporate tax rates, and money for public works. Some deem this too liberal, and fear that Congress won’t like it. Various social security bills, whose specific details (Wagner-Murray-Dingell; Murray-Wagner-Patman) are probably not worth reporting out of country are brought up. On the one hand this, on the other, that. Depression, boom, or “middle of the road.”

“The Air War on Japan –II” How we blew up Japan, part II. With B-29s, mostly, in night fire raids, as it turns out that Japan has weather. That may be facetious, given just how great the strain of high altitude daylight bombing in the Japanese weather, a virtual aerial Gulf Stream flowing out of Siberia at up to 200mph at 20,000ft. A B-29 taking off at 135,000lb and climbing to 20,000ft must run its engines at full military power --+43.5 inches, 2400rpm, for hours at a time. Engines wore out, planes were chronically grounded, and the sight of a pilot pulling the wings off his blouse and throwing them on the table “phased no-one.” And the bombing, through ground cover, was painfully inaccurate, with the number one target, Musashino, after much effort only 4% damaged. With clear weather for bombing likely only 3 times per month in the spring rainy season, and radar not yet ready for the task, as much because the technicians were not trained as because the equipment itself wasn’t ready, Le May embraced low altitude night area bombing. I learn, however, that it was quite different from RAF night bombing in Europe. The 20th bombed at 5000ft. That’s like the prewar RAF exercises of the “Bomber must get through days,” and it would have been fatal against barrage balloons and AA guns, never mind night fighters. In ten days that shook Japan, five targets were hit, five firestorms, and Japan was ..
Well, we can hardly say, prepared for an invasion that didn’t happen, or knocked out of a war which continued until the atom bomb, but when you hear about tuberculosis and diphtheria in muddy shantytowns, you know that something was accomplished.

“Radar –The Technique: If You Can Understand Radio, You Can Understand Radar: It is Television’s First Cousin, and the Most Versatile Weapon Developed in the War” This is like “special reliativty explained on the back of an envelope—“ The devil is in the details. Analogies to rubber balls bouncing off walls are one thing. Spotting the origins of those analogies in Maxwell’s Equations is quite another. And when one learns about waves “bouncing off the skies,” and being “channelled” by the water, the analogies are especially unhelpful. In peacetime, we will have to get used to weather predicftion by radar and LORAN guiding us on our overseas flights.

“Radar: The Industry” Government laboratories, 200 prime contractors, and 8000 subcontractors constituted a billion dollar industry in the last year of the war. Prewar experiments focussed on long and medium wave radar, and the British magnetron was a revelation when it was delivered in the fall of 1941. While the Radiation laboratory worked to adapt the magnetron to American conditions, industrial labs worked on more familiar sources of high-frequency waves such as klystrons, reflex oscillators and “lighthouse" tubes. The high frequency sets came into mass production in 1943; until then, war service was by the old long and medium wave equipments –and by “old,”one means five years or so. So quick was progress that equipments became obsolete while still in production.Raytheon became the exclusive manufacturer of the Navy’s SG radar; Sperry had a complete line, and did klystron research on the side. Bendix made ground radar. Sylvana made test equipment. Eitel-McCullough made radar tubes. Philco and Western Electric made aircraft radars.
This year, producers will sell only about $75 million of equipment, and there are only a handful of peacetime applications.

Wouldn't this look nice in your living room, radaring the thing that needs radaring?

So what will this industry do? Uncle George, can, of course, pat himself on the back over the last five years. His Western Electric buy alone. . .  The question is whether our gains have already been realised, or should we go long in the hope that radar really takes off, or that reconversion will benefit existing players. This has not been the case during the war, as new radar equipment has typically called in new competitors. Being in radar has so far conferred no advantage on companies seeking to get into new areas of radar!

“Movie Missionary: Britain’s J. Arthur Rank, Millionaire Miller and Methodist Movie Magnate, Is Out to Give Hollywood Some ‘Healthy Competition’” If I had a second’s doubt that rainy England could match Hollywood for glamour, the word ‘Methodist’ would have dispelled it. She said, tongue firmly in cheek.

“Peace Arrives at Gar Wood” Gar Wood, the company of Mr. Garfield Wood, of Miss America   fame, which makes various things (boats, mostly) out of wood in Detroit, but also things not made of wood, because with cost-plus contracts, why not do everything-- made four times as much a year at wartime peak as its 1936—40 average, and now must reconvert. Though it will be easier than, say, a gun maker turned vacuum machine company, since they will still be making mostly boats out of mostly wood.

I am repeatedly flabbergasted at how many everyday business niches came open in the postwar era.

Milton Gilbert, “Towards Full Employment: An Expert of the Department of Commerce Argues the Case for the Murray Bill: Government can Create the Conditions of Prosperity”


Sumner H. Schlichter, “More Job Givers Wanted: Harvard Economist Argues that the Slogan of Government-Guaranteed Employmenbt Conceals trhe Real Issue: The Need for More Risk Takers” We’ve already heard about the tools of government-assured full employment, so same same.
Does dog bite man, or man kick dog? Two persons who are famous for having opposing opinions argue in the pages of the paper. Schlichter is concerned that the level deemed to be “full employment” is set too high, not only will government deficits go too high, but prices will go up, as well, due to pressure on output. Interestingly, he ends with the observation that deficits are not a remedy, but a palliative, as government spending is only making up for a deficiency (relative to output at full employment) in consumer spending.
“The Sugar Shortage Lasts” Since the problem is that the 1945 harvest was too low, the fact that supply is 87% of estimated demand is not going to go away until 1946, when, if the past is any guide, there will be a sugar surplus. American Mid-West farmers love the sugar beet. It is a cash crop which does not compete with wheat and corn, and the residue from sugar pressing –molasses and pulp—makes good animal feed. The tap root and feeder roots are left in the ground to aerate the soil, making a good plant in a crop rotation. However, sugar from sugar beets cannot compete with sugar cane without protection. It is also a labour-intensive crop, which meant that production could not expand in wartime, as grain production could. Cuba, which suffered the consequences of pushing its production up 20% in 1916—20, was not enthusiastic about expanding production in the late war, and suffered a drought on top of it in the last year, while Puerto Rico suffered from lack of fertiliser and shipping, and the Philippines were lost to the Japanese, and Euirope’s sugar beet industry was lost to the war. The prewar solutiuon was a marketing board, and I suppose so will be the postwar one. Or we will eat a lot more sugar, or both. However, if, in the future, the beetmen continue to have a guaranteed 25% of the American market, they must be able to deliver during a national emergency!

Russell W. Davenport, “France, Beachhead of Liberty” France has many orphans, and small families. Due to the war, two-thirds of French industry is idle, and it is not all because the French are lazy. There is also bombing and transportation congestion to consider, plus the coal shortage. Coal, in fact, is key. It is currently at one-third of total prewar consumption. There is a shortage of coal miners, and productivity has fallen from 1,275kg/day to 900 for various reasons, including lack of food and soap, leading to disease. And the coal miners have it easy compared to office workers who must sit in offices where theyu can see their breath, and the metal of chairs is painful to the touch, as at least they have food. This winter is anticipated with “something close to terror.” Starvation, tuberculosis, rationing, black market, fantastic depreciation of the franc against the dollar. Industry is being socialised, and Mr. Davenport must have talked to The Economist, because he feels that civil war might be lurking beneath the surface. Because of the coal shortage, and against the risk of civil war, he calls for the Saar coal mines to be turned over to France “once and for all—“ so there would be your hidden agenda-- , import of German coal, the departure of General de Gaulle, who is not cut out for administration, and something about democracy, liberty, old ties to America.

Books and Ideas

Henry Wallace has his long-awaited book out, Sixty Million Jobs. It is, the paper thinks, very earnest.  It is also full of rot, the paper thinks, in that “planning” is no panacea, and new money to pay for full employment will just lead to inflation. So better the “indirect” measures which economists advocate for achieving those 60 million jobs, without sacrificing economic freedoms. I’m convinced! With a bit of a niggle in mind about tax rates. . .

John Bartlett Brebner, North Atlantic Triangle The leading Canadian historian thinks that Anglo-American-Canadian relations have not always been harmonious, and are not guaranteed to remain so.

Simon Liberman, Building Lenin’s Russia Thrown out of the country by the Cheka, Liberman remains a “Russian patriot,” and hopes that the Soviet dictatorship will give way to real democracy.

Rupert C. Lodge, The Philosophy of Business It’s very ponderous, apparently.

Julien Elfenbein, Business Journalism: Its Function and Future If you thought “selling papers,” you are wrong! It turns out that business jourhnalism has a very important function, and being a business news editor is just so hard, gentlemen, you have no idea. Says the paper.

Business Abroad

Germany’s financial situation is, on the one hand, moribund, and, on the other, still called into action by the need to keep the industry going. How else to pay coal miners than with receipts, and how turn those receipts into marks without a bank, and how buy food without marks? From a farmer who will only accept marks if he can take them to the bank? The British steel industry, which made 10 million tons in peace against 20 million German and 40 million American, is planning to boost production to 17 million with a $500 million modernisation over five years, twice the rate of investment of the 1930s, and badly needed. Swiss banks are shaky in the wake of the collapse of the German banking sector. There is progress in Albania, it says here.

Fortune Shorts

Used military aircraft are selling as business planes. The story about New Hanover’s automatic hay-baling machine is given at greater length, with heavy emphasis on how established manufacturers wouldn’t take it, and banks wouldn’t fund it, so that the Mennonite community had to take the job on. Pan American’s recent stock sale was very sweet for investors.

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