Friday, December 25, 2015

Postblogging Technology, November 1945, I: Home for the Holidays

Mr. R_. C_.,

Dear Father:

Thank you! A million times thank you! What a Thanksgiving this will be! James walked in our door this Thursday last, done, we hope, with the Admiralty and the Engineering Branch forever. He met his daughter for the first time, 
Not exactly as pictured, but I work with what I have
And walked the twins over to Fanny the next morning. 

He will be meeting with his solicitor and some friends in San Francisco later in the week, and has been down to see Bill and David amongst other of our friends of the water, and was happily tinkering with an "8 track writer head" when I stopped in to collect him for lunch. I do not know what you told people, although Major Blackburn's revelation to the press that "there existed a device which, coupled to an aircraft, will reveal with certainty atomic bomb development," is, I take it, a hint about your old unit's more successful recent work. Have you been promising Russian atomic secrets in high places? Is it really so impossible to make U-235 and plutonium without venting radioisotopes into the air? I am going to guess that the scheme of detecting fissioning uranium from whizzing neutrons hasn't gone very far!

I am pleased, if surprised, to hear that the Earl will be flying over to Germany to assist "Miss V_.C_." in her meeting with the General. I suppose that this means that he will be buying German steel for the contracts. The price must have been very competitive. I am packing along a fine, antiquarian copy of the generals' great-grandfather's book, interleaved with a Chinese translation, signed by the author, with Great-Uncle's chop. I hope it will buy us a few extra tons of steel!

Speaking of young ladies with a secret, "Miss v. Q.," as I suppose I will say instead of "Mrs. Chow," has been summoned at the double to Virginia on a matter that has her smiling from ear to ear, and dropping heavy hints of secrets none can know. Under the circumstances I do not think it safe to transliterate the name, but the substance is that the FBI has just had a Washington courier of the Cheka walk in to them with the  names of various persons of the Roosevelt Administration who were providing the Cheka with information. The idea is that with the information this person has provided, the papers Wong Lee removed from the legation might reveal some of their secrets. Reading one-time writing out of the cribs of other documents ought not be possible, but perhaps the Cheka got careless. 

Mr. Johnston, you may have heard, is having a somewhat more consequential term in office than I, or anyone, expected. So if anyone asks why Uncle George isn't approaching him over the matter of his friend, it is because the last thing we want to do is appear in the press under the heading of the strike or the anti-trust case, or his friend. It might all wash out in favour of his friend, but Uncle George thinks that discretion is the order of the day. 


Flight, 1 November 1945


“The Future of U.S. Forces” Let’s talk about talking about unification!

“Flying Accidents and Safety” If only we didn’t talk about air accidents, they wouldn’t happen, part one million.

“A Clean Fighter” The Vampire goes 540mph on the strength of 3000lb thrust (“corresponding to 4,230hp”). The paper notes that thrust for the Vampire is 11.28lb per square foot of wing surface, compared with 20 for the Meteor, and that thrust per pound, loaded weight, is 0.58 for the Meteor, 0.35 for the Vampire. The Vampire is a very “clean” fighter.

Here and There

Occupation authorities are working to restore civil aviation in Germany. The paper is not happy about that idea. Rolls-Royce is setting up a servicing plant in Canada. A PRU Mosquito crew, flying off on a visit to a PRU school in Canada, flew from Cornwall to “Canada” in 6 hr 58 minutes, and took 5hr 10 minutes on the return leg, a new record. A new RAF movie establishes that Coastal Command had rockets; and torpedoes and cannons, too. The Government is BUNGLING air training and recruitment. SirEdward Wilshaw, chairman of Cable and Wireless, Ltd, who let released prisoners of war in the Far East telegram their families tariff-free, wants some publicity. Done, says the paper. 

Note that an extension goes through the Dzungharian Gates.

British scientists are experimenting with V-2s.

“De Havilland Goblin: Some Details of the Turbine-Jet Unit Now in Production for the de Havilland Vampire” de Havilland, like Rolls-Royce, developed a direct successor to the centrifugal Whittle units. This one has a single-sided impeller as the major change from the Whittle design. It is a 50” diameter engine with an 8ft pipe, sixteen combustion chambers, and a weight of 1500lbs. Full rated thrust is developed at 10,200rpm. The design team was led by Major F. B. Halford; Mr. J. L. Brodie, and Mr. E. S. Moult. I asked my husband if these were good numbers, and he just snorted that, good or bad, there was no way Halford wasn’t going to get his hands on a jet engine if he wanted one. Once Frank found out that he couldn’t extend the pipe beyond eight feet, you pretty much ended up with either the Vampire, or not giving Frank a fighter. Hopefully, the Air Force finds a use for it. Also, hopefully, the Air Ministry will some day find the backbone to deny Halford one of his brainstorms.

Avro Lincoln: Some Aspects of the Mightiest Bomber in the World” “Mightiest bomber in the world?” Can you even imagine what the paper would do with an American paper that tried this? (The paper’s excuse is that it has a very high bomb load and cruising speed.) Armament is the much-advertised twin .50 in front and tail turrets, and a double 20mm turret in the mid-upper. A radar gunsight is described, so there is something exciting and new, here. The engines are two-stage, two-speed Merlin 68s in the Lincoln II, while the Lincoln I still staggers along somehow with single stage Merlins. The electrical system is an unconventional single-pole system, but still 24v DC. The paper is very sad that it didn’t get to blow up Japanese.

“Our Latest on Show: Impressive Display at Farnborough: Newest British Aircraft and Engines Alongside Germany’s Best: An Outline Description of an Outstanding Exhibition” Never before in the history of aviation has there been an air show on October 26th, 1945. Now that things aren’t secret any more, Farnborough told the paper as much as it was allowed to say about the Rolls-Royce Nene, Armstrong-Siddeley A.S.X, Metropolitan-Vickers F.2/4 and de Havilland Goblin II. Also shown were the Fury I, of which we have heard, the Bristol Brigand I, of which we haven’t (I hadn’t even heard of the Bristol Buckingham, from which it derives), and the Martin-Baker F.18/39, which is a toy for boys. RAF pilots put on brave displays on the Me 262 and He 163, which apparently were terrible planes, compared to British. The Germans were thus very good pilots, and also this shows just how close we came to losing aerial supremacy. 

“A.I.D. Test House” The Aeronautical Inspection Directorate has a very large facility with all sorts of instruments for testing air things. “Complete Equipment for the Testing of Every Form of Aircraft Material and Component” says the subtitle.  It is honestly a very big building, and an inside picture shows a room filled with testing things. Page over is a million volt x-ray machine, which is installed in its own special outbuilding.
It looks like a gym, actually, was my first impression

“The First Freedom? Preparing for Post-war Gliding: Two New Sailplanes Described” How interesting!

“’Forts’ Worth Millions Left to Waste” Marshall Yarrow,  Reuter’s Special Correspondent, reports from an airfield 25 miles south of Munich, where 450 B-17s are parked, wing tip to wing tip, tail to nose. It’s technically the “Occupation Air Force." Yarrow reports that they will probably never fly again.

“The New C.A.S.” Sir Arthur Tedder succeeds Lord Portal. The paper says that he is “the obvious successor.” In much the same way that the Yong-Lo Emperor was the obvious successor to the Hong-Wu. A fire here, a fire there . . .  If Montgomery becomes CIGS, things should get really entertaining, James says.

“Vickers-Supermarine Spiteful: Spitfire Successor with Laminar-flow Wings and Rolls-Royce Griffon Driving Rotol Five-bladed Airscrew” It has a two-speed, two-stage Griffon, too. The tips have straight taper and square tips, getting rid of the complicated elliptical trace, and the undercarriage folds inwards to give a much wider track than in the old Spitfires, and the cabin and cabin instruments are topnotch. It really is the Supermarine 1946 model.

In a talk to the London Rotary Club, Sir Philip Joubert said that the story of Coastal Command was an epic that could not yet be told, and that it lacked the aircraft it needed until 1943—44.

“Indicator,” “Into the Air, III: Two American Heavies: Impressions of the Fortress and Liberator: The Third of a Series of Short Articles Dealing, from the Pilot’s Angle, with Well-known Types” Indicator liked the rational American layouts, but found the American heavies required careful concentration to operate due to the turbo blowers, and their “ingenious combination of electrical  and hydraulic services.” There are too many gadgets, he implies, and they take too much minding, he says. “Indicator” tells the story of the pilot who absent-mindedly cut the engine that powered the hydraulic booster pump, with the result that he lost all pressure for the brakes. “The outfit rolled quietly into a hangar.” He liked flying the Fortress more than the Liberator, which is “a controllable and amply-powered cartload of bricks, and has a considerable rate of sink at low approach speeds.” The high wing loading means that it has to be carefully controlled, whereas the Fortress can be flown. 

Major F. A. de V. Roberson, V.D., “Problems of Demobilisation: Some Commands Shrinking: Others Maintaining Their Numbers” Damn those Japanese for surrendering! Now Britain has to take over the South Seas with troops who just want to go home! Transport Command cannot be demobilised at the same rate as the other commands, because everyone has to fly home. And also, for some reason, the planes cannot go back out empty. Maintenance Command must also be kept up to strength, even though long service ground crews and technicians would like to leave now now now now. Perhaps they could be replaced by younger men, Robertson suggests.

“Science and Industry: Centenary Celebrations of the Imperial College of Science and Technology” Apparently, the Imperial College at the University of London was originally established in October of 1845 as the “Royal College of Chemistry,” with the patronage of the Prince Consort. (Prince Albert. See? There are advantages to following the gossip rags!) It has a library, and an Aeronautics Department, and a wind tunnel. It’s in South Kensington. In somewhat related news, Professor LeonardBairstow has received a gold medal from the Royal Aeronautical Society for being an old professor.  Britain has its own Technical and Scientific Register, overseen by the Ministry of Labour and National Services’ Appointments Department. It wants the paper to let interested persons know that it exists, and perhaps give it a ring, as its “technical staff,” which is “competent to give advice and assistance, has been augmented to meet problems of settlement and reconstruction. A large number of vacancies, both at home and overseas, is now available for fully qualified scientists, engineers, etc.” Uncle George, blowing through the house on a very leisurely drive to L.A, points out that if there is ever a time when you don’t need an employment office, it is when there are “a large number of vacancies.” Not at all related, Lycoming had put its 36-cylinder, 5000hp multi-bank radial  on public display.

"Lycoming XR-7755-3" by en:User:Maury Markowitz - photographed by Kimble D. McCutcheonTransfered from English Wikipedia; en:Image:Lycoming XR-7755-3.jpg. Licensed under Copyrighted free use via Commons -

Civil Aviation

“British South American Plans: Shipping Interest Preparing for Unsubsidised Operations with Lancastrians” Five shipping firms have united to form British South American Airways, which intends to fly to Buenos Aires and other places. Air Vice-Marshal Bennett has been obtained as general manager, and crews will be recruited from the Pathfinders. The Lancastrians will cruise at 235mph and make the run in a flying time of 35 hours. The fare for Buenos Aires will be £155, as this has been worked out, unlike trivial details such as the actual conversion of the Lancasters in hand to Lancastrians, and the itinerary and schedule.
Seven accidents in four years. Wow. "Stardust Wheel Wreckage" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia -

“Ansons for R.A.S.” Pending delivery of their Vickers Vikings, the Railway Air Services will be flying Anson XIXs. In shorter news, the European airlines continue to build up, Douglas releases more information about its DC-8, and Trans-Canada Airlines is flying many passengers, and continues to plan Pacific routes to Russia, China, Australia and New Zealand. Because of the large number of Canadians who want to travel to New Zealand, and vice versa, you see. Various air surveys are going ahead, American Export has begun flying its commercial Atlantic services, but Pan American has not, as the Civil Aeronautics Board is not impressed with its less-than-forthright behaviour in regards fares. Lockheed Constellations will be very safe.


“Tyro” wants to know whether headwinds have the same effect on jets as on propeller-driven aircraft, gives a length explanation of why he thinks it should be different, and ends with “No ‘Aerobatic equations,’ please! Tell me in simple words.” H.D. Rodgers corrects “Indicator’s” understanding of landing techniques with Oxfords. R. E. Wakeford finds campaign medals fascinating, while “One of Many” is worked up about whatever it is that is upsetting the ATC. “Ex-Amateur” likes amateurs.  “Grad R. Ae. S. defends in flight refuelling, as does “Apprentice.” P. J. Higgins carefull explains why Mr. Umpleby is wrong about “duplex-reaction propulsion.” With ‘Aerobatic equations.’

The Economist,  3 November 1945

“The Virtue of Impatience” The Labour government has had three whole months to fix everything, and the paper is tired of waiting. There are too many strikes, not enough homes being built (and too many being planned to be built!), the Bank of England nationalisation wasn’t dramatic enough, and,  demobilisation is being BUNGLED.

“Europe’s Winter” Cold weather will soon add to the misery of wandering millions, but the real question is whether “Central Europe has any future save that of an economic slum, with all the disastrous consequences its impoverishment will entail for Europe as a whole.” No, wait, the real question is whether those millions (to get back to them), will starve or freeze to death. No, actually, the real question is who will be at fault if they do. The answer, of course, is the Americans, who aren’t sending enough aid, and are, in fact, quite gluttonous, as shown by the end of meat rationing. Even more than that, though, it is eastern Europeans’ fault, for unleashing this flood of refugees. No, actually, the real question is how much steel the Germans are to be allowed to produce, since if they produce less than the British (who have occupied the Ruhr, recall), want them to produce, they will be poor, which brings the paper back around to its second point. Also, while we are blaming the Russians, let us not forget that they are stripping the east of resources because they are war-battered into poverty and exhaustion, too. The Russians want to remove plant (reducing German output), to replace their own. England might want to do the same, removing the Hermann Goering Works, specifically designed to process low grade ores, to the English Midlands, which “would be exactly in line with the recent development of the British industry.” The paper goes on to point out that the Iron and Steel and Kindred Trades Association implied a demand for exactly that when it linked its call for two new Midlands steel plants, each with a 1 million tons annual capacity, to Labour’s “hard peace” platform plank. (Although it also allowed that the plant could also come from America.)

Old Grinkle Iron Mine, by Phil d. Source.

Having wandered to Germany and back, and to America, and Russia, and back, the article now takes another trip across the Atlantic, this one with the Prime Minister, who is directed to solve the aid problem when he gets to Washington. Japan might be settled at the same time, and the question of shipping, and, of course, the Board of Trade can be left to itself in London to set the British export programme for 1948. At this point, the article realises that it has been following its own tracks through the snow, dumps its firewood, lights a last meagre fire, and resigns itself to die of either cold, hunger, or terminal not-having-a-point. (If it could have found its way to the warm cabin of meaningfulness beyond, it would have been something about Germany making enough steel to be prosperous, and pay for British exports, and American food, and doing so with British machinery bought with American credits. But if it said all of this, someone in Washington would have gotten excited.)

“Birth of UNO” The United Nations Organisation now exists, so we can stop talking about talking about it, and move on to using it as a forum for talking about talking about all manner of things. Though it takes a page and a half for the paper to talk itself through it, so be sure that there are weighty matters of concern in the organisation of permanent secretariats and delegations (how many, and what countries?) and what not.

Notes of the Week

“The Atom” Much uncertainty continues over the atom bomb. Na├»ve girl that I am, I thought it would all be resolved after a brief discussion, last week. Till then, we must talk about talking about the atomic bomb at some length. The paper directs Mr. Atlee to resolve matters in Washington next week. Of particular interest is the question of whether the atom bomb can be made to not exist while we develop atomic power for civilian use. Shall atom engines be carried in civilian airliners, and detonate on being dropped upon the ground? Will the airliners be armed against air piracy, and so turned into military auxiliaries? So many things to talk about talking about!

Pauli; Hahn. There were good reasons to think that the Germans would win the race to the bomb.

“President Truman’s Twelve Points” President Truman had twelve points to make in a major speech on the foreign relations of the United States. That’s a lot of points.

“The Bank Bill” Also debated, “The Budget.”

“Rewards of Victory” There will not be cash payments to the victorious leaders of the British armed services this time around. It is out of keeping with the spirit of the times. I notice that, in the last war, a total reward of £585,000 was voted to such worthies as Haig and Beatty. On the assumption that Uncle George's splenetic ravings about Beatty aren't a bit over the top.

“Civil War in China” The paper sees incipient civil war, notices that American involvement constitutes “foreign intervention,” and notes the independence plebiscite in Outer Mongolia. It hopes for American and Russian mediation to prevent all-out conflict.

“Tension in Indonesia” Fighting inSurabaya continues, where Suekarno does not seem to be in control. The paper thinks that the Dutch are moderating their position, and that so is Soekarno, and that a solution might be at hand, even if complicated by Brigadier Mallaby’s murder.

Brazilians, London dockers, Poles and French are excitable.

“New Ministries for Old” The Ministry of Supply is to be continued, with the Ministry for Aircraft Production and Board of Trade folded into it in some manner.

“Arab Preoccupations” The Arab League has met in congress in Cairo. They deferred talking about Palestine, are willing to accept a “period of tutelage” in Tripoli, and do not want the French in the Fezzan, as they are upset about the “Setif Massacre,” of which nothing has been heard in the world press, as it only involved natives.
Readers may wish to refrain from doing their own image search for "Setif Massacre." Source.

“Second Thoughts on Grammar Schools” Miss Wilkinson’s recent speech to the Fabian Society indicated a liberalisation in the matter of grammar schools.  The paper, which is still upset at the treatment of the Surrey grammar school association, suggests that she tell her ministry, not the Fabians. I would be more superior and facetious if I were ever seem sending children of mine to a Santa Clara public high school.

“Exhibition in 1951” Will Britain hold a Great Exhibition in 1951? It’s a pressing concern!

I never knew Britain had Modern Art. This shatters all my preconceptions!

“The Inflation of Farm Incomes” Gross farm income rose sharply during the war years, net farm income not nearly as much. However, farms went from being, on average, £48 in debt to £831 in credit, so the war really was good for farmers, and the Thirties really were bad for them.

In shorter notes, the paper reports that child deaths from diphtheria fell by a third during the war thanks to comprehensive prevention measures. “Prevention really is better than a cure.”

American Survey

“Material for U 235” From a Correspondent in the Rockies
OCR, well remembered by me for predicting the collapse of civilisation in the mountain west unless something something livestock price subsidies, is back to talk about non-cattle related issues. Unless you can get U 235 from well-aged beef, and it turns out that you can’t, and that it must come from uranium ores, and so it is a matter of controversy over verdant box canyons and pinon groves as to controls uranium-bearing lands, and Harold Ickes just did something, etc, etc.

One Million Years BC, because I'm tired of making fun of the poor guy with Fury Road clips.

American Notes

“Election in New York City” Municipal elections were held throughout the United States this Tuesday. That is too soon for the paper to know who won, but it is time for it to tell readers (with the election in their rear view mirror), about the candidate who won (William O’Dwyer), and the one who didn’t (Newbold Morris.) In an attempt to make us care, the paper points out that it might be important in swinging New York against Dewey in 1948. Then the paper does the thing with ellipsis(es), moving on to Detroit, where a CIO man is running. Will Detroit have a union man as mayor? Will it matter? Burning questions!

Then stage-Irish there is nothing more, not even Ronald Reagan.

“The Press Examines Foreign Policy” The press is deemed to be disappointed with the President’s twelve points. I knew that twelve was too many!

“Mr. Truman on Wages and Prices” The President calls for stable prices and rising wages, pointing out how loss of overtime and unemployment has hurt workers, but also warned strikers against excessive demands, and asked Congress to pass his more important reconversion bills.

“Management and Labour Confer” The Management-Labour Conference appears to have been constituted to done do nothing but talk about talking about industrial relations. Shocking, I know.

The World Overseas

“Towards Industrial Recovery in France” In a shocking development, it turns out that the paper was too pessimistic about French prospects. Production is still only 50% of 1938, but it is on an upward path. Coal production “thanks to a superhuman effort on the part of the miners” is up to 3.4 million tons a month, and electricity and iron and steel production is up, too. So there might be enough coal to keep the children warm this winter. Even the paper is willing to praise the hard-working men of the mines for that. It goes on to suggest that France’s lack of manpower, which is even worse than Britain’s, is due to the sharp decline in the birthrate between the wars, which suggests that the paper is a little unclear about how “childhood” works. (Before 1930, I will grant the point.) This is, however, a good way to move to the point about France retaining 450,000 German prisoners to work in various sectors, with the number set to rise to 1.75 million next summer. Because the wars are the Germans’ fault, you see, and the freezing children of Germany (1945) are due to the Prussian militarists (1914), as is the poor ration being fed the German prisoners. Britain is also employing prisoners in the mines, where their output is reckoned at 40 to 50% of a British miner’s, and is also increasing ration, pay, and safety measures, with the result that there are now 175,800 men in the industry, up from 40,000 in November 1944, and more than the 162,300 of 1938. Yet, even before the war, France had to import coal, and its traditional suppliers are not producing enough. American imports are hoped for, and France is also looking to the Ruhr –but German allocations will depend on overall plans for German coal. (So if German starts producing 11 million tons of steel a year again, will French children freeze?) Also being rapidly repaired and rehabilitated is transportation. French ports handled a million tons in September, compared with 842 in December, 1944. (I wonder if that is civilian stores, only?) The ongoing repatriation of American troops  is relieving strain on the rail system, as locomotives increase from 2,780 to 7,480, and waggons from 6500 to 274,800, more than half the prewar figure. Freight traffic is up to 26.5% of prewar, although passenger service is still minimal, with rail tickets being booked days in advance. GIs are spending lots of money in France. Of 590,00 machine tools, 5000 are more than 50 years old and some 370,000 are over 20 years old. The government plan calls for the manufacture of 140,000 at home, and procuring the balance of a 260,000 tool renewal from America and Britain, but all plans hinge on manpower.

“Finland’s Economic Situation” Finland is having trouble meeting its reparation payments to Russia, even though its business situation is strong, with solid lumber exports. It is also having a problem with a black market undermining rationing.

“Land Reform in the Russian Zone” The Weimar Republic actually took the first halting steps towards breaking up the big estates of eastern Germany, but the Russians are taking it further. The paper discovers statistics showing that there is not enough land to give every landless farmer an economically viable farm, and therefore it is all futile.

“Canada’s Post-War Budget” Canada is spending about two dollars for every dollar in revenue, and yet it is proposing tax cuts. The next Victory Loan, which aims for 1,5 billion dollars, is to cover the difference. The paper disapproves of this departure from the Canadian tradition of balanced budgets, and, since demands for tax relief cannot be ignored, blames free spending secretariats and the provinces.


Mr. B. H. Bourdillon, of Sandpits, Midhurst, Sussex, writes in response to “West Africa’s Terms of Trade.” In his opinion, the problem is that Africans are lazy. He supposes that this is not innate, and that some solution can be found. However, he rejects the idea that adequate wages and a supply of consumer goods to spend those wages on, is the solution. He prefers “politics” as a means of finding “the necessary stimuli.” W. F. Bicker suggests that the paper has fallen for some dodgy accounting, which incorrectly suggests that West Africa is in debt to Britain, whereas in fact, properly figured, it is a major wartime creditor to the United Kingfom. F. Farlan, of Middle Farm, Ruyton-XI-Farms, Shropshire, writes on “The Famine in Fertilisers.” Shockingly, he finds that the paper was too pessimistic about the state of the German potash industry. He points out that a look at a  map would have revealed that the Russian zone does not contain “two-thids” of the German mines,” and that, far from being damaged and unable to produce, the German mines are reported by American visitors as ready to begin production as soon as they have transport to clear the potash away. Lenard K. Elmhurst, of Darlington Hall, Totnes, Devon, writes that the paper’s story on “How Many Trees” was, shockingly, too pessimistic about the British Forestry Commission’s reforestation plans, notably in grossly overestimating the length of time it takes for a plantation to recover its capital. That is, how long it takes for trees to grow. There's a joke in there about wasting trees . . . 

“The Impact of War on Civilian Consumption” This is a summary of a long report by the Combined Production and Resources Board. The main finding is that in the UK, the volume of consumer goods and services consumed decreased between 15 and 20% between 1938 and 1941, and slipped a little further during the next three years. In Canada and the United States, meanwhile, the volume of consumer purchases was up between 10 and 20%. In 1943 and 1944, war production took up 50% of output in Britain and Canada, 40% in the United States. The difference was due in part to the fact that the total national product could not be increased as much in Britain as in Canada and the United States for various reasons, notabliy the shortage of shipping. IN all three countries, substantial local shortages occurred in congested areas, notably housing. Gross national capital formation fell in Britain from £825 million in 1938 to 280 million in 1941, in the US from $12.8 billion in 1941 to $5 billion in 1943, a figure which in part reflects a fall in construction through 1944, although it rose in 1941—3. The effect on national wealth was negative in Britain, minimally positive in America. America experienced in particular an “apparent” decrease in domestic wealth. “Apparent” because some wartime investment will recover part of its cost in peacetime, and it seems likely that there has been an increase in American wealth since 1939. The outstanding factor in decreased consumer consumption was the fall in motor vehicle sales, although for some reason the report leaves it for a few paragraphs to note that clothing consumption also suffered on this scale in Britain, although not the United States, and fuel and electricity consumption also declined, as did household goods.. Food consumption was up slightly in the US and Canada, down in Britain, and alcohol and tobacco consumption both rose.

Overall, the report doesn’t sufficiently acknowledge that 1938 was a very different time in North American than in Britain, and it does so in a way that perhaps overstates British sacrifice, or North American gluttony, but it is still interesting.

The Business World

“The Anatomy of a Gilt-Edged” Since the paper has already talked about cheap capital and cheaper money as a result of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s policy towards lower interest rates, it is clearly time to dissect the meaning of the phrase “gilt-edged” in a way that only someone with a million in the funds could care about.

Financiers at work, November, 1945

“Steel in the War” The British Iron and steel Federation has just published its war retrospective. Before the war, the industry imported 1.5 million tons of mainly high grade ore from Sweden and Norway, and nearly 2.5 million from France, Algeria and Tunisia. After these sources became unavailable, Sierra Leone became the chief source of supply, imports rising from 190,000 tons in 1939 to 920,000 tons in 1941. The balance was made up from domestic low graded, mainly in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, raising domestic output from 14,486,000 in 1938 to 19,906,000 in 1942. Charging furnaces with larger amounts of ore meant a lower production of pig iron, which was made up by working them harder. Wouldn’t it also have consumed more coal? And miners? Interesting. Alloy steel production rose from 5 to 12%; in the United States, it rose from 5 to 15%. The total number of open-hearth furnaces rose from 442 in 1938 to 446 at the end of 1944, and the number of Bessemer furnaces from 6 to 10. A substantial number of the 225 electric furnaces used for making high-grade alloy steels were of war construction. Fortunately, the industry avoided the structural deformations which occurred in the last war. There was no increase in pig iron capacity, and what capacity increase there was, was in alloy steels. The paper is disappointed that the report doesn’t try to estimate capital depreciation or sketch price trends.

Business Notes

Talk continues about changes to the excess profits tax; the French credit is exhausted, and the paper hopes that there is a frank exchange of views and airing of grievances before it is extended; “money has been tight” due to the Chancellor saying that it should be loose; Lever Brothers promises to tell shareholders what is going on, this year, or perhaps next year. The paper thinks that the problem of dear raw materials should be tackled. (The paper should just accept that it needs to go out and draft a good tackler!) The magnesium industry is at a cross roads, perhaps related to the fact that no-one needs it in peacetime. New Zealand is paying back a 4% and 5% loan, and those who held it can only gnash their teeth. German articficial fibre production used to 500,000 tons,  but “nearly two-fifths” is lost in the eastern zone. And are either destroyed and not working, or not destroyed and working. The Ministry of Food has relaxed rules for moving commodities around Britain. The world sugar beet crop is at an estimated 51.6 million tons, down 13% from 1944, but up 37% in North America. The paper thinks that this is too optimistic, and that sugar production will be even lower in 1946, unless there is substantial increase in sugar crane planting in the Far East. This certainly seems like a good time for a civil war in Java!

Flight,  8 November 1945


“More Delays” The Government is BUNGLING civil aviation!

“The Wolf and the Lamb” Railwayair shippingair airair nationalisation.

“The Two Freedoms” If the Government would just drop petrol rationing for planes, aircraft owners could get back to flying, just as Heaven meant them to do, when they were created at the beginning of days.

“Waiting for Weather” The paper is upset that plans to attack the world’s speed record were announced prematurely, because now the flight is waiting on good weather, and all this waiting is going to lead the man in the street to think that British aviation is all wet. Like the weather!

The Vickers Windsor, the “Wellington’s big brother” (no, not that big brother, the other big brother) exists.
The article for some reason doesn't mention use of a prototype to test jet engines, which I'm sure I recall from Mason.

Firefly IV: Latest Version of Famous Fleet Fighter: Leading Edge Radiators, Clipped Wings and Different Tankage” You read it in the paper, first. The Firefly is famous. It is amazing that putting radiators into the leading edge has gone from Buck Rogers stuff to commonplace in only six years, but aside from that, this is just another of the too-slow-to-compete two-seater fighters that the Fleet has never been able to make a public case for. (James has explained, and so has the paper, but the Navy hasn’t.) The high gloss finish, we are told, gave 8-10mph of its top speed of 386mph at 14,000ft, compared with the matte surface of the Firefly I. The I, a 316mph day fighter, gave way to a night fighter II, and the Firefly III was a rejected variant with a radiator in the nose.

E. T. House, “North Pacific Economics: World Key Route Awaiting Exploitation: Great-Circle Course from Singapore to Vancouver” One might think of the barbaric denizens of the North Pacific as bone-in-nose savages. Yes, they swear in French, smear their pallid flesh with smelt grease to keep out the cold, and spit their old chewing tobacco into half-empty beer bottles, but that does not mean they do not have an economy. Oh, wait, I am very sorry. I jumped to conclusions. Actually, the writer means that if  airplanes to fly a northabout great circle route to link Victoria, Fairbanks, Markovo, Okhotsk, Vladivostok, Hong Kong, Saigon and Singapore, they will use less gas than if they fly direct from San Francisco to Hong Kong. This would all be obvious were it not for mean old Mercator, who shaped the globe into a flat map that shows the world wrong. With a globe in hand, the obvious logic of wanting to fly people and cargo from Victoria to Hong Kong via Okhotsk becomes clear. In conclusion, everyone should buy lots of planes, and fly them from Victoria, and not Vancouver or San Francisco.

“Taylorcraft Auster V: Amazing Versatility: Low-powered Light Plane Equally at Home on Skis and Floats: Laying Telephone cAbles and Picking up Mail Bags” I especially like the “laying telephone cables” part. The Burmese jungle wa too thick to push telephone cable through on the ground, so obviously the solution was to drape cable over it with an airplane! (The twins want to know why Mommy was giggling when she read her boring paper, and I had to explain that no, it wasn’t a new Shackleton piece. They have no idea what Shackleton is on about, but they love his drawings.)

“Flight Engineer’s V.C.” WarrantOfficer Norman Cyril Jackson receives a VC for “tackling a fire in the air.”

Here and There

Coningham, Slatter, Bottomley and Hollinghurst had tea with the King recently. 

Just to bring it around, Coningham turns out to be one of the passengers lost in British South American Airway's Star Tiger accident.

The RAF is building a transit camp at Tel Litwinsky in Palestine for overnight stays by troops flying to the Far East. New York radio reports that the Americans have “the three Gs,” or three new kinds of flying bomb, the Glomb glider bomb, Gordon jet-propelled, beam-controlled missile, and the Gargoyle, a rocket-propelled, armour-enetrating flying bomb for use against ships. 

J. A. Krug reveals that the United States made 287,000 aircraft during the war. The American Forest Products Laboratory has developed a “parabox” for air delivery of goods, a fibreboard-and-plastic box with its own airbrakes. The paper reports that “three Essex-class” aircraft carriers are being scrapped or relegated to museum status. The paper goes on to identify them as Saratoga, Ranger and Enterprise, because research is hard. A wing of the RAF is being prepared for occupation duties in Japan. They will be in charge of flying over Japan and looking down. Employment in the aircraft industry was 993,000 in August, down from 1.7 million the year before. Japanese float planes, flying from submarines, dropped incendiary bombs on the Oregon forests in 1942, it is now revealed. In the four weeks ending October 28, Transport Command has had accidents causing the deaths of 46 passengers and 26 crew, with another 10 souls still missing.

A pictorial spread reveals that the Pathfinder Force was so entirely overrun by ruggedly handsome men that they had to be moderated by lads in silly mustaches to keep the WAAF core temperature from going critical.

“Revelations at Farnborough: Britain’s –and Germany’s—Latest Aircraft and Engines Make Their First Public Appearance: Spectacular Demonstrations: Newest Jet Units on View” This is the second story on the Farnborough display. This time, there are pictures. For example, of the Martin-Baker F.18/39, of which you have never heard. It is the latest, although not in the sense that it was ever built for service, or ever will be. Also there was the Short Shetland, which is enormous, the Vickers Windsor (again), the D.H. Dove, because if we hadn’t mentioned it by now, a whole week would have gone by, the Fairey Spearfish torpedo bomber, the Bristol Brigand (again), a torpedo bomber with spectacular dive flaps which still cannot be photographed, the Hawker Sea Fury, new incarnations of the Meteor and Vampire, and more.
At some point, there had to be a picture. Martin MB-5.

Also shown were “a concourse of jets,” and German rocket engines. Apart from the Whittle-derived Goblin, Derwent and (somewhat new) Nene,

"DATANGSHAN AVAITION MUSEUM BEIJING CHINA OCT 2012 (8643131848)" by calflier001 - DATANGSHAN AVAITION MUSEUM BEIJING CHINA OCT 2012Uploaded by russavia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons -

 it turns out that Metrovick has been working on an axial-arranged nine-stage turbine, which does not appear to be named after a river or anything else, since the only designation given is the F2/4. Armstrong Siddeley has been working on the same lines, and displayed the 14-stage ASX with a two-stage turbine and eleven straight-through combustionchambers. It is 42 inches diameter, overall length 167 inches, has a dry weight of 1900lbs, delivers 2600lb thrust at 8000rpm, and has a maximum power fuel consumption of 1.03 lb.hp hr, while for cruising at 2050lb, developed at 7,500 rpm, consumption is 1.o lb hp hr. The paper thinks that it has an odd and impractical layout and that it is unlikely to go anywhere. The Walter liquid rocket power unit for the Me. 163C was shown along with the BMW and Jumo turbines, and static shows of the latest Rolls-Royce, Napier and Bristol engines showed that they were coming along in power and were using metered fuel injection pumps.

W. G. A. Perbing, “German Long Range Rocket Development: Fuel and Control Systems of the V2: Future Possibilities” It is interesting to note that V2s were only fuelled in the last stages of flight preparations, because it took twelve minues, and 4.5lb of oxygen evaporated from the tanks every minute if they were left standing. So this is not quite a weapon for a mad prime minister to launch on a whim and with no warning. “Control,” in spite of being the question that has James all but snatching the paper from my hands, gets short shrift. They started with radio, gave up, and used an “integrating accelerometer” consisting of “a pendulous gyro mounted in gimbals and opeating sets of contacts whose angular separation could be varied.” Because the gyro’s centre of gravity does not lie on the rocket’s axis, any deviation will cause a precession proportional to the acceleration, and an automatic correction. There are diagrams over which my husband proceeds to ponder as I move over to reading Aviation, and not Fortune to which my fingers stretch, yearning, until –

And we’re back. I think the key point is that the range of V2s varied wildly, and they were only vaguely aimed, and that the great achievement of the current generation of autopilots (which had to be very cheap and rugged, after all), was to keep their noses mostly pointed in the direction their engine was pushing them in. The alternative is physically impossible, and the universe hates that. Though why it does not act on teenagers like air resistance does on rockets . . . .


J. L. Bartlett has a correction. (Sir Dennis Barney did not design Hermes. Tennyson D’Eyncourt did.) C. L. Fraser calculates the oil consumption of the Derwent V at 30 pints/hour in maximum cruising condition. John C. Bray is upset that surplus Sunderlands are being scuttled for all the usual reasons. Alan J. Cobham answers his critics. Mid-air refuelling is so the future. MarcusLangley agrees, and furthermore points out that he was not so cracked about mid-air refuelling that it was too  much for  even Saunders-Roe

He only latched onto the idea, and Alan Cobham, after he was fired for other reasons.  G.W.G. thinks that independent oil-burning heaters for aircraft cabins are silly, and then proceeds to argue around to why they are necessary.

Civil Aviation

“Air Transport to be State-controlled: Government Policy Outlined: Three or More Public Corporations to Operate All Services: Charter and Private Flying to be ‘Free’” 

Civil Aviation News

Brazil is buying five Ansons from Canada. The first Bristol 170 may be flying soon. The South African service is starting more. A South American company wants four Sunderlands. Republic is planning to build a 40 seat airline. KLM is starting an Atlantic service. A Latecoere 631 on an Atlantic survey flight was forced down in Uruguay this week with two deaths. PAA’s already long running Atlantic service “started” againt this week in some important, paper-padding sense. (All civilian crew, maybe?) A Dublin-Paris service is in the works.

The Economist,  10 November 1945


“The Atom” We should definitely talk about talking about the atom bomb, which is capable of exterminating the human race, or at least “reducing us almost to the level of our biological origins.” (Because “bombing us back to the Stone Age” is what a low brow paper would say.) 

On the one hand, denying the Russians the atom secret, if it really is a secret, has upset them. On the other, giving it to them now won’t necessarily make them any sweeter. Then there is the question of atomic disarmament, which is probably not possible if atomic power goes ahead, as we will not be able to detect atomic bomb development via radioactivity in the air, any more. Also, a world state is impossible. It’s all so vexed, but at least it gives us a chance to talk about talking about things!

“Far Eastern Rivalries” And speaking of, we have the ongoing clash between Koumintang and Communists, the division between Russia and America, especially over Manchuria, Russian access to warm water ports on the Pacific. The paper reminds us that America remains incomparably the most powerful player in the Far East, but that T. V. Soong has already signed away Manchuria, and would have signed away Sinkiang, had he been allowed. I do not know how much that matters, but I am just a girl, and this discussion of the “lowest rail pass” pass in Eurasia goes right over my head asI ask what, exactly, is the benefit of a low pass if it is in the middle ofnowhere.) The Russians and British join together to demand a say on Japan’s future from General MacArthur, whose intransigence is likely to make him a Japanese national hero.  The Japanese surrender to Chiang has given his armies a great impetus against Communist guerillas, and also entangled the Americans, as they tried to supervise the Japanese disarmament and demobilisation. The fact that American planes flew Nationalist troops in to replace Japanese in Peking (Never“Peiping”!) and Tientsin looks like favouritism, as does the Russian refusal of permission for Nationalist troops to land at Dairen and Port Arthur. The paper modestly proposes a partition. The Communists will wir-thdraw from North China into Manchuria, leaving the Nationalists free to restore the Ming.

At least the Soong’s brothers will be able to say that they are true to their word.

“The Bed of Procrustes?” The Government proposes to buy and nationalise Cable and Wireless. The reference is to a robber in old Greece, who would pose as an innkeeper, and make his guests lie in a bed which was either too long or too short. Those found too short would then be stretched on a rack, while those found too long would have their heads and feet cut off. This seems like an awfully strange way to rob people, but no-one asked my opinion. Anyway, the analogy is that the companies being nationalised now are all too long or too short, figuratively speaking, and so must be tortured in some way that the body of the leading article would reveal if I could be bothered to read it.

“Armistice Italy” The Allied terms for Italy were published this week. Also some other information? Unless there was a survey of economic conditions in Italy published along with it. The point here is that Italy has been under an effective occupation for a long time, that its economy has suffered severely, but not as severely as the rest of Europe, that it is now “struggling hard towards recovery,” that its politics are still rather uncertain, with fears that the West will support former Fascists against the resurgent Left, and that inflation could be a problem.

Notes of the Week

“Municipal Elections” This will be even more exciting if don't tell you who won. As a bonus, I won't have to read the one page “note.” (Labour, by the way.)

“Homes for Displaced Germans” The British press was all on about an “expulsion scare” a few days ago. According to the story, even more Germans from Brandenburg were bound for the British Occupation Zone.  This turns out not to be true, and the paper proposes that the displaced persons be housed in the former slave labour residences in the German countryside. Simple!

“Administrators and Technicians” “The air hums with statements about the importance of good administrators,” says the paper of full technical efficiency.  Various persons are proposing an “Administrative Staff College,” to train young businessmen (and women) in administrating. The idea is exactly like the army staff college. A select group of sixty to seventy will live at the College for three months, receiving training in . . . something. “[T]he danger is that there will not be enough for the students to bite on.” 
I suppose that it's only in our decadent latter day that someone would read a double entendre here.

Actually, I’d think that the danger is that it will turn out to be a bit of a waste of money, but that’s not an issue, as the Nuffield Foundation has offered to fund it. Not to be outdone, the Ministry of Education’s Special Committee on Higher Technical Education has issued a Report on the needs of industry and developments in Universities and Technical Colleges. The paper thinks it a timid and tentative paper that does not seize the moment.

“Policy in Aviation” Talking about talking without end.

“Rent Control for Furnished Houses” There isn’t now, and perhaps should be. The paper thinks that it is a good idea in the abstract, but is concerned about paying for the appeal tribunals.

“Policy for Palestine” The “Atlee-Truman conversation on Palestine,” which will begin in a week (when Atlee isn’t settling atoms, German steel, export subsidies, shipping, and whatever else), has been preceded by various preliminary developments. On the one hand, various Zionist elements seem determined to import and mobilise 100,000 young, well-armed Jewish DPs as Zionists, to fight for their rights in Palestine. On the other, there is the question of larger Arab support for the Palestinian Arabs. And since there were riots in Egypt last week, well, as the paper says, “it is easy to hire an Egyptian crowd,” but the fact that someone could be bothered to hire it is telling. The paper continues to hope that the Jewish DPs of Europe will be given passports to America and the British Empire, and that this will calm things down. It also extends its sympathies to the High Commissioner for Palestine, Lord Gort, who has retired from ill health.

Hungarians are excitable.

“Housing in Rural Areas” The Government is BUNGLING. . . .

“A National Hospital Service” Preliminary reports suggest that the first announcement about the national health service will be about hospitals. The paper imagines what will be in it, scolds the Government in advance, and offers its own version.

“Problems in Burma” The Burmese, who have never liked the British, continue to not like them. The paper almost comes around to suggesting that now might be a good time to start giving up on trying to make them like the British.

“The Soulbury Constitution” Some Ceylonese do not like it for not doing enough to get the British out,while others dislike it for subordinating the Tamils to the Sinhalese under majority rule.

“The Effect of Bombing” Completely futile, or war winning? The new American survey is on the fence.

Shorter notes covers the Government’s defeat on the three day waiting period for National Insurance benefits, the dockers’ strike, the unsatisfactory answer to Mr.Churchill’s question about the strength of the armed forces (2.3 million men overseas, but not broken down east and west of Suez.) Mr. Casey has resigned the governorship of Bengal to return to Australian politics, and been succeeded by Labour stalwart F. J. Burrows. ASn Australian followed by a former railway trades worker. It is almost as though someone recognises that the Bengalis are as tired of the British as the Burmese are. Road accidents in September killed 452 and injured 3,184, a slight improvement on last September, considering the end of the blackout.

American Survey

“The Wage Issue in Reconversion” By a Labour Correspondent
The CIO wants 30% to cover off the increase in cost of living, hitherto cushioned by overtime, the AFL 20 to 30%. Many unions have asked for reduction from the 40 hour work week to 35. Since base wages have been frozen since 1942 in the automobile industry, it seems as though the industry can disgorge its profits to pay for higher wages. Philipp Murray, president of the CIO, makes the same point for steel workers, who are asking for a $2 per day increase, pointing out that steelworkers have accumulated on average only $600 in savings, so that for every dollar in steelworker savings, the industry has saved 4, even before their forthcoming EPT rebate. Super seniority for returning veterans is also an issue, with some plants, as extreme cases, confronted with the need to fire their entire staffs to make room for returning veterans. Overall, people would like more money to buy more things.

American Notes

“General Marshall and Demobilisation” General Marshall thinks that the United States is BUNGLING demobilisation.

“Have Not America” Mr. Ickes has bundled the United States in with Germany and Japan as a “have not” country, as opposed to the British Empire and the Soviets, who are “haves.” The paper points out that the U,K. ration is 2,923 calories; while the average American intake is 3,215 calories. Therefore, Secretary Ickes is talking nonsense when he claims that American reserves of petroleum, tungsten, manganese and bauxite will be exhausted within 35 years, leaving America to import industrial raw materials from the Empire and Soviet Union.

“Hunger or a Free Press” The Unrra debates in Congress are unreal. Since 90 million Europeans may face starvation this winter, this is no time to be attaching riders to appropriations for relief exports requiring free movements for correspondents, says Secretary of State Byrnes.

“Hollywood Goes to Court” The Commerce Department has reopened its seven year old antitrust action against the seven major studios. The new Attorney General seems serious, and the studios have responded with a flurry of appearances in Washington. With Donald Nelson now head of the independent producers’ group, it seems that they may have a powerful ally, and there is the threat of an FCC-style regulatory body, if the Big Eight cannot restrain themselves.

The World Overseas

“The ILO in Transition” There can’t be enough talking about talking about organised labour until there is a place where people can gather to talk about talking. To take it all a bit more seriously, Russia.

Jugoslavs and Burmese are excitable. Czechoslovaks are (financially) excitable.

“An End to Irish Isolationism” From Our Dublin Correspondent

ODC, famed pointer-outer that Irish families who take in the orphaned children of their relations are only poor because they have so many children, is back. Here there is a real matter of fairness to consider: the Irish hold large sterling balances from the war, but cannot get wheat, oil, timber or tobacco, since these are not available from the sterling area. So Irish politicians are nosing about some kind of international solution, because they have money burning a hole in their pocket. 

The Business World

“The Census of Production” The paper really likes writing about the Census of Production, so even though there isn’t one, discussions about how it might change in the future are still worth a page and a half.

“Cable and Wireless” The paper explains why Cable and Wireless is being nationalised, and how the proposal shakes out for investors. 

“Bretton Woods Parities” An important deadline for the implementation of the Bretton Woods agreement has passed. The paper supposes that it will not be ratified.

“Bank Shares and the EPT” The Earl needs to talk to accountants and barristers about this, I think. Probably about the Cable and Wireless situation, too. At least, I cannot make heads nor tails of the fate of the stocks from the story.

“Coal Supplies in Britain” Output is down 133,000 tons/week over last year to 3.566 million tons a week, largely as a result of a decline in the mining labour force from 713,000 to 699,000. Number of entrants is finally exceeding the number leaving the industry, but only by a small margin. The minister pins his hopes on a campaign for increased output. On the Continent, the latest reports “are not encouraging.” France has increased its production, and Belgium is at two-thirds of the prewar rate, but Holland is coming up much more slowly, currently to half the prewar rate. Germany is up, although it is not clear just how much, and they have a long way to go. A little over 3 million tons per week might be coming out of the mines on the Continent.

“Future of the Machine Tool Industry” The Machine Tool Trade Association points out that the prewar industry was too small, and that this imperilled rearmament. It feels that something must be done to make sure that the postwar industry not fall below £23 million in annual sales. That said, it calls for free trade, low tariffs (especially of the high American one), rather than subsidies or protection. The paper naturally agrees, and supposes that the only possible solution is to “make British industry re-equipment conscious.” The paper is always one for recognising alarming problems and seeing no practical solutions.

“Iraqi Currency Trends” The expansion of the Iraqi currency is slackening, which the paper welcomes. It points out that, apart from a small silver holding and some bonds, the only backing for the Iraqi dinar is the country’s sterling balance.

“Scottish Hydroelectric Policy” Some people would like to stop the Tummel-Gary project, but the Scottish board has overruled them.  
Pitlochry Power Station

Flight, 15 November 1945


The paper is probably pleased with the record flight, although, thanks to the United States Postal Service, I shall never know.
Fortunately, Time is on it.

“Part of the Cost” The United States Strategic Bombing Survey reports, amongst other things, that Bomber Command lost 79,147 in the war against Germany, including the shocking number of 39,291 killed in aerial combat. The paper is shocked enough to question whether Bomber Command really won the war after all –it might have been the Tactical Air Force, instead, with the able support of the army, and that other one, the one with the boats. The navy? Or is that a colour?

“Britain Captures World’s Speed Record” Not a title of a story, but for a big, splash picture of a Meteor.

“How the Record was Made: Mildly Difficult Flying Conditions: No Exceptional Handling Problems: A Natural Culmination of Trials”

“Revelations at Farnborough, II”

This week we finish up with the Martin Baker fighter (again), before moving on to “German oddities.” To keep our mind on what is important, the pictures are of an Avro Tudor, and there is a sketch of the Dove. The exhibit ended with a flyover by a Shetland, as we’ve heard, and an Me 262 demonstrated its rate of roll, and flying endurance of fully 95 minutes. The one German oddity I haven’t heard mentioned elsewhere is the Blohm and Voss 155. A speed of 431mph at 55,000ft is claimed, and a two-section aileron being shown, the outer being directly controlled, the inner only by a spring tab from the control column. The elsewhere, by the way, is Aviation, which I have written and summarised during my forced hiatus, even though you have not come to it, at least, if you are reading this from front to back. It does, in the spirit of British chauvinism, point out that while the Me163 easily exceeds its safe Mach number, this is quite low, being 600mph, at whatever elevation is being considered, while the Spitfire is reported to have reached 620mph, still under control.

E. H. Relf is to be the Principal of the College of Aeronautics.

Here and There

Mr. Coverley has resigned, Wing Commander R. Robinson (Con., Blackpool South), is concerned that the government is BUNGLING civil aviation; and “the flying doctor,” Valentine AlexanderStookes, is now known to have been murdered by the Japanese last July. An otherwise unspecified plan for a four-engined transport has been received by the MAP. The Autocar celebrates its jubilee issue next week. Four B-29s flew nonstop from Hokkaido to Washington this week.

The Bell XP-83 exists.

“Indicator,” “Flying the Blenheim” The article describes the Blenheim as the “first of the high-efficiency twins,” which is a kind of aircraft that debuted when I did (or should have, not that I bear any lingering animosity towards my Father over that, no, not a bit!)   That is, the Blenheim is old. There was a time when it was both “hot,” and complicated, and “Indicator” remembers it well, although from what follows, he mostly remembers how odd it was. A good third of the article is spent on the “secret” safety catch that prevented pilots from carelessly raising the undercarriage before adjusting the flaps, and a third on the elaborate process by which a pilot climbed onto the port wing (slippery when wet), clambered into the roof hatch, and then let himself down, very carefully, so as not to impale his trouser seats on various sharp, pointy bits, and, finally, buckled himself into his parachute once safely seated. Another paragraph on flying as a passenger in the “bathtub” of the centre section, “much like a submarine,” thinking about how much better it was to be up front, where the accident could be seen arriving, and wallowing in the little puddle that formed there in bad weather.

C. Vinten thinks that overage flying boats should be converted into temporary housing. P.H. describes a way of installing a radio into a Tiger Moth. “Ulysses” reminisces about learning to fly a twin in Canada. B. J. Hurren, now Sales Development Manager at Fairey, who will apparently hire anyone, tells us that the Firefly IV’s top speed is 386 mph, and not “300 knots.” T. P. Feverheed thinks that nationalised airways are threatened by a lack of competition.

Halifax A-IX Airborne Transport” I tried reading this, but the article was too heavy for me.

Hamilcar X: Famous Load-carrying Glider Now Engine-assited: Two Bristol Mecury XXXIs Facilitate Take-off and Cruising: ‘Returned Empty’ Flights’ Without a Tug” This is how they did it in the late stages of the war in Europe. The Hamilcar X was to be used in the Pacific, but, unfortunately, those dastardly Japanese surrendered, first.

Civil Aviation News

Talking about talking about civil aviation dominates the news, but the paper manages to make the point that BOAC Clippers will be competing with American landplanes s in the Bermuda run, and that the BOAC-Qantas air mail service to Australia has now been running for six months without anything newsworthy happening.  Then there is a ful page story about nationalisation, illustrated by the civil Sunderlands going to Argentina.

Aviation,  November 1945

Down the Years in AVIATION’s Log

Twenty-five years ago, Aeromarine starts the first US-Havana airline, using converted USN F-5-L flying boats. Belgian Lieutenant Ernest Demuyter wins the Gordon Bennett International Balloon Race, NYC Aerial Police organised to regulate air traffic and possibly fight river pirates. Fifteen years ago, the total number of licensed aircraft in the U.S was 2,696, and airlines were reporting operating revenues of $.84 per aircraft mile. Yacht Lotusland, owned by Colonel E. A. Deeds, carried a Sikorsky S-39 amphibian.

Ten years ago, PAA announced the purchase of Martin 130 China Clippers, 48 passengers, 18 berths, for the Orient service, while the USSR dropped 500 paratroopers in experimental manoeuvres, Eastern bought 5 Lockheed Electras, and the French Loire-et-Olivier twin engine bomber with an 82ft wing span flew 200mph.

Line Editorial

“The German Economic Peace: Hard, Soft . . . Or Workable?” Germany’s armaments industry, and all industry based on “subsidy” should be done away with. On that we can all agree. (Subsidies are so, so terrible!) But what then? Clearly, German heavy industrial dominance must be reduced, or it will continue to dominate Europe. Before the war, German steel capacity had been built up to 24 million tons, and a stockpile of machine tools greater than America’s had been built up. Even now, it is second only to America. This is bad and wrong, and giving some to the Russians is an excellent solution. The question is, how many of these obsolescent tools should we give to the Russians? And what should German steel production capacity be? Some say 3 million. This is too little. 7-10 million would be fine. After all, Germany is integrated into a larger European economy. That steel is needed. We are not, of course, talking about Germany as a buffer against further Russian expansion. That would be wrong. We cannot also, however, commit to the permanent repression of a major European economy.

AVIATION Editorial

“They Must Remember Hiroshima” Some Congressman said that we couldn’t afford the air force’s plans, because America is a “bankrupt nation.” Whether this is true or not, Hiroshima shows that we must have air power.

The first two articles include a general analysis of operating costs, and a proposal that aircraft should be sold “over the counter.” Raymond Hoadley writes that “With Ready Money Mounting: It’s ‘Cash and Carry-On’” By which I think that he means that with tax adjustments, millions of dollars are flooding into the industry, their share of a $5 billion rebate to American industry in general under the Tax Adjustment Act of 1945. Hoadley shows how to calculate how much your firm will get.

John Foster, Jr., “Design Analysis of the Messerschmitt Me-262 Jet Fighter, Part II: The Power Plant” The paper modestly describes this as “First complete engineering study ever published on jet power plant.”

The salient points are that the Jumo 004 is a 152” long, 30” diameter six combustion chamber axial flow engine weighing a total of 1,775lbs. Due to being made of low alloy steel, it had a design service life of 25-35 hours, but only made 10, although new models with better heat-resistant alloys had achieved 500h on the test stand by the surrender. Turbine blades, at first made of aluminum, were increasingly made of steel, enamelled in late production examples, and famously hollow for air cooling. Compressor rotor blades, of which there were 27 in the first stage and 38 in the rest, were still of stamped aluminum with machined roots. Chord, stagger and profile vary through the compressor. (So what seems so simple is actually exhaustively designed.) The design makes maintenance very difficult, a typical example of hurry! The famously short-lived solid, early production tubine blades were chromed steel (austenitic, 30% nickel, 1.75% titanium, .12% carbon, so basically Krupp’s ‘Tinidur’). Temperatures at the root reached 750 C, a little lower than the 800 mark where creep starts to have free reign (as witness such a large part of the last three years of James’ life!), but far too high. The air cooling system, in which flow was bled off at the fourth compression stage and directed first onto the face of the turbine disk, and then into the later, hollow turbines, is purely by baffles, but still reflects a loss of 7% of available air flow. As in modern reciprocating engines, oil lubrication also has a cooling function, notably in the massive compressor shaft bearing. 190 gallons/hr! (Better not take a bullet to the oil cooler!)

C. E. Pappas, Mr. G,. Harrison, “Analyzing the Aspects of Future Flight” Remember the compressibility effects that knocked all the P-47 prototypes and some P-38s out of the sky? They’re even more critical with jet planes. High altitude, high speed flight will also introduce friction heating. “Meteoric dust” and the electrification of the atmosphere will be an issue, too. Mach numbers of 0.85 to 1.2 will be accompanied by severe buffeting and stability difficulties, as the Guidonia wind tunnel results show. Either planes should rocket through this danger zone, or they should be confined to speeds below .85 until it is sorted out. If the former, special supersonic airfoils will be called for. All of this only takes up half the article; the rest is a brief analysis of why airspeeds in the 0.85—1.2 Mach range will have unstable aerodynamics. The authors cite a paper by Lord Kelvin, and suggest that the way forward is via modern limit theory.

“Layout Reproduction the Loftec Way” Republic explains. It paints metal negative units with glow-in-the-dark paint. 

Ralph Upson’s series on “designing tomorrow’s personal plane” covers the amphibian. Ernest Stout’s continuing series on analysing the landings of floatplanes and seaplanes separates one advertisement from another quite well.
You're seriously flying into the lake for some huntin' and fishin' in your office three piece suit? Your wife is going to kill you, man.

Douglas Hodges, Douglas Aircraft Co,, “Stretch-Forming Plus Impact Banishes Joggling Problems” This is, in fact, English.

“New Type Flaps Lower C-74 Landing Speed” Douglas’s novel full-span unit combines the features of a split flap, double-slot, and combination aileron-flap “bringing new word –ailerflap—to aviation.” It reduces the landing speed of the new C-74 15% below where it would be with conventional flaps.

Harry Merle, Assistant Superintendent of Unit Assemblies, Columbus Plant, Curtiss-Wright, “These Special Fixtures Speed Engine Mount Output”

“Torsion Element Spring Tab Combines High and Low Load Efficiency” This is a discussion of a new spring tab intended for the Corsair.

Also, articles on the ingenious brake shoe clearance adjustment unit just discovered to be in use on the FW190, a Scoresby double automatic pilot testing unit that allows training to go on even as the other side tests an automatic pilot and the latest in the series on servicing de-icers.

“Jet and Conventional Engines Combined in Ryan FR-1 Fireball” The new Ryan fighter has a jet and a reciprocating engine. You might think that it has a low power to weight ratio and so makes a poor fighter, but. . . look over there! It’s the ghost of Teddy Roosevelt! You should definitely not wonder how this came to be Ryan's first production contract of the war. 

“Martin 202 and 228 Planned as New Short Haulers” Planes that don’t exist are easy to write about.

“AA Choosing Feedliner with Aid of Employee Poll”

“DH Vampire and Hornet Which Were Set to Jab Japs” The paper catches up with the de Havilland fighters, “each claimed to be the fastest in their class.”

“Boeing Stratocruiser Aimed at Low-Cost Operation” The rest of the industry is aiming for high costs. It’s just good business sense. The same three pictures, with the same story as in every other number for the last year.
Though I suppose that Boeing has a bit of a point. Here's Convair selling "luxury."

“Nazis Brinked the Fantastic in Drive to Re-Command the Air” Ju-388, Bachem Natter, Flettner Fl-282 helicopter, He-162, Me 163, and an aircraft I haven’t heard of, I think the He-219. Also, Kurt Tank had a jet fighter on the way, the Ta 183. Junkers was working on a FF-128 tailless fighter; the BMW 803 is noted again, and an odd unit consisting of 2 DB 603s coupled to a DB 605 to run the two-stage compressor, all to be installed in the fuselage and driving propellers in the wings through extensions shafts. Finally, the paper notices the Klockner-Humboldtd-Deutz 16 cylinder, liquid cooled, two-stroke diesel, fitted with a burbosupecharger in an opposed 8 configuration to give a flat installation, delivering 2800hp, or, combined in an H form, 5400hp. Here's a company not afraid to go its own way.

Two articles on airport planning follow.

Lt. Robert A. Bleier, Air Corps, “Globe Calculator is Quick on Avigation Data” The Hagner Universal Globe Calculator is the cat’s meow.

Aviation News

The big story this week is the new airport bill. The Grumman F8F Bearcat is revealed. 3000lbc lighter than the Hellcat. 

The Roc seeing-eye bomb also exists. People are testing a flying lobster delivery service. New fighters tested by the AAF include the Tucker XP-57, Grumman XP-56, Vultee XP-68, Republic XP-69, Curtiss XP-71, Bell XP-76, NAA XP-78. Twin engine attack types tested include NAA XA-27, Douglas XZ-33, Hughes XA-37, Beech XA-38, Fleetwing XA-39 and Curtiss XA-40. The Brodie landing system is noted, again.

Washington Windsock

Blaine Stubblefield notices that the (atom) bomber will always get through. Future bombers might be lighter than fighters, due to atom bombs being relatively small. Stubbliefied notices that if great power politics continue as usual, a hundred years from now, Britain and America will be regarded as “the champion chumps of all time” for not “taking over” when they had the chance. On the other hand, if peace and law and order prevail, “we’ll be collectively sainted.” He gets paid for writing this stuff.

Everyone is BUNGLING Reconversion. People are still talking about talking about talking about civil aviation. Landing rights on Hawaii and in South Africa, notably. Hawaii I can see, but South Africa? Why? Also, the Netherlands have now “accepted the Fifth Freedom,” which is, apparently, the freedom to land places. Fred Thaheld of Diesel Power, a subsidiary of Shaffer Tool Works of La Brea, California, is showing off a “100-125hp” aircraft diesel engine. Diesel fuel is cheap, he reminds us. And diesel engines are heavy, we remind him. Any progress in the argument over the last fifty years? The Avro Tudor, we learn, is disappointing. Twelve passengers 3700 miles at 295mph at a gross all up of 76,000lbs. But the Tudor II will carry 60!

Side Slips finds a recent article on interplanetary flying hilarious, because it suggests that 8 g acceleration can be “comfortably” withstood, and that the meteorite risk is small. Several hilarious stories about airliner engines stopping in mid-flight or in takeoffs follow. Book your flight to Rio now!

Fortune, November 1945

The Job Before Us

“Import and Prosper” Protectionism is bad. “Public Service Strikes” are also bad. Examples are the longshoreman’s, oil strike and telephone stoppage, and, above all, the elevator strike in New York City, because they actually affect the public, by which the paper means, the paper. Unless this stops, the labour movement will regret it. On the other hand, the paper is fine with the Pullman anti-trust action, because the Budd sleeping cars are so nice, and the paper would be happy to ride in one on its next vacation.

“Europe Overnight: After a Shattering Row on the Ground, U.S. Operators are Set to Span the World: But New Freedom of the Ground Becomes More Important than Freedom of the Air” Remember how Juan Trippe wanted to have a monopoly on overseas commercial flying? Those were the days! Now foreigners want their own “chosen instruments,” while America presses for “managed competition,” but there will have to  be a compromise, or the foreigners won’t let Americans land at places like Prestwick. Part the million.

“General Motors Overseas: An International Colossus Whose Evolution has Brought Forth a Whole New Philosophy of Foreign Trade” Protectionism is bad because GM is big. Also, foreigners are funny.
Foreigners are funny!

“Yankee Traders: The Frazars, Shrewd International Middlemen Since 1834, Have Majored in East Asia: Survival has Demanded all Their Characteristic Ingenuity” Frazar & Hansen, San Francisco, are import-exporters dealing with China (which was invaded) and Japan (which was bombed.) In the future, China will be un-invaded, and Japan un-rubbled, and things will be different, as well as the same. The paper shure hopes that the Frazars invite it to their next shindig!

“Will Clayton’s Cotton, I: The World’s Greatest Cotton Merchant, Anderson, Clayton, Waits for Orders to Deliver the World’s Most Needed Commodity” I thought food was the “most-needed?” Although given that British women have had their clothing ration cut twice since victory, the paper is probably getting an earful on cotton, too. Since there is a surplus of cotton, and of shipping, while the labour shortage is more apparent than real if veterans can be just coaxed into the mills, the problem si the world’s shattered credit mechanism. This is why, even though the company is all for free enterprise, it is waiting for government action to start shipping cotton on credit. Also, American domestic cotton prices are too high. See “protectionism is bad.”

John Earl Baker, “Industrialising the Good Earth” That’s Pearl S. Buck’s Good Earth. China needs to industrialise.  How best to do it? Well, first, unite the empire by ending the civil war, I’d say. And since a Goumindang victory is unlikely, I guess the answer is, “the Communist way.” The paper disagrees. It does, however, think that the Chinese are a peculiar people. Breezy generalisations follow. Did you know that the Chinese are unmilitary pacifists, and have no statute law?

I've been waiting for an excuse to post this.

“The Small Shop” The paper pops into its favourite leather goods shop and looks at its Phelps bags, just the thing this season. I won’t inflict more of this on you; but I’ve ordered one. Or more.

“Longhairs and Short Waves” The longhaired, mad, unconventional scientists of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had a lot to do with radar. Their counterparts, the short-haired women, mainly made the WAF, WAC and WAVEs a success. Or perhaps that’s not how “longhair” is meant, here. 

Bell Electric engineers versus MIT Radiation Laboratory longhairs. Your forgotten culture war for the week.
They are the 1100 young scientists of the Radiation Laboratory of MIT, and they are long haired because they do not get their hair cuts on time, not because of their well-groomed locks. Their influence is underlined by the beginning anecdote, which takes up almost three pages of the article, describing a massive, microwave early warning radar. Luis Alvarez, an MIT RL scientist, at least until he was recruited for atomic work, and, it turns out, Doctor Alvarez's grandson, came up with it. The point here is that he followed a theory-directed investigation that led to an interference-balanced multiple dipole emitter using a diffracting plate reflector to create a microwave beam “like a beaver’s tail turned sideways.” This highly design was resisted by engineers as using too much math, and by the services on the grounds that the Japanese weren’t raiding, and that it wasn’t actually useful. So instead the Lab sold it to the British, and Fighter Command used it for anti V1 work. R.L teamed up with Philco, while the other American lab, Bell, teamed up with its own manufacturer, Western Electric.

Another example is that radio engineers have traditionally designed amplifiers to get a “flat top” on the gain curve. This was a rule of thumb, and it was being applied to televisions, even though it was not clear that it was the best design for television amplifiers. So R.L. asked Norbert Wiener, a professor of mathematics at MIT, and Professor Guillemin, also of MIT, to investigate. They proved that the optimum curve for a radar amplifier was peaked, like the ones that the RI were already designing. Yet another triumph was the SCR 584 microwave AA fire control radar, of which I have heard so much from James (and a bit about Professor Wiener, too!)

Louis N. Ridenour, “Military Security and the Atomic Bomb: If We Hide the Facts of Nature, We Can Undermine the Security of Achievement” Dr. Ridenour thinks that hiding atomic “secrets” is a mistake. He cites examples, such as “window,” so obvious that everyone was inventing it all the time, but which both the British and Germans kept secret on the grounds that revealing it would cost them more than they gained. Yet another is the airborne microwave radar search set, which cost the Germans perhaps 100 submarines. It was not until six months after the Germans captured an example of this device (the magnetron, I suppose), that it occurred to the German navy that this might be the  new device that the Allies were using to catch submarines on the surface at night. Ridenour blames this not on the German Air Force keeping it secret from the Navy, as on the fact that they classified it to start with. The idea was to conceal from the Allies the fact that the Germans knew about the microwave radar.However, this limited circulation meant that the Navy missed the significance of the technical circulars they received. 

“Music for Money” Karl Krueger is trying to get the Detroit Symphony to show a profit.

Books and Ideas

The paper leads off this month with Professor W. A. Orton’s The Liberal Tradition, which is, I gather, about how liberals are always right, once we’ve taken the trouble to define liberals as the people who are always right. He likes religion, and hates all those advanced thinkers like Marx and Comte and Freud who don’t like religion as much as he likes religion. He also doesn’t like Wallace and Beveridge, as they are not real liberals on account of not being for free trade and the free market. Less government is the answer. That and moral reform, and no coercion, and no war. Clyde O. Ruggels, Government Control of Business, on the other hand, is all for it. Alfred Kahn’s new book, Britain and the World Economy, thinks that things ought to continue as in the 1930s, or something? I suppose that it is too subtle and supple an argument to be summarised in a single paragraph. Mr. Morgenthau’s book doesn’t need another notice, so the paper compromises by noticing it too briefly. Edward Hallett Carr writes about Nationalism and After. He thinks nation states are a mistake. Other blurbs cover books on government price controls, labour management, St. Clair Drake on  the “Black Metropolis” that is the Coloured side of Chicago.

Business Abroad

Japan proves to have been much more badly hurt than we thought. Without food imports, it will not even be able to guarantee 1500 calories per person. Shipping is down to 500,000 tons, cotton spinning capacity down to 1 million bales a year, and there is a shortage of coal. Right now, the brightest spot on the horizon is the “tourist trade” with MacArthur’s men. The paper also reports that British exports are rising sharply, in contrast with the gloomy story spun by the business press. 1945 export volume was 40% of 1938, almost one third higher than in 1944. Yet this was achieved with the armed forces at their peak strength. It is true that the $700 million volume of the first half of 1945 is small compared with the $5 billion of 1938, reduced imports mean that balance is achieved at closer to a $4 billion volume, less than three times the rate of the first half of 1945. With demobilisation and the end of the war, is the goal in sight? We lack the statistics to say so, but many examples suggest the export boom has redoubled with the end of the war. In Paris, the Bourse has turned upwards, as coal production and imports picked up along with other raw material imports, and as it became clear that the deflation could not be continued, and that a devaluation of the franc was in sight. Tata Airlines is expanding in India; and Switzerland will probably disband its merchant marine now that peace is at hand. Chungking’s “boom” has ended with peace, but it is not clear that its inflation has.

Fortune Faces
The paper hopes that J. C. Rovensky, of Chase National, and R. A. Hutchinson, of Studebaker, will invite it to their next big shindig. R. B. Shipley will hopefully grant it a passport.

Fortune Shorts

The paper covers Frank A. Anderson, of Boston, who is a stock tout, but much more genteel and refined, so that he has a newsletter, and does not have to grab you by the sleeve as you walk by, and harass you until you give Wong Lee a discrete nod. I hate that, because there is a gentle man hiding behind his scars. Mr. Anderson’s special claim to accuracy is that he uses star charts, whereas Carlos Garcia-Matta and Felix Shaffer use sunspot cycles, which is just so much silliness. Also in short news, The Lutheran allows that it is possible to sell liquor without being a reprobate, and the Navy and Bureau of Mines are looking for customers to buy its helium, now that it is not needed for blimps. They have a nice grant from Congress to find those uses.

Fortune Survey

“Savings –A Survey” Everyone likes to save, and Americans have lots of savings. The details are interesting, too. You'll have noticed that the claimed average steelworker's savings are only $600; but a survey of New York state residents shows that 84.3% have war bonds, 74.2% a savings account, 60.3% a checking account, 22.3% securities, 16.8% an employer's pension fund, 14.3% a thrift account with a commercial bank, and 15.7% accounts with savings associations of various kinds. 62.5% of the poor have war bonds, while 96% of professionals have them. Only 9.4% of the poor have checking accounts, and only 3.4% hold securities. The numbers haven't changed much since 1942, so the increase in private savings from $48.4 billion in 1942 to 127.6 billion in 1945 is by increase in the amounts held. People have fallen into the habit of saving, the paper concludes.

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