Thursday, December 1, 2016

Postblogging Technology, October, 1946, II: Spring is Coming

Time needs to be more careful with its copy. You might almost read this as implying that these two pinkos are having an affair.  On the other hand, if you did read it that way, well, no slander is truly wrong when it fights the relentless advance of  world communism.


Dear Father:

I just want to say at the first how much I regret the tone I took in our telephone conversation on Thursday. I've had a chance to calm down. James sat me down and firmly explained the hardships you've taken on yourself in your flying trip to Montreal. I apologise.

I am not going to succumb to some kind of ill-placed faith in quacks and miracle cures. But as James says, good physiotherapy will be vital if Vickie is to grow up straight and healthy. I have a fine pediatrician, and both Uncle Henry and Dr. Rivers have approached me about taking on a physiotherapist. I shall say more about Uncle Henry's latest scheme, but I do have faith that Dr. Rivers will hire the best man he can. The difficulty is that physiotherapy is a woman's practice, so the best man will be a woman, and it is so very hard to find a career-minded woman. As well, physiotherapy is advancing by leaps and bounds. Even if Vickie finds first-class care in San Francisco now, how long before London or New York is ahead again? I dread the idea of entering social circles I cannot manage; therefore, as you say, we must put our therapist here into contact with the most advanced circles.

If you are thinking that I am being awfully level-headed for a mother in my predicament, then it is also because I have good news. We have Vickie back with us. The new iron lung is installed in the nursery. I showed it to Bill and David when they were here with Alex to discuss incorporation. They are always keen on gadgets, and, of course, were instantly trying to improve it with some electrics here and there. 
Tokyo toy store, 21 March 1947. (AP/Charles Gorry.)

I am afraid I put my foot down quite firmly. I do hope they were not offended. 

Speaking of people who annoy me and whom I cannot be cross with, Uncle Henry continues to be inspired by Vickie's condition, as well as much else. That's to be read as an implication that he is getting awfully close to the woman who takes care of the business side of his medical insurance sideline, by the way. Her official title is "head administrative nurse," but the hand that punches the postage meter rules the world, as no-one but me has probably ever said. 

I'm sorry, I wander again, and into obnoxioius gossip, at that. So, Uncle Henry has decided to take this "managed care" corporation seriously, and, predictably, for him, "seriously" means a grandiose project. He has been showing me sketches and plans of a new hospital for the Bay Area, to be built in the salubrious surroundings (that means that it is high up) of Walnut Creek. 

This new hospital is to have all sorts of bells and whistles, and he is busy trying to persuade me to move into one of the private suites it will have, so that mothers of means can sleep right next to their darlings as they undergo the most modern and scientific treatments. I gently reminded him that we have an iron lung at home, and that he helped us find it at short notice, and that I really was grateful. Oh, no, he said. I mean pneumatic hammers, he said. He went on to explain a process which uses air hammers to smash the nerve endings in the limbs of polio victims, on the theory that this will cause them to sprout new fibres, and re-enervate the atrophied lumb. Fortunately, I vaguely recalled reading about it, so I didn't laugh --otherwise, it would have sounded exactly like one of those morbid "iron lung" jokes that are going around. No, I told him firmly, we will not be smashing Vickie's flesh with an air gun to see what  happens next. I even tried to suggest that perhaps he shouldn't be draining away the profits of his new enterprise into a grand new hospital, but got exactly nowhere. 

I have a feeling we will be fighting over the Nagasaki trust fund again, especially since it looks like it may be trust for ten years or more a the current rate of progress. So why not look for something feasible in the shorter term? "Hawaii is so nice at this time of year," I said. "Why not look there for real estate possibilities?" Fat chance of that, though. It looks as though this will be another enthusiasm to ride out. 


*Still a long way off for Bill and David, I am sad to say. In happier news, Alex will finally ship a "tape machine" to Uncle George's friend's recording studio late next fall, which will finally make two-coast radio delay broadcast feasible, and take a little pressure off the man before he ends up pouring himself into a bottle and never coming out.

The weirdly streamlined turboprops are very art deco, but the artist's eye is for the fashions. It's good to see some sign of recovery from England, if only in the form of better ad art, ahead of the next blow.

Flight, 17 October 1946


“Mach Number a Back Number?” The paper was impressed by Mr. Smelt’s recent paper for the Royal Aeronautical Society on German research into aerodynamics. The Germans had better equipment, but did not learn anything more about high speed aerodynamics from it than the British did from theirs’, which is not an excuse for not building more wind tunnels, etc, in Britain. “Mach Number” remains mysterious. It is again confirmed that some or another German discovered the effects of sweepback on retarding shockwave buildup and the onset of transonic conditions “some years before the war,” but the paper “would not be surprised” if some Englishman were not eventually discovered to be the real discoverer. Because Englishmen like Dr. Lanchester are so very smart. 
I get dyspeptic reading Lanchester's wiki biography, and I should really restrain myself. Just because he was a great self-promoter doesn't mean that he wasn't also a great engineer. We should all remember that it is not a narcissist's fault that he's sick and that punching him in the face in our heads isn't helping at any level. Here's the Renard Road Train, which Lanchester worked to adapt for manufacture in Britain in 1907--10. Source.

“The College of Aeronautics” Opened last Tuesday. Everyone got some practice not caring, which is likely to be useful in years to come.

“Circuit Sorting” The new left-hand circuits, with stacking as required, for London Airport and Northolt are good as far as they go, but the ground control must have actual control. I am not sure what the paper means?

“Indicator,” “The Bristol Wayfarer: The Passenger Version of the Type 170 in Action: A Straightforward Aircraft with Solid Qualities” The Type 170 was designed as a “workhorse,” like the old Ju52. Its fuselage is tailored to heavy, bulky cargos, which makes for an odd passenger experience. The cabin is very large, and the flight deck is a real flight deck. It was not designed for range. The power comes from two Hercules 632s, which use 40gal/hour at economical cruising, and maximum fuel capacity is 600gal, giving safe maximum endurance under all conditions as 5 ½ hours, and with maximum speed of 221mph, genuine cruising speed is a bit more than 150mph under “quite low” boosts. More precisely, 132 knots at 5000ft at 1800rpm, 1 3/4lb boost. The trans-Atlantic flights required ferry tanks in the fuselage. . It is rather noisy due to exhaust thump, especially forward in the cabin, the other passengers tell “Indicator,” who has long since lost his hearing to Herefords and the like. The Wayfarer has a Sperry autopilot, and after discussing it, “Indicator” is on about the controls at length. It seems to do well enough in emergency one-engine flying, being able to climb out of trouble if the lone engine is pushed up to 2800rpm and 7 ¼ lb boost, not exactly healthy for the engine, but even a civil Hercules should be able to hold that long enough to get James back on the ground again.

“SEAC Story” General Slim gave a talk at the Press Club on the South East Asian Command, in which he shared the delightful view that “[t]he Jap is not a man or a beat; He is an insect, an ant, with all its failings.”

Here and There

Another aerial emigration is under way, with two Austers setting off for Ceylon, planning 25 “hops” with a total flying cost of an estimated £40/aircraft, and a pilot who flew low over Old Trafford to get pictures for the press has been fined £20. Transport  Command is flying off a trade mission to China in a York and a Lancastrian. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester have just finished a nine day air tour of Western Australia. The Aluminum Development Association flatly denied that there is a shortage of aluminum, as opposed to labour.

If you are wondering about the lack of real news in this section, the very lead article was about some unnamed English firms being invited to send representatives to the RCAF cold weather trials, while the second piece was about a nice Englishwoman in Ottawa receiving a plaque from the RCAF for putting up Canadian officers at her London place during the war. There's no news to report.
Here's Lana Turner and Frank Sinatra to tide you over. (Daily Mail, but worth it.)

“High-speed Airflow: A Critical Review of German Research Methods, Equipment and Results: precis of a paper by R. Smelt, MA, AFRAeS” The Germans built a very nice 2.8m wind tunnel giving a Reynolds Number of 7 million compared with 2 million for the best English tunnel, but never got the wall interference constraints sorted out so as to do many tests in it.  German subsonic wind tunnels were very efficient, and also quite long, but this had a great deal to do with design choices, and also made them expensive. The Germans eventually discovered that the critical Mach number calculated from subsonic testing bore little relationship to the actual maximum critical Mach number across a given wing section, and that in fact “conventional” airfoils gave comparable performances to ones designed with respect to the original, calculated Mach number. Mr. Smelt notices that “[The German] recognition and development of swept-back or swept-forward wings to delay and reduce compressibility effects . . . originated with Professor Busemann of the L.F.A., who mentioned its possible application to supersonic flight at the Volta High Speed Congress in 1935,” while its application to retarding the formation of shockwaves at transonic speed was “put forward by Prof. Betz at Göttingen in 1939.” Some work, done in connection to plans to sweepback the wings of a new model of the Me 262, in hand at the end of the war, is put forward. The problems of low-speed lift,  poor flap performance, wing-tip stall, wing dropping, etc, were all under investigation. So was wing suction.

“The Morane-Saulnier 571” Morane-Saulnier hopes that what the private owner wants is folding wings, and also “production methods borrowed from the automotive industry,” such as forgings, castings, welding and a moving production line. Everyone keeps making the same mistakes! Why?

“Tropical Trials: Gruelling Tests of a Griffon-Firefly in Iraq” Fairey has sent off its fighter-reconnaissance-whatever plane to Iraq to prove once and for all that liquid-cooled planes will do fine in tropical climates.
Actual scene from the Fifth Volta Conference, 1935. It looks like the issue is that no-one who was there can remember it. Something about Mussolini announcing the invasion of Ethiopia three days before it opened? Not a bad scenario for, say, a patent troll. Also, for a long time, the aerodynammicists who persuaded Mussolini to drop all that money on a completely useless supersonic wind tunnel at Guidonia. I'm sorry, Il Duce, it turns out that math is hard!

Short Sturgeon: Structural and Design Features of New Naval Avaition Twin Reviewed” The paper is very impressed with folding a 60ft wing down to 20.
A very pretty plane, but why do you need it, again? On the bright side, per Wikipedia, Westland proposed an alternative model with a Pratt and Whitney R4360 in the nose and a Halford H1 in the tail. "I don't know, Petter. Needs more fail."

“Seafarer from Rochester” More on the Sturgeon. It is a deck-landing aircraft designed for photographic or visual reconnaissance, with tree cameras and two men, or three men including an added observer. It can carry 1000lbs of bombs internally, or two 500lb bombs externally, or an equilvant load of depth charges. Short is happy the Admiralty did not insist on torpedo-bombing as well. It doesn’t really matter, though, as the Sturgeon has not been ordered for the Fleet, and will only be used for target towing. I guess this is why the paper can spend just pages and pages on the structure, and above all those wing-folding arrangements.

“Reliability of Gas Turbines: Increased Overhaul Life of the R.R. Derwent I” It is said that gas turbines will be more reliable than piston engines, but there hasn’t been much evidence of this as yet. Now there is, with word that a testbed Derwent, built in June 1944, has achieved 1000h between overhauls. The overhaul time of service Derwent Is has been shown to be safely increasable from 180h to 270, and Rolls-Royce is confident that the RAF will soon authorise it.

“New Triplex Gas” Triplex has brought out “Vinal,” or Polyvinyl Butyral, a laminated safety glass with a break-resistance three times that of the previous product.
Better living through chemistry! Source.

Civil Aviation News

Vickers is sending a Viking to tour South Africa and the Near East and bring back liquor sales.Most of the board seems to be going on the trip. Here’s hoping for good weather!

KLM has chosen its mid-Atlantic winter route, Amsterdam-Azores-Nova Scotia. It will fly Constellations. The DC-4s used for the Gander-Prestwick summer route will be switched to European and African routes. BEA has announced its winter schedule. Pan-American will soon begin using direct injection engines in its Constellations. The IATA will be having its annual meeting on 30 October in Cairo. The South Pacific Air Transport Council made a statement last week on “Pacific Flying Aids.” There won’t be any, at least at many airfields, because they are expensive. Air Vice-Marshal Collier will be in charge of the technical side of talking about talking about civil aviation at the Ministry, although he will have vice -talkers-about-talking in charge of navigation and communications.

AccidentPrevention” The Air Ministry has a nice picture out about not having accidents. Ask that girl you’re sweet on!


Air Chief Marshal Joubert de la Ferte writes to say that plans for the new RAF reserves, territorials, auxiliaries, air-ladies, boy-scouts of the air, and so on, are well under way. Also, messes are being reorganised, cafeteria-style. “Hopeful” thinks that the trade unions should be more welcoming to ex-Service tradesmen. “One of the Gonged” didn’t think that his medal ceremony was nice enough. Richard Mitchell thinks that the air speed record should be corrected for air temperature more scientifically. Donald S. MacKay, former F/Lt, writes to praise “Indicator’s” bit about the original Hurricane. He recalls it as neat, light, easy to fly, and a joy “compared with the single-seat heavy bomber it later became.” Dr. Fidia J Piattelli[*] thinks that someone should come up with an amateur aeroengine that someone could build for himself out of motorcycle parts or something, so that amateurs can fly homemade planes with homemade engines in perfect safety and cheapness. T. S. Goch thinks that tandem airplanes will be perfect for the amateur to come, “stability” notwithstanding. J. Cecil Rice thinks that landing fees are too high, and will cause the Downfall of Our Way of Life, unlike Czechoslovakia, where they care about these things and live in the air. “Fissionary” notes that while Secretary Symington says that only the B-29 can carry an atom bomb, the Navy and Lockheed say that the P2V can. It’s almost as though the Air Force and Navy were fighting over something!  He thinks that the Air Ministry should say that Lincolns and Lancasters can carry the bomb, too. “Safety First” is upset about all the accidents.
"Designed to launch and recover the 100,000lb aircraft required to carry early model nuclear weapons." You heard about it here, first.

Time, 21 October 1946


Georgina Hicks Mays of Pasadena reminds us that the ladies who got those gifts for launching ships also gave the ships gifts such as pewterware, victrolas, desks, trays, “etc,” while Mrs. Lucille M. Nelson points out that Mrs. James Byrnes received more (by valuation) in gifts from one christening than her husband received in 18 months of Army service, twelve overseas.
Lucille died last month. She is survived by her son, LeRoy (Trudy) Nelson of Yankton, SD; daughters, Shirley (Richard) Woslager of Carroll, and Pat (Randy) Brudigan of Ainsworth; seven grandchildren; twelve great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews. I don't know about Ms. Hicks Mays, but I suspect that she was survived by a very large trust fund.

 Joseph Sholkin, of Newton Heights, Mass., writes to defend Henry Wallace’s go-easy-on-Russia policy on the grounds that this is because it is a go-hard-on-England one. Clark Coan, of Lawrence, Kans., writes to say that America needs to be grateful in its prayers that Henry Wallace was not renominated as Vice-President in 1944, that Kansans have enough trouble what with the Woodring-Pendergast-Truman machine trying to take the statehouse. Wm Eno de Buys[*], of Baltimore, is upset that Henry Wallace’s face was on the cover at all, because of football. Hans Kretschmer, of Appleton, Wisc., is upset at atheists and materialists for being upset at something to do with rebuilding an abbey in England. Elizabeth Emmett, of Peace Dale, R.I.,, finds something completely different to be upset about in the same article, which is that Simon Elwes called America a “catholic nation.” This is a vicious slander, etc. James M. W. Fields points out that while it is inconvenient to us that most mesons are destroyed in high altitude collisions. If this were not so, we’d all be living in caves, or Earth would be as dead as Mars. Our publisher takes his letter to congratulate the paper on the many POWs who became readers and subscribers while in captivity in the United States, and who are now either subscribing, or waiting to subscribe, in Europe. 
A campaign to restore Fountains Abbey was a big thing for mid-century Anglo-Catholics.

National Affairs

“Down Down” The President is BUNGLING his poll approval ratings. (And the Party’s, which is at a 16-year low.)

“Playing the Angles” The meat shortage is terrible. Also short is fatback in the south, baked beans in Boston, toilet paper in “some towns,”

“Belly Politics” Finally, the paper gets around to some facts. There are 40 million cattle in the United States these days compared with 30 million in 1939, so there should be enough for everyone. The cause of the problem is that producers are holding the cattle off the market in hopes of higher prices. The problem is that the midterm elections are coming, and the Democrats will be slaughtered if the meat shortage is still on. It will also be slaughtered if the controls come off and prices go up, but since that’s the only thing left to do, that’s what the President did. He did blame speculators and Congress for not passing a good OPA bill, but good luck with that. He also promised that wage controls will come off, and that remaining price controls will come off soon, too, but not rent controls, which will be needed for a good while yet.

“Hardly Any Difference” In other Administration BUNGLING news, John Snyder says that there will be a $1.2 billion deficit this year, while the President said that any deficit would be “minor.” Two Wage Stabilisation Board members resigned in protest of various things, the President misquoted Senator Taft in saying that the Nuremberg Trials would be long remembered (Taft said that they would “longbe remembered with regret,” and the President didn’t attend the wedding of Henry Wallace’s daughter, although his wife did.

“Platform for Henry” Henry Wallace is to be “super-editor” of The New Republic. The paper makes any number of points about why this is awful.

“Chicago Revisited” The AFL held its annual convention in Chicago for the first time in a very long time. On the one hand, when the delegates talked about labour things like health and welfare plans, it was boring. On the other, when various people did exciting things like call for less Jewish immigration, it was awful. In conclusion, the AFL is part awful, part boring. Interestingly, Robert Montgomery, president of the SAG, got a poor reception. The Engineer's boy's career as an actor isn't exactly catching fire, but maybe he has a chance as a corrupt union official? Perhaps someone should dust off Mr. Johnson's dossier. Every bad union man needs a bad boss. . . .

“Rah, Rah, Rah” After “four drab wartime years,” college football is back. Fully 5000 co-eds turned out for the pep rally before the Army game at Ann Arbor, and the Stanford Indians got a parade when they arrived for the game with UCLA. Attendance was 65,000 at Yale, and an insane 90,000 at UCLA.

“Clashing Gears” Unlike Flight, the paper has no problem admitting that the recent B-29 movements have been atomic sabre-rattling, more or less because Secretary Symington has been demanding that the Air Force be given the official sabre-rattling role in place of the Navy. Or, at least, with the Navy. It's not fair that only one service gets to threaten to start WWIII. 

“New Trick” Between conscription being imminent and the expiration of war’s-end unemployment benefits, volunteer recruitment is up in the Army and Navy, allowing Selective Service intake to be put off for six months.

“End of the Road” General Stilwell has died of complications of a liver operation.

“Out of the Hat” Ahead of the midterms, the Democratic Party has shone the bright light of publicity on something awful called “American Action, Inc.,” which is a motley assortment of the usual mad extremists: Upton Close, Merwin K. HartJohn T. Flynn, W. Homer Hartz, General Robert E. Wood, Lammot du Pont. The Democrats are setting up a House Committee to investigate whether AA is violating campaign expenditure rules, and whether everyone should vote Democratic in 1946, as otherwise these people will be running the country.
Upton Close wants you to know that he's not a crackpot. 

“Museum Piece” Hinky Dink Kenna, actually Michael Kenna (1858—1946), long time boss of Chicago’s First Ward, has died. The paper can’t be bothered to give his dates or his Christian name,but does mention that his heirs have ignored his request for a mausoleum in favour of an eighty-dollar tombstone. Mr. Kenna was awful, and a Democrat. 


“Conferences” The Paris Peace Conference has ended in futility more.

“A Continent in Travail” Various American correspondents have opininos about Europe. For example, Paul Hutchinson, whose full report will appear in Christian Century, thinks tht the continent is in an incurable spiritual malaise. Winthrop Sargeant had a grand time, meeting wonderful people everywhere and eating well in Italy, although not Finland. Everyone hates the Russians and so the communists. Dr. Niebuhr thinks that WWIII is just around the corner unless we adopt creative policies of creating things.
Paul Hutchinson wants you to know that the mid-century "Religion" beat  wasn't all fatuous twittery. 

“Historic Flushing” Uno delegates would have enjoyed the 1939 World’s Fair. Further bulletins as events warrant.

“Forgive Us Our Sins” The Nuremberg Trials handed down 11 sentences of death. As Justice Jackson said, “If there is no law under which to try these people, it is about time the human race made some.”

“Coal Crisis” “Britain’s coal shortage, caused chiefly by obsolete equipment and the miners’ war weariness, was nearing the danger point.” Shinwell had to condemn talk of power rationing this week, as otherwise I suppose people will start hoarding coal. Newspaper people in London to report on a visit by the Windsors found a strike (over union recognition) at the Savoy to be charming.

“More Trouble”: Schoolteachers strike in Ireland, doctors in Sweden, stockbrokers(!) in Amsterdam. France has another constitution, and there has been an attempted coup in Portugal that will likely end in Salazars' fall.

Latins are very excitable. Tito is awful. Chiang’s ever-victorious armies vanquish in all directions, and the Communists must soon admit that they are doomed. Dr. Wellington Koo is wonderful.

“The Sedist Sausage” The Berlin Communist Party is not likely to do well in the upcoming city-wide elections to be supervised by all four occupying powers.

“Holy Mac” General Willoughby seized 50,000 copies of Nippon Times for suggesting that either General MacArthur should be worshipped as a Buddha, or that it was wrong to not be critical of suggestions that he not be worshipped as a Buddha. I think? I'm assuming that the intended point was that General MacArthur shouldn't be worshipped.
General Charles Andrew Willoughby. If you don't normally follow up on my Wikipedia links to biographies, make this one of your exceptions. By unknown -, Fair use,

Latins are excitable, although not that excitable, given that the big story this week is a steel plant opening in Brazil, and Canadians are boring, although in an interesting way, since because the Canadians kept meat rationing, they have meat to eat, now. Several Canadians were detained at the border trying to enlist in the American army, which is deemed to have much better benefits than the Canadian.


“Trouble Ahead” Charles E. Wilson, of GE, thinks that the combined effects of price controls and wage increases will soon choke off demand for goods and cause a depression.

“Wanted: Nails of All Kinds” Various shortages are hobbling various businesses. For example, lack of tallow from non-slaughtered animals has shut down National Biscuit, Co.’s Philadelphia plant.

“The $64 Answer” Eversharp has brought out a $25 ballpoint to compete on the luxury market.

“Hollywood Goes Its Own Way” While profits are down in many industries, in Hollywood they are very healthy. However, rising operating costs will soon doom the industry.

In shorter news, the fashion industry is short of cloth, cigarettes are becoming short again, and the airlines will from now on charge 25% of the price of the ticket when unused ones are redeemed.

Science, Medicine, Education

“Gliding, Gliding” Professor Samuel Herrick, of UCLA, is teaching a course on “interplanetary gliding,” which describes how the interplanetary rocket ships of the future will use celestial mechanics to “glide” from planet to planet, rather than blazing away with their atomic engines. The problem is that the voyages would take a very long time, but as Professor Herrick says, the crews should include both sexes, if we intend to colonise Venus.

In other news, young women keep dropping astronomy courses for some reason.

“Supersonic Nemesis” “Until recently, most airmen believed that the problem of supersonic flight was tough, but crackable.” This week, they are having their doubts. The US has had to cancel their attempt on the speed record, while the English are still looking for the remnants of Geoffrey de Havilland’s DH 108, which may have made 650mph in level flight before disintegrating. This may be the practical speed limit due to “compressibility,” which the paper helpfully defines as an “invisible, ravening demon formed in the air by the plane’s own motion.”

We are told that when the first P-80 fired its guns at 600mph, the “plane disintegrated.” Recently, the air forces removed all paint from the P-80s’ wings, since the least paint chip can cause a disaster, and there is the story of a gnat which stuck to the leading edge of a P-80’s wing and caused “sound waves hammering dangerous dimples in the plane’s skin.”Pessimists believe that only unmanned rockets will  ever reach the supersonic realm."
I'm not sure what's made everyone so glum all of a sudden. Maybe it's the lack of meat in their diet? The realisation that the GOP will control Congress for at least two years? 

“Mustard Against Cancer” A team of researchers at Manhattan’s Memorial Hospital, the University of Chicacog, and the Universith of Utah are experimenting on whether nitrogen mustard is good against cancer by injecting it into cancer patients. It seems effective in slowing the course of Hodgkin’s disease.

“Little Neurotics, Awake!” British Child Psychiatrist J. A. McCluskie has scientifically determined that neurotic babies and small children may be neurotic because they get too much sleep. A one year-old, for example, needs only 12 hours and 2 ½ hours at noon; five year olds need eleven; eleven year olds, ten. Any variation in these schedules will lead to restlessness, inability to concentrate, and surreptitious reading in bed. 
He actually said "masturbation," but Grace isn't going to get into that with her father-in-law.

The new school for children of US occupation forces in Berlin is wonderful.

People, Art, Music

Frank Sinatra, Nancy, Lana Turner and so on. Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth have reconciled. George Bernard Shaw isn’t dead.  Edith Kingdon Gould has married, as has General Quesada, to Kate Davis Pulitzer Putnam. Catherine O’Dwyer, wife of Mayor O’Dwyer, has died after a long illness.

Walter Lippman has advised the Adminstration that it will BUNGLE press relations less if it just does all of its communicating in writing, or at least writes it down before it is communicated. The paper covers the scandalous decision to start gossip coliumns in the Hearst papers in San Francisco and Los Angeles over two full collumns. Hanson Baldwin, military and naval expert at the New York Times, is upset at the maritime unions they have nowadays, which will be the doom of seafaring ways. Then NYT gave way to a seafarers’ protest and retracted the column, which upsets the paper, because giving way to popular pressure like this will doom the free press by next Wednesday. The paper wants to be invited to Robert C. Ruark’s next party.

IN art news, Rodin has had a retrospective, and Jack Levine’s Welcome Back and William Gropper’s don Quixote No. 1 have won prizes after Karl Knaths’s Gear, and Eugene O’Neill, a playwriter, is this week’s cover story.

In music news, the scandalous When You Make Love to Me is the hit of the season in London.

The New Pictures

The paper liked The Dark Mirror, although “it gives the impression of being a better picture than it is.” The Bachelor’s Daughters is a “pleasant slice of hokum” with “heart.” The paper pretends that that is the opinion of some vague person with opinions about movies, but shining through the review is the fact that it loved and related to Adolphe Menjou, playing the part of the “bachelor father.”

  White Tie and Tails is a more typical farce, too glib and fast to follow. Her Sister’s Secret, by a studio better known for “B” pictures, deserves “at least a B-plus for effort.” Cloak and Dagger is pretty routine for a Gary Cooper vehicle.


If you’ve heard of an old-time French writer named Stendahl, you’re in for a treat, since there’s a book about him out, and a collection of his short novels, too. Francois Mauriac, who is a new French writer, has a book out in translation, Woman of the Pharisees, which is about an awful woman who gets over it a bit. J. B. Priestley has a book out, since it’s been months since the last one. Naturalist Ivan T. Sanderson has a book about frozen mastodons and such(!) which is definitely going to be in a stocking at Christmas, so that I can get a look at it.
Eye-witness to the mysterious kongamato of darkest Africa!

Flight, 24 October 1946


“Helicopter Development” The paper went to see Group Captain Liptrot’s talk to the Helicopter Association. It was about the old days, which the paper quite liked, but now it wants to talk about the new days. The paper thinks that the Air Ministry should order some American ones, as by the time that British ones materialise, “we shall have had no operational experience,” because the existing stock of R4s will have worn out. And the pilots won’t remember how helicopters work?

“For This Relief. . . “ Landing fees at state airfields have been cut, and sometimes waived, in response to the outcry.

The longest leader this week is about the Duke of Sutherland’s new £125 prize for aeronautical things. The paper makes it very, very clear that it wants to go to the Duke’s next party.

“’Indicator’ Discusses Topics of the Day: In Search of Safety: Radio as an Air, Not an Arbiter: Improving Aircraft Characteristics in Critical Conditions: Eventual Automatics?” “Indicator” has always held a simple faith in the “likely unreality of all scientific theorising.” He tells us that this faith was shaken when all those protons and neutrons actually did what they were told “somewhere in Mexico,” but he still thinks that we should not have too much faith in science, which has its “blind fanaticists,” just like any field. It is all very well to have scientific aids to navigation, but no cynical sense of surprise should be felt if they fail to do any aiding just when they are most needed. QDMs can be wrong, SBA indications can be difficult to follow, cathode ray tubes may show hash, and the air be so rough that flaps hardly work to achieve approach speeds and powers. This does not mean that we should still be flying at ground level, with “trees flashing past the wingtips,” like a “certain Continential airline of prewar days,” but radio and radar aids must remain,  until they are more reliable than they are today, aids and not arbiters. The day will come when an automatic pilot can cope with the very large control-surface displacements used at approach speeds in rough weather, but it is not yet. Only then will it be reasonable to link autopilots to blind approach indication and solving the captain’s worst problem in a swoop, perhaps after  power controls remove “feel” from flying entirely. In the meantime, flying is not as safe as other modes of travel, statistical games aside, and winter flying isn’t likely to be economical, with all the diversions and stacking.
Automatic planes are coming in, say, ten years, and then all the piloting jobs will be gone.

“Gliding in Czechoslovakia” An English Gliding Association Delegation went to that country, the one that takes forever to write, and found that gliding there was a Utopian dream of a future to which England can only aspire, unless much more money is given to English Gliding Associations.

“Sailplane Competition” A competition is to be held to see who gets to stay up in a sailplane longest. I have here a list of volunteers. Specifically, people I volunteer to stay up on the air for a very long time. 

The Gas Turbine Committee is to  hold its 21st Meeting this week.  I imagine they will talk about gas turbines. An agenda is printed, but it is in very small print and feels like it would be very boring to actually read.

I suspect there's a reason most technical meetings aren't held at Claridge's.  The captions here might help some future historian of the development of the jet turbine to drill down into the larger community of enginering practice.

“Helicopter Development: Group Captain Liptrot Reviews Past History: A Tribute to Cierva” Cierva had very nice helicopters in the old days, when there were no helicopters. In the future, the best helicopter will have jet engines at the tips, which has already been done in an experimental type, so that it counts as history, as well as the future.

Fairey Rotodyne, 1969. By Johannes Thinesen - The SFF photo archive., CC BY-SA 2.5,

“High Speed Airflow: Second Part of A Critical Review of German Research Methods, Equipment and Results: Precis of a Talk to the Royal Aeronautical Society by R. Smelt” German theorists pencilled swpeptback wings, and symmetrical thin sections, and sweep forwards, and so on with the all-wings and the missiles, but nothing much ever came of it except the Ju 287.  Even the V2 was basically proven by test flights. “Almost the whole of this effort was wasted.” But do not say that blue-sky aeronautical research by scientists in wind tunnels is a waste of time if it gets ahead of what the aeronautical firms can build. No, that would be a mistake! The real error was not to do even more of it, and give them more money, and allow them to go to the firms and order the designers about.

I am sorry, what I meant to write was,“If co-operation between industry and research had been as close as in Britain.”

Here and There

The Swiss have decided to abandon fighter development and just buy Vampires. Fairey has promised a helicopter soon.

By RuthAS - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

An Australian air transport company is getting into the racehorse-transporting business. (Although I am not sure why the paper has to treat this as a breathless novelty every time it happens.) A Norwich village at the end of an RAF runway is complaining that the noise is ruining their lives. A team of rocket experts is off to Australia to lay out a test range and eat steak all winter.

 Secretary Symington says that a flight of B-29s will soon undertake an around-the-world flight to show the USAAF’s readiness to carry out its obligations of blowing up unspecified aggressors under the United Nations Charter.

“Britain’s Test Pilots, No. 14, George Bertram Errington, Chief Test Pilot of Airspeed, Ltd” Unlike most test pilots, Errington came out of an aeronautical engineering background, having apprenticed at Avro. Then he became an electrical engineer, and used an Avro Avian to fly around his contracts. Then he got work with Airspeed, and somehow became a test pilot, some of it in foreign places, where foreigners were superstitious and silly. In shorter news, a Miles Aerovan made “what was probably the first delivery of a motor car by air” on Thursday, to Guernsey.

Civil Aviation News

“Flying for the Corporations: Aircrew qualifications for BOAC, BEAC and BSAAC”

“Facing the Facts” Hudson Fysh’s statement on Qantas buying Constellations is that they had to, because there were no British aircraft with the range, so the British can just shut up about dollar reserves and sterling areas until they produce one. The Lancastrian and “Hythe” will not do.

 “Rotol Developments: Two New Contributions to Comfort and Safety” A de-icer for airscrews, and a governor to automatically synchronise engine speeds in two-speed and four-speed planes. Any engine can be selected as the “master,” so it does not matter if they have to be idled. 


“Wing-Co, Rtd.,” thinks that RAF recruiting would be solved if there were better career opportunities for Wing-Cos of 35 who might otherwise consider retiring. “Airfield Owner” thinks that landing fees are needed if he is to re-equip his airfield. “Indpendent” also thinks that landing fees are fine. J. Franklin points out that the “world’s first flying post office” gets announced all the time.

Time, 28 October 1946


Glenn E. Tinder, of Claremont, California, thinks that too muich ius being made of veterans by some these days. The paper is criticised for its handling of Jackson’s Fall of Valor and Rudolph Dunbar. Mrs.Ray Alexander, of Fordyce, Arkansas, thinks that educational records for children are awful.

Frances Paxton, of Burbank, California[?], is happy with the economies that the A and P’s buying power brings her. Norbert Muller, of Berkeley, California, thinks that the paper should look into George Gamow as a replacement science writer to Sir James Jean. Robert Graves writes a simply endless letter about some crackpot theory about who Jesus was. Paul E.Killinger, of Buffalo, New York, is upset the paper referred to “Lower Slobbovia” in a recent article, since this means that it is paying attention to comic strips, and comic strips are awful.
I'm pretty sure that this photograph has nothing to do with the Reverend Paul E. Killinger other than appearing in an encyclopedia that mentions him. It's here because I wanted an excuse to point out that this sanctimonious killjoy is going to have the cure of souls in the Unitarian Universalist Church in four parishes for more than 24 years. 

National Affairs

Uno delegates enjoy sailing on the Queen Elizabeth. Further bulletins as events warrant.
The only thing that even vaguely justifies early UN coverage is the utterly bonkers responses of various New York neighbourhoor groups. 

“Quiet Week” The paper is willing to concede that more people are upset about Administration BUNGLING than there is actual BUNGLING this week. In news for Uncle George, the President formed a new, twelve-member Presidential Research Board, to be headed by John R. Steelman.

“Rout and Reaction” With price controls being lifted so rapidly, prices have risen rapidly, notably for meat and meat products, but then have begun to fall, so that by week’s end you could come by sirloin in New York at 68 cents a pound. Talk of wage contracts being reopened has led to questions about whether rent controls can hold, and, if they fail, whether the country is headed for a recession or a bust.

“I Work Alla Time” James Caesar Petrillo was able to win a pretty handsome pay increase for studio muscisians from the big record makers. The paper forgets to remind us that he is awful after the title.

“Ghost Town” The power strike in Pittsburgh tht left the city a ghost town for a week has broken.

“Better than the Pros” General Eisenhower’s European tour went very well for him.
The blog is shipping this sexy couple. 

“No Haven” The 47 Estonians and Finns who crossed the Atlantic in a sail schooner seeking refuge in the United States are to be turned away to try their luck in lLatin America or somewhere else, as they do not have entry visas.

“Unmistakeable Republican” This week’s cover story is Governor Ed Martin of Pennsylvania.

“The Brain” The paper reveals that the sinister brain behind American communism is a fellow named Gerhart Eisler.

“Line’s Busy” The wartime shortage of telephones has left New York City with a 320,000 person waiting list. More alarming, the city’s interchanges carried 12.85 million daily calls since V-J Day, up a third over prewar chatter, and the calls are getting longer. Due the paper suggests, all the women talking about women things, such as recipes. “We’ve got an epidemic of telephonitis on our handsand I doubt it will ever be cured.”
No direct relevance -just an ad about how information technology is going to automate all the white (or, in this case, pink) collar jobs real soon now. 

“Two Stories”  A delightful story from Nashville in which two Coloured men detained under false pretences were almost lynched, and had to be moved three times by highway patrolmen as mobs kept forming at the jails where they were being held. The next day, the notice that they were innocent appeared on p. 31 of the Tennessean.


Uno delegates enjoy a drink now and then. Further bulletins as events warrant.

Rumours that the Russians are buying this building lead neighbours to quite reasonably point out that they will soon be fabricating atomic bombs in the basement. 

“And Who is My Neighbour?” The paper’s correspondent in Vienna, John Walker, reports a frankly unbelievable story about a “well known local  motorcycle rider” who was run off the road by a sedan, whose driver than stopped, walked over, and shot the man and his female companion before making his way back to the car and disappearing. This shows that the whole continent is “sick.”

“Home is the Hunter” The British are talking about offering citizenship to German P.W.s to keep them around and working in Britain. This is at least a bit more creditable than other powers also trying to hold onto their prisoners and their labour. The Russians have a million odd Germans, and while they’ve released 120,000, they were all invalids. They are also holding 800,000 Japanese solders and 200,000 civilians, and have just yielded to MacArthur’s requests for repatriation, setting a schedule of 15,000/month. Britain has 551,000 in charge, 385,000 in the United kingdom, and is facing pressure to keep them because they are needed for construction, coal mining and agriculture. France, which has 700,000, is renting them out to privat businesses at $1/day, and similar schemes are in place for an other 100,000 held in Holland, Scandinavia, Belgium and the Balkans. The United States has almost completed repatriating those not held in Germany, with the return of 2100 Japanese P.Ws, but the British are holding 90,000 Japanese in Southeast Asia, and the Dutch have notified the world that they will be holding 13,500 Japanese “indefinitely” at Batavia for docking work. On the other hand, 200,000 of the German prisonrs in France want to stay.

“Translation Trouble” A conference on the future of free trade in London is not going well. They can’t even get their simultaneous translation service working.

“Night Without Dawn” The Nuremberg convicts were executed this week, except for Goering, who managed to commit suicide with a capsule of potassium cyanide slipped into his cell by an unknown collaborator. The paper blames “pompous and unimaginative and thoroughly not up to his job Colonel Burton C. Andrus,” and supposes that the Germans will go back to their old ways now that they have been inspired by Goering’s example. In somewhat related news, Marshal Petain is being awful in captivity, and the German communist party’s showing in the Berlin elections was a “fiasco.”

“German Brains” The Americans, British and Russians have been competing for all those great German brains of the atomic age.

“Jolt for a Job Hunter” The Duke and Duchess of Windsor are awful.

“New Instructions” The second verse of God Save the King has been officially changed to something less belligerent.
Time for a message from our sponsors. California wine. Not just for breakfast any more! "Wine was shipped in tankers to be bottled in New York."

“From War to Preparedness” The 1300 members of the Supreme Soviet met this week in Russia’s annual display of democracy to vote on the 1946 budget and vigorously condemn a number of ministers for assorted derelictions of duty. Sixty-six billion rubles were allocated to atomic research. The paper also makes fun of Harold Laski and Giffard Martel for not being sure that Stalin runs Russia with an iron hand.

“Republic Acomin” The paper covers the talks in Indonesia between Dr. Hubertus J. van Mook, Acting Governor-General of the Netherlands Indies, and “Prime Minister” Sjrahir and “President” Soekarno. (The quotation marks are the paper’s.) The Dutch are willing to concede that they will lose effective control of Java and Sumatra, but refuse to consider complete independence.

“Thanksgiving” “50 cars a day” of early rice are rolling into Tokyo, and the country’s dry paddies are golden with ripening grain, allowing the Japanese to celebate the first Mid-Autumn Festival since the war.

“Wallop and Pat” With his ever-victorious armies behind him, Chiang issued an eight-point decretal to the Communists including “at least two genuine concessions.”

“The Case of the Colonas” The recent American guarantee of a 20% price increase on its guaranteed buy of Cuban sugar has led to a thirty million dollar windfall for the Cubans. This has led the President to muse that he would take the money and use it to subsidise food imports. This went down with the sugar farmers about as well as might have been expected, and they held demosntations in Havan until the President relented. Wartime sugar money has already benefited the colonas' lives, but the paper thinks that the money would be better off in the government’s hands, paying for thinks like schools, so that the country can “break King Sugar’s grip.”

This should work out well.

“First Crack in the Dike” The paper says that everyone has been expected a collapse in commodity prices at some point, and this week, cotton took a dive. Others seem to be following, and some obsservers think that this is just like 1919, and will therefore be followed by a bad year like 1920.

The paper also does a Fortune-style profile of Burroughs Adding Machines president, John Strider Coleman, and gives Douglas Leigh and his advertising blimps more coverage.

“Whee!” The toy business has been doing great business. Lionel alone expects to sell more trains ($10 million worth) than the entire industry did in 1939.

“Line Abandoned” With the general retreat on price controls, Regulation L-85, which made most women’s coats made to 1946 styles illegal, has been rescinded, just in time to save the industry from fiasco and collapse. With materials restrictions lifted entirely, we wait to see what 1947 brings us in terms of frills, wide skirts, and whatever else might come our way.
Sears catalogue, 1947. Source. Although remember that when you shop by catalogue, you destroy America's Main Streets.

Science, Medicine, Education

“Spreading the Know-How” Outside scientists and students are being allowed into Oak Ridge to learn the secrets of the atomic age. They will be able to help with the most pressing and promising problem, the peacetime atomic pile. I’ve just been assuming that this would be easy –after all, the Hanford pile was effectively able to produce power. However, to generate high pressure steam that would be economical in a modern power installation, the peacetime pile must run at  avery high temperature, where the  piles that already exist have been operated at as low a temperature as possible for safety reasons. It is thought that the uranium rods in a power-producing pile will be surrounded by inert gasses which will transfer the power, through the walls of a boiler, to water, which will “hopefully not be too radioactive for use in generating power.” Hopefully.

“Giants of Old” Interviewed recently, Dr. v. Koenigswald hypothesised that the human race grew to giant size about  million years ago,  as illustrated by his “Java Man.” Needing bulk for protection when they came down from the trees, they grew to giant size, then shrank to modern dimensions as they mastered tools and fire and the like and no longer needed size and muscle.

“Radarrange” Raytheon’s experiemnts in “dielectric heating” have led to a “range” which, unlike a conventional oven, cooks food from the inside out using a microwave radar beam.
It turns out that you're going to have to wait another twenty years??

“Joint Study” The Leo N. Levi Memorial Hospital, in Hot Spriongs, Arkansas, is going to do a big study on arthritis, a common and ancient disease. (Even dinosaurs used to get it!) Arthritis is very painful, and although it can be relieved and sometimes cured in its early stages by x-rays, injections of gold, salts, fever treatments, vaccines and heat applications, its ultimate causes and cures remain mysterious The study group expects that it will turn out to be a virus.

“Ether Centennial” This is the hundredth anniversary of Dr. Morton and Dr. Warren’s famed discovery of ether. Not only did it usher in a new age of surgery, with many new drugs supplementing and replacing ether over the years, but in the future it is expected to reveal the “depths of the human mind,” as new kinds of anaesthetics allow doctors to probe all levels of consciousness.
Sometimes I feel like I slap "Patent troll" on everything, but this is just an awful, awful case. Here is the history of anaesthesia, per wikipedia. Dr. Morton attended "ether frolics" as an undergraduate, and managed to get an American patent on ether on the pretext of having a secret formulation. Having done so, he very nearly was able to block the spread of anaesthesia in America to his own financial advantage. (Naturally, he married the daughter of a rich and famous person, who used his influence to promote the patent trolling.) Now, there are some issues here. The early history of pain relief in surgery suffers from an inability to distinguish between analgesia and anaesthesia, shared by pre-modern medicine and modern popular history. Ether was probably included in many early formulations, and Sixteenth Century German botanist Valerius Cordus probably most deserves the title of "inventor" for synthesising ether and identifying it, although it was left to late Romantic atmospheric scientists to make it readily available. It did not immediately change medical practice because it was  antiseptics, not anesthesia, that was crucial. Also, LOL "ether follies."

Dr. Florence Rena Sabin is the best public health official in Colorado, ever.
Speaking of lady doctors

In education news, City College, New York, is wonderful, Germany is short of teachers and has an undemocratic, “caste-laden” education system that the occupying authorities ought to reform, and the Army claims to be able to teach an illiterate draftee to read and write in eight weeks.

People, Art, Press

Asked to predict the future, Eleanor Roosevelt said that without price controls, bread will soon hit $15 a loaf; Robert Hutchins, Chancellor of the University of Chicago, thinks that the atomic age will bring such unparalleled prosperity that, if we are not all killed in the next few years, we will all be bored to death. And George Santayana thinks that Russian communism wil overrun all of Europe, soon. Something called the Hollywood Bachelors’ Club named Greer Garson, Miriam Hopkins and Grace Moore as their favourite Hollywood “cats.”  Josephine Baker, Clark Gable, and Mayor O’Dwyer are all in hospital, convalescing, or taking rest cures.  Lieutenant Edward John Behn, USNR, aide to the Chief Allied Commissioner in Italy and son of ITT’s canny president, Sosthenes Behn, has married Francesca Brigidda Sapuppo, daughter of the late Baron Sapuppo, Italian minister to Denmark. (Buy ITT before news of its Italian contract gets out!)

A British exhibit of paintings by people like Constable and Hogarth toured Chicago this week, where it was assumed to be a plot to take over the world.

Ernest Hoberecht has written a bestseller for the Japanese market in the tradition of Amber, titled Tokyo Romance. Well, not so much written it, as he apparently dictated it to a “friend” who rendered it into Japanese, but the point is that it has sold 100,000 copies in the first printing, earned him a fortune in yen, and is now being optioned as a movie.
Hideko Momura. FYI, Google is showing very little memory of postwar Japanese heartthrobs. 

“Night Vigil at Nuremberg” The press pool at the Nuremberg executions was badly mishandled and lost their chance at a scoop on Goering’s suicide. Everyone is very upset at Colonel Andrus.

The New Pictures
Margie is a “good natured spoofing” of those long gone days of the 1920s, of Button Up Your Overcoat and Ain’t She Sweet? The Strange Woman is a dragged-out, unconvincing thriller. The paper liked TheRaider.


Theodore White, Annalee Jacoby have Thunder out of China out. The paper explains why these two correspondents who spent 11 years in China between them, are wrong to be so critical of Chiang. The paper knows better. No-one so kind to the Soongs can be anything less than his country’s George Washington-at-Valley-Forge! Also, Agatha Christie has a travel memoir of her days in Mesopotamia out, which sounds like a very good read, and an English politician named Harold Nicolson has a book out on the Congress of Vienna that is presumably some kind of disguised meditation on peacemaking in more recent times, in spite of the author's denial.

Flight, 31 October 1946


“Aids and Arbiters” The paper went to a talk by Mr. Pritchard on current navigational aids, and was struck by just how little progress had been made in ten years. Neither of the two systems on offer solve the problem the old Lorenz system had with linking controlled approach with blind landing aids.

“Safety Comparisons” Flying safety figures can be parsed in such a way as to make flying look safe. Or not.

“Cheap Power” Everyone agrees that there should be a cheap, powerful engine for private owners. Now Nuffield is getting into the act again with a flat, opposed four. Before the war, it had a radial that it promised to get down to 1hp per pound sterling, but that didn’t happen. Now the flat-four will achieve that, and compete with the many American motors of this vintage.

“Towards Complete Automacity: Sperry A.12 Electrically-operated Automatic pilot Described: The Gyrosyn Compass Described” This is a change. Usually it is Aviation taking articles from Flight, not the other way around. The A.12 is likely to be built in Britain, so that’s nice.

“Airscrew Turbine Progress” The Armstrong Siddeley Python and Mamba are both wonderful, and a new starter is under development. The A.S.X, is obsolete already.

Here and There

Sweden is buying 90 Mustangs from the United States at £875 each. P-80s are once again being modified for a try on the speed record, with a new aerofoil and water injection to boost engine power. The paper reports that the USAAF is considering robot-bomb B-29s. The November number of Aircraft Production will have a long article about building the Brabazon. Colonel Clarence Irvin, who recently flew the B-29 Pacusan Dreamboat nonstop, Honolulu-Cairo via the North Pole, believes that transpolar flying is quite practical, and that there would be no problem with building an airbase on the Greenland ice sheet.
I'd tell you what this was all about, but you wouldn't believe me. I wouldn't believe me. 

“Gas Turbine Collaboration: Technical Committee Holds Its 21st Meeting” It was a very technical dinner at Claridges’.

H. C. Pritchard, “Blind Approach Problems: The Methods Used To-Day: Automatic Control Possiblities: Resume of the R.Ae.S. Lecture by Mr. H. C. Pritchard,” Mr. Pritchard explained the SCS-51 system, which is a development of the American CAA system, at length. It can define runway location to within 30 yards, but energy might be deflected from buildings and trees. However, no quantitative measure of the glide path beam can yet be given, as radiation patterns depend too much on ground variations. This is a bit disheartening, since a pool of water makes a good radiation reflector, and you tend to get pooling during bad weather. GCA, the current American approach, has the advantage of requiring no equipment in the plane, but the ground equipment is quite expensive, and is limited to handling one aircraft at a time, and touchdown accuracy is unlikely to be good. The beam approach, or BABS, sytem is the third described. It uses “secondary radar,” or beams from the aircraft, picked up on the ground. It is quite accurate, especially directionally (as well as by distance), but gives no glide path indicator, and requires heavy and complex equipment in the plane. Pritchard agrees with “Indicator” on autopilots. Not yet, but perhaps soon, and more likely after powered control comes in. To illustrate the kind of thing he has in mind, he describes the new Smith Electric Pilot, which is based on a three-axis rate-of-turn gyroscope, with gravity and compass monitoring to reduce gyroscope error, and sideslip control.

“Carrier ‘at Home’” The public was invited to visit HMS Theseus at Gladstone Dock, Liverpool as a benefit to naval charities. Vampires, Seafire 46s, Barracudas and Fireflies were shown off.

American Newsletter

“Kibitzer” talks  airlines criticisms and justifications, “What the private owner wants,” the long-distance record, and constant speed rotors. He notes that the recent Fortune article has triggered many excuses, mostly to the effect that the postwar increase in flying was hard to plan for. A survey of private owners suggests that they don’t want to pay that much for their planes. The P2V record was an impressive feat. The Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory has developed a constant speed rotor for helicopters, bringing closer the day when they are as safe as light aircraft, and there is a “constant trickle of news” about the new Lockheed-Menasco engine coming out of California.

“The Luftwaffe and Its Failure: Precis of a Talk Given to the Royal United Services Institution by Air Vice Marshal Sir Thomas Elmhirst” The German Air Force failed because it lacked top flight direction from able air officers, and a government that always listened to the air marshals and did what it was told. For example, it didn’t managed to persuade the government that it should be allowed to build four engined heavy bombers until much too late.  

Civil Aviation News
From now on, accident investigations will be published. In  honour of the new age, the Ministry releases a precis of recent accidents. Mr. Juan Trippe forecasts eight hour flights between London and New York some time after, perhaps shortly after, 1947. Central African Airways has ordered some Vickers Vikings, thanks to its African tour.

“Civil Spitfire” Mr. M. L. Bramson has civilianised an old Spitfire Mk II.

“the Five Hundred Days” Looking back on the five hundred days since peace, Sir William P. Hildred, director-general of IATA, thinks that it isn’t just the airlines that should be patting themselves on the back. Governments should, too, for the good work they’ve done supporting the airlines, because airlines are the best thing ever.


Hugh S. Tovey points out that aircraft can easily be lost when the wrong engine is feathered, and the grouping of the two feathering buttons next to each other in the Wayfarer is going to lead to problems. I. H. Dumonceau, a lieutenant in the Belgian Air Force, points out that Sabena is a silly name for an airline. D. M. Carver suggests that an easy way to get more speed is to electronically heat the air ahead of an airplane, raising the local speed of sound. Peggy E. Riley, who is den leader for some air rangers, thinks that someone should pay for their flying lessons. “474” thinks that it is horribly short sighted to spend lots of money on aircraft development, but less than some other number on helicopters, when helicopters might be used to bring first aid to air crashes, and so there’s a connection! (“474” seems to be writing drunk.) “INSPECTION” writes that, as a “senior crash inspector,” he recently inspected a passenger aircraft that had “crashed in this country” and found numerous egregious defects of maintenance, which he believes must be addressed immediately, with “airlines springing up like mushrooms.” The paper disagrees.

Page over, Service Aviation celebrates the Bristol Brigand and Fairey Firefly, and then page over that, the “Groves Memorial Prize,” established for air-something by the Mr. and Mrs. Groves, senior, of the Isle of Wight, in the name of their son, Flight Sergeant Groves, RAFVR, lost with his Blenheim in a meteorological sortie four years ago.  

Recent cover of "I'll See You In My Dreams," because I am a bad person and didn't like Ella Fitzgerald's version. I'm not sure I like this one, either, but these kids need exposure a lot more than Ella!

In re Margie. Think about it. In 1946, being nostalgic for 1926 was like being nostalgic for 1996 today. Bill Clinton, John Major (Remember him? I have a clearer memory of Erica Ehm,) "As for pepper, I like it on my plate." The Macarena. Full House, Ballykissangel.  Only for people alive in 1946, the 2000s were the Great Depression, and the Obama administration was WWII. We're also a month away from the GOP taking the Congress for the first time in eighteen years, with the Red Scare coming on strong, and Labour being pretty much doomed to a single term by the upcoming winter. Perspective, friends. Although I wrote all of that before watching the clip, and now I'm not sure how comforting it is.

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