Thursday, August 17, 2017

Postblogging Technology, July 1947, I: Angels Fifteen

Reginald C.,
Biltmore Hotel,
Los Angeles, California

Dear Father:

This is coming to you via George Wallace again, as I'm still stuck in Fort Rupert looking after my ship. Tommy and Jim left for San Francisco with the electronics in a seaplane from Coal Harbour on the weekend. I thought I was going to get an Air Policeman to stand guard, but now that the electronics are gone, the Chief says I should just hire an Indian to watch it, which I did. We did an x-ray of the wing, which was fun. .It was raining, and the aluminum is slippery. The film's going to be developed in California, at which point we'll know for sure whether the spar is broken. If it is, I have a feeling the Navy is just going to leave the old bird to rot. There's just not much on it that's worth salvaging.

Meanwhile, I got in some fishing last week. I'll be spending this week setting up recording gear at Winter Harbour (Newhitty) for Professor K.'s re-interviews.  The guy who did the original ones is dead, so K. has hired a research assistant and I've been helping her I've been helping out.

Your Loving Son, Reggie.

PS: Because of the channels this is going through, you'll be getting this before Auntie Grace for a change. I notice that some of my strikethroughs have soaked through to the backing page. Could you maybe paint them over before you send this on? I don't want to look all sloppy in front of Auntie.

Flight, 3 July 1947
“Backing for the Clubs” Private flying clubs are a big deal for some people –spoiled rich kids, to be precise, your son excepted, him not enjoying flying enough to do it for a hobby, since I spend my time in the pilot’s seat listening to every odd sound and watching all the instruments, waiting for the engine to eat a valve. I think like the mechanic, not the driver.  In England, flying clubs are either super important, or Flight thinks they’re super important, which, when I think about it, amounts to the same thing. Maybe England has more spoiled rich kids?
Years ago, before the war. By, Fair use,

“A Ministerial Taxi” Sir Henry Self, who must be a minister in the Labour government, just from the way this is worded, took a helicopter and liked it. 
Actually, Self was a career civil servant, but Flight assumes you know that. Remember when co-axial helicopters were just around the corner?
He says, but he’s a liar, because being inside one of them is like being inside a Hamilton Beach, only instead of killing you with the chopper blade, it kills you with the ground. On the other hand, they’re useful for stuff, so the English should make them, so Self isn’t a nut. (Did you know some people putnuts and berries in their milkshakes? It’s easy with a Hamilton Beach!)
“Chosen Instrument”  Juan Trippe is on at Congress again about his “chosen instrument” idea that Pan Am should have a monopoly on overseas passenger flying. His argument (besides “I’d get rich!”) is that the English will come and steal our milk money if we don’t. Then James M. Landis went and said that, “No, no, that won’t happen because the English are just hopeless.” Which, unless there’s something they’re not telling us about the Tudor, is the God-honest truth, but, of course Flight’s all in a tizzy about it. Since it can’t contradict Landis with the facts (since there are no good facts), it gets upset that he’s “leaking” State Department confidential reports, which just isn’t done, as they say.
Not shown, griding valves, excessive oil consumption. 

“Naval Occasion: Impressive Display of New Aircraft at Lee-on-Solent” So, the Brits were working on all of these fine new ships and planes to show the Americans what-for when they  invaded Tokyo in ’47, and then the Japanese had to go and surrender. What do you do with wing-folding Sea Hornet XXs and Sikorskies and Sea Vampires and Dumbos and life models of HMS Triumph? Do a show! It’s almost as good. Also, Harald Penrose can roll the Blackburn 1948 Model Firebrand, which is good for him, because it looks like rolling a locomotive.
“Westland Wyvern: Naval Strike Fighter with Rolls-Royce Eagle Engine: Performance and Weight Figures” Speaking of flying locomotives with torpedoes! The Eagle is an H engine, and Rolls-Royce has done a fine job of cowling it. Too bad the result is the only ugly part of the design. The fallaway of the engine will make for better visibility landing, which is good, but it’s a reminder of the locomotive-works inside, which drive an eight-blade contra-rotating propeller –just the kind of gizmo that you want to be depending on, three hundred miles from the carrier and all alone at sea. I hope BuAer gets away from gizmos before they make me land on a flight deck again! Although the way things are going, they’ll build a carrier big enough to take a B-24 (and me, poor little me!) before they build a plane that’s safe on the carriers they have.
This plane will fly until 15 October, when the propeller bearings fail in flight, and Sqdn Leader Peter Garner is killed trying to land it. 

I know it's a stereotype, but Uncle George really has heard all the good gossip.
“Round the Miles Works” Uncle George writes that the repo men are sniffing around Miles’ door, but they’re brave enough to let Flight in, anyway.

Here and There
Marconi is having a twentieth anniversary party, and the Australians have licensed Agricultural Aviation Services to spray DDT from the air on the mangrove swamps outside of Brisbane. Word from America is that a new test aircraft being tried out at Langley is quiet as a glider due to its five-bladed airscrew, since that means it spins more slowly than a three-blade screw. It has all the other noise-related mod cons, too. A “pilot geologist” in Toronto, Hans Lundberg, says that the helicopter is the coming thing for prospecting the Canadian North. The Institute of Navigation just held its first meeting, John Slessor presiding. It heard about pressure pattern flying and other innovations. F. R. Banks gave a paper –something of a departure for him from getting in the way of navigation by distracting the steering committee (that’s Jim, Tommy, and me, George flying, trying to figure out whether we’re going to miss Port Edwards by a half-minute of arc and end up swimming to Alaska) with loud whizz-bangs and high frequency vibrations that leave you too numb to hold a grease pencil. The Ultra Light Aircraft Association can go back to their devil-may-care ways as soon as they have a suitable ultra-light engine. It turns out that the XB-48 can get off the ground.  The Douglas XS-3 is being ordered as a 2100mph test plane. There’s to be another trans-Atlantic freight service, run by AOA. Dutch Naval Aviation is receiving their Firefly IVs, perfect for their carrier, and for bombing Indonesians. Freeman Horn, having reached retirement age, is leaving his position as “Intelligence Officer and Manager of the special products department of the British Aluminium Company.” With a title like that, you’d think that he was a movie spy!

“National Gliding Contests” Gliders got together to have a national contest.
“Civil Aircraft Types” A list of English civil aircraft types is sadly short.
“3500HP Radial: Pratt and Whitney Wasp Major” This is the 28-cylinder double-14 that is to go into the Globemaster, Constitution, Stratocruiser, XB-35, XB-36 and Mars. Unlike previous attempts, in which the radial-style offset stagger is continued through four banks instead of two, the banks of the Wasp Major are lined up creating 7, 4-cylinder banks, with the cylinders arranged helically to maximise air flow. The five section crankshaft has counterbalance weights and vibration dampers, and the shaft itself is a one-piece steel forging. It attaches to a sun-and-planet reduction gearing, and a forward torquemeter. It is seated in a crankcase of aluminum alloy forging. Cylinder design is standard Pratt and Whitney, which means that the cooling fins are on a separate sleeve, but one that is heat-shrunk onto the cylinder. The engine is offered with a single-speed, single stage supercharger with turbocharger, and a single-stage, driven variable speed supercharger.  That will probably be an improvement on the old Daimler-Benz, since Pratt and Whitney recently patented a new transmission and clutch that minimises slip.  Fuel supply is by carburettor, which seems a little backwards. Accessory drives are radially mounted, and an intermediate gear is needed for higher-power vacuum and hydraulic pumps.
Reggie is going to fly the Wasp Major, but not until the Korean War.

It’s easy to be critical, but this isn’t a pie-in-the-sky prospect, currently only working on a few cranky prototypes. It’s a ready-for-service, 3000hp+ engine. Flight ends by saying that Pratt and Whitney are confident that it will be able to compete with turbines for many years to come. It sounds like it will be the beast for the best part of my flying career!
Another view.

E. W. Young, “Bermuda Non-stop: Flight Refuelling from the Passenger’s Point of View: South Atlantic Crossings in Less than Twenty Hours” E. W. Young recently flew on the fourth non-stop London-Bermuda flight in the current series of trials. After all the talk, all the experiments, is in-flight refuelling on the way? It’s not close! The trial plane was a Lancaster, in no way a passenger plane. Remember our poor courier, looking twenty years older every time he flew the Atlantic Ferry? Like that. (Only if Mr. Young had to lay on a pad of paper and bars of gold hidden in his jacket pocket, he doesn’t say here!) The Lancaster took off with 2,694 gallons of fuel, and refuelled eight hours later, out from West Africa, after a mid-air rendezvous with a tanker aircraft, assisted by EUREKA and REBECCA. The refuelling took twenty-five minutes, and it was alarming to be flying in formation with another aircraft at the end of a tether for so long. Young also points out that 19 hours in the air is far beyond the endurance of a paying passenger. “Even an hour’s stop in the Azores would have been very welcome.”
Twenty hours in the air, hung between four Merlins. Everything else aside, think about the hearing loss. 

“No Record Attempt This Year” The Meteor is near its limit, but Flight is disappointed that the Ministry is not taking it down to Libya and making a run. It is also disappointed that the single-engined Gloster has been cancelled, and that the DH108, Attacker, and “one other type still on the Secret List” won’t be available this year.  
So coy. By Smudge 9000 from North Kent Coast, England - HAWKER SEA HAWK FGA.6 WV908, CC BY 2.0,

“Industrial Application of Gas Turbine: Courses of Instruction Arranged by National Gas Turbine Establishment” The NGTE is offering courses of instruction for selected students, and has broadened its research to look into bigger, heavier turbines for power generation, marine plants and locomotives. Prospective students will be housed in “hostel-like conditions,” and should apply if interested.
An Armstrong Siddeley Beryl (actually the Gatric, but try googling that), being trialed on MGB 2009 this month. It's apparently a secret. By geni - Photo by user:geni, GFDL,

Civil Aviation News
“B.E.A. Comparison of Air and Surface Travel Figures: Q.E.A. Plans for Empire Air Route: Advisory Committee Members” Sir Harold Hartley, chairman of BEA, presents figures showing that, when the cost of meals, sleepers, tips, etc., are included, flying is cheaper than first class service to Marseille and points beyond. Interisland air service for the Orkneys will depend on new airfields, since the types used for the prewar service are obsolete.
Kirkwall airport, 1969. Source.  Photographed by David Shearer.  The airliner is a Viscount. 

The Vickers Viking promotional tour to New Zealand and back –is back. Captain G. W. Bellin and Captain K. M. Cass, two of the most experienced BOAC pilots have retired. Both men joined BOAC in 1935. Captain Cass has 13,000 hours, Captain Bellin, 18,800. Mr. Hudson Fysh, chairman of Qantas, which recently bought four Constellations, is now saying that existing flight coordination between BOAC and Qantas is now impossible due to the superior range of the Connie, and Qantas will fly a straight-through service to London, complementing the slower BOAC flying boat service, for as long as BOAC can find takers. Sir Donald Banks, John Ure Primrose, W. L. Runciman and G. S. Szlumper have joined the IATA as councillors, with Lord Terrington as Chairman. (Though V. says that I should say “Chairperson,” because who is saying that women can’t be chairmen?)
J. C. C. Elholm is disappointed that no-one can get hold of a surplus light aircraft. Where have all the Austers gone, he asks? (There's a story about an Auster owners' rally in this issue.) “Interested” thinks that the Ministry should whistle up a new piston engine, since they will be powering bombers and civil planes for another ten years. A. R. Weyl points out that Bleriot’s castering undercarriages would have looked completely different from the modern ones. C. A. Ripon, “Reader of Flight since No. 1,” makes a similar point. E. S. Greenwood, of the Technical Branch, points out that the Branch is not, in fact, being complacent about re-equipping Bomber Command. John Grierson is upset that there won’t be a British attempt on the speed record now now now now now.
Grierson looks like he's having fun, and since he got some stories out of it, he didn't waste his summer.

The Economist, 5 July 1947
“Cuts Without Policy” The British government just announced a cut in American imports. That sounds like something that The Economist would support, so it spends about a million words explaining why it is a terrible idea. If I get the gist of it, poor Brits will starve, because American farmers won’t be able to sell them as much, and then all the anti-British lobbies will complain to Senator Taft, and America build a wall around its coasts, because the Irish and the Poles are allowed to vote, but not Wall Street. Also, something about Mr. Marshall, and it might all be the Russians’ fault.
Knife Edge in Greece” England is about to come apart due to not enough coal, while Greece is coming apart due to Greeks, but also because Americans are a bit too enthusiastic for extreme Right-Wing governments in foreign places. Also, it might all be the Russians’ fault.
“Manpower for Public Office” There are too many boards and regulations and such these days.
“Britain and the Middle East” Middle Eastern countries only like you if you push them around, and the Middle East only works when Englishbureaucrats­ are running it. England should push them around until they agree to keep on taking sterling. Also, England should heal all the bad feelings that have somehow built up in Palestine during English occupation and make it all better so that this whole Jewish thing goes away.
Notes of the Week
“Breakdown in Paris” The Paris talks between the Americans and the Russians over Mr. Marshall’s plans have been scuttled by unreasonable Russian fears of “American imperialism.”
“Next Steps in the West” The Brits and the French should make sure that Mr. Marshall doesn’t slip away just because the Russians won’t go in with them.
“Those Calories” Are the English starving? Mr. Strachey, the Minister of Food (I shouldn’t joke, there might be such a thing!) says that they aren’t, that the average English diet is 2880 calories, which is quite enough. The Economist plays with the idea that it isn’t before coming round to the fact that no-one is starving, so actually it is, then says that the Minister’s statement isn’t wrong, but it is “complacent and blatant,” because soon the dollar crisis will arrive, and then Britain will starve.
Scraped from Wikipedia because history! 

“Cost of Food Distribution” Some people may be making money out of the system to distribute food, onions being 10d the pound (10x10 cents=a dollar a pound for onions?) in the shop and a half-penny in the field.
“The Consumers’ Grievances” Never mind food, the situation with clothes is “black,” due to labour shortages in the textiles industry.
“A Voice for Germans” The Economic Council of Germany might be a kind of German government in the future, which would be good. Or bad. Another note mentions that coal production from the Ruhr is still disappointing, in spite of a rise from 211,000 tons per week to 220,000.  The Economist points out that coal-raising is related to ration size, and that too little is being done to build up food stocks, so that rations will be as bad next winter as last, and that if coal production remains at current figures, there won’t be enough for France and for German industry.
From the above, very interesting link. 

A Peace Treaty for Japan” Everyone wants to get on with a peace treat for Japan. The Economist would prefer to talk in circles endlessly, and is feeling very bullied by General MacArthur and the Australians and everyone else who wants to get on with it. What about this island and that island? It goes on to quote the editor of Newsweek, who thinks that General MacArthur should just draw up a peace treaty with “a paramount American interest in the guidance of Japan for a long period of time,” and get the Japanese to sign it, whatever Russians, Australians, Chinese, Filipinos or anyone else thinks. Meanwhile, the Australians are upset that the Americans are letting the Japanese send out another whaling expedition and resume mining one of the phosphate islands in the Mandates. Japan as American puppet; Japan not allowed to run its own economy because Australia is mad at it. This is all just so dumb! I just know Henry will fix it.
“No Reply to Mr. Paling” It seems as though far too many copies of The Economist are being delivered unfolded, unbent, and unripped, because here’s a brisk little note about how the Minister of Letters and Packages won’t have an emergency debate over the “efficiency of the Post Office,” even though it is cutting overnight work because of a labour shortage, which is absolutely absurd when it ends up wasting the time of important business-type people to spare the time of unimportant overnight Post Office workers. Mr. Paling really needs to come up to Parliament and explain how he just made up all that stuff about a labour shortage in order to inconvenience business. It was better during the war. 
Two bits about how hospital boards and how MPs are compensated by outside parties for representing their interests in Parliament.
“Waiting in Indonesia” Negotiations between the Dutch and Indonesians has dragged on endlessly. This is just how the Economist likes it, but it has to pretend that it isn’t, and that things should get resolved instead of talked to death. So instead it talks about how it used to be the Americans’ fault for backing the Indonesians, but now the Americans are coming around to the idea that the Dutch are right, which leads to the exciting prospect of the Dutch “renew[ing] military operations,” which is the only thing The Economist likes better than endless talking.
Alphons Wijnen, Dutch officer responsible for the Rawagede Massacre. The Dutch, to their credit(?) have expunged his image. I found this on an Indonesian site. 

“Unfinished Business” Unrra went out of business on 30 June, in spite of there still being refugees; also, although it doesn’t say here, in spite of there still being the High Commission; but that’s not enough for The Economist, and probably not enough actually, so The Economist ends by blaming American isolationists and Russian communists.
“Greenland, Denmark and the USA” The Americans and the Danes are trying to come to some kind of agreement that doesn’t upset the Danes (the way thatproposing out of the blue that Denmark should just cede Greenland to Americaout of good neighbourliness upset them), while letting the Americans keep their air bases.
Everyone's afraid that if the Danes let Americans use "their" bases, the Russians will make the Norwegians let them use "their" bases on Spitsbergen. Problem: Norway doesn' t actually have bases. So they should build some, because how else are you going to have a Cold War?

“Patent Medicines in the Health Service” The recent Penicillin Bill restricted penicillin to doctors’ prescriptions, as self-medication was likely to give rise to resistance. Speaking of resistance, this has upset people, and raised the question of whether unregulated patent medicine sales and advertisements are compatible with the national health service.
i) There's probably some kind of cultural history of medicine in narratives of "antibiotic resistance" that is starting to come clear here. ii) Snake-oil patent medicines available in the U.K. in 1947 include chemotherapy drugs and "oral vaccines." That's cultural history, too, but probably already done. Well, probably not the part about patent medicine "vaccines."

“London’s Juveniles” London’s juvenile labour force has declined from 408,000 in 1939 to 287,000 in 1946. There are at least 42,000 unfilled positions for juvenile labour, and it is probably due to the low birth rate in the 1930s. Meanwhile, the Agricultural Wages Board has raised the minimum wage of farm workers from 4 pounds to 4 pounds plus 10 “s,” which I know from asking Mr. Brookstein, is a shilling, and more than a “d,” although I’ve already forgotten how much more, and how much less than a pound. Twelve? Twenty? I got a little lost when he brought up Charlemagne. Woman are being raised from £3 to £3 8s, and there will be “corresponding adjustments in juvenile wages.” Farmers object, because paying workers more will cost money and probably lead to higher food prices, and it would presumably be better if all the other industries cut their wages, instead.
Letters to the Editor
F. D. Ascoll, of Dunlop Plantation, Ltd., writes to explain America’s synthetic rubber policy, at length, and hope for increased American purchases of overseas natural rubber. M. Wallace, of 51 Queen Street, Maidenhead, Berks., thinks that Britain must cut imports and domestic consumer production to the barest minimum to increase investment in capital goods and increase English productivity so that the English can recover their prewar standard of living, after having lost all of their overseas income during the war. Basil Davidson, of 16, Lanercost Road, London, thinks that The Economist is getting overblown about the supposed communist takeover inHungary.
Google turns up a Trove strike on Ascoll, who, in 1949, is just back from Malaya and very upset at those darn communists. Here, the RAAF communicates his displeasure. I'm sorry about the discrimination thing, but England needs dollars! On the other hand, we probably wouldn't have wacky little Singapore if the Malays had been persuaded to play nice with the Chinese. 

Professor R. M. McIver has written a book about democracy and government called The Web of Government, Julius Stone has written about The Province and Function of Law, Henry Ehrmann has a book about the history of French Labour from Popular Front toLiberation, and Muriel Grindrod tells us about The New Italy. They are all very important and worthy books that everyone should pretend to have read.
From The Economist of 1847
Government and all sorts of unnamed people (who are terrible, in spite of having nice magazines) are on about minimum wages and pensions for “deserving people,” but what about the poor rich people? Etc. etc, Republican campaign platform 1948, etc. 
American Survey
“Dewey’s Challenge” Governor Dewey’s challenge isn’t that he is a horrible man surrounded by horrible men. It’s not that he is a former public prosecutor, or that he is a pretty face with a nice voice and nothing behind it. It is not that he has been a terrible governor. It is that he is having trouble looking like a conservative to Conservative Republicans while still looking like a moderate to moderate Republicans!

“Lumber from Coos Bay” The announcement that the British Timber Control Board had ordered 175 million board feet of lumber and 75 million feet of ties from Coos Bay has lead to many interesting questions, such as “Where is Coos Bay?” Our Correspondent in Oregon answers that it is in Oregon, has been renamed recently, is a small town in Coos County, which has 20 billion feet of standing timber, mostly Douglas fir, half of it in trees 40” to 100” in diameter. Private foresters want to cut all of this prime timber as quickly as possible, because mature fir stops growing after about 160 years, and starts to decay. The 35,000 residents of Coos County also cut western cedar, have dairy cows, and work in the port, but there aren’t enough stevedores, so the lumber deliveries might be delayed, especially as the bar of the harbour is only 24’ at full tide, and Liberty ships draw 27’.
Marshfield, Oregon from Wireless Hill, 1920. As the article says, it will be renamed Coos Bay in 1940. 

American Notes
The section leads off with various stories about how Taft-Hartley might shake out. Then it is on to telling us what a business weekly said about the veto of the Tax Reform Act, which is that “when the government turns to debt reduction, the money supply is reduced, deflation supersedes inflation, and the merry go-round slows down.” Ha ha, says The Economist: business types rejecting government economy! It is one thing when they are opposing Social Security; quite another when it is tax cuts that are on the table! Meanwhile, Congress and Senate have yet to find anything like the promised $6 billion in cuts in expenditure, even after their cuts to the Army/Navy budget. The Economist does think that there is likely to be a large surplus, and that if $4 to $5 billion is available to spend on deficit reduction, and if the economy really is “teetering on the brink,” then there may indeed be a bust, then the Administration’s budget orthodoxy will be vindicated. So I guess that the paper disagrees with the idea that cutting the deficit will stop the merry-go-round?
Taft-Vale Decision?” Taft-Vale was a bad old thing that was done long ago. Taft-Hartley might be a bad thing done recently. If they’re the same (besides having “Taft” in the name), perhaps Taft-Hartley will lead Henry Wallace to a third-party run for the Presidency, and that would be bad, because communists like him, and third parties are bad, and in particular Wallace’s candidacy might lead to an even more conservative Republican president, by taking votes away from Truman. What?
“Notes on ‘Bulwinkling’” In future years, the Reed-Bulwinkle Bill may lead to “bulwinkling” be a word, referring to changes in anti-trust regulations in favour of business.
Nope, sorry, didn't happen.
“Floods in the Corn Belt” Floods in the Corn Belt have led to spikes in the price of corn that threaten hog producers. Senator Taft has been caught flat-footed by farmers’ demand for regulatory intervention.  Also in the field of regulations that wouldn’t exist in a free-enterprise utopia, the President has extended rent controls.
The World Overseas
“Molotov on Marshall” The Economist explains why Secretary Molotov doesn’t like Secretary Marshall.
“The Saar and Its Coal” The Saar is the bit of German coal land west of the Rhine (and the Ruhr, which turns out to be a river running into the Rhine from the east). The French are trying to get coal out of the Saar, andalso to annex the area by stealth. They are also doing a great deal better than Ruhr miners, because many of them have small holdings, and, anyway, have access to the rural markets where sacks of coal are exchanged for butter and potatoes. It seems that the French are doing a good job of running the place! (You’d almost think that they manage to run their own country, but I read The Economist, so I know that isn’t true. It’s in crisis, due to excitable Latins.)
“Australian Defence Plans” Australians are worried that WWII might happen again in twenty years, which clearly calls for a £250 million five-year defence programme now and an American alliance, since the falling Australian birthrate and “insuperable difficulties of planned immigration” mean that there will be no Australians to defend the country, and so they'll use guns, instead. There won’t be conscription, but there will be factories, and hopefully the immigration problem will be solved, as there are 47,000 vacancies in industry already. (Economist whiplash!) Even “White Australia” is being dropped from official speeches, although the idea of allowing non-whites to immigrate doesn’t even rate a mention. It's all about keeping Indians buying Australian products, and Pacific Islanders not minding being colonised.
The Business World
“Cheap Money Now” I have some letters from Grace in front of me that complain about the utter incomprehensibility of Economist articles about cheap  money, and I can see why. This one starts out with "gilt-edged bonds" being issued, and “the terms of the Southern Rhodesian loan.” So I am guessing that someone is loaning money to Southern Rhodesia on good terms for investors? And it hs to do with the government? Are government bonds "gilt edged?" The paper would explain, but that would take far too many words away from a history of Chancellor Dalton’s cheap money policy that is very full and long, but not so much with facts as with adjectives describing how awful and wrong and unsuccessful the Chancellor is.
If I had to guess, either The Economist's copy editors took the summer off, or the office is working on convertibility crisis stories and subcontracted this article to the town drunk. It's not the only one he or she will be writing in the next two weeks. If only because Flight can't send them all to Antarctica. 

“The Sterling Agreements” The sterling area agreements have been almost completely negotiated. Egypt’s sterling balance is largely blocked. In compensation, Egypt will be allowed to withdraw from the sterling area. The Economist thinks that that is a bad idea, but it is the way that the Egyptians want it. It’s almost as though they don’t like the English for reasons besides the English having £400 million in Egyptian money and refusing to give it back at a rate of more than £8 million a year. The Scandinavians are being much nicer about it.
Business Notes
“The City and the Cuts” The Economist explains why import cuts and various other things might mean that stocks go up next year at the expense of bonds. It goes on to say that since the Government won’t cut rations, that the needed increased export in textiles will have to be gained by increased production, which means more coal, which is not going to happen, and is impossible anyway. We are doomed, and also the Government concessions on the Bonus Tax were too slim, the government might still be BUNGLING bulk purchases of food abroad, English banks will have to revise the way they handle Egyptian accounts, import prices are still rising (although so are export prices), and there was an unexpected tax revenue surplus last quarter. There has also been an agreement relating fuel supplies to working hours. The worst of the winter crisis could have been avoided had there been better arrangements to use the coal that was mined, and with these arrangements now in place, next winter will be better, even without any more coal. Which seems strangely optimistic for The Economist, but I’m not complaining! The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee even estimates that a one tenth increase in coal-use efficiency would save 220 million tons of coal a year –which is more than the annual production, so I’m sure that I’m reading this wrong. Efficiency is good, anyway. Also, the Hudson Bay Company is being affected by the slowing North American economy, Indian tea production is at a record high, although tea will be short until the Dutch East Indies production comes back, and, in the long run, a rising living standard in tea consuming countries will lead to still higher demand, so don’t be afraid to invest in new plantations. And dock labour decasualisation is continuing. While it is nice, the paper thinks, that dock labourers will finally, for the first time in history, have income security, it seems as though it is going to be accompanied by lay-offs, and The Economist hopes that the dockers won’t go out on strike and ruin everything.
I'm not kidding, by the way. Economist articles this month are impenetrable, even when they have a point. Still nice charts, though. 

“Spinning Machine Register” The Cotton Industry Working Party has submitted a report showing that while the industry does have a problem with aging machinery, it is largely due to under-investment in 1935—9, and not neglect during the war.

Backwards English cotton mill. We'll see an advanced American one later, courtesy of Fortune. (It's backwards because of the pulley drives.)
Flight, 10 July 1947
“One More Step” Flight is impressed with the American use of methanol-water injection in jet turbines as a means of getting 12-15% more power in an assisted takeoff.

Methanol corrosion. 

“Cadets and MOD” Something about air cadets and the Ministry of Defence, and probably the Air Training Corps and subsidies for flying clubs and why aren’t there more light civil aircraft.
No-one can make money on light aircraft because everyone wants to build them. It's some kind of "market failure."

“The Navy and Gliding” The same attitude I just made fun of, but without engines. Specifically, the Admiralty should extend officer’s life insurance to gliding injuries so that a commander who cocks up doesn’t lose his pension.
“BOAC Converts” Someone at BOAC thinks that the flying boat might be here to stay, instead of being a postwar interim type. Flight wags its tail until its body shakes.
“Braving it at Brighton” The weather was terrible for the first day of the Brighton Pageant, but Flight was still there to see the RAF and the Navy fly helicopters and Meteors. And Aries showed up to do some real flying. I suspect that doesn’t mean that someone rolled a Lancaster for the crowd; or, on the other hand, demonstrated flying straight across the Pole, as the spectator details of that haven’t been worked out. So what I should say is that, if I were at the Pageant, I would have been excited to see Aries. Also, there were static displays of this and that.
Another aviation community meet-and-greet, this one from the gliding event. 

“Brussels Once Again: Evere Show and the Salon” Flight went to see the Brussels Air Salon. It was very pleased by the show put on by the Vampires, since a Belgian sale is in the offing. It also went to see static displays of various English, Czechoslovak and American light planes, and some models of French planes like the Breguet 761 that the French are building. There was also a show of the original Rateau turbine, built in secret during the Occupation.
A Breguet Deux-Ponts. I was a little surprised they were actually built. By RuthAS - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

H. Bowden Fletcher, “Beating About the Bush: Unusual Operations of a Great Little Australian Airline” Connellan Airways flies from the “Dead Heart of Australia,” which is a town called Alice Springs. It flies DH86s to cattle ranches and small settlements, and to at least one Aboriginal settlement in the Granites to pick up a girl whose brother had “removed her liver fat to give him the strength to defeat an enemy,” and whose liver was still visible through a nine inch gash in her back when the plane arrived to pick her up. (She recovered.) Just the thought had me clenching my sphincter, and I thought I’d share!
Albert Namatjira. 

Here and There
BEA has ordered twenty Marathons; there was some fear that Gipsy Queen delays would hold up delivery, but de Havilland has promised that the engines would be delivered on time. There’s another story about urgent cargo charters to deliver marine equipment, this time a propeller shaft tor S. S. Photina, stranded in Calcutta and costing the company £200/day. KLM has commissioned a truckborne air conditioner for Curacao airport that can go from grounded plane to plane to prepare them for passengers. Radio-Officer John M. G. Williamson of BOAC has recently completed 100 flights across the Atlantic and accumulated 1 ¼ million miles while flying 8500 hours. Transocean Airlines will fly 7000 British immigrants to Ontario this year under contract to the province, out of 100,000 applicants. The Australian rocket trials will use a German telescope with a 10ft lens built to photograph shipping in the English Channel.
John Grierson, “Air Whaling” Grierson is still back from Antarctica, and still has nothing to do but write articles for Flight, and since air spotting whales in Antarctic waters sounds like it should be very interesting, here is one. There are only two problems: First, it actually isn’t all that interesting. Second, it turns out that whalespotting seaplanes are useless. Grierson spends most of the article wrestling with old whalermen who said so to start, and turned out right. A skilled pilot can put a Walrus down on 15-20 foot seas, says Grierson. A crack craneman (Leading Seaman Rogerson, on loan from the Navy) can lift them out. Although that is with a “slick,” and it cannot be good for the business to be running whaling factory ships at full speed, and putting a putting a boat in the water to tow the Walrus back to the ship is a waste of labour. Also, weather reporting arrangements broke down. Still, they made 33 flights and logged 100 hours in the air during the season, thereby demonstrating that it wasn't all a big waste of money.
Grierson seems to genuinely believe that this is a useful report.

“Sponsored Research: Scientists and Laboratories on ‘Hire’ to Industry: Non-Profit Making Basis” The Fulmer Research Institute will do work for industry, but on a not-for-profit basis.
From Grace's Guide to dead industries.

“The Airspeed Ambassador: Engine Runs and Taxying Trials Successful: Flight Tests About to Begin” The Ambassador is almost ready to fly.
American Newsletter
“Progress of New Civil Types: More Stringent Safety Regulations: The Speed-record P.80R” Both the Consolidated 240 and the Martin 202 should be ready for limited use by the end of 1947. The Martin’s progress is being watched particularly closely, because it had no prototype. It turned out to be another case of the first production run all being prototypes, as Martin goes back to fiddle with instability, rudder reversal, undesirable trim changes and heavy control forces. “Kibbitzer” was struck by the lack of public interest in the P-80 speed record, and agrees with all the other Brits that the Americans cheat by owning California, and that the Air Ministry should send the High Speed Flight to Libya. The fuss over Landis’ comments about the Tudor shows that a new War of 1812 is around the corner. Three major DC-4 crashes in 10 days raise new questions about airline safety practices, fire protection and suggest the immediate need for radar altimeters, reversible-pitch airscrews and simplified emergency releases for the undercarriages. I can’t believe that civil pilots get by without radar altimeters, and I love flying Neptunes with reversible pitch airscrews. When they work . . .  He adds that simplified emergency releases are probably less important than regular practice with them, which airlines might be neglecting because of fears that they will damage the airplane, which leads him to end with describing a recent KLM accident involving a Connie hitting a floodlight on landing, knocking out one undercarriage wheel and leading to the classic “improved three-point landing,” which was “one of the most regal and dignified accidents I have ever seen.” But which probably ruined the main spar. . .
LaGuardia wreck. The passengers burned to death in the cabin while spectators were unable to reach them. And it looks like failure to remove the gust lock was a factor again. 

In short news, Fred Sigrist is back in England after “almost ten years” in Nassau for health reasons. Your old-time Trotskyite will point out that Sigrist’s health stay lasted from the banning of the British Nazi Party until . . . now, and mutter about the Cliveden Set. Then he’ll go back to baiting his long line and see if he can catch his third tyee in a day, and I’ll be left wondering again how a wise old New York Jew ended up logging in the forest back of Fort Rupert.  The Allison-400 turbojet used in the P-80R record was developed as the J-33 by GEC for production by Allison, which modified it with greater compressor capacity and a new nozzle diaphragm. Thrust is quoted at 4200lbs, weight 1830lbs, diameter 48”, length 101 ½”. “Incidentally, prolonged tests of methanol in piston and turbine engines have been carried out in this country.”
Civil Aviation News
More details of the Lockheed Constitution have been released. It is huge and slow and needs 1500ft of runway. The transatlantic fare will remain 9 1/2 cents per mile for the rest of the year. It needs to be by the mile in case you decide to get off halfway, if you were wondering. The tenth anniversary of the first commercial flights is this week. It's amazing. Gosh, those days. Turns out that it's just as I remember it, too. The "C" boat really did beat the Boeing boat both legs, showing the Yanks what for, although not by as much as I thought then. (“C” boat Caledonia crossed east-to-west in 15h 10min, while Clipper III took 12h 36min west-to-east. But I shiver to read that Captain Wilcockson of Caledonia recalls that the weather was worse than forecast, and his entire flight was made within a few hundred feat of sea level! With passengers! Across the North Atlantic!

Captain Wilcockson signs autographs in Canada after his flight. The Wikipedia article on the Empire boat is pretty interesting, now.

The American Air Line Pilots Association has asked for several changes in the DC-3. They want flexible fuel tank mountings, since many in-flight fires start due to leaks in the gas tanks resulting from structural working. Interiors should be made of fireproof materials, and better electrical systems are recommended. Cockpit lighting should be improved, as should windscreens and emergency exits. It is reported that Waco Aircraft has abandoned its “W” model postwar civil type. President Truman’s Air Safety Board has recommended a 13.5-million-dollar budget for airport radio and radar equipment, but Congress only approved 6 millions. Captain E. S. J. Alcock[?], chief instructor at Airways Training in Aldermaston, might have the most flying hours of anyone still on flying duties at 20,000 hours. Hudson Fysh promises significant cuts in the London-Australia fare once the Connie and Solent go into service. “Rumour has it” that Australians and Americans are talking about a dirigible service Sydney-Vancouver that would be competitive with heavier-than-air transports.
R. A. Twomey and P. D. Tyson write to make fun of the “E10/44 naming controversy.” E. Parsons thinks that a flexible mirror might be a good thing to have in a cockpit. Peter Holland thinks the government is BUNGLING RAFVR recruitment. Fred K. R. Sibbald thinks that the stereoscopic-artificial-vision blind approach system should be implemented immediately. “Vertigo” argues further for automatic control of approaches.
The Economist, 12 July 1947
“Forever Amber” “Tuesday’s debate on import policy was unquestionably the most important economic occasion since the inquest on the state of the nation last March.” The accumulated trade deficit is reaching £450 million, but the government doesn’t want to increase austerity very much, and so it is not, and that means that the country is doomed, and Marshall won’t save it because Midwestern senators would get upset. The country has to cut wages, consume less, and, in general, understand that the light will soon turn red, and not stay forever amber. (Like the novel! It’s a clever play on words!)
Did The Economist intend to imply that taking Marshall Plan money would make Britain a prostitute? I'm sorry. "Courtesan."

“The Shadow of the Ruhr” The Allies disagree about how the Ruhr should be run. The French and other European powers are in favour of socialising the coal mines, and the French want coal exports, such that the French steel industry’s output will rise from 8 to 15 million tons a year, replacing a Ruhr production which will fall from 15 million to 7. The British want 11 million, and think that excessive coal exports are already to blame for much of the Ruhr’s reconstruction problem. The Americans are opposed to socialism, and everyone realises that the Brits can’t keep running the Ruhr on borrowed American dollars. Europeans are sure that American proposals will just bring the Nazis back, and supposedly European communists think that that is what Americans want, as they are capitalist imperialists, and so are the Nazis.
Speaking of internationally notorious Southern senators, what was going through Professor Tolkien's mind?

“Peace with Japan” Blah blah Economist blah. On the one hand, Japan’s industry must be rehabilitated for the country to support itself, especially after the country’s population doubled in three quarters of a century, and will continue to rise for the next twenty years even though the birth rate is falling. The country cannot feed itself, and, even if it could, the poorer, unemployed industrial workers cannot pay for the food the farmers grow. So it must export. The Americans also have to decide where their “strategic frontier” is going to be. If it is to run between Japan and Russia, then they are there for the long run, and that means coming to an understanding about Japanese exports, unless the American taxpayer is to support the Japanese population. Which from my summary sounds like every other story about the Japanese economy in the last two years. I think that the point of the story is a lead-off line about the British foreign minister saying something positive about Japanese independence.
"Strategic frontier"

I know I complain about this a lot, but so would you, if your job was to digest these stories, figure out what is important in all the words, and summarise them!

“The Virtuous Monopolist” “Economic institutions, like dogs, may be given bad names and hanged.” That’s the lead sentence. I didn’t know that people give dogs “bad names” and “hang” them. I do get that dogs are pretty cute. But I thought monopolies weren’t cute, that they were terrible? But there it is, right in the title: “Virtuous monopolists.” Perhaps this will be a story about how monopolies can be cute, and play fetch? Well, no, it’s going to be a story about the Bible, because now we are talking about Jacob and Esau and Cain and Abel. Then it is about how monopolies arise from “imperfect competition” or some such. Perhaps they are virtuous monopolies? Instead of saying, the story moves on to various Government interventions that created monopolies, such as the London Passenger Transport Act. Can we say that these are good or bad? Good lord, no. We need to talk about the Depression, and political lobbying, and the difference between American and Europe, before getting on to the Ministries of Supply and Works, before finally bringing up Textile Machinery Makers, Ltd, which has a near-monopoly on supply, and is now fighting with the industry, which thinks that it should make more machinery at lower costs. (And also the Cement Makers Federation, because it is a good Federation to compare with Makers, Lrd.) Oh, wait, there actually is a relationship, because there have been two recent Reports on them, which concluded that their monopolistic practices have not led to a failure to embrace full technical efficiency. Since this is wrong, virtuous monopolies not being really virtuous (forget about the dogs, already!), the Reports are bad. The End. and by "End," I mean that I can stop making words now.
You know, if I were going to write that story, I would have mentioned the Reports in the first sentence, and not dogs that get named and then hanged. Or at least, within a couple of paragraphs of the first sentence. There were lots of paragraphs in that story.
Notes of the Week
Princess Elizabeth is getting engaged to Prince Louis, there is to be an Economic Planning Board, The Economist hopes that the Coal Board will get tough on lazy coal miners, who are communistic and won’t mine the extra 35 million tons of coal a year that would wipe out the dollar drain.
“Turning the Corner” Ramadier has gotten away with kicking the Communists out of his government, and now it seems that France might be, well, you know. Perhaps the Marshall money, by allowing the French economy to afford higher wages, will even stop the strikes, especially in the coal fields.
Christmas, Trafalgar Square, 1947
“Europe Goes Hungry” The 1947/8 food situation is likely to be even worse than 1946/7. The bad winter will cut European cereal production by 10% from 1946’s 1350 million bushels, down from a prewar average of 1670 million, excluding Russia. The Russian harvest will be up, and there will be an exportable surplus, which will help, but Europe’s deficiency will be between 30 and 35 million tons, of which 25—8 will be in bread grains. This is greater than the expected world export surplus. The American harvest is expected to be 1400 million, far exceeding the historic record of 1156; Canada’s will also be high. But even if South America also has a good year, the exportable surplus will still be too low, as already mentioned.

Also, high export prices and European dollar shortages are breeding ill-will, although the Marshall money will help.

“Farm Wages and the Consumer” The Economist thinks that since the increased farm wages cannot be passed on to consumers, the Government needs to tackle waste and regulate prices, instead.
“A Disproportionate Sacrifice” As part of imports reduction, the press is taking a cut in imported newsprint supplies. The Economist points out that newsprint production fell from 23.1 million tons to 7.2 million between 1939 and 1946, and now it is being asked to cut again, and it is all more than can be born. Also, the Canadians will be upset.
“Franco’s Referendum” This story is about how the referendum in Spain was meaningless, and the next one makes fun of a radio speech that General Peron gave. (About how America has too much influence in Latin America, if you were interested.) I can see why Uncle George ended up just writing “Latins are excitable” at this kind of story.
“Unfinished Houses” Mr. Bevin gave a speech about how many houses have been started under the Government’s programme. The Economist comes back to point out that not many of them are being completed.

Also in the news is the Koumintang’s declaration of “total mobilisation,” a debate about vivisection in the Lords, local taxation in England (yawn), and the observation that another year has gone by, and there is still no international control of atomic energy. It is the Russians fault for keeping their atomic bomb research secret. What kind of country would develop an atomic bomb in secret, and pass laws punishing anyone who reveals any details of it? A communist country, that’s what! And pensioners over the age of 70 are to get a special tobacco ration so that they can buy cigarettes at the old price.
The paper’s Hungarian correspondent is upset at Mr. Davidson. Bancroft Clark, Chairman of C. and J. Clark, Ltd, is sore at The Economist over a crack it made about the quality of children’s shoes these days. On the other hand, Harry Williams tells a story about how Danes are taking it for granted that current English exports are junk. Arthur Crook, of Blencathra, Guildford Avenue, Chorley, thinks that Britain should export fuel-efficient goods, and Peter Calvocorresi, of Guise House, Aspley Guise, Bletchley, thinks that the article about Greece was unfair to its government, people, and even Argentina.
 Charles R. Whittlesey, National Interest and International Cartels, explains that cartels aren’t as bad as all that, although they are bad. Raj Narain Gupta, Iran: An Economic Study, is so full of inaccuracies that the reviewer doesn’t even have to explain the thesis. Norman Mansfield, Failures of theLeft, explains that communists are bad. Australia:Its Resources and Development, is one of those books that are actually made up of articles. The ones that you have to type out forever when you are typing a biography for It is another Australian attempt to explain what’s up with Australia to everyone who is so bored by the word that you’ve already fallen asleep.

From The Economist of 1847
Many people like to say that the ministers of the government don’t get enough done. Actually, they are very busy doing all sorts of things, such as accompanying the Queen on her excursions, and meanwhile all the new laws and proposals are actually written by “obscure and nameless barristers, or enterprising and industrious schemers,” and it would be to everyone’s benefit if all of these nameless persons were named.
So, in other words, The Economist’s problem with wildly veering from one argument to the opposite didn’t start recently.
American Survey
“Reactions to Marshall” 
I think people expected the internal politics of the Marshal Plan to be more fractious than they turned out to be. It's a mystery.

America has a huge export surplus, which means that the rest of the world needs dollars; but any way of getting dollars to them would be terrible. The question being, which way is least terrible?
American Notes
The coal miners’ contract negotiations have ended in a major success for Lewis and the CIO. The much-predicted business recession still doesn’t seem to be happening. As The Economist goes to print, it is still not clear what Congress is going to do about the Export Control Act, which used to allow the Administration to control, limit and direct exports. That is not, by a long shot, the only thing Congress might be leaving undone at recess.

Here's HMS Agincourt so I can report that The Economist thinks that the good coal contract means that Lewis will finally be able to deliver union votes to the Republicans in 1948.  By Source, Fair use,

“Commandos of the Pension” Ford Motor Company has conceded a pension based on 1% of average pay, accumulating per year of service, taking 1946 as the base year. Ford agreed to it for the simple reason that it doesn’t want a strike. The UAW seems to have aimed for, and got, this instead of paid holidays, as at General Motors and Chrysler, because Ford has more, older workers. Which is all very well, but then comes the line about “commandos of the pension,” which I think means that Ford might just be the first to ask for a pension, and then the paper is on about “Townsend Plans” and “Social Credit,” and “the fallacy of under-consumption,” and someone named Silvio Gesell. I can’t even guess what kind of point it is trying to make. On past record, you would think that it would be opposed It's very mean to Silvio Gesell, whoever he/she/it is, so maybe?
A shorter note points out that the Republicans have just revived their tax cut, except postponed to January, even though they couldn’t override the Presidential veto in June. It has passed the House and the Senate Finance Committee already.
The World Overseas
“Colony on the Rhine” The French occupation zone, continued. It is doing better than the Ruhr, but no-one is sure why.

“Two Years of Dutch Recovery” Holland is one of the most densely populated, but richest countries in the world. Many Dutch want to emigrate, but only because they don’t realise what they would be leaving. However, it is down on its luck right now. It lost foreign investments, shipping earnings, and remittances from Indonesia during the war, and low coal supply has kept industry from recovering, although damage to the transportation system is also a problem, as is the slump in Rhine traffic, and labour productivity is low, as it is throughout Europe. There were fewer strikes here than in the rest of Europe last year, but still an awful lot. The black market is shrinking, but business is upset about government economic controls on prices and stuff.
Oligarchy in Bermuda” Bermuda is dominated by a rich oligarchy that treats its Coloured folk badly, although not as badly as in some Caribbean countries. Because it is a tiny little island, there is a reason for this article to appear this week, which is that a petition from the Bermuda Workers’ Association has been printed by a White Paper. It calls for getting rid of the (high) property requirement for voting, which seems reasonable.
The Business World
“How Big is the Gap” How big, exactly, is the import gap? The Government just answered this question in Parliament. But -hold on to your hat—The Economist thinks that it was a shockingly inadequate answer. So it is going to look at the numbers. First, the original 1947 imports programme was £1450 millions, including 18 for “invisible imports” of films. This was £350 million more than in 1946, mainly to cover inroads on stocks, but also to account for rising imports prices. Six months later, it looks like the number will be £1700 million, mainly due to increasing prices. And yet there was no obvious improvement in the standard of living. In fact, even an increase in imports to the 1939 figure would not return the standard of living to the prewar level. Exports, estimated before the fuel crisis at £1300 million, are now likely to come in at £1100.

At this point the writing might as well as start talking about Stokes theorem for all that I can follow it, so I’ll end with an estimated overall balance of traded deficit for 1947 of £540 million, compared with the original estimate of 350, and the actual 450 million of 1946. This means that the actual two-year deficit will be smaller than that planned under the terms of the loan, due to the unexpectedly good year of 1946, but that is actually bad news, because the original budget called for the money to be spent on a much higher level of recapitalisation than has actually been achieved. Since the Government’s answer did not estimate remaining dollar resources, The Economist takes a swing at them –perhaps 570 million in line of credit and 642 million in gross gold and dollar holdings, enough to last into the first weeks of 1948. On the other hand, further cuts to foreign expenditures and improvements on the sterling balance may reduce the next year’s deficit to £400 million, so perhaps not all is lost.
Traditional engineering programmes have a partial differential equations course in third year just to show them that they can't actually do math. 1950s engineers did not like the "Magic Mystery Hour." It's redundant now that Calculus IV is taught as "vector calculus," but the tradition survived, at least in the Eighties.

 “Wages and Industrial Unrest” As near as I can tell, this two-page article says that wage increases are related to industrial unrest.
Business Notes
Stocks are up, talks on the Indian sterling balance began this week, and there are signs of life in the textiles industry, especially cottons. People are talking about working factories on a second shift to increase productivity, the railway workers unions got a good contract, which means England is doomed, and the world still hasn’t agreed to stop subsidising synthetic rubber and take more natural, boosting Malayan exports and the prices paid for it. And the US Treasury bill has been unpegged from its wartime 3/8% rate by the Federal Reserve. This is part of an effort to keep the long term rate from going too far below 2 1/2 %, as has been the “chronic tendency.” The Federal Reserve would be acting more energetically, but it is still unsure whether deflation or inflation will follow if monetary controls are relaxed. Cotton prices are up, British savers continue to “dis-save,” tighter controls on exchange withdrawals for business travel have finally been imposed on people withdrawing their £10/day for a three month holiday in the Alps, followed by a spending spree, especially by “secretarial or other companions.”

Aero Digest, July 1947
We’ve been receiving these proofs (technically, Uncle Henry has been receiving these proofs) since 1943, but Auntie Grace has been throwing them out for the last two years, because its such a terrible magazine. By which I mainly mean that it is so anti-New Deal that even an old fogy like her can’t take it. However, Aviation just went weekly by combining with Aviation News, and they lost Uncle Henry’s special order when they merged the mailing lists. Uncle Henry has been so kind as to send them a note, and McGraw-Hill is putting him back on the advance proof list; but that won’t be until Christmas, so we might as well get some use out of this old rag.
“This is Your Market!” At their annual conference in Williamsburg, Virginia, the Aircraft Industries Association heard their President, Major General Oliver P. Echols, call for bigger air forces and railwayshipair. (That is, for railways and shipyards to have the right to start their own airlines.) The problem, briefly, is that who has looked at this has given up on it, because it doesn’t actually save any money. However, the railways and shipping lines are still willing to pay lobbyists, although probably not very good ones, considering who they’ve got to back the idea. On the other hand, maybe they buy Echolls some drinks, and it’s all good.

On the one hand, Echolls was the man who called Howard Hughes' bullshit about the H-1. On the other, his association with Northrop seems questionable. 

Frank Tichenor thinks that the panel of aviation experts that President Truman has assembled to look into air travel safety will be “The Whitewash Board.” The experts don’t know anything. Only the industry knows what’s what. The best way to fix air safety is to get rid of the CAA and the CAB, and appoint a “free and independent Safety Board,” of reverse experts, I guess.
“Pan American Circumnavigates the Globe” Remember that story in Aviation about how Pan Am flies around the globe, if you don’t include America, and do include two different planes? Well, here it is again!
Guest Editorial
“Our Dwindling Air Power” Our air industry is “literally” dwindling away for lack of government orders. We should do things better. Like various other people, he says that America is now a third-rate air power, behind Britain and Russia, and it is just as dumb when he says it as when Senator Brewster says it. 
Watch out for Italy!
Kendall K. Hoyt, “The Air-Commerce Controversy” I think I’ve already covered this off under editorial, although Hoyt also talks about Pan Am and “chosen instrument.”
Just For The Record
Eddie Rickenbacker --American original
The PCA-Northeastern merger is off. The Chicago National Air Show has been postponed to the spring. Jacobs is buying Jacobs Engines. Under the headline, “U.S. Regains World Speed Records,” Aero Digest can’t help complaining that the English cheated by using two engines in their speed record, instead of one. To give it credit where credit is due, it does acknowledge that the last time an American held the world speed record was in 1923. Frank Tichenor, publisher of Aero Digest, received the J. McGough Memorial Award last month. The six Alaskan airlines will merge into one. Leslie Gardner received the Daniel Guggenheim Medal for 1927.

Washington Information
Richard Saunders reports from Washington that Congress is taking another stab at creating an independent air safety body. The House is also restoring the $5 million appropriation, and has also put back the $40 million cut from aircraft appropriations.
Helicopter Engineering
Dr. Alexander Klemm reports on developments at the Airworthiness Requirements Committee of the AIA, which were brought before the CAA recently. There may be rules for night flying.
Rotary Wing World
A full-size helicopter rotor test tower will be available in America soon, and Bell has announced a new model, the “Airmailer.”
It's just a new name for the 47.

Thomas H. McConnell, Jr., “Aviation’s Role in West Africa”
They have planes in West Africa now. Which is good, because they really don’t have roads.
I was hunting for a picture of a West African air base from the air from 1947. If you can't find it, upload it! This is the old US air base in Dakar, now Senghor Airport.

“Lockheed Aircraft Service” Lockheed doesn’t just build planes. It also maintains them, and develops better ways of maintaining them at its Burbank labs.
I'm so old that I'm imagining this as a Johnny Carson joke. 

John F. Fairlie, Coordination and Economics Department, Standard Oil Co., “Composite Engine Fuel Costs” By “composite engine,” Fairlie means a turboprop, finding that it scores over internal combustion on grounds of lower weight per unit thrust; not needing as much surplus power on takeoff and so avoiding the dead weight burden of the extra power requires; specific fuel consumption not rising with speed; cheaper fuels; lower production costs. And while gasoline prices provide a floor under which the cost of aviation fuel, of whatever kind, cannot go below, there are ways in which shifting to jet fuel could reduce the cost of gasoline, since less high octane will be required.

H. J. Cumberland, “Friction Cutting Techniques” Cumberland describes the use of high velocity saws to “friction cut” high strength steels. I wonder how important this is to the aircraft industry, which makes relatively little use of high-tensile strength steels compared with, say, marine engineering, but the article is here, and it is interesting.

Aero Equipment and Trade Literature Digest
A repeat of the industry catalogues that Aero Digest gets. Let’s see. I could carefully summarise the summary description of VHF transmitter/receivers, elevated runway lights, and leak-proof filler caps, or I could just clip some pictures. Which to do, which to do?

R. A. Smith and P. A. Koerner, Engineering Department, Beech Aircraft Corporation, “Use of Silver Alloys in Brazing” Silver brazing may be an appropriate solution to sealing joints in aircraft structures. Safe application will require careful testing. Here are the results of Beech’s test series, which may be of interest at other firms.
Vincent Ellis and William A. Keech, Supervisor of aircraft Sales and Product Engineer, Lord Manufacturing Co., “Flexible Mountings for Turbines” Although turbine engines produce low amplitude vibrations, they are at very high frequencies, and structural failure in the early rigid mountings followed. Damping improves fatigue life and reduces crew discomfort on long flights. Lord Manufacturing built flexible mountings for the GE TJ1000, and describes design, materials, and frequent difficulties, notably with the extension shaft to the remote gear box, and with cooling the rubber mountings.
Ira F. Angstadt, “Muroc: Flight Testing Mecca” The Army air base on the salt lakes of the Mojave Desert is a good place to test planes.
M. C. Anderson, “Hangar Hints” Anderson discusses gadgets that help out around the hangar.
To give you a taste.
“Wright Gas-Turbine Laboratory” Wright has built its own gas turbine laboratory.
There is a new books section that, like the equipment digest, includes information for ordering through Aero Digest, which seems a bit low to me. On the other hand, this month’s number has a pocket review of a book about the Battle of Leyte Gulf by a history professor, and I’m tempted to write away for one for a gag gift for Tommy, who is always a little bummed that he’ll never be recognised for broadcasting those tapes of Halsey bossing his battlewagons around when the jeeps spotted Kurita. I keep telling him that he doesn’t deserve credit for figuring that he’d scare a Jap admiral off, but he gets all stubborn. “What if the Japs got loose in the convoys around Leyte,” he always asks. “What then?” I say, "But you didn't mean to pull them onto the jeeps. You were trying to scare them off!" Silence. 
McDonnell ‘Banshee’ XF2D-1” I won’t say much about this, because it’s old news, and a short writeup.
Allan Pope, Georgia School of Technology, Associate Professor Guggenheim School of Aeronautics, “Open-Circuit Wind Tunnel” No-one wants an open circuit tunnel any more, because they don’t model boundary effects well; but Pope is going to argue that they can be useful, and that they’re cheaper to operate.
Richard B. Faurote, Chief Chemist, Ranger Aircraft Engines, “Chemistry in Quality Control,” Faurote explains that his lab checks the aromatic content of gasolines in test runs, assays the alloy content in various parts, and does x-ray diffraction pictures to pick out hidden flaws.
Fortune, July 1947
Fortune is doing the cotton industry, Bank of America, the American-owned copper mines in Southwest Africa, a letter from Germany, a profile of tin baron Mauricio Hochschild, yachting, the Pittsburgh “Consol” Consolidated Coal Company, and the exciting stories of circus trains and Ringling Brothers, which rides them. In other words, not a lot here that Uncle George would be interested in, unless he has a sudden yearning to invest in cotton and coal, the Industries of the Future Future!
“The United States in Europe” Fortune thinks that every new national plan just makes the Europeans madder, so it is time for an alternative: “Sound money, free prices and open markets.” Which isn’t so much a new plan as an “always” plan, I’d say. Europe is nice this time of year, and American tourists will appreciate it, but it has too much control, too much planning, and not enough German government. Fortune thinks that what Europe needs is a dose of inflation to get coal and electricity prices up to their “strike” levels. (No, I haven’t been spending all my time with the fishermen! Just . . . too much of it.) On the other hand, continuing inflation can’t be allowed to price European exports out of world markets. A proper “liberal” approach is needed.
“The Bolt in Cotton Textiles” Cotton industry sales and profits are at historical levels, but the industry is uneasy about it, because it knows that it can’t last, and didn’t, in 1920/1. Profits for 1946 were 270% over 1946. (I guess we missed a bet in not investing then.) So far things are still going on like that, but the prophets are calling for a new 1920/1 crash any time now.
This is the companion picture to the "backwards Old World mills," above. 

 American mills are very modern, while European ones are decrepit and run down, while the Japanese, the most important potential competitors, are flat on the ground still.
“World’s Biggest Bank”
I know that we have money in the Bank of America, and a handle on the President, but I don’t know the details, and I doubt Uncle George would tell me if I asked. I know he doesn’t want my opinion about how to run the investment! I’ll just move on.

I have lots of "old time California" pictures from this article, because the main point is that most of Bank of America's money is in western mortgages. The problem is that they're pretty weak photos by Fortune standards, so I'm just going to use this one.

“Nabapeep and East O’Okiep” The cover talks about American capital going abroad, and has a picture taken from these two enormous copper mines in South Africa.

Why are all the best mines at the end of the world? 
“Der Papierkrieg—” The War of Paper Words”
Fortune thinks that there’s too much control and planning in Germany.
“Mauricio Hochschild” Somehow, a financier from Germany has become one of the biggest tin barons in Bolivia. He tries to direct the country’s politics, and doesn’t understand why the Bolivians won’t welcome his benevolent overlordship, whereas even Fortune can see why miners who live hard lives at home and tortuous ones at 15,000ft for 50 cents a day, might not be inclined to tolerate his benevolence when 700 out of every 1000 Bolivians die in infancy, the illiteracy rate is 85%, and over 50% of the $70 million a year industry returns is exported to pay for mining material, etc.  Fortunately, presidents who make trouble forHochschild have a way of dying of bullet wounds to the head that are “probably self-inflicted,” or of finding themselves hanging from a lamppost by a bodypart that’s not meant to support hanging, and the tin continues to flow.
There’s actually two articles about Philadelphia Consolidated Coal Company, but we’re not investing in them, I think? It is exciting that they think that they can supply Pittsburgh with gas for decades, but who wants coal gas in this day and age? Yes, gasoline from coal would solve the problem of no-one wanting coal on the roads any more, but will it pay? Yes, big steam shovels do make open cast mining cheaper; but cheap enough? And then there are the signs that the mines are not, exactly, the high technology cities on the Moon that the recent series in Fortune described.
I don’t know. Did that make sense? My point is, here’s a picture of a working mule in a mine today.

Shorts and Faces
The lead “short discusses the transatlantic liners. Remember, of 7 50,000t+ prewar liners, only three survive, and only Queen Elizabeth and QueenMary are operating. There are 70 liners operating on the North Atlantic this summer, up from 11 this May, with a capacity of 70,000 instead of 11,000. Passenger-cargo vessels add another 1500 berths, and several new or reconditioned liners will join the fleet by 1948, but capacity will still be well below prewar. On present schedules, 4000 passengers will cross the Atlantic east-west and west-east each week this summer compared with nearly 30,000 before the war. The airlines, meanwhile, only move 3000 a week. The postwar tourism boom is still “several” years away.
A short short makes fun of the annual prospectus of Kaiser-Frazier Corp, which is exactly as hinky-sounding as you’d expect from Uncle Henry. We go on to talk about Arthur S. Kleeman, of Colonial Trust Company, which is one of those bits that Uncle George jokes are about getting Henry Luce into parties. Kleeman sounds like a nice man and good business partner, but who cares about a trust company with a $3 million capital?
Now this one is just weird: Mike Levy runs the Camp Brokerage Co., Inc., which sells insurance to summer camps. Kids can get awful sick at summer camp, awfully quick, and Levy has been inspecting and issuing policies since –since 1944, it turns out. That’s not a long time to find out if there’s a business in the business, if you ask me. I thought it was going to turn out to be thirty years, or something amazing like that!

Several companies sell chlorophyll as an air freshener, but Fortune is interested in a band called Airwick, now bought from Seeman Brothers by Airkem, which is struck by the factthat people don’t even know how air fresheners work.

It looks as though Airkem is just mystifying things, but it looks as though there might be more to the history of air fresheners than meets the eye. I'm not sure that it's worth a technical appendix, but there you are.


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