Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Postblogging Technology, February, 1950, I: Princess (RPN) of Mars


Dear Father:

Well, you will have noticed that even though Ronnie is out of quarantine and working madly to catch up in class, this packet is still awful slim. What's up, you ask? (I know you do.) It's because she may be clear, but her mail isn't. I mean, it should be clear. Magazines mailed from back East don't have diptheria! Unfortunately, it goes through the Palo Alto office of public health, which is one man, who is working from his house, because he has Emphysema and he will die if he ever sees another living soul. Also, it turns out, his mail will kill him if he dares to look at it. We actually posted him on the 28th last that he could release Ronnie's mail, and still haven't heard a peep. One month. Good thing he's not being paid by the taxpayer, or I'd be beginning to think that my money was going down the drain! Or to Montgomery Ward and the Safeway delivery driver.

If I have to do this for very much longer, at least I'm set up with a reference library, thanks to Uncle George, who showed up on my doorstep on his way to Singapore courtesy of BOAC. Why is it that he flies, and you don't. Not that the books came by air, that would be too expensive. He  just timed the delivery right.

I don't know how much more I've got to say to you. It's my way to make excuses for not having family doings to report, truth being that I never remember the good gossip, and blurt out the worst when I try. Well, this time I have a better excuse, which is that I am in Gosh-darned Formosa, which is about as far from California as Mars, just to get in a reference below, and the only family nearby are some insects that remind me of Hoover's youngest ---

Okay, that's not fair, even considering that he's not exactly my favourite distant cousin. But I wanted to work it in because he's got a bit of a comeback film out, which I hear might do good business, and best of luck to him. Another reference!

Your Loving Son,

Page from Vaucouleurs, Physics of the Planet Mars: An Introduction to Areophysics [1954]

Aviation Week, 6 February 1950

News Sidelights reports that nonscheduled operators are gloomy at the recent decline in traffic as the certificated carriers' coach services expand and DC-6s and Constellations replace DC-4s. Joe O-Connell is in trouble with the builders for suggesting that they were the reason there was no American jetliner. The US Air National Guard Association says that Louis Johnson may cause the death of "12 to 18" pilots by cutting flying time in his economy plan. The CAB has indicated that it wants all civil aircraft pilots to file flight pans and make position reports while flying over restricted air spaces like Oak Ridge. Hanford and Los Alamos are already out of bounds for air traffic. 

News Digest reports that a fire in the undercarriage wheel of an Eastern Airlines Constellation led to the emergency evacuation of 30 passengers at Boston Airport. The fire, in the hydraulics, did not spread thanks to the airport fire department, who all deserve the Silver Star, if you ask me. Arleigh Burke is the new head of Navy Research and Development, replacing Carson, who goes to see as commander of the Atlantic Fleet's Cruiser Division Two. Wow. I had no  idea that the Navy had its own Edge of the World. 

Industry Observer reports that the first service helicopter will be a Navy anti-submarine job. Contracts will be announced soon. Convair is building a $2 million testing lab at Fort Worth to check the electronics in the new B-36. It's the Toast Building! Probably not, but if that is the name, I said it first. Boeing is feeling pretty good about the defroster they built for the cameras on the new RB-50 reconnaissance plane, which is designed to fly up to 40,000ft. It is designed to automatically cut off when the camera is triggered, and come on again as soon as the shutter closes again. The Marine Corps is operating 24 Grumman F9F-2s at Quantico and will get another 112 soon. See, that's why the Navy needs an Army. So it  has someone to run all the unsuitable planes it orders for carriers. If the Fleet Air Arm had a Marine Corps, there'd actually be a use for those "Sea Vampires." Flight Refuelling wants everyone to know that inflight refuelling of the Comet is really going to happen, honest Injun. One day, I hope Flight Refuelling gets an honest job and can stop bugging us. 

The F9F did fly from carriers during the Korean War. 
Chances Dim for Transport Prototype Bill" A full page story that Time covers next week in a paragraph. The Defence Department can't sell the Budget Bureau on $30 million for a jetliner, and drops the subject pretty quick when the Bureau clears its throat and goes, "What about these air mail subsidies?" 

"Impounded Funds Rile Congress" Congress is upset that the President isn't going to spend $200 million in impounded funds this year even though the Administration says it doesn't have the money to make the 70 group Air Force that Congress also wants. Just to get this straight, there's no money for new planes, even if they're jetliners we're desperate for, but there's plenty of money for old planes, no matter how bad.

"Aircraft Employment Declining" Less services money means fewer employees through at least March, so the companies are doing the old "last hired, first fired." Never mind FPEC, it is women, Aviation Week says, who are being laid off. 

"Ducted Rocket Offers Ramjet Improvement" The ducted rocket is a hybrid rocket/ramjet that might give continuous thrust from low, takeoff speeds up to the supersonic range where ramjets shine. At the same forum, scientists disclosed that the AF and Navystill don't have enough scientist-pilots, taht existing wind tunnels in the US can't do transonic testing, that American missle development is still not up to where the Germans reached in the war, that a shrouded pulsejet might be a commercial rival of the ramjet, and that higher pressure rockets could give a 20% fuel consumption cut if cooling problems could be licked.

Aviation News reports changes in Air Force contract negotiations procedures, and that Fairchild has delivered 40 of its C-119 Charity Cases --I mean, "Packets."  Various services, deliveries, tonnages and independent base operations are improving. Dr. Maurice Garbell is suing Convair for infringing his patented "fluid-foil lifting service," allegedly embodied in the Convair Liner. 

Aeronautical Engineering reports that "Wright Aero Pushes Ramjet Study," which might account for how many times Aviation Week has already mentioned ramjets this week. The story is about Wright's new ramjet experimental station, although it briefly explains why flying stovepipes are a good idea. (They're efficient at supersonic speeds. Sorry to spoil the ending!) The rest of the feature is devoted to brief abstracts of papers to be presented at an upcoming SAE meeting. None very interesting.

Avionics has story by freelancer Robert McLarren reports that Distance Measuring Equipment is "Top Navigational Need." That'd be your "commercial aircraft radar," or radio direction finding equivalent. For about the millionth time. As I've said about a million times from flying with it, there's nothing that cockpit navigational radar adds to the low flying/landing experience that makes up for the distraction of having to look at it. And in level cruising flight, you're looking at a beacon a long way away that you're flying at really, really fast (especially if the angular velocity is considered), which makes accuracy a bit of a pig's eye, even if you can find the right channel, which you can't. Fixing that stuff, and surely it can be fixed, is key to the $50 million annual market McLarren predicts by '62. On the other hand, the ground side sounds like the problem's already in hand. Which it damn well should be, because they have space and time on their side! It's the same old story. The radio builders say, "Look at our keen gadget that does all that and sits up and begs, too," and then they wonder why the avionics engineers can't put the same in the cockpit without setting the plane on fire. Because space!!!! And vibrations!!! And time!!! I shake my head. You read about the amplifiers and gates and the vacuum tubes on the ground side and wonder how anyone could think that this was ready to fly. The answer, of course, is that this is what we can build, so we're building it. 

On a more reasonable level, the National Bureau of Standards is looking at ceramics as an avionics dielectric. That's "insulator," for the layman. Including capacitor plates, which is what the NBS is actually looking at, trying to get weight down without warping and cracking the pots. Okay, not pots, but crackpots. 

New Aviation Products reports on a new ILS ground trainers from Pan Am that replaces two earlier ILS ground trainers,. and an "all-purpose Hammer," which is not misplaced from the April Fool's edition. News! More like the short bit about the Bendix AN/DKT-3 remotely telemetered air pressure pickup, please. 

McGraw-Hill Line-wide Editorial is concerned that "1950 . . . Our Industrial Machine is Running Down." The wartime McGraw-Hill line editorials were often pretty good. Remember the November 1944 one that denounced atom bomb secrecy? I sure do, even though I have trouble persuading people it existed. Lately they've all been, "Oh no, socialism is coming and it's awful." But this one I agree with! To a point. McGraw-Hill thinks that lack of capital investment in a new generation of machine tools is threatening the President's goal of a $300 billion national income by 1955. I agree. I  just disagree with its belief that it is high business taxes that are to blame. Business taxes didn't stop massive machine tool investment during the war, and business is always for business tax cuts! We had a round in '46, and do you even see the results? No! I'm sure we'll have another round in '53 if the GOP wins, and we'll get to see whether it helps, but I am going to go out on a limb and say it won't. 

Three days to the Wheeling Speech
The Aviation Week Editorial is about "Subversive Employees and the Bell Decision" Bell wants to fire communist socialist pinko employees, and New York says it's okay as long as Bell makes sure they're not just union men, and Bell says, "Okay-dokey, commisioneriny!" 

I don't think so. 

Time, 6 February 1950


Edgar Church writes that Truman can achieve his "national output goal of trillion per annum" by keeping up inflation, while Gertrude Tronsen thinks that governments that run $5.1 billion deficits in a single year are bound to be defeated by the housewives of America, just like the socialists were defeated in New Zealand and Australia. Two Midwesterners think that Senator Douglas should run for President on the strength of the Time article. Did the tropical fish section ruin the New York Sun? No, says World-Telegram Tropical Fish editor A. Bryant Henderson. It's just a harmless hobby that deserves its own section of the paper. Morris Messick and H. T. Rights have opinions about unions and management. The Sanders "mercy killing" in New Hampshire generated quite a lot of letters, including a swell guy from Chicago who thinks that it was wrong, because suffering is good for you because it tests your faith, and something a bit more reasonable from out Massachusetts way about how, once you start killing cancer patients, in no time you'll be doing up pretty much everybody else. Or so I thought until Ronnie gently pointed out that if the camel puts its nose in the tent, you can say, "just the nose." Turns out it's a logical fallacy. You know, you'd think they'd teach engineers about logical fallacies, and not French Literature majors, but you'd be wrong. Our Publisher wants everyone to know that Time's international editions export American democracy along with American advertising. 

National Affairs

"The Decision is Yes" The President decided in favour of the H-bomb this week, although most of the story is devoted to Harold Urey, one of America's relatively few Nobel winners, who received his award in 1934 for discovering "heavy hydrogen," which is to say, deuterium, the isotope of hydrogen that contains both a proton and a neutron, and which is thus almost twice as heavy as the regular hydrogen atom, which consists of just a proton and an "orbiting" electron. Which seems almost naked, to me. Did you know that Urey was educated at an Amish grade school.?(That tidbit is care of Who's Who. Uncle George has forwarded me a research library that must have cost a fortune to ship, and which takes up roughly half my bungalow.) Urey thinks we should build the H-bomb, so he is a good guy. Time isn't sure who the bad guy who doesn't want to develop the H-bomb is, but it is pretty sure it is David Lilienthal. Who is Jewish. Not that it matters. 

"I Do Not Intend to Turn My Back" Dean Acheson said a nice thing about Alger Hiss at a press conference lat week, which goes to show that he is wet about communism, not like Richard Nixon, Les Arends or Senator Knowland, who threatened to stop all State Department appropriations until Acheson stopped being against freedom. Time gently suggests that he wash his hands of Hiss to save his foreign policy. 

"The Sisters of Abigail Adams" Some of the gals want an equal rights amendment to the Constitution, but other gals don't, like Eleanor Roosevelt and Frances Perkins, which goes to show that gals are flighty! Many senators are confused. Aren't the gals the ones who bring them their drinks? And now they want in the con-con-connie-stution? It's so confusing! Maybe I shouldn't have had that third martini at lunch! Frustrated in the Senate, the "sisters of Abigail Adams" turn to the House to get their amendment rolling. 

"Between Issue and Law" The FEPC Bill, which would ban employer discrimination on the basis of race and religion, is supported by both parties and is on the House agenda, but both parties are struggling to make sure that it doesn't reach the floor, and that it isn't their fault that it doesn't. Speaker Rayburn has decided that statehood bills for Hawaii and Alaska will be heard instead, and Time actually says something nice about Vito Marcantonio for calling out both parties for their hypocrisy. Time predicts that it may reach the Senate, but will be killed there. Meanwhile, the Senate's judiciary committee has finally got a DP bill past Senator McCarren that will  allow 125,000 DPs into the country, although McCarren has inserted a rider saying that 30% have to be farmers. 

"Down to a System" The UAW is striking Chrysler, while John L. Lewis has wrong-footed the mine companies by accepting their latest offer, which has them sputtering and calling for an injunction against the UMW's three-day week, which might lead to a full strike, unless they listen to the President and agree to a 70 day truce. 

"For Love or Pity" With Dr. Sanders in the headlines, it is time for another, much stranger "mercy killing" case from New England, featuring one Caroline Paight, who, on hearing her father's diagnosis two-months-to-live diagnosis after exploratory surgery, went home, got a .38, test fired it in the woods, then took it to the hospital and shot her father before he recovered from anesthesia.

"Family Trip" A long, weird story about 22 farmers and family from around Indiana flying off to Hawaii on a three week vacation on Hawaii Hoosier Airlines, which proves that Washington is spending too much on farm subsidies. In Connecticut, a navy lieutenant is running for Congress in place of his father, who died in the EAL crash,while New York's new mesh trash baskets keep getting stolen. 


"MAP Begins" The Military Assistance Pact has been signed, and the first of a billion dollars in US arms and equipment is on its way to Europe. That includes Canada, which was on the fence on signing MAP until the last minute mainly because of arguments over re-exporting American products in Canadian-manufactured weapons. On the other side of the world, South Korea has a navy of 7500 men and a commander-in-chief, but no ships except for a few flotillas of minesweepers, which don't count. So they took up a collection to buy a training brig, which does. And the French and German press are having a spat over the Saar. 

"Classified Information" The third volume of Churchill's Second World War is out. It features a conversation between Churchill and Stalin about Rudolf Hess' flight to Britain, which the Soviets are sure was part of a German separate peace ouverture that someone in Britain was waiting for. Churchill said, no, he would have known; Stalin said, no so fast, even in Russia there are things that h "our secret service do not necessarily tell me."

"Between Comrades" It is reported that Mao Tse-tung is having a bit of a rough reception in Moscow, where the Russians are pressing for control of seven northern ports, food exports, and a half million labourers. China, meanwhile, wants $3 billion in investment capital and arms, mainly aircraft. It promises that there will be "enough booty for all" in the drive into Southeast Asia. 

"As the Twig" Time has a copy of the Soviet elementary school curriculum, and finds it very communistic indeed. A much longer story is off to Copenhagen to marvel at America's lady ambassador, who goes to smorgasbords and everything. 

"Osmosis in Queuetopia" Britain's upcoming election means that it is time for Time to profile Clement Atlee. Time thinks he's an okay joe, but looks gleefully forward to the socialists' defeat. Also Geoffrey Crowther thinks that Britain's economy is just fine, except that it is a brontosaurus and you know what happened to them! (So it's not fine at all.) And some newspaperman thinks that Britain's problem with foreigners is not that the British are racist, but that they hate and fear foreigners, including all the ones they colonised.

Keep Australia White!
"A Swim in the Sun" Speaking of not being racist, "white Australia was long coolly scornful of its yellow-skinned Asiatic neighbours." For the last fifty years, Australian emigration has required at least 75% European ancestry and a picture to prove that you "look White." This week, Australian External Affairs is in a tizzy over John James Trench-Thiedemann of Ceylon, who was denied entrance to Australia on the grounds that he wasn't "predominantly European in habits and appearance." Okay, so far, as TT is Eurasian. But! They let his brother, Duke, in two years ago, presumably because he is "predominantly" etc. This week, John is asking to be allowed to emigrate on grounds of being 75% European in descent, appearance no never mind. His brother, although sympathetic, thinks it's John's fault for tanning. Last week was also India's first Republic Day, as India had to become a republic before it could have one. 

"Face and Hands" The cherubic boy who has graced Austria's 50-schilling note since 1934 has grown up to a man, a man who recently fled the country with 37,000 schillings. Also, Italy has had a cabinet shuffle, Greece's election is shaping up to be very silly, and no wonder, thinks Time, because Greeks are involved. It's not clear whether the Japanese are more on the silly or the odd side, but, either way, the Princess Kazuko is marrying Takasukasa Toshimichi after the Princess passed the Imperial Household's strict new housewifing course, lucky Toshimichi.

"Fly" The new Indonesian government has another Dutch asshole on its hands.  Seems really, really dumb to me.  

And in the Western Hemisphere, Peron is still a horrible, awful person. (This time it's something about the newspapers) while in Haiti they had another of those cases where a "revenant" comes back from the dead, mainly because Haitian funeral directors can't afford stethoscopes. But, sure, blame superstition instead, and in Colombia people took time out from left-right civil war to enjoy bambuco music. In Cuba, a nice new women's prison was inspired by one of those excitable Latin murder crimes involving pretty girls and dirty old men. Old prisons couldn't possibly hold such a pretty, young murderer! Unfortunately, the new prison separates the inmates, so they rioted. 


"Needed: A Reformation" Fortune's latest issue, the one we can't read because it is piling up at the Post Office on suspicion of being retroactively contaminated with diphtheria, says that there has to be a "vast Reformation of the world's way of living" to combat communism. Mainly that means that assorted foreigners, especially Europeans, should all start being Americans. Actually, Public Health can keep that issue. 

"Chicken Feed" Dow Chemical's science has perfected the synthetic amino acid di-methionine, which, when added to chickens' diet, will produce a 10% larger chicken. Also, all the steelmen and steel union men went to Washington to explain why the price of steel went up. For good reason, Senator! I guess. It's not like I'm  reading two-pages of summaries of self-serving testimony to find out. Also, Washington has a new women's fashion store, and the latest explanation for why American companies didn't come out with their own jet liner is the same as the old one. It was expensive and they didn't think it would work. 

"The Mystery of Mucka" An obscure Czech refugee named Frank Muska, who died 7 1/2 years ago, left 2000 shares in a Swiss company called Leander, AG. Probate court is supposed to figure out w what's what with that, and it turns out that Leander existed to own the foreign holdings of Czech shoe company, Bata. This is a bit irregular in that Bata is already owned by someone. It turned out to be cousins fighting, and the cousin who already owned Bata and had all the money was eventually deemed to be in the right. 

"High Tension" Ferranti recently lost a bid to provide Seattle with six big transformers, either beause Seattle did a sweetheart deal with GE, or because Ferranti is a hoity-toity British company that came in with its fancy accent and its "engineering," and got what was coming to it. The Europeans are not mollified, because if America doesn't buy European, the world's going to come to an end. And in completely unrelated news, the Feds are getting ready to drop another cool 2 billion on American farmers. 

Science, Medicine, Education 

"Explosion on Mars" Saeki Tsuneo[!] of Osaka Observatory reports seeing a mushroom cloud on Mars, 60 miles high and 900 in diameter, lasting 30 minutes, until he lost his view. Saeki believes that it was a volcano, but the "explosion on Mars" has reverberated around the world with word that America is going to try to build a hydrogen bomb. Have the Martians got there first? Are the Martians launching their invasion fleet? Probably, Dr. Gerard Peter Kuiper of McDonald Observatory, Fort Davis, Texas, he saw a cloud of ice crystals. The explosion couldn't have been a volcano, as Mars's volcanoes are played out, and talk of an explosion is "irresponsible." 

"Speed-Sled" The Air Force/Northrop rocket sled at Edwards is operating. That's the one that accelerates a load of dummies with an 11000lb thrust, hitting 1100mph before launching them out to see how they fly. (Mainly, the question is whether they'd miss the tail in an ejection.) 

"Better Rainmaking" with all the cloud-seeding going on, some people are wondering why there isn't more rain. Irving Langmuir, who is not giving up on the idea, says that it only works when conditions are absolutely right. and he can get into the paper because of the New York drought, even though he's chasing clouds down around Albuquerque. He has rounded up the Signal Corps, Office of Naval Research and GE to support a more "subtle" study that confirms that you can only get rain from seeded clouds when those clouds kind of already want to rain a little. Or that's what the Weather Bureau says, because it still thinks it's all bullshit. 

"New Antibiotic" Charles Pfizer is confident that it has found a new antibiotic, terramycin
Amy Wilson, RPN

"Choking Death" The British Columbia Health Department has released its report on the three-week fight against a diphtheria epidemic that broke out in the remote Indian community of Halfway Valley, 180 miles northwest of Fort St. John. Nurses Amy Wilson and Aileen Bond set out from Dawson Creek and Fort St. John respectively overland by "truck, sleigh and on horseback," with antitoxin and penicillin strapped to their bodies to keep it warm in -40 temperatures. There were three deaths before they arrived, two after, and the epidemic is under control. 

"Worm-Shaped Trouble" Dr. Charles Boyce has written Acute Appendicitis and Its Complicationsto warn the world that appendicitis is still a serious condition even in this modern age of miracle surgery. Proper diagnosis and prophylaxis is necessary. Simply taking a laxative on the onset of symptoms may burst the appendix. No-one knows why appendixes become inflamed, and diagnosis is complicated by the fact that the appendix can appear on either side of the body, in many shapes; can sometimes be twinned, and sometimes absent altogether. Blockages may result from a foreign object in the sac, although it would seem to have something to do with modern diet, too. 

"Safety First" Time gets around to reporting the CAA's warning against antihistamines, which should not be taken by people prone to side effects such as dizzyness and drowsiness. 

The Education page wanders over to Oxford to see how they do it (differently but presumably well), to talk with Army Secretary Gordon Gray, who almost became a history teacher and then a college dean, only didn't because he is the heir of a fabulously wealthy tobacco dynasty and was busy doing born-with-a-silver-spoon type jobs, including being army secretary. Third time may be the charm soon. And the French educational reforms that have been percolating since the war have been implemented and everyone is up in arms over everything because it is France. 

Radio and Television, Press, Art, People

"Ghost Chaser" The Empire State Building is going to allow WNBT to put a 199ft television antenna on top of the one they already have on the building, and allow other stations to broadcast from it, which should hopefully be high enough to chase away all of New York's signal ghosts. And there's a story about hot-stove league baseball for some reason. 

That's a bit trashy, Time. 
The NLRB has ordered Meier and Franks to give it up and they are putting their ads in the papers again. Time thinks Al Capp's essay on humour in The Atlantic is "perceptive." It's funny that the two theatre critics of the merged New York World-Telegram and Sun are still disagreeing even though they're in the same paper. Maybe the editor could separate their columns with the tropical fish  page. True and Argosy are in a slick fight for the newstand tough guy business. 

Queen Mary's needlework is being exhibited in London before being sent to America to be sold for the Yankee dollar, because that's what Britain's come to. George Healey, being one of those old-time artists (photographer, actually) with the good grace to die before his recent show, gets a good, long feature. And a showing of modern tapestries at Edinburgh didn't hold a candle to the ones being produced in France at Aubuson

The Rosselini-Bergman-Lindstrom scandal keeps getting more scandalous. Ingrid Bergman is probably pregnant, and she and Lindstrom are launching competing divorce actions in California and Italian courts. University of Chicago's famous humanist Professor Emeritus Anton Carlson doesn't like the welfare state because humans are meant to work, which means that socialism is "unscientific and unobtainable." Senator Vandenberg is resigning from the Committee on Atomic Energy because he is hundreds of years old and needs to go off to Florida. Arturo Toscarini is going on tour in spite of being 83. Billy Rose has been burgled, some of the jewelry stolen from the Aga Khan has been recovered; the Attorney General points out that big trials are very expensive. Bill Boyd is the best-paid star in television. Elizabeth Taylor had her high school graduation last week. In February? Prince Axel of Denmark and Larry and Betty Garrett Parks have had babies. Edith Cook Snyder and Ona Munson have married. Gladys George has died. Lieutenant General Rade Soedirman, the commander-in-chief of the Republican army of Indonesia, has died of tuberculosis. And Herbert Eustis Winlock, of the mummy's curse, not that those purblind so-called scientists and doctors will admit it! Sorry, not much to do around here but watch old B movies and write this. 

The New Pictures (Skipping right over a Cinema story about how upset Bernard DeVoto is that Hollywood might listen to the Association on American Indian Affairs complaints about movies "maligning" Indians.)

The Third Man is a smash hit in Britain. A Hitchcock thriller set in Vienna,  Time loved it and goes on and on about everything from the acting to the camera angles and the score. I'm sure that everyone who complained about British film subsidies will now line up to apologise.  On the other hand, My Foolish Heart is a melodramatic development of a J. D. Salinger short story in the New Yorker, no less, and is a "damp fable." Thelma Jordon is a "fudge and marshmallow of character and concept." I don't know what that means, but I think it's bad. And South Sea Sinner is a routine, sweaty melodrama with Shelley Winter and Luther Adler competing to see who chews the scenery first.


 Now that George Orwell is the famous dead author of 1984, it's time to republish his other books that people actually liked. (Ronnie points out that his earlier novels are not included.) Down and Out in Paris and London, Burmese Days and Coming Up for Air are searing indictments of the world was i t was by a fiery young socialist, but it's okay because later he wrote anti-communist books and also he is criticising Britain and France. Joyce Cary's The Horse's Mouth is probably a smart-people novel because the first part of the review is one of those wandering-around summaries of the plot and the rest is about how smart the author is. Anais Nin's The Four-Chambered Heart is about how nothing happens, says Time. Not exactly, says Ronnie. John Hawkes' The Cannibal is the weirdest novel of 1950. 

Time, 13 February 1950


Ms. Mangano is today unknown outside of Italian
guides to local nobilities
Lots of letters on the Mark III. Peter Nash of Harvard points out that it is "a machine entirely subservient to man." Tom Balow thinks it is more terrifying than the hydrogen bomb. Evelyn Jacobs writes in for an explanation of binary arithmetic, which Time supplies. Thomas Herrmann quotes Goethe, and Ralph P. Joly of Great Falls, Montana, will cancel his subscription with the first issue edited by Mark III or its progeny. Marshall Best thinks that the elephant-restaurant story from Vienna might be a leg-pull based on a 1937 comic story. The Reverend Edwards Elliott thinks that modernist skyscrapers are a new Tower of Babel or some other Bible reference to make it clear that God is most irate! V. Bobovitch thinks that ziggurats used to be a great idea, but aren't any more, and those modernist architects should be ashamed of stealing Babylonian ideas. John V. Dennis of the University of Florida's Biology Department says that the birds are acting strangely in Britain because they're drunk on berries. Our publisher wants us to know that a 1948 Time story has inspired an Italian movie that's coming out soon and is sure to rock it like all heck's-a-popping because it's got communists and Catholics, and they're Italain, so bonus excitement and probably a pretty girl, too. Only the letter uses different words.

National Affairs

"Bitter Cold" The weather back east is a metaphor for the cold war. So instead of trying not to lose your scarf and mittens, you should be trying to build an H-bomb. It's practically a defensive measure, considering that the Russians know everything that recently arrested "Communist-scientist Klaus Fuchs" knows. This is especially chilling considering that the British just recognised the Communist Chinese government, and the Russians just congratulated "the communist revels of Ho Chi Minh in French Indochina." Also, European communists might come back any day now, and Air Force Secretary Stuart Symington reminded the graduating class of Baylor that the USSR now has the world's largest army, air force and submarine fleet, and that there's no defence against the atom bomb. Well, except for the fact that B-29skis can't get them anywhere near America. The important point, Time concludes, is that even though an H-bomb arms race would be terrible and wasteful, America should go all in because it is the only "moral" thing to do.

"Strangers Keep Out" Since it's cold out, it's time for a coal strike! John Lewis has no time for the President's time-out, and warns that the 80-day injunction will just make things worse. In unrrelated news, Cyrus Ching has asked for a 16-day truce in the telephone strike. And the promised tax cut will be small and paid for by reducing a wide assortment of tax deductions.

"The Boston Salt Party" A delegation of Japanese legislators, sent by General MacArthur to see how American democracy works, were greeted by an "instructive lesson" in Boston, when Boston City Council voted 11-8 to  turn them away from the public galleries on the grounds of the Bataan Death March and atom secrets. As the Tokyo Asahi says, America's attitude to Japan contains salt as well as sugar.

"The People's Choice" Three times in US history, the President with the plurality of the vote has lost the popular election. A constitutional amendment dividing the College of Electors up by the statewide popular vote is up before the Senate. Southern Democrats like the idea, because it would reduce the impact of minority voters in the North, while the Republicans could hope to crack the "solid South." Once this concern was set aside, the debate turned to third parties, and Senator Lodge proposed an amendment that would throw the election to the House if more than one candidate got between 40 and 50% of the vote, which would presumably have the effect of removing the influence of third parties like the Progressives. I brought this up to Ronnie on Tuesday, and she took the time to research the question and discover that what it would actually do is turn the Presidential vote over to the House. (On the assumption that there would be members of the House who would always encourage a third party candidature, as the main reason that there are ever presidents elected with more than 50% of the popular vote is that there usually aren't strong third party campaigns. Whenever there are, the winning candidate only takes a plurality at best.)

USS Missouri's chart room, from this fine discussion.
"Brannan's Blues" The United States has a $15 million potato surplus that will be sold back to the farmers as feed or fertiliser. Do you know what farmers do with extra sweet potatoes in backward lands like Formosa? They either plough them back into the soil, or feed them to the pigs. Totally different! In other pig-feeding related news, Ohio's Representative Clarence Brown is the latest to go off on Franklin Roosevelt, Jr. for his attempts to rally support behind the FEPC Bill. Or so Time interprets it. Out in the real world, everyone supports civil rights unless they're in danger of actually happening. Which even Time admits!

"Anchors Aweigh" USS Missouri is finally underway from its improvised furlough berth in the Chesapeake mud to the accompaniment of a fleet of tugs and dredges, and to the sound of Anchors Aweigh, played by a band on a nearby barge. Oh, and Nobody Knows de [sic] Trouble I See, which will also be playing in the court martial when Captain William Brown shows up to explain how he managed to ground the flagship of the fleet right off the navy yard. I don't know. Is "Blame the board that promoted me" a valid defence?

"King of the Wildcatters"  Glenn McCarthy is a Texas oilman, which is worth a cover story, because it is February and there's nothing else going on, give or take an H-bomb or too.

"The Case of Alger Hiss" Blah. Blah-blah. Blah! Blah . . . Blah. 


The FBI involvement is pure Time bullshit
"Shock" The shock is the arrest of Klaus Fuchs in London. Besides implicating communism, it reveals two other "aberrant doctrines," "pacifism and Naziism." Because Fuchs was a pacifist, and an anti-Nazi, which is just like a Nazi, only opposite. A bright young physicist, he was sent to Los Alamos in 1942, and was employed at Harwell from 1946, where he was recently appointed head of the theoretical physics section, made £1700 a year, drove a "sporty little MG," and lived in three rented rooms. He was detected and arrested by an FBI team in London at British invitation on the basis of what sounds like either an American double agent or intercepted or decrypted messages on Russian spy channels, simply from how cagey Time is about the details. Confronted with the evidence, Fuchs confessed, and now we just have to deal with the aftermath.

This photograph has no subtext.
"The Other 'Mac'" Malcolm MacDonald is the son of the first Labour Prime Minister. I didn't even know there was one before Atlee! He's also the British "Commissioner General" to the Hundred Kingdoms of the South. Or Southeast Asia, as we say now according to Sing Tao. Boo on not being able to use some classical characters any more! "He and Douglas MacArthur are the teriminal anchors of a defence that loops around an offensive Red subcontinent for some 52,000 miles, from Japan to Burma."

Wow, Time. Just wow. MacDonald isn't like previous Commissioners. He invites brown and yellow people to his official banquets; and brown and yellow people are grateful. Grateful enough to give up on Communism? Better be, because he also has some headhunter friends.

"Veni, Vidi, Period" Paul Hoffman went to Europe to see what's keeping the United States of Europe, and was told to sod off. Therefore, he came and saw, but didn't conquer, which, for a change, bless classical translators, is exactly the burden of my transliteration of the article title.Meanwhile in Germany, John McCloy gave a speech about how the Germans can be free and independent again if they agree to be part of the United States of Europe, not kick up a fuss, and never become Nazis again.

"Defence First"  The French Communist-led dock strikes against American MAP material is part of a global Communist plan to thwart European attempts to defend itself by supporting the Viet Minh, which goes to show that Moscow is even worse than regular Communists, who wanted to take the lead in France on "bread and butter issues."

"The Law and Lucas-Tooth" The British election is on, and it will be very boring by American standards because British election law won't allow you to go on the radio and call your opponent a low-down, yellow-bellied coward, or something like that. Also, there's a Bible verse about it. Also, 38% of British voters might vote Liberal, up from 9% in the last election, allowing them to hold the balance of power. I made the mistake of congratulating Uncle George about that, and got an earful once he stopped laughing. And in Stockholm, seven construction engineers taking an elevator to a lecture were late because they were trapped in a stalled lift with a listed capacity of 6. And in Germany, there's a business recession and the government can't agree on whether to implement the correct policy of deflation(!) or resort to inflationary pump-priming.

Did Time fall and hit itself on the head? This is bad, even for it!

"Veronica Town" Nice name, terrible story. I'm just going to draw a curtain over it and move right along to a  scandalous poisoning case in France.

You know what? Forget Europe. It's an awful continent.

"Nowhere" Nehru is in trouble with Time for not being anti-Communist enough. Which leads us naturally to Chile in this hemisphere, where it's not Communists, but inflation that is the problem, showing that there are limits to Time's willingness to swallow "Red plot" as an explanation for everything. And Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands is in scenic but backwards Surinam to encourage people to be more Dutch, while, in breaking news from Argentina, Juan Peron is still awful because an old lady couldn't get buried in the family sepulchure.

As always complementary to Latin America, Canada is so far beyond boring this week that Time couldn't even find a story to run.


"TV Parade" TV stocks lead a bullish trend on Wall Street.

"Thumbs Down" The Bureau of the Budget has vetoed a proposed thirty million dollar subsidy for an American jetliner development.

"British Bobble" The British clampdown on buying American oil is deemed to be a bad thing because Cheech Jones mentioned it in the press, which led American oilmen to complain, which led Dean Acheson to scold Britain, which may lead to a cut in Marshall aid, which may lead to global Communist victory. After all, it's cut American export sales 8% this year alone. And seems to involve oil pumped in the Middle East, too, at least at Arabian American? Yes! It's American overseas production that's at issue! Sorry, us engineers can't read. American overseas production (Arabian at least) is sold in dollars, and therefore counts against the sterling balance. Standard of New Jersey suggested a solution in which half of American dollar sales would be converted to sterling. Britain rejects this, but offers a compromise in which half of American production above a 9 million ton overseas quota can be sold that way. I'm getting the vague impression that all American Arabian production is a sterling drain somehow? I'm so confused. Anyway, the important thing is that America has no choice but a global price war until such time as we are all Communist.

"Card Shark" Hall Corporation, which does greeting cards, gets a brief profile. It turns out they invented the  humorous greeting card! American ingenuity has no limits, as Uncle George always says. (That's a joke, because Uncle George would never say that, and it's as funny as a Hall cards joke.) Sieberling Rubber also gets a profile.

"The Capitalist Manifesto" Is something that Johnson and Johnson recently came out with. Actually, it is entitled Human Relations in Modern Business, is a 52p book out from Prentice-Hall (80 cents) and says that employees deserve good pay, but also to be treated with dignity, "educated" relentlessly, and given some security against technological unemployment, recessions and old age.

Speaking of which, Waltham Watch has been closed again, this time probably for good as part of the RFC's continuing purge, which hasn't reached Reliance Housing, an aluminum housebuilder which just got another RFC loan. (Remember when prefabricated housing was going to save the world? Well, it still can, as long as it doesn't get any --gasp!-- public subsidies.)

"Gutt's Guts" Belgium's finance minister, who tightened credit, cut government spending and raised taxes in 1944, was awfully unpopular and had to flee to be the head of the IMF. But now Belgium has repaid its IMF loan, the first European country to do so, and Gutt is very popular with the IMF. Also in bankers, Manhattan's Chase National saw a stockholder's resolution tabled at the annual general meeting to prevent another big loan to Franco like last year's. The chairman, Winthrop Aldrich, took it right off the table, because it was a directors' decision, and stockholder's "have no right to intervene."

You know, I think those two stories are related, somehow.

Science, Education

"A Touch of the Sun" Time finally makes an effort to explain what a fusion bomb is. The Sun is a giant natural fusion reactor, but it is in no sense an atom bomb, since it would be millions of degrees hotter if it were, and the Earth would be a breath of heavy-element plasma, carried to the stars on the solar wind. This is because it burns with the light hydrogen +light hydrogen becomes heavy helium reaction, which is hard to kindle and hard to keep burning, but I'm sure I've talked about this often enough before. Time obliquely admits this ("Man's new bombs will not use exactly the same reaction"), which is vague because Communists don't know about graphs of nuclear binding energy and never read past the first few paragraphs. It does, however, get around to explaining the "H+p" reaction very briefly below, and even alluding to the "CNO" reaction chain. The article actually takes some time explaining the mystery that atomic nucleii do not weigh as much as the sum of their nucleons, the difference being expressed as the nuclear binding energy, but without really explaining how the nuclear binding energy manages to exist in our universe without coming out of the measurements as mass. We actually do have an explanation for this, involving two different kinds of "fundamental forces" (like electricity and magnetism but not like gravity, which remains a puzzler) that only exist inside nucleii. Then, on top of that, the theory has a bunch of sub-nucleons being exchanged hither and yon, which is actually just a way of expressing the results of quantum state equations in words, because quantum state equations are inherently inscrutable and our intuitions about what they should mean make even less.

So, then, the state of "Pre-Atomic Age science." The phrase makes it seem like a long eon of human history, but we're pretty much talking 1939 to 1945. With the atom bomb, humanity finally had a way of achieving the kinds of extreme energy conditions ("temperature") seen in the Sun, says Time. If those conditions can be extended into a charge of the right kind (tritium, deuterium and lithium-6 and lithium-7 are mentioned, but not the atoms further along in the CNO cycle). "All those ingredients, and probably others" will be "arranged advantageously around the uranium, which will act as detonator." In order to avoid extreme pressures and temperatures, lithium hydride might be used as a way to pack in the fusion fuel. "Theoretically, a pound of hydrogen turned into  helium yields about seven times as much energy as a pound of fissioning uranium," and there is no critical mass limit on the amount of hydrogen fuel. In theory, you could build a  hydrogen bomb so big that it would take up an entire freighter hold, and send the ship into an enemy harbour and make an "astronomical event." A worried footnote explains that it would not propagate through the "scarce hydrogen of the world's atmosphere" or even the ocean, but "[e]ven a few scientists, however, will feel slightly nervous if the first test . . . [is at] Eniwetok, so near the Pacific Ocean's hydrogen." But this will depend on the efficiency of the reaction, and, anyway, big bombs will be "nuclear bonfires" that "waste much of their effect on space." Just to be clear here, by the way, the writer means actual space, in the sense that the bomb will be like a bonfire with its base on the surface of the Earth, and the flames licking through the planet's atmosphere into outer space. I'm sure you're as relieved to hear that as I am.

Another advantage of the H-bomb is that the fusion reaction makes lots of free neutrons. By packing the fusion fuel around the uranium core, the bomb designers can ensure that many of those neutrons pass through the fissioning uranium mass, catching atoms of uranium that would otherwise miss the party and be left boring old unfissioned, albeit very hot and gaseous, uranium at the end of the fireball. So the fusion part makes the fission part  more efficient. More bang for the taxpayer's buck, as it were. Finally, the material is very cheap. Even tritium which is rare and expensive right now, can be whistled up by the bombload in a specially-built reactor.

Finally, "scientists are confident that the U.S. will be able to test hydrogen bombs within a year or so. So will the USSR."
Instead of the boring interpage typewriter/adding machine ad in the original, and the one opposite the single column Medicine  feature,here's an ad from 1943/2013. Which is why the image is iPhone 4 worthy. Sorry. 
"Deadly Evidence" I don't think I need to bring you up to date over the fuss since the FDA allowed prescription-free antihistamine sales. As to the Martians who read these words in their archaeological investigations, this is what did us in. Cold medication, not H-bombs.

"Old Sergeant Syndrome" That's when the Chief cracks. It seems like he's never going to go, that he's the one pillar of strength the ship can rely on, and then, the next minute, CRACK! Did they have those in the Grand Fleet? Seems like it was  a pretty cushy billet to me, just sitting around in Scapa waiting for the Germans to come out. 'Cuz they certainly had it in TF 58. This week, the US Army Medical Department had a report out on why it happens, and how "most soldiers managed to survie the psychological strains of modern combat." Which, taking all the hard-drinking vets I know into account, seems just a bit optimistic. But, as report author Raymond Sobel says, too optimistically or not, the real issue, after studying all the men who did crack, he wants to know why men didn't. Taht is, cracking under battle strain is so normal that we need to study why it doesn't. (It seems mostly to do with the ship or the unit.)

"Handle with Care" It turns out that dry cleaning fluid carbon tetrachloride is poisonous. Isn't this something that you'd want to know before you started selling it? And that's all that's worth mentioning in Medicine this week. 

"A Good Man" St. Louis University honoured 75-year-old business Professor Kadysh Klausner with an honorary degree because he is a really, really swell guy. Also swell, Ottershaw, which is the first public (that is, public, not public) boarding school in Britain.

Radio and Television, Art, Press, People

"Stay at Homes" Charles Alldredge, the public relations firm, has done a survey to find out how television has affected US family  habits. It finds adult movie attendance is down 72% (childrens' only 46%), reading is down 30%, mainly in magazines among adults, comics amongst children. Sporting event attendance is down about 40%, with boxing hit much harder than baseball. Radio is hit worst of all, with average evening listening time down from almost 4 hours to only 24 minutes. On the bright side, tv is keeping families together at home with husbands spending 43% more leisure time at hom, wives 40%, children 41%.

Lux Radio Theatre and Bing Crosby Enterprises are both moving into television. Lux is doing an anthology show where it will experiment with new techniques while Crosby outfit is doing up some half-hour movies.

Waugh, Wild Weather
"Vote-Getter" Frederick Judd Waugh is the name of the New England painter who did all those seascapes with rocks. He won the Carnegie International Most Popular prize five years in a row in the Thirties, died in 1940 (bonus marks!) and has some entries in the Encyclopedia Britannica's travelling collection of US art, with Waugh's picture the most popular of 124 in the exhibit. At first glance, this seems like a punchline to one of Ronnie's jokes about the American middlebrow, but it can't be, because even Time gets it, joking that Waugh moved the rocks back and forth across the canvas to break the monotony, and that his private taste and hobby sculpture show an "abstract" or surrealist taste that he concealed from his "customers." On a determinedly less popular note, the Cubist, Juan Gris is in the news because one of his letters from 1915 was published in Art News this week.In between the two are Georges Braque, the painter, and Janine Aeply and Jean Fautrier, the facsimile producers who recently gave Braque their treatment, and who may or may not be cutting into artists' earnings with their technique. Also, prolific art thief Horst Stark, of Kiel, Germany, turns out to have had numerous paintings stolen by the Germans during the war in his possession, as well as the ones that he himself stole, leading to his arrest.

The Chicago Daily News is making money by running actual news, versus the Chicago Hearst-American's menu of canned Hearst press campaigns. And speaking of which, "Dogdom's Dachau" features a story about a story running in Long Island's Newsday about a dogpound in Hampstead where the dogcatcher is paid piece rate, $1 for catching a dog, $2 for killing it, which is why he has killed 4,198 dogs in a year, 99% of the ones he caught, earning $16,000/year and shocking the sensibilities of Long Island.

To be clear here, yes, the boss does think that the way you
do payroll is sexy. If the wife has a problem with that,
she can volunteer to do the payroll instead.
"Rhapsody in Blue" The new antihistamine drugs claim to "cure" the cold, which they don't. Should they be allowed to advertise their claims in the paper? The New York Times says no, while the Herald Tribune says "fine by it." This raises the general question of language in ads. For example, in Chicago, three of four dailies still allow "For Coloureds" in rent ads, which the Tribune deems race discrimination. Also dropped were "Restricted" and "Selected Clientele," both deemed anti-Semitic, although "Churches nearby" is still allowed. As to who decides these things, it is mostly the New York Times' censor, who turns out, eventually, to be the subject of the story, which is mostly about what the Times deems censorable, and how it censors them.

Sinclair Lewis is quite rich, which is very embarrassing in a socialist. Norman Thomas is upset that the politicians he knows are old now. Oswald Jacoby and Kay Thompson said awful things this week, and Margaret Truman is still trading on her father's name. Implies Time. Tyrone Power, Howard Duff and Montgomery Cliff are the three sexiest men alive today, says a poll of 150 female extras in Hollywood movies. Elliot Paul has gone to Paris, Yehudi Menuhin to London and Bob Hope to Washington, all for good reasons. Shirley Temple's two-year-old daughter went on vacation in Hawaii for what probably isn't a good reason.

In respect to last week, Ingrid Bergman has had a son, Jean Stafford has married, Sidney Arthur Field has died, along with the Emir of Kuwait, Montague Collet Norman, Karl Seitz and Billy Gould.

The New Pictures

Key to the City is an excuse to get Clark Gable into his underwear. Since you can't make a movie about that, they put a comedy around it. The Hasty Heart, which is being sold as a sex romp, isn't. It sounds melodramatic and manipulative as all heck, but Time tries mighty hard to like it, and it is our distant cousin's first good role in forever, although it is lead Richard Palethorpe-Todd and Patricia Neale who shine. 

According to Time. I'm not seeing it, even once back to civilisation, because notwithstanding blood being thicker than water, I really can't stand the  man. I know, I know, no news to you.


This image has subtext.
William Carlos Williams is a doctor who writes poems. Quite good poems, which is why he has an anthology out. You'll notice I didn't give the title. It's because they  have irregular typography and would take almost as long to write out as this sentence, and I therefore respectfully decline. If he's as good a poet as they say, he'll be easy enough to look up in books of quotes and stuff for years to come. Speed Lamkin (I want to steal Ronnie's "Which is a real  name" joke --and I guess I just did!) has written Tiger in the Garden. It's a southern novel, with Time even titling the subsection "Bourbon and Magnolia."  Lamkin looks to be about 7 in his author's portrait, but he's from the South, and therefore qualified to write about it and "almost succeed[ . . .] Alec Waugh's The Lipton Story is  about Thomas Lipton, who sounds like a very colourful character. (The review mentions that he "never married," which means he was probably a lot more colourful than a biography would dare mention!)
Like the F9, successful in Korea

Aviation Week, 13 February 1950

News Sidelights reports that the new Joint Airborne Centre at Fort Bragg will be evaluating the B-45C for the foreseeable future. This would be the Air Force's attempt to fend off the Army's complaint that it doesn't do enough close support by giving the Army more of its junk, I guess. The Defence Department has revised security clearance requirements for contractors, on the grounds that they're only supposed to ruin employees' lives. Congress hates Secretary Johnson because he is mean and won't let them have 70 air groups. The new budget allocates $20 million for wind tunnel development, including $1 million for endless magazine articles about new wind tunnels that avoid saying that they're actually useless because transonic aerodynamics is hard.

News Digest reports that the PO "questions Need for NY Copter Plan." I think more accurately someone put this in front of the Postmaster General, and he said something along the lines of, "Didn't we just go through this bovine excrement with autogiros?" And the City of New York said, "No, no, helicopters, completely different," and the Postmaster General said, "In a pig's eye," and that's where we are.

Industry Observer reports that American is going to have overhead luggage racks on its DC-4 coaches. FINALLY! The USAF is going to experiment with wingtip turrets that are interchangeable with wingtip fuel tanks. Really. They couldn't make them heliports, too? (The Navy is doing some hush hush stuff with turrets, too. I'd say more except I don't expect anything to come of it.) Boeing-Wichita has delivered its first complete B-47 and trimmed its employment projections from 15,000 to 10,500, which is how you can tell a successful plane. Mid-air refuelling blah. They still can't do it fast enough to be worthwhile, but they're sure it's coming right along any day now. Six hundred gallons per minute at 500mph is wanted, at which rate we'll finally be able to drop an atom bomb on Moscow and show those Russkies what for. Canada's air procurement budget is fourth or fifth in the world, Canada's defence minister said in a dry, droning monotone in a press conference in a beige, undecorated room in Ottawa to a roomful of journalists who were distinguishable only by their ties, and  specifically by the precise shade of their maroon pinstripes.

"First US Turboprop Transport Near" Just to be clear here, that means that GE is going to lash up a Convair Liner with an Allison T-38 giving almost 3000hp trough an Aeromatic three-blade prop. "Effect of the turboprop transport project on the government sponsorship of new transport prototypes is not yet clear." That's Aviation Week talk. I'd say something like "desperate plea for attention." Although Convair is also desperate for something to salvage the Liner, so maybe this is a marriage made in, well, somewhere.

This is FI-CON, which reverted to using the bomb bay of a
dedicated B-36 carrier. The wingtip installation was
"AF Sees F-84s as B-36 Parasites" The idea of escorting B-36s with "parasite" XF-85s was roundly rejected last year, but the idea is back with a wingtip mounted F-84, as it would have a little better endurance than the McDonnell Goblin's thirty minutes. It would be a one-way mission, but, then, frankly, so is the B-36's, so no great change there. Apparently the Air Force was inspired by a study into the plumbing implications of making the podded jet engines they're putting on the B-36 jettisonable. If that's practical,  it would be no big deal to make the F-84 releasable. Since everything else is, in my mind, a super big deal, it's no wonder that it's still in "preliminary planning stages."

"The Winner: Piasecki's "Flying Banana" Design is Chosen as Arctic Rescue Copter" Piasecki wins a 20 machine order. Good for it! It might be a small dollar value, but it gives the civil helicopter market some kind of guidance on the future of the big transport helicopter.  I'm a bit worried by the Piasecki's twin-rotor arrangement, but helicopters have all of these inherent mechanical "critical points," and it might turn out that the twin-rotor is the least dangerous option for a big chopper. Stories about BuAer thinking about a new twin-engine trainer and Avro planning to send the Jetliner to SBAC to drum up sales follow. I don't think this is going to happen. Avro is a big employer in the Toronto area, but that still just means 3600 people, and with the CF-100 going great guns, they don't need the Jetliner.

Production reports that Minneapolis Honeywell's new "flexible shop" is super efficient, that Lockheed is raising wages, that British air exports are up a third, and various union-related plant news.

Aeronautical Engineering has a design analysis of the Canberra. Aviation Week is dismissive: "Small size and short range of plane, while having little utility by U. S. standards, fit England's basic needs." No word about Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales or the Isle of Man's needs! It seems that it fits right in with the "peculiar needs" of the RAF, whereas for America it is too small to be a bomber and too large to be a fighter. And that, you see, is why it is "like a fighter." Rumour even has it that English Electric will enter a Canberra variant in the competition to select a British jet night fighter.  And that is why they call it "fighter-like," and not because it is more sprightly than most USAF fighters. (Which is also true.)

Also, it only has a 400 to 500 mile tactical range, at which the USAF laughs with scorn, ha-ha.  The British, you see, have never cared about range, since they have so carelessly parked their island right next to Germ --sorry, WWII is over, isn't it? I mean, so close to Russia. Well, not close. But close. Anyway, point is that the reason that the Canberra's performance blows American jet bombers out of the water is that the British don't care about range, and not because they've got the aerodynamics right while American builders completely blew it. Remember, Aviation Week says, that the first jet bomber was the Douglas XB-43 (which is not also true), so respect your elders.

From all this you might almost think that the American industry is a bit sore about something or other. Possibly, and I'm just guessing, the fact that the B-45 is an absolute dog and its rivals are even worse. But that's just one Navy man's opinion! The Canberra's short, wide wing is noteworthy, giving it a high maximum speed before compressibility onset and good high altitude performance but reducing range due to low aspect ratio and thus high induced drag, although the profile did also allow for wing undercarriage stowage. None of this would have been worth a darn without the Avon, which delivers more thrust than any other production engine in the world in a small frontal section, too. With its low power loading the Canberra can certainly reach 50,000ft. The British are convinced that its sparkling performance would not be possible without putting the engines in the wing, although American builders think a proper nacelle offers no disadvantage compared with wing mountings. American builders are also down on the English Electric construction method, which involves a fastener inserted into the eye of the stringers, and can't believe the Canberra's claimed 10,000lb bomb load given the cockpit arrangement, which has no room for a bombardier station and sight.

Just to translate this into straight talk, "10,000lbs" is code for an A-bomb, and there's no way we're dropping a "package" without radar aiming, which the Canberra doesn't have. This in itself isn't  unreasonable given that radar bomb-aiming is more of an aspiration at this point than something we can actually do, even in planes that have bomb-aiming radar installed. If there was room to install one later, we could just conclude that the British development was running behind schedule. But since there's no room for one to be installed even if it existed, you have to think that the Canberra was not designed for the atom-bombing role, even against targets within its tactical radius. In conclusion, the Canberra is a great plane, but it is probably a 'high altitude, short-range, two-man all-weather fighter" in disguise as a bomber, and no-one should compare it to the B-45.

A long article on the perfect crop-spraying plane follows, with an insert photo of Finland's pride, the Eklund TE 1 single-seat amphibian.

The third and final installment of abstracts of papers for the next IAS conference, which I carelessly labelled an SAE session in last week's number, follows.

New Aviation Products reports that  GE has a new quality control indicator, which is a species of electrical computer, which counts items acccepted versus rejected, and beeps when the rejection rate reaches a statistically significant level. Later on there's a Machine Timer, from Industrial Timer Corporation, which is actually almost as complicated as this "electrical computer." But then Airborne Accessories new right-angle mechanical drive is probably more "complicated" than either. "Computer" does not mean "magic."

In Air Transport news, Colonial  has given up its fight with the Canadian government for more Canadian routes because it noticed that Canada is an independent country now. De Havilland has issued "optimistic" performance figures for the Comet, and Bolivian pilot Erick Rios Bridoux, has blamed the Eastern DC-4 he collided with for the Washington tragedy. Handley Page's Marathon sales junket is currently on its way from Ruritania to Lower Slobovia as it looks for yokels dumb enough to buy it. The CAA is pushing ahead with DC-6A and Super DC-3 flight trials. The CAA wants to suspend the Capital Airlines pilot who collided his Constellation with a Cessna last year (and the Cessna pilot, too), on the grounds that he's dumb and Capital won't learn its lesson about employing dumb people just from a swingeing fine.

(A pilot of this vintage who wasn't grounded in 1950.) That's wives you hear reacting, by the way.

R. B. Rogers, manager of the Aviation Gas Turbine Service Department at Westinghouse, writes to point out that the Westinghouse JF34 in the Skyrocket only gives 3150lbs vice a reported design maximum 5200lbs, as it is only needed for takeoff power, with rockets to make it go fast. Hugh Robson, an executive at a civil engineering firm, writes to say that the Chamber of Commerce's demand that the government cut airport subsidies because of free enterprise should get its head out of its nether regions and consider that airports are like highways. Free enterprise needs both, and can't and won't pay for either, fixed base operators notwithstanding.

New books on Air Transportation and Airport Turfing are out. The second one sounded like delicious fun until it turned out that it was about grass, and now I'm just hungry. (Never mind, you old folks at home, we young uns are having a good time.)

Editorial gives us two for one, the first being praise for GM's Allison T-38-in-a-Convair Liner plan because it is going ahead with no money from Washington. Free enterprise! I had no idea that free enterprise was about desperate lost causes in pathetic pursuit of government money later, but I am a Wallace voter and I do not know from capitalism. Also, Aviation likes coach services because there re millions of Americans who have never flown, and they won't fly until flying is cheap. 

No comments:

Post a Comment