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!
|The F9F did fly from carriers during the Korean War.|
|Three days to the Wheeling Speech.|
Time, 6 February 1950
|Keep Australia White!|
|Amy Wilson, RPN|
|That's a bit trashy, Time.|
|Ms. Mangano is today unknown outside of Italian|
guides to local nobilities
"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.|
"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|
|This photograph has no subtext.|
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.
"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.|
"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|
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.
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.|
|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
"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.
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.