Sunday, February 20, 2022

Postblogging Technology, November 1951, I: Shedding the Load

[See relevant link for very tenuous connection with Grand Central Aircraft]

R_. C__.,

Dear Father:

Somehow in spite of just having seen you at the talk, I am so far behind that the only way to get this to you is to put it in the  mail. You will probably find this about as interesting as building houses on slabs of prestressed concrete. Since we could make a lot of money out of the houses, you should probably focus on that. 

Your Loving Daughter,

The Economist, 3 November 1951


"Policy First" After six long, dragging years of telling Labour what to do, it is time for the magazine to take on a much nicer job. Telling the Tories what to do! Specifically, they better fix the whole financial situation thing that Britain is in, or or, to quote a bit more exactly, "Britain has to be pulled back from the edge of economic disaster." Or else? You might think that Britain would go over the edge of economic disaster and fall into a metaphorical precipice and have its neck metaphorically broken, but not a bit of it. The real hazard is that  The Economist will vote them out! Oh, wait, no, magazine staff can't actually vote governments out. Someone will. The electorate or maybe even Members of Parliament. The people who can do it. Which you would think would make this an empty threat, but if you think that, you don't work for The Economist! It explains why, if the Government doesn't do exactly the unpopular things that  The Economist wants it to do, the people (or the MPs) will rise up and throw them out. Exactly! Because that's how democracy works! If you do unpopular things, you will be popular enough to win an election! To clarify how, exactly this works, the paper goes on to point out that the Tories didn't win by beating Labour, but rather by winning over disaffected Liberal voters. The only way that it will be popular enough in the future to win an election is if it does these unpopular things! Also, they need to show more vision than the "hidebound conservatives of Labour." I guess if you're in for a totally-illogical-argument penny, you might as well go in for  a pound.

Also, the TUC has promised to be nice to the Government for a bit, which is jolly sporting of them. 

"The Cabinet" Now that the threats are dispensed with, we can get on to slobbering all over the government by pointing out that the new cabinet is pretty good. Which hopefully is all the old man will read, because the rest of the Leader dismantles almost every choice that Churchill made. Except for the part where the Prime Minister is also going to be the Minister of Defence, and the Deputy Prime Minister will spend his spare time being the Foreign Secretary. On the bright side, The Economist likes Lord Salisbury and Selwyn Lloyd and is pleased that "Rab" Butler is bringing his "subtle intelligence" to Treasury and that Woolton, Leathers and Cherwell are back, because six of sixteen ministers sit in the Lords.

"The Programme" The Economist wants to see some serious disinflation, including a higher bank rate, a reduction in the money supply. lower capital expenditure, and, somehow, an increase in defence spending. This cannot be paid for by either more taxes while "an abandonment of the surplus policy to which, to do them justice, the Labour Chancellors clung through thick and thin --is unthinkable." Therefore, there should be a "determined assault on all non-defence expenditure and a severe combing out of defence expenditure." Also, get rid of food subsidies. Also, Churchill has to get out there and restore the respect that foreigners have lately not been offering Britain, somehow.

"Repair Jobs" The government should take its time reforming the steel industry before renationalising it, retain coal nationalisation but decentralise the Coal Board, keep gas and electricity nationalisation but "sharply alter. . ." the "ruinously anti-social price policy,"  denationalise road transport and take the railroads on as a social burden, reopen the Cotton Exchange somehow, fiddle with health, housing and town planning, and education. Another long Leader explains that the Tories need to bring free enterprise (here known as "the price system") back, cut taxes, especially on rich people because of investment, fight monopolies, and maybe get rid of exchange controls. 

"Between Stalin and Mao" Asia is full of Communists and people who don't take Communism seriously enough, but also anti-communists. People should do something so that the second group gets bigger and the first two groups get smaller. The Economist will help by standing over here by Japan, supervising.

From The Economist of 1851 comes "Patriotism and Purity," which explains that patriots ought to be exempt from harsh moral judgements because probably the most patriotic people had the most horrid youths, but they've learned better, which you can tell by how patriotic they are. I hope this sounds less awful when the specific facts of the case being obliquely alluded to, as was the fashion of the time, are known. But probably not. 

"The Results Analysed"  Remember how all the wise old men predicted a massive swing to the Conservatives? (Although now that egg might be seen to be on faces, it turns out that the fault actually lies with all those pesky public opinion polls and not those who gassed on endlessly about the mood of the nation) This is not what happened. In fact, it is admitted in the second paragraph, "on total number of votes Labour held the lead," and the direct swing away from Labour was only 0.5%, which by simple math but still amazing, is one voter in two hundred. The Conservatives gained mostly by taking a larger share of a swing away from the Liberals, particularly in seats where the Liberals did not run a candidate at all. Also, turnout fell a bit from 1950. 

Notes of the Week

"Brighter News from Korea" Peace talks have resumed, and the Communists have accepted an armistice line roughly along the front line. The questions of mutual inspection, exchange of prisoners, and recommendations for a permanent settlement remain to be negotiated, although it is likely that the last won't be achieved, and that UN forces will remain in Korea for some time to come, even if there is no fighting. In the Middle East, Egypt has rejected the Middle Eastern Defence Command, but the rest of the Arab League is hesitating to rejected the American, French and British security guarantee. The Economist supposes that this is because the demonstrations in Iran this week have reminded them that any  "surrender to crowd tactics" will just let the Communists slip in.  Mossadegh is still in Washington, lobbying, which is bad when Middle Eastern people do it. The Economist recommends that everyone go home to Iran and remember their place, as then they will start getting their allowance again. 

"Division at Once" The Labour opposition is in fine spirits due to practically everyone coming back to the House in spite of predictions to the contrary, so they decided to have a vote for Speaker for the first time since 1895, and the magazine is very disappointed with them.

"Party Moods" Elected Conservative members are very disappointed with the country for not giving them a bigger majority and calling them "warmongers" during the election. Apparently this "deplorable campaign" is the main reason that the Conservatives didn't win a larger majority, and The Economist is very upset about it, not least because it gets in the way of threatening to go to war against assorted brown people. They think Churchill took too long to form a cabinet and are upset that a controversy over whether Eden or Crookshank was to lead in the House erupted. They are eager to reverse the nationalisation of steel and want to do
 something about road haulage and restoring the University seats, but since sensible people can see that that ship has sailed, it has been sent to an all-party House of Lords conference to be studied to death. Labour members are just glad that they can ignore Bevan from now on.

"Wise Men's Bluff"  Monnet, Averill Harriman, and Edwin Plowden are the wise men and they are something something NATO something. Probably the Americans aren't going to go on paying for European defence, so what then, wise men, what then?

"The Conservatives and Asia" India and Pakistan aren't happy that Churchill is back, so it is nice that Lord Ismay is the new Secretary of Commonwealth something or other because he is well liked on the subcontinent and can get these important Asian leaders in line on Suez and anti-Communism and he can probably fix Kashmir, too. The Conservatives also have positions on colonies. It is all very well making fun of the groundnuts scheme but "increased racial tension" in Africa has been promoted by the way an "idea has grown up" that the Conservatives, because they are critics of Labour's policy, "are sympathetic to the Europeans' fear of African domination." The Economist urges the new Colonial Secretary, Oliver Lyttleton, to make it clear that the Right is not to be identified with whites, and Labour with blacks. Hopefully he can make a statement by intervening in the constitutional debate in Tanganyika, where, if you haven't been following the details, Europeans oppose equal representation of the three ethnic groups, which would allow brown people a majority (Africans plus "Asians") on the legislative council.  Also, in Ghana, colonial authorities are still trying to eradicate swollen shoot disease, and this has turned into a political issue, with Kwame Nkrumah and his Convention People's Party taking a popular anti-cutting-down-of-cocoa-trees position. The Economist is appalled. "It was already clear some years ago that only drastic measures could save the cocoa industry, and the only proven method was to cut out the infected trees," and now that Nkrumah has been elected, he has to do something about a situation in which bloody-minded  farmers, suspecting "some imperialist trick," have been opposing this. One solution, paying cocoa farmers more compensation, is of course out of the question, so instead they're going to send out speaker vans and put up some posters. 

"Russians in Spitzbergen" Spitzbergen, it turns out, is an archipelago of Arctic islands that is due north of Norway and also close to Russia, and the Russians have recently been accusing Norway of building bases there. Norway says it isn't, and The Economist says it is all a ploy to influence the extension of the Atlantic Pact to Greece and Turkey, because the Russians would know if the Norwegians were up to no good up there, as there are more Russians on the island than Norwegians, as it turns out that there are major coal mines there.   

"Failed BA" The Economist points out that, considering that the state subsidises university educations, people who fail the final examinations are a waste of public money and a personal loss.. That's the kind of socialistic thinking we expect from Europeans! Durham County Council has recently done a study that shows that about a fifth of students in first year, a bit more than a tenth, and a fifth again have major setbacks in first, second and third year that result in their failing courses, leaving honours programmes and even failing university. Since it is obviously the students' fault, the solution should be to be more selective in admitting students, and particularly scholarship students. Seems fair. You can leave us rich kids alone and put a bit more pressure on the keeners. They're used to it!


E. Raymond Streat of the the Cotton Board writes to explain at great length that "Lancashire" never seriously meant to say that Japan should be limited to producing only a certain amount of cloth under the peace treaty. It was just a thing that came out of their mouth one day and can't we all forget it ever happened and get on to establishing a world cloth cartel, starting with Japan voluntarily limiting the size of its industry until the Lancashire industry is so scientifically advanced that it can beat the Japanese on its own merits? A. W. Grant explains that church schools have been saving the country a bundle on education over the years and deserve some consideration. 


Rear Admiral W. S. C. Chalmer's edition of the Life and Letters of David Beatty, Admiral of the Fleet, is very hero-worshipful. Arthur Lewis is lead author of Attitude to Africa, which explains how Africa is on the boil due to "nationalism and racial antagonism." In West Africa, there being no white settlers, it is all just nationalism, and the British policy of transferring power to nationalists as soon as they can win popular elections is the right way to go. In east and central Africa, where there are white settlers, The Economist disagrees with the authors, who do not think that talking is the solution. Talking must be he solution, because otherwise there wouldn't be one. Money, Trade and Economic Growth is such an important book that it doesn't even need an editor. It is also full of essays that are so hard to read that the reviewer needn't even bother explaining them. So, look at this book! It is a book! 

American Survey

"Congressional Records" We look back at the 82nd Congress. As an outside observer, The Economist shares my personal opinion of the College Man, pointing that the "Great Debate" inaugurated by Herbert Hoover's little intervention in foreign policy mainly proved just how little the right wing of the Republican Party  had to offer. It does not forget to point out how regularly it has offered it since, with the dismissal of General MacArthur, the dust up over Philip Jessup and Senator Kem's dogged effort to not send wheat to India coming to mind, and many other examples one could mention. The last Congress did some effective work on foreign policy and defence, The Economist's frank main concern here, once it overcame one inanity after another, the 82nd Congress did good work. On the fiscal side, Congress gave the President about half the taxes he wanted for rearmament and Korea, and some of the controls, and extended them when needed. It investigated with enthusiasm, whether Kefauver looking into crime or Fulbright and Hoey looking into the RFC, or, unfortunately, McCarthy and HUAC. Louis Budenz gets a special mention, may  he rot in hell. 

Oh, and have you heard? There's a presidential election next year. And Senator Taft is running! And General Eisenhower might be! With that in mind, the American office looks in at Dr. Gallup, who has something of a monopoly on public opinion polling in America thanks to his newspaper contracts. Is that a good thing? Who knows? Is this a Leader? Who can tell?

American Notes

"The British Election" Like some German philosopher said, have a care not to stare too long into your own bellybutton, lest your bellybutton stare back at you. The American public showed a salutary interest in the most important event in the world today, we are told, with the GOP celebrating the victory over socialism until Democrats pointed out that neither party in the British election actually backed the Republican "Back to McKinley" programme. More importantly, it is seen as Churchill's victory, and most Americans think that Churchill was robbed of the fruits of victory in 1945, so they are happy with that. On the other hand, the narrowness of the Tory majority means that Washington has to be gentle with his government lest London be overrun by a red horde of Bevanites.

Also, James Reston points out that, because he is a Conservative, Churchill will be able to approach the Russians. Reston is some kind of prophet. Just to spoil the ending, by the end of the month, "disarmament" is going to be on everyone's lips. Thank Heavens we beat back Bevan's sinister, defeatist, disarmament agenda! Then, speaking of Reds, it is off to the New York docks strike, then we check in with Universal Military Training, which has been got through Congress by a clever little back door, pending one more vote. It will require eight years' service, six months in camps and the rest in the reserve.  We're also brought up to date on the slaughterhouse rules that DiSalle was trying to bring in to bring the ranchers to heel and make sure that price controls on beef could be maintained. Without the quotas, Congress will have to abandon beef price stabilisation and will probably lose control of the cost of living index, which will undermine, and in The Economist's view, destroy wage and price controls outright. Ono the other hand, they've found a way around the Capeheart Amendment, so that's nice. 

"Shame of Cicero" A Cook County grand jury has determined who was at fault for the Cicero riot. It was the landlady who rented the apartment to the Coloured ex-serviceman,  her Coloured rental agent and lawyer, and a lawyer from the NAACP who acted for the serviceman. Cook County  has dismissed the indictments and a federal grand jury has been convened, but it is pretty discouraging. Another Note covers the state of affairs in "dispersal," which originally meant sending factories to North Dakota to get away from the atom bomb, but now means not putting factories in the same block, to get away from the atom bomb, of not H-bomb, because sending factories to North Dakota wasn't really practical! 

The World Overseas

"Mr. Eden's First Assembly" The next session of the UN is "clouded" by Middle Eastern problems, and by Russian "tactics" over this and that, and particularly Korea. The Russians will no doubt continue their advocacy for the colonised and imperialised peoples of the world, which is undoubtedly hypocritical but not invalid because of it. Sometimes, The Economist doesn't think things through. Mainly when it's wallet is involved, if I don't say so myself! 

"France and the Moslem World" During the recent NATO naval manoeuvres, General Eisenhower said that "we" should take cognizance of the "legitimate aspirations" of the Moslem world. Responsible officials are quietly appalled. The UN will be considering the Moroccan, Tunisian and Libyan questions this year, and further east, where General Eisenhower also extended his hand of recognition, America, Britain and France are already having enough trouble stonewalling the Arab League, and in Morocco, where the American government is expected to cordially support French policy in Morocco, whatever it turns out to be. (It is supposed to be getting Morocco, which is an independent country, ready to be actually independent, but somehow it isn't.)  The British are somewhat sympathetic to the Moroccans, but stifling the Egyptians takes precedence and the Egyptians might claim the same benevolence on offer to Morocco if the British bent there. American expert opinion is that "The Europeans should stay put in North Afriac, and, without sticking rigidly to the letter of past treaties defining rights and power, should further . . . development to the best of their ability." And that's what General Eisenhower meant to say! 

On the other hand, resistance to the Russians in Kazakhstan[?] and to General Peron in the Argentinian elections is perfectly legitimate.

"Canada's Arms Dilemma" The Canadian government is in trouble because it doesn't have a lot of guns to show for its $1.6 billion gun-buying spree, mainly because the only way for it to get arms economically is to produce them at home and export some to cover costs. That effectively means the United States, the only hard currency country that needs guns, even if it passes them on to Europe under military aid. With the immediate exception of its new-model Jeep, which will be produced for Canada only, and presents the completely different problem of getting the three American car manufacturers operating in Canada to build the truck together. But to get back to the produce-some-export-others dilemma, Canada has to build fighter jets because it is the only way to get them without spending far too much foreign exchange. So Canadair in Montreal is building the CF-86 and Avro Canada is building the CF-100 in Toronto. So very federal! When the trainer version comes into production, the CT-100 will be the first all-Canadian aircraft, with frame, powerplant and even accessories produced in Canada, although often by subsidiaries of American firms. So far the one really successful project is the gun plant at Sorel, Quebec, whcih is producing the 3"/50 naval gun for both the Canadian and American navies, but even that was foisted on the Americans after the Canadians started production for their own use. The Americans have been resisting Canadian imports on grounds of requiring "all-American standards" and wide standardisation, which is, says the Department of Defence Production, the only policy which makes industrial sense. Canadian industry had a difficult time tooling up to British standards in the last war, and considering that the Americans want to be NATO's production reserve in the next war, the United States might as well be the model.

Moscow on the British Elections" Moscow is cautiously optimistic that Churchill will reach out the hand of non-belligerence and give peace and disarmament a chance, even though capitalist elections aren't real elections.

The Business World  

The section starts out with the second part of its explanation/attack on the profits tax.

"Nuclear Power" Now we're cooking with fast neutrons! Between Sir Claude Gibb addressing the British Association for the Advancement of Science and the recent reports of the Advisory Committee on Scientific Policy and the AEC, "The implication is clear: nuclear power is possible, but development towards an economic basis remains a problem." Sir John Cockcroft has laid out two approaches to nuclear power. The first uses natural uranium, in which uranium-235 isotope in the "natural mix" is progressively destroyed by fissioning in  the familiar chain reaction, with the non-fissioning U-238 picking up some proportion of the stray neutrons and forming plutonium, which then fissions to produce more neutrons, etc, which need to be contained by "moderators" such as heavy water. It is not clear just how long such a reactor might run, but the best  guess is that it will use all the U-235 and about 1% of the U-238. This is the kind of plant that Monsanto wants to build in America. It will produce plutonium for bombs and electricity at a reasonably commercial rate. The viability of these plants depends on the sale value of the plutonium extracted at the end of the fuel cycle. 

On the other hand, plutonium can be mixed with natural uranium to produce a plant which makes even  more plutonium in a particularly compact installation. This kind of "breeder reactor" will be tested at the AEC's Idaho plant this year. Such plants might also use thorium, which does not fission spontaneously, but does pick up a neutron to become U-233, which does. Between the need to deal with heat and flying neutrons, another aspect of nuclear power is the increasing use of metals like beryllium and zirconium. A best estimate of the economics is that substituting a nuclear reactor for a coal boiler will add £50 per installed kilowatt hour to the capital costs of the plant, while the price of uranium metal might be estimated at £10 per pound, of which 1% will be "burned," and anywhere from 10% to 100% of energy actually used. Breeder pile fuel will be more expensive, perhaps £20 million per ton. It has been said that uranium fuel will be cheaper than coal. From the foregoing, this is not clear. Considering the much higher amount of material "burned" in a breeder reactor, they are more likely to be economical, compared with coal. Unfortunately, far too little is known about the economics of nuclear power due to security considerations. The Economist wags its finger. 

Business Notes

"Stocks Slide after Tory Victory" It says here. The Economist explains that this is not because of Labour's excellent economic record, but because London anticipates the necessary hardships of Tory disinflation. (Also, credit creation, which is a very important statistic that The Economist did not just now make up, is down. Prices have shown "no discernible effect.") Which, aren't they being justified as being good for business? I'm so confused! It then goes on to examine the technical side of the slide, talks up a rising bank rate, and acknowledges that the sterling position has begun to improve, and that steel is now being rationed. Tungsten and molybdenum are now being allocated internationally. Then it explains about Belgium and the EMU some more! Hurrah! 

"'Frustrated' Cars from Canada" Austin and Nuffield are shipping 4000 cars back from Canada to sell domestically after giving it their best shot in the Canadian market. Maybe they shouldn't have sent right-hand drive cars with tweed upholstery, built-in tea kettles and pudding tins if they didn't want this to happen? No, seriously, most of them are Morris Minors, just the thing for Canada. The price of petrol (gas) is up in Britain, due to a purely automatic escalator, the oil companies swear. Port delays are holding up everything due to one thing and another --mainly the rising amount of exports. Makes sense! But have no fear, because research into cargo handling continues, and at least there is enough aluminum. 

Cotton markets have firmed up and the GPO has agreed to raise the airmail rate, which s hould be good for airline profitability, although the magazine is predictably upset. The Rank Organisation has withdrawn from the Cinema Exhibitor's Association, for unexplained reasons. The latest productivity team report, comparing national shoe industries is very impressed with American "methods engineering" which leads to incentive pay schemes, and also suggests that everyone should wear the same shoes for production efficiency, which is going too far for even The Economist. 

Aviation Week, 5 November 1951

News Digest reports that the CAA is letting scheduled airlines charge coach fares for another 90 days. Grand Central Aircraft of Glendale has won a major B-47 modification contract. The board chairman says that some will be modified as cargo carriers. Boeing and the USAF says that he's crazy, which thought crossed my mind, too. Air Chief Marsal Sir Alec Coryton is going from heading guided missile development at the Ministry of Supply to be managing director of the Bristol engine division. 

Industry Observer reports that the Air Force has proposed a swept-wing version of the Convair C-99 as a super-sized cargo transport counterpart to the eight-engine B-60 proposal. NACA is testing the properties of "super-cooled water" by measuring the surface tension of triple-distilled water at -22 degrees Celsius. The 1954 Interceptor programme has been pushed back to 1956 by technical difficulties. The Air Force is very interested in the swept-wing version of the North American B-45 and the Douglas A3D, and "one or the other is likely to be tapped for a production order." Hamilton Standard has offered two turboprop propellers for various T-38 ships, breaking the GM (Aeroproducts) monopoly, which isn't much of a monopoly considering that the complete list of service Allison T-38s is a couple of experimental ships. The Navy is putting a safety device on jato mechanisms after a near accident when the Caroline Mars took off hot from Honolulu waterfront last month only to have sixteen jato bottles drop prematurely in the harbour, nearly singling several fishing boats and setting some fires.

Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup reports that large-scale utilisation of "'dozens of varieties'" of atom bombs is still three years off, even though people keep saying that it will be "soon." It will cost about $18 billion over that time to build the  necessary facilities, compared with a current spending of a billion dollars a year on atomics. Congress is prodding the armed forces forward, but there is still a question over whether an atomised armed forces will actually cost less. Senator McMahon believes that it will cut defence spending by $30--40 billion a year, but military men disagree. The fight over air mail subsidies continues, or maybe it's a new fight. I'd have to read a whole paragraph to be sure, and I choose not to! The Air Force is only allowed 333 generals compared with the Army's 493, and 266 admirals. It's not fair! Senator McCarren is pushing for legislation allowing differential rates on international flying, because Pan Am claims that it can fly for less than foreign competitors due to technical advantages, in spite of their lower wage costs. Senators from the Preparedness Committee have been at Wright-Patterson for "some time now," and Senator Johnson says that there will be a detailed report on procurement practices and "other aspects" at the beginning of the year. His report on aircraft company profits will come about the same time.   

Ben S. Lee reports that "Siss Arms Firm Invades U.S. Market" This is a follow up on the formation of an American subsidiary of Oerlikon, headed by ex-Lt. General K. B. Wolfe. It plans to manufacture machine tools, electronics, and aircraft armament as an "integrated research, development and production company along European lines." In related hanky-panky at Wright-Patterson news, a Federal grand jury has indicted two Air Force contractors for various offences at Air Materiel Command.

"US Checks Up on Jet Airlines" US airlines are worried about claims that the De Havilland Comet might be more economical than a DC-6 or Constellation, and that the Britannia might be as much as 100 knots faster than the Stratocruiser, so the CAA sent a six man team over to see. It concludes that American aerodynamics is better, that American turbines are competitive with British "at the development stage, that turbine engines will have lower  maintenance costs, lower accident rates and lower fire risk. Boeing might be the first American company to produce a jet transport, while the de Havilland works might produce 60 to 120 Comets a year if there were orders to support it. The Comet curently is limited to only 35--44 passengers, but 50 is probably within reach and it would be the perfect transcontinental airliner, making the New York-Los Angeles run in 8 hours or less with a fuel stop in Tulsa. 

Lots of news on labour disputes and resolutions, and the Fairchild YJ-44, a new "junior jet" weighting 325lbs and giving 1000lbs, gets a pictorial. 

Nathaniel McKitterick, the McGraw-Hill World News correspondent in London, gives us "What Tory Win Means to British Air Power." British aviation, like British industry in general, cheered on the Tories' return, believing that they will put the rearmament programme back on schedule by putting the boot to labour. The Tories' chief air spokesman, Air Commodore Vere Harvey, recently named a director of Handley Page, will replenish RAF Transport Command and reduce Britain's dependence on American aircraft. The RAF currently lacks a plane capable of carrying heavy military equipment, and Labour was sniffing around the C-119 or C-92, but Air Commodore Harvey promises a made-in-Britain order. The Blackburn GAL-60 and perhaps the Bristol Freighter will get a look, followed by a military jet transport, perhaps based on the Comet, although there is not likely to be spare Comet production. The Tories are likely to "step up" the heavy bomber programme, and some Tories want to denationalise the airlines, while the Tory promise of 300,000 more houses will help the aircraft industry because housing in "outlying areas" was not a priority under Labour. On the other hand, the Tories need to be fiscally responsible and remind everyone that they can only afford the three year, $13.1 billion rearmament programme with US aid, as there is not enough room for pressure on standards of living in Britain as there is in America.

"AF Yields on Army Plane Weight" The AF has stopped fighting the Army over weight limits for their light planes and helicopters. While the Office of Naval Research is looking into a "knapsack" helicopter by Rotor-Craft for "dropping troops or agents behind enemy lines." It is one of those rockets-on-the-tips designs, but Rotor-Craft promises that it won't spit fire, catch fire, burn with fire, or do anything else with fire except gently lower Our Boys in Uniform to the ground. 

  David A. Anderton has "British Build Planes at Reasonable Rates" It says here that industry is ready to roll if it can get tools and dollars, but the real point of the article is that this is the second part of Anderton's tour of British aircraft factories. This week he visits de Havilland at Hatfield and Bristol, at Bristol. Hatfield is the factory that is supposed to roll out Comets at capacity, but right now it is building Vampires, some Doves, and its Heron four-engine feeder airliner. There aren't enough Comet orders yet to justify an assembly-line style production, especially when most of the production will be the "Stage 2," with Avons, which does not even have a flying prototype yet. Bristol's Filton works, a "hodge-podge of ancient and modern buildings on top of a hill, spilling down the slope and onto the plain at the bottom," is the place of employment for 16,000 working on all sorts of things, but what we care about is the Britannia and its Proteus turboprop engine, although the Olympus turbojet is the subject of excited talk. Various helicopters, and the remaining Brigands and Freighter orders occupy the actual production space. but Anderton went to see the Brabazon in its giant assembly hall, and the Britannia fuselage, which shares the space. The Britannia is a very roomy aircraft, "conventional, and built in a conventional manner." The Britannia will be available in 1955, but BOAC will get all that Bristol can produce before 1960, and production will in no way take up the enormous assembly hall, and Bristol is the only British builder with no new military type coming; or, at least, the only one with no contract or rumours of one. 

"Aircraft Hydraulic Parts is Clinic Tropc" Sentence reversed written by Vickers publicists, not Aviation Week. Subject is conference on hydraulic safety fluids, tubing and fittings hosted by same. Responsible for this awkward mess is Robert R. Stark, assistant tot he vice-president-engineering of Eastern Airlines. 

"The Well-Tempered Aircraft, III: Modification vs. New Design" We're back to Arthur Raymond's 39th Wilbur Wright Memorial Lecture. The vice-president-engineering, of Douglas got to give an address to the Royal Aeronautical Society, and by all that is holy and unholy beneath the Moon, the readers of Aviation Week are going to get every vapid, self-indulgent word of it. (Modifications are expensive but necessary!)

"Douglas Backlog Tops $1.335 Billion" And that's a lot of advertising revenue!

Alexander McSurely has "GM Plans New Double-Duty Plants" GM is building factories that can produce cars once rearmament is over. The breathtaking innovation that is a building designed for one thing, but then used for something else, is explained at length. I wonder if someone on the board is worried about the future of this mad-rush-of-aircraft business is?

Avionics has "New Resign Repair for Radomes" The Naval Air Development Centre is testing a contact resin that can be used to repair cracked radomes. It is very exciting, and technicians who go in for the repair course also get an electrics component. I couldn't for the life of me understand why, but Reggie explained that the resins probably have different dielectric properties than the original radome, and now I am as clear as a a mountain spring! What's a dielectric?

"Carrier Amplifier is new Laboratory Tool" Electronic Engineering Associates of San Carlos, California is very excited by their amplifier, which has high gain and low noise and will fit on most shelves. Meanwhile, Stratex Instrument Corporation has a new Detectron electronic totaliser, which seems to be gibberish for "electronic counter," and the Hermaseal division of Elklhart has anew relay design. It is very cute and small, has eight terminals, and is filled with dry nitrogen for insulation. 

George L. Christian presumably wrote the headline to a story about the Aircraft Spark Plug and Ignition Conference in glamorous downtown Toledo, including the latest on the new Champion sparks, Sperry analysers and low tension ignition. "Plug Refinements Up Engine Reliability," and to punish him, I am not reading the article. Although also because I am sick and tired of hearing about improved spark plugs. Go tell a car man! (Just kidding. The big analyser story is that TCA has put in a big order, because it believes that having analysers at its maintenance base will improve flight reliability that much. Spark plug failures are big business!)

"Automatic Approach Equipment Trainer" Northrop has built a flight trainer to train USAF personnel in operating automatic approach equipment, which you could have guessed from the title. 

New Aviation Products has a new fuel dehydrator for cleaning water-contaminated gasoline. It is a series of filters and filter-like things in a tube. You pump the gasoline through, and it comes out de-watered. Barber-Colman's new aircraft temperature control system with actuators is the best ever. It's called the "Micropulse," because it has an adjustable, proportional pulse ratte duration that can be matched to system response requirements. Stanat Tools of Long Island has a compact axial blower for cooling electronic components. E. B. Wiggins' new coupling disconnector has a finger grip and allows the ejection of the mating section depending on how far the built in spring is screwed down. Speed Selector, of cleveland, has a v-belt jet tach drive for calibrating jet engine instruments, spinning them at anywhere from 500rpm to 7500 with  no hunting and minimal acceleration time.

The Air Transport section, which I usually ignore, visits a conference on helicopter blind flying techniques and even checks out the cockpit   of the new LAA helicopter. CAB reports that the Mid-Continent Airlines DC-3 crash at Sioux City in March was caused by a stall while making a left turn too close to the ground to effect recovery, and that icing might have been involved. Alaskan Airlines wants the CAB to approve a jet route to Europe from Fairbanks over the North Pole. When? What plane? (To bring it a bit closer to reality, they also want to fly a conventional service on the same route pending delivery of the jet.)

Captain R. C. Robson's Cockpit Viewpoint has "Incident Prevention and Accident Prevention," which seems unnecessary, because aircraft don't crash any more, and actually hardly ever did. Except for sometimes, but we don't talk about them because it just discourages passengers. Ahem. The point of the column is that Captain Robson has a hair-raising incident report about a difficult landing at Chicago, and the moral of the story is better lighting. What's New  is very excited by the Army Aviation Guide, Cruise Control for Low Powered Aircraft, Aerial Surveys and Maps from Photographs, Booklet GEC-809, The How Book of Cost Cutting Materials Handling, and the Multi-Metal Catalogue. Booklet GEC-809 is about GE's series of fixed paper-dielectric capacitors, and includes information about operation AND application!!!

Robert H. Wood's Editorial is a reprint of Wayne Parrish's editorial about how low air fares are better than high air fares, from American Aviation. He gets paid for this! (The excuse is that American Aviation disagreed with Aviation Week about coach services, and Parrish admits that he was wrong.)

The Economist, 10 November 1951


"More Beginning" It turns out that the new government isn't going to do very much. And that's "entirely welcome" to The Economist, so forget what we said last week! The Conservatives might bring the University constituencies back later if it turns out that there's too much democracy going on around this place; is going to restrict imports, which is great, now, although it's an even better idea when there's less of it; will restrict dividends with an excess profits tax instead of statute; and promises cross its heart to do something about economy next year. This does not mean that "[The] Government is exposed to the same blame for doing too little too late as was Mr. Attlee's Government four years ago," because it's not its fault that things have gotten so bad, and therefore it is okay for it to wait until at least April to say what, if anything, it will do about it. It is to be taken for granted that it will do something about it, because Labour wouldn't, which proves that the Conservatives will. The Conservatives are very brave for doing nothing. If it doesn't, The Economist repeats in the one thing that holds over from last week, "Disinflation or we turn you out." 

(If you can't get enough of The Economist talking about "quiet beginnings," there is a Note of the Week that says the same thing.)

"Truce Without Illusions" The armistice talks in Korea will be protracted, but the war will end someday, so that's good news. The ceasefire line is roughly settled, and the next and important thing to settle is the handling of prisoners of war. 

"Europe's Arms Inquiry" The Three Wise Men continue to think, very wisely, and it is time for The Economist to explain what is going on. To wit: There is an organisation, which was partially settled in Ottawa and is still being modified. There is the problem, which is "to find the present point of intersection between military strength and domestic stability," and then there is the solution, I guess, which is to "[Push]. . . this point as high up the graph as possible." And also there is discussion about just who is going to make the arms, where. 

"Contest in Curves" It turns out that television allows politicians to show the public "a new medium of disinformation --the graph." One politician shows a graph (Mr. Eden shows change in cost of living since 1945), then another politician (Christopher Mayhew) says it is a fake, because the vertical horizon has been lengthened and the horizontal one shortened. The Economist investigates, and finds that, besides tinkering with the scales, Mr. Eden's graphs mix monthly and annual numbers in an "unacceptable" way. The Economist is very disappointed with Me. Eden. Consider me shocked!

Notes of the Week

"Disarmament and Rearmament" It must now be admitted (because they said so out loud at the UN), that President Truman and Secretary Acheson have called for disarmament talks with the Russians to reduce conventional and atomic arms. This might seem as though (as I was predicting would happen), the President waited until after the British election to admit that Bevan was right; but it is not, because we can do rearmament and disarmament together! Somehow. Meanwhile, Beria's address at the anniversary of the October Revolution boasted of the vast increase in Soviet heavy industrial production, to 285 million tons of coal, 42 million tons of oil, 22 million tons of pig iron and 31 million tons of steel. The previous Note says that Beria was boasting about Soviet strength, which was either a bit misleading, or this isn't the entire speech. Anyway, it seems to have been achieved by diverting resources and labour from light industry and agriculture, and that can't go on forever. 

"Off the Record" The Prime Minister has called for a secret session to debate defence. The Economist thinks that, because it is supposed to be a general briefing, it is a "complete and damaging distortion of Parliament's function." 

Follows some blah-blah about the ongoing crises in Egypt and Iran. The Shah is upset at Mossadegh for spending so much time in Washington and the Egyptians are upset that the British are upset with them, but the British cannot be "elbowed" out of the Canal Zone, especially as long as they have American support, although they are worried that Egyptian "freedom battalions" might start shooting.

"Housing --Labour's Account" The Attlee government built 961,000 permanent and 157,000 homes, and adapted or repaired 338,000, for 1,456,00 new units of accommodation, rehousing over 5 million people. The Conservatives can now benefit from the rising rate of construction, Dalton's "cheaper housing," and reap the benefits of allowing more private building. Rab Butler says that housing is specifically exempted from the moratorium on new building. Also, there are half a million job vacancies in Britain, for which the only solution is, as always, "disinflation." People with less money will buy fewer things, and then workers in the thing-producing industries will move over to the making-things-for-foreigners industry, which is where they are needed. Which isn't a solution to the half million vacancies at all! It's a way of making them go away! 

"India and China" Authorities in Kashmir have allowed some "Kazakh refugees fleeing from the Chinese Communist conquerors of Tibet" to cross over into India. They are, The Economist tells us, anti-Communist refugees from, originally, the Soviet Union. The Chinese wanted them barred from India, Delhi was sympathetic, but Kashmir authorities got in the way, because they expect the Tibetan-speaking people of Ladakh to demand union with Tibet soon, and want the Kazakhs on hand to discourage this. The Economist wags a scolding finger at Delhi.  

Morale in Malaya is not good. The Economist explains that Oliver Lyttleton has to breath fire and overhaul the Malayan government during his upcoming visit. In France, Pleven's government plans on 2900 billion francs in revenue in 1952 and to spend 3,275 billion, providing that military spending can be held to 800 millions, although the Defence Minister wants another 350 million. This will lead to inflation unless the Assembly votes new taxes or cuts civil expenditures. Since that isn't likely, the government proposes to throw up its hands and blame the cost of the Indo-China war. In Germany, there are "new obstacle to German reunion," which is ridiculously inaccurate, since it is just the same old obstacle, which is that the communists run the east bit and capitalists run the west bit. The actual issue is that the magazine is bound and determined to explain the specific details of what is happening now, and can't find another way of making us care. Well, guess what, this approach isn't working, either. 

"People on the Move" Despite the housing shortage and full employment, "the English are a highly mobile people," with four million moves a year in 1948--50. On the other hand it is not so clear what the statistics mean since administrative boundaries are "artificial," so it might all be local movements. .Something about funding for local arts councils follow, and then The Economist tells us about the latest Bulletin of the Oxford Institute of Statistics that it read, which is by Mr. H. F. Lydall and is about earning and saving. As he could only find time to interview 400 people, it is concluded that he didn't find out much worth talking about, although that isn't stopping us. 

From The Economist of 1851 comes "Race Conflict in Africa," which is an extended response to recent reports that a race war has broken out in South Africa between "intelligent" white farmers and "primitive" black pastoralists. Based on previous readings, my sense is that the magazine wants to come out and yell, "Exterminate the brutes," but since that would offend the church ladies, dances around the subject until it is time to end the paragraph by explaining that it is futile for the Government to try to "always prevent the natural enmity between savage aborigines and civilised intruders from frequently showing itself in active and murderous hostility."


 H. B. Barwise is very disappointed in democracy because the Conservative majority wasn't big enough, and it is all due to that disgraceful "warmongering" charge. On the other hand, T. N. Fox is appalled by the Conservatives' jingoism, particularly their call for "action" in Persia. R. W. Baldwin writes to tell us that the "utility scheme" (the exemption of scheduled utility clothes and other goods from a 66% sales tax) has run its course. John Bridges of the British Travel and Holidays Association is similarly upset about the cuts in food supplies to restaurants and canteens, while John Coatman has opinions about the new BBC charter and "a Morris Owner" explains that the Nuffield organisation has devoted a large share of its production to export, and that the change that made its cars "suddenly unsaleable" in Canada was not its fault (I sure hope that last week's article didn't explain it, and I missed it!), and that its decision to sell the cars at the price the public is willing to pay in Britain is just good business. 


E. N. Chester has edited Lessons of the British War Economy, a collection of articles by academic economists who worked for the British government during the war. The magazine liked it. Russell Grenfell's Main Fleet to Singapore tries to explain exactly how Repulse and Prince of Wales came to be sunk. The Economist is not impressed, since Grenfell's main argument seems to be that the Treasury is part of a permanent conspiracy to keep defence spending too low to prevent aggression, which The Economist considers a tedious cliche. David Mitrany's Marx Against the Peasant explains why Marxists parties are always fighting with agrarian parties. Farmers don't  like collectivisation, it turns out. Kathleen Stahl's The Metropolitan Organisation of British Colonial Trade is a very worthy book, but not as worth as John Strawhorn and William Boyd's  Third Statistical Account of Scotland: Ayrshire. Cavin B. Hoover and R. U. Ratchford have Economic Resources and Policies of the South, which supplants the "magnolia myth" with an "impartial study of actual conditions." Except that "there is hardly a mention in the book of the race question," and "The conclusions about the economic prospects of the South are perhaps over-optimistic for this reason." 

American Survey

"Waiting for Ike" I don't know if you've heard, but there is going to be  a Presidential election nexdt year, and General Eisenhower might run! 

"The West's Fuel Aces" Our Correspondent in Colorado talks to us today about the prospects of an American synthetic fuel industry, which might produce gas from coal and oilshale if America decides to spend lots of money on it because of national security or maybe because some day in the future it will run out of oil. Either way, the Defence Production Agency is funding a $55 million pilot plant to refine conventional petroleum feedstocks from shale oil in Colorado, while private industry has offered to build a $400 million hydrogenation plant for coal. On the other hnd, Dr. James Boyd seems to have resigned at the Bureau of Mines because this is already going too far. the National Petroleum Council thinks that coal hydrogenation is uneconomical. (So does everyone else, I thought?) On the other hand there may be other techniques involving a lower heat that would be more economical than the current one, which basically burns half the coal or shale oil to refine what is left. Meanwhile the Texas Electric Power Company is building a big power station in Milam County, Texas, to burn local lignite to produce 320,000 kw/H for a new aluminum plant. This might be the first step to a vast lignite mining industry to provide the vast amount of power that the western river basins will soon need for steel plants, phosphate plants and plants to utilise "waste wood products."

American Notes

"Atomic Plenty" The bomb tests in Nevada that are now weeks-old news prove something. Something important! I have no idea what, unless, and I know this sounds paranoid, this is more of the campaign to get us ready for "disarmament," now that the election is over. In this case, "atomic disarmament," where more atom bombs means fewer tanks and jet planes. Oh, and the stock market is down, which is always a good time to suppose why that might be so. The new tax on bookmakers is very  hard on bookmakers, the New York dock strike might be the first blow that batters down the wage line ahead of a steel strike. The American office hopes that productivity incentives will satisfy the unions and keep the wage increase down to the 4 or 5% allowed under cost of living adjustments. (The Post Office workforce also gets a pay raise, paid for by an increase in postal rates that will hopefully also fix the Post Office's deficit. Except that the increase authorised by the House falls well short of Administration recommendations, so probably not.)

"Colour Television on the Shelf" Colour television production has been halted for the duration because of rearmament and, more importantly, because it is a way to wiggle out of the FCC's acceptance of the CBS system, which is now seen as a mistake, even by CBS, which cannot move its expensive and incompatible colour televisions. It is likely that, if colour television production does not resume until 1952 or 1953, there will be so many black and white sets on the market that a compatible, all-electronic system will be the only practical one, especially since it is likely that colour televisions will be much cheaper by then. 

Shorter Notes notices that William Remington has appealed the Justice Department's latest moves against him to the Supreme Court, that omens from the Maine off-year election are mixed, so that we may have to wait to the election to find out how the election comes out, that the new tax bill has cut taxes on operas and symphony orchestras, and that the anti-trust action against Macy's by all the other New York department stores is going ahead.

The World Overseas

"The Future of Pakistan"  Our Correspondent in Karachi is a bit hampered by the fact that he has no idea what the future of Pakistan will bring, which is fair, but since he had to fill a page and a  half, he instead explains Pakistani politics for us. Hurray!

"Spy Trial in Sweden" A Swedish engineer petty officer named Ernst Andersson has been found to have been taking pictures of this and that and sending them to the Soviet Union. These include all of Sweden's most precious secrets, but also some excellent shots of British cruisers visiting Stockholm over the summer. It turns out that Andersson had been a committed Communist for twenty years, that it was no secret, and most of his fellow petty officers expected him to turn out to be  a spy of some kind. In spite of this, or maybe because of it, the Swedes are having a fine old time over it. 

"Japan --Dazed and Constrained" Japan is having a Korean War boom, leading to "divergent and distorting effects on the Japanese economy." Japan is ahead of schedule for a return to "self support" by 1953, with present capacity well above pre-war and a huge improvement in the balance of payments. However, inflation and growing wage inequality between large and small firms, a growing population, Communism in Asia and high shipping and raw material costs mean that "the Japanese nation is facing a grim struggle for existence, on the basis of a somewhat artificial and distorted economic conditions."  

Israel is going to give only tacit support to the new defence pact in the Middle East so as not to upset Russia or provoke the Arabs further, while East Bloc miners appear to be restive, and Poland is going to throw a show trial for Wladyslaw Gomulka, Poland's "Little Stalin," much as the Polish party would prefer not to. 

The Business World

"Towards Monetary Orthodoxy" The Tories have raised the bank rate to fight inflation and just oh-so accidentally recharge the bank accounts of the investing class. Except that we're against investing in Britain, so they're not really an investing class so much as "putting idle money in the funds" class. Good thing that there are Egyptians to force to sell cotton for sterling they can't spend! All is for the best in this best of all possible worlds! Except it wasn't as big an increase as The Economist wanted. Further on the subject of giving the investing class what it wants, the series on the Profit Tax continues to show that it is terrible. (More fascinating news about the investing class follows in Business Notes due to the Government publishing a priority list of claims on German repayments of various classes of British investments in Germany, which the Germans stopped paying in 1939.)

Business Notes

 The Economist explains the cuts in imports, which seem to be falling on all the things that Britain had to spend so much time negotiating over, like Scandinavian pulp and Danish bacon, but also sugar. 

"The Fuel Outlook" Has somehow got much better in the last two weeks! Now there will only be a coal shortage if weather is bad or the country doesn't get American coal imports in time, since consumers have been hoarding coal since the summer in response to someone, and I am not placing any blame here, but someone, scaremongering nonstop. Will Britain actually import American coal this winter? Last year's import of half-a-million tons of coal cost the NCB £5 million covering the cost of reselling expensive imported coal at British prices, while hogging freight space, driving up rates and cutting iron ore imports, leading to the steel shortage. So that was bad! As coal imports continue, and not just into Britain, the Americans are having trouble loading it all at Hampton Roads and have been forcing customers to take it from more remote ports at greater expenses, which is also bad. Too bad that the number of coal miners in Britain keeps falling, with another loss of 10,000 in the last quarter. Oh well, I am sure that yelling at them about how the balance of payments means that they can't ever have a wage increase, will help. Follows more on the steel allocations, required by a 1.5 million ton shortfall that probably can't be made up with American imports, and the latest about Belgium and the EPU. 

"Policy for Manpower" Everyone thinks there should be one, but The Economist gives the new minister permission to take a few months to come up with one, except for the aircraft industry, which needs 150,000 more workers in the next eighteen months, even though "the industry is peculiarly unattractive to labour and the rate of recruitment is actually falling." I know! Yell at them more!  Or, possibly, raise their pay, even the magazine has to admit. 

Austin has had good earnings, Courtauld is going to build a wood pulp plant in South Africa and will start making cellulose film in Canada. Textile sales are slumping , probably due to prices.

"Earning Power of Shipping" The Government put in an inquiry about same with the Chamber of Shipping last fall. It reports returns from 1947, when the industry made a net positive contribution to the UK balance of payments of £60 million. In 1951 it was believed to be £150 million, and it would be more except that the tonnage available is falling. While tanker tonnage is up over a million tons compared with the prewar, the dry cargo fleet is down about the same due to more ships being scrapped than built. 

"Training the American Worker" All those productivity reports that show that American workers are more productive than British have an explanation. American training is  much better than British. It says here, anyway. Actually, this is an epitome of the latest productivity report by the Anglo-American, etc, etc. The more detailed review of things going on in America is a bit more nuanced, with the American members naturally very enthusiastic about American methods and the British members more divided, although tending to think that the Americans have it right. 

Shorter Notes notes falling textile sales all around Europe, wage settlements here and there, and progress in compensating former coalowners under nationalisation. With steel output in 1952, "even at a rate little higher than this year's," dependent on iron ore production, the Midlands ore workings are being built up, with Corby, Stewards and Lloyd's debuting "W. 1400," the  largest walking drag line in the world, and one of the largest pieces of machinery ever made, weighing 1600ts, designed by Ransome and Rapier, and able to strip the overburden at the Corby opencast workings to a depth of 100ft  Nevertheless, the Midland workings will have to go underground soon, and "plans are being prepared for two mechannised mines in the area." 

Aviation Week, 12 November 1951

News Digest has the Pacific Southwest DC-3 crash at Burbank (no-one killed, fortunately), the new world speed record for an F-86E, a CAA order for 75 Magnachord 4-channel tape recorders, 25 playback units and 25 eraser units for tower installation. Convair now has 113 firm orders for the 340.

Industry Observer has  word that the first Boeing XB-52 will roll out on 20 November, that the Martin B-61 Matador probably has a top speed of less than 600mph, that the new GE J-73 turbojet will be  redesignated the J-47-GE-21 and not the J-35, etc., that NACA is developing a helicopter rotor speed  recorder, that Kaman Aircraft has a contract to develop the Boeing junior gas turbine as a helicopter engine, that Bell's big new antisubmarine helicopter, the XHSL-1, is nearing completion in Buffalo, that Rolls-Royce is negotiating to manufacture Nene engines in Canada to power Canadian-built Lockheed T-33s, that Allison has "quietly hiked the rating" of its T-38 to 3000hp from the original 2750hp claimed for the XT-38, "and the end is not in sight." If it was quiet, how did we hear about it?

Katherine Johnssen's Washington Roundup recyles the "143-wing USAF, When?" bit again before getting on to something juicy. "Defence chiefs" think that the atomic powered airplane is just a stepping stone to an atom-powered space satellite! It turns out that satellite warfare is the "scientific warfare" that Senators were talking about the other day, and while satellites tend to get lost in talk of "fantastic" new chemical, germ, atomic and guided-missile weapons, it is very much the "new door to warfare." James Forrestal used to envision 200--400 outer space bases circling the Earth, with weapons to be launched from earth controls, but power plants and navigation control for space-launched missiles stood in the way. Reactors would solve the first problem, and the Air Force thinks that it will know if airplane reactors are feasible in four to seven years, although Harold Urey says he knows right now that they are not, because they simply carry too much valuable material in them to be useful. Congress has also told CAB chairman Donald Nyrop to shut up about government financing for an economical small plane for feeder lines.  Congress doesn't care that small lines are having trouble getting financing for airplane and possibly helicopter purchases. 

Alexander McSurely has "Copter Firms Reveal Commercial Plans" Which in terms of news is basically a story about how LAA, instead of just going away, has ordered two new Sikorsky S-55s. Other than that, it is all moonshine. Bell is looking into crop dusting, Piasecki's XH-16 will be the size of a DC-4, even Hughes can't make the XH-17 sound feasible, Doman wants us to know it is still around and will be coming out with a machine any day now, and the rest is all alternative power plants. McDonnell is testing a turbine, as is Kamen, while Hiller is looking at a ramjet.

On the other hand, Northrop doubled its 1950 gross income this year, while GE says that sixty cents of every dollar the USAF spends on GE jet engins goes to subcontractors. 

McGraw-Hill World News went to Costa Rica to interview USAF Rescue Sikorsky H-5E (S-51) pilot, Captain John R. Peacock, about "Extra Power-on Aid to Hovering Copter," which in straight English and straight sentences means that he finds he has to overspeed the plane's engine from 2300rpm to 2450 to have enough power to hover while helping out with the "yellow fever epidemic which hit this island recently." I don't think Costa Rica is an island, but maybe that's changed since I last checked. The Air Force is loaning out some spare planes to ease the crunch in civil airplanes, but there is no saving assorted building plans for hangars and terminals due to the steel crunch. Why is there a rescue helicopter in the island or country fighting mosquitoes? Shouldn't it be in Korea?

Aeronautical Engineering has Irving Stone reporting on "NACA Seeks Answers to Mach 3.5 Speeds" NACA is calculating, theorising, wind-tunnelling, and, in general, doing its best  to find out if planes, and, more importantly, missiles, will blow up at Mach 3.5 before someone goes that fast, mostly at the Lewis Lab, which seems to be the point of this roundup of research methods, results and equipment ranging from testing experimental afterburners to measuring the speed of gas jets by putting electrical fields through them to designing jet engine inlets to reduce air loss, to "ruggedising" thermocouples to better measure skin temperatures at these speeds. 

NACA Reports has some math from James J. Donegan and Henry Pearson, who have worked out a "Matrix Method" to determine the longitudinal stability coefficients and frequency response of an aircraft from transient flight data. Wiliam Michael, who must be lonely, considering that he wrote his report all by himself, has an analysis of the effects of wing interference on trail contributions to the rolling derivatives, which sentence doesn't make any sense to me, but which he explains as corrections to the calculated results based on experimental data, so that's helpful. Aaron Boksenbom and Richard Hood have been working on automatic control systems that "satisfy certain general criterion on transient behaviour." That's when an automatic control doesn't try to correct for what the system is doing "transiently," because then it wouldn't correct for what the system is doing non-transiently, and the control system makes the plane crash even harder. I think. Maybe it is some weird math for using the transient effect to measure how much control force is needed. I actually did read it, and am none the wiser. 

"Britain's Triple-Threat Jet" The Boulton-Paul P-119 is three jets in one. That's three jets! Count them! Three! It can be a trainer or it can be a . . . You know what? Nobody but Boulton Paul honestly believes it can also be a fighter, much less a "police" plane. (Unless "policing" involves scattering small bombs around the landscape. Which it may, now that the Tories are back in power, and don't get me started on Labour in Malaya!) At least it is a better advertorial than the next one about the Miller Wrapping and Sealing Machine Company's new "tool" for slitting military packaging, which could really use a picture for those interested in machines for cutting large sheets into small sheets, possibly rolled. 

Production has Alexander McSurely, "AIA Looks to Future Use of Titanium,"  which is about the Aircraft Industries Association asking Air Materiel Command to do 19 trials of titanium in various uses. It also wants AMC to look into precision forging, hydraulic cutting, stretch forming, measuring equipment and big glass lenses. I don't know why the AIA is asking the AMC to look into lenses for reconnaissance planes? Also, Eastern Products says that having a mockup can really ease the job for would-be subcontractors, and National Broach and Machine has developed an automatic loader that speeds up the shaving of all gears of a two, three, or four-step cluster in a Red Ring Diagonal Shaving Machine, which obviously speeds up gear output. 

Letters has one from George Litchford of New Jersey who thinks that the shortage of UHF channels and various problems with signal quality can be solved by going even higher, to SHF. Larry Cates, who is the Washington Representative of something, writes to complain that the CAB doesn't take accident investigations seriously enough. Sydney Carter of Texas Engineering is upset that Aviation Week low-balled the speed of the Buckaroo by 100mph. Leslie Baird of Cannon Electric is very upset at the slanderous things Aviation Week said about the effects of vibration on their product during the recent Convair Turboliner trials. Aviation Week points out that it was just quoting a paper given to an SAE meeting. I. M. Wulfkuhler has a gentle correction tot he article about competitive coaching on the LA-San Francisco route. Major James Stoddard would like a glossy of the new Oerlikon Surface-to-Air Guided Missile for The Artillery School, and Electrons, Incorporated has a correction for an article on its financing.

George L. Christian went to Dallas to check in with Pioneer Airlines and finds that "Ingenuity Beats Local's Problems." At least the syntax isn't reversed. It is about how they beat competition from other DC-3 operators by heating their hangar, hanging up old props, pre-stretching bungee cords, extending tail pipes, training mechanics and "face-lifting interiors." Capital Airlines has a method for installing windows into the Constellation that gets around the need to pressurise the cabins to seat them properly. They just thump them in, which is probably just as good, and a whole lot cheaper. The Air Force wants us to know about its "jet engine tester," which is an air transportable jet engine test cell that the airlines will love when they actually have jets.  Another triple-duty thing is the Greer Hydraulic OR-100, which cleans, flushes and pre-oils engines, services engine lubrication systems and pre-heats oil in cold weather. I think it is a mobile hydraulic fluid/oil pump. 

New Aviation Products has a very tough anchor nut from Kayner Manufacturing, a limit switch from the Electro-Snap Division of Exhibit Supply, self-locking nuts, but for aircraft, from the Cherry Rivets Division of Townsend Corporation of Los Angeles, and a hydraulic test stand from Superdraulic Corporation.

 CAB has eased its requirement for aircraft stall warning indicators, and if you needed reminding, Aviation Week will tell you that "The World Flies on American Wings." CAB has found that the 14 January DC-4 crash at Philadelphia was caused by pilot error. Italy has found a way to increase its transport plane strength without exceeding the treaty limits by giving planes that they would otherwise have had to destroy to the Knights of Malta, compensating them for four hospital trains seized during the war. Instrument flight time is improving, Air France has ordered a half-million dollars worth of VHF equipment from Collins for VOR approaches to airports, Australia is warming up to coach flying. The French news does not mean that the French are giving up on DECCA. 

Captain Robson's Cockpit Viewpoint has "Our Un-Clear Clearances," which criticises current clearance messages for being unclear. Got that? I hope I'm explaining myself clearly! What's New only gets a half-column this week because it used up all its material last week. All it  has is the American Tool and Manufacturing Company's Engineer's Notebook File and the new Hartwell Aviation Supply Catalog describing its line of latches and hinges. And an advertorial bit foro the Cee-Bee "desealing system," and that's just cheating, because if Cee-Bee wants advertising, it can pay to put it in Also on the Market

Robert H. Wood's Editorial must have heard from someone about serving up a reprint as an editorial last week, because this week he h as "What's Going On? Plenty!" I agree! Atomic satellites and fast British airliners, right? No, it turns out that he is rounding up the eight generals who have recently retired or been reassigned to dubious positions, the resignation of the Under-Secretary, the indictments of two salesmen at Wright-Patterson, and he comes to the conclusion that it is all down to AMC being bitter that it has lost control of research and development, and the gnerals are just going to private business to make more money, what with inflation and all. So, to be precise, nothing is going on, really. Except the Air Force is bogged down in paperwork due to all this government supervision of the business of buying the planes that industry wants to sell.  

Second, the one thing he heard the most during his recent field trip is that the entire industry is buzzing with the need to beat the MiG-15, which turns out to be quite the plane, designed and built with "surprising skill." It is also lighter than the planes Americans make. 



  1. Arthur Lewis?

    Yes! Arthur Lewis!

    (And Martin Wight!

  2. I thought I was being alert to these things, what with the first totally-not-warmongering Tory war about to break out in Kenya and all, but missed Martin and Lewis' background. It's interesting that the 1951 book has dropped out of Lewis scholarship. He's far from the only scholar to whom that has happened. (Ask me about how the Vienna School misreads Helmholtz on causality and the First Law by ignoring Physiological Optics! Or don't, because I read it in translation.)