Sunday, May 29, 2022

Postblogging Technology, February 1952, II: Elizabeth Again and Again Forever

R_. C_.,
Oriental Club,

Dear Father:

It looks like you'd better book your passage home with Canadian Pacific, because there might not be any airliners flying in America at the end of the month, to read the aviation press. All the stalwarts are sure that the three crashes at Elizabeth are just a terrible coincidence. If it's not, it has to be somethign serious. Reggie suggests that the CAA might have been allowing the airlines to get away with skipping maintenance and training, and the winter weather is catching up with us. If that's the case, planes are going to keep on falling out of the sky, and I don't know what will happen. The President is hiding under a rock, the Kefauver and Eisenhower campaigns are stumbling, and Taft and McCarthy are everywhere. I know I am not usually much to worry about politics, but I'm just off the phone with Reggie, who had some pent-up opinions about Kefauver and Stevenson that he wanted to get off his chest. While he personally supports Kefauver, he figures that Stevenson will get the nomination (the President can't win), because he is more "moderate" on civil rights. (Translation: He won't do anything.) Stevenson will promptly proceed to not win the election because he is, let us face it, a divorcee, and if Eisenhower doesn't come through, we are stuck with "Mr. Conservative," who will be as bad for the country as Hoover, and lose the Cold War in the bargain. 

Happy thoughts!

Your Loving Daughter,


Dr. H. C. Wood of Philadelphia reminds us that the world's population is growing at 68,000 a day and that it is good that India recognises the  need for population control, and he also thinks that Hazlitt is an asshole (for not believing in foreign aid to stop Communism), so he is definitely my kind of guy. Three different readers point out the coincidence of the photo caption of King George "saying goodbye" to his daughter less than twenty-four hours before his death. No mention of how the new Queen feels about being sent out of the country at her father's last hour. There's a mine executive out West who looks like President Truman, the blonde woman in the Communist propaganda photo of "Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags" on their Florida vacation was actually taken in Havana and the blonde woman is a dance instructor at the hotel and not the man's wife, so the Communists are wrong again. Newsweek wants us to know all about its brand new teletypesetter, and that the picture of Queen Elizabeth on the cover is Newsweek's favourite. 

The Periscope reports that McCarthy is set to make a farce of the hearing on censuring him, that the Franco regime is only implicitly protesting reports that Truman doesn't like Franco very much. This probably has to do with the $200 million aid package for Spain that the Senate wants added to the foreign aid bill before they will let it through. The US is being a bit embarrassed in the UN over the fact that it will now not accept its own postwar atomic weapons disarmament proposal, and that US troops in Iceland are disgruntled because they haven't received either snowshoes or skis, in spite of them being back ordered for months, meaning that they can't get out and about. I wonder what the Icelanders think? Ii don't know if you've heard, but there's a Presidential election this year, and Adlai Stevenson, Senator Robert Kerr, and Vito Marcantonio might run. Assorted senators and Congressmen are lining up the next Missouri boy for scandal hearings, Homer Capehart is still an idiot, the US might be  free of foreign opium thanks to a new drug called methadone, supplies of ammunition, artillery, planes and radar stations are slow to arrive in Formosa. and the Navy is bringing in a "Guided Missileer" rating. Tactical atomic weapons will be tested in April, the USAF's Air Police might turn out to be the Air Force's Marines. The fashion industry is going take a bit of a break during the official mourning period for King George, there was an attempted assassination of the premier of Bulgaria last week, escaped Iron Curtain prison officials say that the Communists have worked out a schedule for executing all political prisoners if they are invaded by the West, and the Reds are building pill boxes in strategic spots and reading all foreign mail. Albania isn't getting much aid from Moscow, some Spanish Communists living in Moscow have been allowed to move to Czechoslovakia, and there is no way that the Russians are making as many consumer goods as they claim, because their railroads couldn't move them. Indonesian censors are cutting bits out of American films where Americans shoot brown people, and Newsweek seems upset! Red Skelton is going to drop his radio show to focus on television, a TV puppet show will do three ten minute episodes in a thirty minute show featuring stories from Oaky Doaks, Smokey Stover, and The Katzenjammer Kids. Ingrid Bergman and Marlon Brando will co-star in The Witness, to be shot in Italy[?] and produced by S. P. Eagle, while the next Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis movie will be Saddle Sore[?], a "violent burlesque" of Western movies. Gary Merrill and Michael Rennie will be in a remake of Two Arabian Knights.  

Washington Trends reports that although you might not have heard about it, there's a Presidential election this year, and General Eisenhower is running. Everyone just wants the Korean War to end, and that's what will happen unless the Chinese invade Southeast Asia. Also, everyone just wants Alaska and Hawaii to be states already. Senators who complain that Alaska isn't economically independent and that Hawaii is "Communist" can blow it out of their, blow holes? Henry Cabot Lodge, who opposes it on the grounds that 96 Senators run the country and why should they share America with two more, can especially blow it out of his especial blowhole!

National Affairs

"Foreign Policy at Cross-roads: America Moves to Repudiate Yalta" Everyone agrees that Yalta was bad and that the UN wasn't all it was cracked up to be, and that the soreheads who want to draw the lesson from all of that that the President should have less power to make treaties and sent troops around the world should sit down and shut up. Also, the Congressional Amateur Players re-enacted the Katyn Forest massacre, in case anyone up there has forgotten that Communism is bad since the beginning of this paragraph. It could happen! 

After two pages of election news and a page on the latest Missouri boy scandals, Newsweek fits in a picture of the giant boulder that rolled onto Highway 50 before, in desperation at the lack of real news, gives a page to the Elizabeth crash, the third airliner to come down in the town while trying to land or take off from Newark Airport in three months. This one was a National Airlines DC-6, Miami-bound with 59 passengers and a crew of four. An engine went out taking off, and the plane crashed into a 50-family apartment house, setting it on fire. Twenty-nine dead in the plane and apartment building. The Port of New York Authority has shut the airport down pending a full investigation. 

"Bullets from the Blue" The assassination of Charles Gross, the acting Republican committeeman for the 31st Ward on the Chicago West Side is seen in Chicago as an attempt by the "West Side Bloc" to extend its political, and therefore patronage, control, over another ward. "three of four Chicago newspapers . . ." are upset. Governor Stevenson is promising to finally do something about the Bloc by firing everybody, now that it has moved on from "slugging" rival politicians to killing them with shotguns, and the Chicago Daily News is silently mouthing, "You just try something." Also, no-one has any idea who might have blown up Tom Keen, or why, and Kenosha, Wisconsin, is more entertained than anything by the latest, Kefauver-inspired attempt to "clean it up." 

Ernest K. Lindley's Washington Tides has "Keep Dulles on the Job." The idea here is that John Foster Dulles has done such a fine job of negotiating the peace treaty with Japan that the President should keep him on and put him in charge of China, where we have a range of options extending from blowing the whole country up if it gets out of line to Korea, to greeting a "Tito-like" breakdown between Moscow and Peking as good enough for "liberation." I can't help noticing that most of the case for Dulles being the best diplomat of all time is his ability to deliver Republican support for his diplomacy. But he just is a Republican! This is like The Economist saying that the only way the Democrats can beat back McCarthy is by giving up and letting Eisenhower win. 

The Korean War 

"Hopes of Truce Again Mount as Talks Near Final Deadline" The headline seems to cover the ground. There are various signs of hope in the negotiations. I'm pretty sure that that's too optimistic, and what's going to happen is that the "Final Deadline" will be pushed back until November, because it just doesn't make political sense to end the war before the election, but it sure would be nice to see the war end now! 


Newsweek heard that we're going grocery shopping this afternoon, and scheduled a new Queen of England to take up even more space in this issue than the Presidential election. If you need to know what the funeral/coronation looks like from the Bay area, drop me a postcard from London!

"Bloody Campaign" A moment out from George VI suffering for his nation and Queen Elizabeth being the bright dawn of a new day to check in with how the Iranians feel about having their oil sold out from under them to support sterling. Hmm. Seems they're still against! (Specifically, election violence on the Afghan border, where a mob beheaded four government officials.) 

"Within the Zone" A moment out from George VI suffering for his nation and Queen Elizabeth being the bright dawn of a new day to check in with how the Egyptians feel about having their canal passage rights being sold out from under them to support the sterling. Seems they're also against! There are now 69,000 British troops garrisoning the Zone, with their arsenal/front gate at Tell-el-Kebir only 49 miles from Cairo. Fifty thousand Egyptian labourers who used to work in the Zone have quit, and the British have abandoned their settled quarters in Ismailia, "which is partly under siege," for tents along the roads, power-, and pipelines. Three thousand families  have been sent home. "For the Tomies, the 'Gyppos' and the 'Wogs' are the enemy." They are eager to settle Cairo's hash, but Generals Erskine and Brian Robertson just want out, if the Egyptians will agree to a "joint defence" against the Soviets, which will then be left to a "Five Power Conference" to hash out. Which is the same story floated in The Economist last week. Although in practice this would be getting out without getting out, since 20,000 British troops would be left, with the balance made up by Egyptians. A full withdrawal is unimaginable because of all the buildings and supplies the British have crammed into Suez, and the facilities, which would take a billion dollars to replicate at alternative sites such as Gaza or Alexandretta. 

Also, Germany might not be keeping the United States of Europe if everyone agrees that a German Army could be just part of a European Army on an organisational chart and otherwise left to conduct its own affairs, which is what Dean Acheson is over in Germany to say to Konrad Adenauer. And France has to get out of the Saar, which the French won't do, because what is the point of only having enemies in Southeast Asia when you can have them right on your borders, too? Then, since appointing an ambassador to the Saar the same week that the Bundestag demanded "equal participation" in Europe wasn't peevish enough, the members of the Assembly started insulting their wives' dresses at each other across the floor.


The Periscope Business Trends reports that business is being hampered by a shortage of cash. That's what was supposed to happen! Predictably, there is pressure for more tariffs. The IRS is looking at limiting expense account deductions again, and the freeze on new television stations is going to be lifted soon, although there won't be a swarm of new stations due to a shortage of station personnel. Metals are getting cheaper, retail business  is worried about sales and so is going into advertising harder even while department store sales finally rise over 1951 totals. 

"Military Faces Congress Fire for Waste and Mismanagement" Uncle George says that he knew this was coming. It's not just that the armed services sometimes waste money, it's that a Congressional investigating committee can make hay of stories about overpriced typists' chairs, blankets and light bulbs, when the public is in the mood. 

"Steel: Facts and Figures" Are we making enough steel? Are we  making too much steel? Can the industry afford a pay raise? Who knows! Let's have a Senate investigation! The actual story has no actual facts and figures, just suggests that the actual facts that need to be investigated are too boring. Not like an industry press release that says that it has spent a billion dollars adding twelve million tons more capacity in 1951, and that America still has three times Russia's iron and steel production. Ellis Arnall is in as the new Director of Price Stabilisation, the "grain shortage" scandal is "mushrooming," with "top men" in the Dallas office now being fired.

Week in Business Notes has Columbia Records and Louis Armstrong winning a judgement against Paradox Industries (a subsidiary of Jolly Rogers Industries) for "pirating" Armstrong recordings. Ford Motor Company is putting fifty million into a new jet engine manufacturing plant at Romulus, Michigan, to make J40s for the Navy. Lockheed's new Super Constellations will be flying a nonstop 4 hour, ten minute coach service (88 passengers) from Detroit to Miami for Eastern Airlines. Owen Cornings is making its first stock offer, and houses are set to get smaller than ever with new government controls on the amount of copper piping they can use. 

Products: What's New reports on Self Guardian Safety Belt Company's baby safety belt, the Magic-Pak Division of Gordon Food's new desiccating packet for shipping containers of peanuts, potato chips and so on, Raytheon's compact "Battle Radio," Avco's one-cup drip coffee maker, and Huffman Manufacturing's "cord control," which seems to be a long handle to keep power cords clear of a lawnmower's blade.

Henry Hazlitt's Business Tides has "Calling the Market Black," which is about how, since price and supply controls are wrong, the black market is actually a good thing, which is why he is giving a good review to Franz Pick's The 1951 Black Market Yearbook, which lists the "black market" exchange rates of all the world's currencies, and which is dedicated to the "two billion victims of inflation." Pick says that hoarders are heroes, devaluation is theft, and that the only thing wrong with the world today is that foreigners hoarding US dollars don't realise that the dollar isn't safe, either. "The black market is here to stay," continues the man who claims to have published the definitive guide to playing the world currency black market. 

Right or wrong, Henry Hazlitt is at least reliably evil!  

Science, Medicine, Education

"Devil Dust" Newsweek explains how Freeport Sulphur Company mines sulphur at Garden Island Bay, which isn't much of a science story but has some great photos to go with it. 

"Safety on the Road" The Harvard School of Public Health has done a study of road accidents and has come to the conclusion that too many accidents are caused by truck drivers mistaking the accelerator for the brake pedal, that, anyway, carelessness and lapses of attention are a very important cause of accidents, and that the trucking companies aren't paying enough attention to physical and mental health. This is proven by the fact that many accidents occur in the first part of the trip, when the driver is probably distracted by their horrible home life, which they  forget about after a few hours of driving. I'm sure that's the explanation, and not maintenance!

Peking Man is still missing, and the Chinese still think that the US Marines stole him, and the Marines are still saying that it wasn't them. Which for some reason isn't under Science Notes of the Week, which tells us that extra sugar makes coffee more wakeful, that Crops and Soils is reporting that a mix of 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T, and fungicide pentachlorophenol are good for controlling barberry, and that "world famous geneticist" Carl Stern had some stern words of caution for eugenicists to the effect that it is up to society to decide what makes a trait "worthy." 

"School on a Hill" Newsweek visits Mira Vista Elementary School, the new school in Cerrito, designed by John Carl Warnecke, which really is something else. I don't really feel up to either typing out Newsweek's description or trying to put it in my own words, but I've seen the buildings, and the terraces of shaked roofs going down the  hill is just beautiful! 

"Registered Nurses' Caps Are a Proud Symbol" It is time to show registered nurses that they are a proud profession by giving their caps a two-page "style" article under Medicine.

Press, Radio and Television, Newsmakers ("People")

The Western Newspaper Union is ending its publishing line, which is explained in an article that tells you what the "WNU" is (You don't care) and why. (Newsprint shortage.) The Chicago Herald-American has had to admit that its story about a Chicago-area sextuplet birth was a hoax, Art Buchwald of the Paris edition of the New York Herald Tribune is very funny, and UN Command at Panmunjom says that Western journalists aren't allowed to talk to Wilfred Burchett any more, because they have noticed that he keeps on being a Communist. 

"Sarnoff versus Stanton" General David Sarnoff and Frank Stanton had a public argument over colour television this week. General Sarnoff says that CBS' attempts to mass-manufacture electromechanical televisions to support their colour television system have collapsed. Their sets cost twice as much as CBS has promised, and aren't selling, which is why sponsors are not buying CBS colour time. The real reason that manufacturing has now been halted by the NPA is that CBS deliberately asked for an allocation of 250,000 fractional-horsepower motors that it knew that the NPA couldn't grant, thereby giving CBS an excuse to stop production. Stanton replied by daring Sarnoff to go to the FCC and tell them that the RCA system is ready to go. 

"TV Team" Just like, it says here, people dream of retiring to a little place in the country, Hollywood celebrities now dream of retiring to their own little television package. Celebrities like Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, with their I Love Lucy show, and Desilu Productions, to produce it. It's great, and Bing Crosby is rumoured to have said that he is going to use the Desilu setup when (if!) he goes to television, along with lots of other stars. Also, Variety says that this will be the first television election. Estes Kefauver has been on TV during the hearings, Harold Stassen has done a fifteen minute spot for Dumont, and Senator Taft tells people that he was made for television. (Senator Taft was not made for television.)

Claire Bloom, Charlie Chaplin, John Buckmaster, Robert W. Patterson, Ted Stauffer, Hedy Lamarr, Alan Paton, Senator Willie Smith, Jimmy Stewart, Mike DiSalle, Maxwell Bodenheim and Governor Kerr Scott are in the column because they are already famous.  Winnie Ruth Judd is in it for being a "trunk murderess" who has escaped from her Arizona State Hospital five times now, turning herself in this week after her latest escape; and Sergeants William Tierney and Henry Lemonds baked a devil's food cake in their front-line bunker while under bombardment. Hoyt Vandenberg's son is married, as is the son of Chief Justice Vinson. Marta Ann Milliken is divorced, Vice President Barkley is recovering, Norman Douglas and Dr. Henry Drysdale Dakin have joined King George in death. 

New Films

The Magic Garden is a sweet and charming movie set in the same tarpaper shack suburbs of Johannesburg that Cry the Beloved Country made to look bad. But don't worry, because there are nice Coloureds there who play the Pennywhistle Blues. Obsessed is a British thriller adapted from the play, Lady Edwina Black by William Dinner (which is a real name) and William Morum, which is, I am sorry, quite enough names for one review. So I can't tell you who starred or what their characters' names are (I'm sorry, but that's the rules that I just made up), only tell you that it has a murder, and suspects, and I suppose they try to find out who did it. Navajo is a documentary about a boy Navajo Indian named Francis Kee Teller, set on the Navajo reservation. Only it sounds awful dramatic for a documentary! On Dangerous Ground is about a troubled police detective having thrilling adventures in human depravity. 


Alex Gardner, William H. Jackson L. A. Huffman, and Erwin Smith went West in the old days and took lots of pictures which are in a coffee table book by Dee Brown and Martin F. Schmitt, Trail-Driving Days, so if you want to remember your childhood, here's a big book of pictures. Truman Smith tells the story of an old-time fugitive slave in The Son of the Prophet, while Emily Kimbrough and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey both have books out about department store life. Artist Peggy Bacon has branched out into a mystery novel, The Inward Eye, which Newsweek really liked. 

Raymond Moley senses that people need "Presidential Primaries" explained to them, and so that is what he does in this week's Perspective column.


Aviation Week, 18 February 1952

News Digest reports that Uncle Henry  has delivered his first Wright R-1300 to the Air Force, the first aero-engine built by the auto industry since WWII. American Airlines is currently updating its existing Sperry autopilots to the A-12. American's DC-6s were fitted with A-12s as delivered, but were not used because the CAA issued a disconnect order following the crash of a KLM DC-6 in Italy "several years ago." The Senate Preparedness Committee has postponed its hearings into Wright-Patterson corruption because new evidence keeps turning up. Westinghouse Air Brake has its first military order for the Deccelostat anti-skid unit, for the C-123B. CAB has limited Atlantic coaching to established airlines, squeezing out the nonskeds. The first DH Comet has been delivered to BOAC, six months ahead of schedule. Canada has ordered almost $52 million in aviation material in the first two months of the year, Trans-Australia has been given permission to buy six Vickers Viscounts, and the French Naval Air Arm is taking delivery of 54 Avro Lancasters, modified with more fuel capacity and radar equipment. 
Katherine Johnsen's Washington Roundup reports that General Vandenberg is going to be in the hot seat when the Appropriations Subcommittee has him in to talk about Air Force spending. He is protesting cuts, no-one else is. The thought is that if Congress wants to cut appropriations in an election year, it will; and General Vandenberg has nothing to lose, because he hasn't been nominated to succeed himself, and won't be. President Truman is seen to be vulnerable on inflating defence spending with make-work "strings." Meanwhile, Secretary of Defence Lovett is warning the Senate Armed Services and Appropriations Committee that the US is losing air superiority over Korea. Reinforcements aren't keeping up with attrition, and cuts in production buildups will make it worse.

Industry Observer reports that  the first Piasecki YH-21s are being delivered, that the cancellation of the Frigidaire order for Aeroproducts propellers leaves no replacement capacity, that 10,000 new and 25,000 old machine tools have been put into defence plants since the Korean crisis started, that the first B-47C will fly just as soon as Allison delivers its J71 engines to Wichita, that Mach 3 jet interceptors are not practical because pilots don't have time to react at that speed, and are also being cooked alive. Talk of replacing the B-36 is just that, because there is no replacement, although Convair is eager to offer a turboprop successor with the Curtiss-Wright Sapphire or a turboprop version of the J57. Didn't the J57 start out as a turboprop? The Air Force is experimenting with new turboprop propellers, including one to go on the Curtiss Wright Sapphire, possibly to power a version of the B-47. De Havilland and GE are still sharing information about jet engines, but that doesn't mean anything. 

"Airlines Face Crisis Over Crashes" "Commercial aviation suffered its darkest hour last week[.]" National agitation against airports in built-up areas has closed Newark, but there's bigger problems, because residents around LaGuardia want it closed, too. CAB says that the crashes are just a terrible coincidence, but pointing out two other accidents of the last three months doesn't help. And, it says in a box, "ironically," the presidents of two nonskeds died in the Elizabeth DC-6 crash. There is some controversy about the crash because when Captain Foster first advised Newark tower that he had lost power in one engine, the tower told first  Captain Foster to land on a specific runway, because there was no agreed procedure, before clearing him to land on any runway he could reach. This might have contributed to Captain Foster stalling while trying to turn to line up the runway. New runways are likely to be a big part of the safety solution to the recent rash of crashes.

Aviation Week rounds up indications that production for civil aviation is growing, but notes that "U.S. Air Force Planes Spread Thin." With 18 combat wings facing Korea and 9 on the Iron Curtain, only about half of the equipment rates as modern. Far East fighter units are just now replacing their P-51s with F-86s and F-84s. The magazine rounds up USAF units in Europe, which seem like a lot to me, list their equipment, which does seem a bit long in the teeth, and then adds, all down at the mouth, that the prospects for updating them in the next 24 months are "dim." But fear not, because informed sources say that General LeMay has been picked to replace Vandenberg as Chief of Staff. Others have been named more speculatively, but Nathan Twining is a lock to be the "successor to the successor."

"Scorpion May Get M-H Autopilot," "Second B-52 Bomber Nears Completion," and "Tools Still Short" fills out a busy news page. The Air Force has given up on getting the Lear F-5 autopilot for the Northrop F-89, the one that was going to guide the fighter right up to a B-29ski along an approach that allowed it to salvo its rockets right into the communist atom bomber's path. The F-5 couldn't even keep the Scorpion stable. So the fact that an F-89 has been seen in Minneapolis suggests that it is going to get a Minneapolis-Honeywell type. The Lear autopilot is working well with the F-86D, but it turns out to be very hard to integrate two or more different servo systems, and the F-89 also has a Lear-designed stability augmentation system with power boost, but with Minneapolis-Honeywell components that might synchronise with an M-H autopilot better. The second B-52 is a pretty straightforward story, and the machine tool shortage reflects a billion dollar backlog in 1951 orders.

Aeronautical Engineering has "Seibel Copters: A Study in Simplicity," which marks a tentative deal with Cessna to buy Siebel with Cessna shares by telling us about how the simple, swashplate-less Siebel hub is just the thing, and might even get an Army contract some day.   It goes on to explain how the Siebel props are controlled at hideous length. Also, Convair is setting up a missile division and Guggenheim Foundation's Jet Propulsion Fellowships will be awarded for graduate study at Princeton and Caltech soon. 

There are more highlights from the IAS Conference, where you can hear the usual about flat plates in transonic air flow, electroplastic panels for icing control and "The Transistor: An Introduction and Summary of Current Status," by A. E. Anderson of Bell Labs, where they are working on reproducibility, reliability and "designability" in these "simple, small, and rugged" vacuum tube replacements. 
Avionics has "High Altitude Omnirange Urged," which is a story about a Radio Technical Committee for Aeronautics recommendation for extra radio frequency allocations for air navigation to support a separate high altitude omnirange network and supplemental low-power omnistations. The Air Force isn't happy about the proposal because it will have to redesign its new, miniaturised VOR receiver, but the RTCA doesn't think that VOR is a must for elevations over 20,000ft right now. They can talk to people when they come down, just like regular dopers! (More seriously, the problem is that stations with coverage over 20,000ft have to be set further apart to prevent interference and even more radio frequency spread, and this risks gaps in coverage, especially if they carry VOR service.) Also, Bendix Pacific has a new ground-based telemeter receiver which can monitor up to 14 continuous FM channels. 

Production reports that Bell is employing 1,326 handicapped people, 12% of workforce, and they're reliable and efficient, as long as their handicap can be engineered in. For example, a man with frozen feet has found three jobs where he can sit down to work, starting out as a full-time PA announcer and moving on   to his current position as a production schedule controller. 

McGraw-Hill World News Service reports that the USAFE "Material Exhibit" show in Europe attracted lots of German manufacturers interested in bidding. 

Equipment Engineering is sorry for making George L. Christian fly back and forth across America (does he even fly, or does he have to take the train?) from one drafty hangar to another, so it gave him an office job just for once, editing an advertorial for Wright. "Turbo Compound: Transport Fuel Saver" "Introduction of Wright Aeronautical's R-3350 Turbo Compound engine into American aircraft will mark the first radical change in powerplant configuration used by US scheduled airlines." I'm sorry, I seem to have set my time machine's dials wrong again, because I thought the Turbo-Compound was in wide use already. It turns out that while people have been talking about it since forever, the first service use will be on Lockheed Super-Connies, about to go into service with KLM and Eastern. The Navy, and Reggie, of course, have been nursing the things along for years on the Neptune, so the point is that they're finally reliable enough for commercial use. You know how it works. An exhaust turbine transfers power back to the crankshaft via a fluid coupling, and is about as efficient as a jet stack, without the noise and corrosion. I don't  have to tell you about the problems with the Neptune engines, because of how much Reggie relishes telling them, but eventually they taught Wright all the ways these complicated gizmos can go wrong. 

New Aviation Products has "underwater toggles," advertised as "flying boat switches," by Riverside Manufacturing, to open up and close circuits underwater. They're resistant to saltwater corrosion, spray, shock, vibration, all that water stuff. American Instrument Company has a "safer plane test," which is a magnetic probe test for weak spots in the exhaust system that replaces the hammer peen system that sometimes collapses the weak spots you're trying to find. 

Air Transport reports taht there are currently orders for 219 twins and 182 four-engine airliners, "about even," and cites a completely unrealistic comparison between the DC-6 and Convair 240 where the hardly-used Convairliner comes out more expensive than the fleet backbone plane. American predicts that the first American jet liners will be flying in 1957. Mail rates are coming down, Wiggins Airways is going to have an all-helicopter in ten years, and Trans-Australian Airlines is doing fine. 

Robert H. Wood's Editorial worries about what the Newark closure will mean for civil aviation in America. What happens when public opinion rallies so decisively against your industry after one crash too many? On the other hand, it is nice that Bell is hiring the handicapped. 


Canadian John E. Cook asks how the disparity between reported aircraft losses in Korea and air-to-air combat losses can be reconciled, suggesting that some "exaggeration" has crept in. Newsweek explains that losses includes accidents and losses to ground fire. Many readers write in to point that, while don't get them wrong, they absolutely do hate communism, the photo spread of the "true face of Russia" shows the same beggar in the same pose in pictures claimed to have been taken at two locations, which is a bit dishonest. But an honest mistake, says Newsweek! Most people think that the cover picture of Rise Stevens in costume for Carmen was a bit too risque. Kefauver and Taft fans write in, and Newsweek explains how to let the magazine know that you're moving. Good luck, everybody! 

The Periscope reports that Communists might be muscling into Abadan, that Truman sees a Korean peace as the climax of his Presidency, that former supporters of Kefauver are souring on him because he doesn't back the Fair Deal. The Pentagon's "off-shore procurement" plan to spread US dollars around by buying abroad is running into trouble with tariff fans. The Senate might take another look at "hi-jinks" at Air Materiel Command again. The government decentralisation effort is being dropped because moving agencies out of Washington is just too expensive. Taft's planned rally in Spokane is over-subscribed, the President sent a  nice letter to a "monologist" who, some people said, offended the President in a recent performance. The President's letter says it isn't true. (a "monologist" is a comedian who tells long, personal stories. In other words, a woman.) The "latest" US atomic weapon is a "penetrator," which isn't new, since the Navy was talking about using a Nagasaki-style "Thin Man" bomb on its bombers to attack Soviet sub pens back when it was the only bomb their bombers could carry, anyway. The new push is related to talk of attacking special underground atomic installations, presumably, Newsweek says, "a cave." The Air Force also says that RB-47s will be flying from Japan soon, and lets Newsweek know about the F-100, since  it seems a bit sheltered, or maybe just has a short attention span. The Pentagon wants US troops furloughed in Japan to continue to spend like drunken sailors, but the Japanese may ask that their pocket money be limited. Show trials seem to be on in Tokyo, General Ridgeway says that Syngman Rhee is too old and feeble to run Korea, while ROK soldiers are starting to take "unauthorised furloughs" to see to their families, which is something that "Orientals" do. The Russians seem to be on the verge of a major coal export deal with Japan, because the Japanese need coal more than they hate Communism. Russian guards are torturing prisoners! Peron has "the jitters" about a coup! The 1951 edition of The Great Soviet Encyclopedia has bad parts. Jews wanting to leave Hungary have to pay a grand in bribes, the President of Czechoslovakia is a drunk with a bad liver, Panamanian politicians are silly. Italian partisans are in the news. Claire Barnes is coming out with a sequel to The Political Zoo, Leo Derocher has a TV film coming out. 

It looks like The Periscope didn't run into anyone's agents at the bar this week. 

Washington Trends reports that Senator McCarthy is more influential than ever. Taft  has embraced him, and the Eisenhower campaign is reluctant to distance him. He will campaign for 7 senators from Washington to Indiana, although he is not wanted in New Jersey or California. Speaking of which, some say that Eisenhower isn't catching fire the way he hoped, and whether or not that is true, it is the election season and Congress is thinking about packing up and going home, because all they've got to do this season is stupid appropriations, economic control, immigration, and Universal Military Training stuff. 

National Affairs

I don't know if you've  heard this, but this is a Presidential election year, and the results of the New Hampshire Primary will be in soon, and then we'll be on to the next primaries! 

"Moving Day" "The statistics are baffling." Up until December, Newark Airport was as safe as any airport in America, but, well, three crashes in three months! It's not the airfield. Pilot groups say that it is one of the twelve-best instrumented fields in the United States, and (at least) two of the three crashes were engine-out power losses, anyway. People are clear on one thing, which is that the airport has to be moved before another plane crashes into the city of Elizabeth. Also, Walter Lee Irvin of the Groveland Four has been convicted and sentenced to death again, and the FBI is going to look into the Fair Bluff, North Carolina Klan's habit of kidnapping citizens and transporting them across  state lines for floggings. Also, Communist subversion trials and investigations are going on throughout the country, preserving our democracy.  

Ernest K. Lindley's Washington Tides gets on the band wagon with "Waste in the Armed Forces," which is actually quite a sensible swim against the tide. I'm also going to mention way down here that the President gave an interview that looked back on his attempt to maintain price and supply controls in the economy and singles out areas where he was baulked by Congress but still wants to act. 


Last week I didn't tell you about the royal funeral and the new Queen. This week, I don't tell you even more! 

"Fanatic's Fire" A "fanatic" shot and nearly killed Hossein Fatemi at an election rally in Teheran this week, while across the Gulf in Saudi Arabia, the King is buying cadillacs for his harem, because, being an Oriental, he has one, and being an oil sheikh, he has lots of money that he is required to spend irresponsibly, and obviously harem girls don't need cars! 

Also, you know that story about NATO, the European Army, the Saar, and French-German tensions? Newsweek was too busy to cook, so here it is, reheated. 

"Britain's Bomb" It is official. The British are going to set off an atom bomb in Australia this year. "It is believed that Britain's weapon is a bomb or shell for close support of troops."

The Korean War

"Fighting Has Taught Our Army How to Defeat General Winter" The Army holds a fashion show! 

Canada is having an argument about whether it should be a "dominion," or a "realm," which is much more important than the Bureau of Statistics finding that Canada's population has just exceeded 14 millions, that it has taken in 174,000 immigrants in the last year, that its exports last year were $3.9 billion, up 26% on the year before, and that labour income last year was almost $8 billion. Canada also thinks that atomic energy for civilian use is quite close and is doing something about it. 


The Periscope Business Trends reports that the big thing in the next few months will be labour troubles, including steel. Since last week the metals market was easing and getting better, this week we hear that it's in trouble. That's because copper is scarce, so aluminum is replacing it in wire and cable. Replacement material for nickel stell is being found, too, and "plastics are moving in." So, trouble for base metal miners, then. Ellis Arnall is going to use temporary suspensions to ease the work of the OPA. The Federal Reserve is going to crack down on lease-to-buy-back deals, which are getting around its attempt to reduce the amount of inflationary consumer credit. The new Fair Trade legislation won't affect the prices consumers pay. 

Steel! Also, small businesses are upset that after they bid for armed services contracts at a loss, they lost money. They're very upset that the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines didn't teach them how to keep books before they were allowed to bid. Union Pacific's instructional cars on how to ship farm products for the market roll from town to town educating farmers. What with one thing and another, there is not as much meat on the market as the Department of Agriculture predicted last spring, or Idaho potatoes, because of winter. 

Notes: Week in Business reports that the United States exported $4 billion more than it imported last year, that Uncle Henry has delivered his first aircraft engine to the Air Force, a tiny trainer type, that Timken has a new plant in Newark to make axles for military-style trucks as part of its dispersal effort, and that the CAB has given final approval for a $480 round-trip Transatlantic coach rate this summer.

The story about armed services waste (blankets are too expensive!) moves to Business. Airlines report that the Elizabeth crashes have affected passenger bookings less than crashes usually do. 

Products: What's New reports on an clothes washer from Bendix with its own built-in water heating coil, a combination brush-and-dish-soap dispenser for washing dishes from Anro Products of Chicago, collapsible plastic containers for picnics and other events, from U. S. Fibre and Plastic, and a radio-controlled, air-droppable, five-peson lifeboat from Westinghouse. Which seems like old news.

Henry Hazlitt's Business Tides has "Price-Control Follies of 1952," which explains that no-one believes that price controls will really be extended for another two years, and that the President's campaign for them is just a way to shift blame for inflation onto Congress, when the "real reason for inflation" is the increase in the money supply, which, Hazlitt says, dilutes the value of money. Doesn't Hazlitt read The Economist? Or is he reading it even faster than me? It is about claims on goods and services. So if the amount of money rises in proportion to goods and services, it retains its value. Wait. If the money supply doesn't rise as fast as the rest of the economy, the value of money increases, and rich people get richer. Oh. Now I see! I mean, Hazlitt is right to see that there is inflation, and that it is caused by people bidding up the supply of things. But he must know that the reason for that is rearmament, and you would think that he could wrap his brain around the idea that his solution will hurt regular people as much, if not more, than inflation. 

Science, Medicine,Education

"Her Majesty's Apes" Fossil finds show that the Barbary apes of Gibraltar were native to the Thames Valley a mere 750,000 years ago. (It was warmer then.) Also, the Social Science Research Council is funding the study of Asia, so that more Americans will know more about Asia, beginning with centres at Michigan and Cornell and two research stations, one in Thailand and one in Japan with eleven students. Which seems like it's a bit shy of solving the problem. 

"For Higher Times" The USAF has Bendix working on two new very  high altitude altimeters that will work either thermoelectrically, or by counting ionised molecules of air, since air pressure that high is negligible.

"The Hamster's Cancer" Cancers are very cute and lovable, which is why doctors love to experiment on them, for example by giving them human cancers in their cheek pouches, which can be studied very easily as they progress, if they do. 

"Doctor's Revolt" Doctors at the VA don't like how it is being run, and are resigning. 

Medical Notes reports that Dr. William Feinbloom of Brooklyn, New York, has invented the thinnest contact lens ever,  made of unbreakable methyl methacrylite. Dr. J. E. M. Thompson is having good results treating hip fractures, which sometimes cannot heal due to special causes or just old age, by implanting a metal ball that acts as a replacement ball-and-socket. The intestinal syndromes often reported by visitors to Mexico, Spain and Italy are often caused by peppers and tomatoes in the local diet, or possibly the cooking oils, which are as bad as castor oils for Americans. Plenty of bismuth is the solution! Hydergine, a drug derived from ergot, is just the thing for hardening of the arteries and other cardiovascular complaints. Dr. Roy J. Popkins of Los Angeles Cedars of Lebanon Hospital says that it works by acting on the sympathetic nervous system to prevent spasms that would affect the organs. Quinacrine hydrochlorine (atabrine) isn't just a quinine substitute, it also works on tapeworms.

"The Annapolis of the West" I thought there was just a Harvard of the West (it's Stanford, is what I tell people!) It turns out that there is also an Annapolis. It's the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. Or it is now, since the Navy moved its postgraduate school from Annapolis to Monterey because they needed space and also more votes from the California Congressional delegation. Not that Monterey isn't a much better place to do postgraduate studies than Annapolis, says Reggie! 

Newsweek got hold of some copies of Soviet textbooks. They're awful, because Communism is awful.  


Art, Radio and Television, Press, Newsmakers ("People")

The Art Institute of Chicago is teaming up with the Metropolitan Museum to do a retrospective on Cezanne, but the point this time isn't Cezanne but rather the interpretation of Cezanne's work assembled by Katherine Kuh of the Institute, who gets a profile story to describe her method of "interpreting" an artist's work by a carefully staged exhibit with explanatory wall texts. I'm not sure what makes this memorable or original?

Clete Roberts is shooting TV news documentaries abroad. Much like the Art article above, I am not clear on why this is new news. 

"Health via TV" TV might spread hypochondria, but NBC and the New York County Medical Association are collaborating on Here's to Your Health to put an end to those groundless fears! This seems like as good a Medicine story as last week's on cap styles.

Look magazine checks in on the "Battle Against Sin," which seems to be a round up of stories about disgraceful goings on from the Babbit-country press. Howard Hughes flew a junket out to Las Vegas in a Constellation to promote RKO and Las Vegas, but then Jane Russell had to get involved in a fight between her husband and her boyfriend(?) and ruined it all. 

Bill and Cora Baird, Grandma Moses, Diana Barrymore, Edward G. Robinson, Jr., Herbert A. Philbrick, Henry Wallace, Munir Bushan, Arthur Murray, Monty Irvin, Jane Russell, Governor Elmer Anderson of Minnesota, and Dr. Thomas G. Ward are in the column for the usual reasons. Newsagent George A. Williams is in it for drilling a hole in the roof of his newstand so that he could photograph people abusing his honour system for selling newspapers and finding out that they were mostly respectable businessmen.  Bess Truman is 67, Gracie Fields has married for the third time, Representative Robert Doughton, 86, of North Carolina, is resigning rather than running again in '52. Admiral Sprague is also retiring, but Charles Scribner (the third, but he doesn't use the  numeral) has just become president of the publishing house at 62. Ida B. Wise Smith has died. 

New Films

The Green Glove is a very polished thriller that, unfortunately, is  just a "poor man's Maltese Falcon." In spite of that, Newsweek obviously had fun at the showing, because the end of the review is a recital of stupid lines from the movie, the kind you repeat to your friends after the show until you all crack up. This Woman is Dangerous. And how! But I'll be okay after lunch. No, wait, there's a movie by that title out this week. Joan Crawford is a gangster's moll who falls for a nice eye doctor. The Light Touch is an pretty good "international crime comedy" about Stewart Grainger returning to being a dashing jewel thief to impress a girl or something adjacent to that plot. The Big Trees is a Warner Technicolor starring big trees, specifically, redwoods and the bad lumber men and nice settlers who fight over them. Bend of the River is a Western starring a steam boat, the only thing on screen even trying to play its role, even including Jimmy Stewart, who might have just kept on clowning. 


T. Harry Williams and General Colin Ballard have rival books about Abraham Lincoln as a "war president" out. Williams might seem to be outranked and out-expertised,, but he is a history professor from Illinois, so he is also an expert on these things. A. J. Cronin's Adventures in Two Worlds is a memoir about how he became so successful as a doctor and a popular novelist. Is it because he is so good-looking, he wonders? Or is it because he is so smart? Or is it because he is a good Catholic? So many questions! Mary McCarthy, who, we're told right up front is a very liberal liberal who publishes in all of the right places, has a novel, Groves of Academe, about a horrible professor who is fired from his job at a college back East and strikes back by starting a campaign to make it look like he is being witch-hunted as a Communist. (Even though he is not.) Newsweek seems to really like the book, and it is good. Unfortunately, the author taught at one of the Seven Sisters for a year (not that the review mentions this), and her female protagonist is a fiery young instructor with a Radcliffe BA. That makes this all look far too autobiographical and could easily taint the actual victims of actual witch hunts. I really do think the woman could have done better. 

Raymond Moley tells us about "The Health of Small Business," which explains that current worries about increasing concentration of big business are just another example of Administration propaganda like its publicly announced fears of Communism(!!!) Actually, there are more small businesses than ever, so everything is fine and the trustbusters can go back to sleep. 

Aviation Week, 25 February 1952

This is the Air Power issue, so the regular features are pushed down to the end, as in the case of News of the Week, or are just gone, so that we can cover air power in America and around the world. Brace yourself, because before we're done we will be up to date on the Norwegian Air Force. ("Situation Vacant, inquire within.")

 Aviation Week has a special feature, "Analysis of Air Power," which explains that defence was "pushed too hard" after the outbreak of the war and that the dual economy has been clamping down on production for customers and defence, leading to hardships for consumers, unemployment and too few planes. With no all-out war, we couldn't clamp down on Detroit too far, and the upshot is 150 F-86s versus "700-800 MiGs in Korea," which, if nothing else, is a pretty dramatic demonstration of the difference between production rates of centrifugal versus axial jet engine. The stretch-out of rearmament is good business, but will impact aeronautical industries and satellite businesses. In the end, if "defence in depth" succeeds, to borrow the Nazi slogan, it will be the first time in history. 

"Air Policy Still Rests on the Strategic Bomber" That's what it says here! There's an accompanying chart that  makes it look like "air policy" "still rests" on lots and lots of transports, but bombers are more expensive, so even though we're building hardly any because engines aren't reaching the B-47s or, apparently, the B-36s (you may remember that the B-36s are getting a bank of jet engines so that they can get away from LaGG-7s, no mention of MiG-15s). they're still the biggest of big deals. The Navy, on the other hand, is still hampered by the fact that you can hardly fly jets off carriers, so it only bought 733 fighters and 150 attack types in 1950, compared with 49 patrol, and have "only" 6200 operating aircraft in the USN. (We have 3 CVBs, 9 CVs, 5 CVLs and 19 CVEs in service right now.) 

Meanwhile, "NATO: Too Little Money, Too Many Lands" is spending more on defence, but still not enough. NATO can recommend that the British aviation industry expand all it likes, in the absence of housing and labour direction, it is not going to happen.  

Next up, Rudolf Modley returns to the paper to explain "How to Measure Air Power by Statistics," which is hard when we have no military statistics at all for 1951. In the last year that we have numbers for engine production, 1947, the US produced 4,805 engines, compared with 109,650 in 1945, although valuation was only down to $463 million compared with $1.75 billion. We are told that aircraft structure weight produced in 1951 was 54 million lbs, compared with 540 million in 1945 (and 963 million in 1944), and that average aircraft weight has only risen by 1000lbs, from 11,000 to 12,000, in that time. 

Kenneth S. Coleman and Robert Zalkin, of the Research and Development Board, check in with "Growth of Research Feeds Industry," which explains that research is good, which I knew, and that between a fifth and a fourth of the nation's engineers work in research, with a total of research scientists and engineers which has risen from 75,000 in 1941 to 135,000 today, and is lower than the Steelman Report due to trying to exclude people not actually working in research, but the real meat of the article is money, about $3.5 billion estimated to be spent in 1953, well over half by government. 

David Anderton has an easy job for the Air Power Issue, reheating the "Push-Button Era is Approaching" article on guided missiles. We used to have V-2s, then we had money, then we had disappointments, and now we have the Terrier, Sparrow, Nike, Matador, Snark, Hermes, Loki, Rascal, and Lark. In the future we might have a carrier group protected by a screen of "scout missiles," spotting submarines "from far off" using "various" measures and attacking with "winged missiles" that are "descended" from glide bombs and depth charges. Also, guided missiles might carry atom bombs, perhaps on "mole" missiles. 

Avionics has Philip J. Klass reporting on "Avionics' New Role in Air Power" The air force is working on computing gunsights for fighters and bombers, the latter being more complicated, since they will have to direct several remote turrets, aircraft navigation for long ranged bombers, where some kind of automated celestial navigation or "inertial" dead reckoning is promising, automated flight programming, perhaps with punched tape, better engine controls and autopilots, and running continental air defence. The Air Force has a vision of an "integrated loop" of ground stations providing radar fixes, autopilots guiding the aircraft to the target at great speed, and gun computers aiming the weapons to make use of the short time of a high-speed pass. Also, if you have an F-89 involved, keeping the plane from falling over and stalling out. It might even link with engine controls, and, considering the limited range of ground radar, with the aircraft's radar, once it has one. That's the dream. Progress is still in the realm of getting the B-47 autopilot and K-1 computing bombing sight working together. It takes "three to five years" to get this kind of integrated loop working. And once in service, systems like the "1954 Interceptor" have to be reliable. The B-29s' central fire control system was very reliable, and they all decayed into garbage in storage inside a year. Avionics engineers are under pressure to produce the smallest possible equipment, which makes it even worse. Poor reliability means lots of testing, and that can be a challenge, too. Some BuAer equipment is starting to come with fault-locating circuits that tell a repairman where the circuit is broken, but building that equipment in, adds complexity and weight. It also helps unskilled maintenance personnel, who are at a premium, since once personnel learn what they are doing, they quite and go work in industry for better money. 

The civil sector is bored now, so we have articles about industrial flying being up, light planes being necessary to defence, and "Agricultural flying advances in 1951." Harvey Gaylord, who, it says here, is the Chairman of the Helicopter council and Vice-President, Helicopters, at Bell, has "Copters Win Role in Air Power." Did you know that helicopters came of age in Korea? It must be true, it says so right here! 

Transport in Air Power has William Kroger reporting on "Airlift: More Planes, Manpower Needed" An air-transportable army needs lots of planes! MATS can't do all of it, so commercial aircraft have to be called in for something like the Berlin Airlift, but here are also some statistics about how many airliners were used in the Pacific Airlift (66 at the peak) to illustrate how many could come in during the next emergency. Lots! If you want lots of statistics about the services, miles, passenger hours and tonnage carried by the Pacific Airlift, you know where to come! Did you know that there is currently a 400 plane backlog of orders for the scheduled airlines?

Now let's have a look at foreign air power. 

Nat McKitterick, over at McGraw-Hill World News, reports that "UK Air Power Caught in Budget Squeeze" The latest current accounts deficit crisis means that the country must think of "dollars as well as defences" and sell as much stuff as it can. What that means first and foremost is research, but also bases, guided missiles, and jet transports. De Havilland now has 50 Comet orders on hand, but they are still all BOAC orders, so the question remains whether industry will be able to take advantage of the market. Aircraft, the industry points out, make good exports, clearing 
£10 per pound structure weight, well ahead of automotive exports. Enough of that, though, because it is time to talk about British fighter jets, bombers and warships. The P. 1054 and 1067 are very nice, the Swift, Sea Hawk and Attacker are coming along nicely, the Valiant prototype crash hasn't delayed production, and the Navy had 13 carriers after the Eagle commissioned last year. The Air Force is growing, just like the RCAF, which gets a long article to go with one on the Canadian airlines. (Australia gets the same, although less optimistic, since Marcel Grobutch files a less enthusiastic report emphasising that the RAAF flies obsolescent aircraft, that the industry is being held up by lack of money and manpower, and that home-built jets are a year away. Although air transport is "smashing all records"!

Italian, French and Swedish air power also get articles. Italy and France are still getting their industry back off the ground, while Sweden is building up its air force, fearing a NATO "snub" if Russia attacks it. Russia will be able to maintain more fighters in the air over Sweden at any given time than the Swedes have, and is estimated to have 2000 jet bombers. "Sources hostile to the Socialist-Farmer government" are very unimpressed by the small air force and small aircraft orders and lack of all-weather equipment. And so on down through Holland and Belgium and South Africa and India down to Norway and Brazil and "Spain's Plight" of having a fine, first class air force but no planes. 

I have no idea for the life of me how Spain gets such good press. Usually you have to pay for praise. Where is the money coming from?

News of the Week repots that Idlewild will take most of the flights from Newark, that a Presidential Air Safety Board has been convened under James Doolittle, with Jerome Hunsacker and Charles F. Horne. Ocean coach has been okayed, we hear once again, Donald F. Warner, the former head of GE's Gas Turbine division, has died,  the RAF is getting 500 Canadair Sabres next year, and the Air Force is ending civilian training. The Navy has cancelled the F3D-3 "heavy Skynight," and has ordered an interceptor armament system to "fly within the year." MDAP air air has passed a billion dollars, the Air Coordinating Council really likes passenger  helicopters, the CAA wants $1.4 million to test jet transport types, the International Air Transport Association Technical Meetig in Copehnagen in May will talk about landings, and a Huntington Air Transport Company Viking has crashed into a mountain on a charter flight from London to Nairobi, killing 34, all personnel assigned to the new airfield at Entebbe, Uganda. .


No comments:

Post a Comment