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Commission Urges Broadened Medical Care Program—Speeds the Building of Ships—Pint-Sized Submarine Is Launched at Groton— Marine Phenomena in the Gulf of Mexico
Soviet Budget Sets Record—-Soviet Atom Shake-Up—Soviet Leads in Polar Race
Other Countries................................................................................................................................. 1151
Superior British Research—-Yugoslav Navy to Expand Cooperation with West-—-Delta Wing Air-Liner Project—Largest Tanker Launched
Edison Develops New Fire Detector—-Highest Sea Waves—Machine Tool Powered by Sound—A.E.C. Near Production of H-Bomb Materials—New Reactor Will Add Speed to Third Atomic Submarine
Commission Urges Broadened Medical Care Program
Naval A fairs, July.—The distinguished civilian commission appointed in April by the Secretary of Defense, and headed by Dr. Harold G. Moulton, renowned economist and president emeritus of Brookings Institution, has submitted its report to the Secretary and has recommended a broadened program of dependent care to make medical and dental care available to more families of military personnel.
In its report, the Commission stated it believes that one of the most important bolsters to morale is the assurance afforded military personnel on the fighting front that the welfare of their dependents is being looked after by the military organization itself. The Report urges Congress to “make an explicit declaration of policy with respect to dependent medical care in order that existing uncertainties and inconsistencies may be removed. The legislation should state what types of illnesses will be treated, whose dependents are eligible and what types of dependents are entitled to medical care.”
As key recommendations, the Report states that where medical facilities are not available, eligible dependents should be able to utilize civilian doctors and medical facilities. However, as safeguards to prevent excessive demands and other abuses, the Commission recommended that the patient pay the first ten dollars, plus ten percent of the remainder of the bill for any one illness treated by civilian doctors. This provision is primarily to discourage the selection of the most expensive hospital accommodations or high priced doctors.
The following is a summary of the Commission’s report as prepared by the Department of Defense.
“The recommendations of the Commission provide for equal care for all eligible dependents, wherever located. Heretofore, medical care has been confined to those living conveniently near military medical installations. Those living at a distance were eligible, but as a practical matter medical attention was usually beyond their reach.
“Similarly, in congested centers military medical facilities were often inadequate to meet the needs. The Commission recommends that the present system be supplemented by the use of civilian facilities when military facilities are not available—with the Government meeting a substantial part, but not all, of the costs. Safeguards to prevent excessive demands and other abuses have been recommended, by requiring that the patient pay the first 10 dollars, plus 10 percent of the remainder of the bill, for any one illness treated by civilian doctors.
“The Commission does not, however, recommend complete medical care. Contrary to widespread belief, the medical care provided has heretofore not been complete, and it has differed in extent in the three Services. The limiting factor in general was the availability of facilities; but at the same time certain types of illnesses were excluded as a practical matter. The Commission recommendations establish uniformity in practice throughout the Services, and set up strict limitations with respect to the illnesses covered.
■ Exceptions Listed
“Specifically excluded are the following: Domiciliary care and hospitalization for chronic diseases; mental and nervous disorders; elective surgical and medical treatment; prosthetic devices; hearing aids;-orthopedic footwear and spectacles (except overseas) ; ambulance service and home calls (except in emergency). On the dental side, only emergency cases are included—except overseas or at remote stations where civilian facilities are not available.
“The Commission recommends that the following be included: Diagnosis; treatment of acute medical and surgical conditions; treatment of contagious diseases; immunization; and maternity and infant care.”
Speeds the Building of Ships
Wall St. Journal, July 25.—New York.— What’s claimed to be a speedier system for getting the sections of a ship from the blueprint stage to the finished product is being offered by Ampower Corp. of New York.
The technique, known as the “Lumotrace” system, has been used in European shipyards, the firm says, and is now being made available here. It involves what ship-builders call lofting—the process of making the steel parts of the vessel match up with the sizes and shapes called for in the blueprints.
Ordinarily, Ampower explains, the job is done by means of cumbersome wooden forms that outline in full-scale size the shape of the big steel parts. The new method, the company maintains, saves both space and materials.
It works like this: Draftsmen prepare the body frames and sections to a one-tenth scale. Then they develop the dimensions of the hull plates on the same scale, and the drawings are photographed on glass negatives. When these are placed in a projector, they can be beamed directly on the steel plates.
Unskilled workmen then trace the image on the plate, and the piece is sent on its way for fabrication
The aircraft industry in this country has been using a somewhat similar method, but Ampower claims the “Lumotrace” system hasn’t been adapted over here for ship-building. That’s because ship parts are so big the original drawings have to be magnified 100 times to get them to full size. Aircraft parts, on the other hand, being smaller, need less magnifying.
Ampower reports that until recently it was thought impossible to use the system for ships, because there would be too many errors due to distortion of the image. Germany, however, the firm says, has perfected a lens that can do the job with a minimum of distortion.
The New York company is now acting as agent for the German manufacturer, Gesell- schaft fur Anzeichen Gerate. Equipment for the process includes a high-precision camera and an optical projector.
Pint-Size Submarine Is Launched at Groton
New York Herald Tribune, July 18, 1953.
' The United States Navy today launched the 250-ton submarine T-l, the smallest undersea craft built for the fleet in forty- seven years with a crew of only two officers and twelve enlisted men.
The launching took place at the shipyards of the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp., near Groton at the mouth of the Thames River on Long Island Sound about 160 miles from New York City. Here the Holland, first submarine ever bought by the United States, was constructed and the Nautilus, the world’s first atomic powered submarine, presently is being built.
One Propeller, One Tube
The pint-sized T-l is only 131 feet long. Officially it will be used in training United States surface and air forces in anti-submarine warfare—an important job in view of the size of Russia’s underseas fleet, now the largest in the world. The T-l would be useful also in landing raiding units.
The T-l has a single propeller powered with Diesel-electric drive and storage batteries. It carries only a single torpedo tube. The last Navy submersibles to have a single screw were the B-class of submarines, built in 1907, which were the first United States undersea craft equipped with periscopes.
Marine Phenomena in the Gulf of Mexico
Marine News, July, 1953.—Capt. A. Knook, Master of the Dutch S.S. Zeeland, made a report that at 0530 G.M.T., March 24, 1953 the Zeeland, on a straight course from Tortugas to South Pass, was crossing the 90-fathom-600-fathom curve, lat. 25° 26' 24" N., long. 84° 13' 12" W., when the vessel began to pitch and pound violently and then vibrate and shudder from stem to stern. Immediate alterations of course and speed had no effect on this pounding. At the time the weather was and had been clear and fine, calm wind and sea with slight ground swell. This condition repeated itself several times until 0715 G.M.T., March 24. At no time during the pounding was any apparent change in sea conditions observed nor was there any unfavorable trim condition to the vessel that could have contributed to the disturbance. The pounding was severe enough that the master felt grave concern for the safety of his vessel.
According to the Hygrographic Bulletin, from an oceanographic standpoint there are two possible explanations for the extreme disturbance this vessel experienced: (a) A strong seismic disturbance centered near the vessel, and (b) resonance between the period of the swell occurring at this time in the area and the natural frequency of the ship.
Thorough inquiry has proven that the only major seismic disturbance recorded on March 24, 1953 was centered in the vicinity of the Aleutian Islands.
There exists a certain amount of evidence supporting the thesis that this phenomena could have been due to a case of resonance between the period of the swell and the period of the ship. During the period March 23, 1953, the synoptic sea and swell charts in the Oceanographic Central show that the height of the waves in the North Atlantic were, in general, higher than at any time during the past several weeks. In addition, the direction of the waves in the North Atlantic was from the northeast which indicates that these waves could have moved through the Strait of Florida in the form of swell. The period of the waves in the western North Atlantic, according to the ship reports closest to the east Florida coast, was about 8 seconds. Inquiries of the David Taylor Model Basin elicited the information that for a ship the size of the Zeeland, the natural frequency for rolling is between 10 and 15 seconds, while the natural frequency for pitching is approximately 8 seconds. It is entirely possible therefore that the period of the swell occurring in that area and the natural frequency of swell coincided so closely that resonance occurred. It should be pointed out that, in order for resonance to occur, there must be very close coincidence between the two frequencies. Since the predominant period of swell varies with both time and distance, and since the natural frequency of a ship is a function of many parameters, such as its length, beam, tonnage, and shape, it would not be unusual if this phenomena were experienced by the Zeeland and by no other ship in the area.
Soviet Budget Sets Record
Christian Science Monitor, August 6, 1953. —Moscow.—Prime Minister Georgi M. Malenkov’s government has presented to the Supreme Soviet (parliament) the biggest budget in the history of the Soviet Union. More than one fifth of the half-trillion ruble budget is earmarked specifically for the armed forces.
Finance Minister Arseny Zverev told a joint session of the Supreme Soviet 1953 expenditures would be 530J billion rubles. Of this armed forces expenditures are listed at 110,200,000,000 rubles. This would indicate a decrease of 3,600,000,000 rubles from the 1952 armed forces outlay.
[The Soviet Union values the ruble at four to the dollar. This would mean in dollar equivalents a budget of 132J billion dollars, of which more than 27§ billion dollars would be for the armed forces. This is not necessarily the whole Soviet defense budget picture, however. Western authorities say Soviet official budgetary expenditures for the military fail to include all military expenses. Many such expenses normally listed in the United States under defense would be placed in other categories in Soviet estimates. There is no indication, for example, how much money under the heading of capital investment goes for industrial development required by the military or into other essential military programs. United States experts estimate that at least half the total Soviet budget goes directly or indirectly for military purposes.
[As revised last May, the total United States budget was 74 billion dollars, of which 43 billion was for defense. United States spending in the period ended June 30 totaled just over 74£ billion dollars. However congressional paring has shaved the defense spending estimate for the next fiscal year to 34J billion dollars. Comparisons between Soviet and American budgets are difficult because of differences in the operation of the two systems.]
The Soviet budget announcements this year came five months later than normally. In March, 1952, the Supreme Soviet approved a budget calling for total expenditures just short of 477 billion rubles, of which 113,800,000,000 was earmarked for the armed forces. In 1951, the figure for defense was 96 billion.
Mr. Zverev’s budget, reporting slight increases in spending on the national economy and “communal culture,” indicates a surplus of 12,800,000,000 rubles. Soviet government income comes from various taxes, including turnover taxes, state-operated enterprises, and various types of state loans.
Other Business Slated
The session of the Supreme Soviet was the first since it met in mid-March to confirm Mr. Malenkov as Prime Minister, succeeding Joseph Stalin in the post. Also before the Supreme Soviet were the “interim decisions” of its presidium, which acts for it between sessions.
Mr. Malenkov and others of the ruling hierarchy of the Communist Party, cut to nine members by the purge of Deputy Prime Minister Lavrenti P. Beria July 10, drew cheers from the legislators.
There has been expectation that this session—which may last several days—would take approving action in the case of Mr. Beria, charged with plotting against the government. However, the preliminary sessions and the budget session provided no indication of what action, if any, would be forthcoming.
Deputies of the Council of the Union—a house of 682 members elected on the basis of population—stood and applauded as Mr. Malenkov strode into the Moscow Assembly Hall under a blaze of arc lights. Foreign Minister Vyacheslav M. Molotov was among those seated on the platform with him.
1953] Professional Notes
Soviet Atom Shake-Up
Christian Science Monitor, July 27,1953.— Removal of Col. Gen. Vyacheslav A. Malyshev as head of one of the central machinebuilding ministries, little more than two weeks after he ostentatiously accompanied Prime Minister Georgi M. Malenkov and the entire party presidium to a gala performance at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater, highlights one of the most serious consequences of Lavrenti P. Beria’s ouster—the unhinging of the Soviet atom project.
Development of atomic energy and atom bomb production in the Soviet Union is believed to have been one of Mr. Beria’s principle domains. His visits to the East German uranium mines and to uranium production centers in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Bulgaria indicate that he took a personal interest in this work. As the Soviet Union’s master builder of heavy machinery, Colonel General Malyshev, who, according to German reports, also directed the construction of cyclotrons, had a stake in the industrial side of the project.
Mr. Beria, however, must have been the chief. Development of atomic energy was in many ways related to his other duties. Through his control of waterpower projects he was responsible for providing the torrent of electric energy required for atom splitting.
The Asian territories—presumable location of Soviet atom experiments—are dotted with forced labor camps and for all practical purposes under the jurisdiction of the security forces which used to be under Mr. Beria’s command. The impenetrable police cover which made atom developments one of the most tightly guarded Soviet secrets also was his responsibility.
Most of the executives who organized Soviet atom research and directed the work of such natural scientists as Peter Kapitsa, Yoffe, Bruno Pontecorvo, and their Russian and foreign staffs are Beria appointees. Atomic research in satellite laboratories was under the control of the various ministries of the interior which in 1951 had been transformed into agencies of the Soviet police.
Mr. Beria’s indictment as a traitor has placed the whole administrative staff of the
Soviet and satellite atomic energy establishments under a heavy cloud. Dismissal of men initiated in the most secret aspects of this kind of work appears a near impossibility. To maintain Beria men in such responsible positions must be equally unthinkable for the regime. Yet their summary liquidation would throw the project back more than a year.
The solution long-time students of Soviet affairs believe, might be similar to the one adopted in 1930 for the famous thermic energy specialist Prof. Leonid K. Ramsin who “officially” was executed, but actually continued to work in a well-appointed laboratory under heavy guard, and after more than 15 years was decorated with the Order of Lenin and released. Mr. Beria himself most probably will not be spared, but some of his associates may be allowed to carry on temporarily under the supervision of a new atom chief—a cumbersome and demoralizing solution.
In view of the terror and confusion which must presently reign in the atom development administration, the Kremlin’s decision to “relieve” Colonel General Malyshev for other duties is of special interest. Despite his association with Mr. Beria in the industrial field, Colonel General Malyshev was a staunch Malenkov man. He is one of the top “red technocrats” who graduated in L. M. Kaganovich’s administration and whose careers were sponsored by Mr. Malenkov.
The fact that Colonel General Malyshev, alone among the members of the outer Cabinet, joined the Prime Minister’s “victory” party at the Bolshoi Theater may be an indication that he was chosen as the new head of the atom project.
Promotion or Ouster?
The announcement of his removal from his former position did not imply that he was ousted as Mr. Beria’s accomplice; it was couched in terms similar to those used in 1946 to put Mr. Beria in charge of atomic energy development. Position or ouster, it represents a major shift in the Soviet administration.
His career is characteristic of the ambitious and efficient young man who rose to prominence during the New Economic Policy. A talented mechanical engineer, he joined the party in 1926, in the year of his graduation.
In 1937 at the time of the great purge, he headed the big Kolomna machine and locomotive works in Moscow. This was the year when Mr. Malenkov headed the personnel or cadres department of the party. A few months later Mr. Malyshev became Politburo Member L. M. Kaganovich’s deputy, and served as his successor as people’s commissar of heavy industry from 1938 to 1940. He has been chairman of the government’s high committee of machine building uninterruptedly since 1940. Toward the end of the war, in recognition of his work as people’s commissar in charge of armor production, he was made a colonel general, a military rank exceeded only by that of a marshal of the Soviet Union.
From 1945 to 1947 he was Minister of Transport Machinery. Later he coordinated the work of several machine-building ministries. It was at that time that his technical cooperation with Mr. Beria in the atom project started.
In December, 1950, Colonel General Malyshev personally took over the ministry of Shipbuilding which Stalin had ordered to carry out Admiral Ivan S. Yumashev’s ambitious naval construction program, and especially the large-scale building »of submarines.
When the government was reorganized last March, trouble-shooter Colonel General Malyshev was made the head of a joint ministry in charge of heavy machinery and transport machines which replaced four formerly separate ministries, including those of shipbuilding and heavy machines (cyclotrons).
Colonel General Malyshev’s successor, Ivan I. Nosenko, accompanied him during most of his career as his first assistant. He also is an engineer and belongs to the same social and political group.
Whatever the significance of Colonel General Malyshev’s removal from his post— whether it meant his appointment as the new head of the Soviet atom project or his ouster —it clearly shows that Mr. Beria’s fall has far-reaching repercussions throughout the administration and that the atom project, one of his major assignments, also is involved.
Soviet Leads in Polar Race
Christian Science Monitor, July 22, 1953.— Big-power competition for control of the frozen regions of the north is again in full swing.
In the strategic concepts of the Pentagon, the military importance of the territories surrounding the North Pole is growing rapidly. In fact, the transpolar air routes are the shortest and most likely approaches from which hostile aircraft may strike the American mainland.
Although the United States is strengthening its air defenses in the Arctic Circle, spending more than a billion dollars for new air bases in Greenland alone, the Soviet Union is still better prepared for military action in the north than are the Western powers. •
According to the latest reports, Russia maintains a chain of no less than 70 outposts inside the Arctic Circle, including some major bases, smaller airfields, meteorological stations and other establishments. The Russians have the world’s largest fleet of powerful icebreakers. Their knowledge of arctic conditions is unmatched by any other country.
The Soviet lead in the contest for control of the arctic is mainly due to the fact that the Russians started earlier than any other nation to explore and to exploit the polar re- tions. They control 160 degrees of the Arctic Circle. Just their Asiatic possessions north of the circle, are almost as large as all of western Europe.
Pioneering of Czarist explorers already had opened the “Great Northern Sea Route” along the northern rim of Siberia. But it was the Soviet regime that, as early as the 1920’s, started the systematic development of the Siberian north.
Today, the military and economic conditions in the Soviet arctic are one of the Kremlin’s most closely guarded secrets. However, information which has come out from behind the Iron Curtain lately gives some clues as to what is going on in the Soviet region inside the polar circle.
American military experts say they believe that the Soviets maintain a relatively large military establishment inside the polar circle, with the main forces concentrated at the European and the Pacific edges of their defense line. They estimate the number of troops under the Soviet arctic command to be near half a million combat and supply forces, well trained for warfare under arctic conditions. These forces are widely scattered through a vast area, reaching from the Kola Peninsula on the White Sea to the Kamchatka Peninsula on the Sea of Okhotsk.
These troops have considerable air support and Soviet planes are flying regularly the Arctic routes. MIG 15’s, Russia’s best- known jet interceptor planes, have been encountered by Western air forces in the Bering Strait as well as near Murmansk and at the Norwegian frontier. Franz Josef Land is believed to be the location of one of Russia’s main arctic air bases.
Norwegian newspapers recently published detailed reports on Russian military strength in this sector of the Arctic. They said that Russia recently built no less than 50 major and smaller airfields in the Kandalaksha- Murmansk sector, and that probably 1,000 modern Soviet aircraft are stationed there.
The Norwegians also reported that an important part of the Russian Navy is concentrated in northern waters, including 3 cruisers, 25 escort and antisubmarine units, 70 torpedo boats, and numerous submarines and other crafts. To what extent this naval force could be shifted to the Far East along the “Great Northern Sea Route” is an open question, since the Siberian route is icebound during eight months of the year.
However, in a speech at the Communist Party Congress of 1939, the chief of the Russian Arctic Administration stated that “Tsushima (where Czarist naval forces were defeated by the Japanese fleet) will never be repeated. If necessary, our squadrons will pass along the northern sea route to annihilate the enemy.”
The Russians, before and after World War II, also have made considerable efforts to exploit the hidden resources of the frozen north. Stalin started this drive in a major speech, in 1936, in which he declared that “the arctic regions contained colossal wealth and that this wealth should be included into the general resources of the Soviet structure.”
Major obstacles to the economic development of the arctic are of course, the climatic conditions and the fact, that they are very thinly populated. But the numerous slave- labor camps set up north of the polar circle have taken care of the problem of labor supply.
Among other major objectives, such as building roads and other communications these penal establishments also work the Kolyma gold fields, which produce 250 tons of gold annually. Other minerals which are now systematically exploited in the northern region are coal, oil, nickel, tin, copper, graphite, and salt.
Yet despite the boasts of Soviet propagandists, the economic development of the Soviet arctic appears not to have been a success. This failure is mainly due to the still unsolved transportation problem.
OTHER COUNTRIES Superior British Research
Manchester Guardian, July 27, 1953.— Dr. Walter Whitman, chairman of the United States Defence Department’s Research and Development Board, has stated in evidence to the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, now published, that certain British research developments have been superior to those in the United States, and that America in such cases should “sink her pride” and copy Britain.
Dr. Whitman was questioned on a comparison of United States and British research projects by a Republican representative, Mr. Errett Scrivner, who said:
“We have talked a great deal about the capabilities of the American mind and yet almost every week we read of developments in other countries where, I am quite sure, they do not have either the population or the money and—at least in my opinion—a greater amount of brains.
“Just last week there came a story from London that Britain had developed and unveiled a super anti-tank weapon, probably the most powerful used by any infantry in the world. Yet we have been working on antitank guns and we have prided ourselves on what we had for quite some time.”
“Does your group ever have occasion to inquire into what other friendly nations are doing in the hope that perhaps, if they have something better than we have, we could swallow pride and make no bones about, and make use of the results of their research and development?”
Dr. Whitman agreed and gave two examples. One was a meeting early this spring between British, United States, and Canadian air defence researchers: the second example was censored.
Mr. Scrivner then went on:
“We had spent hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development in aviation and yet we turned to England and its Canberra. We are using that research and development result that England had and it is an evidence of how we can work together with England. Now how they developed a better plane than we did, and perhaps more quickly than we did, without spending the amount of money that we did is a great mystery and a great source of dissatisfaction. . .
Dr. Whitman said: “In the first place you are quite right. We should be taking good ideas from our friends elsewhere.” He said Britain was devoting a comparatively high percentage of defence expenditures to research. “They are deliberately taking that gamble that the war is not immediate, and their best effort is going to be put into development of weapons for any new war. They well recall the tremendous value of developing their Spitfires and their radar before the Germans hit them across the Channel in the last war.”—British United Press.
Yugoslav Navy to Expand Cooperation with West
Christian Science Monitor, July 20, 1953.— Yugoslavia’s small but speedy Navy is embarking on a program of greater sea defense cooperation with the West.
It is part of today’s realignment process— the slowly evolving plan of President Tito to fit this country’s fighting forces into common Western security arrangements.
The extent to which Yugoslavia has gone in its planning was disclosed as Admiral Mate Jerkovic, chief of the naval staff, accepted an invitation to visit the French Navy.
He said that this would be “more of a working than a courtesy” visit, added that “we would like to become better acquainted with the British and American Navies,” and emphasized Yugoslavia’s desire for greater cooperation with Greek and Turkish naval forces.
Admiral Jerkovic’s statement recalled the state visit here last summer of Admiral J. H. Cassady, commander in chief of the United States Mediterranean Fleet, who led a powerful flotilla into Adriatic waters.
Admiral Cassady at that time said the United States would welcome participation by Yugoslav Navy units in joint training maneuvers. The Yugoslav Navy, largely built around fast torpedo boats and small destroyers, is particularly adapted for defensive operations in the narrow Adriatic.
By his very obvious omission of Italy as a potential sea ally, Admiral Jerkovic underscoped a gap in Western defense plans which has caused increasing concern among those charged with security against possible Soviet aggression.
On opposite sides of the Adriatic, Yugoslavia and Italy have been feuding since the end of World War II—chiefly over control of the strategic free port of Trieste.
Their differences take on importance, perhaps greater than their individual interests, in view of the chance that lack of cooperation might smooth the way for a Russian march to the Mediterranean. ‘ •
Yugoslav naval cooperation with individual countries of the West, which already have close defense ties with Italy through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, may prove to be a major factor in bridging the gap.
Delta-Wing Air-Liner Project
Engineering, August, 1953.—Some preliminary details of a projected delta-wing trans-oceanic air-liner, to be known as the Atlantic, have been given by the designers, Messrs. A. V. Roe and Company, Limited, Greengate, Middleton, Manchester. It is designed to carry 94 to 113 passengers at a cruising speed of over 600 m.p.h., at 40,000 ft., and will enable the journey between London and New York to be carried out, non-stop, in 6^ to 7 hours westbound, and 5 to 5| hours eastbound. The manufacturers estimate that the direct operating cost on the North Atlantic route should be between Id. and 10d. per ton-mile, according to the allowances made for wind, and claim that economical operation should be possible over stages ranging from 1,500 to 4,000 statute miles, the corresponding payloads varying from approximately 20 tons to 10 tons. The maximum take-off weight is expected to be approximately 200,000 lb. The over-all dimensions are: length, 145 ft.; wing span, 121 ft.; and fuselage diameter 12.5 ft. Power will be provided by four turbo-jet engines, arranged in pairs and completely enclosed in the wing roots. The type of engine has not been finally selected, but the present performance and cost estimates are based on Bristol Olympus engines, which, it may be recalled, are to be fitted in the smaller Avro Vulcan delta-wing bomber, from which this transport project has developed. The fuselage, a light-alloy stressed-skin structure, will be built in four main units—the nose, containing the flight deck, accommodating a crew of three, the front centre section, the centre section and the rear section. The centre-section fuselage is integral with the torsion-box structure of the centre-section wing, which embraces the centre and rear spars, extending to a transport joint outboard of the undercarriage bay. The centre section of the front spar, which is joined at the fuselage sides, is integral with the front centre-section fuselage. The fin is built as a separate unit. Outboard of the undercarriage bays, the wing is a rigid light-alloy structure m which new construction methods will be employed. The control surfaces will be aerodynamically balanced and operated by duplicated irreversible electrohydraulic power units, artificial “feel” being provided. The main undercarriage units will be of the bogie type with a single shock-absorbing strut. Fuel will be carried in flexible wing tanks outboard of the engines. The cabin, divided into forward, centre and rear compartments, with capacities of 1,550 cub. ft., 1,000 cub. ft., and 3,340 cub. ft., respectively, will be pressurised to a maximum of 8.8 lb. per square inch above atmosphere, ensuring a cabin altitude of about 8,000 ft. when the aircraft is flying at 45,000 ft. A lounge bar is provided in the centre of the fuselage. The galley is between the forward and centre cabins, and toilets are provided at the rear of the aircraft. Backward-facing seats are envisaged. Below the floor are forward and rear baggage and freight holds, with capacities of 1,260 cub. ft. and 670 cub. ft., respectively. In planning the Atlantic air-liner the Avro company have been assisted by the British Overseas Airways Corporation. No orders, however, have so far been placed for the aircraft. The company believe that it should be possible to fly a prototype Atlantic aircraft within three years of the placing of an order.
Largest Tanker Launched
New York Herald Tribune, July 27, 1953. —Another chapter in the history of tanker construction is being added today when the largest tanker ever built, the 775-foot, 45,000-ton Tina Onassis is launched from the Howaldtswerke Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany. She is owned by A. S. Onasis.
When the 375,000-barrel Tina Onassis splashes into the water today, she will be the largest tanker afloat and will rank as the sixth largest merchant ship. Her size is exceeded only by the passenger liners the United States, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, Liberie and lie de France.
Central American Steamship Agency, Inc., New York agent for the new ship gave her dimensions as 775 feet with a beam of ninety- five feet, a depth of fifty-one feet and a draft of more than thirty-seven feet. Displacing 58,000 tons, the 17,500 horsepower, singlescrew tanker will have a speed of sixteen knots.
The Tina Onassis is about 100 feet longer than the largest tanker in service and 250 feet longer than a T-2 type tanker. This new tanker, one of a series of three of the same class, renders existing concepts of the term “supertanker” obsolete.
She will be named in honor of the wife of A. S. Onassis, head of the shipping interests responsible for her construction, and will be operated by the Olympic Transportation Co. of Monrovia under the Liberian flag.
Edison Develops New Fire Detector
Aviation Week, July, 1953.—A new aircraft fire detector is under development at the labs of Thomas A. Edison, Inc., West Orange, N. J.
The device incorporates a thermistor, or semi-conductor, developed by Edison engineers. The thermistor is mounted concentrically between an outer metal conductor tube and a center wire.
The thermistor offers a near-infinite resistance at normal temperatures, restricting the current flow to the order of micro-microamperes. But at a predetermined temperature, the thermistor becomes conductive, allowing sufficient current to flow between the outer and inner conductors to operate the warning system.
Edison’s detector is a low-impedance system and requires no electronic tubes to amplify the warning current. A relay does the trick.
« The new detector is currently being tested on several military aircraft, both piston and jet.
Highest Sea Waves
New York Times, August 8, 1953.—From the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California comes the news
that the highest waves in the ocean are never seen. Sometimes they reach a height of. 300 feet (almost a third the height of the Empire State Building). The waves that awe passengers on transatlantic liners are never more than a third as high, despite all the talk about “mountain-high” waves. No one knows the origin of the high unseen subsurface waves, nor anything about their direction of motion or speed.
How were the waves detected? By measuring differences in temperature. The “internal waves,” as they are called, occur at the boundary between two fluids of unequal density, such as oil and water, cold water and warm water, or water and air. Beneath the surface layers of the ocean lie masses of water so cold that at the bottom the temperature is almost at the freezing point. This holds good even for the warmest parts of the ocean.
Forces about which hardly anything is known as yet start waves moving in the colder water below the surface. As a wave moves under a ship that is measuring temperatures, the colder water reaches nearer and nearer the surface with the rise of the crest. The thermometers indicate first that cool water is nearing the surface, then a warming.
The Scripps Institution of Oceanography will soon send out an expedition to record subsurface changes in temperature. A twenty-four-hour study will be made in the open ocean southeast of the Kuroshiwo Current, which flows northward off Japan. The region constitutes an “unknown sea” in the sense that oceanographers have so far paid little attention to it.
Machine Tool Powered by Sound
New York Times, August 1, 1953.—A machine tool operated by a sound wave pitched so high that human ears cannot hear it has been developed by the Raytheon Manufacturing Company of Waltham, Mass., and the device is expected to have widespread applications in many metal-working industries.
The mechanism, which employs what the physicists call magnetostrictive principles, originally was used for mixing liquids that would not mix except under the influence of the sound wave. Now it carves fancy shapes, drills holes and does similar work in hard steel, glass, ceramics or precious stones.
At present the device is much like a conventional drill press, but Raytheon engineers are working on other models that may enable it to perform the functions of a lathe, a milling machine, a boring mill, a shaper, a planer, a saw and a router.
One of the odd features of the machine is that the cutting tool can be of comparatively soft material, such as cold rolled steel or brass, but will cut its way through hard steel, stone, cast iron or even sapphire.
The motion of the tool is not perceptible to the eye because it travels only a few thousands of an inch in each direction. The great speed of the movement is the key to its efficiency.
A Raytheon scientist explained the action of the tool in drilling, say, an ordinary round hole, in this way: The work is clamped firmly in place and the tool is lowered until it is in contact with the surface. A liquid abrasive is poured over the work in a continuous stream. Then, with the power on, the tool, vibrating at about 27,000 times a second, drives the abrasive particles at ultrasonic speed. These extremely small particles strike the work at 5,000 to 10,000 times their normal weight because of the acceleration given them. This action cuts the material.
On very hard substances, such as glass, each traverse of the tool may cut into the work for perhaps only the depth of a few atoms. It is the very high repetition rate that enables the tool to make a significant rate of progress through the work.
Such difficult materials as alnico, tungsten carbide, boron carbide, quartz, optical glass, molybdenum and carbon may be machined quickly and accurately. Actual tolerances are limited by the accuracy of the die being used, the dimensions of the shaped tool, and the accuracy of the feed and ways of the machine.
The word magnetostrictive describes a phenomenon peculiar to certain metals, notably nickel. When a coil is wrapped around a nickel rod and an alternating current is passed through it the nickel rod contracts and expands minutely with each cycle of current.
The Raytheon machine tool employs this principle to generate the ultrasonic motion of the tool. The ultrasonic energy is amplified, first through a circuit of vacuum tubes, then mechanically by a series of cones that concentrate the force at their apexes. The cutting tool or die is mounted on the apex of the lowest cone.
A.E.C. Near Production of H-Bomb Materials
New York Herald Tribune, August 1, 1953. —Washington.—The Atomic Energy Commission announced today it is approaching “first major production” of materials for hydrogen bombs, and said that in the first half of 1953 development of atomic weapons has “substantially advanced.”
It said more fissionable material, which produces the explosive power of atomic bombs, was produced than in any previous half-year.
The A.E.C. announced also that it is working toward development of a super-speed atomic-powered submarine even before tests have been run on two atomic submarines now nearing completion and rated potentially faster than ordinary undersea craft.
The A.E.C. said in its semi-annual report to Congress that last spring’s weapons tests in Nevada disclosed such valuable information that it will not be necessary to hold full- scale tests there this fall, as originally planned.
Those tests, the commission said, indicated “several very profitable avenues to new and improved weapons” which would afford the opportunity of substantially greater atomic weapons capability for the United States.
It said the last of the eleven shots in the spring series—a detonation rated by observers as the most powerful yet set off in this country—had “obviated the necessity of a full-scale test series originally planned (in Nevada) for the fall of 1953.”
Value of Site
Without further reference to the power of the eleventh shot, the commission said it “emphasized the value of the continental test site in that it permitted the shot to be scheduled, fired and the data returned to the laboratory all within the space of one month, thus enhancing the speed of weapon development activities.”
“Research continued to be directed at improvement of current weapon models and the development of new models to meet the requirements of the armed forces,” the report added. Dated, June 30, it covered the first six months of this year.
The report said the previously announced decision to add Bikini Atoll to the Eniwetok proving grounds in the Pacific was made “to provide flexibility in testing new and improved nuclear weapons.” Bikini, 180 miles east of Eniwetok, was used for two tests in 1946.
The A.E.C. also told Congress that:
1. Both foreign and domestic production and exploration for uranium ore for the United States was stepped up during the last six months.
2. Production of fissionable materials for bombs and other uses “considerably exceeded” that of any previous period—and at the lowest costs in the A.E.C.’s history “despite increases in wages and material prices.”
3. New facilities entered the production stream. These included a new plant at Fer- nald, Ohio, for processing uranium ore; portions of new plants at Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Paducah, Ky., for separating bomb-useful uranium from uranium as it occurs in nature, and supporting facilities for the plant at Savannah River, S. C., where materials for either atomic bombs or hydrogen bombs wdll be made.
Regarding the latter plant, the A.E.C. said: “Some of the supporting facilities at Savannah River are already in operation, preparing materials for start-up of the first major production units at that site.”
4. The A.E.C. is investigating new methods of uranium exploration, among them the examination of growing plants which might provide a tipoff on the presence of the metal. It is also investigating the potentialities of low-grade sources of uranium, including phosphates and shales.
The report said construction of a plant in the field of military application of atomic energy will be completed this summer at Rocky Flats, near Denver. Portions of this plant already are in operation. The A.E.C. has described it only as a secret production facility involving radioactive material.
New Reactor Will Add Speed to Third Atomic Submarine
New York Times, August 1, 1953.—Washington.—The Atomic Energy Commission reported today that it had started to develop an advanced type of nuclear power plant for a submarine to have “significantly higher speed” than the two nuclear-powered undersea craft already under construction. The submarines now building are expected to attain speeds of as much as one-third more than conventional submarines.
In its semi-annual report covering the first six months of this year, the commission listed a series of progress reports. Emphasis was put on work in the field of nuclear reactors and the power phases of atomic energy. Success of the “breeder” process, or the reactor at the National Reactor Testing Station in Idaho, which produces as much fissionable material while it is operating as is fed into it, was specifically mentioned.
In this same field the agency observed that the submarine thermal reactor, a version of which ultimately will drive the submarine Nautilus, had been generating “substantial amounts of power.”
The report was the first word that a third type of reactor was being developed for a submarine. It has been predicted in'Navy circles that the Nautilus, the hull for which is being constructed at the Electric Boat Division of the General Dynamics Corporation at Groton, Conn., might be completed in another year or eighteen months.
The commission’s report noted that the thermal reactor for the Nautilus was gradually being brought to full power and that crews of the undersea craft were studying its characteristics.
The report also indicated that crews were studying the action of the intermediate, or S.I.R. type, reactor. This unit uses a different principle from that of the thermal reactor at West Milton, N. Y., where the prototype was constructed. The S.I.R. will power a submarine to be named the Sea Woff.
Work on development of the “advanced” type submarine reactor is going on at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory at Schenectady, N. Y., with assistance from the Ar- gonne laboratory.
No explanation was given of what was meant by “significantly higher speed” for the third submarine.
Official Navy sources have placed the possible speed of the Nautilus and perhaps the Sea Wolf at as much as thirty-five knots. Present conventionally powered submarines of the latest design are said to travel about twenty-five knots at “all-out.”
Seafarers’ Problems in Picture
The high speed undersea craft would apparently raise hull design and control prob-' lems since some submarine officers of long experience have said that a submarine at thirty-five knots would be difficult to maneuver.
Belgian Line Inaugurates Service by Helicopter
Rotterdam.—The world’s first regular international helicopter service was opened Aug. 3 when two SABENA-Belgian Air Line helicopters landed here from Brussels.
From now on there will be a two-way service three times a day. This month only freight and mail will be taken but a passenger service will begin in September.
Trained Dogs Spot Nonmetallic Mines
Singapore.—The British Army has discovered that trained dogs can detect nonmetallic mines where machines cannot.
Dogs for use as mine detectors get the same training as the dogs used in hunting truffles in France.
Submarines for Turkey Voted
Washington. Aug. 3—The House passed and sent to the White House today legislation to lend two submarines to Turkey. Representative Dewey Short, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said that the vessels would be taken from the reserve fleet and modernized. They would be returned in five years.
London. July, 28—The Moscow radio said today that Russians invented submarines, ice-breakers, minesweepers, mine-layers and armored cruisers. The boast was issued in connection with Soviet Navy Day
Divers Seek Hulls of 1st V. S. Navy
Ticonderoga, N. Y. Aug. 3—Two divers went down into Lake Champlain today looking for a chapter of American history. The divers descended to inspect the hulls of two ships of Benedict Arnold’s fleet, Enterprise and Trumbull, that were sunk off Fort Ticonderoga in 1777. They aimed to determine the best method of bringing the hulls ashore.
The ships were part of the fleet in the Battle of Valcour in 1776. If raised, they will be included among the early American and Colonial exhibits at the Fort Ticonderoga Museum.
The fleet, built at Whitehall and Ticonderoga and manned, equipped and armed at this historic fort, constituted the first American Navy. Although it lost its battle at the fort, the fleet is credited with delaying Gen. Bur- goyne’s invasion of the colonies from Canada for a full year.
Space Way Station by 1968 Visioned
Zurich.—The chief designer of Nazi Germany’s V-2 rocket says a permanent space station with a human crew could begin to circle the earth within 10 to 15 years.
Dr. Wernher von Braun, head of the German wartime rocket research station at Peenemunde, told the International Astronautics Congress here that the realization of the project required only a “coordinated space program” by the western powers.
Dr. Braun at present is engaged on secret military research for the United States. His lecture was read for him by Frederick C. Durant of Alexandria, Va., newly elected president of the International Astronautic Federation.
Calling for immediate action to realize his project, Dr. Braun declared: “If we piously fold our hands in our laps while we await some apocryphal revelation of research, we may have to wait 100 years before the first men circle the earth in a satellite orbit.
“On the other hand, if we chart a careful course and stick to it, it will require but a few years for us to create the . . . pyramid from whose apex man may leap into space.
“I am more and more convinced that in 10 to 15 years we can have not only a manned satellite rocket, but perhaps even a manned outer station.”
24,000 V2 Rockets a Year
The Aviation Age, a monthly magazine dealing with recent developments in the field of aeronautics, is devoting its forthcoming issue to a survey of guided missile production in the Soviet Union. One statement in this issue is that mass production methods enable the Russians to produce 24,000 supersonic missiles of an improved German V2 pattern a year. This information is attributed to a German engineer who recently escaped from Russia.
It is also asserted that with the aid of captured German technicians rocket-launching techniques have been perfected to a point where a single launching ramp can fire missiles at the rate of 800 an hour.
Aviation Age in its forthcoming issue, which contains photographs and a map showing Soviet missile factories, testing grounds, and rocket sites trained towards targets in western Europe, Alaska, the United States, and Canada, also describes the great effort being made by Russian engineers to perfect and produce in quantity a 97-ton, multi-stage rocket which would have a range of 2,500 miles. The article concludes that “the over-all impression of Soviet work in guided missiles is one of immense effort and considerable achievement.”
Angled Flight Deck for British Carrier
London.—The British Navy has announced that one of its aircraft carriers will be rebuilt with an angled flight deck on the pattern of the United States Navy carrier Antietam.
The Admiralty announced the new layout would be built into the carrier Victorious, now being reconstructed.
The angled deck allows planes to land and take off at an oblique angle across the length of the ship instead of straight fore and aft down the center. The object of this is to leave clear parking spaces at each end,of the deck for quicker handling and safer operation.
British Launch New Type Frigate
The aircraft direction frigate Salisbury was launched in the Royal Naval Dockyard at Devonport recently.
The Salisbury, the first ship of a new class, will have a length of 340 ft. overall and a beam of 40 ft. Powerful radar equipment will enable her to fulfil her prime task by giving early warning of the approach of hostile aircraft and directing fighters to targets.
Russians Said to Rebuild Old German Rocket Base
Zurich, Switzerland.—Reliable evidence that the Russians have rebuilt the former German rocket station at Peenemunde on the Baltic was given by a refugee technician at the Astronautical Congress here today.
Harry Ruppe of West Berlin said that sketches of Russian rockets launched from Peenemunde had been smuggled to him by an East German.
The sketches showed improved forms of the Wasserfall rocket, a radio-guided anti-aircraft missile that was designed by the Germans to operate at heights of 50,000 feet.
Six years ago the Russians made a public display of destroying what was left of the German installations at Peenemunde. Today, however, according to Mr. Ruppe’s informant, the ground testing of rocket motors “can be heard regularly.” •.
Havilland Announces Powerful Jet Engine
London.—The De Havilland Engine Company, makers of Britain’s Comet jetliners, disclosed today it had produced what it calls the world’s most powerful jet engine, called the Gyron.
Designed originally for supersonic fighters, its details are still hidden by security. But it may prove to be at least 50 per cent ahead of all rivals in performance.
In an official announcement, the company said that during tests the Gyron had been giving “a greater thrust than announced for any other jet engine.” Thrust, not horsepower, is the measure of performance for pure jet engines.
The company described the new engine as an axial pressure type of turbine, featuring exceptional simplicity and light weight.
The development of the Gyron was started by the concern as a private venture, but is now being continued under a Ministry of Supply contract as part of Britain’s policy of giving priority to the production of military and civilian jetplanes and engines.
“Cold Light” Under Glass
Schenectady, N. Y.—A treated sheet of glass that glows with the induction of electricity is science’s latest contribution in “cold light” for instrument and panel lighting.
Developed by the General Electric Company, the new light source, known as electroluminescence, glows without producing heat. In other light sources, much of the electrical energy used goes to waste in producing heat rather than light.
Thus, in “cold light,” an infinitesimal amount of electricity will produce light equal to that of an incandescent lamp. One cent a year for electricity in “cold light” will produce as much illumination as the 50 cents annual cost of an incandescent lamp.
The new light is easy to place and regulate in intensity. It can be used for illuminating instrument panels for autos, boats and aircraft, scientists say.
To turn a sheet of glass into an electroluminescent panel, powdered phosphor is sprayed on one side. Then electricity is passed through the phosphor coating by placing two electrodes on the surface.
A “Nutcracker” for British Navy
A “nutcracker” testing frame—in which large-scale or full-size pieces of ships’ structures can be subjected to the forces they will bear in actual service—was opened recently by Vice-Admiral R. A. B. Edwards, Con- toller of the Navy and Third Sea Lord, at the Naval Construction and Research Establishment at Rosyth Dockyard.
Vice-Admiral Edwards, who was deputising for Mr. J. P. L. Thomas, First Lord of the Admiralty, said the frame was believed to be unique. It was probably “one of the Admiralty’s shrewdest investments since the war.”
In the control room Vice-Admiral Edwards laid a 55-ton load on a model of the steam catapult structure of the aircraft carrier Ark Royal contained in the frame.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of the navies of Canada, Australia, and the United States.
New Bomb Release
A rotary pre-loaded door has been devised to facilitate the release of bombs and rockets from planes at high speeds. The door rotates 180 degrees just before a bomb is launched. No open bomb-bay is left for buffeting winds. A jet bomber traveling at high speed is just as stable a platform as one flying at World War II speeds.
Five Floating Cranes Ordered by Navy
Five 100-ton floating cranes have been ordered by the Navy’s Bureau of Yards and Docks. Three will be built by Gulfport Shipbuilding Corporation, Port Arthur, Tex., at a cost of $2,518,000, and two by Avondale Marine Ways, New Orleans, for $1,804,950.
Ship Testing Tunnel to Be Built for Navy
The Navy has awarded to Westinghouse Electric Corporation a $500,000 order for electrical equipment for a new variable- pressure water tunnel. The tunnel will be built at the David W. Taylor Model Basin, Washington, D. C.
A wide variety of hydrodynamic models, including ship propellers, miscellaneous underwater missiles, and rudders will be tested in the tunnel. Its test section will be 36 inches in diameter and maximum water flow will be 597 cubic feet per second at top speed of 50 knots. Pressure in the test section can be varied from 2 to 60 psi absolute.