September, 1941 AIRCRAFT ENGINEERIN G 239 The Last War Those of our readers who can recall that period will remember Aircraft Engineering that a series of admirable official reports on captured German aeroplanes and aero-engines were then issued to the technical press ; and there seems no reason whatever why the same course Devote d t o th e Science an d Practice of Aero should not be followed to-day. It is not enough to invite occasion ally an unwieldy party of journalists, including representatives of the nautic s and to Allied and Subsidiary daily lay press, for a rushed visit to inspect an indigestible collection of captured German aeroplanes of various types and invite them to Branche s of th e Engineering Industry " write them up." Editor: Lieut.-Col. W. Lockwood Marsh, F.R.Ae.S., M.S.A.E.. F.I.Ae.S. The Privileged Class The engineer is entitled to be provided with all the information that can be made available to him in such a form that he can read it Vol. XIII , No. 151 September 1941 and digest it at his leisure. We are aware, of course, that those in a senior position on the design staffs of the firms have this informa tion, and a few of those in more junior posts have opportunities of examining those parts with which they are directly concerned ; but A CALL FOR ENLIGHTENMENT this is not enough. HROUGH the enterprise of the Research and Technical Publi Tittle-Tattl e cations Section of the Ministry of Aircraft Production, to whom If the authorities do not already know it, we can tell them that our thanks and acknowledgments are due, we are enabled in the present policy is simply resulting in all sorts of ill-informed this issue to publish a translation from Luflwissen of a summary of conjecture and gossip floating around the industry, passed on by investigations made in Germany on the materials used in a number word of mouth, which is not doing British prestige any good. of engines found in captured Allied aeroplanes. The examinations Vague stories of startling " discoveries " brought to light as a result and analyses have been made by various German aero-engine of examination of enemy material are being bandied about— firms, suppliers of components to that industry and the D.V.L., on frequently accompanied by comments of the " why can't we . . ? " behalf of the Reich Air Ministry, and the results co-ordinated by type. These are simply the result of a wholly human desire on the HER R KOTZSCHKE. The engines concerned are five British—the part of the ignorant or half-informed to appear knowledgeable in the Rolls Royce Merlin II and X, the Bristol Mercury VIII and presence of those even less well-placed and would promptly die of Hercules II and the Armstrong-Siddeley Tiger VIII—three French inanition if reliable information were made available. —the Hispano Suiza 12Y crs and Gnome-Rhone 14 N 2/3 and 14 M 6 —and two American—the Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp SC 39 and Wright Cyclone GR 1S20 GW 2 A—ten in all. A Plea for Reconsideration We do earnestly beg those responsible for making decisions on Germa n Policy this matter to reconsider the position and change their policy. It is not unimportant, since it undoubtedly has an effect on British It is unquestionably interesting to have enemy views both on prestige abroad and will, therefore, have a bearing on the efforts British and other engine designers' choice of materials. It is not that will be made at the end of the War to build up an export without significance and importance that the Reich Air Ministry trade in commercial aeroplanes. Some of us are devoting part of should have been willing for all these detailed results of investigations our wartime activities to endeavours to instruct technicians in put in hand for its own information to appear in wartime in a tech neutral and allied countries on the quality of the products of the nical journal. It, indeed, appears that it has not only permitted British aircraft industry ; but it is not easy to make bricks without this but actively encouraged it ; since it is abundantly clear that straw. We do not agree with the present policy of closing down all the reports from a number of sources must have been collected completely on the publication of all results of research work. As and handed over to the author of the article for collation. we have already pointed out, no possible harm could be done by revealing, after a suitable lapse of time, some information on the progress that is being made in design and materials. The British Contrast This is in conformity with German views on the value of publicity and is in striking, and in our opinion regrettable, contrast to the The Stable Door opposite attitude adopted by British official circles. There is not As the German article we are referring to in this issue shows, and the smallest doubt that examples of all types of German aero we hope to publish in the future other translations which will con engines have by now become available in Britain and it is to be firm it, the enemy are inevitably in a position from time to time to presumed that they have been thoroughly examined and reports obtain indirect information on developments in various directions, on them drawn up by the Ministry of Aircraft Production depart both material and aerodynamic. It is merely imitating the ostrich ments concerned, in conjunction with the aero-engine firms interest to assume the contrary. The authorities have only their present ed in each particular instance. Why these reports—or reasoned policy to blame if undesirable revelations of the type contained summaries of them—are not made available to the technical in the current issue of a British technical journal are to occur. public is beyond comprehension. If a certain amount of information on matters, of which many of us are already privately informed, were released for publication there would be less temptation to commit indiscretions by vague hints An American Example or open statements of this nature. Particularly so, since a very complete report on a prominent type Even, however, if those in authority cannot be brought to see of German engine—supplied, be it noted, from England—has the correctness of this view, there is no excuse whatever for main already been read before an assembly of American engineers in the taining as secret and confidnetial information obtained from the United States. There is ho conceivable reason why British internal examination of captured enemy aeroplanes and aero-engines. combustion engineers should not be similarly privileged and en There are, obviously, lessons to be learnt from such examinations— lightened. The present policy, to which we have called attention or they would not be made—and we can think of no valid reason both previously in these columns and personally, is, apart from why they should not be made available to all in the industry ; anything else, in direct contrast to that adopted by the Technical which can only be done through the technical press. They would Department of the Air Ministry in the Four Years War. provide valuable instruction for the junior staffs employed.
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 1, 1941
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