December, 1945 AIRCRAFT ENGINEERIN G 341 Now that there has been a return to peace and normal conditions, it behoves all those in Government service to guard against the Aircraft Engineering belief that they arc a species of chosen people foreordained to receive knowledge on account of some peculiar virtue attaching to them Th e Monthly Scientific and Technical which sets them apart from and above lesser men. On the contrary, Orga n of the Aeronautical Engineering they occupy the positions they do in order that they may act as a conduit into which information flows from its source, at the one Professio n end, for distribution through various prepared channels to the thirsty multitudes in the outer world of industry, at the other. Editor: Lieut.-Col. W. Lockwood Marsh, O.B.E.,F.R.Ae.S.,M.S.A.E., F.I.Ae.S. One of these channels is the technical press. Spreading the 'Gen' The answer will no doubt be that much of the information has already been circulated to the industry in confidential reports of one sort or another. But this is not enough. As we have pointed out on HANKS to the initiative of POWER JETS LIMITED, and the occasion in the past, information contained in a single copy of a report enthusiastic co-operation of members of the firm's staff, we sent to each firm does not receive wide dissemination among those Tpublish in this issue the first part of a full description of the who should have it. The reports tend to be read by senior members of German Jumo 004 jet engine—which is, incidentally, the first axial- the staff and then put on one side and filed. Junior staffs never see compressor engine of this type of which details have been published. these reports and remain in complete ignorance of their contents—or We are most grateful to the firm for making this information, which even of their existence—whereas in nine cases out of ten they arc is of outstanding interest, available to our readers and also to those the people principally concerned. The tenth case, of a report on individuals in its employ who have gone to so much trouble to some important matter of fundamental concern, is extremely rare embody in the article the contents of a number of individual and we believe, so far as the reports from Germany of which we are reports prepared from time to time on various parts of the engine writing are concerned, practically non-existent. as they became open to examination. A Wrong Venue A Hold-Up There is another aspect of this matter to which we wish to call In contrast, we cannot understand the attitude of the MINISTRY attention. There has been for some weeks an exhibition of German OF AIRCRAFT PRODUCTION in continuing to "sit on" the innumerable aeroplanes and equipment intermittently open for examination at reports of progress in research and technique in Germany during the Farnborough. Now, being the location of the Royal Aircraft Estab War. While hostilities proceeded we supported the "security" lishment, Farnborough is necessarily one of the two or three most silence which was imposed on any knowledge of enemy develop "secret" stations in the country. Consequently it is essential—we ments obtained, because it was manifestly inadvisable to let the are not complaining of this—that every visitor should be carefully enemy know what knowledge we possessed. During the whole of scrutinized and required to produce a special pass and so on. As a tha t period we were most punctilious in avoiding the publication result, the simplest and obvious way to organize the arrangements of any information either of developments here and among the for the inspection of the German exhibits was to segregate the allied nations or of news of enemy activities. Indeed, we consistently various classes of visitors—Press, Industry, etc.—into parties and submitted the whole contents of each issue of AIRCRAFT ENGINEER set aside a special day for each. This meant that they were herded ING to the censorship authorities in order to avoid any possible together and marshalled round and expected to obtain all the in danger of divulging what would be better kept hidden. No one, formation they required in the course of a single day—a quite therefore, can accuse us of having been anything but fully "security- hopeless procedure. I t is true that, by personal contacts, it has been conscious" while the need for caution obtained. possible for individuals to arrange special visits later, but these have involved a personal approach and a certain amount of persuasion; and in any case, owing to the nature of the sfation, the visitors have Reasons for Silence had to be attended, and supervised, by an officer told off for the Now, however, that the war against Japan has also been success purpose. We may be hypersensitive, but so far as we are concerned, fully concluded we can see no reason for a continuance of the with we have felt considerable diffidence in applying for these special holding of any information on German developments. We keep facilities, involving trouble and waste of time for officers who could hearing of details of experiment and design and of methods of pro undoubtedly be better and more profitably employed. duction which would be of the greatest interest to individuals in the British industry; on many of which we know for a fact there are exhaustive reports in the MINISTRY OF AIRCRAFT PRODUCTION. A Lesson from the Past We have been well aware of the congestion caused by a glut of these We have pleaded in the past, and we desire to reiterate that plea reports which have been sent and brought home by investigating now, that these German exhibits should be made available at some staffs visiting Germany for the specific purpose of collecting data on central hall—preferably in London—where those desiring to do so various aspects of aviation. We have, consequently, avoided em can make repeated visits at their own convenience and have ample barrassing the over-worked and quite inadequate staffs who have opportunity and plenty of time to "browse" over the aeroplanes at been, and are, engaged on collating the mass of material that has their will. There is an enormous amount of information of the accumulated. greatest interest to be obtained—much of which does not, perhaps, become apparent until after several inspections—and it is utterly Out-of-Date Considerations hopeless to try to dig this out under the conditions necessarily obtaining at Farnborough. The elderly—even the middle-aged— But we feel that the time for this patience has passed and that the will remember how much better this matter was organized in the stage has been reached when we are entitled to demand that there Four Years' War from 1914-1918, when captured German aero should be a change of heart in this matter. For we have reluctantly planes were collected at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, and there been forced to the conclusion that there is now a considerable remained for months on end freely open to detailed examination volume of material ready for release and that it is only a wholly merely on the presentation of an authority issued to their employee unwarrantable disinclination to let it out that is holding it up. by the aircraft firm, or technical periodical, concerned. We cannot I t is high time the M.A.P.'s security organization was overhauled conceive why this same policy has not been adopted now. and its officers instructed 'to have a different outlook.
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 1945
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