320 A 1 R C R A F T E N G I N E E R 1 N G November, 1942 B y Lionel Mote, F.I.L. N modern times, increasing emphasis is being I t has been estimated tha t half-a-million dollars and friend. To the conscientious worker, such laid on specialization and there is so much are paid to the U.S.A. Patent Office every year a bulletin is accepted as a boon. I research being made into the many intricate in filing fees and applications subsequently The preparation of such a bulletin entails a details of the most abstruse problems that abandoned. The legal fees incurred in con very considerable amount of careful selection, members of one group of engineers are too often nexion with these applications are usually bu t it is quite possible for a small staff to com unaware that their own problems, or others man y times the filing fees and the costs of the pile between 200 and 250 abstracts monthly, closely related to them, have already been research on which these patents are based is especially if a small number are borrowed, investigated. again a multiple of the legal fees. Thus the with due acknowledgment, from other bulletins annual cost to industry of abandoned applica such as' are issued by firms and associations Sufficient importance is still not attached to tions amounts to several million dollars. The engaged in the same industry and by the the principle that research based on any parti reason underlying this state of affairs is un- Government Department concerned. It is cular conception should be preceded by the . doubtedly a lack of systematic investigation very necessary that all the foreign literature most thorough investigation of the technical into the pertinent literature, and over-emphasis, obtainable, relating to the same sphere of literature. There are very few problems on in the early stages at least, on laboratory activities, should be examined thoroughly and which some information has not already been research at the expense of literary research i t is, therefore, desirable that such a staff obtained and published in the specialized tech which could be financed with a fraction of the should include a technical translator, conversant nical books and periodicals of the world. It is money lost in unsuccessful patent applications. with the particular branch of industry under a fact that there is so much information avail Statistics relating to paten t applications in this consideration, since otherwise recourse has t o be able on so many different subjects that few country indicate that approximately 50 per had to commercial translators and translation research workers are ready to spend the time cent are cither refused or abandoned. In 1938, bureaux whose work is only too often of doubt necessary to make a thorough examination of th e various articles, or even bibliographies, in for instance, the number of patent applications ful value if th e subject matter concerned is a t all was 37,973 an d of these only 19,314 were scaled. specialized. Many examples exist of occasions order to find the few which would help them This state of affairs, in so far as it applies to when ignorance of the significance of the tech with their own particular problem. large works, could be avoided by the organiza nical terms has resulted in the most "school- There are many instances where a timely tion of efficient information departments, the boyish " of howlers: guide vanes for instance examination of the results of previous research essential function of which should be to keep have been labelled "directing shovels" and the would have avoided waste of time, and money, th e various research personnel and department emergency running characteristics of bearings on some aspect of a particular scheme and al chiefs supplied with the latest technical data. have been translated as "durability"—and would have afforded a clue to a more rational I n order to do this the information departments these often by persons reputed to be experi solution than was actually obtained. Refer themselves must be kept continually informed enced in technical translations. ence is made (in Foundry Trade Journal, Sept of the current interests of the various persons ember 11, 1941, p . 167), t o an occasion when a The information officer should be essentially catered for. Much valuable time is wasted in Governmental Department had to consider methodical and endowed with initiative as well man y organizations simply because the in initiating research into the efficiency and pro as with the necessary broad understanding of formation department does not learn soon vision of safety gear on mine cages with a view general engineering principles and practice; enough of any change or extension of the activi t o making recommendations for the amendment and since a great deal of information can be ties of a particular person or department, so of existing legislation. A report was drawn gained through outside contacts it is also most tha t while the information needed may be u p which, based solely on the information con desirable that he should have the facility of available, the information department is ignor tained in th e published literature over a period mixing easily with all types and classes of an t of the fact tha t it is required by tha t person of roughly a century, presented a prima facie people. or group perhaps most concerned. Care should case against the probability of any useful The number of such information depart be taken to ensure that information dis results being obtained from the use of such ments and information officers is rapidly in seminated for the benefit of a group of research gear. In fact, statistics were available to show creasing and a time will come when it will be workers does reach them and is no t withheld by tha t the adoption of many of the schemes put desirable, and even necessary, for the setting up being appropriated by any one person, whether forward in other countries caused an increase of a central clearing-house for the exchange of or not a member of that group. One of the in the number of accidents. technical information between the various best methods of circulating information of this branches of th e same industry. I t is a fact well known to the Technical Press nature is undoubtedly the periodical publication tha t whereas many articles, dealing collectively The devising of a classification scheme to of an internal bulletin of technical abstracts in great detail with a particular subject, are cover all th e firms in the aircraft industry would divided into appropriate sections, e.g. aircraft, published, the editorial offices are continually constitute a monumental task bu t would be well aero-engines; non-ferrous and ferrous materials, being asked for information which is already worth while if it meant tha t the entire informa production methods and equipment, etc. When contained in those articles. tion resources of the industry were pooled and such a publication is received by the technical made available to each firm individually. Similar conditions apply to the subject of staff of an organization who know that they Patents . Details of patent specifications are If this question were tackled systematically will find in the section, relating to their particu ver y widely published in the Technical Press there is no doubt that research progress would lar branch of work, even a few short abstracts and yet, in spite of this, inquiry will disclose the be greatly accelerated, if only because many of presenting results of the more important in fact that a high percentage of patent applica th e schemes now under investigation have, in vestigations described in the recent periodicals, tions are abandoned every year because the some aspect or other, been considered previously the y will make a habit of referring to that subject matter disclosed in the application is and time will be wasted in arriving at conclu section as a matter of course and will, in time, already covered and, in all probability, has sions already set out somewhere in the world's come to regard it as their guide, philosopher already been described in published literature. technical literature. Workshop Practice in the Light Repair Shop. Larkin and H. R. Nuttall. Loose-Leaf. [Larkin Books Received & Nuttall, Derby.] By A. F. Wilby. [Arnold, 1s. 6d.] Aeroplanes in Detail. By J. H. Clark. [The Fundamental s of Vibration Study. By R. G. 1,000 Questions and Answers for Airframe Aeroplane. 2s. Gd.] Manley. 128 pages, illustrated. [Chapman & Mechanics. By H. P. Lees. 96 pages. [Hutch Hall, 13. 6d.] inson, 1s. 3d.] Fatigu e of Metals. Second Edition 88 pages, The Machine Shop Yearbook and Production Illustrated. [The Nitralloy Corporation, New The Pilot' s Book on Elementar y Aero-Engines. Engineer' s Manual. Edited by H. C. Town. York. Free.] By H. C. Russell. 73 pages, illustrated. [Allen 558 pages, illustrated. [Panl Elek, 25s.] & Unwin, 2s. Gd.J Memorandu m on Post-War Education and Blockade by Air . By J. M. Spaight. 159 pages, Trainin g of Physicists. By II. Lowery. Th e Damping Capacity of Engineering Mate illustrated. [Geoffrey Bles 10s. 6d.] rials . By W. H. Hatfield, G. Stanfield and L. [Institute of Physcis, Reading. Free.] Rotherham. 78 pages, illustrated. [E & V. Electricity in Aircraft. Second edition. By Anodic, Chemical and Paint Finishes for Spon. No price stated.] W. E. Crook. 104 pages, illustrated. [Pitman, Aluminiu m and Its Alloys. [Northern Alu 5s.] The Metallurgist's Note Book. By A. G. minium Co. Ltd., Banbury. Free.]
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 1, 1942
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