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Aircraft Engineering THE MONTHLY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL ORGAN OF THE AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING PROFESSION VOL XVIII No 205 MARCH 1946 made for their adoption in light aeroplanes of the private owner type. It seems to us to be largely a matter of expediency. It is clear OURTEEN months ago we published an article very strongly that there is no room in this more limited field for the complicated criticizing the electrical equipment in British aeroplanes, which heavy mechanism that is inherent in the constant-speed, fully- Fresulted in correspondence of a somewhat acrimonious charac feathering, reversing airscrew with which we have become familiar ter. Actually, the criticisms were at that time probably not unfair to in the last few years. What does strike us as encouraging is the the type of equipment which was being installed in bombers then possibility that appears to lie in producing a very much more in production, but steps had already been taken to remedy the posi simplified type of airscrew which, while not giving the full range tion, which had become generally realized, and the specifications of control or automaticity of the more advanced mechanism, for the S.B.A.C. standard system of electrical wiring had been drawn will none the less provide the private owner with a thrust-producing up and were on the point of being introduced. As soon as we became unit which will at any rate not be working so completely inefficiently aware of this we set in motion negotiations with a view to the for a major part of its life as is of necessity associated with the old appearance of a full description of the new system in the pages of fixed-pitch variety. This survey by MR. WAUGH does at all events AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING. For one reason and another it has taken a seem to put the light variable-pitch airscrew, "o n the map" as a year for these plans to mature and it was not until last month that feature worthy of serious consideration and examination. We have, we were in a position to publish the first of the two articles specially in fact, little doubt that before very long it will be looked upon as a written by MR . F. ELMSLEY which are concluded this month. natural and essential feature of every light aeroplane specification. This question of standardization is, of course, a thorny subject. There are manifest advantages in uniformity so long as it does not A Piece of Folly hamper individuality and initiative and act as a brake on progress. There is probably no matter in which the need for standardization is N common, we believe, with most members of the British aero more noteworthy than in the electrical field; and we are now not nautical world we view with the greatest distaste the Govern referring only to aircraft. In the domestic world the complete chaos Iment's decision to place an order for five Constellation air that exists in regard to the number and variety of such simple things liners with the LOCKHEED AIRCRAFT CORPORATION of Burbank, as plugs and sockets is a crying scandal. It is hardly an exaggeration California. We hasten to add that we have nothing against the to say that no two fittings are interchangeable and if, for example, Constellation as such. As a long-range high-capacity passenger- an electric fire fails it is almost certain that the plug at the end of the carrying aeroplane it is at the present day without serious rival, and lead of another in the same building will be of totally different dimen there is no doubt of its all-round suitability for the Atlantic air route. sions and it is long odds against even the electrician that installed There is, however, objection on various grounds to the purchase. the fitting still having a plug that will fit. We do feel, therefore, that In the first place it involves the transfer to America of more than the SOCIETY OF BRITISH AIRCRAFT CONSTRUCTORS are greatly to be £1,000,000 of precious sterling. Only the most over-riding urgency of commended on setting at any rate the aeronautical electrical in need would justify such a step, and in our opinion this does not dustry in order. If by their example they should have set a lead which exist. In view of the fact that the Constellations are not expected is followed by this industry in general they will indeed have deserved to go into service before July, the time that will actually elapse well of the nation and earned the gratitude of all harassed house between their arrival and the date when Tudors will begin to become . holders. Here is a fruitful field of endeavour which we commend to available will obviously be quite short. Meanwhile the weekly the attention of the BRITISH STANDARDS INSTITUTION. Atlantic service run by the B.O.A.C. with the Boeing flying boats is To revert from this domestic cri de coeur to the subject with withdrawn—the last flight having taken place on March 7—in which we are directly concerned in these pages, we would like to call order that the crews may be trained in the handling of the new attention to the need for a similar examination by the S.B.A.C. of aeroplanes. How much better it would have been to continue the all the accessories that are fitted in modern aeroplanes. It is the pilot Boeing service and bridged the gap with Lancastrians pending the and the member of a maintenance crew who suffer most in this delivering of Tudors. The latest Lancastrian is a comfortably- respect. The trouble is that they neither of them belong to a class equipped medium-capacity aeroplane with all the prestige of the which is, except sotto voce, very vocal and their mutterings are apt Lancaster behind it. It might be less economical to run a more to fade into the surrounding air and not penetrate far enough to frequent service with the greater number of aeroplanes that using reach the ears of those who are in a position to bring relief. the smaller Lancastrians would entail, but the extra expenditure could hardly amount to £1,000,000 and the money would at least A Light Aeroplane Amenity be spent in this country and not presented to our principal creditors. We believe this decision to be a grave blunder in policy, meaning OST readers will we doubt not be surprised at the number as it does the publicizing of American machines under the British of efforts to bring automatic and controllable airscrews flag; whereas we could have had a progressive evolution from the Mwithin the reach of the light aeroplane designer and owner Lancaster through the Lancastrian to the Tudor of the finest of which MR . J. D. WAUGH is able to give details in his survey of the examples of British aeroplane. subject which we are able to print in this issue through the courtesy of the SOCIETY OF AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERS. Strangely enough, we are at the same time obtaining foreign Hitherto, in the minds of most of us at any rate, variable-pitch currency by selling Sunderlands—which are perfectly suitable for airscrews have been associated exclusively, or nearly so, with high- the North Atlantic service—to Argentina. Here is muddled thinking powered aeroplanes. But there is no doubt that a strong case can be indeed.
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 1, 1946
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