WHIRLING BLADES—the best aircraft propellers in the world today—are pulling our warplanes to their smashing victories on all fronts. An article by James L. H. Peck describes the development of propellers from the first simple wooden airscrews to the ingenious mechanisms of today, which are designed to get maximum efficiency from our superb engines and planes.
I’M SEVENTY years old and have been reading your magazine for a long time now. I look forward to its arrival every month, and I want to congratulate you on how well you tell what is going on in the world of science in language we ordinary folks can understand.
Using every means of scientific detection, the FBI is outwitting the Gestapo's best secret agents
HOW A NAZI SPY RING COLLECTS INFORMATION AND TRANSMITS IT TO GESTAPO HEADQUARTERS
DO'S and DON'TS
IN A little waterfront tavern at Port Richmond, N. Y., few patrons even noticed the stoop-shouldered, 57-year-old porter, busy with mop and pail. Anyone taking the trouble to inquire would have learned that he operated his pleasant brick home in near-by Tompkinsville as a boarding house for service men, and that he was one of the most zealous air-raid wardens to be found in the vicinity.
Where does a battleship's weight go? What kind of hull design should it have, and why? These and many other features of battleship design, as exemplified by the 35,000-tonners of our modern North Carolina class, are illustrated below by S. W. Clatworthy, noted British technician, in drawings from the “London Sphere."
BABIES of the barrage-balloon family— tiny hydrogen-filled aerial "sausages” —now protect troop convoys from attack by low-flying enemy planes. Controlled by winches on trucks or on the ground, they hamstring attackers by lacing the air with steel cables.
Dragging his planes to ever higher levels, man encounters deadly enemies in cold and low air pressure. . . . Can science conquer the stratosphere?
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF FLIGHT IN THE STRATOSPHERE?
...AND WHAT ARE ITS PROBLEMS?
ENGINEERS ARE BUSILY SEEKING THE ANSWERS TO PROBLEMS THAT PUT A CEILING ON FLIGHT
WILLIAM S. FRIEDMAN
MODERN military air operation has established certain advantages for high-level flying. The first, of course, is virtual immunity from antiaircraft fire. Another is freedom from interception, because the higher the airplane flies, the greater the time lapse before intercepting aircraft can climb to the level of the high-flying ship.
ALREADY in the laboratory stage of development, three models of postwar planes for private flyers are proposed by William B. Stout, famed designer who now heads the Stout Research Division of the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation.
PROPELLER DOUBLES AS RUDDER, SPINNING VESSEL AROUND OR MOVING IT SIDEWAYS
SHIPS that can spin in a circle while at a dead stop, move sideways to dock at a pier, and perform equally unconventional evolutions, are made available to American designers with seizure of an enemy alien’s propeller patent by the Alien Property Custodian.
Victory FOR THE UNITED NATIONS IS IN THE CARDS. THE TRUMPS WE HOLD ARE MARKED "MILITARY CAPITAL", "FLEXIBILITY", AND "COMMUNICATIONS"
WE CAN’T lose. For three main reasons we can’t lose: three reasons which can be summed up under the headings of Flexibility, Military Capital, and Communications. Of these, only the third has really begun to produce its effects—but those effects have already given us victories on the enemy’s doorstep in Sicily and the Solomons, and have made possible the battering from the air received by the German and Italian cities.
TO INCREASE the hydroelectric-power output of Niagara Falls—and, incidentally, to preserve their natural beauty—a stone weir has been built across the Canadian half of the Niagara River bed. War industries on both sides of the border profit from an international agreement, of which this project is part, to increase the amount of water used for power from 56,000 to 82,500 cubic feet per second.
THE STORY OF TEN PRODUCTION HEROES WHOSE "BRAIN CHILDREN" HAVE BECOME HEADACHES FOR THE AXIS
IT REQUIRES no great imagination to reconstruct the scene at Hitler's headquarters on the night that the British Eighth Army blew the lid off at El Alamein. Rommel had just sent a wire to his boss, saying he had that mouthy little squirt, Montgomery, backed up against Alexandria and was about to blast him with those invincible German 88-millimeter tank guns and then sweep all North Africa bare of British resistance with a thousand tanks flying the black swastika.
AGGRESSIVE defense against bodily attack, and skillful offensive tactics against an unarmed opponent, are easy if you learn the basic principles taught American Ranger and Raider battalions. The whole secret lies in disabling the enemy by locating the main nerve centers in his body and bringing pressure against them to cause extreme pain or temporary paralysis.
GRANDFATHER’S toys were as representative of their time as ours are of today. The Old Toy Shop recently installed in the Museum of the City of New York exemplifies the new interest in mechanics, the desire for realism, and the urge for elegance characteristic of the 19th century.
NIGHT FIGHTER. Latest version of the famous Douglas A-20 Havoc and Boston attack bomber is a night-fighting terror. The nose section, normally occupied by the bombardier’s compartment, houses a battery of .50 caliber machine guns, while other guns protrude from the belly.
FIGHTER TURNS PHOTOGRAPHER. Lockheed’s F-5 (below) is the familiar P-38 Lightning with guns and other equipment removed to make room for five high-speed cameras. Fully armed, the P-38 is the fastest and one of the hardest-hitting planes in the air.
IN INDIA, today, our soldiers may see little metal plates, bearing numbers arranged in squares, worn by the natives as amulets. These are “magic” squares, first constructed by ancient Hindu and Chinese mathematicians, and believed to be endued with magical powers because of certain remarkable but purely mathematical properties which they possessed.
SOME OF THE MANY TYPES OF FILES AND THE JOBS THEY PERFOR
Once the "Stepchild of the Machine Shop," the File Has Now Become a Much-Respected "Weapon" of War on All Industrial Fronts
How Files Are Made
SPECIAL FILES DO SPECIAL JOBS FOR VICTORY
WINGS, propellers, engines— practically every inch of our warplanes needs a filing job before it is ready for action. Tiny Swiss Pattern files are used to form dies and to clean out slots; a curved-tooth file roughs down a wing surface; a rasp trims the edge of a propeller—and 2,000 other files perform special jobs necessary to put a plane into the air.
The device consists of a flexible hose attached to a float which rises to the surface when the conduit is set free. In addition to providing an air line, the apparatus might be used as a means of indicating the location of a submarine trapped on the ocean floor, or even afford a means of communication with the crew from rescue vessels on the surface.
WITH almost incredible nicety of detail, a staff of 100 skilled embroiderers, working in two shifts at the Philadelphia Depot of the Army Quartermaster Corps, is turning out thousands of banners for military units and high officials, from Presidential flags down to regimental colors and troopship ensigns.
A CARDBOARD device for telling the time of night by the stars—a “clock” simple enough to be used by any 10-year-old youngster—has been designed by Dr. Roy K. Marshall, of the Fels Planetarium, Philadelphia. Facing directly north, the time seeker holds the card with its marked edge uppermost and horizontal.
THE drawing and photographs on this page, which recently appeared in “Signal,” Herr Goebbels’ English-language propaganda magazine, are that master mind’s idea of an effective counterattack in the war of nerves. With characteristic heavy-handed German subtlety, they were intended to impress Allied readers with the impregnability of Europe’s west-coast defenses, and to suggest, of course, that invasion could result only in something approaching national suicide.
ACTION snaps of TNT are shot by these two cameras, among the fastest in the world. The rotating-mirror camera is ten times faster than the earlier revolvingdrum model, although that was swift enough to record the fastest explosive known.
POTTERY making is one of the oldest American handicrafts. The Indians made vessels of native clay long before the white man came, and among agricultural tribes, like the Pueblos of our Southwest, the art was highly developed. Neither their designs nor their technique changed when the white man brought European culture and the potter’s wheel to America.
"MANIPULATOR" is the simple name for this machine that holds seven-ton gear blanks in any position for welding. By shifting parts to be welded so the operator will be above them, all welds can be made downward. This is much faster than overhead welding, and it can be done by men with less experience.
FLAMING from stem to stern, a cargo ship laden with munitions gave New York Harbor several hours of tense excitement one Saturday evening last spring. Police and air-raid wardens spread the alarm along the waterfront to open household and factory windows—and then stay away from them— for fear of a devastating explosion.
A HIGH-SPEED, air-propeller-driven boat that literally rolls over the waves has been proposed by Pietro C. Lombardini, of England. In starting, the boat moves through the water on its hull, but once it attains 50 knots, a series of free-turning rollers, lowered into the water in place of the hull, reduces the boat’s resistance and enables it to increase its speed greatly.
Sergeant Thurman Horton—and there are thousands like him— has an answer for Axis armor in a hard-hitting M-10 “panther.“
OUR new M-10 tank destroyers are dubbed “rolling panthers.” Enemy armor is their meat. In a dozen battle sectors, these fast, fierce creatures of steel have left a trail of twisted wreckage—the remains of Axis tanks. They’re America’s challenge to panzer packs.
WARTIME houses like this one won’t have to be scrapped when peace comes, for their size is easily changed and all their prefabricated sectional panels can be shifted to meet new requirements as they arise in a family or a community. Ratio Structures, as they are called, are the answer of architects Paul L. Wiener and Paul Schulz, and town planner José Luis Sert, all of New York, to the pressing and ever-changing housing demands of wartime.
The story of an American inventor whose idea will help win the war —and may influence your eating habits for the rest of your life.
TO MAKE ONE OF OUR CARGO SHIPS DO THE WORK OF THREE DEHYDRATION REMOVES WATER, COMPRESSION REMOVES AIR
ON DECEMBER 7, 1941, when the Japs attacked Pearl Harbor, John Cornelius Donnelly, 39 years old, of Greenwich, Conn., was stone broke; sitting in an unheated home, from which the gas, light, and telephone service had been cut off; wondering how to capitalize on great inventions to revolutionize the food-packaging business.
DON’T push, folks. There’s plenty to go around. And, though prices may seem high, with a veal cutlet at $2.25, this is no black market. For these foods are artificial. They are of a plastic material, realistic in texture, molded to natural shape, and colored to challenge the appetite.
Plastic Light Filters "Black Out" Pilot for Blind-Flying Training
Collapsible Gasoline Storage Tank of Synthetic Rubber Helps to Solve Army’s Supply Problem in the Field
Bombardiers' "Highcnair" Helps Sharpen Their Aim
"PAINTINGS” made up of thousands of tiny pieces of wood of varied natural colors are the specialty of John Wacha, 69-year-old retired jewelry designer, of Providence, R. I. After sketching his design on a baseboard “canvas,” the artist sorts out the various shades of wood he needs, and with a fine jig saw he cuts the selected pieces into intricate patterns, many of them only a fraction of an inch wide.
VITAL to good battle strategy is a knowledge of what kind of weapons the enemy has, and just what these weapons can—and cannot— do. To gain this information, members of the Army’s Foreign Materiel Division, following in the wake of a retreating enemy force, pick up any new weapons they may find, and ship them home for careful analysis.
By all the rules, the 10-year-old Catalina should be as dead as the dodo. But she still hangs on ... and now her big sister Coronado helps carry on the battle.
TWO OF A KIND: COMPARISON OF CATALINA AND CORONADO
ASSEMBLING A CORONADO
ANDREW R. BOONE
THE normal life expectancy of an airplane design is about four years. Under normal military operation, a fighting plane is superseded by types that can outperform it, as design science strides past yesterday’s milestones. New engines, better propellers, improved wing sections, and superior materials make yesterday’s winged miracle tomorrow’s crate.
DOES LIFE EXIST ON OUR NEIGHBORING PLANET? A DISTINGUISHED ASTRONOMER WEIGHS THE ODDS
WATCH NOV. 28 1943
A CLOUDY MARTIAN AFTERNOON
NOTICE TO SUBSCRIBERS
DONALD H. MENZEL
MARS, for the average person, is a planet endowed with romance and mystery. Scientists, fiction writers, and comic-strip artists have unwittingly co-operated to popularize the belief that Mars must be inhabited. Several years ago Orson Welles and his Mercury players threw a scare into New York and New Jersey by their vivid broadcast of H. G. Wells’ famous mystery, “the War of Worlds,” which dramatized an invasion of the earth by the Martians.
SHOCK ABSORBERS LEAD A TOUGH LIFE—CHECK THEM FOR SMOOTHER RIDING AND SPRING PROTECTION
IF YOU are “rough-riding” to work these mornings because of “hard steering” or wheel shimmy, or because your car “dances” on the road, you had better check your shock absorbers—the front ones for steering and shimmy, the rear ones for “dancing.”
1 A DOOR GUARD FOR CHILDREN left alone on the back seat of a four-door sedan can be rigged easily with a split ring and a snap hook. Drill the door handle near the end and fit into the hole a ¾" diameter split ring such as is used to carry keys. Directly above, drill a hole in the window frame for a small, stiff wire.
GUS WILSON had just started work on his first job of the morning when State Trooper Jerry Corcoran came briskly into the Model Garage shop. As always, his gray-blue uniform was immaculate, gleaming boots competing with the luster of his Sam Brown belt, his broad-brimmed felt hat tilted at its habitual jaunty angle.
INVISIBLE BREAKS in tires offered for recapping or retreading are now spotted by supersonic vibrations— sound waves beyond the range of the human ear that are also used to record ocean depths and detect submarines. This adaptation, developed by scientists of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., is especially useful in locating separations of the plies or layers of fabric composing a tire.
Chair, Typewriter Table, and Floor Lamp Are Ideal Projects to Make for the Den or Study
ERNEST R. DEWALT
MANY American homes have found the typewriter almost indispensable. The machine is used for correspondence, for writing out household accounts, and, by the younger generation, as an aid in the pursuit of schoolwork. To make it still handier, these three projects have been designed—a table of convenient height, a matching chair, and a lamp.
A SEARCH of almost any old attic will uncover interesting picture frames, too good to be thrown away yet too ornate for contemporary use with pictures. Many of these frames can easily be converted into attractive hanging cabinets for bric-abrac or small antique articles of value.
THE simple but effective decoration on this little desk chest was worked out by chip carving, which is actually a geometrical arrangement of triangular pyramids. This type of carving is easy to master; the project shown was the author’s first attempt.
RAZOR-edged knives, chisels, and other tools may easily be made from worn or broken hacksaw blades. Designed to reach hard-to-get-at spots, these tools are particularly suited to model making or other fine work. Blades, nails or copper wire (No. 10 gauge or smaller), and short lengths of dowels are the only materials needed.
THE problem of where to keep current newspapers and magazines is solved with an attractive rack made of odds and ends. You can modify the proportions somewhat to suit the materials on hand if you have any plywood remnants, but the dimensions listed produce two well-proportioned pieces of furniture.
AIM through the periscope sight of this submarine, fire a torpedo, and watch the doomed enemy freighter explode! The torpedo tube is a slot 15/32" wide, running from the bow to within 1¼" of the stern of the submarine. A hole large enough to take a 3/16" dowel loosely is drilled through the stern.
ONE of the least explored fields of photography lies within a few yards of the spot where you read these lines. Whether you live in town or country, in the mountains or by the sea, insects can always be found; and most of them furnish unrealized opportunities for taking striking and distinctive photographs.
All-Around Lighting for Stills Obtained with a Single Bulb
WHEN equipment is limited, a method of using a single bulb to get the effect of multiple lighting will prove useful in shooting still subjects such as table-top setups. The lighting is done from one angle at a time, separate exposures being made on the same film.
FAST-GROWING SQUABS PROVIDE A DELICIOUS PROTEIN FOOD TO SUPPLEMENT FAMILY RATIONS
ONE luxury food everyone may enjoy without ration stamps is home-raised squab. The flesh of this delicacy contains more body-building soluble protein and less connective tissue than does the adult pigeon. In addition, it is an excellent source of vitamin G, is rich in phosphorus, and has a fine texture and a delicious flavor.
ON THIS STURDY SHOE-POLISHING CABINET THAT SERVES THE WHOLE FAMILY
Vernon B. Case
ALTHOUGH a shoe-shine cabinet needs to be practical, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an ugly piece of furniture. Here is a cabinet that is thoroughly functional but at the same time has pleasing lines and could even be used as an end or hall table.
WINTER storage or temporary laying up of a boat is an important period in its life. Mere shelter from the elements is not enough. To keep your boat in good condition, it is important to make small repairs before storing it, while they are still simple and easy to do.
SYMMETRY was achieved in this rustic rack by the simple process of sawing the large crotch in two lengthwise, as shown in the drawing. Remove the bark from all crotches as well as the log before sawing to be certain the wood is sound. The small crotches are fitted and nailed at a slight angle to keep guns from sliding off.
CARVING with a small motor or a flexible shaft is almost effortless, but extreme care must be exercised, for one false touch with a whirling cutter may mar wood or plastic irreparably. An advantage, however, is elimination of the propensity of hand gouges for splitting the wood, especially when coaxed across bad grain.
Comical Figure of Baker Tops Off Novel Bread Server
GUESTS will smile when served with bread from this tray, for a jolly little baker stands guard on top of the stack. Turn the base from a 9¼" maple or birch disk to the section shown. A felt disk cemented to the bottom will hide the holes left by the faceplate screws.
SELECTED by a committee of four service men as a prize winner in a Service Men’s Gift Contest conducted by POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY, this kit for shining shoes rightly lays claim to its ability to serve well. The entire outfit is contained within a carved and hinged case measuring 1⅝" by 2¼" by 7½".
S-Shaped Metal Hook Locks Sea Bag and Acts as Handle
A SAILOR’S sea bag needs to be closed, locked, and carried just as does any other type of hand baggage. The device illustrated at the right does the complete job and, for that reason, was also one of the prize winners in the Service Men’s Gift Contest.
Rustic Garden Bridge Built from Small Logs and Saplings
A PICTURESQUE little bridge for an informal garden can easily be made of small logs and saplings. After selecting the spot for your bridge, brace the end posts with logs and rocks as suggested in the sketch. All the wood should be peeled and seasoned.
AN INTERESTING and decorative novelty is a set of turtles varying in sizes and shapes. They are made of walnut shells, pipe cleaners, and short lengths of dowel. The shell is grooved with a rattail file for the legs, head, and tail. Legs are bent from pipe cleaners to the approximate shape shown, the length depending upon the size of the shell.
AS FUNCTIONAL as it is good looking, this wardrobe cabinet will do much to teach a child the fundamentals of neatness. A special feature of it is the door, which slides upward into the top of the cabinet and cannot pinch little fingers. It is also an advantage where space is limited, since it does not swing out into the room.
FREQUENTLY the machinist must divide a circle into several parts, as in making a gear, reamer, jig, milling cutter, or similar part on which must be spaced teeth, cutting edges, or holes. Such work is usually done with a dividing head, an accessory mounted on the table of the milling machine that rotates the work through given angles to produce the number of divisions desired.
A KNOCKOUT BAR for removing the headstock center from your lathe can be turned in the lathe from odd pieces of scrap steel. The drawing and photographs show a bar of a size useful for popular 9" and 10" lathes. The handle projects a few inches beyond the headstock and is knurled for an easy grip, with a turned ornament that adds to the appearance and provides a smooth, rounded end.
WASHERS AS RADIUS GAUGES solved one machinist’s tool-priority problem. Unable to obtain a radius gauge, he turned washers to various sizes to gauge the radii of shaft fillets and other machined parts. For example, a radius of ½" can be gauged with a washer of 1" diameter.
RULING PENS CAN BE FILLED from a medicine dropper with more accurate control over the amount of ink than the conventional quill allows. Mounted in a stopper cut to fit the bottle, the dropper can be pushed down as the ink level falls.
ACCURATELY located and drilled center holes are required in both ends of work that is to be held between centers in the lathe. Precision in this respect is especially important when several pieces of the same kind are to be machined. These holes, which serve as bearing points for the lathe centers, may be laid out in any of several ways, and they can be drilled in the lathe itself if a centering machine is not available.
A SIMPLE magnetizer and demagnetizer operating from a standard 115-volt A.C. line will make strong magnets of files, screwdrivers, hammer heads, and other tools in which magnetic properties are desirable. As a demagnetizer, it will erase all traces of magnetism from lathe bits and other tools that sometimes become magnetized and pick up steel chips.
WHEN station WABC, of the Columbia Broadcasting System, erected its 50,000-watt transmitter a few years ago on a tiny island in Long Island Sound a mile off New Rochelle, N. Y., a ferry service was inaugurated for engineers and other members of the staff.
Heavy-Duty Plate-Current Supply for Electronic Experiments
JOHN W. CAMPBELL
MORE than 100 horsepower of electrical energy—1 amp. at 100,000 volts—flows into the giant industrial X-ray tube that spots defects in heavy steel castings. Possibly in the same plant there is an “electric eye,” or phototube, that gauges the color of incandescent metal in a Bessemer converter and signals when the blast must be shut off.
CERAMIC BATTERY CASES are replacing those formerly made of rubber for industrial, public-utility, emergency-transmitter, and telephone service. Four clays are blended to produce this vitrified ceramic, which is acidproof, is easy to keep clean, and can be heated to 212 deg. F. and plunged into ice water without contraction.
BURNED-OUT or damaged parts of a radio receiver can often be put back into service without making an actual repair or replacement should either prove temporarily impracticable. This is especially true of such parts as chokes, power transformers, audio transformers, and coils.
FIGURE YOUR FUEL SAVING FROM THE INFORMATION BELOW
J. HAROLD HAWKINS
IF THE average heating period for your home is seven months a year, with proper insulation you may save up to four months on your fuel bill each winter. This is important information—doubly important now because of the shortage of both fuel oil and coal.
Attractive Rack for Garden Tools Helps Save Extra Steps
ADJUSTING SCREEN DOORS
MICHELE DE SANTIS
CONVENIENCE and an attractive appearance are features of this outdoor rack for garden tools and hose. A rack of this type will save the home gardener many extra steps during the months when tools are most frequently needed. It is not usually desirable to put the rack to year-round use, however, nor to install it where theft of the tools is a possibility.
PLASTIC SINK DRAINS are now available to replace metal types. Made of a molded white plastic, the drains will not rust or corrode, and have no plated finish to wear away. The drain assembly consists of three units: a one-piece surface lip and drain, a rubber washer, and a plastic nut shaped to fit a standard wrench.
ARTILLERY FIRE. Computing the trajectory or path of a shell is complicated work for an artillery officer, but you can demonstrate the principle on your bridge table with two marbles and a hacksaw blade. Flip the blade as shown above, and the two marbles
HOW COMMON CHEMICALS CAN BE USED TO RENDER MANY SUBSTANCES FLAME RESISTANT
A SUPPOSEDLY extinguished match, still aflame and carelessly thrown where it falls on or against an inflammable object, may start a fire and cause a catastrophe that could have been avoided by forethought and simple fire-prevention aids.
THIS portable first-aid cabinet, used in Red Cross and civilian-defense ambulances, is arranged for quick, easy access to supplies and is strong enough to withstand rough handling. The best method of construction is to build the box complete and then saw it into halves on a circular saw.
Puncheon Table Adds Rustic Touch to Back-Yard Barbecues
THE most satisfactory tables for outdoor use are heavy ones, and as they are seldom moved about, they might as well be permanently located, provided they are weatherproof. Here is one that will take as much weather as a slate roof—and like it.
PHYSICAL fitness programs for high-school boys suggested this outdoor gymnasium unit designed especially for developing arm and shoulder muscles. Three durable posts about 16' long and 6" in diameter are first set securely in concrete.
SCRAPS of wood from larger projects will do for building this sturdy tackle box. Use ⅞" stock for the ends, ⅜" plywood for the sides, top, and bottom, and ¼" stock for partitions. A lining of ⅛" composition board extending up ¼" from the bottom section on the sides and ends creates a watertight joint when the lid is closed.