FIRST ASHORE at Okinawa, as at many another Pacific landing, were the amphibian tractors—troop and cargo carriers that are equally at home on land and water. Now we can reveal the secrets of these versatile vehicles—their mechanical features and the new battle tactics they have produced.
New Ways of Cutting Glass Bottles Without Electricity
"The Smith Idea" Doesn't Get to First Base
Sewer-Pipe-Joint Controversy Gets Into Its Stride
Here Is a New Name for Lazy Tongs
Bike Tires May Be Down but They're Never Out
Liners Have It— Why Not Trains?
What Can This Man Do with a Lot of Sawdust?
He Tells How You Can Blitz the Termites
Experts on Chinning Should Answer This
Science Is Challenged to Include Idealism
Speaking of Filed Notches on Thickness Gauges
Better Leave the Wife's Sewing Machine Alone
I READ your article on cutting glass bottles electrically. The idea, of course, is all right, but too much equipment is needed. Out here we do the same job by making a wire ring to fit the bottle where we want the cut to come. We heat the wire orange-hot over a blowtorch, set the bottle into the wire ring, and then immerse it slowly in a tub of water, and the glass bottle will break straight and clean on the line made by the wire.
"WELL, I guess I’m the fellow to see, for I’ve repaired thousands of refrigerators ( home and commercial both ), vacuum cleaners, radios, washing machines, irons, fans, lamps, mangles, motors, etc. In fact, many of my customers call me their “electrical appliance doctor.”
MAJOR GEORGE FIELDING ELIOT, NOTED MILITARY COMMENTATOR, ASKS AMERICANS TO FACE FACTS
Is gas warse than flame thrawers?
Less humane than heavy explasives?
FACTS ABOUT GAS...
THIS writer is convinced that the time has come to use poison gas as a weapon against Japanese troops in the field. The consensus among military thinkers is that gas would save American lives. It has not been used because of world-wide public revulsion against this form of invisible death ever since it was introduced in World War I.
A FEW clouds sat starkly in the sky against á backdrop of light blue. The wind sock atop the south hangar at New York’s Flushing Airport hung limp. This was our day. We had been held up 24 hours by weather on the start of a combination vacation and fact-finding trip in a light airplane that was to carry us to the Rocky Mountains and back.
STEEL HOSIERY? There’s a possibility, even a probability, that women’s legs will soon be encased in stainless-steel stockings. At least, that idea was projected recently by an engineer in the steel industry when speculating on new uses for steel in the postwar era.
The magic of radar permitted Allied airmen, unseen by the enemy below, to "view" the Normandy coast from above thick clouds before and during the invasion of June 6, 1944. Using an advanced development of radar which traces a picture of the scene below, the operator could see in his viewing screen the coastline and built-up areas of towns.
ONE of the engineering triumphs of the war was “Operation Pluto,” the laying of 20 pipe lines under the English Channel to supply gasoline to the Allied armies that crushed Germany (P.S.M., July ’45, p. 70). Details of this achievement have just been made public.
BRITISH scientists, pilots, meteorologists, and engineers had an answer for Mark Twain’s statement that everyone complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it. That answer was FIDO (Fog Investigation Dispersal Operation), which conquered the weather in limited areas at air bases and was another vital achievement in helping to pulverize the Wehrmacht and lay waste German cities.
A HOT reception was planned inland and along the coasts of England for any German invaders who might have tried to set foot on English soil. The British were prepared to throw up instantaneously a wall of raging flames on land, at sea, and in the air.
SELF-PROPELLED bridges, carried and laid by British tanks without a single man having to leave the tanks or be exposed to enemy fire, speeded the armored thrusts across France and into Germany by spanning small rivers and canals, surmounting antitank ditches and concrete emplacements, and scaling cliffs, sea walls, and other obstacles.
Just any kind of gunpowder won't do. It takes a precision-made fuel to propel these deadly projectiles with accuracy.
THE newest tool of war is a self-driven arrow—a long, thick, black, 12-sided rod that looks as though it were made out of hard rubber. A child or a chemist might quickly suspect that it was a secret weapon. But an ordinary fellow, seeing one of these oddly shaped clubs for the first time, has to wipe a look of incredulity off his face when told that it is a stick of concentrated zoom that already has revolutionized warfare.
Fleet Has Fast New Scout Seaplane in Curtiss Seahawk
Kellett Helicopter Gets Army Tryout
Sign Stops Motorists Where Highway and Skyway Cross
Flying Truck Carries a Ton a Mile for Seven Cents
Flyer Moves Freely in Pressurized "Strato-Suit"
TWICE as fast as the veteran Kingfisher and with three times as much power in her mighty radial engine, the new Navy SC-1 Seahawk has joined the fleet. Catapulted off a cruiser or battleship, this single-place scout-observation float plane spots gunfire, locates enemy fleet units, and serves as a rescue plane.
How Pickaback Barges Bucked Atlantic Gales for D-Dav
Herded by tossing tugboats, clumsy craft built for quiet harbor waters braved ocean storms to join Eisenhower's invasion armada in England for the Normandy landings.
This Sterile Camera Takes Pictures of Surgical Operations in Color
War-Tested Sea Mule Will Be Peacetime Tug
Ten-Section Floating Dry Dock Holds a Battleship
IT LOOKED like a big barge, but it rode too high above the water for a barge. From a distance, it resembled a pre-Civil War battleship, but its bow and stern were as square-cornered as its superstructure, no guns were mounted on it, and there were no signs of a crew, portholes, or engines.
Transplanting our airpower from Europe to the Pacific involves a mammoth job of building bases and fields.
JAMES L. H. PECK
FOR the big job of moving our airpower from Europe to the Pacific, an AAF engineering officer said, “We’ve got to have the land. Then the bases have to be laid out and carved out. On these airdromes and back of them, we have to set up depots of various sizes.
EVERYTHING seems to be turned around in this experimental fighter. Wings, power plant, and propeller are mounted to the rear of the pilot; elevators are on the nose, rudders and vertical stabilizers on the wings. Engine is a 1,275-hp. Allison.
Rarely is a magazine privileged to present so dramatic and significant an article as AIR WAR: A PICTORIAL HISTORY OF THE ARMY AIR FORCES. On the following pages is recounted in brief one of military history's greatest achievements — the evolution of the United States Army Air Forces from a primitive beginning to what is probably the most tremendous striking force in the world today — a force which has shaped the history of the world and has written in the sky the destiny of millions...
Dive-bombing the Japs was easy for these leatherneck flyers; it was getting back that was tough. The trip gave them a taste of life in the “splinter fleet”— and convinced them that they still liked planes best.
FOR two years, Canadian engineers have been struggling to anchor a drilling barge to cut down Ripple Rock. This is a shipdestroying obstacle hidden in the waters between Vancouver Island and the mainland, on the vital water route to Alaska.
THREE MAIN TYPES OF THERMOSTATS, AND HOW THEY DO THEIR JOBS
How Well Do You Visualize?
GOLD V. SANDERS
THOUGH you may be entirely unconscious of the fact, there are thousands of thermostats working for you right now, making your daily life more comfortable. The more we go in for automatic living, the more we depend upon these small instruments that are so efficient and yet so simple.
WITH its head in an ice chamber and its lungs in a box outside, a robot works overtime at Wright Field to save the lives of high-flying bomber crews. Its job is to test oxygen masks under high-altitude conditions, replacing human guinea pigs.
"DON’T believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see” comes fairly close to being good advice. The Better Vision Institute has gone into the subject of seeing with great thoroughness, and many of its findings help us to understand what we see with our own eyes and what other animals see with theirs.
A WIRE STRIPPER that works in tight places is proving useful to the Army Air Forces, especially for quick electrical repairs on bombers in combat. Adjustable for five gauges of wire, it nips through the insulation, strips it back about 1½ inches, and holds it there while the splice is made.
JAP “Baka bombs” hurled at U. S. invaders of Okinawa are now revealed as a desperate application of suicide tactics to a weapon resembling the Nazi V-1 and V-2 robots. In the drawing above, artist Stewart Rouse gives his conception of one type of “human bomb,” based on details from reports of American observers.
WHEN ICE ATTACKS A PLANE IN FLIGHT, THE AIRMAN’S DEFENSE IS . . . DE-ICING
• • • ON PROPELLERS
. . . ON WINGS
OVER-ALL ANTI-ICING SYSTEMS OFFER BEST PROTECTION
MAJ. JOHN C. HERBST
MAJ. CARL T. SIGMAN
THE day was bright and clear, the mercury a couple of degrees above freezing. Puddles of water dotted the airfield. The pilot taxied to the end of the runway and tried to swing his plane around—but by then it was vibrating badly from the accumulation of ice on the propeller and the ailerons were frozen tight.
ARTIFICIAL SUNLIGHT generated by a new Westinghouse lamp is so rich in ultraviolet energy that a tan can be acquired at home three times faster than at the seashore in midsummer. Developed by the Westinghouse Lamp Division, at Bloomfield, N. J., the 275-watt lamp screws into any convenient A.C. socket and requires no special auxiliary equipment.
SPRUCE IN ITS CIVILIAN GARB, THE LITTLE BATTLE BUGGY IS READY FOR VARIED NEW CAREERS ON U. S. FARMS AND RANCHES
SAUCY and seemingly indestructible, the jeep has captured the fancy of America. Ever since, five-odd years ago, the Army’s ¼-ton truck bounced off the drawing board and into the newsreels, owning one has been something of a goal for thousands of citizens.
AS THE wraps come off the first U. S. cars built since shortly after Pearl Harbor, predictions that new models would resemble the prewar ones are borne out. The first Fords feature different styling of basically the 1942 body design, plus a number of mechanical improvements, among them new crankshaft bearings, greater volume and pressure of engine oil, relocation of valves for better cooling, a new distributor, an oil cleaner, an oil-bath air cleaner, and modified shock absorbers and springs.
IMPROVEMENTS ARE COMING, HE FINDS, BUT THE OLD BUS MAY STILL HAVE TO DO FOR A WHILE
WHEN the WPB gave the green light for production of 200,000 cars this year, the Model Garage regulars could hardly wait for the first rainy Saturday afternoon. Arguments over what the new cars would be like were going hot and heavy—backed by offers of cash bets—when Gus Wilson rapped for order with a peening hammer.
WORKING clear plastic is not nearly as hard as calling it by its scientific name —polymethyl methacrylate resin or just acrylate resin. It is no more difficult, as a matter of fact, than working wood and is much simpler to handle than metal. You can saw, drill, and carve it and sand and buff it to a sparkling finish; you can turn it in a lathe, tap it, or thread it; you can heat it and then bend it with nothing more than your hands; and you can cement it so firmly that the joint actually becomes a weld.
So MANY excellent projects were submitted in the POPULAR SCIENCE contest for things made of wire that the judges were forced to award a record number of ties. The first-prize entry was outstanding for the $25, but two placed second for $15 each, five were third for $5 each, and eight $1 prizes were given instead of five for a total of $88 instead of the original $50 offered.
Need Butter? You Can Churn Your Own in a Washing Machine!
PROPERLY built, this rack will easily support a 50' hose and should last for years. A pattern cut from cardboard will help you outline the front and back on ⅞" or 1" hardwood. If the dowel holes are drilled with a Forstner bit, about 3/16" of wood can be left on the front to provide a smooth face.
Auxiliary Wheels Raise Lawn-Mower Blades to Cut High Grass
K. H. MATHUS
HOW has your croquet game been this summer? Frequent use may have loosened the handles in your mallet heads, earlier sunset may be shortening your play, or you may find it tedious to lay out the ground each time you play or dangerous to leave the wickets where someone may trip over them.
Desk-Top Elephant Will Carry Supply of Book Matches
Light Bulb of Reflector Type Fashioned into Dainty Vase
Fencers Made of Paper Matches Handle Pin Foils with Vigor
RALPH S. WILKES
FAR INLAND, as well as along the seashore, old-time sailing ships hold the interest of modelmakers. Here is a trim model of the Revenge turned out by W. Ballingall, who lives in Moose Jaw, Sask. FORTY-FIVE SAILS gave a lot of speed to the five-masted, full-rigged clipper ship Preussen.
Dust off those old beanbags and try out your throwing arm!
ALL the family will engage in this game, no matter how many of the members have outgrown ordinary beanbags. The whirligig board shown below provides a thrill in testing both the accuracy of your throwing and your judgment in choosing a target.
Have you pulled off a smart one lately? We will pay for each contribution accepted for this page showing ingenious solutions of problems in the home, shop, garage, or camp. It doesn’t matter if it’s wacky—if it works. I SAW THE LIGHT when, fitting the tang of a new file into a handle, the ferrule dropped off and rolled I know not where.
Black Walnut Trinket Box Is Decorated with Chip Carving
Leaf Design in Incised Carving Adds Character to Photo Frame
Wheel-Type Eraser Guides Pencil in Fitting Irregular Surfaces
Good Design Lengthens Life of Outdoor Stairs
Quick Hitch Made on Chalk Line Keeps It from Unwinding
EDWIN M. LOVE
CARL F. BAREIS
R. A. J.
REGARDLESS of your artistic abilities, you will find wood carving a fascinating hobby—one in which the results will be well worth your efforts. Designs that work up beautifully can be laid out with nothing more than a compass and a straightedge.
Repairs Almost Anyone Can Make Help Blow Away Hot-Weather Cares
WALTER E. BURTON
YOU may be one of those fortunate souls who thrive on hot weather, or you may spend your summers in the mountains or at the shore where ocean breezes blow. If so, you can skip what’s coming. But if you are like most of us mortals and perspire profusely, and if that electric fan on which you depended in former years has been out of commission since the beginning of the war, then this is your meat —and without red points.
HAS your lawn been satisfactory this summer, wholly satisfactory? Have color and texture been even throughout? Has growth been as vigorous as you would like? If the answer to any or all of these questions is “No,” now is the best time to repair damage.
Modeling the Ascender XP-55 Offers Penknife Pilots a Close-up of One of Our Most Remarkable Tail-First, Pusher-Type Planes
WARPLANES, like soldiers, rarely become famous by doing their fighting on the proving grounds. Out of hundreds of experimental planes designed and built in the course of the war, only a few have attracted any public notice. If the Curtiss XP-55 Ascender has proved an exception, it is not for what it has accomplished in battle, but rather for the promise it holds as a prototype of planes to come.
WHEN the need for models of enemy planes was first felt by the Navy, its Bureau of Aeronautics Special Devices Division turned to men who had made a profession or a hobby of modelmaking in civilian life. The result was that the Navy was soon turning out model after model of enemy planes that reached perfection in every detail—planes that could be photographed against projected cloud backgrounds, thus allowing our pilots in the Pacific to identify immediately Jap planes that they had never seen before.
ADJUSTING lathe chucks is often a tedious task, particularly when the jaws of a four-jaw chuck must be removed and reversed, or when an irregularly shaped piece of stock must be chucked. While the chuck key sometimes can be spun with a finger, the jaws usually bind enough at several points to make slow hand-turning necessary.
MICROMETER measurements accurate to .001" are possible on large-diameter work with calipers you can make yourself at a fraction of the cost of vernier calipers of comparable capacity. The calipers shown also have the advantage of being able to take inside measurements when the positions of the micrometer head and anvil are swapped.
DRILLS AND REAMERS having straight shanks can be clamped in the boring-bar holder on the lathe carriage and fed to the work automatically by use of the power feed. Or, similarly clamped and supported in addition by running the dead center against it as shown in the photo at right, a reamer can be kept from turning as it is fed to the work with the tailstock handwheel.
FOR SAFETY'S SAKE, this band saw in the Army Air Forces woodworking shop at Stewart Field, N. Y.. has been fitted with a special Plexiglas shield through which the blade is visible. The shield guards the worker from injury but does not interfere with operation of the saw.
FROM WHERE YOU AIM, AS MUCH AS AT WHAT, MAKES A PICTURE
Florence C. O'Connor
NOT SO much what your camera sees, but how it sees it, is often the difference between a salon photograph and just another snapshot. Views that draw “Ah!” when first seen by the eye all too frequently prove disappointing when transferred to a print.
PRINTING SAFELIGHTS can be easily contrived from the two-section brown jars in which developing chemicals are sold. Either section is usable if the jar is one of the larger sizes. Otherwise, the top jar may not have sufficient space to accommodate the bulb.
AS ALTERNATIVES to suicide, the prewar citizen rejoiced in a great variety of methods of “getting away from it all.” He could go fishing, sun himself on the roof, or even snuggle up to a brass rail in cases of dire emergency. To those who enjoyed the sense of splendid isolation that made this possible, the wartime forecasts of immediate electrification of everything in sight must have caused some anxious hours.
RADIO listeners who confine themselves to local network outlets and independent stations are sometimes pleasantly surprised when a stray combination of elements brings in an unexpected broadcast from distant parts. It is only when such accidents happen that most of us realize how much first-rate entertainment never reaches our ears.
PERHAPS you’ve wanted to make a fluorescent light but have been stopped by the difficulty of obtaining a regular inductive ballast. Actually, ballasts aren’t needed for fluorescents of 15 watts or smaller; in their place, you can use ordinary wirewound resistors of the proper value and wattage.
Cart Saves Backbreaking Labor in Heavy Farm Hauling Jobs
Calcium Chloride and Pipe Wrappings Prevent Damp Cellars
Swing Supported on Movable Frame Remains in Shade All Day
Vernon B. Case
JACK H. REED
STEAMING has long been considered the quickest method of loosening wallpaper —as you may have noticed in a papered bathroom after having let a hot shower run for a long time. The trick is to get the steam where it will do the job you want done most effectively.
Edward Walker Measures the Speed of a Bullet with an Oscillograph
Richard Henry Milburn Transmits His Voice over a Beam of Light
John Moore Develops Formula and Builds Model for Mathematical Problems
Kirby Dwight, Jr., Studies Light Diffraction Through Window Screen
Russell R. Ellis Builds Spectroscope for Use of His Science Club
FORTY brilliant young Americans, 29 boys and 11 girls, arrived in Washington last spring with a bewildering array of scientific apparatus. All were finalists in the 1945 talent search conducted in high schools by the Science Clubs of America.
CHALLENGE YOUR FRIENDS to remove a water-covered coin from a shallow plate with their fingers—without getting them wet. They may agree that it seems impossible. But it can be done by using a crumpled piece of paper, a match, and a tumbler! The coin should be a little off center on the plate and just barely covered with water.
CHANGING INK INTO WATER may be possible chemically; it is definitely possible by magic—except that for the feat of magic you don't really use ink, or water either, for that matter. Your friends will be misled, however, by a cylinder of black felt cut from an old hat and inserted in a tumbler to make it appear half filled with ink.
Bottle-Holding Device Saves Work in Feeding Young Animals
New Fungicide Protects Seeds
ALICE S. COOK
CRUSH AN EGG in your hand while holding it aloft. Then throw it on the floor. To the surprise of everyone, what falls from your hand is not a mangled egg at all—but a fluttering cloud of confetti! Just any egg from the refrigerator, of course, won’t do.
NAMED “OLD LOUDMOUTH," a super loudspeaker developed by General Electric electronics engineers carries a whisper more than a mile and audible speech for three. Under ideal conditions it has been heard 18 miles away. Employing compressed air and mechanical adaptations of human speech, it is 150 times as powerful as the usual speaker.