Bell's Convertiplane Earlier this month, the Niagara Division of Bell Aircraft Corporation unveiled their vertical-jet-lifting prototype. On February 10th it was the turn of the company's helicopter division at Fort Worth, Texas, to reveal a wholly new development – in this case the Bell XV-3 convertiplane. Basically, the Bell XV-3 is a combination fixed- and rotating-wing aircraft combining many of the advantages of the fixed-wing aircraft with those of the helicopter. For vertical take-off the screws are used as rotors with their axes vertical, and the aircraft takes off and gains altitude in the normal helicopter manner. It is then accelerated horizontally in the usual way and, at a given basic forward speed, the rotors are tilted forward through approximately 90 deg until they are acting as conventional airscrews.

Comet Report The report of the Public Inquiry into the accidents to Comets G-ALYP and G-ALYY was published last Saturday. The major findings of the Court were that the cause of the accident to G-ALYP was structural failure of the cabin pressure, brought about by fatigue; that the cause of the accident to G-ALYY could not be definitely established, but that the explanation offered for the first accident appeared to be applicable to the second; and that neither accident was due to wrongful act, default or negligence.

Canine Parachutists More than 30 dogs – Alsatians and Labradors – are being trained for war duties with the Australian Army, mainly for detection of approaching enemies, for guard work, and for locating mines. On occasions the dogs will be dropped from aircraft, and for this purpose special harnesses are being developed, though in some cases baskets maybe used.

Brancker Lecture At the Brancker Memorial Lecture, Sir Arnold Hall, Director of the Royal Aircraft Establishment said of supersonic transport: "It seems to me likely that the development of long-range supersonic aviation will follow the exploitation of the high-subsonic possibilities. The influence of the higher annual earning capacity which increase of speed represents is a potent one; and whilst, on present knowledge, it is offset in the overall economic picture by lower aerodynamic efficiencies in supersonic, as compared with subsonic, conditions, only small changes in the aerodynamic position are needed to allow it to reassert its dominance."

Source: Flight International