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Passing Comments

31st October 1952
Page 24
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Page 24, 31st October 1952 — Passing Comments
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Lamps Dipped Automatically

A RECENT invention from America, to be seen at

the Motor Show, is an automatic device which frees the driver of a vehicle from using a dimming switch when meeting other vehicles. Known as the " Autronic-Eye," this unit" sees" for the driver and acts instantly when it sees a bright light, dimming the headlights and returning them to the bright beam when the approaching vehicle has passed. Tests in the U.S.A. over a distance of 65 mild with moderate traffic are said to have shown that the Autronic-Eye elected the safety beam 135 times without any failure.

The new device has a photo-electric unit carried on top of the instrument panel near a lower corner of the windscreen. An amplifier unit and power relay are mounted near the engine. The standard foot switch is connected so that in one position it provides automatic control of dipping, whilst in the other it keeps the head lamps dipped continuously. In addition, an over-riding switch permits the driver momentarily to raise the beam if needed.

" Monty" Tours Rootes Factories

A VISIT to the three Rootes factories at Coventry I-1 was paid on October 20 by Field-Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander,'S.H.A.P.E. He was received by Sir William Rootes, chairman of the Rootes Group, and was presented by him with a soLid-silver statuette, 13A-ins. high, of a subaltern of the Royal A22

Warwickshire Regiment in the uniform of 1908, the year in which " Monty" was gazetted to that regiment and of which he is now Colonel-in-Chief.

During his tour of the 2,500,000 sq. ft of the 'productive area" of the factories, he drove in his famous Humber staff car "Old Faithful," accompanied by Sir William and Mr. Geoffrey Rootes, managing director of Humber, Ltd, Viscount Montgomery was particularly interested in the excellent training centre for draughtsmen, technicians and executives, and in the group school at Stoke Aldermoor where the personnel of dealers and distributors of Rootes products throughout the world are given courses.

Back to Pioneering

IN the early '30s, many coach operators seeking new

fields to conquer, entered the then developing sphere of airline operation. In fact, at least two of the airline concerns which formed part of the nationalized British airlines were started up by coach operators. Recent developments in British air transport suggest that a reversion to the pre-war, situation may yet appear.

Last July, the Minister of Civil Aviation announced that opportunity would be afforded to air transport operators to start scheduled air services in Great Britain, over routes not served by British European Airways, Corporation. Applications made by operators will be submitted to an Advisory Council, which will issue the necessary authority.

Among the latest batch of applications are four from Don Everall (Aviation), Ltd., of EImdon Airport, Birmingham. These are for services between Birmingham,, Jersey, Newcastle and Weston-superMare, and for Wolverhampton to the Isle of Man. The name of this concern is, of course, well known as a pioneer of coach services in Great Britain, and one wonders what success this enterprise will receive from the Air Transport Advisory Council.

A Matter of Digestion

IN his presidential address to the Diesel Engine Users' Association, Mr. G. B. Fox, M.I.Mech.E., adopted for it the novel title of "Diesel Digestion." This, he said, was chosen with the intention of covering all those internal parts of the oil engine that collectively enabled the digestion of fuel to take place. Without excessive stretch of the imagination, they could be compared to those of the human body. The process was, after all, one of combining carbon and oxygen to form carbon-dioxide, and to produce heat at the same time.

As in the body a good pair of lungs was perhaps the first essential to health, so in the oil engine a free and unrestricted breathing apparatus produced good volumetric efficiency. As food must be delivered to the stomach well masticated, so fuel must be sprayed into the combustion chamber in a digestible form. In the one, an excessive rate of delivery might cause hiccoughs and in the other Diesel knock.

The address did not directly concern engines for road transport, but one of the interesting points mentioned was that an increase in the density of the air into which the fuel was sprayed had considerable effect upon its penetration for about the first 100 lb. per sq. in. This effect became less in proportion,however, as the density increased, and above normal compression pressure there Was little further change in penetration.

Less Control Cheaper Batteries

How controls can keep up prices was mentioned by Mr. H. V. Schofield, MC,, M,I,EF., director (sales) of Chloride Batteries, Ltd., at a Motor Show luncheon given by that company. Since control had been removed from lead, the price had dropped from f185 per ton to £.85. He emphasized that this indicated that certain controls are unnecessary, for some of them have the result of promoting scarcity. The reduction in the cost of lead, one of the basic materials in the production of Exide batteries, has already been passed on to buyers.

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