- Welcome to the Airplanes & Rockets Website -
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." Lord Kelvin, 1895

First Helicopter Flight, November 13, 1907

First Helicopter Flight, November 13, 1907 - Airplanes and Rockets"On 13 November 1907, French engineer and bicycle maker Paul Cornu made history by becoming the first man to fly in a rotary wing aircraft. The primitive helicopter - a twin-rotor craft powered by a 24-horsepower engine - only lifted Cornu about 1.5m off the ground, holding him there for 20 seconds at Coquainvilliers, near Lisieux in France. But that was enough for Cornu to take his place in the history books as the first man to successfully fly a rotary wing aircraft. Paul Cornu was born in 1881 in the French town of Lisieux, where the local high school is named after him to this day. Once he reached working age, he joined his father ..."

Hobbico Files for Bankruptcy - Goodbye Tower Hobbies & Great Planes?

Hobbico Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - Airplanes and RocketsTower Hobbies and Great Planes Bankruptcy - Airplanes and RocketsAnother great American company is circling the drain! I've been a contented Tower Hobbies customer since the 1970s. "Hobbico filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday, which could result in 332 layoffs at its Champaign facility. In a statement, Hobbico said that it plans to sell the company and will continue operating throughout the bankruptcy process. Hobbico also said that as it has grown, it has added too much debt and hasn’t been able to successfully restructure, especially facing 'an increasingly competitive industry, market headwinds and a series of one-off events with key suppliers." Hobbico was formed in 1986 when Clint Atkins combined two companies he bought: Don Anderson's Great Planes Model Distributors and Bruce Holecek's Tower Hobbies, which was founded in 1971 ...

Flyin' Jenny Comic Strip - December 21, 1941

Flyin' Jenny Comic Strips: December 21, 1941 Baltimore Morning Sun - Airplanes and RocketsThe Baltimore Sun newspaper, published not far from where I grew up near Annapolis, Maryland, carried Flyin' Jenny from the late 1930s until the strip ended in the mid 1940s, so I saved a couple dozen from there. The first one I downloaded has a publication date of December 7, 1941 - that date "which will live in infamy," per President Roosevelt. Many Americans were receiving word over the radio of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor while reading this comic at the breakfast table ...

Modeling Magazines: Past and Present

Modeling Magazines: Past and Present - Airplanes and RocketsHere is a list of many classic modeling magazines that are now or have been in print within the last decade or so. Unfortunately, most of these magazines are now out of print. Some have disappeared altogether while others have online-only editions. Fortunately, though, a few benevolent souls have taken it upon themselves to scan hundreds of past issues and made them available in PDF format at no charge to everyone. The Archive.org website's Wayback Machine™ has captured many years worth of the magazines' webpages, so all ...

AMA Now Offering Commercial Drone Insurance

AMA Now Offering Commercial Drone Insurance - Airplanes and RocketsThe Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) just announced in the January 2018 issue of Model Aviation that they are now offering commercial drone insurance. Liability insurance with protection of $½ million, $1 million, $2 million or more is available, plus you can also get hull insurance on the drone platform itself. AMA Membership is required for purchase, but you do not need to be a member to get a quote using the online form. ...

R/C at the Nationals, November 1953 Air Trails

R/C at the Nationals, November 1953 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsRadio controlled aircraft were really still in their infancy in 1953. Many R/C transmitters, receivers - all vacuum tube circuits - were beginning to appear in hobby magazines, but other than operating in FCC-designated frequency bands, there was not much in the way of standardization in modulation schemes. Therefore, intercompatibility between brands - or even between model types within a brand - was not guaranteed. The names you see mentioned here - Hal deBolt, Walt Good, Howard McEntee, Claude McCullough - were for a long time the most prominent figures ...

Flyin' Jenny Comic Strip - December 14, 1941

Flyin' Jenny Comic Strips: December 14, 1941 Baltimore Morning Sun - Airplanes and RocketsThe Baltimore Sun newspaper, published not far from where I grew up near Annapolis, Maryland, carried Flyin' Jenny from the late 1930s until the strip ended in the mid 1940s, so I saved a couple dozen from there. The first one I downloaded has a publication date of December 7, 1941 - that date "which will live in infamy," per President Roosevelt. Many Americans were receiving word over the radio of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor while reading this comic at the breakfast table ...

The Wasp Engine's Great Leap Forward

The Wasp Engine's Great Leap Forward - Airplanes and Rockets"The only aircraft engine to be designated an historic landmark. Advances in propulsion are what drive aviation development. Innovative airplanes almost always start with innovative engines, and the airframes follow. In 2016, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers celebrated just such an engine. The society designated the Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp a technology landmark, the organization’s highest award, because the Wasp singlehandedly brought about a leap forward in aircraft performance and economics. The tale of its development is still ...

Short Snorter Flying Wing C/L Model

Short Snorter, October 1958 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsIf you are looking for a little bit different type of control line model, then Short Snorter might fit the bill. It was designed by George Hinz and appeared in the October 1958 issue of American Modeler magazine. Short Snorter is .20 to .35-size stunt or combat model that is essentially a flying wing, and features a built-up fuselage and wing. The wingspan is around 40", but of course since you will be printing the plans, you can make the model larger or smaller. standard construction materials and methods are used throughout. Mr. Hinz cautions about making certain that the center of gravity is properly located since a tail ...

Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) Registration Service

Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) Registration Service - Airplanes and RocketsOn December 12, 2017, President Trump signed legislation that has the effect of reversing the earlier court ruling in the John Taylor case and restore the FAA's sUAS registration requirement, including for AMA members. "AMA believes that registration makes sense at some level, but has pushed for a more reasonable threshold. While we address these issues, members will be legally required to comply with the FAA registration requirement." It does not make sense to me because as usual, law-abiding people suffer the inconvenience and cost of legislation, while the majority do as they please. Fortunately, I kept my registration card from January of 2016 when this outrageous scheme began ...

Are Flying Cars Coming to the Skies?

Are Flying Cars Coming to the Skies? by John Hawthorne - Airplanes and RocketsMr. John Hawthorne contacted me recently about an article he published on the IQS Directory website titled "Are Flying Cars Coming to the Skies?" It reviews two most notable examples of research and development by companies - AeroMobil, Terrafugia (Latin for "escape the earth") - and mentions Uber's ambition of providing rooftop taxi service in high traffic urban areas. We are still a long way off from the goal of flying cars being a common sight, or ever a rare one for most of us. There are still many technical, safety, and regulatory obstacles to overcome before you or I will be transitioning our person ride from an automobile to an airplane or helicopter anytime soon.

Stealth Drone Has No Moving Surfaces at All

Stealth Drone Has No Moving Surfaces at All - Airplanes and Rockets"BAE Systems has unveiled a new aircraft design that could be a major advance in stealth technology. The new MAGMA drone does away with aircraft control surfaces, resulting in an aircraft whose shape remains constant throughout its entire flight. The small demonstration aircraft, which has completed a successful first flight, uses blown air to change direction instead of complex mechanical controls. Most airplanes look unmoving in flight, like a wing hanging off a giant tube plowing through the sky. Look more closely however and you'll see smaller ..."

Reconstructing NASA's Moon-Mission Audio

Reconstructing NASA's Moon-Mission Audio - RAirplanes and Rockets"You've heard, 'One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind,' but how about a lesser-known quotation from the Apollo lunar mission like: 'Ok, we still got radar landing guidance.' The University of Texas at Dallas launched a project to make all of the moon-mission audio accessible, from the memorable to the mundane. Dr. John H.L. Hansen, Chengzhu Yu, Dr. Abhijeet Sangwan, and Lakshmish Kaushik pose with a model of an astronaut at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. The four oversaw the project to ..."

Letter to AMA HQ Praises Club Charter Plan

Letter to AMA HQ Praises Club Charter Plan, September 1967 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsMr. Jim Perdue, president of the Tennessee Model Airplane Association from 1966 to 1968, submitted this letter to the editor of American Modeler magazine in high praise of the club charter program instituted by the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). The most important feature, at least in back in that day, was liability insurance provided by virtue of being officially chartered. The same applies today regarding insurance; however, the AMA has greatly expanded the benefits to chartering your model club. The current Club Charter Guide document list the following ...

Aerospace Headline News

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archives -

>$135,000 in Aviation Scholarships Now Available from EAA

Aviation Explorers Launches Youth Representatives Program

Commercial Airliner Hits Drone in Canada

FAA Seeks 'Emergency' Action on Drones

What's Wrong with Experimental Pilots?

Drone Hits Army Helicopter Flying over Staten Island

Tragedy of Americana: California Wildfire Destroys 'Peanuts' Creator's Home

Drones Deliver Storm Response

Vintage Aviation Publications Acquires Warbirds News

Inside the Wasp Shop

Inside the Wasp Shop - Airplanes and Rockets"Gene McNeely started flying airshows in 1986 and has been a stalwart presence on the AeroShell aerobatic team, flying a Wasp-powered North American T-6. He can only guess at his total flying time behind the engine: 'I would say 15,000 hours…probably more than that.' He does remember exactly how he got there, though. 'I got out of the Navy and ... started cropdusting, and the first engine I sat behind was the [Pratt & Whitney R-]985, which we'd adapted to the Stearman,' he recalls. McNeely later moved up to the Grumman Ag-Cat, with which 'you could get you ..."

Breaking the Sound Barrier with a Rocket-Powered Model Car

Breaking the Sound Barrier with a Rocket-Powered Model Car - Airplanes and Rockets"Not content with setting a new land speed record a group of a school students in Mansfield are now gearing up for an assault on the sound barrier. Much has been made of the so-called 'Bloodhound effect:' the way in which the UK effort to develop a 1,000 mph car has been used to engage and inspire the next generation of engineers. And there can be few more striking examples of this phenomenon in action than the achievements of a group of pupils from The Joseph Whitaker secondary school in Mansfield which, after ..."

BMP Vintage Engine Sale

BMP Barton Model Products Vintage Engine - Airplanes and RocketsUK website visitor Trevor M. wrote to ask about plans for the Comet Sparky model. He also mentioned that a guy he used to fly, John G. with as far back as the 1950s now owns Barton Model Product (aka BaMoPro and BMP), which is a major supplier of vintage model airplane engines. Varieties include glow, spark, and diesel, with and without R/C throttle for cars, boats, and airplanes. John also sells vintage tethered model cars and model airplane kits. BMP is located in Staffordshire, England.

Air Berlin Pilots Suspended for "Auf Wiedersehen" Low Pass

Air Berlin Pilots Suspended for 'Goodbye' Low Pass - Airplanes and RocketsThis story reminds me of a Calvin & Hobbes comic strip from the early 1990s. "Air Berlin, the second-largest airline in Germany, is set to cease operations on October 28 following the company's August announcement that it had filed for insolvency. The airline's final flight will take place a day earlier, and tickets are reportedly already sold out for that Munich to Berlin flight. On Monday, however, Air Berlin flew its final long-distance flight, from Miami, and that one is bound to be far more memorable due to the way the pilot of the Airbus A330 handled the approach into Düsseldorf ..."

50 WWII Aircraft Units Unearthed in Turkey

50 WWII Aircraft Units Unearthed in Turkey - Airplanes and Rockets"For anyone who likes World War II aircraft, the Focke-Wulf 190 series was, without doubt, one of the greatest planes of the period. But could there be 50 buried at an old airbase in Turkey? Turkish researchers believe so. There had long been rumors of the possibility of buried 190's somewhere in Turkey. The story goes that just over 70 Focke-Wulf 190's were exchanged for raw materials during the height of the Second World War. At this time in the Young Turkish Republic's history, they were intent on staying neutral. Turkey needed ..."

A Newspaper's Account of the AMA HQ's Relocation to Muncie

Academy of Models Aeronautics (AMA) Relocation to Muncie, Indiana 1992 - Airplanes As a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) since around 1971 (AMA # 92498), I have witnessed a lot of change in the organization as well as in the model industry. When I first joined as a teenager, AMA headquarters consisted of rented office space in a Washington, D.C., building, Richard Nixon was president, and the war in Viet Nam was on nightly news. AMA headquarters moved into a brand new building, which included museum space, on purchased property in Reston, Virginia, in 1983. A growing AMA membership and the desire to consolidate national competitions to a central location ...

Author: Kirt Blattenberger on Google+ Author:
Kirt Blattenberger