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

Lockheed Martin Unleashes the Fury

Lockheed Martin Unleashes the Fury - Airplanes and Rockets"First flight tests of stealth superdrone that can stay airborne for fifteen hours revealed and is launched by catapult. Lockheed Martin is getting closer to unleashing Fury on the battlefield. The Maryland based firm has announced that its unmanned aerial system, named Fury, has demonstrated a flight endurance time of 15 hours, while operating with over 200 lbs. of payload and fuel at an altitude up to 15,000 feet. But what makes this craft the ultimate warfighter, is that it does not need a runway for takeoff, instead ..."

Semroc V-2 Model Rocket Kit

Semroc V-2 Model Rocket Kit - Airplanes and RocketsThe Semroc V-2 model rocket kit was modeled after the original Estes V-2. The V-2 is one of the Estes models that I always planned on building as a kid, but for some reason - most likely budgetary - I never got around to it. What I liked about the Semroc kit was that it kept with the original all balsa components rather than substituting molded plastic parts for the nose cone and tail section. The building process was pretty straight-forward. The Estes Fin Alignment Guide was used for attaching the fins. It was the first time I ever used the jig. Because of the way the bottom of the Semroc V-2's body curved ...

Auto Progress: The Ford Story

Auto Progress: The Ford Story, July 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsHenry Ford began production of the Model T (aka the "Tin Lizzie") in 1908, and his introduction of the moving assembly line commenced in 1913, thereby reducing the assembly time of an automobile from 12 hours to just 2.5 hours. Prices dropped to less than half the original cost and profits soared as a growing number of people were able to afford a car. It is always interesting when reading these reports on airplanes and automobiles which were published in the middle of the last century to remember that at the time, the technology was less than 50 years ...

Battery-Powered Plane Sets World Speed Record at 210 MPH

Battery-Powered Plane Breaks World Electric Speed Record Hitting 210 MPH - RF Cafe"With electric cars breaking their way onto our roads, it's only a matter of time until commercialised electric airliners take to the skies. The world's fastest battery-powered plane, which was created by Siemens, has hit a new speed record for electric flight as it whipped through the air at over 210 mph (340 kmh). The Extra 330LE plane's record is a big leap towards the eventual replacement of jet fuel and combustion engines in aircraft. The record was completed at Dinslaken Schwarze Heide ..."

'Lightning Strike' Plane Powered by 24 Electric Fans Set for Lift Off

'Lightning Strike' Plane Powered by 24 Electric Fans Set for Lift Off - Airplanes and Rockets"Officially known as the XV-24A Lightning Strike Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) XPlane, the 20% scale craft completed its planned flight test program in early March at Webster Outlying Field in Southern Maryland. Funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the SVD successfully demonstrated key technical features the full-scale XV-24A will perform, including outbound and inbound transition flight. The SVD aircraft is a 325 pound, Lithium battery ..."

We Drive the MG Magnette

We Drive the MG Magnette, July 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsMG's Magnette was produced 1954 and 1958. It was a fairly large, 4-door family car with rather posh features like leather seats, electric windshield wipers, safety glass, and rustproofing. The price tag of $2,675 in 1954, when this article appeared in Air Trails magazine, is equivalent to $27,148 in 2017 dollars per the BLS Inflation Calculator. You cannot buy a car in the same class today for that amount. Modern cars are loaded with many more creature comforts and are heavily burdened with regulatory-mandated environmental and safety features that add ...

400' Model Aircraft Altitude Limit - Nothing New There

400' Altitude Model Aircraft Altitude Limit per FAA - November 1972 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsAMA president Rich Hanson published an editorial column in the April 2017 issue of Model Aviation titled, "How high can I fly?) Ok, more correctly it should have asked, "How high may I fly?" since it addresses the oft-asked question about what altitude limit is imposed on model aircraft. Mr. Hanson does a great job explaining the situation, and points out that the current 400-foot limit has been on the books with the FAA since at least 1972. He refers to a full-page notice to model airmen on page 49 of the November 1972 issue of American Aircraft Molder, the AMA monthly publication that preceded Model Aviation ...

Mars Airplane Resumes Flight

Mars Airplane Resumes Flight - RF Cafe"Flight tests have resumed on subscale aircraft that could one day observe the Martian atmosphere and a variant that will improve collection of Earth's weather data. Work on the shape of the aircraft and the systems it will need to fly autonomously and collect data are ongoing for the Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Land on Mars, or Prandtl-M aircraft. Student interns with support from staff members at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California are advancing the project ..."

Bilgri Patching and Covering Methods

Bilgri Patching and Covering Methods, March 1971 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsIndoor airplane models covered with microfilm seem to have always been for a very particular, dedicated group of modelers who possess the patience, steady hands, and eyesight to build and maintain very delicate structures. A directed sneeze can literally blow them to pieces. It is an aspect of aeromodeling into which I have never ventured. Mr. Joseph Bilgri, AMA #4393, was a contest-winning pioneer of the craft. The AMA History Project has a biography of Joe that is worth reading if you have an interest in indoor modeling. Of course today, with the advent of nano-size ...

O.S. Digitron DP-3 Radio Control System User Manual

User Manual for the OS Digitron DP-3, 3-Channel Radio Control System - Airplanes and RocketsThe O.S. Digitron DP-3, 3-Channel Radio Control System was my first radio control system. After watching eBay for an affordable set, I finally found one in January of 2017 for a little over $100. It is in pretty good physical condition, but I have not tried to power it up to to see whether it works. My plan is to buy a modern spread spectrum 2.4 GHz radio and swap out the electronics in the O.S. Digitron DP-3 transmitter. I will have to rig the trim tabs to be spring centered with switch contact on each side of center since analog (potentiometer) trims are no longer used. The 2.4 GHz antenna will ...

Verizon Tests Flying Cell Site for Emergency Preparedness

Verizon Tests Flying Cell Site for Emergency Preparedness - RF Cafe"Verizon conducted its latest engineering flight tests using a 'flying cell site' aboard a drone, and while it didn’t share specific results, it's another indication that the carrier is progressing with the prospect of using drones to supply an LTE network if severe weather knocks out more traditional cellular network components. The 17-foot-long drone was piloted by American Aerospace Technologies Inc. (AATI) during the trial run at Woodbine Municipal Airport in Woodbine, New Jersey, on April 5. The test was designed to simulate ..."

Model Rectifier Corporation Advertisement - Jan 1972 AAM

Model Rectifier Corporation (MRC) Advertisement - January 1972 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThis back-page advertisement by Model Rectifier Corporation (aka MRC) appeared in the January 1972 issue of American Aircraft Modeler magazine. Note the cool collection of [now] vintage test equipment shown in support of testing the R/C system. The advertisement shows a rhombic antenna, the Dana 8015 RF frequency counter, Tektronix 7904 oscilloscope, HP spectrum analyzer, RF communications synthesizer RF generator, and an Anritsu precision field strength meter. I was 13 years old at the time, and anxiously watched for it in the mailbox each ...

Tone Modulator for R-C from April 1958 Radio-Electronics

Tone Modulator for R-C from April 1958 Radio-Electronics Magazine - RF CafeDeclaring any kind of straight LC tank circuit to be high stability is a bit of a stretch when compared to the Q available simply by adding a crystal, even in 1958. Tone modulation was an early method for achieving remote control of model airplanes, boats, and cars. The number of channels with these tone modulation systems is two times the number of modern proportional systems in that moving the rudder left took one channel and moving it right took another. Up and down elevator likewise took two channels. Therefore, this four channel system is only two channels by today's terminology. Technology evolved into fully proportional ...

USAF Plans Recoverable Hypersonic Drones by 2040

USAF Plans Recoverable Hypersonic Drones by 2040 - RF Cafe"Air Force weapons developers expect to operate hypersonic intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance drones by the 2040s, once scientific progress with autonomy and propulsion technology matures to a new level. The advent of using a recoverable drone platform able to travel at high altitudes, faster than Mach 5, will follow the emergence of hypersonic weapons likely to be operational in the mid-2020s, according to the Air Force Chief ..."

Frank Smith's Miniplanes

Frank Smith's Miniplanes, January 1961 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsModels of Frank Smith's Miniplane have been built and flown by scores of modelers over the decades. Homebuilt planes are popular scale projects partially because the level of detail necessary to faithfully reproduce the full-size airplane is less that with a production plane. Sig Manufacturing introduced a radio controlled kit model of the Smith Miniplane back in the 1970 that is still available for purchase on their website today. This article from a 1961 issue of American Modeler includes plans ...

Supersonic Without the Boom

Supersonic Without the Boom - Airplanes and Rockets"Supersonic planes without the Earth-shaking sonic boom could arrive by 2023. When the Concorde first hit the skies in the 1970s, it could fly from London to New York in just under three hours. But despite being able to travel at twice the speed of sound, the futuristic supersonic jet failed to attract passengers and was sent into decommission in 2003. Now researchers claim that Concorde-style jets could be making a comeback, and are working ..."

B-29 'Doc' Cleared to Tour

B-29 'Doc' Cleared to Tour - Airplanes and Rockets"The FAA has approved a new airworthiness certificate for the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Doc that will allow the historic warbird to tour the airshow circuit. The restoration effort undertaken by Doc's Friends Inc. reached an important milestone in March, the organization announced, with successful completion of 'phase one' flight tests. Restoration Program Manager Jim Murphy said officials from the FAA office in Wichita, Kansas, and agency officials ..."

Aerospace Headline News

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archives -

Cash Awards Offered After Drones Disrupt Flights in China

Breakthrough in Battery Charging Technology

Canada Imposes Strict New Rules for Recreational Drone Use

NASA Selects >100 Small Business Projects to Advance Space Innovation

Walmart to Use Drones in Store to Assist Shoppers

NASA Selects Over 100 Small Business Projects to Advance Space Innovation

Women of AOPA Offer Advice to Future Female Pilots

Reaction Strong to President Trump's ATC Budget Language

Seattle Man Jailed for Hitting Woman with Drone

Air Progress: Lindbergh Era

Air Progress: Lindbergh Era, July 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsThe "Golden Age of Flight" is unofficially the period of time between World War I and World War II; i.e., the 1920s and 1930s. The Wright Brothers and their immediate followers had worked out the basics of flight control and engine building, and the race was on to design airplanes for commercial passenger and freight transportation, recreational pursuits, and military applications. Part of that process was the setting of records for closed course and long distance speed, time to climb, altitude, and high-G ...

Low-Drag Rocket Design

Low-Drag Rocket Design, May 1968 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsG. Harry Stine was (and in some places still is) a household word (ok, a letter and three words) amongst people who engage in model rocketry. As a degreed physicist, he spent his professional years working in both civilian and government aerospace projects. In his spare time, Mr. Stine contributed mightily to the science, industry, and sport of model rocketry. His monthly columns in American Aircraft Modeler were read and appreciated by enthusiasts hungry for a regular helping of the technical side of the craft, served in layman's terms. A typical article written by him reports on some ...

Aurora and Stratasys Develop World's 1st 3D-Printed Jet Aircraft

Aurora and Stratasys Develop World's 1st 3D Printed Jet Aircraft - Airplanes and Rockets"This week's video comes from the U.S. where Aurora Flight Sciences and Stratasys have teamed up to build the world's first jet-powered, 3D printed aircraft. Using 80% 3D printed parts, the UAV is composed of Stratasys' ULTEM 9085 lightweight material to help achieve flight speeds of over 150mph. The high-speed system boasts an impressive 9 ft wingspan and weighs in at only 33 lbs. In the following video, Dan Campbell, aerospace research engineer at Aurora Flight Sciences, explains how the UAV project met a number of goals using Stratasys ..."

Hard-to-Destroy Drone Goes from Rigid to Flexible in Crash

Hard-to-Destroy Drone Goes from Rigid to Flexible in Crash - Airplanes and Rockets"Anyone who's ever flown a drone of any sort will tell you that sooner or later, you're going to crash it. The question is how exactly you will go about doing this, and how much of the drone will be functional after it's happened. Most flying animals somewhat frustratingly don't have this problem: Birds and insects run into things occasionally, and just shrug it off and keep on going, thanks to their biological design, which includes both stiffness ..."

Drone Swarms Make Deliveries Then Vanish

Swarms of Disposable Drones Will Make Critical Deliveries and Then Vanish - Airplanes and Rockets"Delivery drones still face an uncertain future, but there's at least one scenario where they make a lot of sense: Flying robots can be ideal for bringing small, high value, time-sensitive goods to people in low-infrastructure areas. As specific a situation as that sounds like, it’s an enormous opportunity, and has the potential to make a huge difference in rural areas and disaster relief missions with deliveries of food and medical supplies, for example. One challenge with that, however, is that while drones are cheap to operate, the up-front investment ..."

A Flying Bandanna, May 1968 American Aircraft Modeler

A Flying Bandanna, May 1968 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsIf you have a vintage Cox .010 Pee Wee engine sitting on the display shelf and you've been itching to get it in the air again, Ken Willard's Flying Bandanna could be just the thing to get you there. Ken claims it only takes about 10 minutes to assemble, and as he says of the bandanna 'parachute,' it is "...a built-in wiping rag for your hands after each flight!" I remember as a kid when my .049-powered plastic Cox control line models had finally be demolished beyond repair (no glue at the time would hold the styrene plastic together for long) ...

Craftsman Vintage 28" Construction Level Restoration

Craftsman Vintage 28" Construction Level Retoration - Airplanes and RocketsMy 28" Craftsman construction level (p/n 3311990) was bought sometime back in the early to mid 1980s, not long after Melanie and I were married in May of 1983, at the Sears store in Annapolis, Maryland. After living in while restoring four or five houses in the span of twenty years, it was really showing signs of use and abuse, especially the plastic windows protecting the fluid vials. There wasn't much protection going on with half of them either cracked or missing. A replacement 24" Johnson level was bought, but I kept ...

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About Airplanes & Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets
Kirt Blattenberger
Carpe Diem!
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Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD. There is a lot of good information and there are lot of pictures throughout the website that you will probably find useful, and might even bring back some old memories from your own days of yore. The website began life around 1996 as an EarthLink screen name of ModelAirplanes, and quickly grew to where more server space ...

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