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Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets
Kirt Blattenberger
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"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." Lord Kelvin, 1895

Testor: From Here to Hogboda - The Name is Well Known

Testor: From Here to Hogboda - The Name is Well Known, March 1959 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsNils Testor, an early 20th century immigrant from Sweden, is a classic American success story. Having begun his management career at Woolworth as a stock boy (although he had a college degree from Stockholm), his business acumen and love of the arts - including airplane modeling - quickly propelled him into the position of entrepreneur as owner and progenitor of the Testor Chemical Company. Beginning with selling household glue, he soon added nitrate and butyrate dope, balsa, airplane kits, paint-by-number sets, and ...

World's Biggest Aircraft 'Takes off' for 1st Time

World's Biggest Aircraft 'Takes off' for 1st Time - Airplanes and Rockets"The world's biggest aircraft has lifted off from the ground in Britain for the first time - but it will not be ready to leave the hangar where it is being developed until next year. The Airlander, which is a cross between an airship and an aeroplane, was originally developed as part of a U.S. Army project but was scrapped by military bosses. It is now being converted to provide business and leisure flights in a hangar in ..."

The Long Project

The Long Project, March 1957 Model Airplane News - Airplanes and RocketsPerhaps it is fitting that a man named "Wright" should have been so successful in setting model airplane endurance records. Being from New Zealand dismisses any possibility of a direct relationship to Wilbur and Orville, though. Les Wright attributes a large part of his success to having personally designed, built, and operated a reliable radio control system for both his powered and non-powered series of 'Mark' aircraft. His models were essentially very large free-flight ...

Chance Vought VE-7, VE-9 & UO-1 Army and Navy Types 3-Views

Chance Vought VE-7, VE-9 & UO-1 Army-Navy Types (3-Views), March 1957 Model Airplane News - Airplanes and RocketsHere are two highly detailed 3-view drawings of the Chance Vought VE-7, VE-9 & UO-1 Army and Navy biplane types, as inked by Mr. Willis L. Nye. It has a classic biplane profile that, at least with the VE-7 reminds me a lot of Peter Bower's Fly Baby Biplane. The second sheet has the top plan view showing wings and horizontal stabilizer ...

SpaceX 'Hover Test' of Dragon Capsule

SpaceX 'Hover Test' of Dragon Capsule - Airplanes and Rockets"SpaceX has revealed new footage of its Dragon capsule hovering it above the desert in its latest test. The manned capsule will be used to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station - and could one day even take man to Mars. As the footage shows, the thrusters all fire up together to raise the spacecraft for a five-second hover, 'generating approximately 33,000 lbs. of thrust before returning the vehicle to its resting position.' SpaceX said ..."

Get into Free Flight Competition

Get into Free Flight Competition (January 1968 American Aircraft Modeler) - Airplanes and RocketsTechnical details of gas-powered free flight have changed since this article was published in a 1968 issue of American Aircraft Modeler magazine, but the basics of construction, rigging, and flight trim are the same. Free flighters like to say that their particular facet of aeromodeling is the purest form since success or failure depends on the practitioner's ability to master all the 'natural' forces acting on their craft. I agree to a point, except that unless you are considering the whirlybird flight of a maple tree seedling heading earthward or a similar airborne inanimate object, the fact is most flight in nature is controlled either by the animal exercising the ability ...

Airbus Reveals 'Drone Killer' Camera System

Airbus Reveals 'Drone Killer' Camera System - RF Cafe"Now, Airbus has revealed a new 'drone killer' system that can automatically monitor an area - and disable the drone by jamming its signals if it spots one. The system can even analyse signals from the drone to work out exactly where it is being controlled from. It uses operational radars, infrared cameras and direction finders from Airbus Defence and Space's portfolio to identify ..."

Lazy Susan CabinetConverted to Shelves

Lazy Susan Cabinet Converted to Shelves - Airplanes and RocketsOur kitchen is pretty small by 2016 standards. For that matter, our entire 920 sq. ft. rancher house is pretty small by 2016 standards. Immediately after moving in in 2008, we set about performing a complete renovation that included replacing all the kitchen cabinets (and just about everything else). Melanie does a lot of baking and needed to store a lot of supplies in the basement because they would not fit in our cabinets. We considered trying to shoehorn another cabinet into the kitchen area somehow, but there was no reasonable location. So, she came up with the idea of converting the base corner cabinet from its original Lazy Susan configuration to fixed shelves.Lazy Susan units are convenient in terms of not having ...

Radical 'AirMule' Takes to the Air

Radical 'AirMule' Takes to the Air - Airplanes and Rockets"A unique vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft completed its first untethered flight last week. The 'AirMule', designed to carry about 1,000 pounds every 31 miles, has the ability to drop supplies to the Israeli army and carry the wounded soldiers to safety. The prototype has taken two years to complete, but its creators are hopefully it will be able to reach places traditional helicopters ..."

AAM Glider Winch Construction Article

American Aircraft Modeler Glider Winch Construction Article (April 1973 American Aircraft Modeler) - Airplanes and RocketsA long time ago I bought a used glider winch at an auction held by the Prince Georges Radio Club, in Maryland. It cost me somewhere around $25, which was a lot for me in the mid 1970s. The motor and control circuitry was contained in a plywood box, with a jack for the foot switch and terminals to clamp jumper cable to from a car. In looking at these plans for the AAM Glider Winch shown here from the April 1973 American Aircraft Modeler, it looks a lot like mine, only in a box. It worked extremely well for my 99" Windfree and 99" Aquila sailplanes. Unfortunately, I sold it shortly after getting married in 1983 ...

Orbital, NASA Scramjet Might Enable Hypersonic Commercial Flight

Orbital, NASA Scramjet Might Enable Hypersonic Commercial Flight - RF Cafe"The dream of flying from New York to London in just one hour has come a step closer to reality. Orbital ATK has successfully tested a 3D printed hypersonic engine combustor at NASA Langley Research Centre in Virginia. The breakthrough could lead to planes that can travel 3,425mph (5,500km/h) - 4.5 times the speed of sound ..."

Mike Bryan Checks in with His Memories of the 1959 National Model Airplane Championships website visitor Mike Bryan wrote with a little background on his participation in the 1959 National Model Airplane Championships. He saw the "America's First 'National' Championship Air-Model Meet" article I have posted from the November 1959 issue of American Modeler. Mike won 1st place in Control Line Scale that year. Read his comments ...

Dutch Police Training Eagles to Take Down Drones

Dutch Police Training Eagles to Take Down Drones - RF CafeThis article on the IEEE Spectrum website reports on Dutch police training eagles to snatch drones out of midair. While clever, it does raise the issue of potential harm to the bird by multiple, very sharp-edged, rapidly spinning rotor blades. As usual, reader comments are as good or better than the story itself. To wit, "Chopping up eagles, hawks & falcons in the U.S. is legal, as long as it's a windmill that's doing the chopping," and "It's also legal in the U.S. to turn Eagles into streamers when they fly over solar panel farms." ...

Lloyd's Train & Hobby Shop Owner Ed Dorn

Lloyd's Train & Hobby Shop Owner Ed Finn - Airplanes and RocketsNot too often, but every once in a while I am fortunate to have someone seen my request for a response to an article posted on the website. This time, no less than the grandson of Lloyd's Train & Hobby Shop owner Ed Finn submitted this amazing information: "Hi Kirt,  My name is Chris Dorn and I live in Eden Prairie, MN. And in response to your question, "Yes", I certainly do remember Lloyd's as my grandfather, Edward (Ed) Finn was the owner from the early 50's until the late 70's ..."

U.S. Air Force Save the A-10 Warthog

U.S. Air Force Save the A-10 Warthog - Airplanes and Rockets"The U.S. Air Force is shelving plans to retire the aging A-10 'Warthog' aircraft, a heavily armored tank killer, because of its role in the fight against Islamic State. The 40-year-old ground attack aircraft is popular with soldiers, Marines - and some U.S. lawmakers. Defense One quoted the Air Force officials as saying that, while the A-10 would still need to be retired, the service would put aside immediate plans to take it out ..."

NRL Tests Low-Power, Long-Endurance Sail Drone

NRL Tests Low-Power, Long-Endurance Sail Drone - Airplanes and Rockets"The Naval Research Laboratory is taking a cue from nature in developing unmanned surveillance aircraft that don't use much power to stay aloft for hours at a time - and still communicate with each other to work in concert. Working with the Air Vehicle Intelligence and Autonomy Lab at Pennsylvania State University, NRL has tested a cooperative autonomous soaring algorithm, called the Autonomous Locator of Thermals (ALOFT) autonomous soaring algorithm, that can keep sailplanes airborne for much longer than ..."

Reliance Controls 3006HDK Transfer Switch Kit Installation

Reliance Controls 3006HDK Transfer Switch Kit Installation - Airplanes and RocketsA couple weeks ago, Erie, Pennsylvania experienced a major wind storm with lots of rain. Living just a mile from the shores of Lake Erie means that we typically get the worst of the winds. The street we live on has overhead power distribution, telephone, and Internet lines, so they are more vulnerable than underground buried lines. During the aforementioned storm, a very tall pine tree in the yard right on the corner where the main feeder branches to our road snapped about halfway up and pulled the lines right out of their connections on the mains as it fell. To make a long (45 hours to be exact) story short, our entire street was without power for nearly two days. That is an unacceptable situation when you run your business from home, as I do ...

I Designed the Zeke

I Designed the Zeke, November 1950 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsAmazingly, Jiro Horikoshi himself, the actual designer of the famed Mitsubishi 00 'Zeke' fighter, wrote this article in the November 1950 issue of Air Trails magazine in response to an article that was published in the April 1949 issue titled, "The Great 'Zeke' Mystery." A little on his background and a lot on the airplane's background is presented in this extensive story. A lot of lessons-learned improvements were integrated into the design. World War II aircraft historians will surely be interested in this first-hand account that was written very shortly after then end of the war.

Adjustable Throw Control Line Handle

Adjustable Throw Control Line Handle - Airplanes and RocketsWhen building my Enterprise-E control stunt airplane, I knew that the amount of control surface throw available for both flaps and elevator was extreme, but I wanted to have the reserve capability in case it was needed. It was definitely NOT needed! Fortunately, because of the way the top fuselage hatch is designed for removal there is easy access to the flap control horn, and thereby the ability to move pushrod clevises around to decrease throws. Even with doing that, however, the model is still very sensitive to control handle movements. My only solution was to obtain a control handle with line spacing less than the 4-1/4" on the stock Sullivan handle. That spacing has been a little too much for other models as well, so an alternate handle would be nice anyway. I have always admired the custom wooden control line handles built by ...

New Horizons Spotted 'Snail' Object in Pluto's 'Heart' Region

New Horizons Spotted 'Snail' Object in Pluto's 'Heart' Region - Airplanes and Rockets"They say it is 'floating' in denser solid nitrogen, and which has been dragged to the edge of a convection cell. Also visible are thousands of pits in the surface, which scientists believe may form by sublimation. Transmitted to Earth on December 24, this image from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) extends New Horizons' highest-resolution views of Pluto to the very center of Sputnik Planum ..."

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Author: Kirt Blattenberger

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