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"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." Lord Kelvin, 1895

Aerospace Headline News

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archives -

• U.S. Navy's Drone Fleet Is Growing

• ACLU Attempts to Block Wuhan Flu Baltimore Surveillance Planes

• FAA Temporarily Reduces ATC Tower Hours Due to Wuhan Virus

• USAF Hasn't Made Much Progress in Reducing Pilot Shortage

• AERO Freidrichshafen Postponed in Due to Wuhan Flu

• SpaceX Parachute Test Goes Wrong, Could Affect Schedule

•  DARPA Launch Challenge Closes With No Winner

• SoT Chao Presents Solution for "Mystery Drone" Problem at CES

FAA Investigating BlackBird Air Transportation Service (a la Uber)

Blue Origin Wins NASA Funding for Human Lunar Lander

Blue Origin Wins NASA Funding for Human Lunar Lander - Airplanes and Rockets"NASA has selected Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX to move forward with development of human-rated lunar landers, committing nearly $1B in funding for a range of moonship concepts that include a variant of SpaceX's next-generation Starship vehicle, officials announced Thursday. 'These are three companies that we believe have a lot of capability that are going to enable us to get to the moon,' said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. 'Each one of them is very different. They have all proposed something very different and unique, which has a lot of value to us.' NASA said Blue Origin's contract is valued at $579 million, and Dynetics will receive $253 million for the 10-month contract base period..."

Dope Can, March 1961 American Modeler

Dope Can, March 1961 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and Rockets"Dope Can" was a monthly roundup of aeromodeler news and views which ran in American Modeler magazine (which was re-named American Aircraft Modeler in 1968). This March 1961 edition covered a lot of ground, as did all Dope Can columns. A "Hummin' Boid" towline-launch R/C glider with a 9-foot wingspan took the "My Favorite Model" photo prize for the month. Well known in control line circles (pun intended) Hi Johnson has a new stunter design he dubbed "Stunt Supreme." Then, there's the 0.006 cubic inch displacement Hummingbird diesel engine - claims to be the world's smallest, and I believe it. The Jacksonville "Prop Kickers," incredibly still in existence today, was endowed with the "Club of the Month" honor. A big deal is made of the action photo on the magazine cover. Remember that back in the day, there were no microprocessor-controlled, auto-focusing, light-level-setting lenses and irises that could make a rank amateur's photos look like a seasoned professional's...

Skyports Join "Beyond Visual Line of Sight" UAV Trials

Skyports Join 'Beyond Visual Line of Sight' UAV Trials - RF Cafe"Skyports has been accepted into the UK Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA) Regulatory Sandbox programme to trial beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) UAV flights in non-segregated airspace. The CAA's Regulatory Sandbox was established in 2019 to create an environment where innovation in aviation can be explored in line with its core principles of safety, security and consumer protection. Alex Brown, Head of Operations at Skyports, explained that BVLOS UAV deliveries are already happening globally through trials and in dedicated corridors that keep UAVs away from other airspace users. 'To achieve commercial operations at scale, particularly in more congested environments, delivery UAVs will need to be able to safely share the skies with other..."

Programmable Dynamic Attitude-Aware Motor Speed Control for Electric-Powered Control Line Aircraft

A Programmable Dynamic Attitude-Aware Motor Speed Control for Electric-Powered Control Line Aircraft - Airplanes and RocketsThere is currently a big shift from internal combustion engines to electric motors for powering model vehicles of all sorts - airplanes, helicopters, boats, and cars - and of all control modes - autonomous (free flight), radio control, and control-line. The state of motor and battery technology has passed the point where the weight and thrust available with electric power meets or exceeds that of engines for most applications. Costs are pretty much at parity as well when you compare engine vs. motor and fuel vs. battery acquisition and cost of ownership over the life of the power system. All sorts of useful electronic peripheral equipment has been developed for use with electric motor power: programmable electronic speed controllers, motor cutoffs based on altitude and/or elapsed time for free flight, motor timer/speed controls for control line, and even engine noise generators to give life-like sound...

The Chance Vought Aircraft Story

The Chance Vought Aircraft Story, March 1961 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsDouglas Rolfe, who provided many detailed and line drawings of full-scale aircraft for American Modeler magazine, here summarizes the history of Chance Vought Aircraft Company. While the name appears to be the joint venture of two separate people, one by the name of Chance and the other by the name of Vought, it is in fact the namesake of Mr. Chance Milton Vought. Another such instructional name of the same sort is Johns Hopkins University, which is named after Mr. Johns Hopkins.  Probably the most well-known airplane models are the F4U Corsair and OS2U Kingfisher of World War II and Pappy Boyington's Black Sheep Squadron (VMA-214) fame, and the F8U Crusader of Korean War fame. Chance Vought obviously was really fond of the "Corsair" name since he name three separate models with it: the 1926 O2U Corsair, the 1931 V50 Corsair, and the 1940 F4U Corsair...

USGS Releases 1st-ever Geologic Map of Moon

USGS Releases 1st-ever Geologic Map of Moon - RF Cafe"The USGS released a map of the moon which answers the question about the composition of the moon surface. The new map explains the 4.5-billion-year-old history of our neighbour in space. Scientists from the USGS Astrogeology Science Center collaborated with NASA and the Lunar Planetary Institute to map the entire lunar surface. The map - called the 'Unified Geologic Map of the Moon' was created using six other maps drafted during NASA's Apollo lunar missions and fused with the recent data from satellite missions. It could serve as a reference point for lunar science studies and future manned-missions to the Moon and could be an invaluable addition for the science community world wide..."

Bob Brown, AMA President Emeritus, Has Passed Away

Bob Brown, AMA President Emeritus, Has Passed Away - Airplanes and Rockets"Bob Brown, AMA's most recent president emeritus, has passed away after a brief illness. Bob, 75, a member of the AMA Model Aviation Hall of Fame, served two terms as AMA president from 2012 through 2016. He died May 14 in his home state of Pennsylvania. Bob had been a member of the Southern Tier Aero Radio Society (STARS) club in western New York. In his later years, he became interested in multirotor racing and how to make it part of the aeromodeling hobby. He enjoyed attending the MultiGP International Open and many other events held at the International Aeromodeling Center. AMA wants to thank Bob for his tireless efforts in advocating for the hobby that he loved and for his contributions to model aviation." RIP, AMA #100!

The Boom in R/C Boats

The Boom in R/C Boats, June 1955 Popular Electronics - Airplanes and RocketsThis article entitled "The Boom in R/C Boats" appeared in the June 1955 edition of Popular Electronics magazine which, during the early years of its existence devoted quite a bit of print space to radio control airplanes, boats and cars. As with all things electronics, a huge surge in consumer interest was occurring with over-the-air communications. Bill (William) Winter served as the editor of the Academy of Model Aeronautics' (AMA's) American Modeler and American Aircraft Modeler magazines from 1966 through 1974, but his efforts to promote all form of modeling - airplanes, helicopters, cars, boats, trains, and rockets - covered many decades. His first recorded article, "Building the Famous Udet Flamingo," (co-authored by Walter McBride), was published in the March 1935 issue of Universal Model Airplane News magazine...

NASA Nanosat Swarm to Probe Solar Eruption Source

NASA Nanosat Swarm to Probe Solar Eruption Source - RF Cafe"NASA has selected a mission to dispatch six CubeSats, each the size of a toaster oven, to an orbit more than 20,000 miles from Earth to study massive particle ejections from the sun. The Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment, or SunRISE, mission will launch no later than July 1, 2023, after its selection by NASA as a mission of opportunity under the agency's Explorers program. SunRISE will consist of six CubeSats flying as close as 6 miles (10 kilometers) from each other. The nanosatellites will together act as a giant radio telescope, detecting low-frequency emissions from solar activity and downlinking the measurements through NASA's Deep Space Network. Data gathered by the SunRISE CubeSats will tell scientists about the source of coronal mass ejections, which launch huge bubbles of gas and magnetic..."

Intuitive Machines Announces 2021 Moon Mission

Intuitive Machines Announces 2021 Moon Mission - RF Cafe"Intuitive Machines, under contract to carry NASA science instruments to the moon on a privately-developed robotic spacecraft, said this week its first commercial lunar mission will target landing in October 2021 near a deep, narrow valley named Vallis Schröteri. The startup company, based in Houston, announced Monday the landing site for its first lunar landing mission. Vallis Schröteri is located in on the upper left part of the moon's near side, as viewed from the northern hemisphere on Earth. Scientists think the channel-like valley, or rille, has volcanic origins. The rille, also known as Schröter's Valley, likely formed from a collapsed volcanic lava tube..."

Flyin' Jenny Comic Strips: January 23, 1944 Baltimore Morning Sun

Flyin' Jenny Comic Strips: January 23, 1944 Baltimore Morning Sun - Airplanes and RocketsThis is the Sunday, January 23, 1944, "Flyin' Jenny" comic strip. The 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. I expect that soon there will be World War II themes. "Flyin' Jenny," whose real name was Virginia Dare (what's in a name?), was a test pilot for Starcraft Aviation Factory who divided her time between wringing out new airplane designs and chasing bad guys. She was the creation of artist and storyteller Russell Keaton. All I have are the Sunday editions, but it was a daily strip as well. From the time of the Wright Brothers' successful flights at Kill Devil Hill, Americans have been in love with aviation. In the early days, access to flight was limited to those with know-how and access...

SpaceX Loses 3rd Starship Prototype

SpaceX Loses 3rd Starship Prototype - RF Cafe"A prototype for SpaceX's Starship space vehicle collapsed during pressure testing early Friday at the company's facility in South Texas - the program's third failure during such testing since November - but assembly of a new version is already underway. The stainless steel cylinder appeared to rupture near its top after filling with super-cold liquid nitrogen overnight at SpaceX's launch site at Boca Chica, Texas. Elon Musk, SpaceX's founder and CEO, tweeted early Friday that the accident may have been the result of a 'test configuration mistake.' The Starship the upper stage of of SpaceX's next-generation launch and space transportation system. Coupled with a massive booster named the Super Heavy, the Starship could haul more than 100 metric tons, or 220,000 pounds, of cargo to low Earth orbit, according to SpaceX..."

Combat King Article & Plans

Combat King Article & Plans, June 1959 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThe name Frank Ehling was big in control line circles (pun intended) back in the middle of the last century. He was a very active modeler in free flight, control line, and radio control for that matter, and was the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) technical director for a while. Frank was a prolific and accomplished airplane designer, plans draftsman, flyer, and competitor. This article and plans for his "Combat King" control line combat model appeared in the June 1959 issue of American Modeler magazine. It is a flying wing design with a 37" wingspan and is meant to powered with a .29 to .35 size engine. As with most of the vintage model designs, it would easily be converted to electric power and be competitive. Construction materials are standard balsa and plywood.

Airplanes & Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets
Kirt Blattenberger
Carpe Diem!
(Seize the Day!)

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 ...

1996 - 2026

Kirt Blattenberger
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