"B-29 Doc Hangar and Education Center is
getting ready for opening. One year after the construction began on the
B-29 Doc Hangar and Education Center at the Eisenhower National
Airport in Wichita, Kansas, the stunning Superfortress named Doc has moved in to
its new home. The bricks and granite tiles that have been purchased by Doc’s supporters
to raise funds for the project have arrived and are being installed outside the
32,000 square-foot facility. But the work isn't done yet. Doc’s Friends spokesman
Josh Wells said the organization still needs to raise $800,000 to complete the $6.5M
facility. 'While we have successfully raised enough money to build the structure,
there's still ..."
January's first full moon, known as the
Wolf Moon, is
the biggest and brightest full moon of 2019 - a 'supermoon' in modern parlance.
It was also a long duration (1 hour and 2 minutes) total lunar eclipse. The technical
name for this special combination is the perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system.
The moon reached fullness at 00:16 EST and perigee at 14:59 EST on the 21st.
The moon is full when the earth is between the sun and the moon, and the moon is
new when it is between the sun and Earth. The picture below was taken out of my
back door, at around 9:30 pm local time (Erie, PA), at the beginning of the penumbral
phase of the eclipse (not apparent in the photo). The outside temperature was about
5 °F and the wind was howling pretty good - quite appropriate for this Wolf
I love the concept, but the hypocrisy by
a big-time Greenie like Branson is hard to take - the carbon footprint per passenger
must be huge. "Virgin Galactic's
spaceship climbed more than 50 miles high above California's Mojave Desert on
Thursday, reaching for the first time what the company considers the boundary of
space. The rocket ship hit an altitude of 51 miles before beginning its gliding
descent, said mission official Enrico Palermo. It landed on a runway minutes later.
'We made it to space!' Palermo exclaimed. The supersonic flight takes Virgin Galactic
closer to turning the long-delayed dream of commercial space tourism into reality.
The company aims to take paying customers on the six-passenger rocket, which is
about the size ..."
If you have been in the modeling world since
at least the 1990s, you have witnessed the slow but steady evolution of
electric propulsion systems to the point where we are today with the technology
having overcome and largely replaced glow engines. During that time, the resentment
and jealousy of glow engine modelers has been very apparent. I must admit to having
some feelings of betrayal to the power source to which I owed my early days of model
flight, but by the early 2000s I was using electric power in my gliders - before
brushless motors and lithium-polymer batteries were household words. By 2005 or
2006, power-to-weight ratios of brushless motors and LiPos were on par with and
pushing past glow engines. Now, with 40C batteries, incredibly powerful outrunner
motors, and finely engineered electronic controllers, there is no reason other than
for nostalgic satisfaction ...
My very first radio control system was an
OS Digital Digitron
DS−3, 3−channel system. I have want to get one for nostalgia's sake for a long
time. I had a saved search on eBay for years and finally a few months ago, one came
up for auction, which I won. My plan is to replace the original 27.195 MHz
electronics with that of my 6−channel 72.750 MHz Futaba system, with necessary
modifications to the gimbal potentiometers, NiCad battery, antenna mount, etc. I
will need to add a dual rate switch somewhere inconspicuous so as to not detract
from the original look. The results will be posted here when done ...
"Why a rare British sailplane survived. In
1937, up on the windy heights of the Yorkshire moors, British sportsman Frank Charles
taught himself to fly in primitive gliders. He soon tired of their limited capabilities,
and went in search of something that could actually soar instead of simply glide
downhill. The best sailplanes of the day were being designed and built in Germany,
so Charles asked a local firm,
Slingsby Sailplanes Limited, to build an airplane based on German
designs. Between-the-wars British airplane manufacturers - de Havilland, Percival,
Miles -had developed wood aircraft construction into a high art, and Slingsby continued
the tradition by ..."
"A robotic Chinese spacecraft named
Chang'e 4 braked out of lunar orbit and slowed to a controlled
touchdown on the far side of the moon Thursday, a first in the history of space
exploration. The lander later deployed a small rover to explore the surrounding
landscape. The spacecraft landed at 0226 GMT on January 3 in the 110-mile-wide Von
Karman crater, located in the southern hemisphere on the back side of the moon.
Chinese websites released several images captured during the lander's descent, and
then revealed several more pictures taken of the mission's six-wheeled rover as
it drove down a ramp and onto the lunar surface. But Chinese state television did
not provide a live broadcast of the landing ..."
1971 Toledo R/C trade show as a major event in large part because of the new
generation of transistorized pulse proportional radio control systems being introduced
that were rapidly replacing legacy vacuum tube and some solid state reed and escapement
systems. A large selection of new model designers were also offered to accommodate
the lighter weight, smaller, and more highly functional radios. Fast forward nearly
half a century to what will soon be the 2019 Toledo Show and you will find an incredible
array of high technology electronics and airframes. Most models will be factory-built,
with balsa and plywood kits being mostly extremely small or extremely large models.
Glow fuel engines will barely have a presence, having been replaced by large gasoline
engines and brushless motors. Transmitters are highly programmable and have no extendable
Did you know that
Citizen-Ship Radio was a division of Curtis Dyna-Products Corporation -
the company that produced the Dyna-Jet engine? Me neither. This uniquely done full-page
advertisement from a 1971 issue of American Aircraft Modeler broke the
news. I'm not sure when Citizen-Ship stopped making radio control gear, but it couldn't
have been too long after 1971 because they didn't appear in the model airplane magazines
much after then. Cutris Dyna Products, by the way, is still in business producing
fogger machines for crops, special effects, and other needs. ...
At QuinStar, we're about more than millimeter-wave
technology. The people comprising QuinStar Technology pursue diverse and exciting
outside interests. Our Chief Engineer, Jim Schellenberg, is a highly skilled amateur
astronomical photographer. He captured this beautiful image of the
Orion nebula using a specially modified Canon 6D. The camera responds to the
H-alpha spectral line at 656 nm (from hydrogen gas), which is seen as red in the
photo. The camera is mounted on an 11-inch telescope that tracks the object as the
earth rotates. This image consists of nine one-minute exposures that are "stacked"
to form the image you see. This is an excellent time of the year to view the Orion
nebula. It can be seen ...
It's hard to imagine a time when contemporary
news on aircraft development included the Convair
B−36 Peacemaker bomber. The maiden flight was just 11 years before this piece
appeared in a 1950 issue of Air Trails magazine. I have always wanted to
build a control line model of a B−36, but like so many other some-day projects,
it will probably never get done. A guy named Joe, who lives at the end of my street
here in Erie, Pennsylvania, was a B−36 crewman during the Korean War era.
Joe is in his 90s now, and drives a Ford Mustang. Vanderbilt University professor
Franklin Farra has an interesting wall-wood flying wing sailplane that he plans
to fly someday. Based on the fact that there are none like it on the circuit today,
the concept probably never took off. It might make a interesting scale model ...
18-year-old Nikodem Bartnik, who lives in
Poland, conceived of, designed, and built the amazing
motor thrust measuring test stand using inexpensive
Arduino components. A load
cell is used for measuring thrust, and current and voltage sensors allow those values
and power to be displayed. Mr. Bartnik provides all the files needed for the
PCB, motor mount / load cell stand, parts lists, and software code needed to run
everything. The entire project should be able to be built for under $100. Higher
capacity load cells and current sensors can be purchased if you need more thrust
capacity. I saw this in the "AMA Air"
weekly newsletter ...
Ready-to-Fly (RTF) and Almost-RTF (ARF) models
are the overwhelming majority of models being flown these days, but an effort is
being made by the
Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and companies like
Old School Model Works
to attempt to get more modelers building their airplanes either once again or for
the first time. Precision, interlocking, laser-cut sheet balsa and plywood parts
and a minimum of carved balsa parts make building much simpler than with vintage
kits. Having built many kits over the decades, including some of the newer kits,
I can definitely attest to the higher quality of today's products. Some of the old
designs have been re-engineered to make building easier. Covering, even with iron-ons
like Monokote, is probably one of the biggest barriers to building models. One solution
might be for companies to try providing slip-on sock-type coverings that can be
tacked on with an iron and then heat-shrunk. Remember you read that here first ...
"Israeli composite airplane will be powered
solely by electricity.
Hartzell Propeller announced it has entered into a partnership
with Eviation to produce customized propellers to drive the company's electric commuter,
an 11-seat airplane called Alice, currently in the development phase. The airplane
will be powered solely by electricity stored in high-energy density batteries with
motors spinning three five-blade carbon fiber pusher propellers approximately 65
inches in diameter that include nickel cobalt leading edges. The props have no life
limits and will be attached aft of the tail and wingtips, a configuration the company
claims enhances efficiency. The technological advancements that go into Alice go
beyond electric propulsion ..."
Not everyone is
an ardent observer of astronomical events, but most people are still as awestruck
as were primitive peoples when a lunar eclipse or solar eclipse occurs, or when
a massive meteor shower happens. Centuries ago most of those phenomena were not
predicted because the mathematics and mechanics of gravity were not known. The kings'
best astronomers and astrologers leveraged ignorance to influence ruling policy
similar to how politicians and activists do today. The folks at the Telescopic Watch
website created this infographic titled "Must-See
Stargazing Events for 2019" which highlights the 10 most significant astronomical
events of the new year. First up is a total lunar eclipse on January 21st ...
"Vintage aircraft enthusiast Dieter Morszeck
is ensuring the future manufacturing of the stunning
1920s Waco biplane. Waco Aircraft Yet another legacy airplane
manufacturer has been sold - Waco Aircraft Corporation. This time, it wasn't a Chinese
company that swooped up the assets of the company, which was established in Battle
Creek, Michigan, in 1983 to revive the classic 1930s open cockpit biplane design.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Dimor Group Inc. bought the company this month. Dimor
Group Inc. was established this year as a subsidiary of Cologne, Germany-based Dimor
Aero - a company that was established less than a year ago. Behind the company is
Dieter Morszeck, the grandson of the founder or Rimowa ..."
U.S.S. Arizona battleship
model was built and painted by my son, Philip, who was 10 years old at the time.
It is the stock 1/426th scale U.S.S. Arizona Revell kit. Spray cans of Testors enamel
paint were used for the hull and deck, and the small Testors bottles of colors were
used for the airplanes and detail work. His effort paid off with a 1st Place ribbon
at the 2005 Dixie Classic Fair in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Philip was at one
time an ardent World War II history enthusiast, being especially interested
in the naval battles of the South Pacific ...
Living in Erie, Pennsylvania, there are a
lot of days that are too windy for comfortably flying the gliders and 1/2A-sized
models I build. If the weather forecast says the winds are in the double digits,
I stay grounded. Sometime if it has been a couple weeks since winds and/or rain
and/or snow has prevented flying, I'll brave a 12-15 mph wind just to get in
some stick time, but the experience is not particularly enjoyable. It is good practice
for maintaining control of your ship in the event of unexpected gusts, but certainly
not the preferred environment. Contest flyers have to learn to be good in all weather,
which is probably part of why I never competed. This article about building and
flying kites in winds too high for flying models is a good idea. The designs
presented by author William Paxton are more sophisticated than most people ...
"Worldwide avionics sales for business and
general aviation aircraft in the first three quarters of the year were up a 'robust'
15.5% from the same period last year and totaled more than $2B, said the Aircraft
Electronics Association. Retrofit and forward-fit markets each registered double-digit
sales increases compared to the first nine months of 2017, AEA said upon releasing
its third-quarter 2018 Avionics Market Report. The two avionics market segments
registered respective 14.7% and 16.6% sales growth. The retrofit market refers to
avionics equipment installed after original production, and the forward ..."
"The first part for the $247.5M
X–59 Quiet Supersonic Technology aircraft was machined in Palmdale,
California, Lockheed Martin announced November 16, a company official calling it
a 'great leap forward for the X–59 and the future of quiet supersonic commercial
travel' in a news release. This part, and many others to follow, will become a sleek,
single-seat jet that NASA aims to fly in 2021. The aeronautics and space agency
announced Nov. 19 that it has fully committed to the program and three-year timeline
to first flight following a key program review. That will make the QueSST NASA's
first new, supersonic X–plane in more than three decades ..."