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

Aerospace Headline News

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archives -

• Jets Clip Wings at Reno

• Hottest Used Airplane Markets in Many Years

• Neil Armstrong's Moon Space Suit Is Deteriorating

• How Wing Cuffs Work

• At 60, NASA Shoots for Revival of Moon Glory Days

• Estes Industries Announces Ownership Change • EAA, Balloon Federation of America Announce Joint Effort

• How to Buy a Warbird

• Geico Skytypers Pilot Dies in Long Island Crash

• P–51 Dead-Stick, Off-Airport Landing

Hobby Drones Banned Near Hawaii Volcano

• How Much of the World's Population Has Flown in an Airplane?

• Interior Department Awards 1st Contract for Small UAS Services

Wee Bee Article & Plans

Wee Bee Article & Plans, November 1950 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsThe Wee Bee was at one time considered the world's smallest man-carrying aircraft. It had an 18-foot wingspan and weighted 215 pounds without pilot. Lloyd Hunt's model of the Wee Bee is designed for either free flight or control line. For C/L it is powered by an .049 engine, and for F/F it uses an .020 engine. Its 22" wingspan makes it about 1/10th scale. Construction is built-up fuselage, wing, and tail surfaces with balsa sheeting over all. If you are looking for an unusual scale model that will not require a lot of detail to make it look authentic, the Wee Bee would make a good subject ...

SE-5a: A Fokker's Worst Nightmare

SE-5a: A Fokker's Worst Nightmare - Airplanes and Rockets"When World War One broke out in 1914, the airplane was barely eleven years old and was nothing more than a plodding, noisy kite barely more dangerous than an observation balloon. As a weapon, it was difficult to take seriously. Four short years later it had been transformed into a multi-dimensional weapon system of awesome potential and the Royal Airplane Factory’s SE-5a is a classic case in point. It showed clearly that in time of war man quickly finds more efficient ways rain death on his enemy. The Scout Experimental 5, (SE-5) was designed specifically to eliminate the awful short comings aircraft such as the Sopwith Camel, while at the same time, giving it a combat edge over Germany's lethal Fokkers ..."

Airmen of Vision Design Competition, November 1950 Air Trails

Airmen of Vision Design Competition, November 1950 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsAir Trails magazine ran a regular feature called "Airmen of Vision" that was a deign idea contest where readers submitted futuristic designs for everything from small homebuilt aircraft to military jet fighters and large commercial airliners. The 1950's was an era when young men were totally caught up in the dawning age of jet propulsion, transistorized electronics, flying cars, interplanetary flight and moon landings, wind-powered ocean liners, robotic home servants, and even - get this - personal computers! If you search the Airplanes and Rockets website for some of the other aircraft and automobile design contest entries, you will be amazed at how close some of them come to ones that have been built over the years. Check out this SpaceShipOne lookalike ...

Does Stratolaunch Have a Top Secret Purpose?

Does Stratolaunch Have a Top Secret Purpose? - Airplanes and RocketsAlthough not involved with Scaled Composites these days, remember that famed Burt Rutan, himself a model airplane enthusiast, was the founder. "The flying rocket launcher enters a crowded field, leading some to wonder if it could end up flying classified missions. Seven years ago, Microsoft founder Paul Allen started a company with a bold idea: build one of the biggest aircraft ever to fly, and then use it to launch satellites into orbit. Now just months before the airplane flies the first time, some are wondering where the customers are for such an aircraft. Could the airplane end up flying secret missions for the military and intelligence community? Built by aviation firm Scaled Composites, Stratolaunch is the largest aircraft in the world ..."

Army Looks into Laser-Powered Drones

Army Looks into Laser-Powered Drones - RF Cafe"Even as drone technology advances, power constraints limit the amount of equipment unmanned systems can carry as well as the time they can stay in the air. Some drone systems, like the Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications drone from CyPhy Works, deliver power through a tether to keep a small drone aloft for an entire week. The Army, however, is developing a system to supply power through a laser, according to reporting from the New Scientist. The drone would be outfitted with a photovoltaic cell that could take the light beam from the laser and turn it into electricity. The Army has still to determine how to get the benefits of photovoltaics without the extreme heat damaging the drone, according to Futurism ..."

New Electric Drone Has Groundbreaking Flight Time

New Electric Drone Has Groundbreaking Flight Time - RF Cafe"The US-1, from Impossible Aerospace, can fly for 2 hours. A new electric drone from Impossible Aerospace can fly more than four times as long as other battery-powered drones, the company announced today, potentially bringing the world closer to fully electric passenger aircraft. The new unmanned vehicle, dubbed the US-1, is a quadcopter that is 'essentially just one big flying battery,' says Spencer Gore, founder and CEO of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Impossible Aerospace. 'Most drones are designed with the philosophy that once you are done figuring out the payload and propulsion, you add the battery pack,' Gore says. 'Instead, from the very beginning, we designed a battery pack that was meant to fly' ..."

View-Master: America's Man in Space 3-Reel Set

View-Master: America's Man in Space 3-Reel Set - Airplanes and RocketsAs a kid in the 1960's, following America's progress in the Space Race was a big part of my life. I built and launched as many Estes rockets as my meager newspaper route-funded budget allowed. When John Glenn made his historic Earth-orbiting flight in the Mercury Freedom 7 space capsule on February 20, 1962, I was a mere 3 years old, but my parent say I was an ardent aerospace fan beginning at a very young age. Most American households probably had at least one View-Master stereo slide viewer, and ours was amongst them. I loved the 3D Peanuts slide sets, and especially any with an airplane or space exploration theme. My originals are long gone, but fortunately I was able to buy this near-perfect set titled, "America's Man in Space," on eBay ...

Intercity Travel Takes to Sky in Vertical Mode

Intercity Travel Takes to Sky in Vertical Mode - Airplanes and Rockets"In the UK, the testing of a flying taxi made the news this week. We can set sight on a new day in vertical aerospace with the company of the same name. A full scale electric vertical take off and landing aircraft has flown and takes it place as 'the UK's first full scale fully electric vertical take off and landing aircraft.' This startup, Vertical Aerospace, is building technology (1) to change how people fly, (2) to expand your notion of air travel as now an 'intercity' option, and (3) to offer people carbon free journeys. The Telegraph was already showing awareness of possible use cases with its headline "Bristol start-up launches UK's first electric 'flying taxi ..."

Breaking News - Airplanes and RocketsSenate Passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018

Senate Passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 - Airplanes and Rockets"Today, the Senate passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, and we expect President Trump to sign it into law soon. This bill includes significant modifications to our hobby. While some of the changes are positive, and include provisions that AMA has championed, overall the bill is problematic, such as a 400 AGL altitude cap in Class G airspace. Please note: None of the provisions included in this bill will go into effect immediately. The status quo remains - and you should continue to fly in accordance with AMA's safety guidelines until the FAA creates new rules, which could take some time. We will let you know as soon as we have more information on this process and timeline. In the meantime, we are already working behind-the-scenes ..."

View-Master: Tour Theatre Projector & Viewer

View-Master: Tour Theatre Projector & ViewerTo the left is Melanie with her gaf View−Master "Tour Theatre" set that she had as a little girl. She took better care of her stuff than I did, so a lot of her toys and dolls are still around decades later. It came with a Standard 30−watt projector and a hand−held stereo viewer. Also included was a nice case and a few reel sets with various places around the world*. Being a Peanuts fan like me, she had a couple 3−reel sets: "Snoopy and the Red Baron," and Peanuts." We have a "Little Drummer Boy" and "Dennis the Menace" set, too. The others are long gone. I had just a hand−held viewer. The hand−held View−Master viewer that created a 3D scene by using a pair of stereoscopic images fed individually to each eye. One of the Peanuts reels has a frame showing how those stereoscopic images were ...

Sketchbook - Modeling Hints & Kinks

Sketchbook - Modeling Hints Kinks, July 1961 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsHere is another round of nifty model airplane building ideas, aka "Sketchbook," submitted by readers of the Academy of Model Aviation's (AMA's) American Modeler magazine. I'm not too keen on the "rubber mold" idea of using a thin layer of silicon rubber, trimmed to the design outline with a razor knife - especially over an open wing bay or between fuselage longerons. Controlling the depth of the cut is tricky, especially in a layer of silicon that is not of uniform thickness. Mr. Itter must have a steady hand. Using a length of brass tubing with the end filed or sanded to a sharp edge is a handy trick for cutting holes I have used many times over the years - probably after having first seen it in American Aircraft Modeler, R/C Modeler, Flying Models, or Model ...

Model Aircraft Group Condemns FAA Reauthorization Bill

Model Aircraft Group Condemns FAA Reauthorization Bill - Airplanes and Rockets"The Academy of Model Aeronautics is rallying its members to lobby congressional representatives to vote against the latest iteration of FAA reauthorization, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. The bill includes modifications to the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, also known as Section 336, modifications the AMA claims will put burdensome restrictions on the use of model aircraft. The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 restricts model aircraft operations to 400 feet AGL. This limit 'kills many of our operations that have been safely conducted for decades,' said AMA's interim executive director, Chad Budreau, in a video on the AMA website. AMA claims this limit will inhibit AMA competitions ..."

Van's Aircraft to Start Producing RV–12

Van's Aircraft to Start Producing RV–12 - Airplanes and Rockets"Van's Aircraft is set to begin manufacturing RV–12's in 2018 at its headquarters in Aurora, Oregon, the company announced. The factory-built special light sport aircraft (SLSA) will use fuel-injected Rotax 912 iS and iST engines instead of earlier carbureted models. Van's employees will build the new airplanes - not Synergy Air of Eugene, Oregon, a separate company that previously assembled SLSA RV - 12's from kits that Van's supplied. 'We've got a new, dedicated work area at Aurora,' said Greg Hughes, a Van's spokesman. 'All the parts, expertise, and components will be in the same area, and that's sure to enhance efficiency ..."

Read Model Aviation Online Back to 1975

Model Aviation AMA Online - Airplanes and RocketsIf you are a current member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), online access is available to every issue of Model Aviation magazine back through the first issue in July 1975. March 1975 was the final edition of the predecessor magazine titled American Aircraft Modeler (see full list). The AMA Plans Service can provide you with plans for nearly all of the models in American Modeler and American Aircraft Modeler either at the original size or scaled up or down. There is a new wave in scratch builders occurring now, and this would be a great resource for those folks ...

Cal Smith Tells You How to Win with Navy Carrier Models

Cal Smith Tells You How to Win with Navy Carrier Models, July 1961 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsCal Smith covers a huge amount of turf in this article about the Academy of Model Aeronautics' (AMA's) control line Navy Carrier event equipment, airframes, engines, and flying techniques. Back in 1961, when this article appeared in American Modeler magazine, the U.S. Navy was still sponsoring the AMA National Competition as a means of encouraging young men to consider careers in the Navy as pilots as well as all the other disciplines needed to keep the fleet afloat, so to speak. I always wanted to try building and flying Carrier, but the opportunity never presented itself. There have not been local clubs with a carrier deck, and I have neither the land area nor the money to build my own. It sure seems like flying Carrier shouldn't be as difficult as it really is, but I have watched competitions at Brodak and snagging ...

Perlan 2 Glider Breaks Altitude Record

Perlan 2 Glider Breaks Altitude Record - Airplanes and Rockets"The Perlan 2 high altitude glider has achieved another altitude record over the high peaks in the southern part of the Patagonia mountain range. After being pulled to an altitude of 42,000 feet, the Perlan 2 continued to climb past 62,000 feet. This altitude is beyond the Armstrong Line, which defines the point beyond which the blood in a human body would boil unless protected by some form of pressurization. Perlan Mission II's chief pilot Jim Payne, and pilot and project manager Morgan Sandercock shattered the previous record, set by the same pilots about one year ago in the same region of Argentina. At that time, Payne and Sandercock flew to 52,221 feet. The team recently started using a tow plane ..."

Cox Thimble-Drome Advertisement

Cox Thimble-Drome Advertisement, July 1957 edition of American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThis particular page is from page 47 of the July 1957 issue of American Modeler magazine. If you can find one of these older model Thimble-Drome (Cox) PeeWee .020's on eBay in the original packaging, it will typically end up selling for $75 or more. Thimble Drome is no longer in operation. Use the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' inflation calculator to see what items cost in today's dollars. For instance, that $3.95 PeeWee .020 would be $35.19 in 2018 money - a factor of nearly 10x ...



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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 ...
1996 - 2018
Kirt Blattenberger
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