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Hybrid Robot Flies, Creeps, and Leaps off Buildings

Hybrid Robot Flies, Creeps, and Leaps off Buildings - Airplanes and Rockets"The autonomous robot is based on the observation that both rotors and wheels spin. There is great potential in using both drones and ground-based robots for situations like disaster response, but generally these platforms either fly or creep along the ground. The flying sprawl-tuned autonomous robot (Flying STAR) does both through a mechanism based on the elementary observation that both rotors and wheels spin. The hybrid was created using high-powered, lightweight drone components. The result is a robot that can easily fly when it needs to, then land softly and by tilting the rotor arms downwards, direct that same motive force into four wheels ..."

USAF Basic Training, Flight 483, November 1978

USAF Basic Training - Kirt Blattenberger - Airplanes and RocketsNovember 9, 1978, a date which will live in infamy - for me, anyway. That was the day I left my comfortable, oblivious 20-year-old existence as an electrician in Mayo, Maryland, and boarded a Delta Airlines flight to San Antonio, Texas. About six months earlier I had signed up under the Delayed Enlistment program. I was on my way to becoming a fully trained and qualified Weather Equipment Specialist, a career field chosen based on my keen interest in weather phenomena, aviation, and aerospace (aka airplanes and rockets). The plan was to survive six weeks of Basic Training (BT) at Lackland Air Force Base and then go on to technical school at Chanute AFB in Illinois. My first assignment ...

Airbus 'Bird of Prey' Concept Seeks to Inspire

Airbus 'Bird of Prey' Concept Seeks to Inspire - RF Cafe"Airbus has revealed a new conceptual aircraft design known as 'Bird of Prey,' intended to inspire the next generation of aeronautical engineers. bird of prey (Credit: Airbus) The hybrid-electric turbo propeller plane takes design cues from eagles and falcons, featuring individually controlled feathers on the wings and tail for precision flight control. Its body also includes a blended wing to fuselage joint that mimics the sweeping aerodynamic arch of predatory birds. Unveiled at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, the aircraft’s primary goal is to encourage young people into aerospace but also marks the 50th anniversary of Airbus ..."

Man Jumps onto Wing as Plane Prepares for Takeoff

Man Jumps onto Wing as Plane Prepares for Takeoff - Airplanes and Rockets"A man who climbed onto the wing of a plane as it prepared for takeoff at the airport in Nigeria's Lagos city has been arrested, authorities said. The man, who has not been identified, walked towards the aircraft on the runway and was spotted by the pilot, who slowed down and later turned off the engine as the man continued to wander around the aircraft, Azman Air said in a statement. He then jumped onto a wing of the plane and tried to access the cabin, the airline said. The pilot radioed the tarmac to report the incident, according to the airline. The incident happened Friday morning at the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed International airport in Lagos ..."

Important Facts About Balsa Wood, Sig Catalog

Important Facts About Balsa Wood, Sig Catalog - Airplanes and RocketsBalsa wood was a special thing to me as a kid. To me, it represented the essence of model airplanes and model rockets. At the time - the 1960s and 70s - plastic and foam as model components were considered a sign of cheapness, low quality, amateurishness. It was like having "Made in Japan" stamped on it. Now, of course, it's a different world where Japan is renowned for some of the highest quality electronics and cars and the plastic and foam ARFs represent some of the highest-performing aircraft at the flying field. I have owned a few of those foamies, but still, at least for my tastes, nothing beats the look, feel and aroma of balsa. Somehow the tell-tale surface texture of foam, even with a nice paint job, ruins the authenticity of an otherwise beautifully factory-finished scale F4-U Corsair or P-38 Lightning. Sorry, that's just the way it is. Sig Manufacturing was ...

Franky Zapata Flyboard

Franky Zapata Flyboard - Airplanes and Rockets"'Flying soldier' arrives at Bastille Day parade on an 118 mph Back to the Future-style hoverboard as Macron shows off France's military innovation in front of world leaders including Angela Merkel. A 'flying soldier' wowed crowds in Paris today when he arrived at France's Bastille Day parade on an 118 mph 'Back to the Future'-style hoverboard. Franky Zapata, 40, brandished an unloaded rifle as a he raced at high speed above world leaders including President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Then he landed comfortably on his so-called Flyboard, which he hopes to sell to the French military ..."

The Digital Decabulator

The Digital Defabrilator, February 1966 RC Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsGenius takes on many forms, not the least of which is the ability to concoct and compose an [almost] believable a story describing in the utmost detail the technical workings of a complex mechanical gadget. Items such as a mizule wrench, meta-phasic shielding, blinker fluid, a left-handed screwdriver, and - one of my favorites - the muffler bearing, have been heard in comic routines... er... routinely. No matter how many times you hear them you always laugh again. Some are actually a portmanteau and just sound funny while others are completely made up. This Digital Decabulator article that appeared in a 1966 issue of R/C Modeler magazine is amazing; it pegs the B.S. detector from beginning to end ...

Oddisy Student Drone Launches from Portable Base

Oddisy Student Drone Launches from Portable Base - Airplanes and Rockets"Each year on the third week of April, seniors at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) present their Major Qualifying Projects (MQPs) to the WPI community and to the public. No classes take place this day, seniors dress in business clothing, and each team gives a 15-minute presentation. Some 20 teams from the WPI Robotics Department participated, showing their robots that fly, collect fish, sail, crawl, sort objects, and roll. One such project, the Oddisy Drone Dispatch System, has commercial potential in that the drone comes in a weather-protective box that opens and closes to allow takeoffs and landings while keeping the drone safe and dry ..."

FAA Announces New Supersonic Rulemaking

FAA Announces New Supersonic Rulemaking - Airplanes and Rockets"Today in remarks at an Innovation Panel before Paris Air Show attendees, FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell said the U.S. will ensure and enable safer and more innovative technologies to enter new aviation segments. As an example, Elwell announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that modifies and clarifies existing regulatory procedures to obtain FAA approval to test supersonic aircraft. The NPRM is a first, necessary milestone toward the reintroducing civil supersonic flight. 'The U.S. Department of Transportation and the FAA are committed toward the safe and environmentally-sound research and development of supersonic aircraft ..."

DOD Tweaks UAS Acquisition Strategies

DOD Tweaks UAS Acquisition Strategies - Airplanes and Rockets"The Defense Department is trying new acquisition strategies when it comes to unmanned aerial systems. Kevin Fahey, the assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, said his office is trying to steer DOD away from the habit of developing new technologies and training requirements at the same time. 'We, to a large extent, have done urgent requirements and not a lot of programs of record to think through how do you train, how do you equip, how do you do the techniques and procedures, and how do you operate' across the services, Fahey said during Defense One's June 27 Tech Summit. That's especially the case with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) ..."

Packard Bell Legend 406CD Desktop Computer

Packard Bell Legend 406CD Desktop Computer - Airplanes and RocketsBeing a lover of vintage electronics and aircraft modeling equipment, I had the bright idea that I would buy a vintage Packard Bell desktop computer like I had many moons ago and transplant the innards of my ASUS G750JX Republic of Gamers (RoG) notebook computer into it. After carefully measuring the notebook computer's outside dimensions and estimating the size of the various models of PB computers, I settled on a Packard Bell Legend 406CD and bought it from a guy on eBay. I wanted the type that actually sits on the desktop, with the monitor sitting on top of it. The computer arrived as advertised - dirty but in good mechanical condition ...

Revell Visible 1/4th−Scale Visible V−8 Engine Kit

Revell Visible 1/4th−Scale Visible V−8 Engine Kit - Airplanes and RocketsRoughly fifty years after my first failed attempt at building a 1/4th−scale Visible V−8 Engine kit, I decided to buy another and try again. It is amazing that the kit is still produced (by Revell now, not the original by Renwal), especially given that very few of the old V-8s - the ones with points and condenser ignition, mechanical carburetor, belt-driven cooling fan, etc. - are running anymore. Many, unfortunately, were destroyed as part of the heinous Cash for Clunkers program in 2009 that served primarily to remove from service classic cars and trucks from U.S. manufactures ...but I digress. If memory serves me properly, back in the era by the time I had all the moving parts assembled and installed, none of them moved anymore ...

Drone Explode into Maple Seed Microdrones in Midair

Drone Explode into Maple Seed Microdrones in Midair - Airplanes and Rockets"As useful as conventional fixed-wing and quadrotor drones have become, they still tend to be relatively complicated, expensive machines that you really want to be able to use more than once. When a one-way trip is all that you have in mind, you want something simple, reliable, and cheap, and we've seen a bunch of different designs for drone gliders that more or less fulfill those criteria. For an even simpler gliding design, you want to minimize both airframe mass and control surfaces, and the maple tree provides some inspiration in the form of samara, those distinctive seed pods that whirl to the ground ..."

SpaceX Wins NASA Contract to Launch X-Ray Telescope

SpaceX Wins NASA Contract to Launch X-Ray Telescope - Airplanes and Rockets"NASA has selected a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket - flying with a reused first stage booster - to launch the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer mission from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in April 2021, bypassing Northrop Grumman's air-launched Pegasus rocket for the task. The $50.3M contract with SpaceX announced Monday covers 'the launch service and other mission-related costs,' NASA said in a press release. The value of the IXPE launch contract is one of the most concrete examples of SpaceX's progress in reducing launch costs by recovering and reusing first stage boosters. NASA awarded its most recent launch contract ..."

Control Line Leadout Wire Eyelet Assembly

"Two-Line Assembly" for Control Line Leadout Wire EyeletsFor as long as I can remember, the instructions for assembling eyelets to control line leadout wires has been the one depicted in the image to the right. It appears to be a copy of a copy of a copy of a scanned image from a printed version of the Academy of Model Aviation (AMA) rulebook. This particular rendition comes from the "Control Line General 2017-2018" publication from the AMA (Figure 3. Two-Line Construction, on page 8). Its simple presentation is fairly easy to follow, but actually accomplishing the feat can be a little tricky when using the multistrand steel leadout wire. I am no master of the task, but have constructed many leadout eyelet ends in my six decades. A pictorial representation of the process I use is given below ...

Airspeeder Drone Racing Series Launches at Goodwood

Airspeeder Drone Racing Series Launches at Goodwood - Airplanes and Rockets"Set to launch in 2020, Airspeeder will see 10 pilots from five teams face off in purpose-built flying vehicles capable of hitting speeds up to 200 km/h. Each quadcopter will be four meters long, weighing in the region of 250 kg. They will be propelled by eight 50 kW motors driving 60-inch blades, with power provided by swappable 500 kW battery packs that can provide full thrust for around 15 minutes. It's envisioned that races will mirror the early years of Formula E, with a single pit stop / battery swap enabling sprint-style ..."

Jetco E-Shark 15 C/L Airplane

Jetco E-Shark 15 C/L Airplane (electric-powered) - Airplanes and RocketsI have been wanting to build another Jetco Shark 15 control line model airplane for a long time and finally decided to take the dive into the project. Having sold all of my glow fuel engine support equipment (power panel, fuel pump, electric starter, etc.) in exchange for electric power equipment, it would be necessary to modify the airframe to accommodate a brushless outrunner motor, an electronic speed controller (ESC), a motor timer, and a LiPo battery. I dubbed it the "E-Shark 15." Without a whole lot of engineering calculations, I settled on one of the two ElectriFly Rimfire .10 motors I purchased to power my Douglas DC−3 / C−47 twin engine control line models. A 30 A ESC with a 3-cell (3S), 1300 mAH LiPo completed the package ...

Autonomous Aircraft Set for Automatic Landings

Autonomous Aircraft Set for Automatic Landings - Airplanes and Rockets"Unlike large commercial airports, smaller airstrips lack the infrastructure to ensure the safe navigation of aircraft for automatic landings. Now, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and TU Braunschweig say they have demonstrated a completely automatic landing with vision assisted navigation that functions properly without the need for ground-based systems. The research is detailed in the Journal of the Institute of Navigation. The team point out that large airports are equipped with an Instrument Landing System (ILS) which allows ..."

NASA X-59 QueSST Has 4K Display Instead of Front Window

NASA X-59 QueSST Has 4K Display Instead of Front Window - Airplanes and Rockets"The X-59 QueSST, a new supersonic demonstration aircraft that US-based aerospace firm Lockheed Martin is building for NASA that the agency hopes will reduce the ground-level intensity of sonic booms over land, has another interesting design feature besides the updated aerodynamics: it went with a 4k display in the front of the cockpit instead of a forward-facing window. Opting for a 4k instead of a window certainly seems like an unorthodox choice when it comes to the cockpit of a plane, but that's what Lockheed Martin has done with their new X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology, or QueSST, aircraft. NASA released an image of the cockpit of the X-59 QueSST that shows three displays at the front of the cockpit ..."

Sailplane Aero-Tow

Sailplane Aero-Tow, American Aircraft Modeler - Final Issue (March 1975) - Airplanes and RocketsAirplanes & Rockets website visitor David T. wrote asking about locating an article where the author reports on having initially tried aero−towing by a powered airplane with the tow line connected to the tail of the tow plane. I have never seen that method tried, and this article demonstrates why it is not commonplace. Disaster evidently resulted, so the author ended up connecting the tow line to the wing hold-down bolts and success ensued. This is the only aero-tow article I could find in the 1975 year range that David referenced, but it is not what he was looking for. If you know of an article that contains the experience ...

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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 - 2018
Kirt Blattenberger
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