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           - Welcome to the Airplanes & Rockets Website -
               "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." Lord Kelvin, 1895

Model Aviation in the News

- Archives -

FAA Releases B4UFLY App Beta Test for UAS Users

Sony / Aerosense R/C VTOL Maiden Flight

Space Station Astronaut Takes Stunning Aurora Photo

Hypersonic Passenger Planes a Reality by 2030

National Air and Space Museum Raises $720,000 to Save Spacesuits

Pentagon Plans to Boost Drone Flights by 50%

AMA to FAA: Hold Irresponsible 'Drone' Operators Accountable

How to Knock Down Drones with Loud Noises

NASA Tests the 'Ferrari of Rocket Engines' for Mission to Mars

Greenwich Prime Meridian Has Moved 334 Feet (102 Meters)

UAS Autonomous Human Personal Transport

2015 AMA Nats News Wrap-up

Man Comes Forward After Woman Knocked Out by Drone

Boeing to Continue Work on Developing XS-1 Reusable Hypersonic Unmanned Spacecraft

Long Island Man Parks Plane in Driveway 433 Hot Air Balloons Soar into the Record Books

EM Rocket Drive Could Get to Moon in 4 Hours

Stanzel Electromic Tethered Helicopter

Stanzel Electromic Tethered Helicopter - Airplanes and RocketsFor most people my age (born in 1958), the first experience with a 'real' flying model helicopter was this Electromic "Copter" by Stanzel. I've been hoping to acquire one via eBay, but thus far the prices have been beyond my willingness to pay (typically ~$40 + shipping). The "Copter" used two D-cell batteries in the plastic handle to power a motor, also in the handle, which in turn drove the center wire of a coaxial cable that connected to the helicopter rotor. It's been a long time, so I don't recall whether the cable drove the rotors directly, or spun a gear inside the fuselage to drive the rotors ...

Patriot Free Flight Rubber Model

The Patriot Article & Plans, December 1969 American Aircraft Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsA website visitor wrote to ask that I scan and post this article for the Patriot rubber-powered free flight model. It is a simple stick and sheet balsa job that can be built for about three bucks worth of parts. The wings uses a couple ribs on the underside to form an undercambered airfoil for a little extra lift. Enjoy! 

Down Memory's Runway 

Down Memory's Runway, February 1941 Flying Aces - Airplanes and Rockets (and Telescopes, Cars, Helicopters, Boats)Flying Aces magazine, which preceded Air Trails, ran a regular feature titled "Down Memory's Runway" that highlighted older airplane designs from way back in the 1920s a 1930s, which in this case was a mere 10 to 20 years ago. Full cantilever wings were just coming into reality as were non-rotary engines. Retractable landing gear models were starting to move into production, as was a lot of the mix of old and new technology in preparation for America's entrance into World War II. So far I only have 12 editions of Flying Aces, but I hope to build the collection over time and post some key items here on Airplanes and Rockets ...

Southwest Champion's Winning
Towliner "Honker"

Southwest Champion's Winning Towliner "Honker", September/October 1963 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsAs open space becomes more and more scare in populated areas all up and down the East Coast, the Great Lakes region, and similar sections of the country, free flight activities are increasingly difficult to contemplate. The same goes for model rocketry. All of the fields I used to fly from in the Mayo, MD, area when in my teens back in the early to mid 1970s were long ago turned into housing developments, commercial office or retail outlet stores. It used to be a simple matter of loading an airplane or rocket into my 1969 Camaro and driving a few miles to a school yard or an empty lot behind a strip mall, but not so much anymore. Even if you do manage to locate a suitable flying area, there are usually signs posted warning of prosecution for trespassing. School athletic fields are typically cluttered with soccer nets

Vintage Berkeley Models Advertisement

Berkeley Models Advertisement, January 1941 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsPeople try to sell these advertisement pages from vintage magazines on eBay all the time - usually for ridiculous prices. It's hard to believe anyone actually pays for them, but there must be enough to make it worth while for the seller to go to the trouble of photographing and posting the pages. If you are satisfied with either viewing the page online or printing out a copy for your hobby room wall or scrapbook, then search through the AirplanesAndRockets.com website to find many instances of vintage advertisements (see list at bottom of page) - and I'm adding new - like the full-page ad by Berkeley Models, ones frequently. Here are two other Berkeley Models ads from the ...

With the Model Builders
January 1941 Flying Aces

With the Model Builders, January 1941 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsI'm guessing that Mr. Peter Henderson, of Los Angeles, California, who was featured in this 1941 edition of Flying Aces magazine, was 12 or 13 years old at the time. That would make his somewhere in his mid-70s today, so there's a very good chance he is still building and flying model airplanes. As with so many of the people who appear in these old magazines, I always wonder what happened to them over the years and whether they are still engaged in the hobby. If you ever see yourself or someone you know in a photo on Airplanes and Rockets website, please send me an e-mail with an update. Visitors love reading comments submitted by others who happen to run across ...

Flying Aces Club News - February 1941

Flying Aces Club News, February 1941 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsFlying Aces magazine has been around since nearly the beginning of motorized model aviation - October 1928 to be exact. I specify 'motorized' because people have been building and operating various sorts of flying models since mankind figured out how to construct a device that looks and performs somewhat like a gliding bird. Flying Aces clubs have been around as long as the eponymous magazine, from what I can tell. However, there seems to have a more recent incarnation of the Flying Aces Club News publication that began in 1967. Mr. Ross Mayo was president of the Flying Aces while I lived in Erie, PA, but I see he has relocated to the North Carolina mountains. Anyway, here is the February 1941 edition of the Flying ...

The Stuka in Action

The Stuka in Action, February 1941 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsFebruary 1941 was a full 10 months before the United States of America officially entered into World War II. Prior to that time, we were providing assistance to England in the form of "Lend - Lease," whereby equipment, supplies, and training were provided, but no fighting forces were engaged. Doing so formally excused us from being considered part of the brawl. The U.S. was taking a more active role in the South Pacific with aiding the Chinese in fending off a terrible Japanese invasion. Germany was renown for its engineering prowess in all things mechanical, be they, submarines, cannons, trains, planes, or automobiles. The Stuka dive bomber was particularly feared because of its ability to fly straight down, giving its pilot a dead-on target that did not ...

My Personal Criterion RV-6
'Dynascope' Telescope Adventure

Criterion RV-6 'Dynascope' Telescope Adverisement - Airplanes and RocketsIt was while I was in the USAF at Robing AFB, Georgia, that my interest in astronomy was rekindled and I decided to move from a cheap 2" Tasco refractor to a 'real' telescope that had more light collecting capacity and was on an equatorial mount with a sidereal drive system. My Air Force pay did not allow for anything as nice as a Celestron or Meade model, but an advertisement in Astronomy magazine by Criterion Manufacturing made the goal seem obtainable in the RV-6 'Dynascope.' For a mere $279.95, I could purchase a 6", f-8 Newtonian telescope with a pillar-type tripod mount and an equatorial drive. I immediately wrote a check and mailed it off to the company's location in Connecticut. Then, I waited... and waited... and waited, but no telescope arrived after more than ...

The North American B-25 Bomber

North American B-25 Bomber, February 1941 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsThe North American B-25 Mitchell twin-engine, medium bomber was named in honor of General William "Billy" Mitchell. Its maiden flight was made on 19 August 1940, which was only a few months before this edition of Flying Aces would have gone to press, so the editor had to make a few educated guesses as to its specifications and features, especially since back in the day getting official numbers would have been very difficult. This was breakthrough design with an all-metal airframe, tricycle landing gear, twin vertical stabilizers, and a full cantilevered wing, not to mention the tail turret ...

Secrets of Free Flight Endurance

Secrets of Endurance, February 1941 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsNewcomers are entering the realm of free flight aeromodeling all the time, so it is never a waste of time or print space to post articles giving instruction and recommendations on how to be successful at the sport. Heeding the advice of accomplished, experienced modelers is always recommended if you are having trouble correcting certain issues with flight trim, structural integrity, component selection, etc. Even if specific discussions do not apply directly to your concern, often times it will spark an idea of your own. This article provides a good rounded collection of information that should prove valuable to most readers ...

Modern Planes Album
February 1941 Flying Aces

Modern Planes Album, February 1941 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsIt's kind of hard to think of a 'modern plane' being something that was new to the aviation scene in 1942 (1941, actually, since this is from a February 1942 edition of Flying Aces). Most likely, when this column was written the U.S. had not officially been drawn into World War II. Seeing the Messerschmitt Me. 109 included in the lineup is amazing, especially the comment about the most recently modified version having a retrofit with an engine so large that German engineers used heavy steel cables to help hold it to the firewall! ...

"Guppie" Gas Job

"Guppie" Gas Job - Article and Plans, January 1941 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsIn 1941, model airplane engines invariably were gasoline-driven ignition systems. As such, onboard batteries were required to light the spark plug. If you are relatively new to the aeromodeling hobby, then when you think of an airborne battery, you likely envision NiCad, NiMH, or Li-Po cells that are relatively compact, lightweight, and trouble-free. Back in the day, though it could mean anything from a few carbon cells to a lead-acid storage battery. In the case of the Guppie, a 20-second motor run rule for its competition class allowed a smaller cache of cells to be carried. Its 6-foot wingspan and classic construction would make the Guppie a great vintage conversion project using an electric propulsion systems and R/C ...

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
Assembly Line

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Assembly Line, January 1941 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsIn the interest of sparing Major Fred Lord major embarrassment, I have not reproduced his entire article outlining what he would do if he were appointed head of the Army Air Corps. Almost without exception, everything he posited in this January 1941 piece from Flying Aces magazine turned out to be wrong - as evidenced by the way events unfolded after America entered World War II. Reading the predictions and suggestions offered in just the opening paragraphs makes you wish you could have given the poor guy a crystal ball to spare himself the humiliation that often comes with proclaiming a knowledge superior to everyone else's. One good thing to come out of the article is a cool photo of the Boeing plant where B-17s were being assembled. If anyone wants ...

Author: Kirt Blattenberger on Google+
Author: Kirt Blattenberger

Tower Hobbies logo - Airplanes and RocketsCall me a Tower Hobbies groupie, or maybe I'm just lazy, but I have been ordering most (probably >90%) of my modeling supplies from Tower Hobbies since they first opened in the 1970s. I remember anxiously awaiting delivery of my first Carl Goldberg 1/2A Skylane from them. That was before the Internet, when mail order involved hand-writing your order on a form and enclosing a check or M.O. in an envelope, then dropping it in the mailbox. 3-4 weeks was a typical turn-around time. No, I do not get any perks for posting this.

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Supermodel Melanie Blattenberger holding my Aquila Spirit glider - Airplanes and Rockets
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