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

Aerospace Headline News

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archives -

Pause on Pilot Cadet Programs Leads to Loss and Opportunity

•  Boeing's 20-Year Job Prediction Lowered

• NASA Plans for Return to Moon to Cost $28B

• FAA Clears Amazon for Drone Delivery

• Uncover Aviation History by Helping to Transcribe Smithsonian Collections

• Gulfstream to Deliver the Last G550 Next Year

• UK-US Sign Rocket Launching Agreement

• USAF Faces Substantial Shortfall in Unmanned Aircraft Pilots

• James Webb Space Telescope Launch Date Pushed Out Again

• Sporty's Pilot Shop to Match EAA Donations Through July 31st

Rolls-Royce Airplane Set to Break Electric Speed Record

Rolls-Royce Airplane Set to Break Electric Speed Record - Airplanes and Rockets"Rolls-Royce has announced on its blog that the company has completed testing of the technology it plans to use in its line of electrically powered planes - one of which they expect will break speed records for electric airplanes. The new plane will be one of the core products of the company's ACCEL initiative, whose main objective will be to produce zero-emission planes and engines for other plane makers, and to be net-zero by 2050. Rolls-Royce has also created a video showing parts of the ground testing, which has been posted on YouTube. The testing was done with a plane segment featuring a full-scale model of the front of the fuselage of the ionBird plane. It was fitted with a 500-horsepower electric engine backed up with 6,000 cells..."

Countdown: Polish Boost-Glider

Countdown: Polish Boost-Glider, October 1968 AAM - Airplanes and Rockets1968 was the beginning of the 3-man crew Apollo era with the first manned space flight of the series, Apollo 7, launching in October of that year. Model rocketry was all the rage. Per this article from a 1968 issue of American Aircraft Modeler magazine, the average age of an American model rocketeer was about 13.6 years. I was 10 years old at the time and had by that time been building and flying model rockets for a year or two. Being a fan of both airplanes and rockets - hence this website's name - I liked the rocket boost gliders. The Estes Falcon, Nighthawk, and Space Plane models were available at the time. The Falcon was the simplest with a pylon-mounted engine that ejected with the ejection charge. The Nighthawk was more akin to the Polish boost-Glider in this article, where the power pod separates from the airplane and comes down via streamer while the airplane glides back to earth...

Model Rocketeer, National Association of Rocketry

Model Rocketeer, National Association of Rocketry, American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThe National Association of Rocketry (NAR) has been around since 1957. At one time, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) was pretty tightly joined with them in covering model rocketry events and promoting model rocketry. In fact, for while there was space allotted in American Aircraft Modeler, AMA's monthly magazine, for model rocketry. From February 1968 through August 1969 there was a newsletter feature entitled "Model Rocketeer" in addition to a separate article, often written by G. Harry Stine. A complete list of all editions is provided. The NAR and AMA still work together. For example, the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) delegates authority for aeromodeling and spacemodeling to the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), who has in turn delegated Spacemodeling (model rocketry) to the NAR...

ARRL 2020 Online Auction Begins October 15th

ARRL 2020 Online Auction - Airplanes and RocketsThe 2020 ARRL Online Auction will be held October 15th-22nd. The preview began October 8th. "Don't miss this opportunity to get in on the fun and bid on a variety of items at the 15th annual ARRL Online Auction to benefit ARRL educational programs. We suggest you read through the 'Help' section, listing bidding tips as well as the link to our Help Desk should you need assistance. All bidders must register (your user ID and password will not work on the auction site). If you have registered for a previous ARRL Online Auction, you may use the same log-in information..."

Airtronics Aquila Building Instructions

Airtronics Aquila Sailplane Kit Building Instructions Booklet - Airplanes and RocketsHere is the full set of building instructions for the beautiful 1970s era Airtronics Aquila sailplane. A fairly compressive building description was published in the May 1975 issue of R/C Modeler magazine when the Aquila first appeared, but these are much more extensive. Aquila kits have not been manufactured for many years, and some of the ones that appear on eBay are missing the instruction booklet, so now you can access a copy of the original in its entirety. Photos of the kit parts and plans can be seen on my main Airtronics Aquila page. You can also see the 105% Aquila I built from enlarged plans.

Commercial UAS Observes Earth for Days or Weeks at a Time

Commercial UAS Observes Earth for Days or Weeks at a Time - Airplanes and Rockets"Aircraft play an essential role in how we study and understand Earth's surface, climate, and atmosphere. Now, a new commercial unmanned aircraft system (UAS) aims to bring about a powerful way to observe our planet for days or weeks on end. With the help of NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley, Swift Engineering of San Clemente, California, completed a two-hour flight test of their Swift High-Altitude Long-Endurance (HALE) UAS. The applications of the technology - for science, agriculture, and disaster response - could have a real impact on our everyday lives. Swift's 72-foot solar-powered HALE weighs less than 180 pounds, flies 10- to 15-pound payloads at a time..."

AMA Nationals 1974 Lake Charles: CL Stunt

AMA Nationals 1974 Lake Charles: CL Stunt, November 1974 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsBack in the days when the cycle time between writing articles, proofing, laying out pages, shipping hard copies to printers, setting up presses, and preparing magazine for mailing was about a three or four month process, coverage of a July-August event would finally appear in November-December timeframe. Photos, of course, were all in black and white. Nowadays, with everything done digitally and involving almost no physical, hands-on steps in the process, we often see Nats event happenings as early as September. The November 1974 issue of American Aircraft Modeler magazine included extensive coverage of that year's Nats, which was held in Lake Charles, Louisiana. This is the control line stunt portion. If you were around during the era...

Airborne Wind Energy Company Closes Shop

Airborne Wind Energy Company Closes Shop - Airplanes and Rockets"This week, a 13-year experiment in harnessing wind power using kites and modified gliders finally closes down for good. But the technology behind it is open-sourced and is being passed on to others in the field. As of 10 September, the airborne wind energy (AWE) company Makani Technologies has officially announced its closure. A key investor, the energy company Shell, also released a statement to the press indicating that 'given the current economic environment' it would not be developing any of Makani's intellectual property either. Meanwhile, Makani's parent company, X, Alphabet's moonshot factory, has made a non-assertion pledge on Makani's patent portfolio. That means anyone who wants to use Makani patents, designs, software..."

Maiden Flight for Flying-V Aircraft

Maiden Flight for Flying-V Aircraft - Airplanes and Rockets"This summer, a team of researchers, engineers and a drone pilot of TU Delft traveled to an airbase in Germany for the first real test flight of the scaled flight model of the energy-efficient aircraft design called the Flying-V. The project was announced last year together with KLM. After a period of extensive wind tunnel testing and a series of ground tests in the Netherlands, it was time to perform the first flight and obtain an impression of the flight characteristics. The aircraft had a very successful maiden flight. Project leader Dr. Roelof Vos and his team of researchers and engineers took the 22.5 kg and 3-m-wide scale model of the Flying-V for flight tests to a well-guarded airbase in Germany, where they could work together with a team from Airbus. The pilot's task was to take off, fly a number of test..."

AMA Nationals 1974: Control Line Scale

AMA Nationals 1974 Lake Charles: Control Line Scale, November 1974 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsIf you became involved with the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and its annual Nationals Aeromodeling Championships (Nats) contest anytime after 1995, then you never were part of the crowd that chased the venues around the country from year to year. Although AMA headquarters had been located in Washington, D.C., and then Reston, Virginia, prior to then the Nats organizers attempted to hold the contest in East Coast, Midwest, and West Coast areas. Doing so helped to spread out the hassle involved in packing up models and equipment and traveling all the way across the country every year. The current Muncie, Indiana, location was chosen specifically to provide a centralized spot with easy access, relatively decent weather, and with real estate cheap enough to procure a very large parcel of land. The 1974 Nats was held in Lake Charles, Louisiana...

20% Discount from AMA Plans Service!

20% Discount from AMA Plans Service! - Airplanes and RocketsAMA's Model Aviation magazine editor Jay Smith announced in the October 2020 issue that all plans offered by the AMA Plans Service are being discounted by 20% through the end of October. Building activity has evidently picked up this year, possibly due to so many people being cooped up inside due to the Wuhan Virus epidemic (aka COVID−19, which originated in China). Prices have been going up on new kits, probably due to the shocking cost of balsa price increases lately. Aircraft plywood and spruce has followed suit, although not by quite as much. If you have plans (pun intended) to build a model airplane in the near or far future, now is the time to stock up on supplies. I have been running a banner ad (no charge) for the AMA Plans Service for a long time, so hopefully that has helped steer modelers to their website.

Sensor System Helps Drones Avoid Power Lines

Sensor System Helps Drones Avoid Power Lines - Airplanes and Rockets"Autonomous drones will be able to detect and avoid energized power lines following the development of a novel sensor at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. Researcher David Hull developed the approach using a configuration of field and 3D sensors, in conjunction with low-power processing methods. 'Power lines are small and difficult to see with radar or optical sensors, but they generate large fields that can be easily detected with low-power, low-cost, passive electric- and magnetic-field sensors,' Hull said in a statement. Existing wire-detection and wire-avoidance technologies that use radar and/or optical sensors have had commercial success, but they are expensive, bulky, and power-intensive with technical limitations. The detection algorithm..."

Engine Review: McCoy 29 Red Head

Engine Review: McCoy 29 Red Head, January 1955 Model Airplane News - Airplanes and RocketsAh, the days when glow fuel engines were the rule rather than the exception! Sure, they were messy, noisy, and could be finicky, but other than maybe an idling 8-cylinder with a high-lift cam, Edelbrock intake manifold, Holley 4-barrel carburetor, and a set of Hooker headers, there are few nicer sounds than a model aircraft engine as it comes to life. Sure, I know that modern brushless electric motors are highly reliable and extremely powerful, don't annoy the neighbors, and never leave a gooey mess that takes half a roll of paper towels to clean off your airplane (or helicopter), but those of you who grew up flying in the pre-electric-flight years know what I mean. I confess to having switched to electric back around 2005 - except for Cox .049 engines. McCoy "Red Head" engines were very popular back in the day, and command pretty good prices on eBay today when in good condition...

Unleashing the Potential of Tethered Drones

Unleashing the Potential of Tethered Drones - Airplanes and Rockets"Wire-connected drones are a powerful new tool for improving cellular phone and Internet networks. Fitted with cellular transceivers, tethered drones could quickly be deployed to replace inoperable base stations and restore mobile coverage. Tethered to tall buildings, they would offload data during peak hours and shift their position around the clock to cover varying traffic distribution throughout the day. In rural areas, high-flying TUAVs promise a more viable alternative to expensive, tall towers needed to provide coverage to large but sparsely populated regions..."

U.S.-Made Small Drones Available from 5 Companies

U.S.-Made Small Drones Available from 5 Companies - Airplanes and Rockets"Beginning in September, entities across the U.S. Department of Defense will be able to buy small, American-manufactured drones from five select companies, allowing users in the field to quickly and easily gain a bird's eye view of their environment. A spin-off of U.S. Army efforts to develop a rucksack-packable quadcopter with the Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR) program of record, the Defense Innovation Unit's Blue sUAS effort lets U.S. government customers purchase trusted small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) that can take off and land vertically. The new drones were developed to comply with Section 848..."

For Sale: Sears "Discoverer" 60 mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope

Sears "Discoverer" Model 4  6305A 60 mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope - Airplanes and RocketsThis excellent quality Sears "Discoverer" Model 4 6305A, 60 mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope is now for sale for only $300 + shipping. I am in the market for the larger, 90 mm version and need to sell this first. If you are interested, please send me an e-mail that includes your zip code so I can calculate the total cost. Payment can be made via PayPal. It will also be listed on eBay for $350 to cover their listing fees. As you can see in the photos on the webpage, everything has been thoroughly spiffied up and/or restored. I have never seen a finer example of this telescope.

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
Family Websites:
RF Cafe | Equine Kingdom

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.

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