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

Aerospace Headline News

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archives -

• 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

FAA: Fly Under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft

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 ...

Nearly 2,000 Waivers Granted to Operate Beyond Part 107

Nearly 2,000 Waivers Granted to Operate Beyond Part 107 - Airplanes and Rockets"Indicates an overwhelming interest in nighttime operations, other expanded operations. On the eve of the two-year anniversary of the FAA establishing regulations for operating small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as drones, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) today released an update to its analysis of waivers by the FAA for UAS operations beyond the scope of the Small UAS Rule and found that nearly 2,000 have been granted. The analysis finds that nearly 92% of the waivers grant permission to operate UAS at night, which is not permitted under the FAA rule. The report also shows that first responders around the country ..."

Stunting Vickers Wellesley

Stunting Vickers Wellesley, May 1957 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsI finally found the scanned file for this Stunting "Vickers Wellesley" article that appeared in the May 1957 issue of American Modeler magazine. Somehow the magazine disappeared and I had to dig back into an old hard drive from 2011 to find the file. Anyway, here is yet another fine Walter Musciano design of the British bomber of World War II fame. Designed for a .35-size engine, this 58" wingspan control line model with 420 cubic inch of wing area should be capable of basic stunting. An electric power setup could easily be adapted to the airframe, and some weight could be saved by thinning out the structural members a bit. Smooth-running brushless motors don't put anywhere near the vibratory strain on models as internal combustion engines do ...

Jim Walker & The American Junior Aircraft Company

Home of Jim Walker & The American Junior Aircraft Company - RF Cafe

If you are a fan of control line (aka CL, C/L, U-control) Jim Walker and have not yet visited the Jim Walker & The American Junior Aircraft Company, this is the time to do so. "Jim Walker was really one of a kind. He was a visionary, a showman, an inventor and a passionate promoter of Model Aviation. Whether he was flying his Two-Speed ignition engine Fireball with U-Control or his 10¢ Model 74 Glider, Jim Walker captivated the crowds and the imagination of a generation of youngsters with his incredible flying skills. Producing Ready-To-Fly model planes years before balsa became common, his American Junior Aircraft Company shaped the future of the hobby world with his innovative ideas ..."

R/C Aircraft Hobbyists Battle with Feds to Protect Their Hobby

Radio Controlled Aircraft Hobbyists Battle with Feds to Protect Their Hobby - Airplanes and RocketsNote: Be sure to look at reader comments at the bottom. "The FAA recently changed its mind about exempting model aircraft. Radio control aircraft hobbyists are currently standing up to the FAA, Department of Defense, and select members of Congress in order to preserve the freedom of their pastime, to fly small model aircraft in select locations around the U.S. In a petition, RC pilots say their fight revolves around 'Rule 336,' which is a section in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act from 2012 that exempts model and remote control aircraft enthusiasts from regulation if they were flown for 'hobby & recreation' purposes. Earlier this summer, the federal government reversed the original ruling, leaving enthusiasts vulnerable to federal regulation ..."

Alain's Duck R/C Canard Plans Now Available for Download

Custom R/C Canard Model Airplane by Alain Pons (Alain's Duck") - Airplanes and RocketsAlain Pons, of France, sent my a paper copy of the plans for his custom-designed 6-foot wingspan R/C canard model airplane - "Alain's Duck." I had it scanned to JPG format at Office Max and then did some clean-up to enhance the contrast and eliminate most of the fold lines. You can easily scale the plans to any size you need to fit your tastes. Thanks again to Alain for making this available ...

Quick Floats Article & Plans

Quick Floats Article & Plans - May 1973 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsAirplanes and Rockets website visitor Rob P. wrote to ask that I post the construction article for George Wilson's "Quick Floats," which appeared in the May 1973 issue of American Aircraft Modeler magazine. It's nice to know that even with all the prefabricated floats available for purchase today that there is still someone who prefers to build his own. The original Quick Floats design was sized for a .60-powered stunt airplane, but you can easily scale them up or down as needed to fit your model. I normally do not include a full-resolution scan in order to give the AMA Plans Service an opportunity to sell a copy (very low prices); however, a visit to their website does not show a listing for Quick Floats. Click on the plans images below for the larger versions. Beware that scans from the magazine may contain skew ...

Bye Aero Flies Solar-Electric Prototype

Bye Aero Flies Solar-Electric Prototype - Airplanes and Rockets"Bye Aerospace announced August 20 a successful first flight for a solar-electric aircraft created with surveillance and patrol missions in mind. The company founded by CEO George Bye hopes to be the first to certify an American-made electric airplane, the Sun Flyer, which was designed to reduce the cost of flight training and prove that electric propulsion is a viable alternative to petroleum-based fuels in general aviation. The mission of the Solar-Electric Survey Aircraft, or SOLESA, is somewhat different, Bye explained in an email, though the two platforms share many components and systems. 'The SOLESA ‘could’ be available to the 'public,' but not likely, because of the solar cell expense to the aircraft ..."

Dr. Ralph Brooke's "Whistler" Article & Plans

Dr. Ralph Brooke's "Whistler" Article & Plans, July/August 1963 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsDr. Ralph Brooke was a member of the 1963 U.S. International Team, which won the World Champion ships at Genk, Belgium. His custom designed "Whistler" full house radio control model airplane is featured in this 1963 issue of American Modeler magazine. The engine was a Veco .45, which was smaller than the .60 size used by many competitors of the day. The plans are well-drawn, but the wing portion is broken across the two sheets, and only the left half is shown. The wingspan is only 59", so it really wouldn't have been that much trouble to put at least the entire wing half on one sheet. That has always been a pet peeve of mine. Otherwise, the Whistler is a nice looking model and could easily be adapted to electric power ...

Airbus Zephyr Drone Record at 26 Days in the Air

Airbus Zephyr Drone Record at 26 Days in the Air - Airplanes and Rockets"Airbus has praised the success of the drone's maiden flight and plans to increase the device's duration, while the UK government is set to become the first one to adopt the technology for its needs. While Airbus is mostly known for its passenger aircraft construction, it is also one of the global leaders in space engineering. The company's press-release published on Wednesday reveals another achievement in this sphere. A Zephyr S HAPS drone (High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite) successfully landed in Farnborough, the UK upon finishing its first trial flight. The drone was in the air for 25 days, 23 hours, and 57 minutes, breaking the world record ..."

Rolls-Royce Unveils EVTOL Air Taxi at Farnborough Airshow

Rolls-Royce Unveils EVTOL Air Taxi at Farnborough Airshow - Airplanes and Rockets"Engine maker Rolls-Royce has released details of a new EVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) vehicle at this year's Farnborough Airshow. The hybrid aircraft, designed to carry four or five passengers, has an M250 gas turbine which delivers around 500 kW of electrical power. This is used to drive six rotors that can provide both lift and propulsion, with the wings tilting forward 90° once sufficient altitude has been reached. Four of the rotors can also fold into the wings, leaving two at the rear to provide thrust at cruising altitude while helping to reduce cabin noise. Top speed is estimated at 250mph and range is predicted ..."

The UK's Scottish Spaceport Plan

The UK's Scottish Spaceport Plan - Airplanes and Rockets"The plans for a launch site for rockets in Sutherland on the north coast of Scotland have already attracted lively debate in our news section, so it is an obvious choice for our poll this week. There have been ambitions to site a spaceport in the UK for over a decade, but business secretary Greg Clark's announcement at the opening of the Farnborough Air Show was the first concrete sign of these plans being put into government policy, and were accompanied by an announcement of a £50 million UK space launch fund. We have suggested a number of options as responses to the question. Is the plan an unequivocally good idea ..."

Model Rocket Safety: Be Smart! Be Safe!

Model Rocket Safety: Be Smart! Be Safe!, October 1958 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsVernon (Vern) Estes is single-handedly responsible for the prevention of untold eyes, fingers, arms, hair, and even lives, due to his invention of safe, prepackaged, solid fuel model rocket engines. Estes Industries was founded in 1958, the year this article on model rocketry safety appeared in American Molder magazine. Shortly after Estes began operation, they published a newsletter titled, "Estes Model Rocket News," which had amongst its contents numerous tips on safe handling and use of model rocket engines, and many warning against trying to build your own engines. The thought of kids and even adults handling picrate, the fulminate, and the iodate compounds is enough to send chills down my spine. G. Harry Stine, editor of the model rocketry column in American Modeler ...

Video: A Conversation with Vern and Gleda Estes

Conversation with Vern and Gleda Estes - Airplanes and RocketsThe Museum of Flight produced a very nice video titled, "A Conversation with Vern and Gleda Estes." If you are or once were a model rocketeer - a term coined by Vern - you will definitely want to view video. After watching the video, go straight to the website and look through the vast historical information there, which includes an incredible film of the beginnings of the Penrose, Colorado, headquarters and factory. Vern and Gleda built the first structures by hand, block by block. It was truly a bygone era of rugged individualism. We owe the pair much gratitude for transforming model rocketry into a safe, affordable hobby.

U.S. Army SUAS Drone School

U.S. Army SUAS Drone School - Airplanes and RoekctsI wish these types of drones were around during my USAF days. "U.S. Army instructors at Fort Benning, Georgia recently opened a new drone training school to teach young soldiers to become as familiar with these tiny flying devices as they are handling M4 carbines. The 3rd Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment, 316th Cavalry Brigade opened its new small unmanned aerial system, or SUAS, course facility June 11 and recently began giving classes to basic trainees 'so they can become familiar with drones before they show up to their units,' Sgt. 1st Class Hilario Dominguez, the lead instructor for the class, said in a recent Defense Department news release. Students at the SUAS course showed basic trainees ..."

Aston Martin Reveals Flying Car That Could Hit 200 MPH

Aston Martin Reveals Flying Car That Could Hit 200 MPH - Airplanes and Rockets"Not even James Bond had an Aston Martin like this. The British sports car maker revealed a concept version of a flying car, the Volante Vision Concept, at the Farnborough Airshow this week. Aston Martin has billed the futuristic vehicle as a luxury car for the skies. The autonomous hybrid-electric vehicle, which has room for three passengers, is designed for urban and inter-city travel, the company said. It's also capable of vertical take-offs and landings. The vehicle could fly at top speeds of around 200 miles per hour, according to Reuters. 'With the population in urban areas continuing to grow ..."

Reader's Digest Model 800-XR Speaker Modification

Reader's Digest Model 800-XR Speaker Modification (new) - RF CafeThe original speakers on my Reader's Digest 800-XR stereo system sounded OK, but they sounded crackly at some frequencies even at normal volume level, so I decided to replace the speakers with something more modern. Not wanting to spend a lot of money on speakers and a crossover network, I opted for a set of car speakers with built-in crossovers. Since car speakers have a 4 Ω impedance and the stereo wants 8 Ω, I wired the two new speakers in series. Over time, the right channel on the Speaker A output became scratchy and sometimes would drop out completely. There was also an issue with distortion on all outputs when the volume was turned ...

Oak Lamp Turned in the Robins AFB Woodshop

Oak Lamp Turned in the Robins AFB Woodshop - Airplanes and RocketsWhile serving in the U.S. Air Force at Robins AFG, Georgia, in the early 1980s, I took advantage of the base woodworking shop to make a set of stereo speaker enclosures, turn a couple lamps on the wood lathe, and a few other projects. Most have been sold or given away over the many household moves that have transpired since then. One of the oak lamps has survived, probably because I had given it to Melanie as a present before we were married. It is made from some 3" thick blocks that were found in the wood shop's scrap bin. I laminated three of them together and then turned an ad hoc design (no preplanned shape) that can be seen in these couple photos. A couple grooves were added and then brass tubing was bent ...

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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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