When I was a wee lad back in the 1960s, my
parents gave me a small electric slot car race track set for Christmas. I
remember that it had Sears' name on it, but couldn't recall the exact set. When
Simpsons-Sears Chicane-Eight 1/32 Scale Road Race Set (manufactured by
Eldon) appeared on eBay, I figured it might be the one, so I bought it. As it
turns out, this set was sold by the Canadian branch of Sears Roebuck that
partnered with Simpsons department stores. Since I lived in Maryland, this could
not have been the slot car set I owned. This has got to be one of the
best-preserved Eldon Simpsons-Sears Chicane-Eight 1/32 Scale Road Race Sets in
existence today. It works perfectly, as the video below shows ...
The U.S. Mint marks the 50th anniversary of
the first moon landing. Four different versions of the
Apollo coins are offered; sales will raise money for the National
Air and Space Museum's "Destination Moon" exhibit and for the Astronauts Memorial
Foundation and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. "Buzz Aldrin should have been
holding the camera. He and Neil Armstrong had been outside the spacecraft for almost
an hour and a half, working through their checklists, and one of Aldrin's chores
was to photograph the area where Armstrong had just finished scooping up soil and
rocks to bring home. But perhaps because Armstrong was the one who had gathered
the samples ..."
Whilst waiting for the Canadian snow to subside,
Steven built a second Ace Whizard, this time with a cox TeeDee .049 engine and a
separate 2 0z. fuel tank. That should extend the flight time from 2-3 minutes
with the Black Widow .049 to 8-10 minutes. The TeeDee should provide a little more
power as well. The Whizard began appear in Ace R/C advertisements around 1974. See
Steven's building article that has lots of good photos ...
Not being content to have built a giant size
version of his "Alain's
Duck," he just sent me these photos of the turbine jet-powered version of a
variant of the original canard. What's next - a full-size homebuilt airplane with
Alain at the controls? Alain promises a video of the first flight soon. Warm weather's
on the way, so hopefully we won't have to wait very long ...
In my continuing effort to help make certain
that the history of Charles Schulz's Peanuts comic series is preserved, this set
of View-Master slides has been scanned and/or photographed as required. If you want
to own this "Snoopy
and the Red Baron" set, there are probably copies available on eBay, which is
where I bought this set. It is in like-new condition. Charles Schulz drew all of
the daily comic strips himself, but he did license other artists to draw his characters
for some commercial products, and these appear to be so. In fact, of all the
Peanuts comics I have seen - and I have probably seen most of them - this accompanying
booklet contains the only non-Peanuts type character I can remember seeing. Picture
19 on the last page shows a nonschultzian [sic] French woman bidding farewell to
The March 2019 issue of the Academy of Model
Aeronautics' Model Aviation magazine contains a letter from Dave Jones,
of the AUAV
website. Mr. Jones informs us that, contrary to popular belief, he was the
designer, builder, and tester of the first frequency hopping spread spectrum
(FHSS) radio control
system (R/C) operating in the 2.4 GHz ISM band. He developed his system
for the DoD back in the 1990s, many years before Spektrum R/C marketed its first
commercial spread spectrum system in the early 2000s (see my
Spektrum DX6 teardown). Prior to 2.4 GHz systems (now a combo of FHSS and
DSSS), FM and to a lesser extent AM digital proportional R/C systems were primarily
on the 72 (air, 50 channels) / 75 (surface, 30 channels) MHz band (a few on
50/53 MHz for licensed Hams). RF interference and unintentional "stepping on"
frequencies in use often resulted in costly aircraft crashes. The 72 Hz systems
were vulnerable to metal-to-metal noise (a problem in helicopters) whereas the 2.4 GHz
systems are immune. Dave Jones made a
of that issue and sent it to the
of the sea, figuratively speaking. And now you know... the rest of the story.
"On Thursday evening, SpaceX launched its
first rocket of the year from Cape Canaveral, and tucked inside was the first lunar
lander built with mostly private money. The robotic lander, dubbed
Beresheet (which means “Genesis” or 'in the beginning' in Hebrew)
lifted off at 8:45 pm EST on top of a Falcon 9 rocket. If all goes according to
plan, Beresheet will gently touch down on the lunar surface on April 11, becoming
the first private spacecraft to reach the surface of another planetary body. To
date, only three nations have landed on the moon: the United States, Russia and
China. If this mission succeeds, Israel will become the fourth - and by far the
smallest - country to reach the lunar surface ..."
"The Condor has been in development for the
past year and is the next generation in DDC's
drone delivery cargo aircraft. With a payload capacity of 400
pounds, and a potential travel distance of up to 108 nautical miles, the Condor
pushes the limits in both cargo capacity and distances. The Condor is powered by
a next generation gas propulsion engine. The Condor measures 22 feet long, 5.1 feet
wide and seven feet tall. It has a wing span of approximately 20 feet and is capable
of vertical take off and landing. It is equipped with DDC's proprietary FLYTE management
system which is the same platform used in all of DDC's cargo delivery drones ..."
New: All 21 pictures now posted.
As 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
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 ...
"Today it's impossible to think of the golden
age of air racing without an
R-1 or R-2 Gee Bee roaring across the mind's eye. To the aviation
public, the Gee Bees air racing - and vice versa. And that's only right. When
Granville engineer, Pete Miller, drafted the first lines for the 'R' series of Super
Sportsters, there was no way he could have known that he was designing a legend.
And an airplane that would have people shaking their heads for the next 70 years.
In fact, since the last Gee Bee roared around a pylon in 1933/34 there have been
no serious challengers to the Gee Bee's position as King of Weird. However, there
is one fact no one argues: Gee Bees were fast. Very fast. And that was not by accident ..."
"Much of the skepticism about whether the
Aerion SST 12-seat business jet might ever fly was probably
squashed when Boeing NeXt said this week it was making a significant investment
into the Reno, Nevada, aircraft builder. Boeing NeXt's portfolio includes autonomous
air vehicles and passenger-carrying hypersonic aircraft. Founded in 2003 to develop
new, more efficient aerodynamic technologies for supersonic aircraft, Aerion Supersonic
introduced its AS2 12-passenger business jet design in 2014. The company unveiled
the AS2's GE Affinity engine design in 2018. Boeing will provide engineering, manufacturing
and flight test resources, as well as strategic vertical content, to bring Aerion's
AS2 supersonic business jet to market ..."
Ace R/C was in its heyday in the 1970s. It
was manufacturing one of the nicest single channel proportional radio control systems
available and had a small line of models to go along with it. The models - Ace All
Ace High Glider, Ace Pacer, and the Ace Simple Series - all used the very popular
Ace foam wing set, which had both straight and tapered chords. This Ace High glider
is one of the first I remember seeing and wanting in American Aircraft Modeler
magazine in 1971 when I about 13 years old and penniless. Grass mowing jobs could
pay for the glider kit, but the R/C system was way out of reach. Ace High glider
kits still show up on eBay occasionally for less the $100, which is a pretty good
price these days for a vintage kit ...
"The urban air mobility concept employs an
electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle with a design range of up to 50 miles. If proponents
of the rooftop urban air taxi concept have their way, in the not-so-distant future
you'll be able to go to the top of a skyscraper and board a 'flying car' for a short
trip to another landing site either on the outskirts or on the other side of town.
All the while, you avoid the ground traffic on the streets and highways below. Boeing recently
took a step toward that vision of the future when the company's autonomous passenger
air vehicle (PAV) prototype completed a controlled takeoff, hover, and landing during
its first flight test ..."
"The FAA issued an Interim Final Rule today
require drone pilots and model aircraft
pilots to display their FAA-issued registration number on the outside surface of
their aircraft. The rule will take effect on Monday, February
25, which means the markings must be in place for any outdoor flight beginning on
that date. Although most AMA members already have their FAA registration number
posted on the outside of their aircraft, AMA will be submitting comments to the
FAA requesting a waiver process for those who might be burdened by external markings,
such as members who fly scale replica model aircraft. Most importantly, this rule
does not change the original acceptable methods of external marking ..."
Movieland of the Air museum, once located at the Orange County Airport, seems
to be no more according to Google searches I did to try to find it. There are few
archive photos on an Orange County, California, website, but not much else. Tallmantz
Aviation, Inc., was formed in 1961 by pilots Frank G. Tallman and Paul Mantz. The
scant information available indicates that sometime around 1991 the museum was closed
and the aircraft and other exhibits were sold or donated to various collectors and
museums. The photos from this 1971 issue of American Aircraft modeler, which will
now be discoverable on the Web, might well be the only accessible ones of their
kind. Most, if not all, of the planes in these early photos were used in Hollywood
movie productions like "Dawn Patrol," "North by Northwest ..."
"Some of the world's most prestigious airlines
are on tenterhooks as the first flight of an aircraft that could change long-haul
travel for decades looms ever closer. Executives at Singapore Airlines, Emirates
and Qatar Airways, among others, will have their eyes cast to the skies this spring
when Boeing is expected to fly one of its new
777X planes for the first time. The 777-9, the first of the
X family to be developed, will have the biggest jet engines ever seen, attached
to the longest wings of any aircraft ever made by the Seattle-based manufacturer.
The 777X has been said to be the result of the very best of the existing 777 plane,
as favored by the likes of British Airways et al, and the game-changing 787 Dreamliner ..."
Steven Swinamer has, with this
Bee-Tween project, probably entered
the realm of the prolific model airplane builder class of fellow hobbyists. Maybe
it is an addiction to balsa dust or the sound of a Cox .049 engine screaming at
18,000 rpm that causes the compulsive need to create model airplanes. There
seems to be no cure - not that those affected have a desire to be ridded of the
condition ;-) As is readily apparent by the photos below, Steven's well-honed
skill at building and finishing ½A size radio control models has been applied to
the Bee-Tween. Being a life-long lover of Charles Schulz's Peanuts comic strip,
I especially appreciate Steven's wise selection of World War I flying ace Snoopy
as the pilot ...