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

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Swiss Police Use Drones to Document Car Crashes

Saturn's Weird Fast-Changing Ring Baffles Scientists

ULA, Bezos Join Forces on New Rocket Engine

• Stamp Collector Offering $100G for Stolen 'Inverted Jennies'

GBR F2A Team Take World Championship Team Gold

Final Fly-In Honors Art Scholl

Google Tests Drone Deliveries in Project Wing Trials

Mars Probes from U.S. and India Arrive at Red Planet This Month

GBR F2A Team Take World Championship Team Gold

FAA - Lithium Batteries Pose More Danger Than Thought

UAVs Collaborate Autonomously

Russia Reignites Its Rocket Industry with New Angara Booster

NASA Explains Why You Won't Get a Drone Delivery Anytime Soon

Paul Harvey: Bob Hoover Has Crashed (audio)

Space Plane Tech Could Power Hypersonic Aircraft for U.S. Military

Drone Delays Medical Helicopter Landing at OH Hospital

Aircraft to Be Given 'Human-Like Skin' to Sense Damage

Drone Drops Mobile Phones over Prison Walls

Northrop Grumman Developing XS-1 Spaceplane for DARPA

Death of the Original Jumbo Jet, Boeing's 747-400


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Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets

Huey Ride at the 2014 Winston-Salem Airshow

Huey Helicopter Ride at the 2014 Winston-Salem Airshow - Airplanes and RocketsIt is always hard to pass up a ride in a vintage aircraft. Usually, the price is not too awfully high, so on the rare occasion that Melanie and I go to an airshow, we try to be sure to fly in something. Last summer, we rode on one of the 11 flying Ford Trimotors left in the world when it was visiting Erie Airport in Pennsylvania. The cost was an incredibly affordable $75 each, so we couldn't resist. This time we were at the airshow in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and there was a crew with a Bell "Huey" UH-1 Iroquois and a Bell...

The Wonderful World of Model Power Boating

The Wonderful World of Model Power Boating from 1955 Annual Edition of Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsIf you like looking at pictures of competition-quality model boats of all sorts, then this is the article for you. The 1995 Annual edition of Air Trails published this piece to demonstrate the huge variety of model boats that we built and sailed in the day, with loads of talent crammed into each pixel. America was filled with craftsmen who had built and operated the equipment that resulted to victory in World War II. Their skills were on ample display in the form of hand-built steam engines and internal combustion engines, rubber-powered submarines some of which were 5 feet long, radio controlled tug boats and even speed boats sporting not just one but two...

Nike Smoke Sounding Rocket

Nike Smoke Sounding Rocket, April 1968 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsNASA's Wallops Island Station was located about 100 miles as the rocket flies from where I grew up in Mayo, Maryland. That was close enough that many of the colored skies created by sounding rockets conducting atmospheric research were visible. Local newscasters would broadcast announcements ahead of tests so that the populace wouldn't think we had been invaded by aliens or were not under attack by the Russkies. This article on the Nike Smoke rocketsonde, by überrocketeer G. Harry Stine...

Grumman Widgeon 3-View

Grumman Widgeon, March 1967 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsJust like with the old commercial jingle that went, Music bar "Everybody doesn't like something, but nobody doesn't like Sara Lee," I can pretty confidently substitute "seaplanes" for "Sara Lee." The Grumman Widgeon was one of many iterations of their twin engined amphibious airplanes that is immediately recognizable to most people over the age of 40. In fact, the Widgeon was the seaplane that appeared each week on the 1970s television show "Fantasy Island." It was "Ze plane! Ze plane!" that Tattoo would call out at the beginning of each episode.

Charles M. Schulz (Peanuts) Memorial Cake

Charles M. Schulz (Peanuts) memorial cake by Melanie Blattenberger - Airplanes and RocketsI had totally forgotten about this nice cake to memorialize the life and works of Charles M. Schulz when he died in the year 2000. His Peanuts characters have been a lifelong favorite of mine. Neither of us remembers why she choose this particular comic strip. In retrospect, the one where Snoopy ate the carrot nose of his 'best friend' snowman after it melted might have been more fitting (just as we ate the cake).

Modelers at Work in Aviation, Space and Electronics

Modelers at Work in Aviation, Space and Electronics from August 1962 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsThis wide view of the Martin (now part of the Lockheed-Martin conglomerate) model shop brings back memories of when I worked as an electronics technician at the Westinghouse Oceanic Division in Annapolis, Maryland. We had a bunch of guy in lab jackets sitting around at benches with out machinist's tool boxes open. Most people had the Gerstner, Craftsman, or Union brand. Serious tool accumulators had the large model with the big drawer in the middle for hold a machinist's reference manual (my shop did electronics assembly and prototype building, so we kept other things in ours). As with so many other things, I eventually sold my toolbox, but, fortunately, there is almost nothing you cannot buy on eBay, so a couple years ago I bought one like what I had before. I'm not sure how much model...

5th Annual R/C Soaring NATS

Fifth Annual R/C Soaring NATS (October 1974 American Aircraft Modeler) - Airplanes and RocketsIn 1974, I was flying some of my first R/C gliders - probably a Mark's Models Windward or maybe the Windfree (in that order). During that time, I tried hard to locate a group of sailplane flyers in my area around Mayo, Maryland, but to no avail. The nearest R/C flying field was about 30 miles away in Upper Marlboro, MD, where the PGRC club field used to be. My family's car was held together with chewing gum and bailing wire, so it wasn't often that I could talk my father into driving me out there, and the few times that he gave in to my whining, there were never any gliders present. So, when I would see articles like this in the modeling magazines, my envy level would increase...

Model Paradise: PACAF

Model Paradise: PACAF from December 1962 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and Rockets - Airplanes and RocketsAccording to this article from a 1962 edition of American Modeler, the U.S. Air Force had a great policy for its overseas bases whereby it made sure that, where possible, airmen interested in engaging in just about any form of hobby activity had supplies and facilities available. Everything from a well-stocked hobby shop to building and flying facilities were provided on base, and often nationals from the host countries were allowed to participate as well. Japan evidently was an exceptionally good assignment for guys looking to fly model airplanes, run model boats, and shoot off model rockets. When I was in the USAF stationed both at Keesler AFB in Mississippi and at Robins AFB, the bases had very nice hobby facilities. While in radar tech school at Keesler, my friend, Jim Flinn, and I...

Rocket Trails
- We Lead the Russians

Rocket Trails - We Beat the U.S.S.R., July 1962 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsSometime around 1962, none other than Dr. Wernher von Braun became a member of the National Association of Rocketry (NAR), as reported in this edition of American Modeler. The Iron Curtain was still in place as the United States of American and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics battled it out for leadership in space. Model rocketry was involved in the contest every much as the big boys who designed ICBMs and satellites. That "us versus them" attitude shone through often in the "Rocket Trails" articles of the era. Oh. BTW, we won.

Orbis Terrae Compendiosa Descriptio

Counted Cross Stitch Orbis Terrae Compendiosa Descriptio in Teak Frame - Airplanes and RocketsOne of the nice things about having a website is that people from all over the world are able to see what you post. This very nice lady from Spain saw Melanie's picture and wrote to us in the year 2011 about obtaining the pattern for it. We found the booklet on eBay, and since she could not purchase it from Spain, she sent us the money and we procured it for her and mailed it to her in Spain. Honestly, we had forgotten about it and then voila! A week or so ago Miss Mortes e-mailed these two pictures to...

Crosses and Roundels

Crosses and Roundels (January 1968 American Aircraft Modeler) - Airplanes and RocketsToday's ubiquitous presence of cameras in cellphones, worn around necks to capture entire days of activity, and compact models that fit in a shirt pocket for easy retrieval, has resulted in billions of images being captured in the last decade. You have probably seen the time lapse videos of kids and pets growing from newly born to 12 or 15 years old after daily pictures had been snapped. Nobody from this time forward will have any problem finding a visual record of him/herself. In the 1960s, the only people who had the benefit of photographic progressions of their lives were the famous and...

Nationals Reborn at Olathe

Nationals Reborn at Olathe (June 1968 American Aircraft Modeler) - Airplanes and Rockets1968 was the AMA Nats that almost wasn't. The U.S. Navy, which for year prior had helped organize and finance the Nationals competitions, decided it was no longer going to do so. The reason given was that its primary mission - to promote aviation as a career to boys and young men who might eventually decide to make the Navy a career - had suffered due to a continually decreasing percentage of boys and young men participating in the competition. Thanks to heroic efforts of members of both the Navy and the AMA, the 1968 Nats went on to become possibly 'The Greatest Ever." Alas...

20th U.S. Air Force Championships

20th U. S. Air Force Championships (April 1971 American Aircraft Modeler) - Airplanes and RocketsIt is amazing to ponder that as recently as the 1970s that the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy officially sponsored model aviation events. Hmmm... it just occurred to me that the 1970s was 40 years ago - amazing! 1970 was the year of the 20th annual base championships where the winners were sent to represent the USAF team. These guys were in the middle of the Vietnam War at the time which, along with being called upon to move to new bases every few years, made impressive showings in spite of difficulties not imposed upon their civilian competitors. Note that Sgt. Gordon Ford, who was featured in "One-Man Air Force" in the March 1970 edition of AAM, had entered his C-5A Galaxy...

Map of Where Hitler's V2s Killed 1,000s of Britons

Interactive map of V2 rocket targets in Great Britain - Airplanes and RocketsHiler's V2 Rocket on Launcher - Airplanes and RocketsUK's Mail Online website has a big story for the 70th anniversary of Hitler's forces raining approximately 1,500 V2 rockets (the 'V' is for 'Vergeltungswaffe,' or 'Vengeance Weapon') down upon British cities during the final months of World War II. Included is an interactive Google map that shows locations and displays statistics on deaths, injuries, destruction, etc.; e.g., "Axminster Road , January 13, 1945, ~48 Dead."

Beechcraft T-34 Mentor

T-34B Mentor Plans - February 1968 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsA couple years ago I scanned and posted just the plans for this Beechcraft T-34 Mentor from the February 1974 American Aircraft Modeler magazine. It is a fully aerobatic 60-size scale model. Finally, I went back and scanned the article, too. It mentions availability of a fiberglass cowl and a formed plastic canopy from Sig, but I seriously doubt they are available today. Standard balsa and aircraft plywood construction is used otherwise. Plans for this fine model were draw...

R/C Sailplane Quiz

R/C Sailplane Quiz (October 1974 American Aircraft Modeler) - Airplanes and RocketsAlan Druschitz, winner of this quiz and also the young man holding the trophy in the photo, wrote recently to request that I scan and post this R/C Sailplane Quiz that appeared in the October 1974 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. It is always nice to get a note from someone who appears in image and/or print form in the old articles. It has been 40 years since the event, which makes Mr. Druschitz about st two years older than me. To win the contest, he answered 9 out of 10 of the questions correctly, and also took 1st place in the Jr./Sr. Team event.

Buccaneer B Special R/C Job
in "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."

Buccaneer B Special Appeared in "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." - Airplanes and RocketsMelanie and I were watching an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. when what to my wondering eye should appear but a scene where a Buccaneer B Special was being used as a terrorist weapon delivery system. The model was launched in a park a little ways from U.N.C.L.E. headquarters (cleverly hidden below Del Floria's Tailor Shop in New York City), and then flown on a "suicide mission" to blow up Napoleon Solo, Illya Kuryakin, and their fellow fighters for truth, justice, and the American way. Anyway, there was no indication that the controller used by the pilot utilized any sort of First Person View (FPV) system...

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