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

Long-Duration UAVs for Emergency Communications During Disasters

Long-Duration UAVs for Emergency Communications During Disasters - RF Cafe"Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have designed a drone capable of staying aloft for five days at a time. This technology could prove a huge boon in the communications sector, particularly in regards to disaster situations. Unpiloted aerial vehicles (UAVs) have long held the potential to be a valuable asset in the face of disasters. When communications fail over a wide area, these UAVs can be used to travel into affected regions carrying communications payloads. These would allow temporary communication access, and could ultimately save lives ..."

FAA Offers to Refund Drone Fee & Delete Registration Info

FAA Offers to Refund Drone Fee & Delete Registration Info - Airplanes and RocketsThanks to the Academy of Model Aeronautics for this! "The FAA is providing the following updated information regarding the Small UAS Registration and Marking interim final rule as a result of a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit regarding the small UAS registration program. The court's decision invalidated the registration requirement as it applies to certain model aircraft that meet the definitional and operational requirements provided in section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act. Owners of model aircraft which are operated in compliance with ..."

Surefly Fuses Helicopter with Drone into Carbon-Fiber Craft

Surefly Fuses Helicopter with Drone into Carbon-Fiber Craft - Airplanes and Rockets"Workhorse - the US-based transport company working with UPS to make drone delivery a reality - has upscaled its airborne technology with the 'Surefly' personal helicopter. 78 years since the first 'copter took to the sky, workhorse has set out to reinvent the VTOL craft using its expertise in battery-powered electric mobility. the drone-helicopter hybrid is designed to be easy to operate. initial models will be piloted, yet longer-term plans include a goal to introduce autonomous flight ..."

Post-Pusher Parade

Post-Pusher Parade, May 1961 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsDouglas Rolfe produced for Air Trails and American Modeler many 2-page spreads of drawings depicting early model airplanes, automobiles, and boats. This month's "Post-Pusher Parade" includes aeroplanes that came onto the scene after the initial Wright-like biplanes that sported pusher propeller configurations. The Curtiss JN-1 and the famous JN-4 Jenny biplanes, the bullet-nose Sturtevant S4 with its gunner's 'sidecar,' and the triwing Martin TT trainer are amongst the 17 models shown. There is a list at the bottom of the page with Mr. Rolfe's sketches ...

Secondary Mirror of European Extremely Large Telescope Cast

Secondary Mirror of European Extremely Large Telescope Cast - RF Cafe"The casting of the secondary mirror blank for ESO's Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) has been completed by SCHOTT at Mainz, Germany. The completed mirror will be 4.2 metres in diameter and weigh 3.5 tonnes. It will be the largest secondary mirror ever employed on a telescope and also the largest convex mirror ever produced. ESO's 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) will be the largest telescope of its kind ever built when it achieves first light in 2024. A new milestone has now been reached with the casting of the telescope's ..."

The Rise of Disposable Drones

The Rise of Disposable Drones - RF Cafe"As air-launched munitions get smarter, the Air Force is creating a new class of weapon—a combination of drones and missiles. But can they be advanced enough to work, yet cheap enough that it's okay to lose a few in battle? It has advanced radar, forward-looking infrared cameras, and laser rangefinders—all used to help the 13-man crew direct a barrage of lethal fire to the ground from 12,000 feet. But for all of this advanced technology, the vision of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command gunships can be thwarted by the threatening adversary known as a cloudy sky. The USAF has a ..."

Dremel Moto-Tool Model 370 Reconditioning

Dremel Moto-Tool Model 370 Reconditioning - Airplanes and RocketsThis Dremel Model 370 Moto-Tool is one of my longest-owned tools. It was bought sometime around 1976. After 40 years of use, it began exhibiting erratic behavior due to the motor brushes finally having worn down to where they were not making good contact with the commutator. You can see in the photos how the original brushes did not wear evenly, although the contact surfaces were clean and not pitted at all. I decided that given the Moto-Tool's age, it might be a good idea to disassemble it and do a good cleaning and inspection ...

A Pair of Cox .049-Powered Li'l Jumpin' Beans

A Pair of Cox .049-Powered Li'l Jumpin' BeansHaving never been truly satisfied with the silence of electric-powered model airplanes, I made a decision to start reverting back to glow fuel models. Yes, electric power is clean, easy to set up, and consistent motor runs are the rule, but I grew up with models I could hear flying as well as see flying. I've really missed the sound and smell of glow fuel engines after a 15-year hiatus. I'm starting with .049 engines mainly because of the high cost of fuel, but there's also a back-to-basics feel about them since I, like most kids in the 1960s and 70s, learned to fly with the plastic Cox models. As you might ...

Sketchbook, January 1961 American Modeler Magazine

Sketchbook, January 1961 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsHere are another seven hand-dandy tricks of the aeromodelling trade. As with many of the tips and kinks offered by readers of the era, some - if not most - involve materials and/or methods that have long ben replaced by more modern means. Still, you might find something useful in the extensive collection from vintage American Modeler and Air Trails magazines ...

1967 AMA Nats on ABC Wide World of Sports

1967 Nats on TV, September 1967 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsIn the 1960s, model aviation was still a fairly enticing hobby to boys captivated by the sights, sounds, and smells of airplanes, helicopters, and rockets. Indeed, that was the era that began my lifelong engagement in model building and flying. The U.S. Navy sponsored the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) National Competition (Nats) for many years in hopes of providing a segue into naval aviation through aeromodelling. Somehow, local television stations and newspapers never bothered to give the sport much air time or print space, respectively. A quick search ...

Retracting-Gear Airliner

Retracting-Gear Airliner, May 1961 American Modeler - Airplanes and Rockets'Pandemonium Airlines' - LOL, is that funny or what? Obviously, USAF Captain Keith Laumer had a great sense of humor to go along with a fine skill as a model airplane and mechanical gadget craftsman. In the days before commercially available retractable landing gear and powerful servos were nonexistent, this sort of clockworks mechanism was commonly found. 'Clockworks' is literal in that a key-driven wind-up arrangement, along with clock gears is used. In fact, I have a book titled "How to Design and Build Flying Models," by Keith Laumer, that describes just such a retractable ...

Concept Enables Solar UAV Autonomous Soaring

Concept Enables Solar UAV Autonomous Soaring - RF Cafe"Naval Research Laboratory engineers want to improve the ability of unmanned platforms to support a 24/7 information, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) mission. A new concept being tested consists of a photovoltaic array integrated into the center wing panel of the PV-SBXC aircraft as a drop-in replacement to the original wing. A power management and distribution system converts the power from the solar arrays into DC voltage that the electric motor can use for propulsion, or to recharge a smart battery. An autonomous soaring software ..."

Paul Allen's Colossal Stratolaunch Plane Emerges from Its Lair

Paul Allen's Colossal Stratolaunch Plane Emerges from Its Lair - RF Cafe"Paul Allen's monstrous Stratolaunch airplane finally rolled out of its hangar in Mojave, Calif., Wednesday, showing off its complete twin-hulled majesty for the first time. It will now spend many months on ground tests before a first flight. And it's not expected to be used to launch a rocket into space -- a mission that some observers are skeptical will ever make business sense -- any sooner than 2019. Two tugs pulled the 250-ton giant from the hangar where it was built for Allen's Stratolaunch Systems company by Scaled Composites, the specialty ..."

Break-In Stand for Cox .049 Engines

Cox .049 Break-In Stand - Airplanes and RocketsSometime in the early 2000s I began making a transition from glow fuel power to electric power. There was a general trend in that direction in the modeling world, and there were certainly advantages in doing so. Lack of fuel mess, almost no noise, and simple, reliable operation were the primary compelling reasons for adopting the new paradigm in power plants. After all, technical advances in brushless motors, lithium polymer (Li-Po) batteries, and electronics speed controllers (ESC) has reached - or nearly reached - parity with internal combustion ...

NASA Rules out Crew on First SLS Flight

NASA Rules out Crew on First SLS Flight - RF Cafe"NASA managers have ruled out putting a crew on board an Orion capsule atop the agency's huge Space Launch System rocket for the gargantuan booster's maiden flight in 2019, citing technical risks and higher costs, up to as much as $900 million, agency officials said Friday. Earlier this year, the Trump administration asked NASA to look into the possibility of either adding a crew to Exploration Mission 1, EM-1 for short, or moving up the launch of EM-2, the flight NASA already earmarked for the SLS booster's ..."

News Flash!  - Airplanes and Rockets  FAA Registration Requirement Struck Down

FAA Registration Requirement Struck Down (AMA) - Airplanes and RocketsThanks to the efforts of the Academy of Model Aviation for its efforts! From the AMA website: "Friday, May 19, the federal appeals court struck down the FAA's registration requirement for recreational model aircraft. The Court ruling is effective immediately. As such, if you have not registered with the FAA, you are no Model Aircraft Registration Overturned by United States Court of Appeals - Airplanes and Rocketslonger required under the law to do so. For those of you who have already registered with the FAA, you may be wondering what this means for you. We are currently working to obtain answers from the FAA and will share more information as it ..."

Could this be part of Trump's 2-for-1 regulation reduction mandate?

Aerospace Headline News

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archives -

UK to Bring in Drone Registration (U.S. just eliminated registration)

Two Mustangs Have Issues at Duxford Air Show

General Aviation Unites Against ATC Privatization

Drone Rules That Never Became Law

So Much for Those New Drone Registration Rules

Elon Musk Explains Why He Thinks Flying Cars Are a Really Bad Idea

Cash Awards Offered After Drones Disrupt Flights in China

Breakthrough in Battery Charging Technology

Canada Imposes Strict New Rules for Recreational Drone Use

Modelplane Sketchbook, July 1954 Air Trails

Modelplane Sketchbook, July 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsHere are a half dozen more tips and ideas that might make your aeromodelling hobby a little easier -especially if you ardently adhere to doing things 'the old way.' Most of the homebrew schemes presented in this and the many other "Sketchbook" postings are these days available in pre-made form, with higher reliability, made of inexpensive materials, and low in cost. The converted hand drill-cum-rubber-winder is a good example. In 1954, most workshops had such a drill, but now everyone has a battery-powered, variable speed drill that would make the job much ...

Toyota Backs Flying Car Project in Japan

Toyota Backs Flying Car Project in Japan - RF Cafe"Japanese carmaker Toyota has announced its backing for a group of engineers who are developing a flying car. It will give 40 million yen (£274, 000) to the Cartivator group that operates outside Toyota city in central Japan. The Nikkei Asian Review reports Toyota and its group companies have agreed in principle to support the project. So far crowd funding has paid for development of the so-called Skydrive car, which uses drone technology and has three wheels and four rotors ..."

Edmonton Airport Establishes Routine Drone Usage with Bird Scarer

Edmonton Airport Establishes Routine Drone Usage with Bird Scarer - RF Cafe"The airport serving the capital of Canada's Alberta province is to use a robotic autonomous bird, mimicking a small bird of prey, to scare away other birds from aircraft around the airport. Called Robird, the drone is the latest in a suite of UAV systems that the airport plans to use to observe wildlife, inspect buildings and take 3D measurements. The new device will be brought into service at the end of May. Robird was developed by Clear Flight Solutions, a spin-off of the University of Twente in the Netherlands ..."

AT&T Labs Combines Drone Video with Artificial Intelligence Monitoring/p>

AT&T Labs Combines Drone Video with Artificial Intelligence Monitoring - Airplanes and Rockets"The research unit at AT&T is working to combine two of what are perhaps the hottest buzzwords in the tech industry: drones and artificial intelligence. Specifically, AT&T Labs is researching ways to take video footage from a drone flying around an AT&T cell tower and use AI to analyze that footage for signs of rust, corrosion or other defects on the tower. The result would save AT&T the time and money it takes to have engineers physically climb cell towers to do inspections (thanks to the drone), as well as the time and money it takes to have engineers review video from a drone inspecting a tower ..."

Bilgri Patching and Covering Methods

Bilgri Patching and Covering Methods, March 1971 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsIndoor airplane models covered with microfilm seem to have always been for a very particular, dedicated group of modelers who possess the patience, steady hands, and eyesight to build and maintain very delicate structures. A directed sneeze can literally blow them to pieces. It is an aspect of aeromodelling into which I have never ventured. Mr. Joseph Bilgri, AMA #4393, was a contest-winning pioneer of the craft. The AMA History Project has a biography of Joe that is worth reading if you have an interest in indoor modeling. Of course today, with the advent of nano-size ...

Swarms of Autonomous Aerial Vehicles Test New Dogfighting Skills

Swarms of Autonomous Aerial Vehicles Test New Dogfighting Skills - Airplanes and Rockets"Aerial dogfighting began more than a century ago in the skies over Europe with propeller-driven fighter aircraft carried aloft on wings of fabric and wood. An event held recently in southern California could mark the beginning of a new chapter in this form of aerial combat. In what may have been the first aerial encounter of its kind, researchers from the Georgia Tech Research Institute and Naval Postgraduate School recently pitted two swarms of autonomous aircraft against one another over a military test facility. While the friendly encounter may not have qualified ..."

O.S. Digitron DP-3 Radio Control System User Manual

User Manual for the OS Digitron DP-3, 3-Channel Radio Control System - Airplanes and RocketsThe O.S. Digitron DP-3, 3-Channel Radio Control System was my first radio control system. After watching eBay for an affordable set, I finally found one in January of 2017 for a little over $100. It is in pretty good physical condition, but I have not tried to power it up to to see whether it works. My plan is to buy a modern spread spectrum 2.4 GHz radio and swap out the electronics in the O.S. Digitron DP-3 transmitter. I will have to rig the trim tabs to be spring centered with switch contact on each side of center since analog (potentiometer) trims are no longer used. The 2.4 GHz antenna will ...

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About 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. There is a lot of good information and there are lot of pictures throughout the website that you will probably find useful, and might even bring back some old memories from your own days of yore. The website began life around 1996 as an EarthLink screen name of ModelAirplanes, and quickly grew to where more server space ...

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