- Model Aviation in the News -
Launched, Tactical Bat Drone Wages Electronic War
How NASA Revived the Kepler Space Telescope
Unlocking Secrets of Bird Flight to Build Flying Robots
Black Hornet Micro Flyer Has a Big Job
Boeing 747 Mistakenly Lands at Small Kansas Airport
British Stealth Drone to Undergo 1st Test Flight
DARPA Targets Spaceplane Technology at Launch Industry
Mystery Drone Seen Flying Near Warehouse Fire
Massachusetts Man Builds Business Selling Model Airplanes (Pilot Wear & Diecast Airplanes)
Boeing, NASA Test Active Flow-Control Tail
AMA Response to FAA's UAS Integration Roadmap
FAA, DOT Release Key UAS Airspace Integration Plans
India Vies for Space Presence with Mars Mission
'Son of Blackbird': Plan for New Spy Plane
Arecibo Radio Observatory 50th Anniversary Special Event Set
Truck Driver Builds World's Largest Amateur Telescope
Remote Controlled Helicopter Kills Man in Brooklyn
Teenager Killed by Model Airplane
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Hawker Hurricanes were the first line of defense for London against the onslaught of jet-powered German V-1 Buzz Bombs. Tempests were used as interceptors, fighter-bombers, escorts, for ground-attack duties against tanks and stationary targets. The plans are for a control line model scaled at one inch to the foot, which results in a 42" wingspan. Power is a McCoy .60, which would make for a very over-powered model. Ample room in the nose section easily accommodates a large powerplant in the model as it did in the full-size craft; in fact, the 24-cylinder Napier "Sabre" gave the Tempest a top cruise speed of 435 mph!
Wild Bill Netzeband's
Control Line Capers
There are probably precious few people who bother to mix their own fuels anymore, especially since there are so many commercial brews available, and contest fuels are often prescribed by well-established rules. Such was not always the case. Local hobby shops for most people carried only a couple choices (often still the case), and mail order for fuel was not always an option (which it is now for 4 gallons or more). To assist those who wanted a more precise, predictable, and repeatable method for mixing two or more fuel types, Wild Bill Netzeband devised a fuel mixing nomograph to simplify the task without having to resort to algebraic ratio formulas. As a bonus, Ken Bergen's Ilyushin IL-10 profile control line stunter plans for .29 to .35 engines are included.
Sylph and Wombat
Website visitor David W., of Santa Fe, New Mexico, was kind enough to send me photos of his two very fine rocket-powered gliders - the Sylph and the Wombat. He is also in the process building a Cheechako rocket glider based on an article from the February 1972 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. Hopefully, David will also send a photo of his Cheechako when it is ready.
Winning R/C Racer
"Gold Rush III"
Gold Rush III is an R/C pylon racer that was ahead of its time - and its competition - in 1962. Virtually none of the features of the plane can be found in today's pylon racers, though, except maybe the fiberglass fuselage. The homemade retractable landing gear (or any type of retracts for that matter) is the most notable exception. Full building instructions are featured on the plans. AMA rules at the time called for a whopping 766 sq. in. of wing area with a .19 size engine. If you are looking to build a vintage model that probably flies pretty well both for speed and aerobatics characteristics using a modern lightweight radio and much more powerful engine (or electric motor), then the Gold Rush III would be worth considering.
Harold deBolt's Low-Wing
Crusader - Article & Plans
An unsigned e-mail arrived requesting that I scan and post this construction article for Harold deBolt's Crusader from the August 1959 edition of American Modeler. I offer the service free of charge for anyone that writes, provided I already have the magazine. There have even been a couple cases where I bought editions on eBay after people asked for them in order to be able to post the articles. I'll never understand people who don't have the courtesy of signing an e-mail when asking for a favor (this isn't the first time)... and no excuses about being old and not knowing how to use the computer - would you do the same thing with hand-written letters? Then again, maybe he hit the Send button accidently before finishing.
1917 Morane-Saulnier AI
(M.S. 29) 4-View
Website visitor Rick P. requested that I electronically scan and post this drawing of the 1917 Morane-Saulnier AI (M.S. 29) biplane that appeared in the April 1969 edition American Aircraft Modeler magazine. You might be able to scale up this image below if a suitable set of plans is not available. This full-color 4-view for the 1917 Morane-Saulnier AI were drawn by prolific artist and draftsman Mr. Björn Karlström.
Ford Tri-Motor Model 5-AT-C
William A. Wylam has created some amazingly detailed scale aircraft line drawings for Model Airplane News. These line drawings of the Ford Tri-Motor from the May 1959 edition of Model Airplane News is all you need to see to understand just how good he was. Mr. Wylam, per his biography, holds bachelor's degrees in biology and electrical and mechanical engineering. He worked at Bell Labs and for numerous military and government agencies, and owns more than 1,500 copyrights and 17 patents. The world is definitely a better place for William A. Wylan's existence.
"A Charlie Brown Christmas"
1st Aired December 9, 1965
As a lifelong admirer of Charles Schulz's Peanuts comic strip, I occasionally buy a collectible item like a Snoopy music box that plays "It's a Long Way to Tipperary," a plastic Schroeder and piano figurine, a Charlie Brown Skediddler, or a Snoopy astronaut from the Apollo era. This time I bought the edition of TV Guide that announced the first showing of the "A Charlie Brown Christmas" cartoon. Also in this edition is the announcement of plans to preempt regular programming to televise the launch of the Gemini VII spacecraft, which carried astronauts Frank Borman and James A. Lovell. It launched right on time at 2:30 pm on December 4th.
"Thing" Lifting Body Glider
Website visitor H.G.F., of Oshkosh, wrote to request that I scan and post the construction article for the "Thing" lifting body glider. "Thing" is a small 3-D polygonally shaped craft made from sheet balsa that is 7-1/4" long, 3-1/8" wide, and 3-3/8" high with a glob of modeling clay on the nose for balance. I imagine it could be scaled up a bit if you want something bigger. "Thing" was designed in the early 1970s at about the time lifting bodies were a big deal. Recall (if you were around then) that it was the era of astronaut Steven Austin and the Six Million Dollar Man television show.
About Balsa Wood
Balsa wood was a special thing to me as a kid. To me, it represented the essence of model airplanes and model rockets. At the time - the 1960s and 70s - plastic and foam as model components were considered a sign of cheapness, low quality, amateurishness. It was like having "Made in Japan" stamped on it. Now, of course, it's a different world where Japan is renowned for some of the highest quality electronics and cars and the plastic and foam ARFs represent some of the highest-performing aircraft at the flying field. I have owned a few of those foamies, but still, at least for my tastes, nothing beats the look, feel and aroma of balsa. Somehow the tell-tale surface texture of foam, even with a nice paint job, ruins the authenticity of an otherwise beautifully factory-finished scale F4-U Corsair or P-38 Lightning. Sorry, that's just the way it is...
Article & Plans
Website visitor Massimo D. wrote to wrote to ask that I scan and post this article for the "Sunday Flyer," an .020-powered, stick-framed glider with a "V" tail. What made this model unique was that it was a single-channel job with an escapement that drove both halves of the "V" tail. Mr. D. did not say what type of radio he plans to use in his Sunday Flyer, but I assume it will probably be two proportional channels with nano type servos. I wouldn't be surprised, either, if it ended up being powered by a brushless motor.
1955 Air Trails
From the 1955 Annual edition of Air Trails: "Here is one of the most informative collections to date of engine drawings and data. The information in the chart has been furnished to us by the manufacturer. Each engine 3-view is full size and is keyed by a number to the chart. You are invited to test your skill by identifying these motors before checking chart." A total of 68 vintage engines are included from Allyn, Atwood, Cameron, Cheminol, Cox, Forster, Fox, Henry, Herkimer, Holland, K&B, and McCoy include nitro and diesel power for aircraft, cars, and boats. I measured one engine on each page and indicated its full-scale size so you can use it to scale any of the others on the page.
Famous "Inverted Jenny"
Postage Stamp Re-Issued!
Having been an amateur philatelist for more than 40 years, I am quite familiar with the very valuable "Inverted Jenny" misprint stamp that occurred during the initial printing of America's first Air Mail stamp in 1918. Supposedly only one sheet of 100 stamps got past the inspectors before the error was caught; inversions were common in the day for multi-colored stamps. The blue Curtiss JN-4 Jenny biplane, one of the most commonly used airmail planes, was printed upside down as the result of the first red printing sheet being fed backwards into the printing machine. To date the highest price paid for a single mint-condition, never-hinged example is...
Hobby Hinter for a
Very Merry Christmas
If you've ever been a kid - or are one now - then you know there is no such thing as getting too early of a start in priming your parents for Christmas... not for what they want, of course, but for what you want. In fact, if you haven't begun dropping hints by Thanksgiving, then you really need some remedial training in how to handle the season. Here I offer some assistance. Recall how in A Christmas Story, Ralph "Ralphie" Parker exhibited a manic desire for an "official Red Ryder carbon action 200-shot Range model air rifle with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time." His scheme was to place copies of the Red Ryder advertisement from Boys' Life into his mother's and father's magazines so that they would see it. A more direct - and probably more effective - method is to print out this "Hobby Hinter" that appeared in the December 1954 edition of Air Trails Hobbies for Young Men. Good luck!
1955 American "NATS"
Every time I read stories in these old model airplane magazines, especially those reporting on contests, I wonder where are all the great models that were represented in them? On a couple occasions people have written to let me know where they have gone, as was the case recently with USAF TSgt. Gordon Ford's incredible collection of giant control line scale, multi-engined flying models. A couple years ago a relative of a contestant (the now husband of a then teenage girl rocketeer, amazingly) wrote in response to an article I published about a model rocket contest in Mankato, Minnesota. Hopefully, someone who knows someone who is pictured here in this coverage of the 1955 AMA Nationals will...
Sketchbook - Hints & Kinks
This Sketchbook was scanned from the June 1962 American Modeler magazine, page 44. Most building tips are timeless. Even in this era of ready-to-fly (RTF), almost-ready-to-fly (ARF), bind-n-fly (BNF), etc., there are still many modelers who build their own aircraft. Nearly all top tier competition fliers build their own models, as do aficionados of vintage (aka old-timer) models. Some guys just would rather build than buy a pre-build airplane, whether from a kit or from plans.
Bean Hill Flyers
Nov/Dec 2013 Newsletter
The Bean Hill Flyers club is Erie, Pennsylvania's, only organized control line flying group. It operates under sanction of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), charter #4673. Two main flying sites are maintained, one in Albion, PA, and the other in Millcreek, just west of the Erie city line. If you are looking for plastic scale model airplanes, you will want to look at the huge list of 21 kits from Dave Evar - prices range from $2 to $10.