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

Aerospace Headline News

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archives -

• 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

WomenVenture Returns to Oshkosh

Time to Change 50-Year-Old Aviation Curriculum

Companies Team to Develop Avionics for Drones

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 VernEstes.com 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 ...

Flying Trains Could Be Coming Your Way

Flying Trains Could Be Coming Your Way - Airplanes and RocketsThis author must have never heard of the C-47 Skytrain. "It sounds like something Q, the tech guy in James Bond movies, would create: A plane that lands on a runway, shrugs its wings off, turns into a train and rolls on to rails to drop you off at your local station. That's what a French entrepreneur, who's made millions by connecting engineers with industrial groups, is pitching to Boeing Co. and others. 'Link & Fly' is Akka Technologies's new flagship aircraft design, with wings that come off to hasten turnover at airports and make boarding easier and closer to passengers' homes ..."

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. G. Harry Stine, editor of the model rocketry column in American Modeler, printed the Model Missile Safety Code as drafted by the Model Missile Association (MMA, predated the National Association of Rocketry - NAR) ...

2 Flying Taxi Startups Got Pentagon Funding

2 Flying Taxi Startups Got Pentagon Funding - Airplanes and Rockets"Self-flying vehicle firms got $2M last year, as U.S. military envisions taxis as more Blade Runner than Back to the Future. Last year, Kitty Hawk and Joby Aviation received a total of nearly $2M from the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), a Pentagon organization founded to help America's military make faster use of emerging technologies. Neither company, nor the DIUx, disclosed the funding at the time. The website for Cora, Kitty Hawk's experimental air taxi, emphasizes its role in solving urban transportation challenges: 'Cora is about the time you could save soaring over traffic. The people you could visit  ..."

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System - Airplanes and Rockets"NASA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System, or UAS-NAS project, works on identifying, developing and testing the technologies and procedures that will make it possible for UAS to have routine access to airspace occupied by human-piloted aircraft. The UAS-NAS project uses modeling, simulations and flight tests to develop and test technologies that provide safe, effective, secure capabilities including detect and avoid (DAA) and command and control (C2). The SIERRA-B unmanned aircraft system developed at NASA's Ames Research Center ..."

HobbyKing Drone Transmitter Spurs Possible $2.8M FCC Penalty

ARRL Drone Transmitters Complaint Spurs Proposed $2.8 Million FCC Penalty - Airplanes and Rockets"In the wake of an investigation resulting from a 2017 ARRL complaint, the FCC has proposed fining HobbyKing and associated entities $2.8 million for apparently marketing noncompliant RF devices and failing to comply with Commission orders. According to a June 5 FCC Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL), HobbyKing appears to have sold audio/video transmitters (A/V) intended for use with unmanned aircraft, such as drones, marketing them as Amateur Radio equipment in some instances. 'The Enforcement Bureau previously issued a Citation notifying HobbyKing of its legal and regulatory obligations and ordering it to cease and desist from marketing noncompliant equipment,' the FCC said ..."

Experimental Spaceplane Engine Test Successful

Experimental Spaceplane Program Successfully Completes Engine Test Series - Airplanes and Rockets"DARPA's Experimental Spaceplane (XSP) advances toward its goal for rapid turnaround and on-demand launch with the completion of a test series that put the spaceplane's AR-22 Experimental Spaceplane Main Engine through a rigorous campaign. In the two weeks preceding the campaign, the engine ran twice to establish initial performance characteristics and turnaround processes. Then, starting July 26, the engineering team successfully fired the engine 10 times in just under 240 hours. All firings lasted at least 100 seconds. The AR-22 engine is a variant of the RS-25, also known as the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) ..."

Soviet Military Cemetery Filled with Aircraft Fins Grave Markers

Soviet Military Cemetery Filled with Aircraft Fins Grave Markers - Airplanes and Rockets"The Amari Cemetery located in Harju County, northern Estonia, is a place where you'll witness a series of graves decorated with aircraft tail fins. The answer to why these graves have aircraft fins on them lies beneath these tombstones, with all those who are resting in these graves. These are Soviet pilots who were killed while serving their duty during the Soviet occupation of Estonia. The burial place is truly a sight that will kindle respect for all the soldiers who put their lives on the line for their country. What could have been a better way to pay homage to the martyrs than using the fins of an airplane that they were likely died in? The soldiers were buried on a site that was designated for the burial of war causalities ..."

Flyin' Jenny Comic Strips: November 2, 1941, Baltimore Sun

Flyin' Jenny Comic Strips: November 2, 1941 Baltimore Morning Sun - Airplanes and RocketsThis is the November 2, 2941, "Flyin' Jenny" comic strip. The Baltimore Sun newspaper, published not far from where I grew up near Annapolis, Maryland, carried "Flyin' Jenny" from the late 1930s until the strip ended in the mid 1940s, so I saved a couple dozen from there. The first one I downloaded has a publication date of December 7, 1941 - that date "which will live in infamy," per President Roosevelt. Many Americans were receiving word over the radio of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor while reading this comic at the breakfast table. I expect that soon there will be World War II themes. "Flyin' Jenny," whose real name was Virginia Dare (what's in a name?), was a test pilot ...

July 1969: "The Engineer's" Coverage of the Apollo 11 Mission

July 1969: "The Engineer's" Coverage of the Apollo 11 Mission - Airplanes and RocketsHere is a subject near and dear to my heart: Apollo 11. The Engineer provided extensive coverage, and they now make available their complete archive. This is a year shy of the half-century anniversary. "Just days before Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon. The Engineer took a detailed look at the technology that would get him and his fellow astronauts safely there and back again. How do you mark the most significant achievement in the history of mankind? The Apollo landings of the late 60s and early 70s are still seen as the high water mark of humanity, and as The Engineer pointed out, much of the millions of words of press coverage of the first mission to land, Apollo 11 ..."

Sailing Drone Measures Oceans Autonomously for 12 Months

Sailing Drone Measures Oceans Autonomously for 12 Months - Airplanes and Rockets"Saildrone is a Californian company which designs and manufactures wind and solar powered autonomous surface vehicles, called Saildrones, designed to monitor the ocean for months on end. The hard wind design emerged from a decade-long pursuit of the land speed record – company founder Richard Jenkins ultimately achieved 126.2mph in 2009, having started his Windjet Project in 1999 while studying mechanical engineering at Imperial College. Using wind power for propulsion, a Saildrone fleet travels at 3-5kts, with each drone collecting high-resolution data either by holding station or following a survey pattern. The drones sail autonomously ..."

Free Flight Rocket, Jr. Jetex PAA-Load and PAA Load Jet

Free Flight Rocket, Jr. Jetex PAA-Load and PAA Load Jet, June 1959 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThis article provides a really good look at how varied model airplane designs can be for a defined contest event - in this case Free Flight Rocket, Jr. Jet PAA-Load and PAA Load Jet. Wing, fuselage, and tail outlines, pylons or not, sub-rudders, and engine mounting locations are all over the map, figuratively speaking. "Jet" as used here refers almost universally to the Jetex engines that were popular at the time. Jetex motors, fuel, and accessories were imported from England and distributed in the U.S. by Aristo-Craft Distinctive Miniatures, in Newark, New Jersey. Jetex rocket engines were quite popular with model airplane, boat, and car builders through the early 1970s, at which point the fuel supplies began to disappear ...

Heathkit 3-Channel for Cars, Boats, or Lanier's Hawk Glider

Heathkit 3-Channel for Cars, Boats, or Lanier's Hawk Glider, February 1971 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsA long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there existed a modeling civilization that enthusiastically embraced the concept of building kits for the personal satisfaction of being able to hone craftsmanship skills, to learn about the make-up of the products being built, and to save money. Radio control systems were expensive on a per channel basis compared to today's systems. Heathkit, as it did with a very wide assortment of electronics products, sold a few radio control systems in kit form. The buyer built everything - transmitter, receiver, and servos. I do no remember whether the NiCd battery packs came pre-assembled. Note that Heathkit servos used capacitive feedback ...

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Kirt Blattenberger
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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 ...
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