Snow season has arrived here in Erie, Pennsylvania,
already, and I didn't want to miss the chance to do some flying off of snow skis. Last
winter I mounted a pair of DuBro snow skis to my Herr Engineering J-3 Cub and flew a
couple times with them, but they were the standard model that are too big and heavy for
this 1/2A-sized model.
DuBro's Park Flyer Snow Skis seemed like they might be a better choice for the J-3,
so I ordered a pair. The size is just about right, but the vacuum-formed plastic was
a bit too thin for me to confidently install them on the J-3. I decided that they would
be perfectly useable with a little sturdying up. As can be seen in the photos, there
are two stiffening slots molded into the skis, so I epoxied a 3/32" x 1/4" spruce
stick into each slot. Up inside the landing gear mount area is hollow, so I shaped a
piece of hard balsa block to fit, and then drilled through-holes to accept ...
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.
While looking for the "Flyin' Jenny" comics, I ran across this comic strip done to commemorate
the attempted around-the-world flight by
Amelia Earhart. She and her navigator Fred Noonan, as you likely already know, are
to believed to have been lost at sea after taking off on June 1, 1937, from Miami, Florida,
in her Lockheed Model 10-E Electra, heading east. The last radio contact from Mrs. Earhart
was received on July 2, near Howland Island, in the South Pacific. Previous to her circumnavigation
attempt, Amelia became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in May of
1932 in her very recognizable red Lockheed Vega 5b ...
"In mid-November, a company called Rocket Lab
will try to send six small satellites into orbit around Earth - a fairly banal undertaking,
save for the size of the launch rocket. It is only 17 meters (56 feet) tall and 1.2 meters
(four feet) in diameter. And if all goes well, the US company will send up more than
one of its Electron rockets every month in 2019. Rocket Lab, which was created in 2006,
completed a successful test flight in January and is expected this month to be the first
of a new generation of companies to declare itself operational in the so-called "small launch
industry." The launch window opens on November 11. Barring a mishap, or another delay
after a months-long technical setback, the rocket will blast off from the world's first
private orbital launch range in Mahia, New Zealand ..."
(see update from Richard Percifield) I am in the
process of building a Douglas DC-3 control line model that uses a pair of ElectriFly
Rimfire .10 motors, and wanted to know whether it would be possible to use a single
electronic speed controller (ESC) for them. Unlike brushed DC motors with which you can
- and I have in the past - gotten away with
two motors from a single ESC, the brushless motors use a three-phase signal that
is both amplitude and pulse width modulated. Such a waveform is not likely to be able
to drive more than one motor properly, particularly given the motor's interaction with
the ESC due to its time-variable complex impedance. I did a fairly extensive Internet
search trying to find a definitive answer as to whether it can be done, but they were
all just guesses. Many people seemed very knowledgeable on brushless
motors and their ...
Like virtually every other aspect of modern life,
the editorial and production process of publishing a monthly magazine has change significantly
since the pre-personal computer days. Such was the case at
magazine headquarters in the early 1970s when this article appeared, although an IBM
360 computer was used for typesetting. Don Dewey was the editor-in-chief at the time.
Text was typed into the IBM 360 MTSC* and got printed out in paper tape form that was
a column width for page layout. The layout person used a common "paper doll" approach
to manually arrange all the text and graphic on each page, which would then be used for
magazine printing. The entire process was very labor-intensive, and edits in content
or layout could have a major impact on the publication schedule ...
Nowadays if you want to know whether a supplier
of model items (or anything else for that matter) has something in stock for shipment,
all you need to do is log onto the company's website and search. Or, you might prefer
to call since long distance calls are no big deal like they were back in the times when
everyone paid by the minute to talk outside of his local calling area. Not so in 1972,
when evidently I wrote to
Hobby Lobby International
to find out whether they still sold any single-channel radio control (R/C) systems. At
the time I was just a few weeks shy of 14 years old (based on the cancellation date)
and my sole income was from a newspaper delivery route (when papers were delivered on
bicycles by teenagers rather than by adults in gas-guzzling ...
Vise-Grip pliers have performed
a lot of hard duty over the decades. Many rusted nuts and bolts would still be unremoved
if it weren't for their sharp, corrugated locking jaws. I have 10", 7", and 4" w/cutter,
and 6" long nose models. These are all manufactured under the Petersen Manufacturing
Company name, before they bought Irwin, who now manufactures Vise-Grips. Even high quality
tools eventually show signs of wear after decades of use and abuse. A few of mine had
jaws worn down to the point where they no longer would "bite" into the bolt head or nut
being clamped. I was about to buy a couple new pairs of Vise-Grips, but then wondered
if I could recondition the jaws to put the pointed shape back on the jaws with a triangle
Here is a great Christmas gift for a daughter,
wife, girlfriend, or other lady interested in the history of aviation. Kieth O,Brien's
"Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History,"
is a tale of mademoiselles Florence Klingensmith, Ruth Elder, Amelia Earhart, Ruth Nichols,
and Louise Thaden. "Fly Girls recounts how a cadre of women banded together
to break the original glass ceiling: the entrenched prejudice that conspired to keep
them out of the sky." Truth be known, gaining prominence in aviation at the time was
very difficult for everyone - not just women, but certainly women had a harder time simply
because millennia-old societal expectations ...
Normally when I see the title, "World News," I automatically
assume it refers to "other than in the United States;" however, since it appeared in
a 1960 issue of Aero Modeller magazine, I need to keep in mind that it likely
means "other than in the UK." In fact, it does. Do you ever wonder where all the thousands
of incredible model airplanes that have shoed up in the modeling magazines over the decades
are today? Some, of course, have crashed and were trashed, as no doubt were the ones
that were damaged in non-flying accidents like getting stepped on, having a chair or
box thrown on it, or some impish child (or adult) decide it is a toy. Worst of all are
the models that have been deliberately tossed into the garbage bin because relatives
had no need for them once their builders / owners died. Isn't it a shame to think that
this Gee Bee racer ...
"China unveiled on Tuesday a replica of its first
space station, which would replace the international community's
orbiting laboratory and symbolizes the country's major ambitions beyond Earth. The 17-metre
(55-foot) core module was a star attraction at the biennial Airshow China in the southern
coastal city of Zhuhai, the country's main aerospace industry exhibition. Outside, China's
J-10 fighter jet and J-20 stealth fighter wowed spectators as they zoomed across Zhuhai's
sky. Back inside, the country displayed its fleet of drones and other military hardware.
Crowds gathered around the cylindrical space station module representing ..."
Here is another set of model aviation-themed comics,
this time from the November 1953 issue of Air Trails magazine. Interestingly,
the middle comics mentions an "X-115" experimental airplane that claims to be able to
hit 850 miles per hour. It seems to be an obvious allusion to the North American
airplane, which on its first light on June 8, 1959 was flown by Scott Crossfield to a
speed 840 kilometer per hour. Mach 0.79 = 522 mi/hr, Mach 1 = 1,235 km/hr =
767 mi/hr. The two numbers are amazing close, although the units are different.
There is a list at the bottom of the page with links to all the model aviation-themed
comics I have scanned and posted so far. Enjoy!
"Some 128 of the world's best
drone racing pilots from 34 separate countries are making the journey
to Shenzhen, 'the heart of the drone economy,' for the four-day competition that runs
from 1-4 November 2018. 'At the final count we have 34 national teams with a total of
128 competitors. That includes 43 juniors and 12 women,' said FAI Jury President Bruno
Delor. Travelling with them he said, 'will be a further 132 registered team managers,
helpers and official supporters.' If you're not on your way to Pomona, California, you're
about to miss out on something VERY cool! The 20th annual AMA Expo West will be at the
Fairplex Exposition Center in Pomona, California for the first time on November 2-4 with
a new ..."
A website visitor from Sydney, Australia, wrote
to request that I scan and post the missing portion of this article (it was originally
missing a page). He has acquired a Deans 8-channel resonant reed bank (photo to the right)
and is looking for schematics for a
8-channel radio control reed system - transmitter and receiver - that uses all vacuum
tubes (no transistors). The plans for this Citizen-Ship MST−8 transmitter uses
all tubes, but the MSR−8 receiver uses transistors. A matched Tx/Rx schematic set is
needed since interoperability was not a feature of vintage radio systems. A simple 4-wheeled
vehicle will be used as a demonstration platform for use with his local vintage wireless
club. Please send me an e-mail if you know of a source for schematics. When you see that
they were producing 8-channel units back in 1958, you might be amazed. However, in those
days each channel was a single direction of control. So, an 8 channels in 1958 was equivalent
to 4 channels today. As the schematics show, circuits ...
Way back in 1975, my friend, Jerry Flynn, and
I assisted Dick Weber in his successful flight on June 14, 1975, that set a new FAI Closed
Course Record of 225 miles in 5 hours and 38 minutes. We were both flaggers to signal
when the Tortoise has passed the distance markers. See the article titled, "652 Miles
Per Gallon," in the November 1975 issue of Model Aviation magazine. We were
not at all involved in all the painstaking effort that Dick had put into preparing his
model for the record flight. This account of
Bertrand's trials and tribulations in finally setting a new radio control world endurance
record is valuable insight into what it can take to achieve such a goal. test after test
on engines, fuel, airframe, radio system, fuel tanks ...
Steve Swinamer, a dweller of the northern climes
of Canada, has a lot of days suited for building model airplanes. He uses the wintertime
indoors days to create magnificent reproductions of vintage .020- and .049-powered designs.
His latest creation is a ½A Ace Simple Citabria,
which compliments other planes in his squadron like the
Quarter Pint, the
Ace Whizard, and the
Ace Pacer. Thanks again to Steve for making his work available for inspection ...
As was probably inevitable, Alain has built and
flown a giant version of his "Alain's Duck" canard. He
did provide the specifics on wingspan of powerplant, but did send this photo. It doesn't
stop there, though. An R/C turbine version is nearly ready for flight. A video will be
posted soon, hopefully ...
drew many, many comics for model aircraft magazines in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s (and maybe
the 1940s, but I don't have any that old). A lot of them have been - and are yet to be
- posted here on the Airplanes And Rockets website. "Competition
Daze" comics appeared in the November 1950 issue of Air Trails magazine,
and has a control line theme. Also being about competition, Mr. Hutchinson integrated
a few sports-related ideas into the situation. Control line stunt, speed, and combat
are amongst the subjects. I haven't figured out what the punch line is on comic #3. Anyone?
My favorite is #9 ...