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

Aerospace Headline News

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• Aviation Writer Jack Elliott Passes On

• 'Cool' Aviation Careers in Spotlight

• Night Airshow Accident Takes Life of Redline Airshows' Jon Thocker

• Jets Clip Wings at Reno

• Hottest Used Airplane Markets in Many Years

• Neil Armstrong's Moon Space Suit Is Deteriorating

• How Wing Cuffs Work

• At 60, NASA Shoots for Revival of Moon Glory Days

• Estes Industries Announces Ownership Change • EAA, Balloon Federation of America Announce Joint Effort

• How to Buy a Warbird

Herr Engineering J-3 Cub on DuBro Park Flyer Snow Skis

Herr Engineering J-3 Cub on DuBro Park Flyer Snow Skis - Airplanes and RocketsSnow 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 Amelia Earhart Story January 4, 1942 Baltimore Morning Sun

The Amelia Earhart Story January 4, 1942 Baltimore Morning Sun - Airplanes and RocketsThe 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 ...

Small Rockets are Taking Off

Small Rockets are Taking Off - Airplanes and Rockets"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 ..."

Can You Run Two Brushless Motors from a Single ESC?

Can You Run Two Brushless Motors from a Single ESC? - Airplanes and Rockets(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 powering 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 ...

R/C Visits RCM

R/C Visits RCM, March 1970 R/C Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsLike 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 R/C Modeler 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 ...

Hobby Lobby International Postcard Notice

Hobby Lobby International Postcard Notice - Airplanes and RocketsNowadays 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 ...

How to Recondition Vise Grip Pliers

How to Recondition Vise-Grip Pliers - Airplanes and RocketsMy 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 file ...

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History - Airplanes and RocketsHere 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 ...

"World News," June 1960 Aero Modeller

"World News", June 1960 Aero Modeller - Airplanes and RocketsNormally 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 Unveils New 'Heavenly Palace' Space Station

China Unveils New 'Heavenly Palace' Space Station - Airplanes and Rockets"China unveiled on Tuesday a replica of its first permanently crewed 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 ..."

Model Aviation Comics, November 1953 Air Trails Magazine

Model Aviation Comics, November 1953 Air Trails Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsHere 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 X-15 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! 

AMA Drone Report: FAI World Drone Racing, AMA Expo West, FAA

AMA Drone Report: FAI World Drone Racing, AMA Expo West, FAA - RF Cafe"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 ..."

R/C Equipment: Citizen-Ship 8-Channel

R/C Equipment: Citizen-Ship 8-Channel (August 1958 American Aircraft Modeler) - Airplanes and RocketsA 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 27 MHz, 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 ...

Eleven Hours of Luck - Record Breaking Mystic

Eleven Hours of Luck - Record Breaking Mystic, March 1968 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsWay 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 William 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's Ace Simple Citabria & Whizard

Steve Swinamer's Ace Simple Citabria & Whizard - Airplanes and RocketsSteve 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 ...

Alain Pons' Giant Size "Duck"

Alain Pons' Giant Size "Duck" - RF CafeAs 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 ...

Competition Daze

Competition Daze, November 1950 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsBill Hutchinson 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 ...


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Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets
Kirt Blattenberger
Carpe Diem!
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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 ...
1996 - 2018
Kirt Blattenberger
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