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

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• DHS Warns of Chinese-Made Drones Could Be Stealing Data

Want to Fly a B-25?

AMA Drone Report 04/25/19

• The Surprising Missions of the Civil Air Patrol • Planes of Fame Airshow at Chino, May 4-5

• Reno Chosen as Test Site for Drone Traffic Management

• 15 Reasons Why Teaching Millennials to Fly Is Tough

• Accelerated Airline Pilot Training Program Takes Off

• The Solution to Growing General Aviation

• Purdue Alums Create Radio Communications Simulator

• UK Airports Embrace Anti-Drone Tech

Alain Pons' Turbojet "Duck" Canard

Alain Pons' Turbojet "Duck" Canard - Airplanes and RocketsThe turbojet-power version of "Alain's Duck" canard has made its maiden flight. As you can see in the video (on the page), it handles as smoothly as the other versions. Of course Alain's piloting skills play at least a small part in how well she flies. More details will follow once Alain supplies them ...

McCall's Pattern #8346 Miniature House, Furniture and Families

McCall's Pattern #8346 Miniature House, Furniture and Families - Airplanes and RocketsSometime back in the 1990s when our daughter, Sally, was around three years old, her grandmother (Melanie's mother) made one of these Rabbit Family House sets from the McCall's pattern #8346. Grandma was a very craftsy person who had decades of experience making rugs, wall hangings, quilts, clothes, and decorative items. You can see from the pattern instructions that a lot of work is involved with many different types of skills required. Now that we have a five-year-old granddaughter, Melanie decided it would be nice to make a Bunny House for her. Sally found the pattern package at a Goodwill store, and it was of the same vintage as the one Melanie's mother used. At first, the plan was to make one that looked like Sally's ...

AMA Notice: Exception for Limited Recreational Operations of Unmanned Aircraft

AMA Notice: Exception for Limited Recreational Operations of Unmanned Aircraft - Airplanes and RocketsEarlier today, the FAA issued a notice that provides temporary guidance for recreational fliers. AMA is already working with the FAA to make accommodations for our members, and we wanted to let you know what to expect. First, we’ll share a bit of background. Throughout the past few years, thousands of new recreational drone users and more than 400,000 new commercial drone operators have entered the airspace. Late last year, Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. This law gives the FAA more authority to address the surge of new users and changing airspace. Part of the law includes Section 349, which outlines eight statutory requirements for the recreational operation of all unmanned aircraft, including all drone and model aircraft hobbyists ...

Jean Shepherd's Model Airplane Radio Broadcast

Jean Shepherd's Model Airplane Radio Broadcast - Airplanes and Rockets

Jean "Shep" Shepherd, most recently known for the movie "A Christmas Story," spawned by his book entitled "In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash," was widely known in the 1950s through 70s for his ad hoc story telling on AM radio stations like WOR in NY City. Shep was an avid amateur radio enthusiast his entire life, and told anecdotes about it often while on the air. He was also an airplane modeler in his younger days. This May 3, 1973 Model Airplanes broadcast by Shep recounts the time he and his friend Schwartz (a real guy and one of The Christmas Story" characters), as teenagers, pooled their paper route money to buy and build Flying Quaker R/C airplane from plans, with a Brown engine and home-built radio gear (they were both Hams with electronics skills). It was nearly a year-long project for them. On the Flying Quaker's maiden flight, it got caught up in a strong thermal. Listen to his story to learn how it turned out ...

Drone Delivery Service Launched in Australia

Drone Delivery Service Launched in Australia - Airplanes and Rockets"Alphabet's subsidiary Wing announced this week that it has officially launched a commercial drone delivery service 'to a limited set of eligible homes in the suburbs of Crace, Palmerston and Franklin,' which are just north of Canberra, in Australia. Wing's drones are able to drop a variety of small products, including coffee, food, and pharmacy items, shuttling them from local stores to customers’ backyards within minutes. We've been skeptical about whether this kind of drone delivery makes sense for a long, long time, and while this is certainly a major milestone for Wing, I'm still not totally convinced that the use-cases that Wing ..."

Ace R/C Mini Foam Wing Resources - Constant & Tapered Chord

Ace R/C Mini Foam Wing Resources - Constant & Tapered Chord - Airplanes and RocketsUp until sometime in the early 2000s, Ace R/C manufactured a very popular set of injection molded foam wings for ½A size models - the Ace R/C Mini Foam Wing. There was a constant chord and a tapered chord version. Up until fairly recently, a third-party firm was selling equivalent foam wing panels eBay. Of course you can often buy original Ace R/C Mini Foam Wings on eBay so you might want to check periodically to see if they appear. Laser Design Service and Balsa Builder both offer a balsa built-up version of the foam wing. Andy Kunz has a free plan for cutting and building your own Ace tapered chord mini foam wing replica. Owen Kampen and others designed and kitted many ½A airplanes using his Mini Foam Wing cores ...

Mach 25 'Spaceplane' Passes Crucial Test

Mach 25 'Spaceplane' Passes Crucial Test - Airplanes and Rockets"A 'spaceplane' that flies 25 times faster than the speed of sound has successfully passed a crucial testing milestone. The hypersonic plane is so fast it could jet from London to New York in less than 60 minutes and transport you from the UK to Australia in four hours. Oxford-based Reaction Engines has been working with the European Space Agency and the UK Space Agency, along with BAE Systems, to make the powerful aircraft. Reaction Engines has recently been testing a 'pre-cooler' for the plane, which is technology that would allow it to travel faster than ever before. The pre-cooler is critical in the plane's development because it is required to stop the engine from melting by lowering the temperature of compressed air in the engine ..."

Hobby Lobby International Advertisement

Hobby Lobby Advertisement, July 1978 R/C Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsFounded in 1964 and located in Brentwood, Tennessee, Hobby Lobby International closed its doors a couple years ago. Born in an era when many - if not most - products used by aircraft, boat, and car modelers were manufactured here in the United States, Hobby Lobby served the entire spectrum of modeling. Hobby Lobby did offer many hard-to-get foreign kits as well, though. It was the first mail-order hobby shops that I remember using. There were not any "real" hobby shops near my Mayo, Maryland, home as a kid, so unless I could whine enough to get my father to drive me the 20+ miles to the nearest hobby shop, the only alternative was to cut out the order form, fill it out, have my mother write a check (from money I earned on my paper route), stuff it all in an envelope ...

Growing Drone Industry Spawns a Growing Antidrone Industry

Growing Drone Industry Spawns Growing Antidrone Industry - Airplanes and Rockets"Drone sightings at London's Gatwick Airport disrupted operations there for three days last December, and in January, rumored sightings near Newark [N.J.] Liberty International Airport delayed incoming air traffic temporarily. These incidents highlighted a growing problem with small drones: Miscreants, or just clueless operators, can make real trouble by flying these machines where they're not allowed. Rogue drones have been a long-standing worry for regulators, who have pursued a wide array of ideas to address the issue. Now, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is preparing a new report on the matter ..."

Airtronics Aquila Product Review in the December 1975 R/C Modeler

Airtronics Aquila Product Review, December 1975 R/C Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsIt was in the May 1975 issue of R/C Modeler magazine that I first saw the Airtronics Aquila sailplane (she's way too graceful to refer to her merely as a glider). Airtronics had not introduced a kit yet, but they were selling a canopy and hardware kit along with plans, so I ordered them and scratch built my first Aquila. I was 17 years old then. It was covered to look like the one in the photo above (which would become the kit box label photo). Not having lite ply for the fuselage, I used hard balsa. Somehow I eventually managed to destroy Aquila #1, but by that time a kit was available, so I bought one and also the ABS plastic fuselage. A standard Hi-Start was used for launching. Back in the 1970s, there were still plenty of areas, even near small cities, to stretch out a Hi-Start ...

Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes

Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes - Airplanes and Rockets"Inspired by birds that fold their wings in the air when space is limited, researchers from the University of Zurich and EPFL have developed a new foldable drone. The researchers designed the quadrocopter with four independently rotating propellers. The propellers are mounted on mobile arms that can be pivoted around the main frame with the help of servomotors. The control system regulates, in real time, each new position of the arms and adjusts the propeller speed depending on the center of gravity. The drone's default configuration is X-shaped, but it can adapt into H, O, and T shapes ..."

Du-Bro Tri-Star R/C Helicopter Build & Review

Du-Bro Tri-Star Review, December 1975 RC Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsDu-Bro was the first American company to produce a radio control helicopter kit - the Whirlybird 505. That was sometime around 1972 It was modeled after the way free flight helicopters were built an the engine and propeller sitting on top of the main rotor, using a free-wheeling rotor that turned in response to the counter torque of the engine. Fixed pitch rotor blades were controlled via a flybar assembly as was the case prior to the advent of flybarless rotor heads. Du-Bro's next helicopter was a much-improved and very popular Hughes 300, using a driven rotor with the engine mounted in the fuselage. It also used a flybar for rotor control. Building off that success, they next introduced this TriStar R/C helicopter. It was smaller than the Hughes 300 and modeled after the RotorWay Scorpion homebuilt helicopter that was all the rage in the 1970s and 80s ...

The Story of Hobby Lobby International

The Story of Hobby Lobby International - Airplanes and RocketsThis short history on one of model aviation's most recognizable hobby shops is sad, albeit not unusual in the era of online distributors. "The End of an Era - Hobby Lobby Building Torn Down" is a good read if you remember the old days when modeler-built kits and glow engines were king. "The building that so many of us bought our hobby goods from is gone for good. I found out through the grapevine that they were tearing down the original Hobby Lobby building in the next few days. That's a sad thing to think about for many of us in the RC hobby. I thought I would take this time to write some recollections of that place as a former HL employee and prior to that a customer ...

JATO-Powered Ercoupe

JATO-Powered Ercoupe - Airplanes and Rockets"Frederick A. Johnsen's recent Of Wings & Things - JATO pushed performance - looked back at jet-assisted takeoff (JATO) power. While interest in the column was high, several commenters referred to an Ercoupe as early JATO test bed. In response, Fred reached out to his connections and was able to gain access to a few documents, including a photo and a page from the JATO-powered Ercoupe's test report. 'This report deals with the flight tests of the Ercoupe airplane with and without auxiliary jet propulsion carried out at March Field, California. Capt. H. A. Boushey, Jr., liaison officer for the project, was assigned as pilot by the Air Corps Materiel Division, and personnel for assisting the flight tests were made available ..."

Ace Simple Duster

Ace Simple Duster by Steven Swinamer - Airplanes and RocketsThe Swinamer vintage ½A model airplane factory has turned out yet another enviable product in the form of Fred Reese's (Ace R/C) Simple Duster, which originally appeared in the February 1987 issue of R/C Modeler magazine. Those long, cold Canadian winters provide ample opportunity to build up a fresh squadron of models for the long-awaited flying season. Steven is an ardent believer in the Earthly spiritual connectedness between mankind and the sound and smell of an .049 engine screaming at 20,000 rpm. It is akin to the swoosh sound at launch and after-aroma of an Estes rocket motor after a flight that a model rocketeer is drawn to. The Simple Duster uses the famous Ace foam wing core. Ace had both a constant chord and a tapered chord version. The Simple Duster uses the tapered chord version ...

They Really Can "Take It" - Douglas DC-2 and DC-3

They Really Can "Take It" - Douglas DC-2 and DC-3, February 1942 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsIn yet another testament to the venerable Douglas DC-3 (and its predecessor DC-2), this 1942 article in Flying Aces magazine highlights the extreme extent of battle damage some of these planes suffered and still managed to fly to a safe landing. Of course not all flight crews were so fortunate, but the robustness of the airframe and engines are rightly credited for their endurance and reliability. During and long past the rigors of World War II service years, the DC-3 built upon its reputation as a work horse. It is no wonder that the DC-3 (and its military designation of C-47) has for going on a century been the all-time favorite transport type airplane of many aviation enthusiasts - including yours truly. If I had a bucket list, which I really do not, at or near the top of the list would be to take a ride in a DC-3 or a C-47. In all the places I have lived in the last many decades, there has never been one at an airshow that was offering rides for hire. Time is running out ...

RMA Aircraft Equipment Advertisement

RMA Aircraft Equipment Ad, June 1960 Aero Modeller - Airplanes and RocketsAccording to the About Us page on the RipMax website, "In 1949 Ripmax first opened its doors as a Toy & Model Shop based in Camden Town. Focusing on the popularity of Radio control, the co-founder, Max Coote, decided to concentrate on design and sale of exclusive lines of modelling goods, primarily accessories for model boats. 'Everyman's Model Shop' as it was known soon became recognised as the 'Radio Control Specialist', and it wasn't long before Max was looking at manufacturing and supplying to the model trade direct." One of the most popular items RipMax exported was the Jetex line of rocket / jet engines manufactured by Telasco ...

Spaceplane Could Cut DoD Launch Costs

Spaceplane Could Cut DoD Launch Costs - Airplanes and Rockets"The U.S. military has long sought quick, low cost access to space along with the ability to operate a satellite launcher like a commercial airliner making daily round trips. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which launched an experimental space plane program in 2013, recently settled on a winged design that would be propelled by a version of Aerojet Rocketdyne's AR-22 engine originally used as the main engine for the American space shuttle. Prime contractor Boeing said it is applying automation technology developed during testing of the X-37B shuttle to its Phantom Express prototype selected by DARPA ..."

The Stanzels of Schulenburg

The Stanzels of Schulenburg, January 1961 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsA couple years ago I posted an article about the Victor Stanzel ElectroMic "Copter" Tethered Helicopter that I had bought on eBay. It was just like the one I had as a pre-teen in the 1960's. If memory serves me correctly, I also had one of the ElectroMic Flash Tethered Airplanes as well. Someday I'll probably buy one of those on eBay. The webpage hyperlinked above has a video embedded that tells the story of the Stanzel Brothers' Model Airplane Museum. You will be amazed at all the types of models they produced - powered airplanes, gliders, helicopters, flying saucers. They were a couple of the earliest pioneers in manufacturing ready-to-fly model airplanes. This feature article in American Modeler magazine tells a little more of their story ...

SoftBank's Hawk 30 Solar Internet Drone

SoftBank Solar Internet Drone - Airplanes and Rockets"A stratospheric Hawk 30 prototype will begin its maiden flight at a NASA base within days. A secretive joint venture between SoftBank and U.S. aerospace company AeroVironment is poised to launch an experimental solar-powered drone to deliver connectivity for 5G and the Internet of Things. The Hawk 30 will have a curved 'flying wing' design similar to a series of high-altitude solar drones that AeroVironment made for NASA twenty years ago. Filings with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission suggest the new Hawk will have 10 electric engines and an operational altitude of over 20 kilometers. According to a Space Act Agreement signed with NASA in November, the prototype drone ..."

International Model Aircraft FROG / Talisman Advertisement

International Model Aircraft FROG / Talisman Advertisement, June 1960 Aero Modeller - Airplanes and RocketsThis International Model Aircraft Company advertisement appeared in the June 1960 issue of England's Aero Modeller magazine. The company, which went by the moniker FROG ("Flies Right Off the Ground"), had been in business producing flying models since the early 1930s. Price formats such as 17/6 for the Talisman control line model is interpreted as 17 shillings and 6 pence, seventeen and six, or seventeen and sixpence. According to the UK National Archives website currency conversion calculator, 17/6 in 1960 is the equivalent to £18.34 (pound sterling) in 2017, which is the equivalent of $24.23 U.S. That somehow seems way too low for a 1960 to 2017 price conversion ...

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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 ...
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Kirt Blattenberger
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