"Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designers
at Insitu Inc. in Bingen, WA, will build 34
ScanEagle small UAVs for the governments of Malaysia;
Indonesia; the Philippines; and Vietnam under terms of a $47.9 million U.S. Navy
order in late June. Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River
Naval Air Station, MD, are asking Insitu to provide 12 ScanEagle UAVs for Malaysia;
eight for Indonesia; eight for the Philippines; and six for Vietnam. Insitu also
will provide spare sensor payloads, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools,
training, technical services, and field service. Insitu is a subsidiary of the Boeing
No. D4 Menasco Trainer
kit was manufactured by the Paul K. Guillow Company beginning in the late 1930s.
The date on the plans is 1939. It was given to me by Mr. Steven Krick from
part of his very large collection of vintage model airplane kits. It might be one
of the earliest surviving Guillow kits. The Menasco Trainer has a diminutive wingspan
of just 7-9/16 inches. No box accompanied the kit parts. The only balsa provided
was square strips die cut from 0.050" (3/64") sheet, and a block for the nose. The
hardwood thrust button arrived broken into four pieces, so I carefully glued it
back together. The remaining parts including wing ribs, curved tip pieces, fuselage
formers (0.032" material), and even the propeller blades (0.012" material) are printed
on stiff card stock ...
of the most interesting things I remember about what we learned from the Apollo
program is that
the moon has a smell. Upon removing their helmets
after the moon walk, Neil Armstrong remarked, 'We were aware of a new scent in the
air of the cabin that clearly came from all the lunar material that had accumulated
on and in our clothes.' Buzz Aldrin described it as 'the smell in the air after
a firecracker has gone off.'
you ever wonder what would have transpired if the lunar module (LM) rockets had
failed to fire for a return to the orbiting Command Module (CM)? Read "In the Event of Moon Disaster" that was prepared
for President Nixon to broadcast to the world if the unthinkable happened. Of course
NASA had all potential scenarios covered in their
Abort Planning document, complimented by extensive
scenario training. Some fools wanted to shut off communications with the LM to prevent
a record of Armstrong and Aldrin panicking which, of course, would never have happen
with the two seasoned professional military aviators.
"Drone racing's ultimate vision of quadcopters
weaving nimbly through obstacle courses has attracted far less excitement and investment
than self-driving cars aimed at reshaping ground transportation. But the U.S. military
and defense industry are betting on autonomous drone racing as the next frontier
for developing AI so that it can handle high-speed navigation within tight spaces
without human intervention. The
autonomous drone challenge requires split-second
decision-making with six degrees of freedom instead of a car’s mere two degrees
of road freedom. One research team developing the AI necessary for controlling autonomous
racing drones is the Robotics and Perception Group at the University ..."
The title of this
IEEE article is misleading in that NASA did not
"draft" Barbie - only Snoopy (and Charlie Brown, BTW). "Snoopy" was the official
name of the Apollo 10 lunar module (LM) and "Charlie Brown" was the
name of the moon-orbiting command module (CM). There was a Gemini astronaut
GI Joe at the time, too. Actually, it was the
Apollo 10 astronauts who
chose the Peanuts characters as mascots because
of the popularity of the comic strip and Charles Schulz's giving Snoopy the alter
ego of an astronaut (and, of course, a WWI flying ace). Here is the
Kennedy Space Center account of the history of
NASA's adoption of Snoopy. This Saturday, July 20th, marks the 50th anniversary
Apollo 11 moon landing.
of Design News' "Space Week 2019" feature is this "8 Technologies We Owe to the Apollo Space Program."
Not mentioned in the list of NASA innovations are freeze-dried food, space blankets
(those foil-looking things), miniaturized quartz crystal timekeeping, joystick controllers,
and smoke detectors. NASA popularized but did not invent Velcro, Tang, or Teflon.
Says the author, "The innovations of the Apollo program didn't stop at the Moon.
Many technologies were created, or innovated into what they are today, thanks to
the space program."
"One Small Step with Model Aviation," produced by the Academy
of Model Aeronautics (AMA), is a memorial to the launch of Apollo 11 on this
day, July 16, 1969. This short video features of Neil Armstrong's early life as
an avid aeromodeler before and during his time as an aeronautical engineering student
at Purdue University. He is shown here in the dormitory holding a slide rule outfitted
with wings, which was the Purdue Aeromodelers' club logo. It can be seen printed
on their T-shirts. Neil was an AMA member (as I have been since the early 1970s,
AMA#92498). The video includes narration of some of his friends from the era. Here
is my Estes Saturn V rocket model in the Apollo 11
While reading the July 2019 issue of the
AMA's Model Aviation magazine, I did a double take when looking at the
photograph in the "Viewfinder" feature on page 147. There appears to be a
ghostly human apparition in the sun glare behind the father-daughter
flying team. Click on the above thumbnail and see if you know what's going on. The
truth is out there ;-)
"'Everyone is facing the same problem with
weight in creating these types of vehicles,' said Lizhi Shang, a postdoctoral research
assistant who works on the technology with Andrea Vacca, a professor of agricultural
and biological engineering at Purdue. 'Drones require heavy batteries or lots of
electrical components, which leaves little room for the actual payload.' Shang said
many current systems also are expensive, unstable, unreliable and not environmentally
friendly. Shang and the research team at Purdue University came up with a method
fluid power technology for VTOL AAV. The Purdue
team members said their technology is an inexpensive, recyclable hydraulic propulsion ..."
This is not just another vintage Comet Model
Hobbycraft, Inc., F−86D Sabre Jet from 1952. What makes this kit unique is
that it has the signature of well-known (at the time) Comet draftsman Gerald J.
Blumenthal on the box cover. John Zawiski was the designer. The f-86D Saber has
a wingspan of 13-1/4" and a length of 15-1/16". The model was meant to be flown
either as a free flight glider or attached to a tether line where the pilot drags
it around in a circle. A few of these have sold recently on eBay for around $20-$30,
so they can still be found. This particular kit, provided by Mr. Steven Krick,
is going to be offered as a donation to the AMA's National Model Aviation Museum
in Muncie, Indiana, because of the signature ...
"Seating airline passengers in the wings?
Think about it. A
V-shaped plane designed to carry passengers,
cargo, and fuel tanks in its wings is being seeded as a good idea for the future.
Bloomberg said it plain and simple: Planes may receive a drastic facelift. What
drives the appetite to play with new designs: a practical interest in reducing carbon
emissions and improving efficiencies. It is no secret that climate change researchers
recognize the role that airplanes play in emissions. Architectural Digest reported
that the Rhodium Group released a study showing U.S. carbon dioxide emissions surged
in 2018 by 3.4 percent ..."
"Plans have been unveiled for a
3,000mph plane that will fly passengers from
New York to London in just 90 minutes. Aerospace firm Hermeus has won funding to
develop supersonic commercial planes that will fly more than five times the speed
of sound within 10 years. Hermeus has funding to develop a supersonic plane that
will fly passengers from New York to London in just 90 minutes The company was set
up by alumni from Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos-backed aerospace company Blue
Origin - which is planning to fly passengers to the moon. Hermeus says its planes
would travel at speeds of more than 3,000mph with a range of 4,600 miles ..."
"Gone is the haze of cigarette, cigar and
pipe smoke. Gone are the coffee, soda and pizza stains. With only a few exceptions,
Mission Control has been restored to the way it looked 50 years
ago when two men landed on the moon. It gets the stamp of approval from retired
flight director Gene Kranz, a man for whom failure - or even a minor oversight -
is never an option. Seated at the console where he ruled over Apollo 11, Apollo
13 and so many other astronaut missions, Kranz pointed out that a phone was missing
behind him. And he said the air vents used to be black from all the smoke, not sparkly
clean like they are now. Those couple of details aside, Kranz could close, then
open his eyes, and transport himself back ..."
Landing System Made to Enter Spoofing
"Just what the airplane passenger who is
always skittish does not want to hear: Radio navigation on planes for landing purposes
is not secure; signals can be hacked. In a video demonstration of the attack by
researchers, 'Wireless Attacks on Aircraft Landing Systems,'
spoofing starts automatically as soon the aircraft enters 'the spoofing zone. The
attacker signal is in real-time generated accounting for the maneuvers of the aircraft.'
What does the spoof actually do, to trick the pilot? Dan Goodin in Ars Technica
said the researchers can spoof airport signals in a way that causes a pilot's navigation
instruments to falsely indicate ..."
"Little Bobby" Helicopter Kite kit may well be the only one left in existence.
Many thanks to Mr. Steven Krick for providing the kit to me for documenting.
I will contact the AMA's National Model Aviation Museum in Muncie, Indiana, to find
out if they want it for their collection of model aviation historical items. A fairly
extensive search on the WWW turned up exactly zero other examples of this kit, or
any mention of it for that matter. Parris-Dunn was primarily a wind-powered electricity
generator company located in Clarinda, Iowa, formed in the 1930s. In the days before
commercial electric power was delivered to rural areas, farms and homes were run
on DC power provided by banks of lead-acid storage batteries, so the generators
were very popular as a means of recharging them. Many early radio sets ...
For a limited time (get it - time?), you can
buy a 50th Anniversary gold
Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional watch for
a mere $9,650. "The OMEGA Speedmaster Professional Chronograph has a unique place
in the history of space exploration as the only piece of equipment used in all of
NASA's piloted space missions from Gemini to the current International Space Station
program. When Buzz Aldrin stepped on the lunar surface in 1969, he was wearing a
Speedmaster Professional, the chronograph that has been known as the Moonwatch ever
since. Today, the timepiece is driven by virtually the same hand-wound movement
trusted by NASA's astronauts on the Moon." Less expensive options are available
for about half the cost. Beware of knock-offs being sold. Buy directly from Speedmaster.
This "Jet 50" kit was part of Jetco's Superflite
series. It was designed to be powered by the venerable Jetex 50 rocket motor.
It is one of the models I had as a kid in Mayo, Maryland, back in the late 1960s.
It was a lot like building and flying the Estes Falcon rocket-powered glider. The
big difference was that the "Jet 50" flew at a leisurely pace as the Jetex 50
motor burned for about 20-30 seconds with a gentle "hiss," whereas the Falcon blasted
off with more of a "ssst" sound for about half a second whilst the craft ascended
to a couple hundred feet high. Each had its advantages. The "Jet 50" could
be trimmed to fly in a tight circle in the back yard of our half-acre lot ...
Steven Krick, builder of the previously featured
Dornier Do−335 A−6 plastic scale model, has a thing for the Dornier Do−335 in many
of its variants. This version is the
Dornier Do−335 V−4.
The level of detail is amazing, even including simulated weathering effects. Here
is the text Steve included along with his photos: "This build represents the Do
335 V−4, the grosse Flach, or extended wing, long range reconnaissance version.
The Werk Nr is 230004, and the Stammkennzeichen is CP + UD. The first flight was
on July 9, 1944, and there are no photos of the aircraft in any of my five reference
books. Several authors speculate that the reason for this is the fact that this
aircraft flew very in the later part of 1944, and no photos have survived (most
of the other Do 335's flew in late 1943, early 1944) ..."