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

Aerospace Headline News

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archives -

• FAA Clears Amazon for Drone Delivery

• Uncover Aviation History by Helping to Transcribe Smithsonian Collections

• Gulfstream to Deliver the Last G550 Next Year

• UK-US Sign Rocket Launching Agreement

• USAF Faces Substantial Shortfall in Unmanned Aircraft Pilots

• James Webb Space Telescope Launch Date Pushed Out Again

• Sporty's Pilot Shop to Match EAA Donations Through July 31st

• EAA Spirit of Aviation Week Runs from July 21st to 25th

• Business Aviation Slowly Comes Back to Life

• Sisters Solo on Same Day, at Same Airport

Engine Review: McCoy 29 Red Head

Engine Review: McCoy 29 Red Head, January 1955 Model Airplane News - Airplanes and RocketsAh, the days when glow fuel engines were the rule rather than the exception! Sure, they were messy, noisy, and could be finicky, but other than maybe an idling 8-cylinder with a high-lift cam, Edelbrock intake manifold, Holley 4-barrel carburetor, and a set of Hooker headers, there are few nicer sounds than a model aircraft engine as it comes to life. Sure, I know that modern brushless electric motors are highly reliable and extremely powerful, don't annoy the neighbors, and never leave a gooey mess that takes half a roll of paper towels to clean off your airplane (or helicopter), but those of you who grew up flying in the pre-electric-flight years know what I mean. I confess to having switched to electric back around 2005 - except for Cox .049 engines. McCoy "Red Head" engines were very popular back in the day, and command pretty good prices on eBay today when in good condition...

Unleashing the Potential of Tethered Drones

Unleashing the Potential of Tethered Drones - Airplanes and Rockets"Wire-connected drones are a powerful new tool for improving cellular phone and Internet networks. Fitted with cellular transceivers, tethered drones could quickly be deployed to replace inoperable base stations and restore mobile coverage. Tethered to tall buildings, they would offload data during peak hours and shift their position around the clock to cover varying traffic distribution throughout the day. In rural areas, high-flying TUAVs promise a more viable alternative to expensive, tall towers needed to provide coverage to large but sparsely populated regions..."

U.S.-Made Small Drones Available from 5 Companies

U.S.-Made Small Drones Available from 5 Companies - Airplanes and Rockets"Beginning in September, entities across the U.S. Department of Defense will be able to buy small, American-manufactured drones from five select companies, allowing users in the field to quickly and easily gain a bird's eye view of their environment. A spin-off of U.S. Army efforts to develop a rucksack-packable quadcopter with the Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR) program of record, the Defense Innovation Unit's Blue sUAS effort lets U.S. government customers purchase trusted small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) that can take off and land vertically. The new drones were developed to comply with Section 848..."

For Sale: Sears "Discoverer" 60 mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope

Sears "Discoverer" Model 4  6305A 60 mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope - Airplanes and RocketsThis excellent quality Sears "Discoverer" Model 4 6305A, 60 mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope is now for sale for only $300 + shipping. I am in the market for the larger, 90 mm version and need to sell this first. If you are interested, please send me an e-mail that includes your zip code so I can calculate the total cost. Payment can be made via PayPal. It will also be listed on eBay for $350 to cover their listing fees. As you can see in the photos on the webpage, everything has been thoroughly spiffied up and/or restored. I have never seen a finer example of this telescope.

Channel Hop!

Channel Hop!, January 1955 Model Airplane News - Airplanes and RocketsOn September 22, 1955, Londoners Sid Allen and George Redlich guided their 6-foot wingspan "Radio Queen" across the English Channel from the white cliffs of Dover to Calais, France, marking a first in the model aviation world - a mere 40 minutes in duration. It was approximately the same path that Louis Bleriot took in 1909 when he became the first to cross the English Channel in an aeroplane using his homebuilt XI Monoplane. As with many (maybe most) record-setting model aircraft flights - be they distance or duration - a diesel engine (ED 0.213 cu. in. Hunter Diesel) was used as the powerplant due to their reliability (no glow plug or spark plug to burn out or foul) and fuel economy. Takeoff weight was 7-1/2 pounds, with 1-1/2 pounds of it being accounted for by three pints of fuel. Guidance was provided by an ED Mk. 4 Miniature, 3-reed type, from the cockpit of a Auster Autocrat monoplane...

Ornithopter Flapping Wing Drone

Ornithopter Flapping Wing Drone - Airplanes and Rockets"Flapping wings instead of propellers help this bird-inspired drone hold its own against quadrotors. The vast majority of drones are rotary-wing systems (like quadrotors), and for good reason: They're cheap, they're easy, they scale up and down well, and we're getting quite good at controlling them, even in very challenging environments. For most applications, though, drones lose out to birds and their flapping wings in almost every way - flapping wings are very efficient, enable astonishing agility, and are much safer, able to make compliant contact with surfaces rather than shredding them like a rotor system does. But flapping wing have their challenges too: Making flapping-wing robots is so much more difficult than just duct taping spinning motors to a frame that, with a few exceptions..."

sUAS-Based Quantifying of Optical Turbulence

sUAS-Based Quantifying of Optical Turbulence - Airplanes and Rockets"Within the highly dynamic and hostile modern-day battle space, the DoD is constantly facing threats from multiple domains. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), swarms of fast attack craft, anti-ship missiles and manned aircraft are quickly developing asymmetric options. These threats need to be tracked, engaged and destroyed in quick succession. However, not all threats can necessarily be paired with the same weapons system. The use of directed electro-optical energy has a long history in warfare dating back to the days of the Romans. According to legend, Archimedes used an array of mirrors to direct beams of sunlight on enemy ships to burn them down before they could invade Syracuse..." 

With the Model Builders

With the Model Builders, February 1942 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsFebruary 1942 was just a couple months into the USA's official involvement in World War II. We had been informally assisting Europe against Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy, and China against Japan's Hirohito, a couple years prior to the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, upon which the U.S. declared war on Japan. Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. a couple days later. We were suddenly in the game big time. Only because Hitler and the Soviet Union's Stalin couldn't agree on how to share rule of a conquered Earth were we spared warring against what would have been an overwhelmingly formidable force. Flying Aces magazine provided a lot of coverage of the USAAF's efforts during the war, in large part to motivate young men to fight for God and country...

Virgin Galactic Mach 3 Passenger Aircraft

Virgin Galactic Mach 3 Passenger Aircraft - Airplanes and Rockets"Virgin Galactic's ambitions to develop a Mach 3 passenger aircraft have advanced with a non-binding MOU with Rolls-Royce to collaborate on a propulsion system. The company, which includes advanced air and space vehicles manufacturer The Spaceship Company (TSC), has also announced the first stage design scope for the build of its high-speed aircraft. This follows completion of its Mission Concept Review (MCR) and authorization from the U.S. FAA Center for Emerging Concepts and Innovation to work with Virgin Galactic to outline a framework for certification. In a statement, George Whitesides, Chief Space Officer, Virgin Galactic said, 'We are excited to complete the Mission Concept Review and unveil this initial design concept of a high-speed..."

Drones Transforming How Telcos Inspect Towers

Drones Transforming How Telcos Inspect Towers - Airplanes and Rockets"Drone technology offers a powerful way for enterprises to conduct remote asset inspections during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. The demand for drones among enterprises is forecast to continue to grow over the next few years, with Gartner predicting that shipments of enterprise drones will reach 1.3 million by 2023. Telcos and MNOs are already leveraging drone technology to automate cell tower inspections, boost operational efficiency, and accelerate the rollout of 5G infrastructure. As connectivity improves and automation increases, we can expect to see drones at the edge, completing autonomous missions, and uploading data directly..."

Adventures in Jet Power Comic Book, GE, 1950

Adventures in Jet Power Comic Book, General Electric, 1950 - Airplanes and RocketsGeneral Electric (GE) produced a series of informational technical publications in comic book format back in the 1950s. One was entitled "Adventures in Jet Power," released in 1950, 1955, and 1960. GE has been a major producer of jet engines for commercial and military aircraft for many decades. After doing an extensive search for full versions of the comics, I finally found this 1950 issue posted on The Fabulous Fifties website. Other of the Adventure Series included "Adventures in Electricity," "Adventures into the Past," Adventures Inside the Atom," and "Adventures in Electronics." Here is a good list of all of the GE Adventure Series comics. Many of these comic books can be bought on eBay...

Morphing Airplane Wing Built by Tiny Robots

Morphing Airplane Wing Built by Tiny Robots - Airplanes and Rockets"Every aircraft wing and body has basically the same shape. 'That means they're suboptimal,' says MIT's Ben Jenett in our latest episode of Here's an Idea - a Tech Briefs interview series with leading aerospace researchers. From take-off to landing, an aircraft experiences a variety of conditions, and must frequently change angles to adjust to surroundings. What if a wing could adapt...on the turbulent winds or an oncoming airstream? Ben Jenett, a PhD student at MIT and a former space research fellow at NASA, is helping to develop a new kind of aircraft wing that's flexible and changes in-air..."

Vintage Berkeley Models Astro−Hog Kit

Berkeley Models Astro-Hog Kit - Airplanes and RocketsMy best friend and fellow model airplane and rocket, Jerry Flynn, received a Berkeley models Astro−Hog kit along with a few others and some engines from an associate of his father. The guy's father had died and left behind a bunch of modeling stuff. At the time, neither Jerry nor I had built or flown a radio controlled model, having at the age of around 14 years old not had the money to buy equipment. Back in the early 1970's it was not like today where you could buy R/C models and equipment for very little money. Jerry went ahead and built the Astro−Hog over a timespan of about a year, and during that time he bought a second-hand Futaba 4-channel radio (27.095 MHz version). He did his typically very nice job of building and doping the airplane...

Reverse Engineering the Boeing E-3 Sentry's Secondary Flight Controls

Reverse Engineering the Boeing E-3 Sentry's Secondary Flight Controls - Airplanes and Rockets"Amplify Technical Solutions was contracted to reverse engineer and manufacture a first article assembly of the secondary flight controls, focusing on the throttle quadrant and console configuration, for a NATO E-3 AWACS. The finished deliverables were part of a sophisticated flight simulator controls system being produced by Simulation and Control Technologies for an E-3 AWACS Full Flight Simulator program. The project presented challenges due to the vintage and highly evolved state of the aircraft, which required creative engineering to accurately capture and replicate the control assemblies. The NATO E-3 AWACS has stood the test of time. The E-3 Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) was first carried..."

Tethered R/C - A Solution to the FAA's Draconian sUAS Rules?

Tethered R/C - A Solution to the FAA's Draconian sUAS Rules? - Airplanes and RocketsFor a long time I have been kicking around the concept of tethered R/C, where the airplane would be completely under remote control, with its inboard wing being attached to a tether that is in turn anchored to a pivot point in the center of the circle. My first effort was to convert an electric-powered control line stunt model to have R/C control of the elevator and motor speed. After doing the conversion, I decided that it would be safer to start out with a slow-flying, inherently stable model, so since I was in the process of building an electric-powered, three channel Carl Goldberg ½A Skylane, it was used as the Guiney pig. The steerable nose gear was pegged in the center, and the rudder pushrod was secured with a screw in the servo mount so that it has permanent right rudder. A tether attachment point was epoxied into the left wingtip. It weights 25.3 ounces ready to fly...

Airplanes & Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets
Kirt Blattenberger
Carpe Diem!
(Seize the Day!)

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 - 2026

Kirt Blattenberger
Family Websites:
RF Cafe | Equine Kingdom

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.

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