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- Welcome to the Airplanes & Rockets Website -
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." Lord Kelvin, 1895

Dremel Moto-Tool Model 370 Reconditioning

Dremel Moto-Tool Model 370 Reconditioning - Airplanes and RocketsThis Dremel Model 370 Moto-Tool is one of my longest-owned tools. It was bought sometime around 1976. After 40 years of use, it began exhibiting erratic behavior due to the motor brushes finally having worn down to where they were not making good contact with the commutator. You can see in the photos how the original brushes did not wear evenly, although the contact surfaces were clean and not pitted at all. I decided that given the Moto-Tool's age, it might be a good idea to disassemble it and do a good cleaning and inspection ...

A Pair of Cox .049-Powered Li'l Jumpin' Beans

A Pair of Cox .049-Powered Li'l Jumpin' BeansHaving never been truly satisfied with the silence of electric-powered model airplanes, I made a decision to start reverting back to glow fuel models. Yes, electric power is clean, easy to set up, and consistent motor runs are the rule, but I grew up with models I could hear flying as well as see flying. I've really missed the sound and smell of glow fuel engines after a 15-year hiatus. I'm starting with .049 engines mainly because of the high cost of fuel, but there's also a back-to-basics feel about them since I, like most kids in the 1960s and 70s, learned to fly with the plastic Cox models. As you might ...

Toyota Backs Flying Car Project in Japan

Toyota Backs Flying Car Project in Japan - RF Cafe"Japanese carmaker Toyota has announced its backing for a group of engineers who are developing a flying car. It will give 40 million yen (£274, 000) to the Cartivator group that operates outside Toyota city in central Japan. The Nikkei Asian Review reports Toyota and its group companies have agreed in principle to support the project. So far crowd funding has paid for development of the so-called Skydrive car, which uses drone technology and has three wheels and four rotors ..."

Edmonton Airport Establishes Routine Drone Usage with Bird Scarer

Edmonton Airport Establishes Routine Drone Usage with Bird Scarer - RF Cafe"The airport serving the capital of Canada's Alberta province is to use a robotic autonomous bird, mimicking a small bird of prey, to scare away other birds from aircraft around the airport. Called Robird, the drone is the latest in a suite of UAV systems that the airport plans to use to observe wildlife, inspect buildings and take 3D measurements. The new device will be brought into service at the end of May. Robird was developed by Clear Flight Solutions, a spin-off of the University of Twente in the Netherlands ..."

Swarms of Autonomous Aerial Vehicles Test New Dogfighting Skills

Swarms of Autonomous Aerial Vehicles Test New Dogfighting Skills - Airplanes and Rockets"Aerial dogfighting began more than a century ago in the skies over Europe with propeller-driven fighter aircraft carried aloft on wings of fabric and wood. An event held recently in southern California could mark the beginning of a new chapter in this form of aerial combat. In what may have been the first aerial encounter of its kind, researchers from the Georgia Tech Research Institute and Naval Postgraduate School recently pitted two swarms of autonomous aircraft against one another over a military test facility. While the friendly encounter may not have qualified ..."

Lockheed Martin Unleashes the Fury

Lockheed Martin Unleashes the Fury - Airplanes and Rockets"First flight tests of stealth superdrone that can stay airborne for fifteen hours revealed and is launched by catapult. Lockheed Martin is getting closer to unleashing Fury on the battlefield. The Maryland based firm has announced that its unmanned aerial system, named Fury, has demonstrated a flight endurance time of 15 hours, while operating with over 200 lbs. of payload and fuel at an altitude up to 15,000 feet. But what makes this craft the ultimate warfighter, is that it does not need a runway for takeoff, instead ..."

Semroc V-2 Model Rocket Kit

Semroc V-2 Model Rocket Kit - Airplanes and RocketsThe Semroc V-2 model rocket kit was modeled after the original Estes V-2. The V-2 is one of the Estes models that I always planned on building as a kid, but for some reason - most likely budgetary - I never got around to it. What I liked about the Semroc kit was that it kept with the original all balsa components rather than substituting molded plastic parts for the nose cone and tail section. The building process was pretty straight-forward. The Estes Fin Alignment Guide was used for attaching the fins. It was the first time I ever used the jig. Because of the way the bottom of the Semroc V-2's body curved ...

Auto Progress: The Ford Story

Auto Progress: The Ford Story, July 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsHenry Ford began production of the Model T (aka the "Tin Lizzie") in 1908, and his introduction of the moving assembly line commenced in 1913, thereby reducing the assembly time of an automobile from 12 hours to just 2.5 hours. Prices dropped to less than half the original cost and profits soared as a growing number of people were able to afford a car. It is always interesting when reading these reports on airplanes and automobiles which were published in the middle of the last century to remember that at the time, the technology was less than 50 years ...

Battery-Powered Plane Sets World Speed Record at 210 MPH

Battery-Powered Plane Breaks World Electric Speed Record Hitting 210 MPH - RF Cafe"With electric cars breaking their way onto our roads, it's only a matter of time until commercialised electric airliners take to the skies. The world's fastest battery-powered plane, which was created by Siemens, has hit a new speed record for electric flight as it whipped through the air at over 210 mph (340 kmh). The Extra 330LE plane's record is a big leap towards the eventual replacement of jet fuel and combustion engines in aircraft. The record was completed at Dinslaken Schwarze Heide ..."

The Rise of Disposable Drones

The Rise of Disposable Drones - RF Cafe"As air-launched munitions get smarter, the Air Force is creating a new class of weapon—a combination of drones and missiles. But can they be advanced enough to work, yet cheap enough that it's okay to lose a few in battle? It has advanced radar, forward-looking infrared cameras, and laser rangefinders—all used to help the 13-man crew direct a barrage of lethal fire to the ground from 12,000 feet. But for all of this advanced technology, the vision of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command gunships can be thwarted by the threatening adversary known as a cloudy sky. The USAF has a solution ..."

NASA Rules out Crew on First SLS Flight

NASA Rules out Crew on First SLS Flight - RF Cafe"NASA managers have ruled out putting a crew on board an Orion capsule atop the agency's huge Space Launch System rocket for the gargantuan booster's maiden flight in 2019, citing technical risks and higher costs, up to as much as $900 million, agency officials said Friday. Earlier this year, the Trump administration asked NASA to look into the possibility of either adding a crew to Exploration Mission 1, EM-1 for short, or moving up the launch of EM-2, the flight NASA already earmarked for the SLS booster's ..."

News Flash!  - Airplanes and Rockets  FAA Registration Requirement Struck Down

FAA Registration Requirement Struck Down (AMA) - Airplanes and RocketsThanks to the efforts of the Academy of Model Aviation for its efforts! From the AMA website: "Friday, May 19, the federal appeals court struck down the FAA's registration requirement for recreational model aircraft. The Court ruling is effective immediately. As such, if you have not registered with the FAA, you are no Model Aircraft Registration Overturned by United States Court of Appeals - Airplanes and Rocketslonger required under the law to do so. For those of you who have already registered with the FAA, you may be wondering what this means for you. We are currently working to obtain answers from the FAA and will share more information as it ..."

Could this be part of Trump's 2-for-1 regulation reduction mandate?

Modelplane Sketchbook, July 1954 Air Trails

Modelplane Sketchbook, July 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsHere are a half dozen more tips and ideas that might make your aeromodelling hobby a little easier -especially if you ardently adhere to doing things 'the old way.' Most of the homebrew schemes presented in this and the many other "Sketchbook" postings are these days available in pre-made form, with higher reliability, made of inexpensive materials, and low in cost. The converted hand drill-cum-rubber-winder is a good example. In 1954, most workshops had such a drill, but now everyone has a battery-powered, variable speed drill that would make the job much ...

AT&T Labs Combines Drone Video with Artificial Intelligence Monitoring/p>

AT&T Labs Combines Drone Video with Artificial Intelligence Monitoring - Airplanes and Rockets"The research unit at AT&T is working to combine two of what are perhaps the hottest buzzwords in the tech industry: drones and artificial intelligence. Specifically, AT&T Labs is researching ways to take video footage from a drone flying around an AT&T cell tower and use AI to analyze that footage for signs of rust, corrosion or other defects on the tower. The result would save AT&T the time and money it takes to have engineers physically climb cell towers to do inspections (thanks to the drone), as well as the time and money it takes to have engineers review video from a drone inspecting a tower ..."

Bilgri Patching and Covering Methods

Bilgri Patching and Covering Methods, March 1971 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsIndoor airplane models covered with microfilm seem to have always been for a very particular, dedicated group of modelers who possess the patience, steady hands, and eyesight to build and maintain very delicate structures. A directed sneeze can literally blow them to pieces. It is an aspect of aeromodelling into which I have never ventured. Mr. Joseph Bilgri, AMA #4393, was a contest-winning pioneer of the craft. The AMA History Project has a biography of Joe that is worth reading if you have an interest in indoor modeling. Of course today, with the advent of nano-size ...

O.S. Digitron DP-3 Radio Control System User Manual

User Manual for the OS Digitron DP-3, 3-Channel Radio Control System - Airplanes and RocketsThe O.S. Digitron DP-3, 3-Channel Radio Control System was my first radio control system. After watching eBay for an affordable set, I finally found one in January of 2017 for a little over $100. It is in pretty good physical condition, but I have not tried to power it up to to see whether it works. My plan is to buy a modern spread spectrum 2.4 GHz radio and swap out the electronics in the O.S. Digitron DP-3 transmitter. I will have to rig the trim tabs to be spring centered with switch contact on each side of center since analog (potentiometer) trims are no longer used. The 2.4 GHz antenna will ...

Verizon Tests Flying Cell Site for Emergency Preparedness

Verizon Tests Flying Cell Site for Emergency Preparedness - RF Cafe"Verizon conducted its latest engineering flight tests using a 'flying cell site' aboard a drone, and while it didn’t share specific results, it's another indication that the carrier is progressing with the prospect of using drones to supply an LTE network if severe weather knocks out more traditional cellular network components. The 17-foot-long drone was piloted by American Aerospace Technologies Inc. (AATI) during the trial run at Woodbine Municipal Airport in Woodbine, New Jersey, on April 5. The test was designed to simulate ..."

Model Rectifier Corporation Advertisement - Jan 1972 AAM

Model Rectifier Corporation (MRC) Advertisement - January 1972 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThis back-page advertisement by Model Rectifier Corporation (aka MRC) appeared in the January 1972 issue of American Aircraft Modeler magazine. Note the cool collection of [now] vintage test equipment shown in support of testing the R/C system. The advertisement shows a rhombic antenna, the Dana 8015 RF frequency counter, Tektronix 7904 oscilloscope, HP spectrum analyzer, RF communications synthesizer RF generator, and an Anritsu precision field strength meter. I was 13 years old at the time, and anxiously watched for it in the mailbox each ...

Aerospace Headline News

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archives -

Drone Rules That Never Became Law

So Much for Those New Drone Registration Rules

Elon Musk Explains Why He Thinks Flying Cars Are a Really Bad Idea

Cash Awards Offered After Drones Disrupt Flights in China

Breakthrough in Battery Charging Technology

Canada Imposes Strict New Rules for Recreational Drone Use

NASA Selects >100 Small Business Projects to Advance Space Innovation

Walmart to Use Drones in Store to Assist Shoppers

NASA Selects Over 100 Small Business Projects to Advance Space Innovation

Women of AOPA Offer Advice to Future Female Pilots

Tone Modulator for R-C from April 1958 Radio-Electronics

Tone Modulator for R-C from April 1958 Radio-Electronics Magazine - RF CafeDeclaring any kind of straight LC tank circuit to be high stability is a bit of a stretch when compared to the Q available simply by adding a crystal, even in 1958. Tone modulation was an early method for achieving remote control of model airplanes, boats, and cars. The number of channels with these tone modulation systems is two times the number of modern proportional systems in that moving the rudder left took one channel and moving it right took another. Up and down elevator likewise took two channels. Therefore, this four channel system is only two channels by today's terminology. Technology evolved into fully proportional ...

'Lightning Strike' Plane Powered by 24 Electric Fans Set for Lift Off

'Lightning Strike' Plane Powered by 24 Electric Fans Set for Lift Off - Airplanes and Rockets"Officially known as the XV-24A Lightning Strike Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) XPlane, the 20% scale craft completed its planned flight test program in early March at Webster Outlying Field in Southern Maryland. Funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the SVD successfully demonstrated key technical features the full-scale XV-24A will perform, including outbound and inbound transition flight. The SVD aircraft is a 325 pound, Lithium battery ..."

USAF Plans Recoverable Hypersonic Drones by 2040

USAF Plans Recoverable Hypersonic Drones by 2040 - RF Cafe"Air Force weapons developers expect to operate hypersonic intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance drones by the 2040s, once scientific progress with autonomy and propulsion technology matures to a new level. The advent of using a recoverable drone platform able to travel at high altitudes, faster than Mach 5, will follow the emergence of hypersonic weapons likely to be operational in the mid-2020s, according to the Air Force Chief ..."

We Drive the MG Magnette

We Drive the MG Magnette, July 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsMG's Magnette was produced 1954 and 1958. It was a fairly large, 4-door family car with rather posh features like leather seats, electric windshield wipers, safety glass, and rustproofing. The price tag of $2,675 in 1954, when this article appeared in Air Trails magazine, is equivalent to $27,148 in 2017 dollars per the BLS Inflation Calculator. You cannot buy a car in the same class today for that amount. Modern cars are loaded with many more creature comforts and are heavily burdened with regulatory-mandated environmental and safety features that add ...

Frank Smith's Miniplanes

Frank Smith's Miniplanes, January 1961 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsModels of Frank Smith's Miniplane have been built and flown by scores of modelers over the decades. Homebuilt planes are popular scale projects partially because the level of detail necessary to faithfully reproduce the full-size airplane is less that with a production plane. Sig Manufacturing introduced a radio controlled kit model of the Smith Miniplane back in the 1970 that is still available for purchase on their website today. This article from a 1961 issue of American Modeler includes plans ...

400' Model Aircraft Altitude Limit - Nothing New There

400' Altitude Model Aircraft Altitude Limit per FAA - November 1972 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsAMA president Rich Hanson published an editorial column in the April 2017 issue of Model Aviation titled, "How high can I fly?) Ok, more correctly it should have asked, "How high may I fly?" since it addresses the oft-asked question about what altitude limit is imposed on model aircraft. Mr. Hanson does a great job explaining the situation, and points out that the current 400-foot limit has been on the books with the FAA since at least 1972. He refers to a full-page notice to model airmen on page 49 of the November 1972 issue of American Aircraft Molder, the AMA monthly publication that preceded Model Aviation ....

Supersonic Without the Boom

Supersonic Without the Boom - Airplanes and Rockets"Supersonic planes without the Earth-shaking sonic boom could arrive by 2023. When the Concorde first hit the skies in the 1970s, it could fly from London to New York in just under three hours. But despite being able to travel at twice the speed of sound, the futuristic supersonic jet failed to attract passengers and was sent into decommission in 2003. Now researchers claim that Concorde-style jets could be making a comeback, and are working ..."

Mars Airplane Resumes Flight

Mars Airplane Resumes Flight - RF Cafe"Flight tests have resumed on subscale aircraft that could one day observe the Martian atmosphere and a variant that will improve collection of Earth's weather data. Work on the shape of the aircraft and the systems it will need to fly autonomously and collect data are ongoing for the Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Land on Mars, or Prandtl-M aircraft. Student interns with support from staff members at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California are advancing the project ..."

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About Airplanes & Rockets

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Kirt Blattenberger
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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. There is a lot of good information and there are lot of pictures throughout the website that you will probably find useful, and might even bring back some old memories from your own days of yore. The website began life around 1996 as an EarthLink screen name of ModelAirplanes, and quickly grew to where more server space ...

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