"Saildrone is a Californian company which designs
and manufactures wind and solar powered autonomous surface vehicles, called
Saildrones, designed to monitor the ocean for months on end. The
hard wind design emerged from a decade-long pursuit of the land speed record – company
founder Richard Jenkins ultimately achieved 126.2mph in 2009, having started his Windjet
Project in 1999 while studying mechanical engineering at Imperial College. Using wind
power for propulsion, a Saildrone fleet travels at 3-5kts, with each drone collecting
high-resolution data either by holding station or following a survey pattern. The drones
sail autonomously ..."
This article provides a really good look at how
varied model airplane designs can be for a defined contest event - in this case Free
Flight Rocket, Jr. Jet PAA-Load and
PAA Load Jet. Wing, fuselage, and tail outlines, pylons or not, sub-rudders, and
engine mounting locations are all over the map, figuratively speaking. "Jet" as used
here refers almost universally to the Jetex engines that were popular at the time. Jetex
motors, fuel, and accessories were imported from England and distributed in the U.S.
by Aristo-Craft Distinctive Miniatures, in Newark, New Jersey. Jetex rocket engines were
quite popular with model airplane, boat, and car builders through the early 1970s, at
which point the fuel supplies began to disappear ...
working on a
super-powerful rocket that would be capable of delivering heavier
payloads into low orbit than NASA, a leading Chinese space expert was quoted as saying
Monday. By 2030, the Long March-9 rocket under development will be able to carry 140
tonnes into low-Earth orbit - where TV and earth observation satellites currently fly
- said Long Lehao, a senior official from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, according
to the official Xinhua news agency. This compares to the 20 tonnes deliverable by Europe's
Ariane 5 rocket or the 64 tonnes by Elon Musk's Falcon Heavy ..."
has cancelled its UK-based high altitude unmanned aircraft project, Aquila. The project,
based in Somerset, aimed to provide Internet basestations that could stay in the air
for weeks at a time at an altitude of 60,000 ft. However the 2 kW power requirements
and the laser communications technology that was intended to link aircraft in the sky
and to the ground were both significant challenges. 'The only spectrum available for
these platforms wasn't suitable for broadband due to technical and geographical limitations,'
said Yael Maguire, director of engineering at Facebook ..."
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there
existed a modeling civilization that enthusiastically embraced the concept of building
kits for the personal satisfaction of being able to hone craftsmanship skills, to learn
about the make-up of the products being built, and to save money. Radio control systems
were expensive on a per channel basis compared to today's systems.
Heathkit, as it did with a very wide assortment of electronics products, sold a few
radio control systems in kit form. The buyer built everything - transmitter, receiver,
and servos. I do no remember whether the NiCd battery packs came pre-assembled. Note
that Heathkit servos used capacitive feedback ...
looking forward to JWST data, and sure hope it doesn't suffer a HST-type failure. "An
independent panel has informed NASA that the
James Webb Space Telescope will not be ready for launch until March
2021, and Congress will have to reauthorize the long-delayed, over-budget mission after
breaching an $8B cost cap, officials said Wednesday. Blunders made by Webb's manufacturing
and test team at Northrop Grumman, the mission’s prime contractor, are largely responsible
for the launch delay, according to Thomas Young, a former Lockheed Martin executive
and NASA program manager who chaired the review board examining the mission's development ..."
"Boeing has unveiled a concept jet that will be
capable of whisking passengers from New York to London at a blistering Mach 5 - making
it capable of crossing the pond in just two hours. The
hypersonic plane would fly almost three times faster than the legendary
Concorde - which was decommissioned in 2003 - and cruise at 95,000 feet, about 3,000
feet higher than its supersonic predecessor, according to Aviation Week. The concept
aircraft, which was unveiled at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Aviation 2018 conference in Atlanta, is part of a long-range development plan with both
commercial and military applications, the news outlet reported ..."
Creativity and ingenuity was needed more often
by aircraft modelers back when various aspects of the hobby were in the development stages
and access to a prefabricated device was not as ready as today. If you need a
or method nowadays, a Google search will usually turn up a solution in the form of an
off-the-shelf item and/or instructions on how to do it yourself - sometimes even with
a video to show you how to do it. In the middle of the last century, if you wanted a
component or gizmo other than common things like wheels, propellers, and bell cranks,
you had to make them yourself from on-hand materials or do without. I often am amazed
at the ideas presented in these Sketch Book installments. Check out the device
designed by Mr. Mustafa K. Artam, of Istanbul, Turkey, for checking relative
This might benefit some GPS-directed drones. "There
more precise GPS coverage across the U.S., thanks to the recent deployment
of the FAA's Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting 5 Wide Area Augmentation System navigation
payload, which was developed by Raytheon's Intelligence, Information and Services business.
The GEO 5 payload joins two others already on orbit in correcting GPS satellite signal
ionospheric disturbances, timing issues, and minor orbit adjustments, giving increased
coverage, improved accuracy, and better reliability, according to Raytheon officials.
'GPS alone can't meet the FAA's stringent requirements for accuracy, integrity ..."
Although not directly related to the mid-last-century
aviatrix Virginia Dare, aka "Flyin'
Jenny," the "Flying Jenny" book written by Theasa Tuohy is a novel about a daring
tabloid newspaper reporter named Jenny Flynn. This Jenny was inspired by real-life barnstorming
female pilot Elinor
Smith, aka "The Flying Flapper Freeport." The author's mother and namesake (Theasa
Tuohy) was a contemporary of Will Rogers and friend of Wiley Post ...
was another dream of mid-last-century visionaries. It was the post World War II
era where, following the demonstration of nuclear energy's awesome capacity demonstrated
in Japan, plans were being made to harness its capacity for peaceful uses. Large scale
atomic power electricity and steam generation stations were being designed and built.
So, too, were personal nuclear power packs, atomic-powered car, boats, submarines, airplanes,
rockets, and trains envisioned. Unfortunately, designers soon learned that safe containment
of the fuel made small form factor generators impractical. Unfortunately, a few accidents
in power stations has spooked ...
Notice the tail number has been blotted out. "A
student pilot who was training at Fullerton Airport in southern California is in major
trouble after an incident on Sunday. Too eager for his first solo, the man took a Cessna
172 from a local flying club
without permission, but was unable to successfully complete his mission.
Fullerton's airport manager Brendan O’Reilly said the student pilot had recently joined
the RI Flying Club, which had the Cessna 172 as part of its fleet. O'Reilly said the
flying club has been operating at the airport for more than 30 years without any incidents.
The student pilot was not qualified to fly the airplane solo, but somehow snagged the
keys and took the airplane to the skies. The student pilot made not one, not two, not
three, not four, but five attempts at landing, each time messing up the airplane more ..."
John Collins is the undisputed
Paper Airplane Guy. He set a new world record flight distance of
26 feet, 10 inches, in 2012. He wrote a book titled,
The World Record Paper Airplane and International Award Winning Designs.
This article is from an appearance on the Conan O'Brien show, and includes a video of
Mr. Collins demonstrating how to fold and launch paper airplanes ...
"The San Diego Air & Space Museum's Library &
Archives recently launched a new online exhibit commemorating the
100th Anniversary of U.S. Airmail. On a fog-shrouded May 15th, in
1918, the first airplane to provide regularly scheduled airmail service in the United
States took off from the Potomac Park polo grounds in Washington, D.C., headed to New
York City, a 218-mile route. Sponsored by the U.S. Post Office, and personally sent off
by President Woodrow Wilson, this has proven to be a most important day in our nation's
Flying model helicopters of any sort were fairly
rare in 1952, when this edition of Air Trails magazine hit the news stands.
The sophisticated, miniaturized, smart stabilization systems of today's models were not
available at any price, and radio control was the realm of military research vehicles.
Methods for driving the rotors included glow and gas engines, rubber bands, and even
Jetex engines. Many free flight helicopters sported the
of a pair of engines at the end of a moment arm which caused rotation. Cox .010 and .020
engines were a popular choice, as were the Jetex engines. I always wondered what happened
"It was a beautiful Sunday morning, and nobody
was flying. My open-cockpit biplane, a
Great Lakes 2T-1A-1, was just the answer for a relaxing start to
the day. It's a great airplane for sightseeing. It flies low and slow, and turns on a
dime. I departed Montgomery Airport (KMYF) in San Diego and put down at nearby Gillespie
Field (KSEE) for a delicious cheese omelet. When I departed, it was still a ghost town;
the Gillespie controller even offered an intersection departure on the perpendicular
runway, just for fun. I departed into the clear, gorgeous empty sky. What could possibly
go wrong? I let my instincts ..."
1962 AMA Nationals competition was considered the first major contest for scale radio
controlled airplanes. To wit, this article from the 1963 Annual edition of American
Modeler, says R/C scale "finally 'came of age.'" Proportional radio sets were becoming
common and the reliability of the airborne electronics and batteries was going up while
weight and size was coming down. Modelers were much more willing to trust the radios
to safely control models that often took many hundreds of hours to build. Sharing frequencies
at or near to the 27 MHz band allocated by the FCC to R/C was still a huge risk,
but the venues of major contests provided protected areas that were far enough from most
"Drones are not, as is often assumed, a 21st-century
development. Far from it. Their history goes back more than 100 years, but the rate
at which they are changing our everyday life continues to accelerate. So we thought it
is worth looking back and seeing where the concept came from, how it developed, and where
it stands today. Given the current rate of change, it's obvious we're only seeing the
tip of what is going to turn out to be a very big technological and cultural iceberg.
Drones constitute a fundamental transformation in both military and
civilian realms. In an unmanned air system (UAS), the miniaturization in technologies ..."
1938 was still two decades away from when America
would launch its first Earth-orbiting satellite and three decades from when man would
first walk on the moon, yet work was well underway by enthusiastic aerospace engineers,
scientists, astronomers, project managers, and others to accomplish those goals. While
article boasts of rockets attaining speeds of 800 miles per hour, leaving Earth's gravitational
pull for a trip to the moon would require a escape velocity of 25,000 miles per hour.
Telescopes powerful enough to survey the moon's surface for determining a safe location
for landing were being readied with telescopes like constructed 200-inch Hale reflector ...
"MIT engineers have designed a
robotic glider that can skim along the water’s surface, riding the wind like an albatross
while also surfing the waves like a sailboat. In regions of high wind, the robot is designed
to stay aloft, much like its avian counterpart. Where there are calmer winds, the robot
can dip a keel into the water to ride like a highly efficient sailboat instead. The robotic
system, which borrows from both nautical and biological designs, can cover a given distance
using one-third as much wind as an albatross and traveling 10 times faster than a typical
sailboat. The glider is also relatively lightweight, weighing about 6 pounds. The researchers
Less than a year before the U.S. was officially
drawn into World War II with surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, American fighter pilot
Lieutenant Thomas McBride provided this first-hand report on what he perceived to be
the current status of the
German air force (Luftwaffe). While in France he noted bizarre behavior of young
German pilots, often with no more than a few hours of flight instruction, making deadly
rookie flying mistakes and strafing ambulances and farm animals for sport and blood lust.
Older pilots with slower reflexes were put in higher performance aircraft and could not
compete with younger British pilots, while plebes in the same airplanes could not, due
to insufficient training, handle the power and maneuverability. Blacking out under high
G forces and not allowing sufficient altitude for vertical bombing runs spelled the end
to many Luftwaffe airmen ...