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- Home Page Archive #1 -
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." Lord Kelvin, 1895

In order to provide for a reasonable homepage loading time, it is impractical to just keep adding items to the top of the stack and keep all the old stuff there too. Therefore, I have created these Airplanes and Rockets Homepage Archives to maintain a historical snapshot of everything once on the homepage. Unfortunately, I did not think to keep a record until around Fall of 2009; I had just been deleting items from the bottom of the stack. No more, though. Hence forth, if you recall seeing something on the homepage but it is no longer there, please check out these archive pages. I also keep an archive of all the modeling news additions:

Homepage Additions Archive:

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| 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 |

Modeling News Archive:

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The Zero Displacement Engine
August 1971 American Aircraft Modeler

The Zero Displacement EngineThis is a very cleverly written article by John Burdick, and believe it or not, there were some very unflattering - even angry - letters to the editor in the following months regarding its claims. There is a slightly nuanced feature that depends on the reader being familiar with complex numbers (those with both a real part and an imaginary part). Lots of people didn't get that part of it, and wrote to condemn Mr. Burdick for being ignorant. The irony is great!

"Sketchbook" - September 1957 American Modeler

Click to view the Sketchbook pageAmerican Modeler magazine - the predecessor to the AMA's American Aircraft Modeler, featured a monthly spot called "Sketchbook." I presented a handful of helpful tips submitted by readers. Some methods are dated, but many are very applicable to today's modeling. In fact, with the ever-increasing number of people engaging in the building and flying of old-timers models, seeing the tips might help give ideas for how to recreate a more authentic version from the era. More will be added as time permits.

Grumman F7F Tigercat Plans and Article

 Airplanes and Rockets - Grumman F7F article from June 1957 American ModelerHere is an example of the Grumman F7F, as presented in the June 1957 edition of American Modeler. Designed, drawn and described by Paul Plecan. "The Grumman F7F Tigercat was the first twin-engined fighter aircraft to enter service with  Airplanes and Rockets - Grumman F7F article from June 1957 American Modelerthe United States Navy. Designed for the new Midway-class aircraft carriers, the aircraft were too large to operate from earlier decks. Although delivered to United States Marine Corps (USMC) combat units before the end of World War II, the Tigercat did not see combat service in that war. Most F7Fs ended up in land-based service, as attack aircraft or night fighters; only the later F7F-4N was certified for carrier service. They saw service in the Korean War and were withdrawn from service in 1954."  - Wikipedia

FPV RC Flying Article in
February 2010 IEEE Spectrum Magazine

FPV RC Flying Article in February 2010 IEEE Spectrum MagazineBeing an electrical engineer, I have been a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) since my senior year in college (many moons ago). They publish a monthly magazine called Spectrum that typically has a great mix of article subjects. The February 2010 edition carries an article titled, "DIY Eye in the Sky," that talks about the author's experience with his first-person-view (FPV) model. David Schneider does a great job describing the equipment and even mentions the AMA.

Grumman F2F-1 Plans and Article

Grumman F2F-1 plans and article from American ModelerHere is an example of the Grumman F2F-1, as presented in the September 1957 edition of American Modeler. Designed, drawn and described by Paul Plecan. "The Grumman F2F was a single-engine, biplane fighter aircraft with retractable undercarriage, serving as the standard fighter for the United States Navy between 1936 and 1940. It was designed for both carrier- and land-based operations."  - Wikipedia

With more than 50 years having passed since the original printing, many of the plans are not available anymore from any source.

Boeing B & W 1916 Biplane Plans

Boeing B & W 1916 BiplaneThe March 1965 edition of Model Airplane News featured the Boeing B & W 1916 biplane. It was the first biplane manufactured by Boeing, in Seattle, WA. Click on the thumbnail to see the plans. There are also links to other resources for the airplane. Designed and built by Mr. Francis Reynolds.

Chaperoned Free Flight

Chaperoned Free Flight ArticleThis article on radio-controlled free flight was scanned from the July 1972 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. It generated a lot of unfriendly letters to the editor from free flight purists. Such letters, published in the reader feedback section, were much less polite than those you would see today.

RCRadioNetwork.com - 24/7

RC Radio Network - 24/7 Music & Airplane NewsHere is a great service for people (like me) who do most of their radio listening on the Internet.


 RCRadioNetwork.com features live, interactive talk radio for pilots, with 24-hour-a-day music and a live weekly broadcast called "Air Show." It is the only live, interactive talk show on the Internet where you can participate via interactive chats, phone calls, and RC Radio Network - 24/7 Music & Airplane Newsmultimedia visuals. Air Show host interesting guests from all over the world and they are here to meet you personally.

Designing a Ducted Fan

Designing a Ducted FanFor many years it has not been necessary to design and build your own ducted fan unit. The market is chock full of computer optimized designs for both internal combustion engines and electric motors, using some of the most advanced materials for construction. However, there was a time just a few decades ago that ducted fans were the purview of a few talented and motivated do-it-yourselfers that help to advance the state of the art to where it is today. This article, extracted from the February 1971 edition of American Aircraft Modeler, is one of the earlier treatises on the subject.

Designs of Tomorrow

"Airplanes of Tomorrow" by Bill Martin, June 1957 American ModelerKeep in mind when reading this featured article titled "Designs for Tomorrow," that it appeared in the June 1957 edition of American Modeler. The designer, Mr. Bill Martin (Ashland KY), was was ahead of his time. Every aspect of the airplane is well-thought-out and is utterly ingenuous. So, the question is, "Why are almost none of the features incorporated into today's commercial aircraft?" Did Mr. Martin never have the opportunity to pursue his dreams?

Why DO You Build Models?

"Why  DO You Build Models?" from the June 1957 edition of American ModelerThis is a very interesting article in part because its author rues the disappearance of opportunities for "today's" kids to participate in types of exploration and creativity common in yesteryear --- and that was in 1957!!! Nowadays we lament about kids' faces and hands being glued to cellphones, video games, and computers all day. "... And the new nature is the world of manufactured articles, and even manufactured games and pleasures." It just goes to show that the more things change, the more things stay the same. Here is Peter. E. Siegle's assessment based on his research commissioned by Monogram Models.

deBolt Chief Article from 1967 Model Airplane News

Harold deBolt's Chief (article)One of Harold deBolt's Chief. It first appeared as an article in the February 1967 edition of Model Airplane News. Having recently acquired a copy, I took the opportunity to scan the article and make it available for those who wax nostalgic over such craft of yore. It was a "full house" ship with a 64" wingspan and a Merco .49 engine. An Orbit single-stick transmitter was used to fly it. Entire article now posted.

Secrets of Winning Airfoils

Click here to read the airfoil plotting articleI recently purchased the 1961 American Modeler Annual edition, and it is chock full of great articles, plans, and other information. One article in particular, "Secrets of Winning Airfoils," presents the method of plotting airfoils based on the old NACA curve tables of ordinates. It also provides tables for a couple dozen airfoil types that were used successfully in rubber, power, and Nordic glider models of the day. You can still find airfoil tables online, or take the easy way out and buy one of the nice airfoil plotting programs available.

Revell Advertisement
"Win This Full-Size Gemini Spacecraft!"

Revell ad for Gemini spacecraft contestThis particular page is from page  of the February 1967 issue of Model Airplane News magazine. It is the first time I can recall seeing this contest by Revell that offered to the winner a "full-size Gemini spacecraft!" In 1967, I was nine years old and was a model rocket lover. Like me, a lot of kids would all have - in the vernacular of the day - "given our right arms" to win a contest like this! Click on the image to read about who won it.

Like-New Blade CP+ for Sale ** SOLD

Blade CP+ for saleMy plan is to sell the Blade CP+ and maybe move up to a larger scale helicopter. This Blade CP+ has only flown in my basement, and has never been in a crash. The entire package is in like-new condition.
Included: Transmitter, 2 Li-Po batter packs, 11.1V (I bought a spare), Li-Po charger, flybar weight set, spare symmetrical main rotor blades, landing gear, flybar, main rotor shaft, and tail rotor, training gear, Blade Pitch Gauge (E-flite). I am willing to sell it all for just $120 (firm) + shipping & insurance.

Vintage Advertisements from
Model Aircraft Companies

EK Products ad from 1970 AAMAs with almost every other endeavor, aircraft modeling has undergone significant changes over the decades - both in technology and preferences. Monthly magazines like American Aircraft Modeler have been one of the best venues for capturing snapshots of the status quo of the day. I have been working to scan and post excerpts from vintage modeling magazines. Seeing the prices we used to pay is very shocking, even though in reality inflation puts today's prices about at the same place. The first is this one for EK Products' radio control system. Next comes Du-Bro Products, Scientific Models from the November 1970 AAM, Heathkit and Royal Products from the September 1970 AAM, then Guillow's, America's Hobby Center, and Top Flite Models from December 1969, and Sterling Models from September 1970. Berkeley Models, Enterprise Model Aircraft from July 1957 American Modeler, Herkimer Tools & Model Works (OK Cub engines), and Thimble Drome from September 1957 American Modeler. Update: Hobby People, September 1970 AAM, and Carl Goldberg from January 1970 AAM and February 1967 Model Airplane News. Sig, and Tatone Products from November 1970 AAM. Jetco from July 1972 AAM.

Supersonic Sam Model Plans for a Jetex 50

Supersonic Sam plans and articleIt is too bad that the Jetex series of engines is no longer being manufactured. They were a source of affordable real "jet" engines back in the 1960s and 1970s when I was a kid with only paper route money for financing my habit. If you were lucky enough to get the wire fuses to ignite the pellets, the little Jetex 50s made a great whooshing sound as they propelled your balsa model through the air. My friend, Jerry Flynn, and I mounted them to the Guillows stick and sheet dime store gliders. Here is a plan for a little more sophisticated model called the Supersonic Sam. It appeared in the June 1957 edition of American Modeler.

More Articles & Plans from
Vintage American Aircraft Modeler Magazines

WWII Douglas A-20 Boston / Havoc bomberI recently purchased a few more vintage American Aircraft Modeler magazines off of eBay. Motivation for doing so is two-fold: I like to see old editions from my younger days of modeling, and I want to make the information available to others who are looking for information that can no longer be easily located. Scanning and cleaning up the pages for a decent presentation takes a lot of work, so new material will appear here a little at a time. The first subject is the WWII Douglas A-20 Boston / Havoc bomber, as it appeared in the November 1970 edition.

Sig Citabria Acquired - Plans Reduced

Sig Citabria Kit ContentsWell, after many moons of waiting for an opportunity to build another Sig Citabria, I finally made the leap and bought one. A fine fellow named Jim W., from near Cincinnati, OH, had an ad on Craigslist. He packaged it up real nice and sent it to me. After so long of a time (nearly 20 years) I had forgotten how big it was - especially for a guy who, except for sailplanes, has been building and flying models with no more than 4-foot wingspans. I will keep you apprised of the progress. Click on the photo, please.

Vintage "Grid Leaks R/C DATA SERVICE"
Magazine Archive Available

Aiaplanes and Rockets - Grid Leaks magazineFor those who have been around since the beginning of radio control, you probably fondly recall "Grid Leaks R/C DATA SERVICE" magazine, published by Paul F. Runge. It was published bi-monthly as an experimenters' venue for the latest innovations in R/C.  The Rogue Bay website has an extensive collection of editions beginning with the 1957 Grid Leaks Volume 1 Number 1, and going through 1966 Grid Leaks Volume 7 Number 6. These PDF files are huge in size (some are 70 MB or more), so you might want to save a copy to your hard drive for reading. They appear to be scanned and published full-size, so even the old eyeballs won't have to squint too hard to read them ;-). I do not know if there are copyright issues with the reproductions, but someone might be able to take these documents and significantly reduces the file sizes. - Thanks to Barry L. for the tip.

November 5 Update on the Manzano Laser Works'
Sopwith Camel

Sopwith Camel ready for its maiden flightWhile the Manzano Laser Works Sopwith Camel (by Peter Rake) kit is very nice, the assembly instructions provided with it are severely lacking in detail and clarity. Although my progress has been slow because of other duties, I have been documenting the process as I go. Manzano Laser Works Sopwith Camel, designed by Peter Rake. Here is the open framework ready for covering.Surely other modelers have devised methods for assembly different from or even better than mine, but at least these photos and instructions will help make the process a bit easier and error-free for someone else. My Camel will have rudder (hence the additional dihedral), elevator, and throttle control using a Spektrum 5-channel system.

Items of Special Interest on
Airplanes and Rockets Website

Crossword Puzzles in Model Aviation

Crossword in the November 2001 Model Aviation - by Kirt BlattenbergerWhilst going through some items getting them ready for a November swap meet, I ran across a November 2001 edition of Model Aviation that had one of my crossword puzzles printed in it. Bob Hunt graciously offered to print six of them, and this was the first. Now all six crossword puzzles are available (I originally only had one posted).

Airplane Plan Pages Scanned from 1960s and 1970s
American Aircraft Modeler Magazine

I have begun scanning some of the plans pages from American Aircraft Modeler. Back in the day, every edition of the magazine typically included detailed plans and 3-view drawings for three to sometimes five or six different airplanes. Some of them might still be available from a plans service, but it helps to have a good, high-res photo of what you're getting into before laying out money for it. These were all scanned at a 300 dpi resolution so there is very good detail in the originals. Here is what I have thus far: Comet Sparky, C/L Mustang, Albatros D. Va (1917) 3-View, Senior Aerosport Biplane, T-34B Mentor, Quick Floats, Martin MO-1, 1909 Curtiss Model A, Pietenpol Air Camper, Junkers D-1, DeHavilland DH60G Gipsy Moth, Curtiss A-3B Falcon, Halberstadt D-II, Dee Bee Plans, Aeronca 7AC Champion, Strato-Streak 68, FAI Pussy-Cat, El Cochino, Sperry Messenger, Emeraude, Sopwith Camel, Classical Gas. More will be added as time permits.

Winged Shadows Systems' How High Altimeter
Teardown Report

How High™ altimeter by Winged Shadow SystemsI just completed a teardown report on the How High  electronics altimeter device sold by Winged Shadow Systems. In the report I identify of all the integrated circuits, including the SM5420 micromachined pressure sensor, and give a brief description of the operation.

The Aerosente Glider Workshop

2-33aPhotoHere is a great resource for scale sailplane kits - for R/C and free-flight. "Aerosente offers a full line of balsa wood gliders and sailplanes starting with our simple hand toss gliders and culminating with our vintage and classic scale sailplanes. We carefully selected our gliders and sailplanes in stepping stone fashion - from simple to complex, and from easy to fly to most challenging. Most of our models are kitted by Thomas Martin of TMRC who is well known for his adaptation of classic and vintage sailplanes. We sell most of Tom's kits, plans, and fine art prints here at the Aerosente Glider Workshop."

Here is the Schweizer SGS 2-33a Sailplane Flight - Erection - Maintenance Manual
I have one of the 1:8 scale, Schweizer SGS 2-33a sailplane kits in my workshop now. It will be finished like the ones formerly used by the U.S. Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs. Updates on the progress will be posted as the become available.

Items of Special Interest on
Airplanes and Rockets Website

Crossword Puzzles in Model Aviation

Crossword in the November 2001 Model Aviation - by Kirt BlattenbergerWhilst going through some items getting them ready for a November swap meet, I ran across a November 2001 edition of Model Aviation that had one of my crossword puzzles printed in it. Bob Hunt graciously offered to print six of them, and this was the first. Now all six crossword puzzles are available (I originally only had one posted).

Jetex Rocket Engine Collection

Assembled Jetex 150 engineI purchased a Jetex Jetmaster engine on eBay for about $25 + shipping. It is in in nearly new condition. I had a Jetex Jetex 150 engine instrustions - side B50 when I was a kid, and am waiting to get a good deal on one on eBay, also. Most are selling for more than $50, Jetex 150 engine instrustions - side Awhich is more than I am willing to pay. Sooner or later, I'll snag one for around $30 - it just takes patience. I finally got my Jetex 50 Hell Cat!

DP-03 CO2 Motor

Russian DP-03 CO2 motor.This model DP-03, CO2 motor came in a Russian free flight Styrofoam model kit. I uploaded a video of it running to YouTube. I bought three of these on eBay, kept one for my display, and then sold the other two on eBay. The fellow that bought them actually plans to fly his. Carlson Engine Imports sells this DP-03 motor for $35. The Operations / Service Manual for DP-03 CO2 is now available online.

History of Communications - R/C #1
on List on FCC's Website

As part of some research I was conducting for my RFCafe.com website, I went to the FCC website's History of Communications page (http://www.fcc.gov/omd/history). If gives a short introduction in layman's' terms of its role in guarding the electromagnetic spectrum. It then presents a short list of examples of common items that receives its protection. #1 in the list is when, "Your child plays with a radio-controlled airplane." I'm conflicted over whether to be insulted over the classification of RC airplanes as toys, or to be grateful that our great hobby merits the top position in the list. Regardless, at least we know for certain that the FCC is aware of us.

Airplane Plan Pages Scanned from 1960s and 1970s
American Aircraft Modeler Magazine

I have begun scanning some of the plans pages from American Aircraft Modeler. Back in the day, every edition of the magazine typically included detailed plans and 3-view drawings for three to sometimes five or six different airplanes. Some of them might still be available from a plans service, but it helps to have a good, high-res photo of what you're getting into before laying out money for it. These were all scanned at a 300 dpi resolution so there is very good detail in the originals. Here is what I have thus far: Comet Sparky, C/L Mustang, Albatros D. Va (1917) 3-View, Senior Aerosport Biplane, T-34B Mentor, Quick Floats, Martin MO-1, 1909 Curtiss Model A, Pietenpol Air Camper, Junkers D-1, DeHavilland DH60G Gipsy Moth, Curtiss A-3B Falcon, Halberstadt D-II, Dee Bee Plans, Aeronca 7AC Champion, Strato-Streak 68, FAI Pussy-Cat, El Cochino, Sperry Messenger, Emeraude, Sopwith Camel, Classical Gas. More will be added as time permits.

Final Edition of American Aircraft Modeler

American Aircraft Modeler Cover - March 1975The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) ceased publication of is official magazine, American Aircraft Modeler, after the March 1975 issue. The current version, Model Aviation, was its replacement. On a whim, I checked to see if the AmericanAircraftModeler.com domain name was available. Amazingly, it was, so I immediately registered it. I'm hoping that the AMA will grant permission for me to scan and post pages from some of the editions so that the wealth of information there can be accessed by anyone.

Estes Saturn V Rocket

Estes Saturn V rocket prior to paintingMy Estes Saturn V rocket kit is finally complete! Construction began in August of 2005, and finally ended in September of 2007 - about par for my projects. See pre-Estes Saturn V - Click here for the main rocket pagepainting image to the left.
My vintage Estes model of the Saturn V rocket that boosted the Apollo series of capsules into space is shown here ready for painting. It only took me two years to get it to this point (yeah, pathetic!). Lots of detailed photos of my Saturn V have been added to the page.

Citizen-Ship Escapement

Citizen-Ship PSN EscapementCitizen-Ship PSN EscapementHere are some pictures of an old Citizen-Ship PSN Escapement unit that I just purchased on eBay for $13. I have never even actually seen one before, so when it appeared on Citizen-Ship PSN Escapement w/InstructionseBay at such a low price, I went ahead and bid on it.

About Airplanes & Rockets

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. 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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