visitor Richard P. wrote to ask for me to scan articles from the June 1971 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. The
two articles, subtitled "A Study in Design Ideas," feature two control line stunters, the F-4 Phantom and the B8 Crusader,
presented together as complimentary models but with varied construction techniques. Designed and built by two separate
modelers, Bill Suarez and Vic Macaluso, respectively, they are similar in that both represented at the time "the Navy's
best current jet fighters," both represented at the...
after half a century, there is still a debate about whether nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries exhibit a "memory," and
if so, how to best rejuvenate their ability to store a charge. Chemistry, materials, and manufacturing advances have
vastly improved the NiCad to where if there is still a memory phenomenon, it is very minimal. If you are still using
NiCads from a couple decades ago, first, congratulations for being an excellent tender of batteries, but second, it
really is time to replace them. NiCads are by far the least expensive type of battery for R/C modeling, and are still
included by default with new radios - both for the transmitter and the receiver. Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) have
a higher energy...
electronic heading-hold and rate-hold gyroscopes, coaxial rotors, and mass-produced, highly engineered and prefabricated
model helicopters, the pioneers had to design, build, and then learn to fly their creations without the benefit of
someone to teach them. Such was the case even as relatively recently as 1972 when Gene Rock wrote this article about
his trials and tribulation involving his home-grown S.S.P. radio controlled helicopter...
as an aircraft modeler have lost another freedom: The freedom to ask questions at your local hobby shop (LHS) without
being assessed regarding your likelihood of being a potential terrorist. The FBI could soon be tapping your phone
and have you on a list if you don't tread carefully. Don't believe me? Take a look below at this Communities Against
flyer published by the FBI titled, "Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Hobby Shops."
Scale Dummy Radial Engines
Master the Tailslide
Road to Top Gun 2012
Giant Electric Airbus A400M Video
Easy Steps to Flying the Knife-Edge Spin
The Right Way to Set Up Servos
Peanuts© comic strip, drawn by Charles Schulz, has been my lifetime favorite. That it is also the world's favorite
strip is no wonder. Now that I have crossed the half-century threshold, I tend to look back at the innocence and complexity
of the themes with a perspective other than simply entertainment - although I still thoroughly enjoy reading them
just to get a few good laughs. Along the way, I have managed to collect a few bits of memorabilia. Melanie was a Peanuts
fan as a child and actually still had some of...
found a nice antique Queen Anne chair at the Erie City Mission. It had been reupholstered at some point based on a
tag that was still attached. It was in excellent condition except the two front leg glue joints had broken away from
the frame. Screws had been used, but the wood in the frame was chewed up and splintered from many prior attempts
finally hit on an eBay auction where the going price for a vintage Cox Sopwith Camel biplane was under $100. It did
not come with the original box, but it appears to have never been flown nor even had the engine run. It's in perfect
condition. Believe it or not, the Cox Sopwith Camel is regularly selling for more than $250. It's insane. I had the
3-model WWI set as a kid, that included this Sopwith Camel, the Fokker Triplane, and the Fokker Biplane...
sky was exceptionally clear, winds nonexistent, and the nearly full moon had not risen above the eastern horizon yet.
Jupiter was about 15° west of due south, high in the sky. My Celestron NexImage was used with a 2x Barlow lens. The
photo is a composite of about 500 short time exposure images recorded at 5 fps. This really helped avoid atmospheric
scintillation. RegiStax v2 software was used...
National Association of Rocketry (NAR) has been around since 1957. At one time, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA)
was pretty tightly joined with them in covering model rocketry events and promoting model rocketry. In fact, for while
there was space allotted in American Aircraft Modeler, AMA's monthly magazine, for model rocketry. This NAR membership
is an example of what used to appear. The NAR and AMA still work together...
has long been one of my favorite Christmas movies. A Charlie Brown Christmas
is my favorite
animated movie, and It's a Wonderful Life
gets the #1 spot for a film, but this runs a very close second.
It first aired around Christmas of 1983, so I was 25 at the time - a bit old for Christmas movies you might say...
but you'd be wrong. Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Melanie and I watch those three movies, plus...
McDowell Flyers are an ad hoc group of indoor R/C enthusiasts that meet on Friday evening in the McDowell Intermediate
High School Gymnasium. John Schardt is the unofficial point man, so he can answer any questions you have about model
restrictions and flight schedules (not all Fridays are available). Melanie and I first visited the gym a couple weeks
ago, and were amazed at the number of people there. I'm told a lot are from the local Thermal-G R/C flying club, but
many do not have any formal club affiliation. In the video, you can see the level of activity. With as many as 10
airplanes aloft at one time, it's a wonder there are so few collisions - yes, they do happen, but usually with no
damage. It looks like a swarm...
article with plans and a 4-view of the YAK-3
appeared in the Sept/Oct 1965 edition of American Modeler. "The Yakovlev YAK-3 (Russian language:
was a World War II Soviet fighter aircraft. Robust and easy to maintain, it was much liked by pilots
and ground crew alike. It was one of the smallest and lightest major combat fighters fielded by any combatant during
the war, and its high power-to-weight ratio gave it excellent performance. It proved a formidable dogfighter." -
visitor Garry O. wrote to request that I post this article featuring the
. With its elliptical wing planform and outward-retracting landing gear, is considered one of the most attractive
airplanes ever to come out of England. It, along with the North American Mustang, are probably the two most modeled
fighters from World War II. This .61-powered control-line model by Malvin Meador won the 1971 Nationals for control-line
scale. It has operating retractable gear, flaps, sliding canopy, navigation lights, and drop tanks.
power was going to be the panacea for all the world's energy needs back in the mid-20th century. Every home would
be powered by a personal nuclear generator, cars and trains would only need to be refueled once a year. Some military
seafaring vessels are powered by nuclear fuel, but that's about it. This article from the November 1946 edition of
Air Trails details serious studies for a nuclear powered aircraft. In the end, it was not the ability to build the
engine that was the problem, it was the size and weight of all the lead and concrete shielding that would be required
to protect... <more>
One of the main reasons I post articles from the old magazines is the hope that someone will be doing a search and
find himself in a photo or text from an article about a model or event. It has happened a dozen or so times since
I began doing so here on Airplanes and Rockets. Visitor
is the latest person to write. "I saw your article on the 1959 Nats in California. I was the
Air Youth State Champion form North Carolina..."
visitor Bob G. wrote to request help with identifying a Cox .020-powered free flight model that he remembered seeing
in an old edition of American Aircraft Modeler. He couldn't recall the name for sure, but gave a good enough description
and a guess at the approximate timeframe that I was able to find it for him - the "Mini-ROD
Bob is planning on building a lot of the Tenderfoot series of models that appeared monthly back in the era.
O. wrote asking if I had any information on the Skystreak
model made for the Jetex engine. It had a lightweight molded plastic airframe modeled after the Douglas D558-1 Skystreak
with a motor clip on the bottom. Rather than being designed to actually fly, it was intended to "fly" along a string
stretched taut between two supports. Those aluminum bushings in the nose and tail accommodate the line. Evidently
these things are very difficult to obtain, but Steve managed to get one. He was kind enough to send me some photos
of his prize.
and Rockets visitor Dave J. wrote to ask that I post this article on the
quarter midget racer that appeared
in the April 1974 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. I offer to do this for people at no charge as time permits,
so please don't offer to pay me. Also, I usually post a scan of the plans, but if you are going to build the model,
I highly recommend buying a set from the AMAM Plans Service if they are still available. The AMA will scale the plans
to any size you need, so you're not locked into the original wingspan.
is the article and plans for the Dee-Bee
R/C model that I electronically scanned from my purchased copy of the January 1968 American Aircraft Modeler magazine.
You might be able to scale up the images below if plans are no longer available. Plans for this fine model were designed
and drawn by Mr. Dario Brisighella.
is my first scan/OCR from Air Trails!br>This article for the
Miss Fortune III
really does a great
job illustrating the thought and planning that goes into creating a model that conforms precisely to contest requirements
for size, weight, configuration, etc., while incorporating original methods and components to maximize effectiveness.
Modeling took a hit during World War II because of the shortage of raw materials and the need for rationing. Balsa
was used extensively for air-dropped supply pallets because of its light weight, strength, and shock absorption properties.
Rubber was in high demand for vehicle... <more>
visitor Truman C. wrote to ask me to post the article for the
free flight model that
appeared in the April 1971 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. AMA still sells the plans for a mere $3 through their
AMA Plans Service
. Bill Hannan's motivation
for designing this model, AKA "Ben Franklin's Revenge," is quite interesting. Read the article to find out why.
3-view for the a Beechcraft Model 17
Staggerwing is being offered free of charge from Model Airplane News. "We became more than just a little excited when
we discovered we had complete sets of the original pen- and-ink drawings of the very first, fixed-gear Model 17 (Staggerwing)
Beechcraft from the master, William Wylam. These are superb collector’s items!"
treatise on engine idling
yet another example of how extensive and detailed model aircraft magazine articles used to be. Maybe refinement in
design and production has, over time, yielded engines that are easier to start and and adjust, and are more reliable
in general, but there are plenty of older engines still in operation, whose owners could benefit handsomely from the
advice offered in this column. It has been my experience that even the newer engines - particularly those typically
purchased by those of us on a limited modeling budget - still exhibit strange operation at times, so unless you always
buy the best engines on the market, read on... you'll be glad you did.
following the development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the last decade of so knows about the incredible
advances that have been made in airframes, propulsion, communications, and autonomous flight. One of the latest video
to hit the Internet is this one showing an R/C helicopter that has been programmed to fly 3-D aerobatics without a
human pilot. For those of you who routinely fly these maneuvers, it might not seem like such a noteworthy feat, and
maybe it's not for the human brain, eyes, ears, and fingers, but take a look at some of the mathematics that are governing
what you <more>
visitor Bob H. of Salt Lake City, Utah, wrote to request that I scan and post this PeeWee .020-powered free flight
model that appeared in the October 1969 edition of American Aircraft Modeler, called "Skyrida
Bob remembered seeing it in the magazine when he was a kid and hands decided now that he is back into model airplanes,
it would be nice to try his hand at one. Model airframes are not all that Bob builds, however; he also likes to build
the engines that power them. Hopefully, one day a photo of his model Skyrida and his engine will grace this page.
1962 when this Fourth National Model Rocket Championships
was held, I hadn't quite flown my first Estes model rocket; I was only four years old. However, it wasn't too long
thereafter that the bug bit me and I was building and launching (and often losing) as many model rockets as my meager
budget allowed for. I remember seeing pictures in model magazines like this 1962 American Modeler of big, open space
where a body could launch the largest model rockets available in the day, and stand a reasonably good chance of recovering
it without having to climb a 50' pine tree or <more>
you are an amateur astronomer who received a copy of Software Bisque's TheSkyX First Light software with your telescope,
you will definitely want to download the latest update (v 10.1.11, on 9/16/2011). It not only fixed the issue with
some labels not being displayed when "Smooth Text" is enabled, but added a few nice features, like now being able
to pan around the sky using the left mouse. I don't recall if it was there before, but now there is a "What's Up"
function that lists all the objects in view for your location/time, and when you click on something in the list, a
green laser points to the object for easily finding it in the map!
an interesting concept, but one inevitably doomed to failure simply due to the lack of structural integrity of the
airframe. You might argue that some of the Cox plastic control line models were not much more robust than these converted
static scale kits, but at least there was some flexure inherent in the Cox models. Author Don Pratt approached the
project from an engineer's point of view, calculating wing and power loading, stall speed, and flight speed, and beefing
up the structure in key areas. Still, he found that while success can be had on a limited basis, in the long run it
just is not worth the effort (IMHO). One of today's powerful, lightweight brushless motors and a LiPo battery might
work out better since <more>
Rock was a pioneer in precision radio-controlled helicopter design. His 5th generation
(SSP-5) is detailed in this article
form the March 1973 American Aircraft modeler. Fixed pitch on the main rotors was still de rigueur in R/C copters,
but Gene did yeoman's work on dynamic tail rotor compensation, model helicopter flight dynamics, system minimization
(the KISS principle), balance, fuel delivery, and much more. Still, just as the brilliance of IBM's engineers who
designed the Selectric typewriters have largely disappeared from memory due to the invention of computers, with only
the keyboard as the surviving remnant, so too has a lot of this hard-won technology been replaced with
1962 will be remembered as the year R/C Scale came of age, it is also the year which saw fine improvement in C/L scale."
That statement was made nearly 50 years ago. At the time, the number of channels for an R/C airplane was counted as
double, so up and down elevator was 2 of the total channels. So, when you read about Joe Martin's 10-channel Boeing
XB-47D, it does not mean the same as it would today, where channels above 4 implies retracts, flaps, bomb drops, brakes,
navigation lights rotating turrets, etc. The article boasted 26 models entered - about the number of backup models
the typical national-level modeler brings to each event today.
Eastlake just sent a few more photos of his
in flight - very cool.
It's hard to believe this is Tom's first attempt at free flight scale.
couple years ago I experimented with adding rudder control to my Comet
via a radio control system salvaged from an Estes Sky Ranger model... This article from the September/October
1965 edition of American modeler proves that the idea has been around for a long time. Even in 1965 people were lamenting
the disappearance of wide-open spaces for flying free flight models (unless you live in the Midwest or Southwest deserts).
Mr. Phillips' airborne system boasted <more>
Every once in a while I'll get a surprising letter from somebody that found himself/herself or somebody he/she knows
in one of the old articles that I publish on the Airplanes and Rockets website. I always ask for permission to reprint
all or parts of the letters on the associated page. This time, it was Mr. Doug Ball, who, with NAR membership number
9338, has been involved with model rocketry for quite a while. Doug is now an engineer at Boeing. Read his letter
that answers the question I posed above. "Kirt, on your website you ask about where some of those young rocket