a visit to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, part of the National Air & Space Museum, I videoed this animation
of an actual Pratt & Whitney Wasp Jr. R-985-AN-14B radial engine. Bulldog Powers, the propulsion engineer, handles
the narration as he describes the workings of the internal components. The entire engine has been cut down the middle
through the cylinders, allowing visitors...
Airplanes News publishes mini tutorials on how to execute popular aerobatic maneuvers and other routines that require
a high level of skill. Learn to fly the
how to do
for sailplanes, how to perform a
, and even mastering precision
straight and level flight
you are a woodworker, whether your skills are applied to model airplanes, clocks, furniture, or musical instruments,
this 3D view of the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City, Utah, will be appreciated. Tom Barilla, Erie,
Pennsylvania's only dedicated luthier (he worked on Melanie's violin), has a workshop full of tools that would activate
the salivary glands of any true woodworker.
month, Bob Aberle writes a column for the AMA's Model Aviation
magazine where he answers questions from readers
on a wide variety of topics. In the April 2012 edition, he provided a website address for an extensive treatise on
glow plug specifications and usages
it James McCarty, Brian Cooper, and Brian Gardner list the major glow plug manufacturers and present voltages, heat
ranges, applications, intended fuel nitro content, short versus long, idle bar, etc. It will probably answer all your
questions about glow plugs.
were used way back when to help keep free flight airplanes in a controlled climb during the powered phase of the flight,
and then in a smooth glide back to terra firma. A weight was suspended from a wire that pivoted on an axle, and a
pushrod was attached to a movable elevator. If the nose pitched up too much, the pendulum's inclination to always
point toward the center of the Earth would move the pushrod in a direction to apply a little down elevator, and...
hard to imagine a time when radio control was such a novelty that contests included events where models were steered
around on the ground around obstacles. We've come a long way, baby...
the request of website visitor Tony L., these plans and article for the Lil' Rebel control line racer, by Bill Cohen,
were scanned from my purchased copy of the May 1972 American Aircraft Modeler magazine (page 36). A lot of experience
went into the details of this design. Plans for this fine model were drawn by John Penhallow...
son of a man well-known to many of us in the model aircraft hobby wrote to request that I post this article on the
Whiplash, which was originally published in the November 1974 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. In fact, his father
wrote a monthly column for AAM at the time, including in that very edition. The Whiplash is a 20-size aerobatic plane
designed for fast building and for pattern practice when you don't want to drag out your full-size ship...
Don Berliner claims that, "[The Owl Racer] is the easiest racer to model for RC pylon." Curiously, given that claim,
no plans were published for it, but there are 3-views. Designer George Owl (I kid you not) applied knowledge gained
from the School of Hard Knocks in the field of airplane racing on top of his ample experience with "brains-and-slide-rule"
design to create this winning craft. Did you catch that? "Brains-and-slide-rule...
lot has been written about Lockheed's venerable P-38 Lightning. It was one of the most frightening sights and sounds
in the skies of Europe and the south Pacific during World War II. Frightening for Axis power fighters, that was. For
the Allies, it was one of the most comforting. Like most military aircraft built in the era, their airframes and engines
were not designed to last for more than a few years. So surviving examples of these airplanes are both rare and expensive
to procure and to own. For the vast majority of people - myself included - the closest we can ever hope to get is
a flying scale model...
can the Nationals be "reborn" in 1946? It seems like it would have just recently been born in the first place in 1946. Here
is a passage from the AMA
history page: "The Junior NAA, although sponsoring the first “National Aeromodeling Championships” (Nats) in 1923,
struggled to be a true aeromodeling organization." Prior to the 1946 Nats reported on in this issue of Air Trails,
the last Nats was held in 1941 - 5 years hence, evidently interrupted by WWII...
love photos of the venerable old DC-3s in action, whether they be performing the role of a passenger airliner, a cargo
hauler, or military utility vehicle in the designation of C-47. My only exposure to a real one was after paying $2
at an airshow to walk around inside one. Some day, before the last DC-3 is retired or converted to (ugh) turbine power,
I hope to purchase a ride on one. Back in the 1940s, when this story was written for Air Trails, DC-3s were revolutionizing
the air industry on all fronts mentioned. If you were a regularly flying...
good-old-fashioned American ingenuity was on display at this year's Toledo Weak Signals show with Rick Hamel’s fire-breathing,
turbine powered dragon. Some stats: Over 62 individually molded parts, "scale" paint job, wing span of 9 feet, 7 feet
long, deeply cambered Eppler 385 airfoil, 30 pound weight, stall speed 25mph, JetCat P80 turbine producing 22 pounds
of thrust. It won Best in Show - no surprise...
visitor Bill Mohrbacher, of the Beaver Country MAC, sent this photo of his electric ducted fan powered Windfree sailplane.
I've never seen an EDF unit on a glider; now I'm thinking about doing one myself! The Windfree was Mark Smith's winning
design from the 1970s. To the right is a pic of Bill's 1/2A Skylane from many moons ago.
visitor Doug W. wrote to ask that I scan and post this article on Dave Platt's familiar Contender. It mentions at
the end of the article that Top Flite would soon be kitting the Contender, which indeed it did. The man down the street
from me when I was a kid flew radio controlled models and he had a Contender (early 1970s). It was covered in yellow
and light blue MonoKote - kind of a strange color scheme. When he crashed it beyond repair, he gave me the carcass...
you have access to Smithsonian's Air & Space
magazine, you really should read through an issue. I sacrifice
sleep to read many articles in each edition, it is that good. "The Bone Yard Project," featured in the April 2012
edition, reports on a collection of retired WWII aircraft at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona. The
unique aspect oft this exhibit is that many of the airframes have been elaborately painted by "street artists." I
suppose they took time off from painting railroad train cars and your uncle's back fence to embellish the planes.
At least they don't worry about getting arrested for this artwork. The exhibit opened in January and runs through
Rockets website visitor David T. wrote asking about locating an article where the author reports on having initially
tried aero-towing by a powered airplane with the tow line connected to the tail of the tow plane. Disaster evidently
resulted, so the author ended up connecting the tow line to the wing hold-down bolts and success ensued. This is the
only aero-tow article I could find in the 1975 year range that David referenced, but it is not what he was looking
for. If you know of an article that contains the experience he requested, please send me an e-mail and I will pass
it along to David...
time I change or replace the blade on my bandsaw, I have to re-learn how to fold the blade into that nifty 3-ring
configuration. This time, I decided to make a video of the process. It can be confounding and seem downright impossible
until you finally figure out how to fold it...
the age-old problem of 20% of the people doing 80% of the work, or maybe it's 10% of the people doing 90% of work.
In 1957, clubs were suffering under the same lack of willingness on the part of its members to do little (or no) more
than pay annual dues and let someone else run the club business, contests, and promotions. The author here makes a
few suggestions for how to get more people to participate in activities. A real sign of the times is how one idea
was to segment aeromodeling clubs into groups focusing...
flying my Taylorcraft at the Fairview Business Park in Fairview, Pennsylvania, a group of guys drove up a few hundred
feet away and unloaded an electric B-17 R/C model. It turned out to be some members of the
Thermal G R/C Club
that meets here
in Erie, PA. The club president, Cliff Bendig, walked over and introduced himself, and said that club treasurer Gary
Niemi was the owner and pilot of the B-17. I drove over to where they were just in time to get this video of the landing...
are a few more photos from the 1959 AMA Nationals, in continuation of coverage in the July and August issues of Model
Aviation. Some are behind-the-scenes shots rather than just flight line action. A lot of the airplanes you see in
these pictures are selling for a mint today on eBay...
are more photos from the 1959 Nats
was published last month (August 1959). A couple of famous names appear: John Tatone, Walt Good, Russ Nichols. If
you seen yourself or someone you know in any of the pictures here on AirplanesAndRockets.com, please send me a note
and I'll add you to the caption...
Here is a tack from 1959 that you won't see these days on why the "Builder
of Model" rule must be obeyed: "Honor" and a "basic American sense of fair play." Those days are gone forever,
most likely. In today's rude, crude society, you would more likely be admonished against making others feel bad for
excelling above them or for believing that being an American is anything special...
is a report on the 1959 Nats, aka the 28th National Model Airplane Championships, held at Los Alamitos Naval Air Station,
California. For those not familiar with the early Nats, the U.S. Navy used to sponsor and host the entire show primarily
because it was considered a good recruitment tool for young men of a necessarily competitive nature. Their hopes were
that those guys would see really cool stuff at the base and anxiously anticipate the day when they could join. Some
time in the late 1960s, the attendance by...
venerable Cessna 150 first came on the scene in 1958. Per Wikipedia, "The
is a two-seat tricycle gear general
aviation airplane, that was designed for flight training, touring and personal use. The Cessna 150 is the fourth most
produced civilian plane ever, with 23,839 aircraft produced. The Cessna 150 was offered for sale in the 150 basic
model, Commuter, Commuter II, Patroller and the aerobatic Aerobat models." The design has changed considerably since
the 1959 timeframe when this edition of Model Aviation was printed, Jetex engines were very popular, likely because
the era was really the dawn of the jet age. Everyone wanted to get in on the act. American Telasco Limited, who I
had never heard of prior to seeing their advertisement here, exploited the craze by producing a wide range of model
aircraft and rockets that were designed specifically for the Jetex engines...
Typical of egghead reactionaries in academia, UCLA electrical engineering professor John Villasenor, wrote an article
for the March 27, 2012 edition of the
LA Times, wherein he laments the government's recent decision not to regulate the RC aircraft hobby as a form
of sUAS. In his view,
if there is the slightest possibility that one person might decide to use a model aircraft to commit a terrorist act,
that is reason enough to form a new freedom-destroying level of bureaucracy. Maybe it is because he hangs with other
ivory tower leftists who want the government to totally control everything, especially if they can have a hand in
it somehow. Fortunately,
AMA President Bob Brown responded quickly to knock it down.
don't know why I never knew about a great open source (aka Free) flight simulator called "FlightGear
but I do now. It's not quite on the level of Microsoft's Flight Simulator
, but for free it's a pretty darn
nice sim. The graphics are superb, but the flight controls, at least when using the keyboard, are a bit unstable.
I was not able to properly trim the aircraft for straight and level flight at any power setting, so landings especially
were kind of difficult. FlightGear does have a joystick interface, but I don't own a joystick. My MS Flight Simulator
has always done very well when using the keyboard keys. The basic download comes with a couple dozen aircraft, and
is yet another of my unrealized lifelong ambitions - building and flying an autogyro. The state of the art has advanced
significantly since the early garage-based and corporate experimenters. Companies such as
sells a number
of models for private pilots with both open and fully enclosed cockpits. I vowed to build one when my finances would
allow. I'm going on 52 and still waiting. There are quite a few model autogyros flying with plenty of plans and a
kit or two available if you would like to build one. Here are two handfuls (10) of early models of both helicopters
and autogyros that, aside from the familiar Bensen, you might never have heard of...
air cars and boats were popular in the 1950 and 1960s. They solved the problem of complicated and failure-prone transmissions
and had no traction issues regardless of terrain. Recall the James Bond movies of the era that featured these vehicles
regularly. As a teenager, I built an air boat out of a block of styrofoam and a Cox .048 Babe Bee engine. A rudder
was controlled by my OS 3-channel RC system. It ran pretty well - nothing to get excited about but it was my first
radio-controlled model of any sort...
back in 1975, my friend, Jerry Flynn, and I assisted Dick Weber in his successful flight on June 14, 1975, that set
a new FAI Closed Course Record of 225 miles in 5 hours and 38 minutes. We were both flaggers to signal when the Tortoise
has passed the distance markers. See the credits on page 37 in the actual magazine. The Tortoise got its name by virtue
of the craft having landed near a turtle on the runway. It was a long day, with everyone being sunburned by the end
of it. We were all members of the Prince Georges Radio Control Club (PGRC).
some reason I never did much with catapult gliders. The ones you used to be able to buy in the convenience store for
a quarter or so were pretty good, but after a few hard landings you had to glue the balsa wing halves into the plastic
holders. The ones we bought had the wing halves on a pivot that allowed the wings to fold up during the high speed
launch and then a small rubber band pulled them back down at the apogee. None of them lasted more than a few flying
sessions. This Viggen model has fixed wings and probably performs a lot better...
Airplanes and Rockets website visitor asked that I post this article for reference while building the model from an
old set of plans that he has. Hopefully, he will send a photo of the completed craft once it's ready to fly. In the
late 1970s, I was working on my private pilot license and dreamed of building a homebuilt airplane. The Bowers Fly
Baby biplane was the first choice based on my nearly non-existent budget since it was all-wood and used a 65
1957, experimentation with full-size vertical-takeoff was still relatively new. The Convair XFY Pogo is probably the
most familiar of the attempts. It sat on its tail and had two huge counter-rotating props in the nose. Without lightning
speed computers for stabilization, it required the pilot to do most of the flying. Things just did not go well. If
was not until the Harrier Jump Jet that practical VTOL aircraft became a reality. Jet engines don't suffer anywhere
near as much negative effect of counter-torque. In fact, the low moment arm of the high rotational speed of the compact
turbine mass actually helped...
rocket motors were a big deal to my friends and me in the early 1970s, although they had been around a lot longer
than that. In fact, this article in the March 1957 edition of American Modeler was printed a year before I was born.
The motors did not product a whole lot of thrust, so light weight was an absolute necessity. Once I finally got the
buggers lit, they worked well and made a really cool hissing noise as the fuel burned. However, the amount of fuse
wire provided never was enough to...
Eclipse is an all-balsa radio-controlled sailplane model with a 16-foot wingspan, geodesic ribs construction, and
"V" tail configuration. I posted the plans about a year ago, and just now added the text of the construction article...
you are a Cox products aficionado, you will definitely want to visit Dr. Martin Hepperle's website. His collection
is second to none and even includes historical information, CAD models of the engines. Lots of rarely seen cars, boats,
and airplanes can be found there. Lots of other good stuff, too, like a Java applet for designing
part of my endeavor to reacquire some of the models that I had as a kid (airplanes and rockets), I bid for and won
this Cox PT-19 Trainer off of eBay. It is pictured above to the right, in brand-new condition. Unfortunately, I decided
to sell it a couple years later during a pending move. However, I was able to get a replacement from the same era
a few months ago (January 2012) from a nice lady in British Columbia, Canada. The new Cox PT-19 was marketed in
by Leisure Dynamics sometime around 1969, and the box was unopened when
she contacted me about selling it. The box and contents are in absolutely pristine condition...
slope soaring is a great way to combine the need for speed and aerobatics with a love of gliders and the benefit of
relatively low cost. There is no fuel to buy, no expensive brushless motors and LiPo battery packs (2 or more per
model) and no waiting for charging. With today's spread spectrum radios, you can fly for hours at a time without having
to wait for a frequency channel to clear. Sure, you can spend big bucks if you really want to, but for $100 for an
airplane and a $200 radio system you can be in the air. The biggest challenge...
to the opening screen, this is possibly the world's first remotely controlled (RC) helicopter. When you read the comments
left by viewers, some ignorantly criticize the "RC" part of the title by pointing out that "RC" stands for "radio
controlled," but in fact it also means "remotely controlled," which is what this model is; there are wires attached.
The inventor was Arthur M. Young. His rotor head is very similar to the first commercially available radio controlled
(R/C) helicopters with a fixed pitch and flybar controlled by a swash plate. The clips shown are clips from the BBC's
"Century of Flight." After Mr. Young's model...
dropping off some stuff at the Erie City Mission, Melanie and I walked through the display floor to see what was available.
We've gotten some good things there in the past, including a Queen Anne chair and a china hutch. We've been looking
for a used, full-size bed for the spare bedroom to replace the twin bed that used to be our daughter's. Fortunately,
the Erie City Mission had recently acquired a turn-of-the-20th-century rope bed that, according to lore, used to belong
to the owner of a defunct local brewery (Kohler?). Heavy pine is used...
I know why nearly everyone who has submitted a comment or review of E-flite's electric-powered Taylorcraft has raved
about its quality of construction and flight characteristics. Since it was first introduced three or four years ago,
I have placed in it Horizon Hobby's online shopping cart, and then removed it, a couple dozen times. I never went
through with the order until recently for two reasons: There just wasn't enough free time to fly it, and my innate
resistance to buying pre-built airplanes rather than building them myself. Well, there's still not much free time
either for flying or building, so at least by giving in and buying an ARF model, that will offset some of the time
that would be needed to build one. In fact, I do have yet another electric-powered...
a 200-lb., R/C, A380-900 Airbus fly.
is an interesting tour of Castle Creations' ESC assembly plant.
tips to a perfect 4-point roll!
in Show! 1/3-scale Sopwith Camel
though I'm not much of a member of the Bean Hill Flyers club because I don't take the time to visit the flying field
very often (and don't currently have a plane to fly), there are lots of guys who are very active all year round. Their
activities are documented in a newsletter. There is no dedicated website for the club, so I am posting copies of the
newsletters here for anyone interested. The Bean Hill Flyers serve the Erie, Pennsylvania, area. Contacts and directions
to the field are on the newsletter pages...
you were lucky enough to have clear skies on the evening of February 26, 2012, you were treated to a very cool alignment
of Jupiter, the moon, and Venus, near the western horizon. The sky in Erie was mostly clear, with a few stray lines
of clouds, which created the effect in this picture. All three objects are overexposed, but it would not have been
possible to get the shot without it. The moon, being only a couple days old, was actually nowhere near full...
I finally dedicated time to scanning and posting the rest of the table of contents (TOC) for the rest of my collection
of American Aircraft Modeler magazines.
So, now the complete set from January 1968 through March 1975 is available. About 25% have at least one article posted,
and now I'm going back to link to all the other articles not yet linked from the new TOCs. This effort took almost
two full days. Let me know if you see an article that you would like to have scanned and posted...