visitor Tom A. wrote to ask me to post this "Baby Biplane" article from the October 1971 edition of American Aircraft
Modeler. It was one of the For the Tenderfoot
models that the magazine published almost monthly for many
years. The Baby Biplane uses a very simple structure but as with any biplane of any size, the extra work of building
a second wing and adjusting it to fly properly take a little more work. Using the modern trick of printing a colored
patter on the Jap tissue prior to attaching it would make Baby Biplane look really spiffy.
the early 1960s, Carl Goldberg Models was reaching a crescendo in its kit manufacturing business. Many successful
models were already on the hobby shop shelves serving all genres of the hobby - free flight, control line, and radio
control. The Falcon was a particularly big hit because it served as both a trainer and an intermediate flyer. A newbie
could buy a Falcon and use if from his maiden flight to introductory aerobatics. Building off the success of the Sr.
Falcon to come up with a 1/2A size version. Rudder-only was still popular at the time, so the Jr. Falcon launched
July/August 1963 edition of American Modeler ran a feature titled, "Carl Goldberg - 'Mr. Modeling'," founder of Carl
Goldberg Models. After stints as a model kit designer at Comet and then at Top Flite, Mr. Goldberg took off on his
own in 1955 to start his own company. The rest, as the saying goes, is history. Carl Goldberg models have been built
and flown by tens of thousands of modelers. Although he passed away in 1985, his company lives on as a subsidiary
of Great Planes. Most of the original kits are no longer available except second-hand on eBay. Many of the designs
I first saw the Talon Zephyr I thought it was a 1/2A model because of the familiar engine shape. It turns out to be
a Tee Dee Cox .15. Although Cox ceased making the engines long ago, you can still occasionally find one listed on
. In fact, I just looked and there's one available for $105. That's a lot more than the typical 1970s era
price of about $20, but compared to a new high quality engine today, the price is not out of line. The biggest issue
is keeping a supply of the glow heads available. Some people have successfully drilled and tapped the center area
to accept a standard...
Ephemeris Class A and FAI free flight model was somewhat of a sensation in the modeling world back in 1963 because
it featured up thrust. Its designer, R. Jess Krieser, was "thinking outside the box" before the term was even coined.
Mr. Krieser took an engineering approach and after examining tables and graphs on L/D curves on airfoil drag coefficients,
settled on the final form factor that became the Ephemeris. Read about it here.
visitor Joshua H. wrote asking me to scan and post this article on Bob Baron's "PA-6" control line stunt design that
appeared in the July 1968 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. Per the airplane's designer, "Cleverly blended design
factors - notably engine/prop combination - make this a truly great stunt design." Its 56" wingspan and Super-Tigre
.35 BB engine with a 50-oz. flying weight on 70' lines reportedly results in a near-perfect stunter.
P-51C Mustang was restored as a "Red Tail Squadron" member in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen from WW II. It flew
into the Erie airport today and was a nice birthday present for me to get to see it. The pilot, Brad Lang, is the
son of Tuskegee Airman Donald W. Lang, Sr., and is a lifelong aeromodeler and AMA member.
duty is the latest application for radio-control systems and the combination of modern high-powered electric motors
and Li-Ion batteries. An Arizona-based company called Hydronalix has created a robotic flotation device to deploy
to reach swimmers in distress when a lifeguard can't get there soon enough. The robot is called EMILY, which is an
acronym for Emergency Integrated Life-saving Lanyard. EMILY weighs 25 pounds, can go up to 25 miles per hour and can
be used as a flotation device for up to six people. Its batteries will run the device for about 15-20 minutes...
4-view drawing of the Fairchild Model KR21 was scanned from page 29 of my purchased edition of the October 1967 American
Modeler. It is another example of Björn Karlström's fine scale drawings. Airplanes and Rockets website visitor Jonathan
students at MIT have developed a hand-held computerized router that can precisely cut out or rout practically any
shape on any size wood (or plastic, foam, whatever) based on a digital map of the pattern and the work surface. Strips
of encoded tape are positioned on the material and then the router follows the tape. Notice while watching the video
that the router moves around on the base unit. The operator's job is to keep the router near the center of the base
so it doesn't move against a hard stop at the edge of the base. This type of function is traditionally performed with
an X-Y plotter type system that automatically moves the bit across the work piece; they can cost tens or hundreds
of thousands of dollars, depending on the size. Depending on your patience and skill, an entire 4x8-foot sheet of
plywood could be handled if desired. I'm guessing this device, once productized and made in China, will sell low end
in Sears for about $150.
and I recently visited the Udvar-Hazy annex of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum for the first time. We have
visited the main building in Washington, D.C., a few times already. It is amazing to me when looking at the airplanes
represented in this story from the November 1969 American Aircraft Modeler how most of them have been restored by
now and are on display in one location or the other. It appears maybe the authors' pleas were heeded after all. If
I ever have the time, I'll post pictures of the restored versions along with those provided...
you ever had any doubt whether Bill Winter was one of the model airplane hobby's earliest and most prolific contributors,
check out this article that appeared in the January 1955 edition of Popular Electronics. Radio control systems were
just beginning to be commercialized and priced at a point where a lot of the public could afford it. Quirks and high
unreliability that plagued early systems had become less of an issue so that airplane and power plant design efforts
could take priority with aeromodelers. In this article, Bill addresses setting proper wing incidence and engine thrust
angles for good, repeatable, stable flight...
1/3 scale B-17 Flying Fortress is not a model at all. Designer / builder Jack Bally, builder of a couple other home-builts,
scaled UP plans from a 1/9 scale R/C model and applied his experience to a single-seat experimental aircraft with
a 34-foot, 7-inch wingspan. It will be powered by four Hirth F-30 two-stroke engines for a total of 240 hp. It has
been in the making since around the year 2000. He hopes it will be ready for its maiden flight in a couple more years.
visitor Joe S. ,of the great state of Texas, wrote asking me to post this article on the Grumman Ag-Cat biplane crop
duster. According to Joe, "In the 70's I worked for Grumman as a design engineer located at the Schweizer Aircraft plant
at the Chemung County Airport near Elmira New York. I actually grew up in Elmira. For Grumman, I worked on the
design of the Pratt & Whitney PT6-15AG engine installation for the G-164D Turbo Ag-Cat." It's easy to see why
he has such an interest in the airplane...
to Fly a [real] Helicopter — Upside Down
2 Weeks from Historic Landing on Mars
Low-Cost, Super-Efficient Personal Airplane in Development
Battery Packs Could Allow Electric Planes to Fly Forever
Electric Sea Plane Takes First Test Flight
Stuka Dive Bomber Becomes 1 of 3 in the World
designed these 4-level wooden bleachers for use at my daughter's
Equine Kingdom Riding Academy
in North Carolina. They are
very sturdy and are built to last forever. Pressure treated lumber, galvanized hardware, and deck screws are used
throughout. Closely spaced safety rails help prevent small kids from crawling through. The 10-foot length in a modular
format lets you bolt them together for any length you need. A high resolution PDF version of the bleacher plans is
birds are much like our own." That was written of a Ruskie publication reporting on a model rocketry contest in the
USSR. Of course, this story is from a 1963 edition of American Modeler. Back then Communists (Russians, Chinese, North
Koreans, etc.) were colloquially referred to as "Reds". The main topic of the article, though , is the growing popularity
of rocket boost gliders. A few attempts have been made over the years to try rocket boost R/C models, but without
much success. Also covered is the obstacle being faced by groups trying to recruit new rocketeers because of the "killer"...
poetry, short stories, and even songs in magazines was common up until sometime in the 1970s. I'm not sure why it
stopped (or nearly so), but as a reader of many vintage magazine types - airplanes, woodworking, mechanics, electronics,
and others - I can attest to it. Both here on Airplanes and Rockets and on my RF Cafe engineering website, I have
posted quite a few examples. Here is yet another from the July/August 1963 edition of American Modeler. As time goes
by, I wonder how many of today's readers are even familiar with some of the tunes the songs are meant to follow...
Isaac Newton would have said, 'You don't want to put the wheels on like that' had he been around at the time of the
aviation pioneers." - from authors Paul and Louise Blackah,
Douglas DC-3 Dakota Owner's Workshop Manual
, regarding tail dragger vs. tricycle gear configurations.
is the latest edition of RealFlight's simulator. It comes with the original v5.5 and v6 upgrade DVDs and the InterLink
Elite transmitter. It has had almost no use - which is why I am selling it. Price
non-negotiable. I'll pay shipping to 48 contiguous U.S. states. $110
report of the 1962 (16th) British Nationals appeared in the 1963 Annular edition of American Modeler, which I believe
was published in January of 1963. Just as back in the day, the U.S. Nationals were held on a military installation
(U.S. Navy sponsorship), the British Nats were held at Barkston Heath R.A.F. station. Although technically it was
an international event, it appears that Brits and Yanks were the only competitors - or at least the only ones mentioned.
See anyone you know?...
July 3, 2009, Melanie and I treated our daughter, Sally, and her husband, Matt, to a day sail adventure on the Flagship
Niagara, based here in her home port of Erie, Pennsylvania. The day was perfect, with winds at around 10 knots on
Lake Erie, temperatures were in the mid 70s, and an overcast sky that kept the sweat factor to a minimum. We set sail
from Dobbins Landing, which is next-door to the Brig Niagara's home dock at the Erie Maritime Museum. Pictures of
our adventure are below, and a nice overview video produced by Edinboro University of Pennsylvania is at the bottom.
There is also a video I made of an actual cannon firing demonstration. Captain Walter Rybka was in command...
found a nearly mint set of three RCA Victor records at the Erie City Mission titled "Douglas MacArthur's Report to
Congress." Also in the sleeve was a fourth record titled “The War Speeches of Winston S. Churchill.” All are in very
good condition. The set cost me $2.67 – what a deal! I decided to make a video of a few of the more famous speech
excerpts. This is Sir Winston Churchill’s “…this was their finest hour” speech. Narration is by Life magazine’s Norman
P. Ross. The phonograph shown here is a
Pyle Classic Turntable
; it seems apt for playing these records...
the era of online shopping that began in the mid-to-late 1990s (maybe a bit before for some tech-savvy modelers),
hobby shops and the wealth of knowledge that was contained within began disappearing. This advertisement from the
Annual edition of the 1963 American Modeler magazine illustrates the close relationship many modelers used to have
with their local hobby shop operators. Some of the bigger hobby shops near larger metro areas have managed to survive,
but most small-town establishments have gone the way of the IBM Selectric typewriter and the buggy whip. At first
the problem seemed to be that the online distributors won...
Mechanics published a story in 2008 titled, "The Boy Mechanic Makes Toys: How to Build Model Airplanes" A PDF plans
file for the four designs can be downloaded from the website - also has the figures referenced in the article. While
not mentioned, these seem to be vintage plans because of the construction materials and techniques presented...
2009, Popular Mechanics published an extensive tribute to the Apollo 11 moon shot. The article has lots of cool photos
and audio clips of news coverage during the flight, from liftoff to splash down. America was at the top of the world
- literally - of manned space flight in 1969. Who would have guessed that 43 years later, our government leaders would
kill our capability to deliver men to space. Now, we pay enormous fees to Communist Russia and China for a ride to
the ISS that America footed most of the bill for...
and Rockets visitor Ray L. wrote to say he has a Biceps model that appeared in the April 1969 edition of American
Aircraft Modeler, and that he would like to have the article posted. Per Roy, "I bought this model from one of our
club members who is a team race flier and built it on a whim, he fitted it with electric and had it test flown by
one of our aerobatic pilots and after that he lost interest it and I was happy to give it a good home, the quality
of build and finish is to pro standards." The wingspan looks to be around 48"...
around 2006, Celestron introduced the NexStar series of telescopes that offered a relatively low cost introduction
to its renown line of high quality catadioptric scopes. Computerized "GoTo" controllers were incorporated to allow
even entry level amateur astronomers an opportunity to learn his/her way around the night sky. In order to keep prices
down, the 30-plus-year tradition of using a dual arm fork type mount for holding the optical tube assembly (OTA) was
replaced with a single arm that produces a cantilevered support. Heavy duty worm gears were replaced with standard
spur gears. The ramifications of those...
have never been involved in FAI C/L racing, but I imagine things have changed fairly significantly since this article
appeared in the January/February edition of American Modeler. It is the second in a two-part installment, and unfortunately
I do not have the December 1962 edition yet...
Martin engineers are developing a UAV (Unmanned Arial Vehicle) that flies like a maple seed. Bill Borgia, head of
the company’s Intelligent Robotics Lab, explains that the project is part of its work on DARPA’s
Nano Air Vehicle
project. One really cool feature is its onboard video camera that, with the help of software, produces a stable picture
that appears to be fixed (non-rotating). Per the designers, the advantage of this platform is compact size and low
cost, which can make them expendable. Operation is a bit clumsy right now, but no doubt with improved software and
This thought-provoking article titled
The END of Scale Modeling? by Rich Uravitch has received a fair amount of comments from readers. Rich
laments the copyright issues imposed on model manufacturers by full-scale aircraft companies.
cleaning up (air and fuel flow passages), freeing up (sliding friction),
lightening and balancing, and breaking
in are all part of the effort necessary to create winning engines for model racing events. This 1962 American Modeler
article predates Schnuerle porting (in model engines), ABC cylinder liners, and modern metal alloys, but still the
concepts are applicable to today's engines. Wankel loves will appreciate the homemade engine shown.
to the advent of commonplace high-speed digital computers, designing advanced aircraft structures required a lot of
effort building scale models and testing them in wind tunnels and, when possible, in actual flight. The process was
both expensive and time-consuming. As computer simulations have been fine tuned, the need to build models have been
nearly entirely eliminated. Modern aircraft can go from computer monitor to production with the full-size...
am not aware of the origin of this matrix, but it is a very useful tool for determining whether certain filler materials
and finish chemistries are compatible or, equally important, incompatible. It was included in the July 2012 edition
of the Bean Hill Flyers control-line club newsletter. This might save somebody the grief and angst from applying a
finish over a base that will cause it to bubble, peel, blister, or not ever dry. One thing this chart does not indicate
is that you can apply butyrate dope over nitrate dope...
is the July 2012 edition of the Bean Hill Flyers club newsletter. If you live near or are planning to visit the Erie,
Pennsylvania, area, please stop by the flying field. Control line flying is really making a comeback, so if you ever
had an inkling to give it a try, now is the time. A guest plane is usually available. The Bean Hill Flyers will be
at the Erie Model Airshow on August 11...
as originally intended, a lot of people have contacted me after seeing themselves, a friend, or a family member mentioned
in one of these articles published in vintage American Modeler and American Aircraft modeler magazines. Often, it
came as the result of reporting on a modeling event, like the "Mid-America Stunt Championships" covered here in "Wild
Bill Netzeband's Control Line Capers" column in the January / February 1963 AM. Do a site-wide
of Airplanes and Rockets to see if your name appears somewhere. Also in the article
is a report of Veco's new 35C and also on...
are known for not leaving well enough alone. Usually that's a good thing because many innovations and improvements
in existing technology can be attributed to them. That goes for aerodynamics, electronics, biology (gardening), chemistry
(paints and adhesives), automobiles, and many other realms. In this case, the venerable Jetex 50B has had its thrust
level amped by a factor of 6 simply by drilling a hole through the center of the fuel pellets and using variations
on how to arrange the wick and screen inside the engine. Then, the thrust increase was so...
was quite an undertaking by authors Ed Sweeney and Fred M. Marks. They reported on practically every radio control
system that came new onto the market in 1969 and printed the findings in the 1969 Annual edition of American Aircraft
Modeler. That was still the era of galloping ghost systems with reeds, rubber band-powered escapements, and some of
those newfangled things called transistors. By 1969, some of the transistors had graduated from germanium to silicon.
The authors actually get into a little detail on the dual conversion receivers with their IF frequencies and selectivity
- music to the...
your chance to get to do what you love, get paid for it, and serve your country at the same time! This is the ultimate
in FPV (first-person view) flying that is becoming so popular lately. According to the report, the USAF plans to double
its Reaper fleet and dramatically increase other UAV operations. For many years the Army has been using UAVs of all
sizes for flying into danger zones prior to moving troops. I sure wish this had been an option for me back when I
joined in 1978...
Vintage engine collectors and historians will love this article from the 1963 Annual edition of American Modeler.
It is chock full of information, line drawings, and photographs of what was probably fairly comprehensive coverage
of all the engines being produced at the time. The list is not restricted to the USA; it also includes engines from
Italy, France, the USSR, West Germany, and others. Extensive tables are provided detailing specifications for both
glow fuel and diesel fuel. Be sure to click on the images to see larger versions. Enjoy...
and Rockets website visitor Mel G. wrote to ask that I scan and post this article on Dick Mathis' famous Bounty Hunter
1/2A free flight airplane. Mel says he built one from a kit bought at MAL Hobby (Model Aircraft
back in the 1980s. According to their website MAL Hobby has been in business in Irving, Texas,
since 1948. I could not find the Bounty Hunter kit listed on their website...
visitor Guy wrote to request that I post the article for the Supersweep hand-launched glider (HLG) that appeared in
the September 1974 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. It's good to know that there are still folks pursuing this
simplest form of model airplane building and flying - although there is nothing simple about building and flying a
airplanes had not quite caught on with the flying public prior to World War II, so Aeronca had an uphill battle in
gaining acceptance of its "Model-L" series of planes. It ended up being a complete success. The article has an interesting
tale of salvaging partially-complete airplanes during a flood in Cincinnati in 1937 using techniques that would never
be allowed in today's highly regulated and monitored world...
and Rocket website visitor Michael M. requested that I scan and post this article from the May 1970 American Aircraft
Modeler. The Escondido Mosquito is a tiny rubber-powered free flight model with a wingspan of just under 8". Per designer
Bill Hannan, "The silly little thing is great for the living room or office...
Campbell lives in Hillsboro, Oregon - in a Boeing 727. He is one of a surprising snot-so-small number of people who
has converted a retired commercial airliner into permanent living quarters. It is a work in progress. His website
has a lot of good info about his project and advice on how you can do your own. Bruce envisions someday building an
"jetliner home park." That sounds like a great retirement theme. Personally, I'd like a B-52 as home sweet home...
with most aspects of every type of hobby, there is a plethora of different types of glow plugs available for your
selection. The same goes for engines in which to use them. The quandary that haunts many modelers is which glow plug
is the best for a certain engine, fuel, ambient temperature, altitude, etc. William Netzeband published an extensive
article in the 1963 Annual Edition of American Modeler that employs a very methodical and scientific approach that
resulted in extensive graphs and tables that are still largely applicable to today's equipment. If you are still one
of the decreasing percentage of internal combustion...
is a pretty neat video / advertisement produced by Banana Hobby. It only runs for a little over a minute.
our frequent walks around the neighborhood here in Erie, Pennsylvania, Melanie and I would see houses that had flower
boxes installed beneath the windows and vowed that some days we would do the same for our house. Finally, as a present
to Melanie for her birthday, I made measurements and drew up some plans for a set to put on the front of our house.
After doing a search on the Internet for ideas, I decided on a fairly unique configuration where the boxes themselves
sit on a shelf that is mounted to the house...
was just six years after Charles Lindbergh's New York to Paris flight and a time of great enthusiasm for the newfound
realm of human flight. Magazines, movies, cartoons, and hobby shops were rife with airplane themes. Early Warner Brothers
(e.g., Bugs Bunny) and Walt Disney (e.g., Donald Duck) productions often featured airplanes. Many of the toys and
magazines of the era are now worth a lot of money on eBay. The cartoon shown here is a 1933 Willie Whopper production
May 10, 2012, Melanie and I visited the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, part of the National Air and Space Museum, in
Chantilly, Virginia. It is the first time I have ever been there, although I have been to the main museum in Washington,
D.C., three or four times. The collection of airplanes, helicopters, rockets, spacecraft, and associated engines and
paraphernalia is utterly amazing. Unfortunately, we only had two hours to take in the entire experience, so we rushed
around taking pictures and reading as many of the placards as possible in that time...
Bean Hill Flyers, Erie, PA, club newsletter for May 2012 is now available online. A report on the annual club dinner
and a good safety column are among its highlights...