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:
Modeling News Archive:
C/L 1/2-A Proto Speed EventControl line speed models and contests have been around nearly since the existence of engine-powered model airplanes. As with all sports, the state of the art in materials and design advances significantly over time, as does the contest flyers' skills. Entering into the realm can be daunting, especially if you do not have access to a mentor. From what I've read on the North American Speed Society's website, the 1/2-A Profile Proto Speed class was created specifically to provide an opportunity to try your hand (pun intended) at speed modeling without the need for expensive equipment or pre-existing building and flying experience. Per the AMA's "Rules Governing Model Aviation Competition in the United States, Control Line Speed," 1/2-A Proto models must use engines with displacements from 0.0000* to 0.0504 in3, weigh no more than 9 oz., and fly on a pair of 42-foot long, 0.010-inch diameter lines. The Model Aeronautics Association of Canada stipulates identical parameters.
Weatherizing an F4U CorsairIf you do not already subscribe to Model Airplane News' weekly e-mail newsletter, I highly recommend it. There is always at least one item that I find interesting enough to visit the website to read 'the rest of the story.' This week's newsletter has a story on reworking the factory finish on an RTF F4U Corsair to give it a more realistic weather-beaten and combat-used look. There is always a brief tutorial on an aerobatic maneuver (Keeping Loops Round this week), often a feature of a full-scale aircraft, and a few other goodies.
Do We Have a Right to Fly?Here is an interesting piece from the AMA Government Regulations Blog:
American Modeler Sketchbook Model Building TipsThey might be 46 years old, but there are still a couple good tips for modeler in the March 1967 edition of American Modeler. In particular, a really slick method for holding your fuselage cross-section square (or any other shape) while the glue is drying. Another great tip is one for holding leading edges in place without pins while drying was submitted - by a guy in Hong Kong, China. 1967 was a bad year in Hong Kong because of widespread riots instigated by Communists from Red China. Of course we were having our own riots and violence here in the U.S. during that awful era where groups like Bill Ayers' Weather Underground were bombing police stations.
PowerUp 1.0- Electric Paper Airplane Conversion KitThis is pretty cool. For just $15 you can buy a kit of parts for converting just about any paper airplane in to a electric-powered flyer. Per the PowerUp website: "The world's first electric-powered paper airplane! Only 20 seconds to charge for over 30 seconds of free flight duration. Durable, lightweight carbon fiber body. Creative and educational, make your own free flight origami airplanes, experiment with different models and share your best designs with us. Great outdoor activity. Requires 3 AA 1.5V Alkaline batteries (not Included)" Included are motor, 2 props, a Li-Po battery, support stick, and a charging box (for the AA batteries). An iPhone-controlled version is due for release in the fall.
Air Trails Sketchbook Model Building TipsMore than half a century ago modelers relied on their own ingenuity - and sometimes that of others - to make parts for their airplanes and/or make tools with which to build those airplanes. Ready-made everything, available at your doorstep within two days, was just not an option. Even well-designed kits that included most hardware accessories required the builder to tap into his personal bag of tricks to get the job done. The "Sketchbook" feature that presents reader-submitted tips and tricks began in Air Trails and continued through the follow-on American Modeler magazines. Many have been posted here on Airplanes and Rockets website.
Saga of the OQ-2A DroneWebsite visitor John H. requested this article on the OQ-2A drone from the March 1971 edition of AAM. The OQ-2A was produced by the Radioplane Company, of California at the beginning of World War II. Reginald Denny, a famous actor of the time and owner of the company, was an avid radio-control flyer. Rudder and elevator control was provided via remote-controlled electric servomechanisms. Norma Jeane Mortenson, aka Marilyn Monroe, worked on building these planes in the Radioplane Company's shop.
Antique Handmade Oak Tool Chest RestorationFor decades, I have had my hobby workbench set up with collectible coffee mugs sitting around to hold all of my hand tools - pliers, picks, files, scissors, rulers, screwdrivers, etc. Over time the number of coffee mugs has grown considerably, so it seemed like the time had arrived to finally get a tool box to put everything in so as to have a tidier and more efficient work space. A search for a nice oak toolbox showed that anything worth getting would cost many hundreds of dollars if purchased new. There are a few el cheapo wood toolboxes out there, but the customer reviews are overwhelmingly bad. Lousy joints, easily scratched finish, and sticking drawers are a few of the most common complaints. Conversely, customer reviews on the well-made oak chests overwhelmingly rave over how nice they are. Well, I'm not so poor that I'm eating the dog for dinner, but then I'm not eating caviar either...
1955 Ford Thunderbird Scale Views Pencil DrawingsIn 1955, Ford introduced the Thunderbird convertible as its first true 'modern' personal luxury car. It was not promoted as a sportscar, although its 2-seat configuration certainly provided the requisite look. As with all new model years, the 1955 Ford Thunderbird was introduced to the public in the fall of 1954, in time for the December edition of Air Trails to publish a series of scale pencil drawings by Jefferies. The artist much have had access to at least some level of factory drawings because of the detail in the x-ray views; either that or he had an exceptional ability to visualize such things based only on external observations. If you are a Thunderbird fan, then you will appreciate these drawings.
Believe it or not, there are still some people who scratch build their own model airplanes or build kits that require bending and even soldering music wire for making landing gear. I fall into that category, although I occasionally buy a pre-built model to use while projects are on the building board. This article from a 1954 Air Trails has some handy tips and illustrations to help someone doing doing landing gears for the first time and maybe even for seasoned landing gear builders. In fact, after reading this article, I implemented step #8 that shows a good way to assure that the wheel retaining washer is soldered perpendicular to the axel. If you do not use a jig of some sort, the surface tension of the molten solder tends to pull the washer askew because of the proximity of the bend in the wire between the wheel axel and where it leads up to the fuselage. The phenomenon occurs because the natural action of the solder is to minimize surface tension everywhere, so that angle perturbs the solder flow. Skewing does not happen when you are soldering a washer at the end of the wire where all the angles (90°) are the same.
Auto Progress: Down Memory LaneAir Trails HOBBIES for Young Men magazine, which was published in the 1950s and 1960s, covered a wide array of subjects including model cars, boats, trains, rockets, and helicopters. It may have billed itself as targeting young men, but men of all ages enjoyed its monthly contents. The December 1945 edition had this spread on some early cars such as the Pierce Silver Arrow and 1922 Durant. The image of line drawings and brief descriptions would also make a good wall poster if you want to print it out. If you are a vintage car aficionado, then most likely you have visited the Jay Leno's Garage website. He has one of the nicest private collections of antique automobiles and motorcycles in the world.
Air Progress: Japanese Air
Force World War II Fighters
Push-Air CO2-Powered Free Flight ModelWebsite visitor Tom J. wrote to request that this article for the "Push-Air" CO2-powered free flight model be posted. Designed by Frank Ehling, it appeared in the February 1970 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. The 19" wingspan almost seems large for such a tiny motor - the 0.005 cubic-inch Brown Junior CO2. Built-up stick and tissue construction could replace the 1/16" sheet balsa fuselage sides and tail surfaces to save a little weight if you want a little extra flight time.
AMA Helps Snoopy Get His WingsThis is another one of the the many models I have always intended to build, but just have never gotten around to it. Being a huge fan of the whole Peanuts gang, and particularly Snoopy the World War I ace, one of these flying doghouses would be a perfect project. I've never seen one configured for control line, so that's my plan when and if I ever do build one.
Martin MO-1 Article & PlansNearly two years ago I scanned and posted just the plans for the Martin MO-1 control line model intended for Navy Carrier events, but I did not post the construction article. So, I finally added the article for you. Here are plans for the Martin MO-1 that I electronically scanned from my purchased copy of the August 1969 American Aircraft Modeler magazine. To this day, the MO-1 is the preferred model for the event. It will be interesting to see how the AMA's adoption of new rules for control line competition that allows radio control of any function other than elevator control will affect Carrier competition. I foresee gyroscope stabilization and airspeed hold functions. Plans for this fine model were drawn by Don Gerber and Charles Reeves.
Gentlemen, Start Your EnginesAs electric power is increasing in popularity for model aircraft locomotion due to significant advances in motor and battery technology, internal combustion engine use is decreasing - at least as a percentage. For those modelers who still indulge the often temperamental habits of those engines, this article from the American Aircraft Modeler's "For the Tenderfoot" series is a good primer (yes, word chosen deliberately) on how to break in and adjust them for long life and reliable runs. My own conversion to electric power has been purely for the sake of convenience; there is no substitute for the sound and smell of a model airplane engine screaming away with the fragrance of hot castor oil emanating from the exhaust port.
Merchant of SpeedAsk any American what is his all-time favorite World War II fighter aircraft and the answer will most likely be the P-51 Mustang. It's sleek lines, rocket-like speed, and the guttural roar of its 12-cylinder engine creates a demanding presence whether in a museum or on an airshow flight line. That same person would also probably name the AT-6 Texan as his favorite trainer of the era, and the B-25 Mitchell as his favorite bomber. What do all three have in common? They were all designed and manufactured by North American Aviation. At the helm of the company during the era was James Howard "Dutch" Kindelberger. This story from a 1949 edition of The Saturday Evening Post takes a look at the man behind those legendary aircraft.
For the Tenderfoot: Cheechako
Walter H. Durfee Hall Clock Pattern #13Melanie and I toured the Watson-Curtze Mansion here in Erie, Pennsylvania, today. It was built in the late 1800s by businessman Harrison F. Watson, president of H.F. Watson Paper Company. Its 22,000 square feet of floor area occupies a full basement, three full floors, and a balcony area for orchestras above the third-floor ballroom. The level of detail in the woodwork is incredible, with an extensive mix of hand carvings on railings and cornices and machine carvings on moldings and trim. Each room has a unique theme woven throughout its features. Any woodworker would be envious of the craftsmanship exhibited in the handiwork. Of particular interest to me were the two clocks. One was a grandmother style clock built by the John Hoff company. It sits on the first landing of the stairs. The other is a Walter H. Durfee Hall Clock, (it appears to be pattern number 13), which was considered the clock to have for those in the upper echelon of society at the turn of the 20th century...
eBee Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) from senseFlyQuadrotors have dominated headlines where Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are the subject because they are highly stable and precise platforms that require almost no interaction or flying ability by the user. They are being used by law enforcement, private companies, and by well-heeled hobbyists and for photography and surveillance. For as little as a thousand dollars you can buy a gyro stabilized, autonomous platform for taking pictures of your neighborhood, house, or club flying field. While they are capable of hovering stationary over a target, the disadvantage of quadrotors is that they are slow-moving and therefore have limited range. Conventional airplane configurations don't suffer the speed and range problem, but they are always in motion. While pricier than many lower end quadrotors (higher end model run above $10k), the eBee flying wing platform from senseFly, at about $12,000, not only incorporates many advanced sensing and monitoring systems, also removes the requirement for piloting ability because it is capable of landing autonomously. I'm guessing the senseFly still needs an operator smart enough to hand-launch it...
Big Twin R/C Outboard MotorboatAirplanes and Rockets visitor Kevin B. requested that I scan and post this article on the "Big Twin" R/C outboard motorboat model. It appeared in the May 1957 edition of American Modeler (AM). AM was one of the forerunners of today's Model Aviation (the official AMA publication), and was more all-encompassing in regards to modeling as it included model boats, cars, rockets, and trains. It also was known to occasionally have articles on full-size aircraft. Anyway, the Big Twin is 32" long and is built of traditional model boating materials like mahogany plywood and spruce. This model's claim to fame is the use of balsa planking on the hull - which is much easier to form than spruce - and then a layer of fiberglass is laid over it for strength and waterproofing. An Allyn Twin outboard motor is specified for power.
Gay Devil Control Line StunterWebsite visitor Jim S. wrote to request that I post this construction article on Larry Scarinzi's 'Gay Devil' control-line stunter model. Designed for a .29 to .35 size engine, the Gay Devil is an all built-up airframe, as were the vast majority of the models of the era. Undoubtedly its large elevator area, reminiscent to today's 3-D R/C models, is responsible for the designer's claim that it pulls through square-corner maneuvers with ease - and that is without flaps! Jim says, "I knew him [Larry] when we were attending Newark College of Engineering during the early 50's. I also saw him at Shaw Air Force Base in "57" where I helped launch his 'Gay Devil.' He won third place at that contest." This is yet another example of someone having the opportunity to wax nostalgic over experiences long, long ago.
A Complete Pictorial Rundown
on the 1962 World R/C Champs
Giant Scale Twin Turbine F-86 Sabre JetThis 14-foot-span F-86 Sabre jet flown by Henri Wild at the Icare-Airmeet in France weighs 145 pounds and uses two JetCat 160 turbines for power. It experiences retractable gear problems so the pilot opts to keep the gear down for the maiden flight. A second video runs after the F-86 video that has highlights of the entire airshow. The variety and quality of jet models as well as giant scale WWI and WWII models is amazing, as are the realistic sounds of the turbines and huge 4-cycle engines!
FF'er Mike Schwartz Corrects the Satellite RecordIt has been said that if you cannot accomplish greatness and/or notoriety for yourself, write about those who have and you might just share some of their glory. Through posting some of the old articles from model aviation magazines, I have had the good fortune of being contacted by a few of the people who appeared in them. This time it was by Free Flighter Mike Schwartz, who flew with Bill and Bob Hunter of Satellite fame. Mike is writing an authoritative story of the Satellite's history for the National Free Flight Society Symposium in 2013. There have been a number of errors in modeling magazines regarding Satellite versions and flying locations that he corrected in his letter.
Antiques Fly AgainOttumwa Municipal Airport was the national headquarters of the Antique Airplane Association (AAA) in 1967 when this article was written by Don Pratt for American Modeler magazine, but today it is located about 10 miles west of Ottumwa at Antique Airfield. Maybe ever since Radar O'Reilly made 'put Ottumwa on the map' in the M*A*S*H television series, the Muni got so busy that AAA had to move. Or not. This is a great collection of photos of full-size airplanes many of which probably don't even exist anymore... at least in airworthy condition.
Rockford: 1969br>EAA 17th Annual Fly-InEveryone knows the Experimental Aircraft Association's (EAA) headquarters and annual Fly-In is located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, but it hasn't always been so - just like the AMA's HQ and flying facilities have not always been in Muncie, Indiana. In this article from the January 1970 American Aircraft Modeler, author Don Pratt, whose son Kevin contacted me and requested that this and other articles written by his father, covers the final year that the EAA held its Fly-In in at the Rockford Municipal (now International) Airport. To the right is a satellite image of how the area looks today (note that runway 6 is now runway 7)...
e-fest Coming Soon... February 9th & 10th to Be ExactMark you calendars for February 9th and 10th. That is when e-Fest 2013 will be held in Champaign, Illinois. I'd like to attend e-Fest, Toledo, and AMA Nationals, but time and $$$ just don't allow. If you want to send me photos of your experience at any of these shows, I'll be glad to post them with appropriate attribution to you as the source.
Bean Hill Flyers Club Newsletter, Jan/Feb 2013The Bean Hill Flyers is the Erie, Pennsylvania's, only organized control line flying group. It operates under sanction of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), charter #4673. Two main flying sites are maintained, one in Albion, PA, and the other in Millcreek, just west of the Erie city line. This is the January/February newsletter.
2012 Nobel Prize in Physics Laureate an AeromodelerAs you might know if you have been visiting this website for a while, my life-long hobby has been model aviation. Many notable people have similarly been aeromodelers from a young age, including aircraft designer Burt Rutan, Space Shuttle astronaut Robert "Hoot" Gibson, radio personality Paul Harvey, actor and WWII bomber pilot Jimmy Stewart, Olympiad Bruce Jenner, catamaran and surfboard designer Hobart "Hobie" Alter, to name a few. Physicist Dr. David (Dave) Wineland has just been added to the list since he won the Nobel Prize in Physics in December 2012 for his work on quantum computing. The Academy of Model Aeronautics' (AMA) monthly magazine Model Aviation printed an interview with Dr. Wineland in the January 2013 edition, where he discusses his history with model airplanes and his work at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado. Model Model Aviation editor Jay Smith granted permission for me to reprint the article on my RF Cafe engineering website since it will likely be of interest to engineers and scientists who visit.
Soaring NationalsNearly every soaring enthusiast is familiar with Schweizer's model 1-26 glider, having been around since before most of us were born. Incredibly, it was the new kid on the block at the 1954 Soaring Nationals as reported in this December 1954 edition of Air Trails. The Schweizer 1-26 had just been introduced in January of the same year. Another familiar name to aviation enthusiasts in general is Peter Bowers, designer of the Fly Baby homebuilt monoplane and biplane. Who knew Bowers was a glider guy as well? While names are being dropped, how about Paul MacReady, the Gossamer Condor designer? This contest was a virtual Who's Who of yet-to-be hangarhold[sic] names.