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:
Cox Engine Forum
With about 100,000 postings to date, the Cox Engine Forum is indisputably the Web's most popular destination when it come to all things Cox Engines. Categories include both Cox engines and Cox flying models, both of which can reasonably be credited with popularizing and making accessible to youngsters and adults the sport of engine-powered model airplanes. Arguably, Cox is to control line model airplanes what Estes is to model rockets - a supplier of relatively inexpensive, reliable (most of the time), well-designed products that help eliminate most of the technical and craftsmanship barriers experienced by many aspiring hobbyists. Enjoy ...
Model Airplanes News Trivia Challenge
Win a Book That You Won't Be Able to Put Down! To enter, correctly answer four simple questions. You could win one of four prizes -- Tiger!, The de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth | Fock-Wulf FW190 A History: 1944-1945 | Junker Ju 52 A History: 1930-1945 | The f-101 Voodoo: An Illustrated History of McDonnell's Heavyweight Figher. Hurry! Entries must be received by October 30, 2015 ...
Boeing Patents Cargo Plane That Looks Like Thunderbirds TV Show's Airplane
"It was one of the most instantly recognizable aircraft from the long-running Thunderbirds television series, but now Boeing appears to be developing its very own version of Thunderbird 2. A patent published by the aerospace giant has revealed the company wants to create a new type of cargo plane that can carry a 'pod' of containers. The aircraft would roll over a line of 18 cargo containers, like those normally used in shipping ..."
Modelers Sketch Book, November 1955 Young Men • Hobbies • Aviation • Careers
Many thanks to website visitor Bob Balsie, who graciously offered to scan this article (with many more to come) from his collection of Young Men magazine. The front page tag line above the title proclaims: "Now! 'Air Trails Hobbies for Young Men' EXPANDS INTO Young Men Hobbies • Aviation • Careers" The final issue of Air Trails - Hobbies for Young Men was October 1955, so this November 1955 edition of Young Men - Hobbies, Aviation, Careers was the first in a series that ran for 13 months. Two things caught my attention here. First it that the article is Part VIII, which means the previous seven were printed in Air Trails. Second is the photo of Claude McCullough of Ottumwa, Iowa. Ottumwa is the town from which M.A.S.H.'s Radar O'Reilly hearkened.
Army Testing Swarms of Small Drones
"The Army is experimenting with using swarms of small, inexpensive drones in battlefield missions—as much as anything because of the potential threat they could pose to U.S. forces. Army quadcopter tests NIE Members of the Targets Management Office with Program Executive Office for Simulation Training and Instrumentation are using groups of quadcopters and octocopters to ..."
Germany's Quiet Birdmen
Website visitor Rob H., wrote to request that I post this article featuring the Fokker D.XIII biplane, which was a primary trainer for the air wing of the German army in post-World War I days. The title might well have been "A Brief History of Tony Fokker's D.XIII Biplane" since the majority of the content focuses on his plane. Some really nice 3-views of the Fokker D.XIII are included that show both the covered airframe with markings and the bare framework. It is particularly fitting that this article be requested so close to Armistice Day (November 11, aka Veteran's Day) since the story begins by discussing Germany's defeat at the end of WWI. The reference to 'quiet birdmen' is likely Hitler using the occasion of aiding Russia's air force in order to build its own supply ...
How the 1st Woman in Space Nearly Never Came Back
"Fifty-two years after becoming the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova reflected on her historic trip and how she very nearly never returned. When the Soviet Union launched Vostok 6 in 1963, cosmonaut Tereshkova exclaimed, "Hey sky, take off your hat, I'm on my way!" the BBC reports. But it wasn't long before she realized something was wrong, according to the Guardian. For one, she had ..."
Flying into Focus, February 1941 Flying Aces
On the eve or America's unavoidable entrance into World War II, there was already a lot of preparation happening both in the aircraft production and pilot training realms. The monthly "Flying into Focus" feature in Flying Aces magazine provided a lot of coverage not just to let people know what was going on in the aerospace field, but also to condition everyone for the eventuality. At the time, the U.S. was supplying European and even Russian allies with machinery and troop training, primarily via the Lend-Lease Act of 1941 through which Congress allocated funds for those purposes. As in this edition, the "Flying into Focus" column did dedicate a fair amount of space to ...
Logging the Motor Market
Comparing today's model aircraft engine horsepower per cubic inch of displacement or horsepower per ounce of weight is like comparing the engine on the Wright Flyer to a modern Lycoming. These ignition type engines were not necessarily hard to start, but adjusting the timing and the needle valve for a reliable run was a bit of an art form. Working engines can still be bought on eBay for a decent price. There are a couple videos on YouTube of people running some of the old ignition motors like the Ohlsson 23 and the Forster 29 ...
World's 1st Scale Model of Solar System in Nevada Desert
This is über-cool. A bunch of guys created a true scale model of the solar system in the Black Rock desert of Nevada. They used to-scale sun and planet diameters and traced out to-scale orbital paths in the sand. Earth was a blue marble and the sun was about a meter and a half in diameter. Posts driven into the ground at orbit distances had planet models mounted atop them. The accompanying video is very well done, and the slickest part is where their cars were driven around the orbital paths at night with headlights on. I was disappointed, though, that Pluto was left out just because a bunch of pointy-headed scientists demoted it to a 'dwarf planet' ...
Secrets of Soviet Space Race Come to London
"The space technology that saw the Soviet Union propel the first dog, man and woman into orbit has gone on show in London - most of it being exhibited outside Russia for the first time. Speaking at the opening of the exhibition at the Science Museum, which runs until March 13, the first woman in space Valentina Tereshkova recalled her affection for the spacecraft that took her into ..."
SpaceX Falcone 9 Landing Game
The creators of the Lunar Lander game on the MIT 'Scratch' website have adapted it to feature the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster attempting to land on a sea-based platform. If you follow space related news, you know that recent trials for landing the booster stage vertically has been met with failure thus far. It is no trivial task, as the game demonstrates. This kind of manual flight reminds me of the skill involved by the Apollo 13 crew in steering their crippled craft back to Earth without missing it completely or burning up in the atmosphere during the descent.
What Makes a Fighting Pilot
Flying Aces was a unique aeromodeling magazine in that it devoted roughly half the pages to modeling and half to full-scale aircraft, with a fictional action/mystery story included as well. That was typical of the time for many magazines. I have really been enjoying reading many of the non-modeling stories since they provide great insight into the mindset of the country. These editions I have now come from the pre-World War II era, so the focus is on America's preparation for entry into the Pacific, European, and African theaters of operation. Many - if not most - people these days think the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, suddenly launched us into the war, but the reality is we knew involvement was inevitable and the Military Industrial Complex ...
LauncherOne: Big Value for Small Satellites
"The exploration of space provides important benefits to life here on Earth. Because of their relatively low cost and quick development timelines, small satellites specifically are incredibly appealing both to established satellite users feeling the reality of fixed or declining budgets and to new entities looking to undertake their first space missions. But despite their incredible promise and impressive results to date, small satellites ..."
Flying Sorcerer - by Lieven Merckx
Website visitor Lieven Merckx, of France, was kind enough to send me these photos of the 'Flying Sorcerer' that recently he built. Depron corrugated plastic was substituted for the original balsa wing. The heavier weight of Depron necessitated more counterweight ahead of the center of gravity, so Lieven made good practical use of it by adding a wheel. At the bottom of the page are a couple close-up photos and a video of the first flights. Notice how each flight improved as Lieven made trim adjustments. Free flight is the one realm of model aviation that requires a good working knowledge of aerodynamic in order to achieve a good combination of powered and unpowered flight. He noted that these flights were made 45 years after the article's appearance in the September 1970 ...
Boeing's Drone-Submarine Patent
"No, it's not a new commercial aircraft design; Boeing's new patent is actually a flying drone that turns into a submarine when it comes in contact with a water body. It happened earlier this year when Boeing received an approval from the US Patent and Trademark Office for their patent application. Boeing calls it a 'rapid deployment air and water vehicle ..."
Anti-Drone Defense Revealed in London
"UK defense firm Selex ES on Tuesday unveiled an electromagnetic shield designed to defeat commercial drones. After three years of development, Selex's Falcon Shield system made its public debut during the Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition in London. The firm did not explain in great detail the proprietary technology, which was developed with military customers, but said drones can be detected, taken over and then flown to land safely away from the target being protected. Electronic warfare ..."
FAA Data Reveals Complex Picture of U.S. Drone Activity
"New AMA Analysis: FAA drone data includes military crashes, commercial operators, some people likely flying responsibly and some flying objects that aren’t even drones at all Close examination finds the number of 'near misses' appear to be in the dozens, not the hundreds, based on explicit notations in the FAA's records MUNCIE, Ind. – The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) today released a detailed analysis of the FAA's drone data. A close examination of the 764 records, which the agency publicly released on August 21, reveals a more complex picture of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) activity in the United States than initial headlines suggested ..."
The Case Against an Independent Air Force
Since the beginning of time military commanders have been notorious for advocating for their particular branches of service regardless of what make the best sense strategically. Until the Wright brothers invented the motor-powered airplane, such epic internal battles were fought between the Army and the Navy (and Marines). Heading into World War II, many top brass associated with the flying arms of the services argued for a separate Air Force that was not under the auspices of any land-based forces. Lt. Comdr. Lincoln, a retired naval man at the time, lays out his case for why air maneuvers should remain within the command of the Navy as well as of the Air Force. We now know how that challenge eventually played out with the Navy still retaining its own air operations and the Army having ...
California Pushes 350-foot No-Fly Drone Law
"The drone wars are heating up in California as legislators move to ban unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from flying within 350 feet above property ground level without the operators having received express permission. Senate Bill 142 contains an exemption for lawful flights of government and law enforcement drones. In other words, you can consider it a proposed ban ..."
Space Station Crosses Sun's Face
"Space Station Crosses Sun's Face in Spectacular New Photo An amazing new photo shows the International Space Station crossing the sun's face. The picture, a composite of five images taken Sunday (Sept. 6) from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia by NASA photographer Bill Ingalls, captures ..."
Notes from the Workbench
These modeling tips might be over 70 years old, but the content is as relevant as ever. For example, it is still good practice to store your paint and dope jars and cans upside down since doing so seals the lid/jar interface so that air cannot enter and ruin the contents. Miniature brass and aluminum washers can be made by poking a needle through the sheet and then using a paper punch to cut the outside rim. Flying Aces magazine had a batch of these handy-dandy items ...
Qualcomm Demos Mini Drone Using Snapdragon Processor
First public demo of Snapdragon Flight robotics dev platform in one of world's smallest 4K drones. "We believe that robotics can be brought to a whole new level by using highly integrated and optimized heterogeneous mobile compute platforms. To that end, we're proud to announce Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight, a next-generation development platform designed to help manufacturers build the future of consumer robots and drones ..."
Drones - Put R/C into War Games
The term 'drone' these days for most invokes the image of a little plastic spider-looking thing with propellers mounted at the ends of the arms - usually with a toothless bumpkin at the controls. Those same people often think drones are relatively new devices. People with a just a little more information automatically classify all radio control (R/C) models, be they traditional fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters, as drones. Pilots of the aforementioned models are even likely, per observers, to have all their teeth and bathe regularly. I happen to be one of the latter type R/C modelers and while I no longer possess all 32 teeth I had at birth, I do bathe regularly. Drones have been around since World War I where they were used for target practice by ground-based mark ...
New Horizons Sends Incredible Images of Ice Flows, Valleys, and Dunes
"NASA's Pluto experts have revealed new high resolution close up images of the surface of Pluto - and admit they are stunned by the planet. They reveal a 'bewildering variety of surface features' that have scientists reeling because of their range and complexity. 'If an artist had painted this Pluto before our flyby, I probably would have called it over the top — but that's what is actually there,' said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the SwRI, Boulder ..."
New Crater on the Moon Named After Aviator Amelia Earhart
"Purdue University scientists announced the discovery of a previously unknown crater on the surface of the moon. The crater, temporarily named after aviator Amelia Earhart, was discovered using data provided by NASA's GRAIL mission. The team of researchers behind this find say that the crater appears to measure about 124 miles ..."
NASA Tests the 'Ferrari of Rocket Engines' for Mission to Mars
"NASA tests the 'Ferrari of rocket engines' for mission to Mars - CNET If we're going to get humans to Mars, we're going to need a bigger rocket with a much more powerful engine. This is the RS-25, the engine designed for NASA's Space Launch System rocket, intended to launch the Orion spacecraft and, eventually, see humanity on its way to Mars: the ..."
VHF-UHF Mountaintoppers, Rovers Asked to Observe Radio Quiet Zones
"The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) at Green Bank, West, Virginia, has asked that hams notify the facility if they plan to operate within 10 miles of either the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) or the Sugar Grove Research Station in Sugar Grove, West Virginia. The internationally renowned scientific research facilities ..."
Lightweight Proportional Servo
Glass-filled nylon and other types of high strength plastic for gears and structural components were things of the future in 1962 - about a decade or so at least. Likewise for high torque, miniature motors that used powerful rare earth magnets - at least at a price affordable to hobbyists. Not only were early servos big and heavy, but they drew a lot of current from the airborne battery, were slow, and were driven by analog proportional circuits (i.e., low positional precision). Servos available today are modern marvels of materials, mechanical, and electrical engineering. While it was not too hard to imagine in the 1950s and 1960s how a servo might be improved over the (then) state of the art, it is hard to imagine how the ones we have today could be significantly better, at least in ...
Whisper Hand-Launched Glider Article & Plans
I'm amazed at how popular hand-launched gliders (HLGs) are today with all the very inexpensive radio control (R/C) models available. Still, there is definitely no cheaper form of building and flying that with HLGs. As with any form of free flight, gliders teach you a lot about proper airframe configuration, weight and balance, and trimming for optimal flight path and times. With control line (C/L) and R/C flight a lot of poor trimming (or no trimming) can be compensated for with pilot control input, but with free flight everything has to be just right of performance will suffer profoundly. I don't know if there's an 'Old Time' type competition category for hand-launched gliders, but if there is, the Whisper will definitely qualify ...
News: How to Take out Drones with Loud Noises
"A group of South Korean researchers recently published a paper, titled "Rocking Drones with Intentional Sound Noise on Gyroscopic Sensors," that describes just that: using loud noise—even in the audible range—to disrupt the gyroscopes that keep drones level, thereby taking them out of commission ..."
News: Drone Tests Flexible Wings for Reducing Sonic Booms
"The X-56A could lead to a new generation of sleek, supersonic aircraft. The drone, nicknamed 'Buckeye,' recently completed a flight test by NASA in preparation to attach flexible wings that bend with jet streams. Buckeye’s mission is to test out something known as 'aeroservoelastic technology,' which is how a plane’s controls adapt to vibrations during flight ..."
News: 54-Propeller 'Swarm' Flying Machine
"The Swarm man carrying multi-rotor airborne flight testing montage. 54 counter-rotation propellers, six grouped control channels with KK2.15 stabilization. Take off weight 148kg, max lift, approx. 164kg. Endurance10 minutes. Power approx. 22 kW ..."
Vintage Berkeley Models Advertisement
People try to sell these advertisement pages from vintage magazines on eBay all the time - usually for ridiculous prices. It's hard to believe anyone actually pays for them, but there must be enough to make it worth while for the seller to go to the trouble of photographing and posting the pages. If you are satisfied with either viewing the page online or printing out a copy for your hobby room wall or scrapbook, then search through the AirplanesAndRockets.com website to find many instances of vintage advertisements (see list at bottom of page) - and I'm adding new - like the full-page ad by Berkeley Models, ones frequently. Here are two other Berkeley Models ads from the ...
The North American B-25 Bomber
The North American B-25 Mitchell twin-engine, medium bomber was named in honor of General William "Billy" Mitchell. Its maiden flight was made on 19 August 1940, which was only a few months before this edition of Flying Aces would have gone to press, so the editor had to make a few educated guesses as to its specifications and features, especially since back in the day getting official numbers would have been very difficult. This was breakthrough design with an all-metal airframe, tricycle landing gear, twin vertical stabilizers, and a full cantilevered wing, not to mention the tail turret ...
With the Model Builders, January 1941 Flying Aces
I'm guessing that Mr. Peter Henderson, of Los Angeles, California, who was featured in this 1941 edition of Flying Aces magazine, was 12 or 13 years old at the time. That would make his somewhere in his mid-70s today, so there's a very good chance he is still building and flying model airplanes. As with so many of the people who appear in these old magazines, I always wonder what happened to them over the years and whether they are still engaged in the hobby. If you ever see yourself or someone you know in a photo on Airplanes and Rockets website, please send me an e-mail with an update. Visitors love reading comments submitted by others who happen to run across ...
Flying Aces Club News - February 1941
Flying Aces magazine has been around since nearly the beginning of motorized model aviation - October 1928 to be exact. I specify 'motorized' because people have been building and operating various sorts of flying models since mankind figured out how to construct a device that looks and performs somewhat like a gliding bird. Flying Aces clubs have been around as long as the eponymous magazine, from what I can tell. However, there seems to have a more recent incarnation of the Flying Aces Club News publication that began in 1967. Mr. Ross Mayo was president of the Flying Aces while I lived in Erie, PA, but I see he has relocated to the North Carolina mountains. Anyway, here is the February 1941 edition of the Flying ...
The Stuka in Action
February 1941 was a full 10 months before the United States of America officially entered into World War II. Prior to that time, we were providing assistance to England in the form of "Lend - Lease," whereby equipment, supplies, and training were provided, but no fighting forces were engaged. Doing so formally excused us from being considered part of the brawl. The U.S. was taking a more active role in the South Pacific with aiding the Chinese in fending off a terrible Japanese invasion. Germany was renown for its engineering prowess in all things mechanical, be they, submarines, cannons, trains, planes, or automobiles. The Stuka dive bomber was particularly feared because of its ability to fly straight down, giving its pilot a dead-on target that did not ...
Secrets of Free Flight Endurance
Newcomers are entering the realm of free flight aeromodeling all the time, so it is never a waste of time or print space to post articles giving instruction and recommendations on how to be successful at the sport. Heeding the advice of accomplished, experienced modelers is always recommended if you are having trouble correcting certain issues with flight trim, structural integrity, component selection, etc. Even if specific discussions do not apply directly to your concern, often times it will spark an idea of your own. This article provides a good rounded collection of information that should prove valuable to most readers ...
My Personal Criterion RV-6
'Dynascope' Telescope Adventure
It was while I was in the USAF at Robing AFB, Georgia, that my interest in astronomy was rekindled and I decided to move from a cheap 2" Tasco refractor to a 'real' telescope that had more light collecting capacity and was on an equatorial mount with a sidereal drive system. My Air Force pay did not allow for anything as nice as a Celestron or Meade model, but an advertisement in Astronomy magazine by Criterion Manufacturing made the goal seem obtainable in the RV-6 'Dynascope.' For a mere $279.95, I could purchase a 6", f-8 Newtonian telescope with a pillar-type tripod mount and an equatorial drive. I immediately wrote a check and mailed it off to the company's location in Connecticut. Then, I waited... and waited... and waited, but no telescope arrived after more than ...
Modern Planes Album
February 1941 Flying Aces
It's kind of hard to think of a 'modern plane' being something that was new to the aviation scene in 1942 (1941, actually, since this is from a February 1942 edition of Flying Aces). Most likely, when this column was written the U.S. had not officially been drawn into World War II. Seeing the Messerschmitt Me. 109 included in the lineup is amazing, especially the comment about the most recently modified version having a retrofit with an engine so large that German engineers used heavy steel cables to help hold it to the firewall! ...
Stanzel Electromic Tethered Helicopter
For most people my age (born in 1958), the first experience with a 'real' flying model helicopter was this Electromic "Copter" by Stanzel. I've been hoping to acquire one via eBay, but thus far the prices have been beyond my willingness to pay (typically ~$40 + shipping). The "Copter" used two D-cell batteries in the plastic handle to power a motor, also in the handle, which in turn drove the center wire of a coaxial cable that connected to the helicopter rotor. It's been a long time, so I don't recall whether the cable drove the rotors directly, or spun a gear inside the fuselage to drive the rotors ...
"Guppie" Gas Job
In 1941, model airplane engines invariably were gasoline-driven ignition systems. As such, onboard batteries were required to light the spark plug. If you are relatively new to the aeromodeling hobby, then when you think of an airborne battery, you likely envision NiCad, NiMH, or Li-Po cells that are relatively compact, lightweight, and trouble-free. Back in the day, though it could mean anything from a few carbon cells to a lead-acid storage battery. In the case of the Guppie, a 20-second motor run rule for its competition class allowed a smaller cache of cells to be carried. Its 6-foot wingspan and classic construction would make the Guppie a great vintage conversion project using an electric propulsion systems and R/C ...
Down Memory's Runway
Flying Aces magazine, which preceded Air Trails, ran a regular feature titled "Down Memory's Runway" that highlighted older airplane designs from way back in the 1920s a 1930s, which in this case was a mere 10 to 20 years ago. Full cantilever wings were just coming into reality as were non-rotary engines. Retractable landing gear models were starting to move into production, as was a lot of the mix of old and new technology in preparation for America's entrance into World War II. So far I only have 12 editions of Flying Aces, but I hope to build the collection over time and post some key items here on Airplanes and Rockets ...