Here on page 378 of the Montgomery Ward 1969 Christmas catalog are three .049-powered Cox models
- the Douglas A-1 Skyraider control
line airplane, the California Dune Buggy, and the wild Shrike Air Car. The $13.66 price for the California Dune Buggy in
1969 is the equivalent of $88.34 in 2015 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' inflation calculator
It would be interesting to do a side-by-side comparison on what was considered engineered
control line stunt model airplane design in 1957,
when this article was written, to what is today considered to be optimal design criteria. I am trying to get back into control
line stunt flying and have one model built currently, the Enterprise-E.
It has been flown a few times and is (was) extremely sensitive on the controls when set up per the plans. A little bit of
control handle movements resulted in a huge amount of both elevator and flap deflection. Fortunately, access to the flap
control horn is available through the removable top fuselage hatch, so I was able to relocate the pushrod from the bellcrank
to the flap horn, and then from the flap horn to the elevator control horn. Overall throws are a little more than half what
"SpaceX sent a
rocket soaring toward orbit Monday night with 11 small satellites, its first mission since an accident last summer. Then
in an even more amazing feat, it landed the 15-story leftover booster back on Earth safely. It was the first time an unmanned
rocket returned to land vertically at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and represented a tremendous success for SpaceX. The company
led by billionaire Elon Musk is striving for reusability to drive launch costs down and open up space to more people. SpaceX
employees broke into cheers and chants, some of them jumping ..."
Prolific crossword puzzle creator
Eugene Sheffer is somewhat of a
mystery on the Internet. His name appears in the by-line of crosswords dating back at least into the 1930s, while also appearing
in contemporary crosswords. A little investigation suggests that Mr. Sheffer died in 1981, but that King Syndicate owns
the right to the 'By Eugene Sheffer' and still uses it today. I was not able to locate a biography of Eugene Sheffer, and
he does not even have an entry in Wikipedia. Some forum posters question whether there ever was a 'real' Eugene Sheffer.
Regardless, one place his (or its') crossword puzzles were printed was in Boys' Life magazine, published
On Christmas Eve of 1968, while war was being waged in Vietnam against the forces of Communism
on Earth, Apollo 8
astronauts Frank F. Borman, II, James A. Lovell, Jr., and William A. Anders maneuvered their spacecraft into orbit around
the moon. Launched three days earlier on December 21, they became the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth orbit, orbit
the moon, and return safely to Earth. The image below is the front page of my hometown newspaper, the Evening Capital,
published in Annapolis, Maryland. My father, Arthur Blattenberger, was manager of the classified advertising department
Actually, the title of this
and other news stories is very misleading regarding exactly what has to be registered. The generally uninformed or marginally
informed public believes the definition of a 'drone' is anything that flies without a human pilot in the cockpit. It associates
the greatly dramatized and sensationalized reports of public encounters with what are technically classified as Unmanned
Aerial Systems (UAS) - multirotor copters. These are for the most part the variety sold in toy stores ranging in cost and
complexity from $50 for a basic 4-propeller 'quadcopter' to $500 for a 6-propeller model with an onboard camera and maybe
even a First Person View (FPV) wireless system that allows the pilot to fly from a vantage point on the craft while remaining
at a remote ...
"As we cut through
the skies over the Hudson River and traced a loop around the Statue of Liberty, I spent as much time glancing down at the
instrument cluster as I did peering out the window. That might seem like a huge waste of time given the views I was taking
in but I couldn't help it: It's not often I wind up in the cockpit of a plane looking at dials and readouts, much less ones
that make sense to me. That's because a pilot and I were tooling around in an Icon A5, a $189,000 "light sport" amphibious aircraft that's eager to shrug off the
complexity of cheap aviation. After nearly ten years of development ..."
Maybe it's a part
of crossing the half-century age mark, but for the last few years I have been busy collecting memorabilia from my younger
days in the Mayo, Maryland area (114 River Road, Holly Hill Harbor, to be exact). In the pre-smartphone
era, very few pictures were taken because of the inconvenience of carrying cameras and the expense of developing and printing
the photographs. Millennials, in contrast, will grow into old age with in some cases a day-by-day archiving of their lives
thanks to parents, friends, and themselves taking thousands and maybe even millions of digitally recorded still shots and
movie recordings from cradle to grave. Not having come from a ...
"Northrop Grumman unveiled its vision of the so-called sixth-generation fighter,
showing reporters a
aircraft that looks like a cross between the B-2 bomber and the X-47B drone. Chris Hernandez, Northrop's vice president
for research, technology and advanced design, laid out the basic parameters for the sixth-gen fighter
(Northrop refers to it as NG Air Dominance): it must
boast long range because it’s unlikely to have many bases to operate from overseas; it must 'carry a lot of weapons;' survivability
will be key. What do those requirements and physics lead you to? 'This looks a lot like a baby B-2 and this is really
Airplanes and Rockets website visitor Mike C. wrote to ask that I post this article
on Ken Willard's pair of pseudo-WWI biplane fighters - the
Fokker Heinschmitt and the Bristol Spadport.
Mike built the Spadsport back in 1974 when the article first appeared in American Aircraft Modeler, and means to build the
both of them this time - four decades later now that funds are flowing a bit more freely. A vintage OS Max FP engine will
provide power - just like on the originals. Hopefully, he'll send a photo or two of his completed models for posting here.
The foam wings came from Ace RC and had a 35" span with a chord of 5.5". The airfoil was semi-symmetrical. Both tapered
and constant chord types were available
"During the 1960s, computers occupied whole rooms, but had less power than the PC now sitting
in the den of your home. There weren't even pocket calculators back then. At the top of the Saturn was the Apollo spacecraft.
And one of the most important components inside of the Saturn was its guidance computer. As Charles Murray and Catherine
Bly Cox noted in their seminal classic
Apollo: The Race to the Moon, 'The computer capacity of the mainframes in the Control Center [of NASA's Manned
Spacecraft Center in Houston] was smaller than that of the desktop systems of the 1980s, and onboard computers in the command
and lunar modules had less capacity than some pocket calculators ..."
are close-up photos of common household objects. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to identify each one.
Most are fairly easy, but a couple are a little outdated since they appeared in a 1939 edition of Boys' Life magazine.
Answers are way down at the bottom of the page
January 1939 Boys' Life magazine is the
one Ralphie Parker is reading in the movie A Christmas Story. In the movie, a full-page Red Ryder BB gun advertisement
is shown on the back cover, but the ad was a fake made for the movie. The real back cover had a
Baby Ruth candy bar advertisement
A really nice example of an original
DuBro TriStar helicopter was just listed on eBay for $800.
That's way above my budget amount, so I'll have to be satisfied with posting the photos (credit to
mrknock) that accompanied the listing. This TriStar looks to be in like-new condition, and includes an engine but
no radio. I'm still open to a donation or affordable price for an TriStar in just about any condition as long as it's repairable.
Of course if some kind soul were to buy this and donate it
still working to bring the Transition, its first "street legal aircraft," to market, but moving forward in the meantime
with the next big thing at a scaled-down size. The final Transition conforming prototype is slated to be tested in 2016
and 2017, and Terrafugia engineers are meanwhile tweaking the design for the TF-X, which aims to be capable of vertical
takeoff and landing, thrust provided by articulating engine pods that rotate between hover and cruise positions. Before
strapping a test pilot in, they will try R/C first ..."
In the December 2015 issue
of Model Aviation, "Sky's the Limit" columnist Jennifer Lea Reynolds wrote a 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" takeoff titled
"'Twas the Night Before an RC Pilot's Wish List." I cannot replicate it here since it is currently copyrighted material;
however, what I can post is a similar piece titled "'Twas the Night Before the Contest"
that appeared in the November 1948 edition of Air Trails. Enjoy!
"Future missions of Virgin Galactic's LauncherOne
satellite carrier will see it 'piggybacking' on a 747 jumbo jet. The Boeing plane, nicknamed Cosmic Girl, will be used to
carry the firm's craft to high altitude before the craft blasts into space. The 747-400 will be modified so the LauncherOne
can be mounted underneath its wing, meaning the launcher has an increased maximum payload capacity of up to 881lbs
I finally got
around to processing and uploading a video of my 105% Aquila sailplane with a short
narration about its unique features. The flight was made on July 26, 2015, in Kernersville, North Carolina, across the street
from where we lived at the time. It was a typically hot, humid day there, and the sun was shining brightly - up until a
couple minutes after I launched, and then it went behind some slow moving clouds for about 20 minutes. After a total of
25 minutes in the air I decided to land and wait for the clouds to clear. Once on final approach and committed to landing,
the sun appeared again. If you watch closely, you can see a few seconds before landing where the Aquila makes a sudden drop
toward the ground, demonstrating how effective the spoilers are when fully deployed ...
"Amazon's drone delivery project
Prime Air has unveiled a new prototype in a video
featuring former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson. According to the video, the drone could fly for up to 15 miles (24km) and
deliver a parcel within 30 minutes of the order being placed. There was no indication of when it might be used by the retail
giant. The firm was given permission to test delivery drones in the US earlier this year. It also has drone delivery development
Just as, in order to promote aerospace careers to young men and women, the U.S. Navy sponsored
the National Aeromodeling Championships
(Nats) in conjunction with the AMA, the Defense Department decided to promote science interest
in the nation's youth through a program titled "Youth Science Corps." Army, Navy,
and Air Force commands would all participate, per the plan. Unfortunately, things didn't progress much farther than the
planning stage, although big things were envisioned. This article from the August 1958 edition of American Modeler
provides some insight into what had been planned. When searching online for more information on the Youth Science Corps,
an article from the Cincinnati Tribune appeared titled "Armed Services to Help U.S. Youth in Study of Science
former FAA inspector Martha Lunken
climbs into Hartzell Propeller's SNJ for some recreation. Having flown the T-6 and its variants for half a century, she
says the Texan/Harvard/SNJ is "the best way she knows to turn money into noise." December 2015 Air & Space
has come up with some strange concepts for future planes in recent months. These include bicycle-like seat that let passengers
perch on chairs, and seats that are stacked on top of one another to allow more people to fly. Now the aircraft manufacturer
has come up with another bizarre idea;
detachable cabins that could cut down the amount of times it takes to board a plane
If you have ever wanted to try your hand (thumbs, to be more specific)
at a floatplane, then this 1/2A size
Aeronca Champion is just the ticket. Although designed by Walt Mooney as a free flight ROW model that easily converts
between wheels and floats, modifications to 3 or 4 channel radio control would be a snap, especially since the plans show
separate construction for the control surfaces along the hinge line. With about a 46" wingspan and lightweight but strong
construction, this model could easily have been designed with modern electric power and micro R/C in mind (you can scale
the plans to whatever size you prefer). When I saw the photo of the 2-section wing with a plywood center joiner and removable
floats, wheels and struts, it reminded me of an RTF type
"It looks like a futuristic craft from the children's TV series Thunderbirds, but this sleek
design could actually be for a Concorde-2 hypersonic airliner. The designs are based on a patent awarded to Airbus in July,
which describes a craft that climbs vertically into the air before breaking the sound barrier as it travels horizontally
across the sky. Dubbed Concorde-2 because it would be much faster and quieter than the retired supersonic jet, the plane
Website visitor Robert S. wrote to ask that I post the text of this article for the
Vertigo control line model. He already has
the plans. Vertigo is a very unique model in that it has the form of a box kite, is designed to take off and land vertically,
and uses a third line for throttle control to enable the VTOL function. A .15 size engine will do the job according to the
designer, although a .19 is shown on the plans. An electric motor could be substituted for glow, but there is no direct
equivalent to the third line throttle for a motor controller. There are schemes where an R/C transmitter and receiver are
used for throttle control, but that is a cumbersome implementation. There have been attempts to send the control signal
down an insulated third line, but ...
I can think of no better way to kick off the 2015 Christmas Season than with this 1940-era
full-page advertisement by Cleveland
Model & Supply Company. The company is still in business today, albeit with a much reduced inventory line. Per their
website, "Cleveland Model & Supply Company, the oldest, continuously-operating model airplane company in the world,
was founded in 1926 by Edward T. Pachasa (later Packard). Mr. Packard started the business
with his four brothers, his mother and father in their residence and a converted barn near West 57th Street and Bridge Avenue,
on the west side of Cleveland Ohio ..."
November 23, 2015, Blue Origin's commercial space flight rocket
booster made its first successful return to earth while landing vertically under rocket power. This feat goes to show that
sometimes you really do 'need to be a rocket scientists' to get certain things done. While NASA, under the President's directive,
focuses on a 'Muslim
outreach,' and abandons our manned space flight delivery vehicle program (i.e., no more Space
Shuttles) the boys and girls at Blue Origins are getting the job done. It's a day of victory for good old American
ingenuity, and a day of defeat for NASA ...
a bird. It' a plane. Well, sort of. It's you, flying atop your very own paper airplane... It's PowerUp
FPV: the first ever paper airplane drone with a live streaming camera! PowerUp FPV lets you experience flight as if
you were sitting in the cockpit of your very own paper airplane. Wearing your smartphone with a head-mounted display, you
see what your plane sees, controlling your paper drone with intuitive movements of your head. We teamed up with the leading
minds at Parrot® to create the world's most incredible live streaming technology, giving you the thrill and exhilaration
of flying up to 300 feet in the air ..."
This could be a title from a story written within the last week, only instead of
radical Nazi terrorists being the culprits
it would be radical Islamic terrorists. In early 1941, the time when this article appeared in Air Trails: Hobbies for
Young Men magazine, America was not yet formally engaged in world War II, although we were by proxy since our
military supplied a lot of equipment and training to Allied forces. The story's author, Lt. Thomas McBride, was an American
airman who helped train French pilots and actually fly missions against the "Boche" Luftwaffe. It might interest you to know that Hitler's
Germany and the Islamic country of Persia (Iran) had close diplomatic ties leading up to and during WWII. In
Solid wood scale models was a fairly popular form of modeling in the 1930s through about the
1950s. Many people who desired to participate in the hobby could not afford to buy flying model kits or even buy raw materials
to build from scratch, and even plastic scale kits could be beyond the budget, so carving their favorite plane out of a
solid block of pine, fir, bass, or some other readily available softwood was undertaken instead. This
Vought-Sikorsky OS2U-1 Observation
Scout (aka Kingfisher) appeared in the February 1941 issue of Flying Aces
The Andrew Aircraft
Model Company (AAMCo) produced a radio control airplane, the S-Ray, that I really had the
most success with when learning to fly RC. An advertisement from a 1964 edition of RC Modeler is shown to the left. It
includes both the S-Ray and the H-Ray. I do not even remember what engine I had in it - most likely something really cheap
that ran poorly. I probably also still had the OS Digital 3-channel radio control system in it, which would explain why
I can remember running after it with the transmitter held ... After years of watching eBay for an S-Ray kit that would sell
within my budgetary range (~$100), I finally won an auction a couple months ago. The kit is in excellent condition and appears
to include all the original ...
has decided to reveal a little secret from the past. The aircraft manufacturer has recently revealed their
super-secret 1960s stealth plane experiment: the Model 853 'Quiet Bird,' a U.S. Army observation airplane study.
What is sometimes called 'invisible' aircraft is actually visible to the naked eye but can't be caught on radar.
This means that the aircraft can enter the airspace of a country without being traced, allowing for 'stealth' attacks.
'Quiet Bird' was one of the first test studies of this kind of
in the fall of 1969, the year the Apollo 11 crew made the world's first manned landing on the Moon, Melanie's family
took a vacation from their home in Middletown, Maryland, to Florida. Along with a stop at Sea World, they visited Cape Canaveral.
Whilst there, she bought this "Journey to the Moon" wall poster.
It has sat folded in an archive box for decades, so finally a couple days ago I decided it really should be on display.
Since our house is only 940 sq. ft., there is not a lot of surplus wall area for a rather large poster. It now graces the
back of our bedroom door. The poster is a great reminder of the glory days of American manned space flight and exploration
program. As of this date, the U.S. no longer has a manned space effort that includes a
are back. Around the world, aerospace companies and organizations, including NASA, are developing the technology that will
allow passengers once again to fly at faster than the speed of sound. The first of this new breed of aircraft could be flying
early in the 2020s. It was way back in 2003 that Concorde
was retired. The airliner entered service in 1976 but was hobbled by complaints that it ..."
you are a control line flyer and have been itching to build your first
twin-engine model, then this
Pirata might be just what you've been looking
for. The plans and building article appeared in the January 1956 issue of Young Men magazine. It features a built-up
wing and profile fuselage and tail section pieces that will make it a quick build. Power on the original was a pair of OK
Cub .099s, but you can easily convert to a couple electric motors. Wingspan is only 32" so even with two powerplants it
won't be a budget buster ...
thing is called FLARES, for Flying Launch and
Recovery System, and it's been flying since late 2014, with the first successful launch and recovery taking place this
past August. Insitu is the maker of the ScanEagle UAV and the company
says FLARES can handle a 'low-weight ScanEagle,' which is probably 18 to 20 kilograms in total weight: quite a payload.
The launch is mostly self-explanatory: the ScanEagle gets hauled up a few hundred feet, throttles up, and
grid dip meter (aka a
grid dip oscillator, dipper, or dipmeter) has long been the instrument of choice for fine tuning LC-tuned receivers
for maximum sensitivity at a particular frequency. It is a simple device that oscillates at a predetermined frequency and
has a meter in the grid bias circuit to measure current. When the grid dip meter tuning circuit's inductor is in close proximity
to an external inductor-capacitor tank circuit that is tuned to the 'dipper's' output frequency, the grid current exhibits
a significant reduction in value - hence the name grid dip meter. Modern versions no longer use vacuum tubes that have screen
grids, but the name persists even with the use of transistors that, for BJTs, have a base junction and FETs, that have a
There are applications, especially in your large scale projects,
that extended linear motion is required to actuate a particular function. Rather than spend you valuable time devising a
mechanism of your own, you might want to check out Servo City's line of Gear Rack kits. They are integrated onto servos
that plug directly into a standard R/C receiver. The 785 Gear Rack Kit, for example, comes
with a Hitec HS-785HB servo that has been modified to provide up to 6.7" of linear travel ...
Holy moley, I had no idea the extent of paper models which have been created using color printers,
a pair of scissors, and a little tape or glue. With the mind-numbing number of über-talented people in the world, it
really comes as no surprise to discover the vast array of airplane, helicopters, rocket, satellite, car, truck, tank, and
just about every imaginable subject that is available for modeling. An article titled, "Paper, Scissors, Rocket," authored by
LesDorr, Jr., in the latest issue of Air & Space magazine reports on some of what is available. I won't repeat
his text, but do want o note the Paper Models
website referenced, though.
PAA Load (pronounced 'payload') class competition was originally
sponsored by Pan American Airlines (PAA) in an effort to attract young men into the realm
of aviation, in hopes of bolstering its workforce of mechanics, design engineers, loadmasters, maintenance workers, and
even administrators. It was similar to the way the U.S. Navy used to sponsor and host the Nationals competition for the
AMA. Part of the goal of PAA Load events was to design and fly model airplanes that could carry 'cargo' of a specific size
and weight for a certain length of time using an airframe limited to regulation lifting surface area
(wing + tail). In order to emphasize the relationship to 'real world' aviation, a dummy pilot
figure was (and still is) also required. See chapter
"Smart missiles that can change
course mid flight have been shown off blowing up drones in a groundbreaking US military test.. The Enhanced Area Protection
and Survivability system was originally intended to shoot down missiles. However, Army bosses said the rising threat of
drones led to it being adapted to blast them out of the sky. During the latest test at Yuma
has always been a good, reliable neighbor to the United States of America. Our cultures stem from common western European
roots. Being a dominion (at the time) of England, Canada was drawn into World War II
in September 1939, a week after England's declaration of war against Germany. Hitler invaded Poland and began his move across
Europe on September 1 of that year. The U.S. provided equipment and troop training to Canadian troops up through and beyond
when the Japanese navy bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This article from a February 1941 issue of
Flying Aces reports on
Canada's wartime efforts to protect the homeland. It is interesting that in the early days of the war, ski-equipped Fokker
airplanes were a part of the air
"When you're designing
an airplane that could one day be the first to fly on Mars, the answer cannot be found in the back of the book. That's one
of many conclusions groups of students in two NASA-funded programs at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California
realized last summer. They worked on the Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Land on Mars, or Prandtl-m aircraft.
If the project is ultimately successful, it could collect and transmit valuable information
A little levity is good comic relief
from the burdens of the day. These half-dozen quips from a 1941 edition of
Flying Aces are the perfect pick-me-up
for an otherwise mundane day... as well as for an otherwise good day
"If you enjoy reading the latest
news in AMA Today, we encourage you to check out our new video webcast-AMA Air. The monthly program will highlight model
aviation and UAS news, features, and events, while showcasing members and clubs. Watch the pilot episode now via your computer,
tablet, or smartphone at air.modelaircraft.org"
"It is set to be a launch that
brings the science fiction of The Martian closer to reality. NASA today revealed its plans for the
biggest rockets ever made have passed a massive milestone. Once it's built in 2018, it will be the world's
biggest and most powerful rocket, capable of sending humans to Mars. --> 'For the first time in almost 40 years, a NASA
human-rated rocket has completed all steps needed to clear a critical design review (CDR).' The agency's Space Launch
"The glider that plans to hitch a
ride to the edge of SPACE using nothing but polar air currents and 'stratospheric mountain waves.' Making a return trip
to the edge of space typically requires enough jet power to thrust the craft through the stratosphere. But aviation specialists
have built a glider capable of reaching altitudes of 90,000 ft (27,430 m) using nothing but wind. Called Perlan II,
the glider is the world's first engineless aircraft designed to reach such heights by riding so-called 'mountain waves'
- and this week it made history by soaring to 5,000 ft (1,525 m) during its maiden flight
is the Modelers Sketch Book
that ran in the first edition of Young Men magazine - the follow-on to Air Trails -
Hobbies for Young Men. As usual, there are lots of good
tips even for today's modeler, but one item looks particularly interesting: A control line stunt model that employs a hollow
wing with a moveable leading edge the redirects some of the airflow through the wing rather than over the surface. My guess
is NASA or the USAF was experimenting with such a scheme back in the day and modeler Charles Taylor decided to test the
theory on his airplane. Either that or he is yet another out-of-the box thinker who was trying something he dreamed up.
Wouldn't it be amazing ...