- Home Page Archive: #30 (Current) -
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." Lord Kelvin, 1895

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:

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Modeling News Archive:

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Here is the "Airplanes and Rockets Trending..." App feed page.

Rocket Trails: Rockets, Guided Missiles, Space Ships

Rocket Trails, March 1955 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsBefore the Vernon Estes began selling solid propellant model rocket engines in 1958 - three years after this article appeared in Air Trails magazine - accidents were commonplace amongst backyard rocketeers. G. Harry Stine addressed the issue in many of his early "Rocket Trails" columns. I remember reading about blown off fingertips and blinded eyes in the technical publications by Estes. The National Association of Rocketry (NAR) has a report titled, "Forty Years of Model Rocketry - A Safety Report," written by Stein in 1997 ...

Modelers Sketch-book

Modelers Sketch-book, March 1956 Young Men • Hobbies • Aviation • Careers - Airplanes and RocketsHere are another 7 model building tips from readers of the 1950s vintage Young Men magazine. Many of the types of items presented in these Modelers Sketch-book pages come prefabricated and at a relatively low price these days. However, there are some thing which if you want, you will need the make them yourself. This particular installment includes a tip for how to hold small parts while painting them, as well as how to make a jig for bending music wire landing gear ...

Larry Page is Secretly Building Flying Cars

Larry Page is Secretly Building Flying Cars - Airplanes and Rockets"Google may have a lot of projects on the go at the moment - but none quite like this one. The company's co-founder, Larry Page appears to be secretly investing in flying cars. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Page has personally provided £70 million ($100 million) to two startups developing the technology. He has reportedly been funding Zee.Aero and Kitty Hawk, two rival companies based in California's Silicon Valley. Zee.Aero was set ...

Brodak's 20th Annual Fly-In, June 14, 2016

Brodak's 20th Annual Fly-In, June 14, 2016 - Airplanes and Rockets

Brodak's 20th annual control line fly-in was held at its customary location in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania, from June 13 through 18, 2016. This was to be the final time for the fly-in due to health issues by owner and founder John Brodak, but thankfully recovery has been such that he has decided to continue beyond this year. That is news everyone involved was glad to hear. Although I have lived in Erie, Pennsylvania, since 2008, this is the first year for my attendance (spectator only). In fact, it was because this was originally slated as the last Brodak Fly-In that I made plans early in the year to be there. Melanie has been trying to get me to take the time and visit, but I always had an excuse for why I was too busy. We drove the 180 miles southward on Tuesday, June 14, which was the second day of the event. It was an absolutely ...

Solar Aircraft Test Flight Paves Way for Internet Drones

Solar Aircraft Test Flight Paves Way for Internet Drones - Airplanes and Rockets"Luminati Aerospace has conducted a public test flight of its prototype solar aircraft, the VO-Substrata, that represents a stepping stone toward drones that supply internet access. While this early design has a pilot, Luminati eventually wants to make pilotless vehicles that fly as high as 60,000 feet and never need to land. If all goes well, manufacturing starts soon as the end of 2016 ..."

Twin Free Flight .020 Helicopters

Twin .020 Helicopters, March 1961 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsFlying model helicopter development understandably took a lot longer than airplanes because of the complex aerodynamic and mechanical issues that needed to be conquered for successful operation. A few direct drive rotor systems appeared early on, with the engine mounted in the fuselage, but a counter-torque force needed to be dealt with as the fuselage wanted to rotate in the opposite direction as the rotors. Ken Norris' implementation solved that problem by mounting a pair of engines on a boom that was part of the rotor head assembly. Doing so meant the only torque transferred to the fuselage was due to any friction ...

NASA Unveils Plans for Electric-Powered Plane

NASA Unveils Plans for Electric-Powered Plane - Airplanes and Rockets"A new experimental airplane being built by NASA could help push electric-powered aviation from a technical curiosity and pipe dream into something that might become commercially viable for small aircraft. At a conference on Friday of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Washington, the NASA administrator, announced plans for an all-electric airplane designated as X-57, part of the agency’s efforts to make aviation more efficient ...

The Wright Brothers National Memorial

The Wright Brothers National Memorial - Airplanes and Rockets
It only took 57 years, but I finally visited the site of Orville and Wilbur Wright's first flights from Kill Devil Hill on the shore of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina - now commemorated by the Wright Brothers National Memorial. I must admit that the place looked nothing like I expected based on photographs made at the turn of the last century. Wilbur's words to his father, "At Kitty Hawk, which is on the narrow bar separating the Sound from the Ocean, there are neither hills nor trees, so that it offers a safe place for practice," in no way describes the surroundings of 2016. The last time I was as surprised to witness such a startling difference between 'then' and 'now' settings was when getting off the tour bus in front of The Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas, and not recognizing it. That's not to say I was disappointed; more than a century of progress has changed most landscapes the world around. Barren sand dunes have been replaced with a forest of trees and grassy knolls, and the coastline that used to provide those steady winds ... 

Telasco RMA Aircraft Accessories Ad

Telasco RMA Aircraft Accessories Ad, June 1960 Aero Modeller - Airplanes and RocketsI've been posting some ads from vintage Aero Modeller for the sake of British model aircraft and boat enthusiasts who appreciate a reflection back to a time when a stroll through London to visit a hobby shop didn't make you think you had been transported through a Einstein-Rosen space-time bridge (aka wormhole) to Saudi Arabia. I read in the news that the town is quite the different experience these days, but I digress. A couple weeks ago, I posted a listing of some of those area hobby shops that you might remember. More will follow ... 

In Aircraft Modelers' Friendly Skies, Drones Bring Turbulence

In Aircraft Modelers' Friendly Skies, Drones Bring Turbulence  - Airplanes and RocketsNational Public Radio (NPR) recently did a feature titled "In Aircraft Modelers' Friendly Skies, Drones Bring Turbulence," in which correspondent Alina Selyukh reported on how the relatively sudden and very overwhelming appearance of radio controlled drones (multi-rotor aircraft, actually), have made life for traditional fixed wing and helicopter modelers a living heck. Whereas a modicum of skill is required to pilot the aforementioned aircraft, even the tiniest of drones are equipped with stabilization technology that makes them so simple to fly that a caveman could do it. Many Neanderthals throughout the world have proven that claim true ...

Electromotive Power Plants

Electromotive Power Plants, March 1974 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThe old saying about the pioneers taking the arrows might be a little frowned upon in today's overly sensitive society, but it is apt when considering the trials and tribulations endured by early adapters of electric powered flight. Compared with today's extremely high energy density lithium polymer (LiPo) battery packs, the old nickel cadmium (NiCad) batteries were impotent, heavy, and bulky. Nevertheless, guys like Kenichi Mabuchi forged new frontiers (continuing with the pioneer theme) that got people thinking about the benefits of powering models with silent motors and batteries ... 

Near Miss Reported with R/C Plane Near Columbus Airport

Pilots Report Near Miss with Model Plane Near Columbus Airport - Airplanes and Rockets"Federal authorities were called after two airline pilots on approach to Port Columbus reported seeing a model plane in their flight path. It happened around 11 pm Tuesday at the Brentnell Community Center, which is near Port Columbus International Airport. According to Columbus police, two pilots saw the remote controlled plane flying dangerously close. One of those pilots described it as a ‘near miss,’ according to police. Columbus police and Port Columbus police responded to the initial report. Officers interviewed the pilot, Eric Snyder, and ..."

Portable Two-Way Radio Phone

Portable Two-Way Radio Phone, March 1955 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsThis 1955-era photo of the "Portaphone" might be considered one of the world's first commercially available portable phones. It cannot be considered to be a cellphone in that there were no "cells" of transceiver stations capable of servicing sets moving between cell coverage boundaries. Early portable - or mobile - phones were serviced by a central tower that performed a relay service between the RF device (handset) and the local telephone service. The earliest of those systems, prior to automation, relied on a human operator to patch through calls just like ...

The Silent Raider

The Silent Raider, January 1941 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsKerry Keen and Barney O'Dare - how do like those names for tales of daring and heroism written into a series of short novels published in Flying Aces magazine by author Arch Whitehouse? Kerry was a sort of Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, inasmuch as he was a young, flamboyant Long Island millionaire in public and crime fighter in private. Instead of a cape and driving a Batmobile, "The Griffon" (a vulture) wore an airman's attire and flew his supercharged Black Bullet seaplane. Was The Griffon responsible for the destruction of the USS Vermont? Did our hero Kerry Keen stage the entire event to get paid for information about the attack? "The Silent Raider" will keep you guessing right up to the end ...

Robot Bee with Electrostatic Adhesion Pad

Robot Bee with Electrostatic Adhesion Pad - Airplanes and Rockets"People fear robots are becoming too human, but, in reality, robots are becoming a little more bug-like every day. A team of Harvard University researchers proved this axiom when they found the solution to extending tiny robot flight is by mimicking the way small bugs alight on walls and ceilings. The applications for such a robot are wide-ranging, from small spying devices that can conduct surveillance missions while suspended from a ceiling to research drones that can allow scientists ..."

Thunderbirds, Blue Angels Have Accidents on Same Day

Thunderbirds, Blue Angels Have Accidents on Same Day - Airplanes and Rockets"According to Reuters, a U.S. Air Force F-16 crashed in a Colorado field after performing a flyby of the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation ceremony. After President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address in Colorado Springs, the Thunderbirds roared overhead in a six-ship echelon formation moments before the crash. The wire service said the pilot ejected about 5 miles south of Peterson Air Force Base and was not hurt but was taken to ..."

'Doc' Boeing B-29 Superfortress Nearing 1st Flight

'Doc' Boeing B-29 Superfortress Nearing 1st Flight"Doc's Friends reported on Friday that their restoration team working to return the Boeing B-29 Superfortress known as 'Doc' to flying condition is making the final push to get the aircraft ready for the FAA inspection. They recently collaborated with Pedron Aircraft Works of Denton, Texas, to run the dynamic propeller balance on each of the World War II bomber’s four, 16 1/2 foot diameter Hamilton-Standard propellers. The sophisticated calibration technique uses lasers to analyze the swing of the propeller under power, allowing the engineers to more evenly adjust ..."

'Spirit of Artemis' Stearman Crashes in Arizona

'Spirit of Artemis' Stearman Crashes in Arizona - Airplanes and Rockets"'Spirit of Artemis,' a Boeing Stearman biplane piloted by Tracy Curtis-Taylor, who was using the airplane to retrace old airmail routes across the United States, crashed in Arizona last week. Fortunately, Curtis-Taylor and her passenger, Ewald Gritsch, both walked away from the accident, but the airplane is in need of major repair. In her own newsletter, Curtis-Taylor reported that the airplane suffered a partial power loss shortly after lifting off from the runway at the Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport in Winslow, Arizona, which sits at nearly 5,000 feet ..."

Introducing People to General Aviation

Introducing People to General Aviation - Airplanes and Rockets"It seems like no matter what we do, general aviation remains in the doldrums. Organizations like EAA and AOPA have some great programs to get people interested in general aviation flying, and we at ANN fully support these programs, but there is more we can do. General aviation can grow from the inside and the outside. Growing from the inside means encouraging people to become GA pilots and the organizational programs mentioned before are a good starting place for this ..."

What Can You Tell Me About Liquid Propellant Rockets?

What Can You Tell Me About Liquid Propellant Rockets?, April 1956 Young Men • Hobbies • Aviation • Careers - Airplanes and RocketsYoung Men • Hobbies • Aviation • Careers magazine, which had a run of 13 editions, ran a feature called "You Ask... The Experts Answer," whereby questions from readers on a variety of subjects were answered by experts in their corresponding field. Mr. G. Harry Stine, who would a couple years later would write the monthly column "Rocket Trails" in American Modeler magazine, fields a reader's question on the difference between monopropellant and bipropellant liquid fueled rocket engines. Young Men, by the way, was the title of publisher Street & Smith Publications' magazine between Air Trails - Hobbies for Young Men and ...

Historic Boeing 47D Airliner Makes Final Flight

Historic Boeing 47D Airliner Makes Final Flight - Airplanes and Rockets"With the final flight of the oldest flyable twin-engine Boeing airliner, the world has witnessed a little bit of aviation history. Pilots Mike Carriker and Chad Lundy wrote the final chapter Tuesday in the story of Boeing's 247D. They touched down for a smooth landing at Boeing Field outside Seattle's Museum of Flight in Washington. Welcomed by aviation enthusiasts, the crowd broke out in applause as the plane - sporting a mid-1930s United Air Lines livery - went wheels down after a 15-minute hop from nearby Paine Field in Everett ..."

***  104" Aquila Sailplane for Sale  ***

105% Airtronics Aquila sailplane for sale - Airplanes and Rockets

It is apparent that my eyesight, even with new glasses, is still too poor to comfortably fly my Aquila at the distances often required during thermal flights. Therefore, rather than risk losing or damaging this beautiful craft, I have decided to offer it for sale. Please see details ...

First Flight: Diamond Aircraft's DART-450

First Flight: Diamond Aircraft's DART-450 - Airplanes and Rockets"The DART-450 (Diamond Aircraft Reconnaissance Trainer) is the world's first all-carbon fiber tandem, 2-seat civilian and military trainer with a sidestick and pneumatic ejection seats, according to the company. The +7/-5G aerobatic airplane has a maximum take-off power of 500 hp, is equipped with the Ivchenko-Progress / Motor Sich AI-450S turboprop engine, a 5-blade MT propeller, and a GARMIN avionic system. Maximum endurance of the DART is 8 hours plus ..."

Flying Tigers Group Readies C-47 for Chinese Museum

Flying Tigers Group Readies C-47 for Chinese Museum - Airplanes and Rockets"Guilin, China's Flying Tiger Guilin Heritage Park, beautifully designed and comparable to any of the more modern Smithsonian buildings in Washington, D.C., will receive a Douglas C-47 Skytrain in August like those that flew the Hump, if everything goes right. Everything must go right because there is barely enough money to bring it from Australia, where it was restored by a former owner. The planned date for the flight is Aug. 15. The aircraft, nicknamed Buzz Buggy, was acquired two years ago by the Flying Tiger Historical Organization headed by Larry ..."

Control Line Airplanes Flying in "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."

Control Line Airplanes Flying in "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." - Airplanes and RocketsMelanie and I were watching an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (season 2, episode 9, "The Deadly Toys Affair") and saw a scene where boys at a school in Switzerland were flying control line airplanes. Someone on the story writing side of "The Man U.N.C.L.E." must like model airplanes because they have appeared prominently in at least two episodes. "The Deadly Toys Affair" is about a boy nuclear energy genius (Jay North - aka "Dennis the Menace") who is in target of indoctrination and recruiting by the nefarious "Thrush" crime organization. U.N.C.L.E. agents Napoleon Solo ...

Discovery May Help Engineers Design Quieter Jet Airplanes

Discovery May Help Engineers Design Quieter Jet Airplanes - Airplanes and Rockets"If you've ever experienced the exceptionally powerful and reverberating sounds of a jet during takeoff, you likely won't be surprised that the noise produced by jet engines is ranked among the loudest of human-generated noises. Understanding jet noise is an intriguing fundamental problem of fluid physics -- beguiling researchers for more than 60 years. Some of this fascination with jet noise stems from the fact that seemingly random fluctuations associated with flow turbulence produce strikingly ordered acoustic fields. In other words: If we can understand ..."

"Modelling Traders' Ads", June 1960 Aero Modeller

"Modelling Traders' Ads", June 1960 Aero Modeller - Airplanes and RocketsBearwood Models in Birmingham, Model Supply Stores in Manchester, B.M.W Models in London, Hert's Hobbyshop in Stevenage, The Model Shop in Leeds, Caldonia Model Co. in Glasgow, Westbourne Model Supplies in Bournemouth, Model Aircraft Supplies Ltd. in London, Redgates in Sheffield, Roland Scott (the modeling specialist) in Bolton, Le-Core Bros. in Rochester, Howe's Model Shop in Oxford, Radar Co. Ltd in Hong Kong, Central Aircraft Co. Pty. in Australia. Those are all hobby shops of Jolly Old England (and her territories) of the bygone days listed in a 1960s issue of Aero Modeller magazine. Some might still be ...

Airbus Perlan 2 Glider Will Fly to Edge of Space at 90,000'

Airbus Perlan 2 Glider Will Fly to Edge of Space at 90,000' - Airplanes and Rockets"A daring plan to fly a glider to the edge of space is a step closer after a successful test flight on Sunday. The Perlan 2 glider hopes to create aviation history by soaring to 90,000 feet - 17 miles up - higher than any plane has gone before. The existing record of 85,000 ft is held by an American spy plane, the Lockheed SR-71 'Blackbird'. But that plane got there using powerful jet engines. The Perlan 2 glider - which has an 85 ft (5.5m) wingspan, weighs less than one tonne and has previously only hit altitudes of around 50,000ft - will aim to get there by soaring on air currents rising off mountains ...

California Declares April 'Aviation Awareness Month'

California Legislature Declares April 'Aviation Awareness Month' - Airplanes and RocketsThe Alliance for Aviation Across America issued a statement applauding the California Legislature for declaring April 2016 'Aviation Awareness Month.' In California, general aviation contributes over $30.2 billion to the state’s total economic output. 'We thank the California Legislature for issuing this proclamation and helping to raise awareness about general aviation's vital contribution to California. We thank, in particular, Senator Jean Fuller and Assembly Member Jim Patterson, co-chairs of the Aviation Caucus, for introducing this legislation and for their ongoing support of aviation in California ..."

The G-Engines Are Coming

The G-Engines Are Coming!, November 1956 Young Men • Hobbies • Aviation • Careers - Airplanes and RocketsAccording to what I have found during Internet searches, this "The G-Engines Are Coming" article is a much-sought-after story. It appeared in the November 1956 issue of Young Men magazine (a 13-month-long title existing between Air Trails and American Modeler). An article in the October 1958 issue of American Modeler titled "Anti-Grav" referenced this story. Until Mr. Bob Balsie for scanned the pages from his rare copy of the original magazine, it was available nowhere. Science fiction writers are fascinated with the concept of anti-gravitational devices. More than one false premises forms the basis of this article, the most notable of which is a claim of the existence of a "g-particle" ...

Watch Mercury Sail Across the Sun

Watch Mercury Sail Across the Sun - RF Cafe"On Monday, you can watch Mercury sail across the sun. It’s an astronomical event known as the Mercury transit, and it occurs about a dozen times a century. During the trip, the planet will appear as a black speck awash in the sun’s light. You can track its celestial silhouette for about seven hours, starting around 7:12 a.m. Eastern and ending around 2:42 p.m. Depending on the weather, it should be visible from most parts of the world, except for Australia, New Zealand and parts of East Asia. The best way to view it is through a telescope or on several live streams, but don't try to sneak a peak with your ...