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- Home Page Archive: #32 (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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World War I Bristol M. 1C Control Line Scale Article & Plans

World War One Bristol M. 1C Control Line Scale Article & Plans, American Modeler, August 1957 - Airplanes and RocketsThis Bristol M.1C WWI monoplane was designed and built by the ineffable (when it comes to model aircraft designing and building) Walter A. Musciano. This unique monoplane was a rarity during the era when biplanes and triplanes ruled the skies. Construction is very robust in that it uses balsa sheeting on the built-up wing and balsa planking on the fuselage. The wingspan works out to around 27", and power can be anything from a .099 to .29 engine. Of course electric power can be substituted if you prefer the 'silent' route ...

Woodworking Tip: Sanding Table Legs w/o a Lathe

Woodworking Tip: Sanding Table Legs w/o a Lathe - Airplanes and RocketsWhile reconfiguring and refinishing an old farm table, I decided to remove the paint from the round legs and stain them instead. A belt sander made quick work of removing most of the paint (very dry and dusty). Some minor flat areas were created in the process, but I was able to retain most of the roundness. I owned a Craftsman lathe many moons ago that would have been nice to use to sand the legs, but the lathe was sold prior to one of many household moves. In place of a lathe, I clamped my cordless drill to the workbench and used a used a socket to drive a couple nuts on a hanger bolt that had been screwed into one end ...

Saelig's Aaronia Drone Detection System Discovers Unwanted UAV Incursions

Saelig's Aaronia Drone Detection System (ADDS) Discovers Unwanted UAV Incursions - RF CafeIs this cool or what? Saelig isn't kidding with their "unique electronics" logo tag line. Saelig Company has introduced the Aaronia Drone Detection System (ADDS) for discovering the incursion of unwanted drones or other remote-controlled flying objects, thus protecting privacy and insuring physical security. Detecting the real-time directional measurement of the radio emissions used for controlling drones, the ADDS system warns the user when drones are in the area and can send automatic alerts ... (they need a look-down/shoot-down system to compliment it)

Bell's X-247 Armed Tiltrotor Drone For Marines

Bell's X-247 Armed Tiltrotor Drone For Marines - Airplanes and Rockets"A sleek little model sits on the desk of Lt. Gen. Jon 'Dog' Davis, Marine deputy commandant for aviation. What is that, we asked? The next tiltrotor Bell Helicopter Textron hopes the Marine Corps will buy. But it's not the V-280 Valor, the new manned tiltrotor Bell plans to fly next year. It's an unmanned tiltrotor designed to give the Marines a drone that can do everything the Air Force's armed MQ-9 Reaper does – and more. Especially taking off and landing from ships or from land where there's ..."

Airlander 10 Takes Maiden Flight

Airlander 10 Takes Maiden Flight - Airplanes and Rockets"Hybrid Air Vehicles' 92m long airship is the world's longest aircraft, and the maiden flight marks a key milestone in its Flight Test Programme. Airlander was originally scheduled to make its debut on Sunday, but a technical issue meant it was unable to fly during daylight hours, which is a prerequisite during flight trials. The four giant engines, which have been undergoing testing since since February 2015, were started up ..."

Building a Sturdy 2x4-Frame Workbench

Woodworking Tips: Building a Sturdy 2x4-Frame Workbench - Airplanes and RocketsAfter moving back into our first house in Erie, I needed to build a couple workbenches in the basement. The ones I used before were made from Gorilla Rack metal frame parts and had been left at the previous house. Besides, I really prefer a good, sturdy wooden framed workbench with doors and drawers. Also, after using many types of materials was a work surface, I have found that a good interior grade plywood (7-ply or greater) makes works best. It is very stiff and durable, and does not puff up and distort when water is spilled on it. One criterion was that the standard 24" depth (half a 4'  x 8'sheet of plywood) would be insufficient for the one that would hold benchtop power tools ...

London Teens Fly High on Gliding Course

London Teens Fly High on Gliding Course - Airplanes and Rockets"We all know that UK STEM is facing a huge skills crisis. According to some reports, the country needs around 100,000 new scientists, engineers and technologists every year until 2020. To achieve this, STEM must draw from the widest possible talent pool, with every boy and girl growing up in the UK made aware of the opportunities available. For many, though, a career working in certain STEM industries can seem unobtainable. Aviation ..."

Facts About Flying Boats

Facts About Flying Boats, January 1955 Model Airplane News - Airplanes and RocketsAs is often - even usually - the case, science is able to test and quantify theories and opinions to not just determine which of competing views is most correct, but it also applies known principles to improve upon the concepts. I have seen it done over and over again both within and without the modeling realm. As early 1955, articles like this one have removed some of the guesswork from amphibious model aircraft design. Similar articles have been written using scientific methods to determine optimal parameters for various aspects of control line...

KeilKraft Engine Ad, June 1960 Aero Modeller

KeilKraft Engine Ad, June 1960 Aero Modeller - Airplanes and RocketsKeilKraft was one of the prime manufacturers of model airplane kits, engines, and supplies in the UK in the middle of the last century. This full-page advertisement for their line of engines and fuel appeared in a 1960 issue of the British magazine Aero Modeller. eBay has many KeilKraft engines and other items available ...

Military Unveils Insect-Sized Spy Drone with Dragonfly-Like Wings

Military Unveils Insect-Sized Spy Drone with Dragonfly-Like Wings - Airplanes and Rockets"A tiny remote-controlled aircraft modelled on an insect will become Britain’s latest weapon against terror. The Dragonfly drone – which can fit in the palm of a hand - will spy on enemy positions and gather intelligence for the military and British agents. It is inspired by the biology of a dragonfly, with four flapping wings and four legs to enable it to fly through the air seamlessly and perch on a windowsill to spy on terrorists ..."

KeilKraft Glider Ad, June 1960 Aero Modeller

KeilKraft Glider Ad, June 1960 Aero Modeller - Airplanes and RocketsKeilKraft was one of the prime manufacturers of model airplane kits, engines, and supplies in the UK in the middle of the last century. This full-page advertisement for their line of kits appeared in a 1960 issue of the British magazine Aero Modeller. The Vintage Model Company offers a huge selection of laser cut replicas of the classic Keil Kraft kits ...

London Woman Possibly 1st Drone-Related Death

London Woman Possibly 1st Drone-Related Death - Airplanes and RocketsHere is a prime example of media purposely engaging in misleading headlines in an attempt to blame a drone for a woman's death, when in fact the lady was killed in a car accident while fleeing police after being was caught flying a drone near a prison. This is why people hate the news media.

Moon Express Cleared for Lunar Landing

Moon Express Cleared for Lunar Landing - Airplanes and Rockets"The two-week mission was given the go-ahead by the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation. The plan is to send a suitcase-sized lander to the moon in late 2017. The lander, which is not yet completed, will be carried on a rocket made by Rocket Lab, a start-up firm which has not launched any commercial missions. Science experiments and some commercial cargo will be carried on the one-way trip to the lunar surface. Moon Express also plans to beam pictures back to the Earth. What if you could mine the moon? "The Moon ..."

America's First Jet Fighter - the P-59

America's First Jet Fighter P-59, February 1956 Young Men • Hobbies • Aviation • Careers - Airplanes and RocketsBell Aircraft Company is probably most famous for the X-1 supersonic airplane, piloted by Chuck Yeager. The P-39 Airacobra likely is the runner up. Their P-59 Airacomet is a less-known because it was never used in combat, but it is billed as America's first production jet aircraft. Its maiden flight was in 1942, at the beginning of World War II. During flight testing, its nature was disguised by placing a faux propeller on the nose, underneath a cloaking tarpaulin ...

FAA Approves Virgin Galactic to Fly into Space

FAA Approves Virgin Galactic to Fly into Space - Airplanes and Rockets"Space tourism is dawning upon us with Virgin Galactic obtaining an 'Operational License' from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA-AST) after successfully running taxi tests with their new spaceship, SpaceShipTwo. On August first, Virgin Galactic achieved two significant milestones by receiving permission to operate commercially by the FAA, and successfully running a taxi test. The license awarded by the FAA ..."

What's Ahead for You in Engineering?

What's Ahead for You in Engineering?, July 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsSaid Jimmy Stewart's character in "It's a Wonderful Life," George Bailey, "I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Colosseum. Then, I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I'm gonna build things. I'm gonna build airfields, I'm gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high, I'm gonna build bridges a mile long..." It was common dream for an era when Americans were tired of the struggling economy of The Great Depression and great advances were being made in technology. The world was still a mystery to most people whose familiarity with foreign lands ...

Brodak Manufacturing & Distribution Videos & Photos

Brodak Manufacturing & Distribution, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania - Airplanes and RocketsWhile talking to a lady working one of the tables at the 2016 Brodak Fly-In, she happened to mention that the Brodak Manufacturing & Distribution operations plant is located about a mile away, right behind Brodak's Hobby Shop in Carmichaels, PA. Brodak, unarguably the largest seller of control line models and flying supplies, has the advantage of being its own manufacturer for most of its products. Because of that, they are able to sell at the lowest prices possible for a proprietary line of goods. Control line model airplane kits, nuts and bolts and washers and other assembly hardware, flying ...

Navy Blue Angeles Get New F/A-18E/F Super Hornets

Navy Blue Angeles Get New F/A-18E/F Super Hornets - Airplanes and Rockets"Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team are upgrading their aircraft from the decades-old Boeing F/A-18A, C, B, and D models to the newer and larger F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced a $12.1 million contract Monday to the Boeing Co. Defense, Space & Security segment in St. Louis to adapt F/A-18E/F aircraft to the needs of the Blue Angeles ..."

Did ESD Blow the Hatch on Liberty Bell 7?

Astronaut Grissom Didn't Hit the Chicken Switch - RF CafeCharles Murray, of Design News just posted a piece about a new book called Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom, by George Leopold." Anyone knowing the history of America's manned space flight program is familiar with the hatch blowing off the capsule (which quickly sunk) of the Mercury Redstone 4 mission while awaiting a helicopter rendezvous for pickup in the Atlantic Ocean. Grissom insisted he did not activate the firing mechanism, and now, 55 years later, a forensic investigation suggests that possibly an ESD event was the cause. An electrical spark, ironically, is believed to have ignited the fire on Apollo 1 that claimed Grissom's life.

China Unveils World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft

China Unveils World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft - Airplanes and Rockets"China has completed production of the world's largest amphibious aircraft which will be used to fight forest fires and perform marine rescues. The aircraft, dubbed the AG600, is around the size of a Boeing 737 - far larger than any other plane built to take off and land on water. It has a maximum flight range of 2,800 miles and can collect 12 tonnes of water in 20 seconds. Its maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes. The state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China unveiled the first ..."

Shark 35 Control Line Airplane Plans

Shark 35 Control Line Airplane Plans - Airplanes and RocketsLew McFarland's series of 'Shark' control line stunters are favorites to many vintage and classic design flyers. They were all very simple to build and were excellent fliers. The Shark 15, which featured a profile fuselage and built-up wing with flaps, was my first 'real' stunt airplane, and my first control line model that used an engine larger than the Cox .049. Jetco produced the Shark 15 and the Shark 45 kits, but to my knowledge the Shark 35 never made it to production. I didn't even know it existed until I saw ...

8-Rotor Flying Chair Uses 2-Cylinder Model Airplane Engines

Swedish Maker Creates 8-Rotor Flying Chair - Airplanes and Rockets"Manned multicopter build part 12 For the very first time I'm actually flying around, and just enjoying myself. Yes, it is in the smallest scale possible and no the control system is not optimal but still; the fun and excitement factors are way off the official scale….! "

ATT Using Drones for Cell Tower inspections

ATT Using Drones for Cell Tower inspections - RF Cafe"Flying drones might sound like a fun hobby, but some RF engineers are making it part of their job, going so far as to envision flying COWs, or Cells on Wings, to provide LTE coverage at concerts or during emergencies. Earlier this month, AT&T announced the launch of a national trial involving drones in a program being overseen by Art Pregler, who serves as AT&T's drone program director and began his tech career in the U.S. Air Force. More trials are continuing, including this week. AT&T started its LTE drone program investigation a year ..."

Jetex Free Flight Beginners Project

Jetex Free Flight Beginners Project, July 1961 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsJetex engines enjoyed wide popularity in the 1950s and 60s, even into the 1970s. Unlike using a model rocket engine for propulsion which produces a short duration of high thrust, Jetex engines were a relatively long burning, low thrust propulsion source. Rather than launching a model vertically at great initial velocity, the Jetex engine allowed a mode to be launched my hand in a slightly nose high attitude and the model would gradually build speed for climbing - like a jet-powered aircraft. Various size Jetex engines were made over the three or so decades they were manufactured, ranging from the diminutive Jetex Atom 35 to the powerful Jetex Scorpion 600 ...

Cox .020-Powered Sky Copter

Cox Sky Copter Helicopter - Airplanes and RocketsIn the late 1960s when I received a Cox Sky Copter for Christmas, there was very little in the way of commercially available flying model helicopters. Victor Stanzel sold its tethered ElectroMic "Copter" that was powered by a pair of "D" cell batteries. As far as I know, Cox made the only nitro fuel powered free flight helicopter named "Sky Copter." It was powered by a Cox .020 engine mounted to the top, center of the main rotor shaft, and caused the rotors to turn due to the counter rotation cause by the propeller on the .020. It worked very well. After getting the engine ...

BAE Claims Aviation 1st with Laser Airspeed Sensor

BAE Claims Aviation 1st with Laser Airspeed Sensor - RF Cafe"The Laser Air Speed Sensing Instrument (LASSI) which is being exhibited at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow sets itself apart from conventional methods as it accurately measures velocity even at low speeds. Air speed is normally determined using pitot tubes – which protrude from aircraft and sense variations in air pressure with speed. Although usually heated, these tubes are vulnerable to blockage in icy conditions. They could also be damaged by collisions with birds and when the aircraft is on the ground. Operating on the same principle ..."

Robot Helicopter

Robot Helicopter, November 1956 Popular Electronics - Airplanes and RocketsThis angled, twin rotor, no-tail-rotor (NOTAR) configuration for a remotely controlled helicopter was pioneered by Kaman Aircraft Corporation in the 1950s, and is still a unique part of their product lineup today. Per their website, "The Unmanned Aerial Truck (UAT) continues a Kaman tradition of pioneering unmanned helicopters. In 1957, Charles Kaman, founder of Kaman Corporation, created the first pilotless aircraft." The embedded video is a 1957 edition of the "You Asked for It" television show, where host ...

ESA's 4,000 mph Hypersonic Plane Does London-to-Sydney in Hours

ESA's 4,000 mph Hypersonic Plane Does London-to-Sydney in Hours - Airplanes and Rockets"The European Space Agency has invested $11 million toward the development of the Sabre engine that could one day allow aircraft to fly anywhere in the world in just four hours. Oxfordshire-based Reaction Engines has been developing a turbine that combines both jet and rocket technologies to achieve rates five times the speed of sound. According to the firm, the new agreement with the ESA and the UK Space Agency, along with the existing partnership with BAE Systems, means that the first ground demonstrator engine could be ready for testing by 2020 ..."

12th Nordic Champs

"12th Nordic Champs", June 1960 Aero Modeller - Airplanes and RocketsWakefield competition requires some of the highest skill level in all of model-dom with regards to aircraft structure and covering details, engine and fuel system tuning, dethermalizer setup, trim for uncontrolled flight during launch, transition, glide, and dethermalized phases. That. of course, is not to minimize the skill sets required for other realms of model aircraft, but it seems to me Wakefield requires expertise in all disciplines in order to be a consistent winner. The 12th Nordic Championships we held in winter on Lake Vasijarvi at Tampere, Finland - above the Arctic Circle, at 61.5°N. This is a robust bunch ...

Hang Glider Aims to Break Long-Distance Flight Record

Hang Glider Aims to Break Long-Distance Flight Record - Airplanes and Rockets"Hang glider aims to break long-distance flight record | Fox News A daring hang glider known for his extreme stunts and record-setting flights will soon attempt to set another record for the longest open-distance flight. On or soon after Monday (June 20), Jonny Durand will attempt to glide from Zapata, in southern Texas, to Lorenzo, in northern Texas, a distance of about 475 miles. Aiding him on his journey — on (or around) the summer solstice, the longest ..."

The Great Pickett Slide Rule Apollo Conundrum

The Great Pickett Slide Rule Apollo Conundrum - RF CafeLong after shirt pocket sized electronic calculators and glass cockpits became the norm for both professional and recreational aviators, Colonel J. Michael Gibson, a career pilot and navigator with the Canadian Civil Aeronautics Search and Rescue (now retired) carried a Pickett N600-ES slide rule in his flight jacket. Its diminutive size (only 5" long), sharply marked scales, and sturdy construction made it a favorite for on-the-go users. A special purpose Pickett N700-T USAF Aerial Photo slide rule lived in his flight suit sleeve pocket. Colonel Gibson is passing along his appreciation for the art of slide rule usage to his granddaughter. She routinely uses her Pickett 1010 model ...

Apollo 11 Guidance Computer Source Code on GitHub

Apollo 11 Guidance Computer Source Code on GitHub - RF CafeWith the 47th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing coming up on July 20, a number of sources have written about NASA having released the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) source code into the public domain. Chris Wiltz, at Design News, included this photo of Margaret Hamilton of MIT's Draper Labs standing with her team's code printout. Women engineers take note - that was in 1969!

NASA Apollo 11: Owners' Workshop Manual - RF CafeI highly recommend the NASA Apollo 11: Owners' Workshop Manual, published by Haynes. It has an incredible amount of 'insider' info about the development of both hardware and software.

Some of My Stuff Is for Sale

Modeling items for sale - Airplanes and RocketsDue to a change in life status, I want to sell many items from my modest collection of aeromodeling things I had as a youngster. All are in new or like-new condition and are priced very fairly (compare with e-bay auctions). If you are planning to purchase any of these items anyway, please consider buying them from me to help support the Airplanes and Rockets website. A complete list is here. A few examples are: TopFlite C/L P-40 Warhawk, Monogram Cyclone 9 Radial Engine, AAMCo S-Ray, Sig C/L Super Chipmunk, R/C Aquila Sailplane, Cox C/L Fokker Dr.I Triplane, DuBro R/C TriStar Helicopter, Cox F2G-1 Corsair, Jetco Sabre Stunt, Cox PT-19 Trainer. Thank you for your help.

Brodak's Hobby Shop

Brodak's Hoby Shop, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania - Airplanes and Rockets
Local hobby shops that carry a wide variety of model airplane kits, building supplies, and flying gear are getting more and more rare all the time, due primarily to online outlets that offer the products for lower prices. Some of that competitive edge was dulled when states began requiring companies to collect sales tax from everyone, regardless of residency. Even so, volume pricing from manufacturers has made running a LHS minimally profitable for most proprietors still in the business. Brodak, unarguably the largest seller of control line flying supplies, has the advantage of being its own manufacturer for most of its products. Because of that, they are able to sell at the lowest prices possible for their proprietary ...

About Airplanes & Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets
Kirt Blattenberger
Carpe Diem!
(Seize the Day!)

Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD. There is a lot of good information and there are lot of pictures throughout the website that you will probably find useful, and might even bring back some old memories from your own days of yore. The website began life around 1996 as an EarthLink screen name of ModelAirplanes, and quickly grew to where more server space ...

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Modeling Resources

Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) - Airplanes and Rockets
Academy of Model Aeronautics

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Tower Hobbies

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