August 2, 2009, students from the University of Toronto Institute of Technology set a world
record for sustained man-powered ornithopter flight - 19.3 seconds, covering a distance of
145 meters at an average speed of 25.6 k/hr. The included video records that flight which
took place at the Great Lakes Gliding Club in Tottenham in Ontario, Canada, as witnessed by
the FAI. The "Snowbird" weighs in at just 45 kg w/o pilot, and has a wing span of 32 meters,
and is powered by a 0.3 hp engine (the human pilot).
Model building skills and materials are used throughout; e.g., carbon fiber, Styrofoam and
balsa, CA glue and vacuum-bagging laminated assemblies.
perusing old editions of American Modeler, I came across an advertisement for a plastic model
of the Wright
Cyclone 9 radial aircraft engine that was made by Monogram. Thinking that it would be
nice to have, I stored a search on eBay, and then waited. After a couple months, e-Bay sent
me a notice of one that came up for auction.
Cox Golden Bee .049 was purchased on eBay for around $30. It was very dirty, but disassembling
it and soaking it overnight in a bath of Evapo-Rust worked a miracle on it. The shiny metal
parts were buffed using a Dremel MotoTool.
radio was removed from a Radian sailplane that I sold separately. I was going to put it in
a park-size plane, but will not have an opportunity anytime soon so I'm selling them.
DX5e Tx and
AR500 Rx are in like-new condition, and have never been in a crash or even a hard landing.
Sells new for $100 (just the Rx alone costs $60 new). Please
(firm)+ shipping & insurance
** This has been sold **
living in Colorado Springs, CO, our family decided to build a compact N-gauge model train
layout that looked like the northwestern Nebraska landscape that we had driven through many
time. It represents the old west that comes to mind from the Oregon Trail days, although that
pre-dated the train routes of the day. An inexpensive Lionel N-gauge train set was purchased,
along with a few extra sections of track.
See how it turned out!
it or not, there was a day when building your own electronics was a good way to save money
if your budget was smaller than your appetite for R/C systems, radios, even TV sets. Heathkit
was a source of pre-kitted products, but like most electronics companies of yore, they no
longer offer kits; it is much cheaper to have complete systems built overseas. Besides, modern
components - resistors, capacitors, ICs, etc., are far too small for most people to work with
successfully. Here is a two-part article from the April and May 1972 editions of American
Aircraft Modeler presenting the AAM Commander. It makes a good read because of the theory
of operation that is covered.
Part 1 |
The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is a strong watchdog and defender of our frequency
use rights in the U.S., and advocates on our behalf before the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC). In response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, intending to "simplify, streamline,
consolidate and update" Part 95 of its rules, AMA reviewed the NPRM and formally addressed
some minor issues. The recounting of AMA's historic and contemporary role in the promotion
of model aviation as part of the presentation is quite impressive, and is worth reading. Bandwidth
is precious and an extremely valuable commodity. The 9-page PDF file can be read
Thanks to the AMA for its efforts!
visitor Lars B. wrote from Sweden requesting that I scan this "Wind
Flying" article from the September 1972 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. It describes
a method for replacing engines and motors with human power for preforming some pretty impressive
C/L aerobatics on windy days. I can remember doing this as a teenager, only I did it with
the engine in place but not running.
not sure how long the 3rd-line for throttle control has been around, but this article from
the August 1957 edition of American Modeler seems to suggest that it was introduced formally
around the time of the 1957 model hobby industry trade show in Chicago - maybe a few years
before. There in an exhibitors' booth was a special bellcrank featuring a three-wire control
line system offered by the J. Roberts Model Manufacturing Company, of Baker, OR.
is a fairly low-tech example of how much things have changed in five decades. 1-1/2-volt batteries
have been the de facto standard for model engine glow plugs probably since their inception
(someone please correct me if I'm wrong). In those early days, there was not the plethora
of specialty companies providing niche hobby needs, but Eveready stepped up to the plate and
offered 1-1/2-volt batteries specially designed for modelers' needs.
Cox Babe Bee .049 has never been
run and was purchased with the original package and the instructions on eBay. It is one of
the later model Babe Bee .049 engines that was sold just before Estes, who bought the Cox
model line, stopped producing and sell them altogether. Note the black fiber fuel tank rather
than the turned aluminum fuel tank. It looks kind of like a Black Widow .049, but it is not.
The package is marked as being the "350" model.
can it possibly be that it was in 1957 that Cox introduced the Babe Bee .049 engine? That
pre-dates me by a year, and man, I'm feeling old. Cox must have sold 10s of millions of the
beauties. I know my paper route earnings were responsible for at least half a dozen of them.
Today, a new-in-box (NIB) version will easily cost you $100 on eBay. Alas, what was music
to our ears was annoyance to the neighbors, so now electric motors have replaced the little
screamers on toy store shelves. Read the public unveiling of the
Cox Babe Bee
from the April 1957 American Modeler.
mentioned earlier, I acquired a bunch of new Model Aviation editions. After a few hours of
scanning and cleaning them up with graphics software, about three dozen
have been added to the collection. I broken them down to ten on a page, so there are five
pages of them now. Enjoy!
Most building tips are timeless. Even in this era of ready-to-fly (RTF), almost-ready-to-fly
(ARF), bind-and-fly (BAF), etc., there are still many modelers who build their own aircraft.
Take a look through all of them - you'll be glad you did.
might have noticed that a lot of the articles posted here are done at the request of website
visitors. I have managed to collect the entire set of American Aircraft Modeler magazines,
and offer to scan construction articles or 3-view drawings, or just about anything else within
reason - at no charge. Recently, I have begun doing the same for AAM's precede,
American Modeler. So far, I only have a couple dozen issues.
4-view drawing of the
Northrop SM-62 Snark, which was the first U.S guided missile with intercontinental range,
tailless turbojet powered weapon cruises at high sub-sonic speeds.