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:
AMA Headquarters Staff Photo, 1968
Here is a photo of the entire staff at the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) headquarters in 1968. John Worth was the Executive Director at the time. Thirteen people ran the organization's administrative functions. The AMA began in 1936 and had grown to 25,000 members and 459 sanctioned clubs by 1968. In 2010, those numbers are 150,000 members and 2,500 clubs. Headquarters moved from its 1968 location in Washington, D.C., to Reston, Virginia...
1968 Harsewinkel Model Helicopter Show
As the photos in this article from the March 1969 AAM show, quite a bit of impressive design and machining went into birds of the day. The owners were true craftsmen with a high level of knowledge of how helicopters fly. Ask your average heli flyer today about gyroscopic precession requiring the rotor control input to be made 90° ahead, and in the direction of rotation, of the desired output, and he'll likely reply with a deer-in-the-headlights look. Don't expect a scientific explanation of the function of the flybar providing stabilizing inertial through angular momentum, either. Read about Germany's first heli competition - lots of pictures!
Beechcraft Musketeer Article & Plans
Website visitor Jim P. wrote to ask whether I would scan the Tenderfoot article in the March 1969 American Aircraft Modeler for the Musketeer, a 1/2A profile control line model for beginners. Mr. Jim Davis designed the model and drew the plans.
1961 British National Championships
The year was 1961. The place: Royal Air Force station, Barkston Heath in Lincolnshire, about 120 miles north of London. The British National Championships, (NATS) were held in a two-day fight for titles by nearly 1,500 modelers. In the era, R/C was the new kid on the block, and a big deal was made over the use of "relayless" equipment. Oh, and here's a sentence you won't see in 2011 contest articles, "About 75 percent of all equipment used was of U. S. manufacture."
1962 American Modeler TOC
Here is the Table of Contents for the 1962 American Modeler Annual Edition. There is an image version and I have also OCR'ed the text so that it is searchable. If you see something you need that I have not already posted, send me a note and I'll put it in the queue.
Model Builder Updates
Airplanes and Rockets visitor Thierry L., of Belgium, wrote to ask for a larger version of the plans image file so that he could scale it for building a 40" wingspan version for electric power. He was kind enough to send a photograph of the framed-up Jenny. Doesn't that look nice?
Steve S.' So-Long continues to make good progress. Here is the fuselage in Coverlite.
Bill Wisniewski's Pink Ladies
Control line speed has been around for many decades. As with all other areas of specialty, the state of the art has advanced significantly since the time of Bill Wisniewski's reign as king of the C/L speed domain with his venerable Pink Ladies. Today's C/L speed models have a single long inboard wing and often have computer-designed airfoils and fuselage shapes. In the 1958 timeframe, the record speed was in the 160 mph range. The video shows a new F2A world speed record of 208 mph being set in October of 2009.
Dilbert the... Pilot???
Do you know how engineering whipping boy Dilbert came to be called by that name? Per Scott Adams, while working at Pacific Bell he ran an informal name-the-comic-strip-engineer contest from his cubicle. A guy named Mike Goodwin suggested Dilbert. "I ended the contest immediately and declared Mike the winner," says Adams. It sounded perfect. Years after the comic strip had become syndicated, Mike commented that he believes the name idea might have come from seeing his father's old WWII aviator comics with "Dilbert the Pilot."
1969 Sears Christmas Wish Book - Space Race
Here on page 496 of the Sears 1969 Christmas Wish Book are a G.I. Joe astronaut outfits. It being the first Christmas after the historic flight of Apollo 11, just about every boy's toy was available with some sort of flight theme, be it aircraft or rocket. Major Matt Mason and Billy Blastoff were stars of the day. I was thoroughly wrapped up in the whole moon shot thing, and even went out and launched my Estes Alpha rocket the day that Apollo 11 launched (July 16, 1969).
Super Sabre Trainer Article & Plans
Airplanes and Rockets visitor Jochen S., a school teacher from Germany, wrote to request that I scan this Super Sabre Trainer (SST) article that appeared in the May 1972 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. The Super Sabre Trainer is a ½A control-line model designed by Dean Swift for his 6-year-old son to learn to build and fly C/L airplanes. It is a simple, profile fuselage with sheet balsa surfaces. Jochen wants to use the SST in a program to introduce students to aircraft modeling. He says they will also benefit from trying to read the article in English and to convert inches to metric units. Toll!
The Bird with the 16-Mile Tail
Advertisements from the old magazines often help detail important parts of our history. This is particularly true for the World War II era. America's great foundation manufacturing companies participated in, and were rightly proud of the united war effort in which they and their patriotic employees engaged. We were under dire threat from Axis powers that sought to dominate the free world. Stalwarts like General Electric, Westinghouse, Ford, General Motors, Goodrich, Boeing, et al, routinely ran advertisements telling stories of their contributions to the war effort. Here is one example from the September 1945 edition of Popular Mechanics, where Bell Telephone Laboratories ran an ad titled, "The Bird with the 16-Mile Tail." A C-47 Dakota was used to lay down communications cable in otherwise isolated areas.
1974 League of Silent Flight Tournament
In this December 1974 coverage of the League of Silent Flight Tournament, Mark Smith emerges as the winner and debuts with his self-designed Windfree glider. He later marketed the Windfree (99" wingspan) and the Windward (72" wingspan) as part of his Mark's Models business. I have built and flown (and crashed) both.
Meteor F Mk.8 Twin Ducted Fan C/L Model
Here is a great twin ducted fan design for the Gloster Meteor F Mk.8 jet from the January 1974 edition of AAM. The plans are configured for Control line, but could easily be adapted to radio control. British author and designer David D. Nelson has provided a great article and plans with excellent detail. Ducted fan kits are readily available these days for either nitro or electric power.
Paul Harvey - Views
A couple years ago I posted a couple articles by the great Paul Harvey that appeared in American Aircraft Modeler. in the 1973-74 timeframe. I just found another in the December 1974 AAM, titled "The Lone Eagle of Breckenridge, Tex." I tells the story of a fellow modeler that Mr. Harvey met, and how his relative isolation in the small Texas town was made easier through modeling contact, including those with Paul himself via Ham radio.
Airfoils and Alternatives - The "Skinny Lifters"
Website visitor Bob B. wrote to ask for a scan of an article entitled "Airfoils and Alternatives - The 'Skinny Lifters'," from the December 1974 American Aircraft Modeler. Author Eric Lister wrote about thin, undercambered airfoils and their superior lift-to-drag (L/D) ratios. I assume Mr. Lister is a California resident because he likes to invoke bikinis and covering curves for an analogy. Whatever works for you, I suppose!
Guillow's Supermarine Spitfire, by Tom Eastlake
My friend, Tom Eastlake (a fellow electrical engineer), is on a roll. In November he sent me photos of a Comet Cadet that he built for his nephew. And now here is an excellent example of a Guillow's Supermarine Spitfire (16½" version). You'll want to see this.
For Non Modelers: All About Air Modeling
Whoa! That was a lot of work! I just scanned, OCRed, and formatted images for the entire 15-page spread titled, "For Non Modelers: All About Air Modeling," in the Annual Edition of American Modeler. It is a comprehensive treatise that introduces non-modelers to the full realm of aeromodeling as it existed in the era. Free flight gas and rubber; control line stunt, combat, scale, and speed; helicopters and ornithopters; indoor gliders, stick and tissue, and microfilm; even some early radio control. It's all there - you'll be amazed!
"Flying Men" Article & Plans - 1962 AM
One nice thing about having a website like AAR is that every once in a while a famous person will contact me with some great information. It happened again recently when David J. Holland wrote about how he still has the original artwork of his "Flying Men" models from the cover of the 1962 Annual Edition of American Modeler. He sent a photo of the magazine cover next to the framed original, along with a photo of his actual control line model. A copy of the article is included.
V-12 R/C Model Engine Video
Citizen-Ship 8-Channel R/C System
Citizen-Ship was an early commercial manufacturer of radio control systems. When you see that they were producing 8-channel units back in 1958, you might be amazed. However, in those days each channel was a single direction of control. So, an 8 channels in 1958 was equivalent to 4 channels today. As the schematics show...
The Drifter OHLG - September 1971 AAM
The Drifter, designed by Phil Boretto, is an outdoor hand-launched glider that appeared in the September 1971 edition of AAM. There was no construction article accompanying it. AAR visitor Shun kwei L. wrote from Taiwan requesting it.
Flip Flop 16 OHLG - November 1969 AAM
Shun kwei L. also asked for the Flip Flop 16 plans. I'm beginning to think that Shun kwei is a hand-launched glider fan. The Flip Flop, designed by Bill Blanchard, appeared in the November 1969 AAM. As with The Drifter, there was no article.
Comet Cadet, by Tom Eastlake
A friend of mine, Tom Eastlake, recently sent me a photo of a Comet Cadet that he built for his nephew. "This thing flies pretty well. " Tom has a unique building board setup for small models. He lays a thin sheet of glass over the plans, and then holds parts in place with masking tape.
Quarter Pint .020-Powered Free Flight Model
visitor Steven S. wrote to ask that I scan the article for the Quarter Pint and So-Long free flight models that appeared
in the April 1972 American Aircraft Modeler. The
Quarter Pint, a basic free flight nitro model, gets its name (partly) from using a 1/4A engine (Cox .020). Per
Steve's letter: "As a teenager I bought many issues of AAM. I built 'Quarter Pint' from the April 1972 issue and 'So-Long'
from the June 1972 issue. Every so often...
Update: See Steve's built-up Quarter Pint!
So-Long Free Flight Article & Plans
Steve S. also asked for a reprint of the So-Long article that appeared in the June 1972 AAM. Like the Quarter Pint, the So-Long is a very simple free flight model that is powered by a Cox .020. Update: See Steve's built-up fuselage for the So-Long!
Former AMA Director Jim Cherries Passed Away
I was shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Academy of Model Aeronautics' recent executive director, Jim Cherry, on December 2, 2010. Please leave a kind message for Jim's family on the obituary page in his hometown Panama City, FL, newspaper.