"The casting of the secondary mirror blank for ESO's
Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) has been completed by SCHOTT at Mainz,
Germany. The completed mirror will be 4.2 metres in diameter and weigh 3.5 tonnes. It will
be the largest secondary mirror ever employed on a telescope and also the largest convex mirror
ever produced. ESO's 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) will be the largest telescope
of its kind ever built when it achieves first light in 2024. A new milestone has now been
reached with the casting of the telescope's ..."
in the early 2000s I began making a transition from
glow fuel power to electric power. There
was a general trend in that direction in the modeling world, and there were certainly advantages
in doing so. Lack of fuel mess, almost no noise, and simple, reliable operation were the primary
compelling reasons for adopting the new paradigm in power plants. After all, technical advances
in brushless motors, lithium polymer (Li-Po) batteries, and electronics speed controllers
(ESC) has reached - or nearly reached - parity with internal combustion engines ...
"As air-launched munitions
get smarter, the Air Force is creating a new class of weapon—a combination of
drones and missiles. But can they be advanced enough to work, yet cheap
enough that it's okay to lose a few in battle? It has advanced radar, forward-looking infrared
cameras, and laser rangefinders—all used to help the 13-man crew direct a barrage of lethal
fire to the ground from 12,000 feet. But for all of this advanced technology, the vision of
the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command gunships can be thwarted by the threatening
adversary known as a cloudy sky. The USAF has a solution ..."
Dremel Model 370 Moto-Tool
is one of my longest-owned tools. It was bought sometime around 1976. After 40 years of use,
it began exhibiting erratic behavior due to the motor brushes finally having worn down to
where they were not making good contact with the commutator. You can see in the photos how
the original brushes did not wear evenly, although the contact surfaces were clean and not
pitted at all. I decided that given the Moto-Tool's age, it might be a good idea to disassemble
it and do a good cleaning and inspection ...
"NASA managers have ruled out putting a crew on board
Orion capsule atop the agency’s huge Space Launch System rocket for the
gargantuan booster's maiden flight in 2019, citing technical risks and higher costs, up to
as much as $900 million, agency officials said Friday. Earlier this year, the Trump administration
asked NASA to look into the possibility of either adding a crew to Exploration Mission 1,
EM-1 for short, or moving up the launch of EM-2, the flight NASA already earmarked for the
SLS booster's ..."
Having never been truly satisfied with the silence
of electric-powered model airplanes, I made a decision to start reverting back to glow fuel
models. Yes, electric power is clean, easy to set up, and consistent motor runs are the rule,
but I grew up with models I could hear flying as well as see flying. I've really missed the
sound and smell of glow fuel engines after a 15-year hiatus. I'm starting with .049 engines
mainly because of the high cost of fuel, but there's also a back-to-basics feel about them
since I, like most kids in the 1960s and 70s, learned to fly with the plastic Cox models.
As you might ...
Thanks to the efforts of the Academy of Model Aviation
for its efforts! From the AMA website: "Friday, May 19, the federal appeals court struck
down the FAA's
registration requirement for recreational model aircraft. The Court ruling is
effective immediately. As such, if you have not registered with the FAA, you are no
longer required under the law to do so. For those of
you who have already registered with the FAA, you may be wondering what this means for you.
We are currently working to obtain answers from the FAA and will share more information as
Could this be part of
Trump's 2-for-1 regulation reduction mandate?
Toyota has announced its backing for a group of engineers who are developing a
flying car. It will
give 40 million yen (£274, 000) to the Cartivator group that operates outside Toyota city
in central Japan. The Nikkei Asian Review reports Toyota and its group companies have agreed
in principle to support the project. So far crowd funding has paid for development of the
so-called Skydrive car, which uses drone technology and has three wheels and four rotors ..."
Here are a half dozen more tips and ideas that might
make your aeromodelling hobby a little easier -especially if you ardently adhere to doing
things 'the old way.' Most of the homebrew schemes presented in this and the many other "Sketchbook" postings
are these days available in pre-made form, with higher reliability, made of inexpensive materials,
and low in cost. The converted hand drill-cum-rubber-winder is a good example. In 1954, most
workshops had such a drill, but now everyone has a battery-powered, variable speed drill that
would make the job much ...
"The airport serving the capital of Canada's Alberta
province is to use a
robotic autonomous bird, mimicking a small bird of prey, to scare away
other birds from aircraft around the airport. Called Robird, the drone is the latest in a
suite of UAV systems that the airport plans to use to observe wildlife, inspect buildings
and take 3D measurements. The new device will be brought into service at the end of May. Robird
was developed by Clear Flight Solutions, a spin-off of the University of Twente in the Netherlands ..."
"The research unit at AT&T is working to combine
two of what are perhaps the hottest buzzwords in the tech industry:
drones and artificial intelligence. Specifically, AT&T Labs is researching
ways to take video footage from a drone flying around an AT&T cell tower and use AI to
analyze that footage for signs of rust, corrosion or other defects on the tower. The result
would save AT&T the time and money it takes to have engineers physically climb cell towers
to do inspections (thanks to the drone), as well as the time and money it takes to have engineers
review video from a drone inspecting a tower ..."
"Aerial dogfighting began more than a century ago in the skies over Europe
with propeller-driven fighter aircraft carried aloft on wings of fabric and wood. An event
held recently in southern California could mark the beginning of a new chapter in this form
of aerial combat. In what may have been the first aerial encounter of its kind, researchers
from the Georgia Tech Research Institute and Naval Postgraduate School recently pitted two
swarms of autonomous aircraft against one another over a military test facility. While the
friendly encounter may not have qualified ..."
Indoor airplane models covered with microfilm seem
to have always been for a very particular, dedicated group of modelers who possess the patience,
steady hands, and eyesight to build and maintain very delicate structures. A directed sneeze
can literally blow them to pieces. It is an aspect of aeromodeling into which I have never
Joseph Bilgri, AMA #4393, was a contest-winning pioneer of the craft. The
Project has a biography of Joe that is worth reading if you have an interest in indoor
modeling. Of course today, with the advent of nano-size ...
"First flight tests of
stealth superdrone that can stay airborne for fifteen hours revealed and
is launched by catapult. Lockheed Martin is getting closer to unleashing Fury on the battlefield.
The Maryland based firm has announced that its unmanned aerial system, named Fury, has demonstrated
a flight endurance time of 15 hours, while operating with over 200 lbs. of payload and fuel
at an altitude up to 15,000 feet. But what makes this craft the ultimate warfighter, is that
it does not need a runway for takeoff, instead ..."
O.S. Digitron DP-3,
3-Channel Radio Control System was my first radio control system. After watching eBay
for an affordable set, I finally found one in January of 2017 for a little over $100. It is
in pretty good physical condition, but I have not tried to power it up to to see whether it
works. My plan is to buy a modern spread spectrum 2.4 GHz radio and swap out the electronics
in the O.S. Digitron DP-3 transmitter. I will have to rig the trim tabs to be spring centered
with switch contact on each side of center since analog (potentiometer) trims are no longer
used. The 2.4 GHz antenna will mount in place of the original telescoping whip antenna ...
V-2 model rocket kit was modeled after the original Estes V-2. The V-2 is one of the Estes
models that I always planned on building as a kid, but for some reason - most likely budgetary
- I never got around to it. What I liked about the Semroc kit was that it kept with the original
all balsa components rather than substituting molded plastic parts for the nose cone and tail
section. The building process was pretty straight-forward. The Estes Fin Alignment Guide was
used for attaching the fins. It was the first time I ever used the jig. Because of the way
the bottom of the Semroc V-2's body curved ...
"Verizon conducted its latest engineering flight tests
using a 'flying cell site' aboard a drone, and while it didn’t share specific results,
it's another indication that the carrier is progressing with the prospect of using drones
to supply an LTE network if severe weather knocks out more traditional cellular network components.
The 17-foot-long drone was piloted by American Aerospace Technologies Inc. (AATI) during the
trial run at Woodbine Municipal Airport in Woodbine, New Jersey, on April 5. The test
was designed to simulate ..."
Henry Ford began production of the
Model T (aka
the "Tin Lizzie") in 1908, and his introduction of the moving assembly line commenced in 1913,
thereby reducing the assembly time of an automobile from 12 hours to just 2.5 hours. Prices
dropped to less than half the original cost and profits soared as a growing number of people
were able to afford a car. It is always interesting when reading these reports on airplanes
and automobiles which were published in the middle of the last century to remember that at
the time, the technology was less than 50 years ...
"With electric cars breaking their way onto our roads,
it's only a matter of time until commercialised electric airliners take to the skies. The
battery-powered plane, which was created by Siemens, has hit a new speed
record for electric flight as it whipped through the air at over 210 mph (340 kmh).
The Extra 330LE plane's record is a big leap towards the eventual replacement of jet fuel
and combustion engines in aircraft. The record was completed at Dinslaken Schwarze Heide ..."
This back-page advertisement by
Rectifier Corporation (aka MRC) appeared in the January
1972 issue of American Aircraft Modeler magazine. Note the cool collection of
[now] vintage test equipment shown in support of testing the
R/C system. The advertisement shows a rhombic antenna, the Dana 8015 RF frequency counter,
Tektronix 7904 oscilloscope, HP spectrum analyzer, RF communications synthesizer RF generator,
and an Anritsu precision field strength meter. I was 13 years old at the time, and anxiously
watched for it in the mailbox each ...
"Officially known as the XV-24A
Lightning Strike Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) XPlane, the 20%
scale craft completed its planned flight test program in early March at Webster Outlying Field
in Southern Maryland. Funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the
SVD successfully demonstrated key technical features the full-scale XV-24A will perform, including
outbound and inbound transition flight. The SVD aircraft is a 325 pound, Lithium battery ..."
any kind of straight LC tank circuit to be high stability is a bit of a stretch when compared
the Q available simply by adding a crystal, even in 1958. Tone modulation was an early method
for achieving remote control of model airplanes, boats, and cars. The number of channels with
tone modulation systems is two times the number of modern proportional systems in that
moving the rudder left took one channel and moving it right took another. Up and down elevator
likewise took two channels. Therefore, this four channel system is only two channels by today's
terminology. Technology evolved into fully proportional ...
MG's Magnette was produced 1954 and 1958. It was a
fairly large, 4-door family car with rather posh features like leather seats, electric windshield
wipers, safety glass, and rustproofing. The price tag of $2,675 in 1954, when this article
appeared in Air Trails magazine, is equivalent to $27,148 in 2017 dollars per the
BLS Inflation Calculator. You cannot buy a car in the same class today for that amount. Modern
cars are loaded with many more creature comforts and are heavily burdened with regulatory-mandated
environmental and safety features that add ...
"Air Force weapons developers expect to operate hypersonic
intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance drones by the 2040s, once scientific progress
with autonomy and propulsion technology matures to a new level. The advent of using a
recoverable drone platform able to travel at high altitudes, faster than Mach 5, will
follow the emergence of hypersonic weapons likely to be operational in the mid-2020s, according
to the Air Force Chief ..."
AMA president Rich Hanson published an editorial column
in the April 2017 issue of Model Aviation titled, "How high can I fly?) Ok, more
correctly it should have asked, "How high may I fly?" since it addresses the oft-asked question
about what altitude limit is imposed on model aircraft. Mr. Hanson does a great job explaining
the situation, and points out that the current
400-foot limit has been on the books with the FAA since at least 1972. He refers to a
full-page notice to model airmen on page 49 of the November 1972 issue of American Aircraft
Molder, the AMA monthly publication that preceded Model Aviation ...
Models of Frank Smith's Miniplane have been built and
flown by scores of modelers over the decades. Homebuilt planes are popular scale projects
partially because the level of detail necessary to faithfully reproduce the full-size airplane
is less that with a production plane. Sig Manufacturing introduced a radio controlled kit
model of the
back in the 1970 that is still available for purchase on their website today. This article
from a 1961 issue of American Modeler includes plans ...
"Flight tests have resumed on subscale aircraft that
could one day observe the Martian atmosphere and a variant that will improve collection of
Earth's weather data. Work on the shape of the aircraft and the systems it will need to fly
autonomously and collect data are ongoing for the
Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Land on Mars, or Prandtl-M
aircraft. Student interns with support from staff members at NASA Armstrong Flight Research
Center in California are advancing the project ..."
"Supersonic planes without the Earth-shaking sonic boom could arrive by
2023. When the Concorde first hit the skies in the 1970s, it could fly from London to New
York in just under three hours. But despite being able to travel at twice the speed of sound,
the futuristic supersonic jet failed to attract passengers and was sent into decommission
in 2003. Now researchers claim that Concorde-style jets could be making a comeback, and are
G. Harry Stine
was (and in some places still is) a household word
(ok, a letter and three words) amongst people who engage in
model rocketry. As
a degreed physicist, he spent his professional years working in both civilian and government
aerospace projects. In his spare time, Mr. Stine contributed mightily to the science,
industry, and sport of model rocketry. His monthly columns in American Aircraft Modeler were
read and appreciated by enthusiasts hungry for a regular helping of the technical side of
the craft, served in layman's terms. A typical article written by him reports on some ...
"The FAA has approved a new airworthiness certificate
Boeing B-29 Superfortress Doc that will allow the historic warbird to
tour the airshow circuit. The restoration effort undertaken by Doc's Friends Inc. reached
an important milestone in March, the organization announced, with successful completion of
'phase one' flight tests. Restoration Program Manager Jim Murphy said officials from the FAA
office in Wichita, Kansas, and agency officials ..."
"This week's video comes from the U.S. where Aurora
Flight Sciences and Stratasys have teamed up to build the world's first
jet-powered, 3D printed aircraft. Using 80% 3D printed parts, the UAV
is composed of Stratasys' ULTEM 9085 lightweight material to help achieve flight speeds of
over 150mph. The high-speed system boasts an impressive 9 ft wingspan and weighs in at
only 33 lbs. In the following video, Dan Campbell, aerospace research engineer at Aurora
Flight Sciences, explains how the UAV project met a number of goals using Stratasys ..."
Age of Flight" is unofficially the period of time between World War I and World War II;
i.e., the 1920s and 1930s. The Wright Brothers and their immediate followers had worked out
the basics of flight control and engine building, and the race was on to design airplanes
for commercial passenger and freight transportation, recreational pursuits, and military applications.
Part of that process was the setting of records for closed course and long distance speed,
time to climb, altitude, and high-G ...
If you have a vintage
Cox .010 Pee
Wee engine sitting on the display shelf and you've been itching to get it in the air again,
Ken Willard's Flying Bandanna could be just the thing to get you there. Ken claims it only
takes about 10 minutes to assemble, and as he says of the bandanna 'parachute,' it is "...a
built-in wiping rag for your hands after each flight!" I remember as a kid when my .049-powered
plastic Cox control line models had finally be demolished beyond repair (no glue at the time
would hold the styrene plastic together for long) ...
"Anyone who's ever flown a
drone of any sort will tell you that sooner or later, you're going to
crash it. The question is how exactly you will go about doing this, and how much of the drone
will be functional after it's happened. Most flying animals somewhat frustratingly don't have
this problem: Birds and insects run into things occasionally, and just shrug it off and keep
on going, thanks to their biological design, which includes both stiffness ..."
construction level (p/n 3311990) was bought sometime back
in the early to mid 1980s, not long after Melanie and I were married in May of 1983, at the
Sears store in Annapolis, Maryland. After living in while restoring four or five houses in
the span of twenty years, it was really showing signs of use and abuse, especially the plastic
windows protecting the fluid vials. There wasn't much protection going on with half of them
either cracked or missing. A replacement 24" Johnson level was bought, but I kept ...
"Delivery drones still face an uncertain future, but there's
at least one scenario where they make a lot of sense: Flying robots can be ideal for bringing
small, high value, time-sensitive goods to people in low-infrastructure areas. As specific
a situation as that sounds like, it’s an enormous opportunity, and has the potential to make
a huge difference in rural areas and disaster relief missions with deliveries of food and
medical supplies, for example. One challenge with that, however, is that while drones are
cheap to operate, the up-front investment ..."
We have had one of those ubiquitous 'farm tables' since sometime in
the late 1980s, back when they were made of wood that is about 50% thicker than today's variety.
Over the decades, it has been used variably as a school desk for our kids, as a sewing table,
as a computer desk, and as a surface for building model airplanes. It has endured no fewer
than ten household moves in that time (don't ask). After all
that, it was understandably due for being repaired and refinished
Website visitor Doug H. wrote to ask that I check
for information on a couple people in particular who participated in the Radio Control portion
of the 1971 and
1972 AMA Nationals
competitions. Rather than just do that, I went ahead and scanned and posted the entire articles
so that all the available information could be seen. I figured there may well be others who
would like to have that information available. The November issues of American Aircraft
Modeler were typically where NATs coverage
Website visitor Doug H. wrote to ask that I check
for information on a couple people in particular who participated in the Radio Control portion
of the 1972 and
Nationals competitions. Rather than just do that, I went ahead and scanned and posted
the entire articles so that all the available information could be seen. I figured there may
well be others who would like to have that information available. The November issues of
American Aircraft Modeler were typically where NATs coverage
It sure would be nice to have batteries that don't
pose a bigger risk of burning down your house, car, or model than glow fuel. "A team of engineers
led by 94-year-old John Goodenough [what a great name!], professor
in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and co-inventor
lithium-ion battery, has developed the first all-solid-state battery cells
that could lead to safer, faster-charging, longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for handheld
mobile devices, electric cars and stationary energy storage
The author of this review for the Cameron .09 marine
engine heaps praise upon the creation, extolling it many advanced features. Robust construction
and smooth running evidently are two of its grandest characteristics. A few examples of the
Cameron .09 marine engine appear on eBay, with a montage of photos of
a new-in-box (NIB) example provided here. Weight including the built-in flywheel is 10 ounces
- quite beefy compared to a Cox Medallion .09, which tipped the scales at around 3½ ounces ...
"Paul Allen's monstrous
Stratolaunch airplane finally rolled out of its hangar in Mojave, Calif.,
Wednesday, showing off its complete twin-hulled majesty for the first time. It will now spend
many months on ground tests before a first flight. And it's not expected to be used to launch
a rocket into space -- a mission that some observers are skeptical will ever make business
sense -- any sooner than 2019. Two tugs pulled the 250-ton giant from the hangar where it
was built for Allen's Stratolaunch Systems company by Scaled Composites, the specialty ..."
"Naval Research Laboratory engineers want to improve
the ability of unmanned platforms to support a 24/7 information, surveillance, and reconnaissance
(ISR) mission. A new concept being tested consists of a photovoltaic array integrated into
the center wing panel of the
PV-SBXC aircraft as a drop-in replacement to the original wing. A power
management and distribution system converts the power from the solar arrays into DC voltage
that the electric motor can use for propulsion, or to recharge a smart battery. An autonomous
soaring software ..."
"Workhorse - the US-based transport company working
with UPS to make drone delivery a reality - has upscaled its airborne technology with the
personal helicopter. 78 years since the first 'copter took to the sky,
workhorse has set out to reinvent the VTOL craft using its expertise in battery-powered electric
mobility. the drone-helicopter hybrid is designed to be easy to operate. initial models will
be piloted, yet longer-term plans include a goal to introduce autonomous flight ..."
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have designed a drone capable of staying aloft
five days at a time. This technology could prove a huge boon in the
communications sector, particularly in regards to disaster situations. Unpiloted aerial vehicles
(UAVs) have long held the potential to be a valuable asset in the face of disasters. When
communications fail over a wide area, these UAVs can be used to travel into affected regions
carrying communications payloads. These would allow temporary communication access, and could
ultimately save lives ..."
"The future is electric, and we are one step closer
Eviation Aircraft released the first prototype of an all-electric airplane.
The futuristic machine has a range of 965 kilometers and the capacity to carry nine passengers
and two crew members. The plane was released at the 52nd International Paris Airshow. The
non-emission aircraft is a huge leap forward in electrical aircraft. Currently, aviation is
responsible for 2% of the world’s total carbon emissions. Called the 'Alice,' the plane is
marketed as a commuter ..."