- Home Page Archive: #38 (Current) - "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." Lord
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:
A Newspaper's Account of the AMA HQ's Relocation to Muncie
As a member of the
Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) since around 1971 (AMA # 94298), I have witnessed
a lot of change in the organization as well as in the model industry. When I first joined
as a teenager, AMA headquarters consisted of rented office space in a Washington, D.C.,
building, Richard Nixon was president, and the war in Viet Nam was on nightly news. AMA
headquarters moved into a brand new building, which included museum space, on purchased
property in Reston, Virginia, in 1983. A growing AMA membership and the desire to consolidate
national competitions to a central location resulted in establishing residence in Muncie,
Indiana, where the 25,000 square-foot Frank V. Ehling Complex celebrated its grand opening ...
Photos: Inside the Restoration of a C-53 Skytrooper
"Perhaps it was just a coincidence that led Jason
Capra to a back road in Beach City, Ohio, where he'd spot a
Douglas DC-3 seemingly abandoned in a field. Perhaps it was destiny.
Whatever the forces of the universe were up to that day, it allowed Capra, an airline
pilot and self-described WWII airplane enthusiast, to fulfill his childhood dream of
owning and restoring a piece of history. And this particular airplane is loaded with
history, from its two months as Gen. Douglas MacArthur's personal transport to its service
as Buckeye One for Ohio ..."
Vintage Huffy 3 Timberline, 3-Speed Men's Bicycle Restoration,
Last week I posted the first part of a story
about two 1980s-vintage bicycles I bought from a guy off craigslist. That was the complete
teardown and restoration of Melanie's Columbia Commuter III, 3-speed women's model.
This page has photos from doing the same thing to my
Huffy 3 Timberline,
3-speed men's bicycle. Rather than repeat all the textual description from Melanie's
bike, please click on the above hyperlink to read it; it's not very long. At some point
I will scan and post the owner's manuals for both bicycles. One important aspect worth
repeating is the use of Krud Kutter for removing all the oil and grease ...
Thanks to Ben D. for the Generous Donation!
Many thanks to website
visitor Ben D. for his $20 donation. Ben
is a fellow lover of "rockets, astronomy, science, eclipses, robotics for next gen, creativity
with the building blocks of the fabric of the universe," etc. The Airplanes and Rockets
website covers a lot of territory from both a hobby and technical perspective. The world
is filled with folks like Ben and me who use our available time in pursuit of knowledge
and having a bit of fun while doing it. Posting the volumes of text and photos that I
do takes a lot of time and dedication, so I appreciate when someone helps "pay the freight,"
so to speak. I believe this might be the first ever donation from anyone ...
What Do Kennedy's Chappaquiddick Incident and Apollo 11 Have
With all the reports of powerful men being outed
for abuses against helpless women, this recently discovered article seems timely. Last
summer while visiting a local yard sale I spotted the Sunday, July 21, 1969 edition of
the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper. The front page gushed with coverage of
the historic Apollo 11 moon mission where on the previous day Neil Armstrong and
Buzz Aldrin landed at Tranquility Base. However, turn the page and I found it is consumed
with a report on Senator Ted Kennedy's incident at
Chappaquiddick where he drove his car off that tragically famed bridge. While our
brave astronauts were flying to the moon, Kennedy was killing Mary Jo Kopechne ...
Flyin' Jenny Comic Strip - December 7, 1941
From the time of the Wright Brothers' successful
flights at Kill Devil Hill, Americans have been in love with aviation. In the early days,
access to flight was limited to those with know-how and access to the special tools and
materials needed to build your own plane - or those who received training in the military.
By the 1930s, commercially produced private airplanes became affordable to many "regular"
people. As the skies filled with airplanes and more people were flying on commercial
airliners, attending air shows, and learning to fly themselves, some of the mystique
wore off, but the public still loved a good aviation story. Magazines ...
Birth of the Bizjet
Sinatra decided to drop a cool half-million on an airplane to shuttle his Rat Pack pals
between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, he chose a
Lear Jet. For Bill Lear's company, 1965 was a very good year. Lear
was 61 when he decided to get into the aircraft production business. Although he'd never
designed an airplane, the self-trained engineer was known for his inventions, including
the first jet autopilot, for which he'd received the 1949 Collier Trophy. In the late
1950s, Lear and his family were living in Switzerland, where he hoped to expand his avionics ..."
Vintage Columbia Commuter III, 3-Speed Girl's Bicycle Restoration
I was not particularly looking for a bicycle when
scrolling through a list of "vintage" items on the Erie area craigslist.org website,
but when I saw both a men's and a woman's early 1980s era 3-speed bicycles pop up, I
had to call. The guy who had them listed said he bought them both at the local K-Mart
sometime around 1980 for his wife and him. As with many new endeavors that begin enthusiastically
and then die out quickly, neither of them thought the experience was enough to make a
lasting pastime. After only a few rides, the bikes were parked in the garage, never to
be ridden again ...
We Built the Saturn V - Great Photos!
"The 'V' stood
for the five giant F-1 rocket engines—still the most powerful ever built - clustered
at the bottom of the
Saturn V's first stage. At one point a four-engine version, the Saturn
IV, had been considered, but in the complicated tradeoffs that led to the final design
of NASA's moon rocket, the 'V' variant won out. What became the Saturn grew out of a
U.S. military requirement in the late 1950s for a booster big enough to launch large
satellites. Wernher von Braun, who had dreamed as a young engineer in Germany of a rocket
capable of reaching the moon, was enlisted with his U.S. Army ..."
Custom R/C Canard Model Airplane by Alain Pons
Website visitor Alain Pons, of France, wrote with
this great information on his decades-long involvement with designing, building, and
flying radio controlled canard model airplanes. Alain graciously agreed to allow me to
post his story, photo. and video. He hopes to soon submit plans for his canard, which
I am sure will be welcome by modelers looking for a proven design to build, so stay tuned.
"Dear Kirt, Very happy to know you are interested of my work on my canards. I think I
am an old dinosaur in aeromodelism. I was born in 1953 and began to glue balsa when I
was 10 years old, following my father in free flight, fly by wire and later R/C. And
now jets and war birds with big radial ..."
The Lilium EDF "Jet"
enables you to travel 5 times faster than a car by introducing the world's first all-electric
vertical take-off and landing jet: an air taxi for up to 5 people. You won't have to
own one, you will simply pay per ride and call it with a push of a button. It's our mission
to make air taxis available to everyone and as affordable as riding a car. In 1894, Otto
Lilienthal began experimenting with the first gliders and imagined a future in which
we could all fly wherever we want ..."
Plane and Fancy Shooting
I first learned of
Bowers because of news coverage of his winning the Experimental Aircraft Associations
(EAA) 1962 design contest for his single-seater Fly Baby homebuilt airplane with
its unique foldable wings. That allowed the plane to be easily towed to and from the
airport rather than needing to pay for hangar or tiedown space. Another unique feature
is its all-wood construction - including the landing gear undercarriage. I actually bought
a set of plans and construction manual for the Fly Baby Biplane that Bowers later designed
based on the Fly Baby monoplane; alas, I never did build it. Peter Bowers was an aviation
historian for Boeing Aircraft in Seattle ...
Cox Model 789-3, 1½-Volt Starting Battery - Scans
Website visitor George A. wrote to ask for
the dimensions of the Cox model 789-3,
1½-volt starting battery box so that he can create one using his printer. He also
needed high resolution images of all sides. The photos below show both sides of the flattened
box, along with a ruler for scale. The scans have not been edited except to move the
terminal clips closer to the box to keep file size down, so edit color and sharpness
as you deem fit ...
Towed Twin-Fuselage Glider Satellite Launch
"NASA successfully flight-tested a prototype,
twin-fuselage towed glider that could lead to rockets being launched from pilotless aircraft
at high altitudes—a technology application that could significantly reduce cost and im-
prove efficiency of sending small satellites into space. The one-third-scale twin fuselage
towed glider’s first flight took place Oct. 21, 2014, from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research
Center in California. The towed glider is an element of the novel rocket-launching concept
Towed Glider Air-Launch System (TGALS). NASA Armstrong
North Korea's Antonov AN-2 Biplane
"Kim Jong-un could launch nuclear bombing raids
on South Korea using 70-year-old biplanes so slow they cannot be tracked by modern radars.
North Korean despot Kim Jong-un is preparing his special forces for suicide parachute
missions across the border on 70-year-old Stalin era biplanes. The dictator has a fleet
Antonov An-2 transport aircraft which are capable of flying as slow
as 30 miles-per-hour and can even go backwards into a heavy headwind. Footage has emerged
of North Korean paratroops jumping from the aged aircraft ..."
Motor of the Month: K&B Torpedo .049 Engine
The 1950 Academy of Model Aviation (AMA) regulations
listed four model engine displacement ranges: Class A: .000-.200 cu. in., Class B:
.201-.300 cu. in., Class C: .301-.500 cu. in., and Class D: .501-.650 cu. in.
Notice that there was no Class ½A or Class ¼A. That jives with
this 1950 article in Air Trails magazine where the
K&B Torpedo .049
engine is highlighted. It claims, "Half-A engines started out a short time ago as a mere
novelty, but they caught on fast and every manufacturer was in a hurry to get one on
the market." It is hard to imagine a time when the .049, .020, and .010 engines were
not around, but machinery capable of achieving high production levels of engines with
such tight tolerances were ...
NASA Tests Could Lead to FAA Integration
"NASA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration
in the National Airspace System, or UAS in the NAS, project is attracting international
attention as increasingly complex flight tests take place over NASA's Armstrong Flight
Research Center in California. The project is designed to develop recommendations for
the FAA to safely open the skies to allow UAS to fly in the same airspace with human-piloted
aircraft. Using NASA's remotely piloted Ikhana aircraft as a demonstration platform ..."
Check List New Products, September 1967 American Modeler
Model aviation magazines have a long-held tradition
of dedicating a page or two of each issue to reporting on new products. When I happen
to notice an instance of the first announcement of a model, engine, radio, or device
that is now in common use, I like to post it along with everything else on the page(s).
This September 1967 edition of American Modeler introduced Su-Pr-Line Products' "Nyrod."
That was 60 years ago! I know I have been using Nyrod and its clones for as long as I
can remember, which is since at least the mid 1970s. When properly supported along its
length, Nyrod results ...
Reliable Perching Makes Fixed-Wing UAVs
Much More Useful
"UAV designs are a perpetual compromise between the ability to fly
long distances efficiently with payloads (fixed-wing) and the ability to maneuver, hover,
and land easily (rotorcraft). With a very few rather bizarre exceptions, any aircraft
that try to offer the best of both worlds end up relatively complicated, inefficient,
and expensive. A group of researchers from the University of Sherbrooke in Canada have
come very close to making that happen, with a little airplane that uses legs and claws
to reliably perch on walls ..."
Breed of the Hellfire
Arch Whitehouse authored many aviation-related
techno-thriller mysteries for Flying Aces magazine. He was a British World War I
veteran with the RAF as a mechanic and observer. In this adventure, Hale Aviation Company's
intrepid chief test pilot
Carringer took on the challenge of identifying the cause of an unreasonably high
number of deaths of Hellfire aircraft fighter pilots while in the air. I won't spoil
the plot by giving any details of the story. It's a good way to kill 20-30 minutes ...
Cheaper, Lighter, Quieter: The Electrification
of Flight Is at Hand
electric plane, which uses light and powerful batteries and motors,
is less costly than its gasoline-engine rivals. When you first sit in the cockpit of
an electric-powered airplane, you see nothing out of the ordinary. However, touch the
Start button and it strikes you immediately: an eerie silence. There is no roar, no engine
vibration, just the hum of electricity and the soft whoosh of the propeller. You can
converse easily with the person in the next seat, without headphones. The silence ..."
Video: Model Rocketry - "The Last Frontier" - 1977
Home of Jim Walker & The American Junior Aircraft Company
Air Berlin Pilots Suspended for "Auf Wiedersehen" Low Pass
This story reminds me of a Calvin & Hobbes comic strip from the early 1990s. "Air Berlin,
the second-largest airline in Germany, is set to cease operations on October 28 following
the company's August announcement that it had filed for insolvency. The airline's final
flight will take place a day earlier, and tickets are reportedly already sold out for
that Munich to Berlin flight. On Monday, however,
Air Berlin flew its final long-distance flight, from Miami, and that
one is bound to be far more memorable due to the way the pilot of the Airbus A330 handled
the approach into Düsseldorf Airport ..."
50 WWII Aircraft Units Unearthed in Turkey
"For anyone who likes World War II aircraft, the
Focke-Wulf 190 series was, without doubt, one of the greatest planes
of the period. But could there be 50 buried at an old airbase in Turkey? Turkish researchers
believe so. There had long been rumors of the possibility of buried 190's somewhere in
Turkey. The story goes that just over 70 Focke-Wulf 190's were exchanged for raw materials
during the height of the Second World War. At this time in the Young Turkish Republic's
history, they were intent on staying neutral. Turkey needed to pursue a very ..."
Ronald Valentine's Smallest Engines in the World
Ronald Valentine engines is one f the very few
manufacturers remaining of miniature model aircraft engines - both glow fuel and diesel, single-
and multi-cylinder. Prices are amazingly reasonable, too. "We are the manufacturers of
the world's smallest model engines. We have been manufacturing miniature model engines
for over 30 years. We specialized in 2-stroke diesel engines for model airplanes, boat and
cars. Next to this we manufacture multi-cylinder engines 2-stroke and 4-stroke as
glow or diesel engines. Our challenge is to develop and present the world's
Inside the Wasp Shop
"Gene McNeely started flying airshows in 1986
and has been a stalwart presence on the AeroShell aerobatic team, flying a Wasp-powered
North American T-6. He can only guess at his total flying time behind the engine: 'I
would say 15,000 hours…probably more than that.' He does remember exactly how he got
there, though. 'I got out of the Navy and ... started cropdusting, and the first engine
I sat behind was the [Pratt & Whitney R-]985, which we'd adapted to the Stearman,'
he recalls. McNeely later moved up to the Grumman Ag-Cat, with which 'you could get whatever
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 lotof 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
Try Using SEARCH to Find What You Need. >1,400 Pages
Indexed on Airplanes & Rockets!