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Home Page Archive (page 5)

These archive pages are provided in order to make it easier for you to find items that you remember seeing on the RF Cafe homepage. Of course probably the easiest way to find anything on the website is to use the "Search AAR" box at the top of every page.

See Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 of the homepage archives.


Citizen-Ship Radio Advertisement

Citizen-Ship Radio Advertisement, May 1971 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsDid you know that Citizen-Ship Radio was a division of Curtis Dyna-Products Corporation - the company that produced the Dyna-Jet engine? Me neither. This uniquely done full-page advertisement from a 1971 issue of American Aircraft Modeler broke the news. I'm not sure when Citizen-Ship stopped making radio control gear, but it couldn't have been too long after 1971 because they didn't appear in the model airplane magazines much after then. Cutris Dyna Products, by the way, is still in business producing fogger machines for crops, special effects, and other needs. ...

QuinStar Technology Engineer Captures Orion Nebula

QuinStar Technology Engineer Captures Orion Nebula - RF CafeAt QuinStar, we're about more than millimeter-wave technology. The people comprising QuinStar Technology pursue diverse and exciting outside interests. Our Chief Engineer, Jim Schellenberg, is a highly skilled amateur astronomical photographer. He captured this beautiful image of the Orion nebula using a specially modified Canon 6D. The camera responds to the H-alpha spectral line at 656 nm (from hydrogen gas), which is seen as red in the photo. The camera is mounted on an 11-inch telescope that tracks the object as the earth rotates. This image consists of nine one-minute exposures that are "stacked" to form the image you see. This is an excellent time of the year to view the Orion nebula. It can be seen with the naked eye ...

Development Highlights, November 1950 Air Trails

Development Highlights, November 1950 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsIt's hard to imagine a time when contemporary news on aircraft development included the Convair B−36 Peacemaker bomber. The maiden flight was just 11 years before this piece appeared in a 1950 issue of Air Trails magazine. I have always wanted to build a control line model of a B−36, but like so many other some-day projects, it will probably never get done. A guy named Joe, who lives at the end of my street here in Erie, Pennsylvania, was a B−36 crewman during the Korean War era. Joe is in his 90s now, and drives a Ford Mustang. Vanderbilt University professor Franklin Farra has an interesting wall-wood flying wing sailplane that he plans to fly someday. Based on the fact that there are none like it on the circuit today, the concept probably never took off. It might make a interesting scale model project ...

DIY Brushless Motor Thrust Test Stand

DIY Brushless Motor Thrust Test Stand - Airplanes and Rockets18-year-old Nikodem Bartnik, who lives in Poland, conceived of, designed, and built the amazing motor thrust measuring test stand using inexpensive Arduino components. A load cell is used for measuring thrust, and current and voltage sensors allow those values and power to be displayed. Mr. Bartnik provides all the files needed for the PCB, motor mount / load cell stand, parts lists, and software code needed to run everything. The entire project should be able to be built for under $100. Higher capacity load cells and current sensors can be purchased if you need more thrust capacity. I saw this in the "AMA Air" weekly newsletter ...

Old School Model Works Laser-Cut Kits

Old School Model Works Laser-Cut Kits - Airplanes and RocketsReady-to-Fly (RTF) and Almost-RTF (ARF) models are the overwhelming majority of models being flown these days, but an effort is being made by the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and companies like Old School Model Works to attempt to get more modelers building their airplanes either once again or for the first time. Precision, interlocking, laser-cut sheet balsa and plywood parts and a minimum of carved balsa parts make building much simpler than with vintage kits. Having built many kits over the decades, including some of the newer kits, I can definitely attest to the higher quality of today's products. Some of the old designs have been re-engineered to make building easier. Covering, even with iron-ons like Monokote, is probably one of the biggest barriers to building models. One solution might be for companies to try providing slip-on sock-type coverings that can be tacked on with an iron and then heat-shrunk. Remember you read that here first ...

Hartzell Propellers to Drive All-Electric Commuter

Hartzell Propellers to Drive All-Electric Commuter - Airplanes and Rockets"Israeli composite airplane will be powered solely by electricity. Hartzell Propeller announced it has entered into a partnership with Eviation to produce customized propellers to drive the company's electric commuter, an 11-seat airplane called Alice, currently in the development phase. The airplane will be powered solely by electricity stored in high-energy density batteries with motors spinning three five-blade carbon fiber pusher propellers approximately 65 inches in diameter that include nickel cobalt leading edges. The props have no life limits and will be attached aft of the tail and wingtips, a configuration the company claims enhances efficiency. The technological advancements that go into Alice go beyond electric propulsion ..."

Must-See Stargazing Events for 2019

Telescopic Watch Infographic 2019 - RF CafeNot everyone is an ardent observer of astronomical events, but most people are still as awestruck as were primitive peoples when a lunar eclipse or solar eclipse occurs, or when a massive meteor shower happens. Centuries ago most of those phenomena were not predicted because the mathematics and mechanics of gravity were not known. The kings' best astronomers and astrologers leveraged ignorance to influence ruling policy similar to how politicians and activists do today. The folks at the Telescopic Watch website created this infographic titled "Must-See Stargazing Events for 2019" which highlights the 10 most significant astronomical events of the new year. First up is a total lunar eclipse on January 21st ...

German Dimor Acquires Waco Aircraft

German Dimor Acquires Waco Aircraft - Airplanes and Rockets"Vintage aircraft enthusiast Dieter Morszeck is ensuring the future manufacturing of the stunning 1920s Waco biplane. Waco Aircraft Yet another legacy airplane manufacturer has been sold - Waco Aircraft Corporation. This time, it wasn't a Chinese company that swooped up the assets of the company, which was established in Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1983 to revive the classic 1930s open cockpit biplane design. Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Dimor Group Inc. bought the company this month. Dimor Group Inc. was established this year as a subsidiary of Cologne, Germany-based Dimor Aero - a company that was established less than a year ago. Behind the company is Dieter Morszeck, the grandson of the founder or Rimowa ..."

USS Arizona Battleship 1/426th Scale Plastic Model

U.S.S. Arizona Battleship (Revell) - Airplanes and RocketsThis U.S.S. Arizona battleship model was built and painted by my son, Philip, who was 10 years old at the time. It is the stock 1/426th scale U.S.S. Arizona Revell kit. Spray cans of Testors enamel paint were used for the hull and deck, and the small Testors bottles of colors were used for the airplanes and detail work. His effort paid off with a 1st Place ribbon at the 2005 Dixie Classic Fair in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Philip was at one time an ardent World War II history enthusiast, being especially interested in the naval battles of the South Pacific ...

Me Build a Kite? Quit Ya Kiddin!

Me Build a Kite? Quit Ya Kiddin!, March 1957 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsLiving in Erie, Pennsylvania, there are a lot of days that are too windy for comfortably flying the gliders and 1/2A-sized models I build. If the weather forecast says the winds are in the double digits, I stay grounded. Sometime if it has been a couple weeks since winds and/or rain and/or snow has prevented flying, I'll brave a 12-15 mph wind just to get in some stick time, but the experience is not particularly enjoyable. It is good practice for maintaining control of your ship in the event of unexpected gusts, but certainly not the preferred environment. Contest flyers have to learn to be good in all weather, which is probably part of why I never competed. This article about building and flying kites in winds too high for flying models is a good idea. The designs presented by author William Paxton are more sophisticated than most people would undertake to build. Simple kites are still available at drug stores and of course ...

Avionics Sales Growth an Encouraging Sign

Avionics Sales Growth an Encouraging Sign - Airplanes and Rockets"Worldwide avionics sales for business and general aviation aircraft in the first three quarters of the year were up a 'robust' 15.5% from the same period last year and totaled more than $2B, said the Aircraft Electronics Association. Retrofit and forward-fit markets each registered double-digit sales increases compared to the first nine months of 2017, AEA said upon releasing its third-quarter 2018 Avionics Market Report. The two avionics market segments registered respective 14.7% and 16.6% sales growth. The retrofit market refers to avionics equipment installed after original production, and the forward ..."

X–59 Quiet Supersonic Technology Aircraft

X–59 Quiet Supersonic Technology Aircraft - Airplanes and Rockets"The first part for the $247.5M X–59 Quiet Supersonic Technology aircraft was machined in Palmdale, California, Lockheed Martin announced November 16, a company official calling it a 'great leap forward for the X–59 and the future of quiet supersonic commercial travel' in a news release. This part, and many others to follow, will become a sleek, single-seat jet that NASA aims to fly in 2021. The aeronautics and space agency announced Nov. 19 that it has fully committed to the program and three-year timeline to first flight following a key program review. That will make the QueSST NASA's first new, supersonic X–plane in more than three decades. 'This aircraft has the potential to transform aviation in the United States and around the world by making faster-than-sound air travel ..."

Ace Simple Citabria, by Steven Swinamer

Ace Simple Citabria by Steven Swinamer - Airplanes and RocketsAn article about Fred Reese's Simple Citabria appeared in the November 1984 issue of R/C Modeler magazine. It is a balsa model that uses the constant chord Ace foam wing, with a span of 35 inches and a flying weight of around 20 ounces when powered with an .049 engine (Black Widow or TeeDee) and a miniature 2-channel radio. The foam wing panels were until recently available on eBay, but not at the moment. Laser Design Service offers a short kit of the Ace Simple Citabria if you are not into cutting your own parts from balsa sheets. Steven Swinamer, who has provided similar photos for a few of his other creations, sent along these photos of the building process of his Ace Simple Citabria. If you haven't figured it out by now, Steve has a penchant for scratch-built, 1/2A-sized R/C model airplanes. Says Steven about his Simple Citabria ...

Merry Christmas (December 1938 Boys' Life Editorial)

Merry Christmas (December 1938 Boys' Life Editorial) - Airplanes and RocketsEighty years ago - or for that matter just twenty-five years ago - it was commonplace for magazine editors to print a "Merry Christmas" message to its readers. Thanks to a host of agitator individuals and groups, doing so would likely trigger the snowflake gene and cause a flood of complaints from the offended (often times otherwise uninterested people who look for good organizations to corrupt). Editorial boards, unnecessarily desperate to avoid the appearance of racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and any form of conjured up defamatory label, usually cave to pressure and change the very nature of the publication in order to comply with demands. The longtime supporters and actual readers are made to suffer and have their interests subdued in the process. Good people rarely stand up ...

Nottingham University Lands Development of Electric Air Race Motor

Nottingham University Lands Development of Electric Air Race Motor - Airplanes and Rockets"Aircraft racing, perhaps more associated with the 1920s and 1930s, is still a major spectator sport, and it is moving with the times. A recently - announced all-electric air racing series has taken a step forward with the formation of a partnership between Nottingham University and the race series, Air Race E. Planned to launch its inaugural race in 2020, Air Race E is envisaged as being similar to Formula One pylon air racing, a competition where eight aircraft race directly against each other around a tight circuit around 1.5 km end-to-end. Promoter Jeff Zaltman, who runs the Air Race 1 World Cup, plans a race with electric aircraft flying ..."

Changing the RDA and PTU Lubricant in a 2011 Jeep Patriot

Changing the RDA and PTU Lubricant in a 2011 Jeep Patriot - Airplanes and RocketsHow did we ever get stuff done before the Internet, I ask only partially rhetorically? When it comes to vehicle maintenance, I have relied on Haynes and Chilton manuals for decades, and with few exceptions they have never failed me. However, when I looked up information on changing the Rear Drive Assembly (RDA) and Power Transfer Unit (PTU) lubricant in my 2011 Jeep Patriot Latitude, the manual was useless. Fortunately, a few kind souls posted photos, videos, and written advice on the best way to accomplish the task. As good as the information was, I could not find a good photo of exactly where the drain and fill plug are on the PTU (front wheel drive). Therefore, to return the favor provided by others, I was sure to take some good, clear shots of the drain and fill plug location on both the RDA and the PTU ...

Herr Engineering J-3 Cub on DuBro Park Flyer Snow Skis

Herr Engineering J-3 Cub on DuBro Park Flyer Snow Skis - Airplanes and RocketsSnow season has arrived here in Erie, Pennsylvania, already, and I didn't want to miss the chance to do some flying off of snow skis. Last winter I mounted a pair of DuBro snow skis to my Herr Engineering J-3 Cub and flew a couple times with them, but they were the standard model that are too big and heavy for this 1/2A-sized model. DuBro's Park Flyer Snow Skis seemed like they might be a better choice for the J-3, so I ordered a pair. The size is just about right, but the vacuum-formed plastic was a bit too thin for me to confidently install them on the J-3. I decided that they would be perfectly useable with a little sturdying up. As can be seen in the photos, there are two stiffening slots molded into the skis, so I epoxied a 3/32" x 1/4" spruce stick into each slot. Up inside the landing gear mount area is hollow, so I shaped a piece of hard balsa block to fit, and then drilled through-holes to accept ...

The Amelia Earhart Story January 4, 1942 Baltimore Morning Sun

The Amelia Earhart Story January 4, 1942 Baltimore Morning Sun - Airplanes and RocketsThe Baltimore Sun newspaper, published not far from where I grew up near Annapolis, Maryland, carried "Flyin' Jenny" from the late 1930s until the strip ended in the mid 1940s, so I saved a couple dozen from there. While looking for the "Flyin' Jenny" comics, I ran across this comic strip done to commemorate the attempted around-the-world flight by Amelia Earhart. She and her navigator Fred Noonan, as you likely already know, are to believed to have been lost at sea after taking off on June 1, 1937, from Miami, Florida, in her Lockheed Model 10-E Electra, heading east. The last radio contact from Mrs. Earhart was received on July 2, near Howland Island, in the South Pacific. Previous to her circumnavigation attempt, Amelia became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in May of 1932 in her very recognizable red Lockheed Vega 5b ...

Small Rockets are Taking Off

Small Rockets are Taking Off - Airplanes and Rockets"In mid-November, a company called Rocket Lab will try to send six small satellites into orbit around Earth - a fairly banal undertaking, save for the size of the launch rocket. It is only 17 meters (56 feet) tall and 1.2 meters (four feet) in diameter. And if all goes well, the US company will send up more than one of its Electron rockets every month in 2019. Rocket Lab, which was created in 2006, completed a successful test flight in January and is expected this month to be the first of a new generation of companies to declare itself operational in the so-called "small launch industry." The launch window opens on November 11. Barring a mishap, or another delay after a months-long technical setback, the rocket will blast off from the world's first private orbital launch range in Mahia, New Zealand ..."

Can You Run Two Brushless Motors from a Single ESC?

Can You Run Two Brushless Motors from a Single ESC? - Airplanes and RocketsI am in the process of building a Douglas DC-3 control line model that uses a pair of ElectriFly Rimfire .10  motors, and wanted to know whether it would be possible to use a single electronic speed controller (ESC) for them. Unlike brushed DC motors with which you can - and I have in the past - gotten away with powering two motors from a single ESC, the brushless motors use a three-phase signal that is both amplitude and pulse width modulated. Such a waveform is not likely to be able to drive more than one motor properly, particularly given the motor's interaction with the ESC due to its time-variable complex impedance. I did a fairly extensive Internet search trying to find a definitive answer as to whether it can be done, but they were all just guesses. Many people seemed very knowledgeable on brushless motors and their controllers ...

R/C Visits RCM

R/C Visits RCM, March 1970 R/C Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsLike virtually every other aspect of modern life, the editorial and production process of publishing a monthly magazine has change significantly since the pre-personal computer days. Such was the case at R/C Modeler magazine headquarters in the early 1970s when this article appeared, although an IBM 360 computer was used for typesetting. Don Dewey was the editor-in-chief at the time. Text was typed into the IBM 360 MTSC* and got printed out in paper tape form that was a column width for page layout. The layout person used a common "paper doll" approach to manually arrange all the text and graphic on each page, which would then be used for magazine printing. The entire process was very labor-intensive, and edits in content or layout could have a major impact on the publication schedule ...

Hobby Lobby International Postcard Notice

Hobby Lobby International Postcard Notice - Airplanes and RocketsNowadays if you want to know whether a supplier of model items (or anything else for that matter) has something in stock for shipment, all you need to do is log onto the company's website and search. Or, you might prefer to call since long distance calls are no big deal like they were back in the times when everyone paid by the minute to talk outside of his local calling area. Not so in 1972, when evidently I wrote to Hobby Lobby International to find out whether they still sold any single-channel radio control (R/C) systems. At the time I was just a few weeks shy of 14 years old (based on the cancellation date) and my sole income was from a newspaper delivery route (when papers were delivered on bicycles by teenagers rather than by adults in gas-guzzling cars). I found this postcard mixed in with some old photographs ...

How to Recondition Vise Grip Pliers

How to Recondition Vise-Grip Pliers - Airplanes and RocketsMy Vise-Grip pliers have performed a lot of hard duty over the decades. Many rusted nuts and bolts would still be unremoved if it weren't for their sharp, corrugated locking jaws. I have 10", 7", and 4" w/cutter, and 6" long nose models. These are all manufactured under the Petersen Manufacturing Company name, before they bought Irwin, who now manufactures Vise-Grips. Even high quality tools eventually show signs of wear after decades of use and abuse. A few of mine had jaws worn down to the point where they no longer would "bite" into the bolt head or nut being clamped. I was about to buy a couple new pairs of Vise-Grips, but then wondered if I could recondition the jaws to put the pointed shape back on the jaws with a triangle file ...

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History - Airplanes and RocketsHere is a great Christmas gift for a daughter, wife, girlfriend, or other lady interested in the history of aviation. Keith O,Brien's "Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History," is a tale of mademoiselles Florence Klingensmith, Ruth Elder, Amelia Earhart, Ruth Nichols, and Louise Thaden. "Fly Girls recounts how a cadre of women banded together to break the original glass ceiling: the entrenched prejudice that conspired to keep them out of the sky." Truth be known, gaining prominence in aviation at the time was very difficult for everyone - not just women, but certainly women had a harder time simply because millennia-old societal expectations ...

"World News", June 1960 Aero Modeller

"World News", June 1960 Aero Modeller - Airplanes and RocketsNormally when I see the title, "World News," I automatically assume it refers to "other than in the United States;" however, since it appeared in a 1960 issue of Aero Modeller magazine, I need to keep in mind that it likely means "other than in the UK." In fact, it does. Do you ever wonder where all the thousands of incredible model airplanes that have showed up in the modeling magazines over the decades are today? Some, of course, have crashed and were trashed, as no doubt were the ones that were damaged in non-flying accidents like getting stepped on, having a chair or box thrown on it, or some impish child (or adult) decide it is a toy. Worst of all are the models that have been deliberately tossed into the garbage bin because relatives had no need for them once their builders / owners died. Isn't it a shame to think that this Gee Bee racer ...

China Unveils New 'Heavenly Palace' Space Station

China Unveils New 'Heavenly Palace' Space Station - Airplanes and Rockets"China unveiled on Tuesday a replica of its first permanently crewed space station, which would replace the international community's orbiting laboratory and symbolizes the country's major ambitions beyond Earth. The 17-metre (55-foot) core module was a star attraction at the biennial Airshow China in the southern coastal city of Zhuhai, the country's main aerospace industry exhibition. Outside, China's J-10 fighter jet and J-20 stealth fighter wowed spectators as they zoomed across Zhuhai's sky. Back inside, the country displayed its fleet of drones and other military hardware. Crowds gathered around the cylindrical space station module representing the living and working quarters ..."

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Kirt Blattenberger
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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 ...
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