Did 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. ...
At 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 ...
It'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 ...
18-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
Air" weekly newsletter ...
Ready-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 ...
"Israeli composite airplane will be powered solely
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 ..."
Not 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 ...
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 ..."
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 ...
Living 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
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 ...
"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 ..."
"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 ..."
An 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 ...
Eighty 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 ...
"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 ..."
How 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 ...
Snow 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 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 ...
"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 ..."
I 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
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 ...
Like 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
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 ...
Nowadays 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 ...
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
Here 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 ...
Normally 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 unveiled on Tuesday a replica of its first
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 ..."