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Home Page Archive (page 7)

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.


Du-Bro Tri-Star R/C Helicopter Build & Review

Du-Bro Tri-Star Review, December 1975 RC Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsDu-Bro was the first American company to produce a radio control helicopter kit - the Whirlybird 505. That was sometime around 1972 It was modeled after the way free flight helicopters were built an the engine and propeller sitting on top of the main rotor, using a free-wheeling rotor that turned in response to the counter torque of the engine. Fixed pitch rotor blades were controlled via a flybar assembly as was the case prior to the advent of flybarless rotor heads. Du-Bro's next helicopter was a much-improved and very popular Hughes 300, using a driven rotor with the engine mounted in the fuselage. It also used a flybar for rotor control. Building off that success, they next introduced this TriStar R/C helicopter. It was smaller than the Hughes 300 and modeled after the RotorWay Scorpion homebuilt helicopter that was all the rage in the 1970s and 80s ...

The Story of Hobby Lobby International

The Story of Hobby Lobby International - Airplanes and RocketsThis short history on one of model aviation's most recognizable hobby shops is sad, albeit not unusual in the era of online distributors. "The End of an Era - Hobby Lobby Building Torn Down" is a good read if you remember the old days when modeler-built kits and glow engines were king. "The building that so many of us bought our hobby goods from is gone for good. I found out through the grapevine that they were tearing down the original Hobby Lobby building in the next few days. That's a sad thing to think about for many of us in the RC hobby. I thought I would take this time to write some recollections of that place as a former HL employee and prior to that a customer ...

JATO-Powered Ercoupe

JATO-Powered Ercoupe - Airplanes and Rockets"Frederick A. Johnsen's recent Of Wings & Things - JATO pushed performance - looked back at jet-assisted takeoff (JATO) power. While interest in the column was high, several commenters referred to an Ercoupe as early JATO test bed. In response, Fred reached out to his connections and was able to gain access to a few documents, including a photo and a page from the JATO-powered Ercoupe's test report. 'This report deals with the flight tests of the Ercoupe airplane with and without auxiliary jet propulsion carried out at March Field, California. Capt. H. A. Boushey, Jr., liaison officer for the project, was assigned as pilot by the Air Corps Materiel Division, and personnel for assisting the flight tests were made available ..."

Ace Simple Duster

Ace Simple Duster by Steven Swinamer - Airplanes and RocketsThe Swinamer vintage ½A model airplane factory has turned out yet another enviable product in the form of Fred Reese's (Ace R/C) Simple Duster, which originally appeared in the February 1987 issue of R/C Modeler magazine. Those long, cold Canadian winters provide ample opportunity to build up a fresh squadron of models for the long-awaited flying season. Steven is an ardent believer in the Earthly spiritual connectedness between mankind and the sound and smell of an .049 engine screaming at 20,000 rpm. It is akin to the swoosh sound at launch and after-aroma of an Estes rocket motor after a flight that a model rocketeer is drawn to. The Simple Duster uses the famous Ace foam wing core. Ace had both a constant chord and a tapered chord version. The Simple Duster uses the tapered chord version ...

They Really Can "Take It" - Douglas DC-2 and DC-3

They Really Can "Take It" - Douglas DC-2 and DC-3, February 1942 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsIn yet another testament to the venerable Douglas DC-3 (and its predecessor DC-2), this 1942 article in Flying Aces magazine highlights the extreme extent of battle damage some of these planes suffered and still managed to fly to a safe landing. Of course not all flight crews were so fortunate, but the robustness of the airframe and engines are rightly credited for their endurance and reliability. During and long past the rigors of World War II service years, the DC-3 built upon its reputation as a work horse. It is no wonder that the DC-3 (and its military designation of C-47) has for going on a century been the all-time favorite transport type airplane of many aviation enthusiasts - including yours truly. If I had a bucket list, which I really do not, at or near the top of the list would be to take a ride in a DC-3 or a C-47. In all the places I have lived in the last many decades, there has never been one at an airshow that was offering rides for hire. Time is running out ...

RMA Aircraft Equipment Advertisement

RMA Aircraft Equipment Ad, June 1960 Aero Modeller - Airplanes and RocketsAccording to the About Us page on the RipMax website, "In 1949 Ripmax first opened its doors as a Toy & Model Shop based in Camden Town. Focusing on the popularity of Radio control, the co-founder, Max Coote, decided to concentrate on design and sale of exclusive lines of modelling goods, primarily accessories for model boats. 'Everyman's Model Shop' as it was known soon became recognised as the 'Radio Control Specialist', and it wasn't long before Max was looking at manufacturing and supplying to the model trade direct." One of the most popular items RipMax exported was the Jetex line of rocket / jet engines manufactured by Telasco ...

Spaceplane Could Cut DoD Launch Costs

Spaceplane Could Cut DoD Launch Costs - Airplanes and Rockets"The U.S. military has long sought quick, low cost access to space along with the ability to operate a satellite launcher like a commercial airliner making daily round trips. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which launched an experimental space plane program in 2013, recently settled on a winged design that would be propelled by a version of Aerojet Rocketdyne's AR-22 engine originally used as the main engine for the American space shuttle. Prime contractor Boeing said it is applying automation technology developed during testing of the X-37B shuttle to its Phantom Express prototype selected by DARPA ..."

The Stanzels of Schulenburg

The Stanzels of Schulenburg, January 1961 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsA couple years ago I posted an article about the Victor Stanzel ElectroMic "Copter" Tethered Helicopter that I had bought on eBay. It was just like the one I had as a pre-teen in the 1960's. If memory serves me correctly, I also had one of the ElectroMic Flash Tethered Airplanes as well. Someday I'll probably buy one of those on eBay. The webpage hyperlinked above has a video embedded that tells the story of the Stanzel Brothers' Model Airplane Museum. You will be amazed at all the types of models they produced - powered airplanes, gliders, helicopters, flying saucers. They were a couple of the earliest pioneers in manufacturing ready-to-fly model airplanes. This feature article in American Modeler magazine tells a little more of their story ...

SoftBank's Hawk 30 Solar Internet Drone

SoftBank Solar Internet Drone - Airplanes and Rockets"A stratospheric Hawk 30 prototype will begin its maiden flight at a NASA base within days. A secretive joint venture between SoftBank and U.S. aerospace company AeroVironment is poised to launch an experimental solar-powered drone to deliver connectivity for 5G and the Internet of Things. The Hawk 30 will have a curved 'flying wing' design similar to a series of high-altitude solar drones that AeroVironment made for NASA twenty years ago. Filings with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission suggest the new Hawk will have 10 electric engines and an operational altitude of over 20 kilometers. According to a Space Act Agreement signed with NASA in November, the prototype drone ..."

AK-47 Assault Rifles and Now Kalashnikov Drones

AK-47 Assault Rifles and Now Kalashnikov Drones - Airplanes and Rockets"The Russian company that gave the world the iconic AK-47 assault rifle has unveiled a suicide drone that may similarly revolutionize war by making sophisticated drone warfare technology widely and cheaply available. The Kalashnikov Group put a model of its miniature exploding drone on display this week at a major defense exhibition in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, where the world's arms companies gather every two years to show off and market their latest wares. The tiny item was dwarfed by the tanks, armored vehicles and fighter jets that were also on display. But it has as much potential to change the face of war as its older cousin, the AK-47, widely referred to simply as the Kalashnikov ..."

International Model Aircraft FROG / Talisman Advertisement

International Model Aircraft FROG / Talisman Advertisement, June 1960 Aero Modeller - Airplanes and RocketsThis International Model Aircraft Company advertisement appeared in the June 1960 issue of England's Aero Modeller magazine. The company, which went by the moniker FROG ("Flies Right Off the Ground"), had been in business producing flying models since the early 1930s. Price formats such as 17/6 for the Talisman control line model is interpreted as 17 shillings and 6 pence, seventeen and six, or seventeen and sixpence. According to the UK National Archives website currency conversion calculator, 17/6 in 1960 is the equivalent to £18.34 (pound sterling) in 2017, which is the equivalent of $24.23 U.S. That somehow seems way too low for a 1960 to 2017 price conversion ...

Russian Drone Shoots Down Other Drones with Shotgun

Russian Drone Shoots Down Other Drones with Shotgun - RF CafeThis story about a drone that shoots down other drones using an onboard shotgun appears on the Interesting Engineering website. The flying shotgun airframe uses a "canard" configuration, named so for its duck-like appearance in flight. "Drones are capable of all sorts of weird and wonderful things like shutting down airports to delivering medicines. Now a new drone developed in Russia can even shoot other drones out of the sky. The Russian defense contractor, Almaz Antey has created a drone equipped with a Vepr-12 shotgun with a 10-round magazine. The drone is able to take off vertically but then flies like an airplane hunting down fellow UAVs. The drone is controlled by a pilot who wears a visor-wearing operator which connects via video link to the drone's camera. The pilot can direct the drone and aim the weapon ..."

Ikarus Eco 8 Electric R/C Helicopter

Ikarus Eco 8 Electric R/C Helicopter - Airplanes and RocketsMy next venture into R/C helicopters after the DuBro Tristar came about a decade later when I bought an Ikarus ECO 8 electric chopper from Hobby Lobby (circa 1998). It was pretty lame in performance (but then so was I) with the stock motor and a very heavy NiCad battery pack. At least there were no clutch problems to deal with as those which plagued the Tri-Star. This time I had a heading hold gyro for the tail rotor and I was actually able to somewhat fly the thing. The photo of me flying (kinda) my ECO 8 was taken in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in August of 1998. After losing patience with the poor performance of the brushed motor and NiCad battery pack, I sold it on an AOL bulletin board to some guy in Florida. It had not suffered any damage beyond a slight dent in the tail boom where ...

Action A'Plenty at Experimental "Fly-In"

Action A'Plenty at Experimental "Fly-In", January 1961 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsThis 1960 Fly-In held by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) marks its 8th event. Before the well-known Oshkosh, Wisconsin location became the de facto venue, the Fly-Ins were held at Greater Rockford, Illinois, Airport. I'm not sure whether the original EAA charter included restored aircraft or if it was constrained to home-builts. All the airplanes shown in this 1961 issue of American Modeler magazine are home-builts. At the time, the EAA boasted a membership of 9,000 consisting of 100 local chapters. Today, they claim more than 200,000 members worldwide. That's a factor of 22 in 58 years, which is the equivalent of a steady annual growth of about 5.5% over that period. To wit:  9,000 * 1.055^58 = 200,856 ...

Model Aviation Products Acquires Gizmo Geezer

Model Aviation Products Acquires Gizmo Geezer - Airplanes and RocketsThe January 2019 issue Model Aviation magazine, published by the Academy of Model Aeronautics' (AMA) Model Aviation, had a piece about the Gizmo Geezer line of free flight products having been acquired by Model Aviation Products. Gizmo Geezer is line of high quality fully assembled free-wheeling propeller mount assemblies, some of which include adjustable angle buttons. These units are very inexpensive and eliminate performance-robbing rubber motor and propeller management problems associated with free-wheeling propeller style of model aircraft. Lightweight and injection molded high-strength nylon for long life and reliable performance ...

Vintage Eldon Simpsons-Sears Chicane-Eight Slot Car Set

Vintage Eldon Simpsons-Sears Chicane-Eight Slot Car Set - Airplanes and RocketsWhen I was a wee lad back in the 1960s, my parents gave me a small electric slot car race track set for Christmas. I remember that it had Sears' name on it, but couldn't recall the exact set. When this Simpsons-Sears Chicane-Eight 1/32 Scale Road Race Set (manufactured by Eldon) appeared on eBay, I figured it might be the one, so I bought it. As it turns out, this set was sold by the Canadian branch of Sears Roebuck that partnered with Simpsons department stores. Since I lived in Maryland, this could not have been the slot car set I owned. This has got to be one of the best-preserved Eldon Simpsons-Sears Chicane-Eight 1/32 Scale Road Race Sets in existence today. It works perfectly, as the video below shows ...

Commemorative Coin Throws a Curve at Apollo

Commemorative Coin Throws a Curve at Apollo - Airplanes and RocketsThe U.S. Mint marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Four different versions of the Apollo coins are offered; sales will raise money for the National Air and Space Museum's "Destination Moon" exhibit and for the Astronauts Memorial Foundation and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. "Buzz Aldrin should have been holding the camera. He and Neil Armstrong had been outside the spacecraft for almost an hour and a half, working through their checklists, and one of Aldrin's chores was to photograph the area where Armstrong had just finished scooping up soil and rocks to bring home. But perhaps because Armstrong was the one who had gathered the samples ..."

Steven's Newest Ace R/C Whizard Uses a TD .049

Steven Swimaner's Newest Ace Whizard Uses a TD .049 - Airplanes and RocketsWhilst waiting for the Canadian snow to subside, Steven built a second Ace Whizard, this time with a cox TeeDee .049 engine and a separate 2 0z. fuel tank. That should extend the flight time from 2-3 minutes with the Black Widow .049 to 8-10 minutes. The TeeDee should provide a little more power as well. The Whizard began appear in Ace R/C advertisements around 1974. See Steven's building article that has lots of good photos ...

Alain's Duck" Turbine Powered R/C Canard

Turbine R/C Canard Model Airplane by Alain Pons (Alain's Duck") - Airplanes and RocketsNot being content to have built a giant size version of his "Alain's Duck," he just sent me these photos of the turbine jet-powered version of a variant of the original canard. What's next - a full-size homebuilt airplane with Alain at the controls? Alain promises a video of the first flight soon. Warm weather's on the way, so hopefully we won't have to wait very long ...

View-Master: Snoopy and the Red Baron 3-Reel Set

View-Master: Snoopy and the Red Baron 3-Reel Set B544 - Airplanes and RocketsIn my continuing effort to help make certain that the history of Charles Schulz's Peanuts comic series is preserved, this set of View-Master slides has been scanned and/or photographed as required. If you want to own this "Snoopy and the Red Baron" set, there are probably copies available on eBay, which is where I bought this set. It is in like-new condition. Charles Schulz drew all of the daily comic strips himself, but he did license other artists to draw his characters for some commercial products, and these appear to be so. In fact, of all the Peanuts comics I have seen - and I have probably seen most of them - this accompanying booklet contains the only non-Peanuts type character I can remember seeing. Picture 19 on the last page shows a nonschultzian [sic] French woman bidding farewell to Snoopy the World War II Flying Ace ...

How Spread Spectrum Radio Control Systems Came to Be

How Digital Spread Spectrum Radio Control Systems Came to Be - Airplanes and RocketsThe March 2019 issue of the Academy of Model Aeronautics' Model Aviation magazine contains a letter from Dave Jones, of the AUAV website. Mr. Jones informs us that, contrary to popular belief, he was the designer, builder, and tester of the first frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) radio control system (R/C) operating in the 2.4 GHz ISM band. He developed his system for the DoD back in the 1990s, many years before Spektrum R/C marketed its first commercial spread spectrum system in the early 2000s (see my Spektrum DX6 teardown). Prior to 2.4 GHz systems (now a combo of FHSS and DSSS), FM and to a lesser extent AM digital proportional R/C systems were primarily on the 72 (air, 50 channels) / 75 (surface, 30 channels) MHz band (a few on 50/53 MHz for licensed Hams). RF interference and unintentional "stepping on" frequencies in use often resulted in costly aircraft crashes. The 72 Hz systems were vulnerable to metal-to-metal noise (a problem in helicopters) whereas the 2.4 GHz systems are immune. Dave Jones made a Monkee of that issue and sent it to the bottom of the sea, figuratively speaking. And now you know... the rest of the story.

Israel's Beresheet Lunar Lander Blasts Off for the Moon

Israel's Beresheet Lunar Lander Blasts Off for the Moon - Airplanes and Rockets"On Thursday evening, SpaceX launched its first rocket of the year from Cape Canaveral, and tucked inside was the first lunar lander built with mostly private money. The robotic lander, dubbed Beresheet (which means “Genesis” or 'in the beginning' in Hebrew) lifted off at 8:45 pm EST on top of a Falcon 9 rocket. If all goes according to plan, Beresheet will gently touch down on the lunar surface on April 11, becoming the first private spacecraft to reach the surface of another planetary body. To date, only three nations have landed on the moon: the United States, Russia and China. If this mission succeeds, Israel will become the fourth - and by far the smallest - country to reach the lunar surface ..."

Drone Delivery Canada Unveils Its Largest And Longest-Range Cargo Delivery Drone

Drone Delivery Canada Unveils Its Largest And Longest-Range Cargo Delivery Drone - Airplanes and Rockets"The Condor has been in development for the past year and is the next generation in DDC's drone delivery cargo aircraft. With a payload capacity of 400 pounds, and a potential travel distance of up to 108 nautical miles, the Condor pushes the limits in both cargo capacity and distances. The Condor is powered by a next generation gas propulsion engine. The Condor measures 22 feet long, 5.1 feet wide and seven feet tall. It has a wing span of approximately 20 feet and is capable of vertical take off and landing. It is equipped with DDC's proprietary FLYTE management system which is the same platform used in all of DDC's cargo delivery drones ..."

View-Master: America's Man in Space 3-Reel Set

View-Master: America's Man in Space 3-Reel Set - Airplanes and Rockets

New: All 21 pictures now posted. As a kid in the 1960's, following America's progress in the Space Race was a big part of my life. I built and launched as many Estes rockets as my meager newspaper route-funded budget allowed. When John Glenn made his historic Earth-orbiting flight in the Mercury Freedom 7 space capsule on February 20, 1962, I was a mere 3 years old, but my parent say I was an ardent aerospace fan beginning at a very young age. Most American households probably had at least one View-Master stereo slide viewer, and ours was amongst them. I loved the 3D Peanuts slide sets, and especially any with an airplane or space exploration theme. My originals are long gone, but fortunately I was able to buy this near-perfect set titled, "America's Man in Space," on eBay ...

   

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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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