Website visitor Dan T. wrote to ask that
I scan and post this article, which appeared in the 1962 Annual edition of American
Modeler magazine, on
making fiberglass cowls. It is a variation on vacuum bagging that exploits the even
tension applied by the elasticity of a rubber balloon. Although limited to relatively
small forms, it has the advantage of low cost and complexity, and it eliminates the potential
nuisance of the mold release agent not being fully coated and causing separation issues.
This method will probably not work too well with shapes that need localized indented
areas more than 1/32" to maybe 1/16" deep (like cooling fins). It should do fine with
rivet and panel line details. The article did not originally make ...
"Recent research demonstrated that, although most
wing shapes used today create turbulent wake vortices, wing geometrics can be designed
to reduce or eliminate wingtip vortices almost entirely. In the study, the vortex and
wake characteristics were computed for three classic wing designs: the elliptic wing,
and wing designs developed in classic studies by the researchers. It's common to see
line-shaped clouds in the sky, known as contrails, trailing behind the engines of a jet
airplane. What's not always visible is a vortex coming off of the tip of each wing -
like two tiny horizontal tornadoes - leaving behind a turbulent wake ..."
are clunky, noisy, dirty, inefficient and expensive to operate, not to mention almost
completely impractical. Despite those drawbacks, owning and operating a warbird can be
thrilling. Flying an ex-military airplane demands pilots update their flying experience
to ready themselves for the challenges of handling an airplane that’s often configured
with conventional landing gear and connected to power plants that create sizable amounts
of torque. Most warbird pilots told us they began their warbird experience by logging
time in either a T-6 or Stearman ..."
Rosie the Riveter is perhaps most recognized symbol
of wartime aircraft production, having come about in World War II (although women
also built trucks, tanks, guns, sewed uniforms, made boots,...). She is also symbolic
of women entering
the workforce en masse. After WWII, many women went back to being housewives and
raising families with war-weary servicemen looking to resume peaceful lives. The respite
didn't last long, as the Korean conflict began within a week of the time the first atom
bomb was dropped on Japan in August of 1945. The U.S. entered the fray in fall of 1950
when North Korea invaded South Korea. Once again, America's women answered ...
"The startup is building short-haul aircraft for
Boeing and JetBlue that combine gas turbines and batteries . In the century that's elapsed
since the dawn of commercial aviation, air transportation has become pretty well refined.
Yet paradoxically, it's easier to fly halfway around the world than to travel to a nearby
city. As a result, many people shun air travel when taking short trips. ..."
"Virgin Galactic successfully launched and landed
its Unity spacecraft by rocket power, completing its first powered flight in almost four
years. Richard Branson's space company shared a photo of the SpaceShipTwo model spacecraft
as it blasted into the air above the Mojave Air and Space Port before going supersonic
and landing safely. "VSS Unity completed her first supersonic, rocket-powered flight this
morning in Mojave, California. Another great test flight, another ..."
After seeing an article titled, "High School Aviation:
California Style," from the June 1968 issue of American Aircraft Modeler magazine,
website visitor Janice H. sent me a copy of this 1972 document titled, "A
Status Report of Aviation and Aerospace Education in California," by Earl W.
Sams, California State Department of Education, Sacramento. Janice is working to get
the Anderson Valley High School in Boonville, California, to create a memorial to the
program and its administrators and students ...
"NASA has given Lockheed Martin a $247.5M contract
to build a
supersonic airplane that might help speed up air travel. The Concorde
was fast. Indeed, it was capable of speeds up to just over twice the speed of sound (Mach
2.04 or 1,354 mph) and flying from New York to Paris took just over 3.5 hours. But that
speed came with issues, the biggest of which were the loud sonic booms created by the
Concorde when flying faster than the speed of sound. The FAA banned overland supersonic
commercial flights in 1973 because of the noise and complaints created by sonic booms.
This meant supersonic flight was only allowed over oceans ..."
Competitive model boating was a popular sport
in the 1960's as radio control systems became more affordable and reliable. Of course
if you have a glitch in your radio with a boat, the consequences are usually much less
that with an airplane. This report in a 1962 edition of American Modeler magazine
tells of one California model boating club that lost its "field" (a park lake) due to
"excessive and unnecessary noise." Yep, it was happening way back then. On the other
hand, it also reports on a club in New Jersey where the parks department constructed
a pier for them to use. As usual, your fortunes depend on the preferences and sentiments
of government bureaucrats. Many people these days are using brushless motor setups in
Today, the House of Representatives passed the
FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R.4), a long-term reauthorization
of the FAA. We are happy to share that Section 336, also known as the Special Rule for
Model Aircraft, is included in this bill with meaningful refinements that we supported
to help make it stronger. We especially want to thank the thousands of members who participated
in our Call to Action in the last few weeks to let Congress know the importance of protecting
our hobby. Your efforts during this critical time have made a significant impact. While
much of what we fought for was included in this bill ...
Stepan Dokoupil and Patrik Svida founded
3DLabPrint in 2015 in Brno, Czech
Republic. Since that time, they have literally revolutionized flyable model airplanes.
The 3D-printed models like this Spitfire are utterly amazing. There are currently 14
scale designs including a P-38, P-51D, F4U, P-47, BF-109, MIG-15, and PT-17, plus a trainer.
The guys at FliteTest put together this video and one for the
You'll find many other on YouTube.
"Engineers at German automation giant Festo have
unveiled a flying semi-autonomous robot based on one of nature's most unusual mammals:
flying fox. The robot was developed by the group's Bionic Learning Network, a cross-disciplinary
group of scientists and engineers tasked with developing a handful of concepts each year,
in order to explore concepts that may help shape manufacturing in the future. The firm
typically unveils the fruits of these labours ahead of each year's Hannover Messe. Previous
creations have included robot ants, penguins, kangaroos, seagulls ..."
Typical of the era, this
Racer control line model is very curvaceous and ruggedly constructed. Modelers of
the day enjoyed crafting models of full-size airplanes, often requiring months of building
an finishing. For many, it was their only means of participating in the exciting realm
of aerospace - at least until old enough to earn the money required to engage in full-scale
aviation. Hobbyists lived the lives of their pilot heroes vicariously through models.
In the time between then (1950's) and now, private aviation has gone through a cycle
of being relatively expensive to own and/or fly airplanes, to a time ...
This is the complete set of
Peanuts Skediddlers, sold by Mattel. Linus is extremely
difficult to find, and when you do, he typically sells for $200 or more. If you find
a Linus Skediddler with the original box, expect to pay $400. Over time, our (Melanie
and me) Peanuts collection of memorabilia has grow from the few items she had left over
from her girlhood to complete sets. Everything was gotten via eBay auctions. It took
a lot of patience to be able to get good quality items at an affordable price
"British businesses will soon be able to compete
in the commercial space race using UK spaceports following the passing of the
Bill. Receiving Royal Assent on 15 March 2018, the bill is hoped to build on Britain’s
existing expertise in the space sector by unlocking a new era of space innovation, exploration
and investment. It is envisaged that British businesses and institutions will be able
to launch small satellites and scientific experiments from UK spaceports, which are also
expected to facilitate future developments ..."
Frances 'Fran' Bera, who accumulated more than 25,000 flight hours,
ferried surplus military aircraft after World War II, set a world altitude record, and
taught and examined pilots for more than seven decades, died February 10 in San Diego,
California, at age 94. According to recognition posted on the Smithsonian National Air
and Space Museum’s Wall of Honor, Bera's aviation feats included a tryout for the astronaut
program, flying as a chief pilot for aircraft manufacturers Beechcraft and Piper, numerous
air races, and more than 3,000 check rides as an FAA ..."
Air Trails - Hobbies for Young Men magazine
covered a wide variety of subjects of both model and full-scale.
All things fast and/or exotic were of great interest to America's youth in the day,
and everything was fair game for modeling. Lockheed's now long-famous C-130 Hercules
was just making its maiden flight as a prototype YC-130 in 1954 when this edition was
published. Grumman's F9F-9 Tiger jet fighter became the F11F Tiger while the F9F designation
became the significantly different-looking F9F Cougar - no confusion there. The Cessna 620,
a 4-engine version of their successful 310 (get it? - 2 x 310 = 620), never made it past
the prototype phase ...
This is the January 18, 1942, "Flyin' Jenny" comic
strip. 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. The first one I downloaded has
a publication date of December 7, 1941 - that date "which will live in infamy," per President
Roosevelt. Many Americans were receiving word over the radio of the Japanese attack on
Pearl Harbor while reading this comic at the breakfast table. I expect that soon there
will be World War II ...
This thankful commemoration
of the 20th anniversary of
U.S. Air Mail service from Burgess Battery Company, which appeared
in a 1941 issue of QST magazine, encompasses most of my major lifetime interests. First
and foremost, from my earliest memories, is a love of airplanes (and all things that
fly for that matter). A DC−3 (my favorite multi-engine propeller plane) is shown in one
of the photos as is a Ford Trimotor, which Melanie and I have flown on. Next comes the
electrical, electronics, and radio communications aspects, which encompasses the aircraft
Over time, our (Melanie and me) Peanuts collection
of memorabilia has grow from the few items she had left over from her girlhood to complete
sets. It took a lot of patience to be able to get good quality items at an affordable
price. The "Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz" book was very helpful in identifying
which Peanuts memorabilia items were made. The author mentioned that the rarest
Hungerford doll piece was the piano that came
with Schroeder, so a saved search was placed on eBay and after about a year ...
Ah, the simpler times when enjoyment, competition,
and industry could be found on a
car race track in a musty basement. Pre-fab models were rare in the day, and those
that could be bought couldn't hold a candle to those hand crafted by young men like the
ones in these photos. It was not a pastime only for the younger set, though. Older guys
with metal lathes and fine crafting tools created museum quality masterpieces ...
"The death of pilot Harry Brooks 90 years ago
ended dreams of an 'air Flivver.' Long before Elon Musk, there was Henry Ford. Never
satisfied to revolutionize just one industry, he typically worked on several at once.
Over the course of his career, beside mass-producing Model Ts, Ford dabbled in shipbuilding,
home construction, rubber planting in Brazil, radio broadcasting, soybean farming, and,
for a brief period in the 1920s and early 1930s, aviation. In 1925, Ford introduced the
all-metal Tri-Motor ..."
This is a complete set of the
Peanuts Bobblehead (Nodder) figures. They're not
perfect, but in pretty good condition. Over time, our Peanuts collection of memorabilia
has grown from the few items she had left over from her girlhood to complete sets. Everything
was gotten via eBay auctions. It took a lot of patience to be able to get good quality
items at an affordable price. The "Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz" book was very
helpful in identifying which Peanuts memorabilia items
"Dutch company PAL-V prepares to bring the world's
flying car to the market next year. The production version of the
flying car PAL-V Liberty has made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland.
The Dutch company said that it is working on the final certification process to make
the car legal. PAL-V also said that the certification process would begin after the Geneva
Motor Show. The PAL-V Liberty looks more like a race car than an aircraft, according
to automotive experts. The car has a narrow body and has two side-by-side seats on the
front. The car ..."
"A bankruptcy court judge approved Horizon Hobby's
$18.8M purchase of Hobbico's remote-control business Monday, which means
Hobbico employees must reapply for their jobs
at Horizon before the purchase is completed Friday. Hobbico's more than 300 employees
were made aware of this possibility last week, after Horizon was the lone bidder in a
bankruptcy auction for Hobbico, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in January with
the goal of finding a new buyer. 'As mentioned in yesterday's Town Hall Meetings, Hobbico
employees who are interested in being considered to work at Horizon Hobby are ..."
model aviation themed
comics appeared in the September and December 1962 issues of American Modeler
magazine. I am scanning new model aviation comics as they become available - and as time
permits. If you have editions of any of these old magazines and would either scan the
comics and e-mails them to me, or perhaps send me the magazine (I'll pay shipping), I'll
be glad to post them ...
"A Chinese research team has developed an
ultrafast plane which can also carry dozens of people and tonnes
of cargo. The team says the plane can travel at hypersonic speed and can fly between
New York and Beijing in two hours, which usually takes 14 hours on a passenger jet. The
two cities are approximately 11,000km apart. This means the plane will travel at more
than 6,000km/h (3,700mph), 5x faster than the speed of sound. The team is also involved
in China's top-secret hypersonic weapons ..."
Model Airplane News sends out an e-mail that includes a
link to a page of tips and tricks for building models. There are usually about 10. This
week's has a great tip about using your X-acto knife handle to get a fixed-depth cut
- pretty clever! There are also a trick for stopping your propeller from slipping while
tightening, a West Virginia airplane trailer, and ballast ...
"A shark skin-inspired design can dramatically
improve the lift of an aerofoil, according to researchers in the US. The tiny tooth-like
scales on a shark's skin called denticles have previously been shown to reduce drag,
this latest research shows that they also boost the lift-to-drag ratio of an aerofoil.
As well as offering paths to improved aerodynamic design, the researchers say that their
work provides important insight into the role of shark morphology on swimming efficiency.
Like most fish, shark's ..."
Model rocketry was a big deal in the 1960's as
America and Russia pursued the great Space Race. The U.S.S.R. had effectively trumped
us by launching the Sputnik a year before we put the Explorer 1 into orbit. Yuri
Gagarin made it into space before Alan Shepherd blasted of atop the Mercury Redstone
rocket in his Freedom 7 capsule for a couple orbits around the earth. Boys (and
a few girls) around the world proudly referred to themselves as "rocketeers." Since the
Academy of Model Aviation (AMA) usually allocated space (no pun intended) for model rocket-relate
news and evens, it is no surprise that the sport was included in the "Model
World on the International Scene" features. Single-channel radio control ...
"This donut-shaped drone, not technically known
as a dronut, offers a tasty combination of safety and ease of use. At last year’s CES,
Cleo Robotics was showing prototypes of a palm-sized drone with a design unlike anything
we’d ever seen. Shaped like a donut, the Cleo drone is essentially a ducted fan, with
a pair of completely enclosed propellers (one on top of the other) and then a camera,
battery, and electronics housed inside the shell. Its compact ..."
"This video is
part of a series of video clips make while on my way to watch
Mad Mike Hughes
launch his steam-powered Flat Earth rocket on March 24th, 2018. I first met 'Mad Mike'
and his friend 'Pioneer Pat' back in 2017 during one of Mike's first launch attempts.
I decided to ride my motorcycle out to the desert to root him on for today's planned
launch. Go Mike!!! The launch was a perfect success!! 1872 feet! Mike's hurt, but he
will be alright. This was one of the most interesting and moving <video>"
model airplane comic on this
page appeared in the January / February 1963 combined issue of American Modeler.
The bottom on is from the June 1960 issue of the British model aviation magazine
Aero Modeller. I am scanning new model aviation comics as they become available
- and as time permits. If you have editions of any of these old magazines and would either
scan the comics and e-mails them to me, or perhaps send me the magazine (I'll pay shipping),
I'll be glad to post them ...
This is the January 25, 1942, "Flyin'
Jenny" comic strip. 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. The first
one I downloaded has a publication date of December 7, 1941 - that date "which will live
in infamy," per President Roosevelt. Many Americans were receiving word over the radio
of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor while reading this comic at the breakfast table.
I expect that soon there will be World War II themes. "Flyin' Jenny," whose real
name was Virginia Dare (what's in a name?), was a test pilot for Starcraft Aviation Factory
who divided her time between wringing out new airplane designs and chasing ...
A.C. Gilbert Engineering Society
(add to Erector Set page)
with Vern and Gleda Estes
"Promising results from recent ground testing
and a funding boost provided by a new NASA budget passed by Congress earlier this year
helped NASA leadership decide that the 4-pound Mars Helicopter could be ready in time
for launch with the space agency's next rover mission in July 2020. 'You should see the
big smile on my face right now,' said Mimi Aung, project manager for the Mars Helicopter
mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. 'It's phenomenal
because this has never been done before.' In an interview with Spaceflight Now on Friday,
Aung said nearly 5 years ..."