"Saildrone is a Californian company which designs
and manufactures wind and solar powered autonomous surface vehicles, called
Saildrones, designed to monitor the ocean for months on end. The
hard wind design emerged from a decade-long pursuit of the land speed record – company
founder Richard Jenkins ultimately achieved 126.2mph in 2009, having started his Windjet
Project in 1999 while studying mechanical engineering at Imperial College. Using wind
power for propulsion, a Saildrone fleet travels at 3-5kts, with each drone collecting
high-resolution data either by holding station or following a survey pattern. The drones
sail autonomously ..."
This article provides a really good look at how
varied model airplane designs can be for a defined contest event - in this case Free
Flight Rocket, Jr. Jet PAA-Load and
PAA Load Jet. Wing, fuselage, and tail outlines, pylons or not, sub-rudders, and
engine mounting locations are all over the map, figuratively speaking. "Jet" as used
here refers almost universally to the Jetex engines that were popular at the time. Jetex
motors, fuel, and accessories were imported from England and distributed in the U.S.
by Aristo-Craft Distinctive Miniatures, in Newark, New Jersey. Jetex rocket engines were
quite popular with model airplane, boat, and car builders through the early 1970s, at
which point the fuel supplies began to disappear ...
"China is working
super-powerful rocket that would be capable of delivering heavier
payloads into low orbit than NASA, a leading Chinese space expert was quoted as saying
Monday. By 2030, the Long March-9 rocket under development will be able to carry 140
tonnes into low-Earth orbit - where TV and earth observation satellites currently fly
- said Long Lehao, a senior official from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, according
to the official Xinhua news agency. This compares to the 20 tonnes deliverable by Europe's
Ariane 5 rocket or the 64 tonnes by Elon Musk's Falcon Heavy ..."
"Facebook has cancelled
its UK-based high altitude unmanned aircraft project, Aquila. The project, based in Somerset,
aimed to provide Internet basestations that could stay in the air for weeks at a time
at an altitude of 60,000 ft. However the 2 kW power requirements and the laser communications
technology that was intended to link aircraft in the sky and to the ground were both
significant challenges. 'The only spectrum available for these platforms wasn't suitable
for broadband due to technical and geographical limitations,' said Yael Maguire, director
of engineering at Facebook ..."
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there
existed a modeling civilization that enthusiastically embraced the concept of building
kits for the personal satisfaction of being able to hone craftsmanship skills, to learn
about the make-up of the products being built, and to save money. Radio control systems
were expensive on a per channel basis compared to today's systems.
Heathkit, as it did with a very wide assortment of electronics products, sold a few
radio control systems in kit form. The buyer built everything - transmitter, receiver,
and servos. I do no remember whether the NiCd battery packs came pre-assembled. Note
that Heathkit servos used capacitive feedback ...
forward to JWST data, and sure hope it doesn't suffer a HST-type failure. "An independent
panel has informed NASA that the
James Webb Space Telescope will not be ready for launch until March
2021, and Congress will have to reauthorize the long-delayed, over-budget mission after
breaching an $8B cost cap, officials said Wednesday. Blunders made by Webb's manufacturing
and test team at Northrop Grumman, the mission’s prime contractor, are largely responsible
for the launch delay, according to Thomas Young, a former Lockheed Martin executive
and NASA program manager who chaired the review board examining the mission's development ..."
"Boeing has unveiled a concept jet that will be
capable of whisking passengers from New York to London at a blistering Mach 5 - making
it capable of crossing the pond in just two hours. The
hypersonic plane would fly almost three times faster than the legendary
Concorde - which was decommissioned in 2003 - and cruise at 95,000 feet, about 3,000
feet higher than its supersonic predecessor, according to Aviation Week. The concept
aircraft, which was unveiled at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Aviation 2018 conference in Atlanta, is part of a long-range development plan with both
commercial and military applications, the news outlet reported ..."
Creativity and ingenuity was needed more often
by aircraft modelers back when various aspects of the hobby were in the development stages
and access to a prefabricated device was not as ready as today. If you need a
or method nowadays, a Google search will usually turn up a solution in the form of an
off-the-shelf item and/or instructions on how to do it yourself - sometimes even with
a video to show you how to do it. In the middle of the last century, if you wanted a
component or gizmo other than common things like wheels, propellers, and bell cranks,
you had to make them yourself from on-hand materials or do without. I often am amazed
at the ideas presented in these Sketch Book installments. Check out the device
designed by Mr. Mustafa K. Artam, of Istanbul, Turkey, for checking relative
This might benefit some GPS-directed drones. "There
more precise GPS coverage across the U.S., thanks to the recent deployment
of the FAA's Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting 5 Wide Area Augmentation System navigation
payload, which was developed by Raytheon's Intelligence, Information and Services business.
The GEO 5 payload joins two others already on orbit in correcting GPS satellite signal
ionospheric disturbances, timing issues, and minor orbit adjustments, giving increased
coverage, improved accuracy, and better reliability, according to Raytheon officials.
'GPS alone can't meet the FAA's stringent requirements for accuracy, integrity and availability ..."
Although not directly related to the mid-last-century
aviatrix Virginia Dare, aka "Flyin'
Jenny," the "Flying Jenny" book written by Theasa Tuohy is a novel about a daring
tabloid newspaper reporter named Jenny Flynn. This Jenny was inspired by real-life barnstorming
female pilot Elinor
Smith, aka "The Flying Flapper Freeport." The author's mother and namesake (Theasa
Tuohy) was a contemporary of Will Rogers and friend of Wiley Post ...
Atomic-powered aircraft was another dream of mid-last-century
visionaries. It was the post World War II era where, following the demonstration
of nuclear energy's awesome capacity demonstrated in Japan, plans were being made to
harness its capacity for peaceful uses. Large scale atomic power electricity and steam
generation stations being designed and built. So, too, were personal nuclear power packs,
atomic-powered car, boats, submarines, airplanes, rockets, and trains envisioned. Unfortunately,
designers soon learned that safe containment of the fuel made small form factor generators
impractical. Unfortunately, a few accidents in power stations has spooked ...
Notice the tail number has been blotted out. "A
student pilot who was training at Fullerton Airport in southern California is in major
trouble after an incident on Sunday. Too eager for his first solo, the man took a Cessna
172 from a local flying club
without permission, but was unable to successfully complete his mission. Fullerton's
airport manager Brendan O’Reilly said the student pilot had recently joined the RI Flying
Club, which had the Cessna 172 as part of its fleet. O'Reilly said the flying club has
been operating at the airport for more than 30 years without any incidents. The student
pilot was not qualified to fly the airplane solo, but somehow snagged the keys and took
the airplane to the skies. The student pilot made not one, not two, not three, not four,
but five attempts at landing, each time messing up the airplane more ..."
Here is a
subject near and dear to my heart:
The Engineer provided extensive coverage, and they now make available their
archive. This is a year shy of the half-century anniversary. "Just
days before Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon. The Engineer
took a detailed look at the technology that would get him and his fellow astronauts safely
there and back again. How do you mark the most significant achievement in the history
of mankind? The Apollo landings of the late 60s and early 70s are still seen as the high
water mark of humanity, and as The Engineer pointed out, much of the millions
of words of press coverage of the first mission to land, Apollo 11 ..."
A Conversation with Vern and
"The Amari Cemetery located in Harju County, northern
Estonia, is a place where you'll witness a series of graves decorated with
aircraft tail fins. The answer to why these graves have aircraft
fins on them lies beneath these tombstones, with all those who are resting in these graves.
These are Soviet pilots who were killed while serving their duty during the Soviet occupation
of Estonia. The burial place is truly a sight that will kindle respect for all the soldiers
who put their lives on the line for their country. What could have been a better way
to pay homage to the martyrs than using the fins of an airplane that they were likely
died in? The soldiers were buried on a site that was designated for the burial of war
"NASA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration
in the National Airspace System, or UAS-NAS project, works on identifying, developing
and testing the technologies and procedures that will make it possible for UAS to have
routine access to airspace occupied by human-piloted aircraft. The UAS-NAS project uses
modeling, simulations and flight tests to develop and test technologies that provide
safe, effective, secure capabilities including detect and avoid (DAA) and command and
control (C2). The SIERRA-B unmanned aircraft system developed at NASA's Ames Research
"Self-flying vehicle firms got $2M last year, as U.S. military envisions
taxis as more Blade Runner than Back to the Future. Last year, Kitty
Hawk and Joby Aviation received a total of nearly $2M from the Defense Innovation Unit
Experimental (DIUx), a Pentagon organization founded to help America's military make
faster use of emerging technologies. Neither company, nor the DIUx, disclosed the funding
at the time. The website for Cora, Kitty Hawk's experimental air taxi, emphasizes its
role in solving urban transportation challenges: 'Cora is about the time you could save
soaring over traffic. The people you could visit
This author must have never heard of the C-47
Skytrain. "It sounds like something Q, the tech guy in James Bond movies, would create:
A plane that lands on a runway, shrugs its wings off, turns into a train and rolls on
to rails to drop you off at your local station. That's what a French entrepreneur, who's
made millions by connecting engineers with industrial groups, is pitching to Boeing Co.
and others. 'Link & Fly' is Akka Technologies's new flagship aircraft design,
with wings that come off to hasten turnover at airports and make boarding easier and
closer to passengers' homes ..."
(XSP) advances toward its goal for rapid turnaround and on-demand launch with the completion
of a test series that put the spaceplane's AR-22 Experimental Spaceplane Main Engine
through a rigorous campaign. In the two weeks preceding the campaign, the engine ran
twice to establish initial performance characteristics and turnaround processes. Then,
starting July 26, the engineering team successfully fired the engine 10 times in just
under 240 hours. All firings lasted at least 100 seconds. The AR-22 engine is a variant
of the RS-25, also known as the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) ..."