When 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
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
The 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 ..."
Whilst 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 ...
Not 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 ...
In 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 ...
The 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
of that issue and sent it to the
of the sea, figuratively speaking. And now you know... the rest of the story.
"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 ..."
"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 ..."
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
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 ...
This 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 ...
"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 ..."
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 ..."
"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 ..."
"Inspired by birds that fold their wings
in the air when space is limited, researchers from the
University of Zurich and EPFL have developed a new
foldable drone. The researchers designed the quadrocopter with
four independently rotating propellers. The propellers are mounted on mobile arms
that can be pivoted around the main frame with the help of servomotors. The control
system regulates, in real time, each new position of the arms and adjusts the propeller
speed depending on the center of gravity. The drone's default configuration is X-shaped,
but it can adapt into H, O, and T shapes ..."