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Home Page Archive (page 10)

These archive pages are provided in order to make it easier for you to find items that you remember seeing on the Airplanes and Rockets 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 | 9 | 10 of the homepage archives.


NASA Opens Competition to Build Human-Rated Lunar Landers

NASA Opens Competition to Build Human-Rated Lunar Landers - Airplanes and Rockets"Companies have until November 1 to submit proposals to NASA for a human-rated lander that could be ready in time to carry astronauts to the moon's surface by the end of 2024, and the agency is leaving open the option for contractors to develop a descent craft that would bypass the planned Gateway mini-space station in lunar orbit, at least for the first landing attempt. The lunar lander, or Human Landing System, is critical to the Trump administration’s goal of returning humans to the moon’s surface by the end of 2024. NASA named effort after Artemis, the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology, after Vice President Mike Pence announced the 2024 goal ..."

The Berliner-Joyce OJ-2

The Berliner-Joyce OJ-2, May 1968 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThe Berliner-Joyce OJ−2 was a multi-purpose biplane built for naval service. Its maiden flight was in 1931. As this American Aircraft Modeler magazine article photos show, it could be configured with wheels or floats. Berliner-Joyce Aircraft Corporation had is main offices in Baltimore, Maryland, which was a popular location for defense contractors then and now. The Glen L. Martin Company, manufacturer of the famous Martin B−10 Bomber, was also in Baltimore. The OJ-2 was in heavy competition with the Vought O2U Corsair, which, unlike its eventual and much more famous successor gull-wing, all-metal F4U Corsair, was a fabric-covered biplane. Someone at Vaught must have really been stuck on using the Corsair name ...

China Unmanned Rocket-Powered Aircraft for Recon When Satellites Down

China Unmanned Rocket-Powered Aircraft for Reconnaissance When Satellites Are Down - Airplanes and Rockets"China's big 70th anniversary parade marking the founding of the PRC has come and gone. There were a number of revelations, some of which we are still analyzing, but the biggest ones were in the unmanned space. In the days leading up to the parade, we had covered both of the most impressive unmanned vehicles that were to be displayed. It's time to follow up with our analysis now that we have seen them in far greater detail. We posted our analysis on the GJ-11 Sharp Sword UCAV earlier today, now here are my takeaways from the official unveiling of the WZ-8 - also referred to as the DR-8 - high-speed reconnaissance drone. Before we get started, it's important to note that the two WZ-8s ..."

Airplane Wing Assembled from Tiny Identical Pieces

Airplane Wing Assembled from Tiny Identical Pieces - Airplanes and Rockets"A radically new kind of airplane wing, assembled from hundreds of tiny identical pieces, can change shape to control the plane’s flight, and could provide a significant boost in aircraft production, flight, and maintenance efficiency. The new approach to wing construction could afford greater flexibility in the design and manufacturing of future aircraft. Instead of requiring separate movable surfaces, such as ailerons, to control the roll and pitch of the plane as conventional wings do, the new assembly system makes it possible to deform the whole wing or parts of it by incorporating a mix of stiff and flexible components in its structure. The tiny subassemblies ..."

UK Space Organisations Develop Self-Aligning Orbital Telescopes

UK Space Organisations Develop Self-Aligning Orbital Telescopes - Airplanes and Rockets"Oxford University and Surrey Space Centre and Surrey Satellite Technology embark on a joint project to develop space telescopes that are more compact for launching. The design of all space hardware tries to minimise two factors: launch weight and launch volume. But for space telescopes, minimising launch volume is particularly tricky, because the physics underlining the operation of telescopes depends on their size - the area of the primary mirror has to be maximised to collect the largest amount of light possible, and the space between primary mirror and secondary mirror is fixed by the size of the primary. With the Earth observation market growing, and already at the multibillion dollar level ..."

Could Airships Rise Again?

Could Airships Rise Again? - Airplanes and Rockets"Transportation produces about one-fourth of global anthropogenic carbon emissions. Of this, maritime shipping accounts for 3%, and this figure is expected to increase for the next three decades even though the shipping industry is actively seeking greener alternatives, and developing near-zero-emission vessels. Researchers with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), in Austria, recently explored another potential solution: the return of airships to the skies. Airships rely on jet stream winds to propel them forward to their destinations. They offer clear advantages over cargo ships in terms of both efficiency and avoided emissions. Returning to airships, says Julian Hunt, a researcher at the IIASA and lead author ..."

The Boom in R/C Boats

The Boom in R/C Boats, May 1955 Popular Electronics - Airplanes and RocketsBill (William) Winter served as the editor of the Academy of Model Aeronautics' (AMA's) American Modeler and American Aircraft Modeler magazines from 1966 through 1974, but his efforts to promote all form of modeling - airplanes, helicopters, cars, boats, trains, and rockets - covered many decades. His first recorded article, "Building the Famous Udet Flamingo," (co-authored by Walter McBride), was published in the March 1935 issue of Universal Model Airplane News magazine. His 264th, "The Soft Touch," appeared in Model Aviation (the latest incarnation of the AMA's flagship magazine) in 1996. This article entitle "The Boom in R/C Boats" appeared in a 1955 edition of Popular Electronics magazine which, during the early ...

Water Jet Powered Drone Takes Off

Water Jet Powered Drone Takes Off - Airplanes and Rockets"To take off from the water, this drone uses an explosion-powered water jet. At ICRA 2015, the Aerial Robotics Lab at the Imperial College London presented a concept for a multimodal flying swimming robot called AquaMAV. The really difficult thing about a flying and swimming robot isn’t so much the transition from the first to the second, since you can manage that even if your robot is completely dead (thanks to gravity), but rather the other way: going from water to air, ideally in a stable and repetitive way. The AquaMAV concept solved this by basically just applying as much concentrated power as possible to the problem, using a jet thruster to hurl the robot out of the water with quite a bit of velocit ..."

SpaceX's 1st Rocket for Humans Test-Fired in Texas

SpaceX's 1st Rocket for Humans Test-Fired in Texas - Airplanes and Rockets"The Falcon 9 booster assigned to launch two NASA astronauts on an orbital test flight of SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule has been test-fired in Texas, but the schedule for the long-awaited mission remains unclear. SpaceX announced the static fire test of the Falcon 9's first stage in a tweet August 29. The launch vehicle's nine Merlin 1D first stage engines ignited on a test stand at SpaceX's test site in McGregor, Texas, for a hold-down firing before the booster is shipped to Cape Canaveral for final launch preparations. The 15-story booster produces some 1.7 million pounds of thrust from its nine Merlin engines, which consume super-chilled ..."

Down Memory's Runway

Down Memory's Runway, February 1942 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsFlying Aces magazine, which was published in the middle of the last century, had for a while a monthly featured entitled, "Down Memory's Runway," where vintage (at the time) aircraft were featured in pictures and captions. Of course those same airplanes are practically prehistoric today. By 1942 when this column was published, biplanes had been replace by monoplanes as the standard commercial and military design. A 14-passenger Boeing 80-A passenger biplane is included, along with the statement that it is believed to be the only tri-motored biplane built in the U.S. Of course there was the famous Ford Trimotor, but it was a monoplane. Also included is a photo of Claude Ryan with his company's first M-1 monoplane. The swirled finish ...

How Boeing Builds Them - 314 Clippers

How Boeing Builds Them, May 1941 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsOh, for the days when American big airplane manufacturers rightfully claimed air superiority. Boeing, of course, was arguably the leader of the pack, although Douglas and McDonnell ran close at Boeing's heels. The unfortunate incidences of the 737 MAX Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) software issue has delivered a huge black eye to Boeing at a time when they are desperately trying to compete with Airbus in the commercial airline transport market. Boeing enthusiasts who used to recite the "If it's not Boeing, I'm not going," mantra have been forced to reconsider their brand loyalty. This brief inset piece in a 1941 pre-war issue of Air Trails magazine extolled the virtues of Boeing's 314 Clipper amphibious airplane that facilitated Pan American Airway's (PAA) domination of transoceanic passenger and cargo operations. Similar to the manner in which the U..S. Navy used to sponsor ...

Volocopter Air Taxi Flies in Controlled Airspace

Volocopter Air Taxi Flies in Controlled Airspace - Airplanes and Rockets"Germany's Volocopter air taxi has flown a test flight at Helsinki International Airport while integrated with both traditional and unmanned air traffic management (ATM) systems. Managing the skies in urban environments is a pressing concern as drone and air taxi technology rapidly advances. Developing safe systems to allow unmanned vehicles to operate alongside piloted planes has become a priority for countries and regions hoping to embrace this new wave of aerial innovation. The latest Volocopter flight, which took place on 29 August, is part of the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Programme, which aims to create a single coordinated airspace for commercial, general and drone aviation ..."

The Aluminum Casalaire Advertisement

The Aluminum Casalaire Advertisement, November 1946 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsThis advertisement for the Aluminum Casalaire control line (C/L) model airplane appeared in the November 1946 issue of Air Trails magazine. The Casalaire was designed and marketed by Louis Casale of the AMA Nationals fame. Its fuselage is made of stamped aluminum components that are held together with rivets which were set with a pair of pliers - no air hammer or bucking bar required. Wings and empennage are built from standard balsa and plywood parts. With a wingspan of 45" and a B- or C-size engine, it is a fairly large model. For more background information and magazine appearances of the Casalaire, look about half-way down this page on the Collect Air website. Another advertisement for the Casalaire shown at Collect Air includes a twin-cylinder Viking 65 engine that came with a 3-blade, variable-pitch propeller ...

"Flyin' Jenny" Comic Strip: January 2, 1944

"Flyin' Jenny" Comic Strip: January 2, 1944 Baltimore Morning Sun - Airplanes and RocketsThis is the Sunday, January 2, 1944, "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 ...

To the Moon by 2024

To the Moon by 2024 - Airplanes and Rockets"The vice president did his best to sound stirring. The podium, the flag, the ringing cadences - all were meant to convey that this moment in the spring of 2019 was a significant one, a turning point in the history of space exploration. 'It is the stated policy of this administration and the United States of America to return American astronauts to the moon within the next...five...years.' Hardly had Mike Pence concluded his March 26 speech to the National Space Council in Huntsville, Alabama, when the doubts and second-guessing began. Even at NASA headquarters, where Administrator Jim Bridenstine took questions from his troops at a televised town hall a few days later, the applause was tepid, and the questions had mostly to do with money and political commitment ..."

A Career Built on Flying Models

A Career Built on Flying Models - Airplanes and Rockets"The Job: Gritter's first job with Aurora Flight Sciences was building a small-scale model to prove the concept of the XV-24 Lightning Strike, winner of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency competition for a super high-performance, short-takeoff-and-landing aircraft. He also performs aerobatic routines at airshows in full-scale airplanes. How did flying radio-controlled airplanes prepare you for your job? Being around model airplanes exposed me to all the technology - the components, the electronics. That was hugely beneficial in school because the senior capstone ..."

Comet Jetex-Powered Lockheed Starfire F/F Kit

Comet Jetex-Powered Lockheed Starfire F/F Kit - Airplanes and RocketsHere is a vintage Jetex-powered Comet Lockheed F−94C Starfire kit that, prior to my receiving it, had been started by the previous owner. It was designed and drawn by Gerald Blumenthal. The copyright date printed on the plans is 1953. Many of the parts had been cut out of the printwood balsa sheets, but none of the airframe has been assembled. There were no laser-cut kits back in the era of this kit, when the die-cut balsa sheets often were more appropriately referred to as "die-smashed" due to dull cutting edges on the die. It was also not uncommon for the die-cut part to not exactly match the outline of the printed pattern. Cutting out the parts with an X-Acto knife takes more time, but at least for the small shapes and for accuracy that is the way to go. I have not done a full inventory of the kit, but it appears most, if not all, parts are present ...

1960s Sport of Hang Gliding Still Hangs On

1960s Sport of Hang Gliding Still Hangs On - Airplanes and Rockets"'We first flew in dreams, but the dream of flight has become real,' the narrator says. The image on the giant screen is mesmerizing: Above massive volcanic islands reaching up from the ocean floats a tiny triangular form. This is the first shot of the hang gliding scene from To Fly!, the iconic IMAX film made for the opening of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in 1976. It has been playing for more than 40 years, and for many, it's their first encounter with hang gliding. In the scene, pilot Bob Wills hangs below the wing, shifting his body to exert control over the impossibly simple craft. He soars between mountain peaks, then climbs, stalls, dives, and swoops high above the water. When the film was made, hang gliding was emerging ..."

Russian Mosca I-16 Fighter

Russian Mosca I-16 Fighter, February 1942 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsThis Russian Mosca I-16 fighter airplane bears some resemblance the Bee Gee series of American racers. According to the Wikipedia entry, "The Polikarpov I−16 (Russian: Поликарпов И-16) was a Soviet single-engine single-seat fighter aircraft of revolutionary design; it was the world's first low-wing cantilever monoplane fighter with retractable landing gear to attain operational status and as such 'introduced a new vogue in fighter design.' The I-16 was introduced in the mid-1930s and formed the backbone of the Soviet Air Force at the beginning of World War II. The diminutive fighter, nicknamed 'Ishak' or 'Ishachok' ('Donkey' or 'Burro') by Soviet pilots, figured prominently in the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Battle of Khalkhin Gol and the Spanish Civil War - where it was called the Rata ('Rat') or Mosca ('Fly')." Its maiden flight occurred ...

Airplane of the Year

Airplane of the Year - Airplanes and Rockets"This September, at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, a couple dozen magnificently restored airplanes will gather once again to be evaluated by judges and admired by fans. Those who attend will be able to stroll among some pretty special aircraft, hear the owners and restorers tell their stories, and watch the presentation of trophies by aviation heroes. They'll also get the chance to vote for their favorite airplanes. By all means, get to Reno if you can. But if you can't, we invite you to read the stories of these remarkable airplanes and vote for the one that strikes a chord with you. Whichever one receives the most votes will win the People's Choice trophy at Reno and be named 'Air & Space Magazine Airplane of the Year.' The winner ..."

Scale Model Instrument Panels for IFR

Instrument Panels for Instrument flight Rules (IFR) - Airplanes and RocketsIt is hard to imagine how pilots managed to find their way through fog, rain, sleet, and snow prior to the advent of instruments that could indicate whether the airplane was flying straight and level or spiraling toward the ground. Some flyers were good enough in most situations to sense attitude even without an outside-the-cockpit visual clue. However, it is entirely possible to enter into a situation where your senses cannot possibly tell the difference between normal flight and a life threatening scenario. Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity tells us that without knowing otherwise, there is no discernable difference between gravity and physical acceleration. Therefore, a pilot in solid Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) conditions where he cannot see the sky or ground could very well mistake ...

Powder-Puff Pilots

Powder-Puff Pilots, February 1942 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsThe more things change, the more they stay the same, as the saying goes. In 1942, when this featured appeared in Flying Aces magazine, the participation of women and girls in model aviation was very limited. Being that it was more than 75 years ago, it might have been attributable to a lack of encouragement or even outright discouragement by men and boys. However, here it is 75 years later and the participation rate by women and girls is not that much greater. About the only time you see them in photos in modeling magazines is when they are young girls who are part of a schoolroom group activity conducted by an AMA member. the same goes for model rockets. For that matter, the same goes for model cars, boats, and helicopters. A lot of money and time ...

Comet P-40E Tiger Shark F/F Kit

Comet P-40E Tiger Shark F/F Kit - Airplanes and RocketsWhen I got this Comet Super Stars P−40E Tiger Shark kit #3649 I assumed it was like the one I built as a kid in the late 1960s or early 1970s, but after seeing it I'm thinking maybe I had the Guillows P-40 Warhawk kit. Unlike the kit I had which included injection molded plastic parts for only the complex parts like the spinner and engine exhaust manifold, this Comet kit uses plastic for a large portion of the fuselage. Comet dubs it "SuperXSpeed Construction." The entire area for the top and underside of the fuselage / wing intersection is now plastic. It takes a lot of work out of the building process and probably makes covering that area with Jap tissue easier. Wing ribs are configured in a geodetic manner, which adds great rigidity to the wing, particularly for preventing spanwise twist. It is a fairly large model for rubber power ...

1st All-Japan Helicopter Meet

First All-Japan Helicopter Meet from the April 1977 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsIt's hard to imagine the first All-Japan RC Model Helicopter Championship Contest - nearly 40 years ago. This report from the April 1973 edition of American Aircraft Modeler has man-on-the-scene Larry Hoffman's account of the events. There were only 22 contestants flying that day, and all but one flew the Hueycobra made and sold by Kalt, of Tokyo. There were no heading hold gyros or programmable transmitters with pitch and throttle curves - just good old-fashion pilot skill and lots of body language. I certainly don't long for those days - I can barely fly an R/C chopper with all the modern electronic assistance - but the fortitude of the helicopter pioneers is worthy of note and praise.

McDonnell F-4 Phantom

McDonnell F-4 Phantom, May 1970 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsAirplanes and Rockets website visitor Tony B. wrote to ask that I scan and post this McDonnell F-4 Phantom article, written by noted aviation historian Don Berliner and having a highly detailed drawing by Björn Karlström. Berliner provides a lot of history on the Phantom, beginning with the FH-1 Phantom 1, designed and built by the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation in the days before it merged with Douglas Aircraft Company in 1967. The F-4M was the most recent version when this article was published in the May 1970 issue of American Aircraft Modeler. The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels demonstration team flew F-4J models during airshows from 1969 to 1974. Having grown up in Mayo, Maryland, just a few miles south of Annapolis, I watched the Blue Angels perform for the U.S. Naval Academy graduation ceremonies. Most of the time it was from my back yard where ...

AMA National Model Aviation Museum Donations

Parris-Dunn Little Bobby Kite Kit - Airplanes and RocketsThis notice just appeared on the AMA's National Model Aviation Museum website: "New Addition: Helicopter Kite Kirt Blattenberger (AMA 92498) and Steven Krick recently donated two older kits to the museum, including this Parris-Dunn Little Bobby Helicopter Kite kit." The second kit, not yet featured on the AMA website, is the Guillow No. D4 Menasco Trainer kit. Both were generously given to me by Mr. Steven Krick, who is an accomplished modeler of highly detailed plastic static scale model airplanes and a collector of vintage balsa free flight models. In response to my providing some Silkspan covering information, he offered to let me select from a list of kits, and seeing these two and the likely rarity of them, I submitted them the the museum for consideration. They appreciatively accepted them.

India's Chandrayaan 2 Spacecraft Entered Lunar Orbit

India's Chandrayaan 2 Spacecraft Entered Lunar Orbit - RF Cafe"India's Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft entered lunar orbit on Tuesday, executing one of the trickiest maneuvers on its historic mission to the Moon. After four weeks in space, the craft completed its Lunar Orbit Insertion as planned, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement. The insertion 'was completed successfully today at 0902 hrs IST (0332 GMT) as planned, using the onboard propulsion system. The duration of manoeuver was 1738 seconds,' the national space agency said. India is seeking to become just the fourth nation after Russia, the United States and China to land a spacecraft on the Moon ..."

Herkimer OK CO2 Model Airplane Motor

Herkimer OK CO2 Model Airplane Motor - Airplanes and RocketsWhile perusing a box filled with miscellaneous old items at a local garage sale, I spotted this Herkimer OK CO2 motor buried under door hinges, bags of nails, and light bulbs. It was pretty dirty, but it seemed fine otherwise. Half the propeller was missing, so I assume when it broke, that was on the motor's last flight. The motor had been mounted to the still-attached plywood firewall with three small brads! Price" $1. After carefully disassembling the OK CO2 motor, it was soaked overnight in Evapo-Rust, an excellent water-soluble, non-toxic rust remover which I have used often. It cleaned up very nicely. A few drops of Cox after-run motor oil was used when reassembling the motor. I do not have a CO2 cylinder small enough to fit into the holder, so I have not been able to run it yet  ...

Startup Promises Cheaper Flying via Renewable Hydrogen

Startup Promises Cheaper Flying via Renewable Hydrogen - RF Cafe"ZeroAvia says electric efficiency, fewer repairs, and onsite hydrogen production can make zero-emissions flight cheaper than burning jet-fuel. The aviation industry's global trade group says electric airplanes are unlikely to be flying commercial routes before 2040. That pessimism from the International Air Transport Association is off by nearly two decades according to ZeroAvia, a fast-moving electric flight startup popping out of stealth mode today. For six months already, the Hollister, California-based firm has been flying the world's largest zero-emissions aircraft - the fuel cell equipped prop-plane pictured above - and ZeroAvia vows that its powertrain design will be cutting both carbon and costs for regional flights in just 3 to 4 years ..."

Vintage South Bend 6−Player Croquet Set Restoration

Vintage South Bend Croquet Set Restoration - Airplanes and RocketsWhile visiting our daughter in North Carolina, we ran across someone who had a vintage 6-player croquet set for sale for just a few dollars. As the photos below show, it has been completely restored. All components (except the balls) were stripped down to bare wood or metal, sanded, primed, and then painted with four coats of enamel spray paint for color areas and three coats of polyurethane clear on the natural finish portions. The balls would have been too difficult to get to bare wood, so I sanded down to the point where the paint was stable and strongly adhered to the underlying wood. The two end pegs were fabricated from new wood because there was only one original and I wanted them to look alike ...

Hybrid Robot Flies, Creeps, and Leaps off Buildings

Hybrid Robot Flies, Creeps, and Leaps off Buildings - Airplanes and Rockets"The autonomous robot is based on the observation that both rotors and wheels spin. There is great potential in using both drones and ground-based robots for situations like disaster response, but generally these platforms either fly or creep along the ground. The flying sprawl-tuned autonomous robot (Flying STAR) does both through a mechanism based on the elementary observation that both rotors and wheels spin. The hybrid was created using high-powered, lightweight drone components. The result is a robot that can easily fly when it needs to, then land softly and by tilting the rotor arms downwards, direct that same motive force into four wheels ..."

USAF Basic Training, Flight 483, November 1978

USAF Basic Training - Kirt Blattenberger - Airplanes and RocketsNovember 9, 1978, a date which will live in infamy - for me, anyway. That was the day I left my comfortable, oblivious 20-year-old existence as an electrician in Mayo, Maryland, and boarded a Delta Airlines flight to San Antonio, Texas. About six months earlier I had signed up under the Delayed Enlistment program. I was on my way to becoming a fully trained and qualified Weather Equipment Specialist, a career field chosen based on my keen interest in weather phenomena, aviation, and aerospace (aka airplanes and rockets). The plan was to survive six weeks of Basic Training (BT) at Lackland Air Force Base and then go on to technical school at Chanute AFB in Illinois. My first assignment ...

Airbus 'Bird of Prey' Concept Seeks to Inspire

Airbus 'Bird of Prey' Concept Seeks to Inspire - RF Cafe"Airbus has revealed a new conceptual aircraft design known as 'Bird of Prey,' intended to inspire the next generation of aeronautical engineers. bird of prey (Credit: Airbus) The hybrid-electric turbo propeller plane takes design cues from eagles and falcons, featuring individually controlled feathers on the wings and tail for precision flight control. Its body also includes a blended wing to fuselage joint that mimics the sweeping aerodynamic arch of predatory birds. Unveiled at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, the aircraft's primary goal is to encourage young people into aerospace but also marks the 50th anniversary of Airbus ..."

Man Jumps onto Wing as Plane Prepares for Takeoff

Man Jumps onto Wing as Plane Prepares for Takeoff - Airplanes and Rockets"A man who climbed onto the wing of a plane as it prepared for takeoff at the airport in Nigeria's Lagos city has been arrested, authorities said. The man, who has not been identified, walked towards the aircraft on the runway and was spotted by the pilot, who slowed down and later turned off the engine as the man continued to wander around the aircraft, Azman Air said in a statement. He then jumped onto a wing of the plane and tried to access the cabin, the airline said. The pilot radioed the tarmac to report the incident, according to the airline. The incident happened Friday morning at the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed International airport in Lagos ..."

Important Facts About Balsa Wood, Sig Catalog

Important Facts About Balsa Wood, Sig Catalog - Airplanes and RocketsBalsa wood was a special thing to me as a kid. To me, it represented the essence of model airplanes and model rockets. At the time - the 1960s and 70s - plastic and foam as model components were considered a sign of cheapness, low quality, amateurishness. It was like having "Made in Japan" stamped on it. Now, of course, it's a different world where Japan is renowned for some of the highest quality electronics and cars and the plastic and foam ARFs represent some of the highest-performing aircraft at the flying field. I have owned a few of those foamies, but still, at least for my tastes, nothing beats the look, feel and aroma of balsa. Somehow the tell-tale surface texture of foam, even with a nice paint job, ruins the authenticity of an otherwise beautifully factory-finished scale F4-U Corsair or P-38 Lightning. Sorry, that's just the way it is. Sig Manufacturing was ...

Franky Zapata Flyboard

Franky Zapata Flyboard - Airplanes and Rockets"'Flying soldier' arrives at Bastille Day parade on an 118 mph Back to the Future-style hoverboard as Macron shows off France's military innovation in front of world leaders including Angela Merkel. A 'flying soldier' wowed crowds in Paris today when he arrived at France's Bastille Day parade on an 118 mph 'Back to the Future'-style hoverboard. Franky Zapata, 40, brandished an unloaded rifle as a he raced at high speed above world leaders including President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Then he landed comfortably on his so-called Flyboard, which he hopes to sell to the French military ..."

The Digital Decabulator

The Digital Decabulator, February 1966 RC Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsGenius takes on many forms, not the least of which is the ability to concoct and compose an [almost] believable a story describing in the utmost detail the technical workings of a complex mechanical gadget. Items such as a mizule wrench, meta-phasic shielding, blinker fluid, a left-handed screwdriver, and - one of my favorites - the muffler bearing, have been heard in comic routines... er... routinely. No matter how many times you hear them you always laugh again. Some are actually a portmanteau and just sound funny while others are completely made up. This Digital Decabulator article that appeared in a 1966 issue of R/C Modeler magazine is amazing; it pegs the B.S. detector from beginning to end ...

Oddisy Student Drone Launches from Portable Base

Oddisy Student Drone Launches from Portable Base - Airplanes and Rockets"Each year on the third week of April, seniors at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) present their Major Qualifying Projects (MQPs) to the WPI community and to the public. No classes take place this day, seniors dress in business clothing, and each team gives a 15-minute presentation. Some 20 teams from the WPI Robotics Department participated, showing their robots that fly, collect fish, sail, crawl, sort objects, and roll. One such project, the Oddisy Drone Dispatch System, has commercial potential in that the drone comes in a weather-protective box that opens and closes to allow takeoffs and landings while keeping the drone safe and dry ..."

FAA Announces New Supersonic Rulemaking

FAA Announces New Supersonic Rulemaking - Airplanes and Rockets"Today in remarks at an Innovation Panel before Paris Air Show attendees, FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell said the U.S. will ensure and enable safer and more innovative technologies to enter new aviation segments. As an example, Elwell announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that modifies and clarifies existing regulatory procedures to obtain FAA approval to test supersonic aircraft. The NPRM is a first, necessary milestone toward the reintroducing civil supersonic flight. 'The U.S. Department of Transportation and the FAA are committed toward the safe and environmentally-sound research and development of supersonic aircraft ..."

DOD Tweaks UAS Acquisition Strategies

DOD Tweaks UAS Acquisition Strategies - Airplanes and Rockets"The Defense Department is trying new acquisition strategies when it comes to unmanned aerial systems. Kevin Fahey, the assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, said his office is trying to steer DOD away from the habit of developing new technologies and training requirements at the same time. 'We, to a large extent, have done urgent requirements and not a lot of programs of record to think through how do you train, how do you equip, how do you do the techniques and procedures, and how do you operate' across the services, Fahey said during Defense One's June 27 Tech Summit. That's especially the case with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) ..."

Packard Bell Legend 406CD Desktop Computer

Packard Bell Legend 406CD Desktop Computer - Airplanes and RocketsBeing a lover of vintage electronics and aircraft modeling equipment, I had the bright idea that I would buy a vintage Packard Bell desktop computer like I had many moons ago and transplant the innards of my ASUS G750JX Republic of Gamers (RoG) notebook computer into it. After carefully measuring the notebook computer's outside dimensions and estimating the size of the various models of PB computers, I settled on a Packard Bell Legend 406CD and bought it from a guy on eBay. I wanted the type that actually sits on the desktop, with the monitor sitting on top of it. The computer arrived as advertised - dirty but in good mechanical condition, and cleanable. Having never opened the ASUS G750JX ...

Revell Visible 1/4th−Scale Visible V−8 Engine Kit

Revell Visible 1/4th−Scale Visible V−8 Engine Kit - Airplanes and RocketsRoughly fifty years after my first failed attempt at building a 1/4th−scale Visible V−8 Engine kit, I decided to buy another and try again. It is amazing that the kit is still produced (by Revell now, not the original by Renwal), especially given that very few of the old V-8s - the ones with points and condenser ignition, mechanical carburetor, belt-driven cooling fan, etc. - are running anymore. Many, unfortunately, were destroyed as part of the heinous Cash for Clunkers program in 2009 that served primarily to remove from service classic cars and trucks from U.S. manufactures ...but I digress. If memory serves me properly, back in the era by the time I had all the moving parts assembled and installed, none of them moved anymore ...

Drone Explode into Maple Seed Microdrones in Midair

Drone Explode into Maple Seed Microdrones in Midair - Airplanes and Rockets"As useful as conventional fixed-wing and quadrotor drones have become, they still tend to be relatively complicated, expensive machines that you really want to be able to use more than once. When a one-way trip is all that you have in mind, you want something simple, reliable, and cheap, and we've seen a bunch of different designs for drone gliders that more or less fulfill those criteria. For an even simpler gliding design, you want to minimize both airframe mass and control surfaces, and the maple tree provides some inspiration in the form of samara, those distinctive seed pods that whirl to the ground ..."

SpaceX Wins NASA Contract to Launch X-Ray Telescope

SpaceX Wins NASA Contract to Launch X-Ray Telescope - Airplanes and Rockets"NASA has selected a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket - flying with a reused first stage booster - to launch the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer mission from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in April 2021, bypassing Northrop Grumman's air-launched Pegasus rocket for the task. The $50.3M contract with SpaceX announced Monday covers 'the launch service and other mission-related costs,' NASA said in a press release. The value of the IXPE launch contract is one of the most concrete examples of SpaceX's progress in reducing launch costs by recovering and reusing first stage boosters. NASA awarded its most recent launch contract ..."

Control Line Leadout Wire Eyelet Assembly

"Two-Line Assembly" for Control Line Leadout Wire EyeletsFor as long as I can remember, the instructions for assembling eyelets to control line leadout wires has been the one depicted in the image to the right. It appears to be a copy of a copy of a copy of a scanned image from a printed version of the Academy of Model Aviation (AMA) rulebook. This particular rendition comes from the "Control Line General 2017-2018" publication from the AMA (Figure 3. Two-Line Construction, on page 8). Its simple presentation is fairly easy to follow, but actually accomplishing the feat can be a little tricky when using the multistrand steel leadout wire. I am no master of the task, but have constructed many leadout eyelet ends in my six decades. A pictorial representation of the process I use is given below ...

Airspeeder Drone Racing Series Launches at Goodwood

Airspeeder Drone Racing Series Launches at Goodwood - Airplanes and Rockets"Set to launch in 2020, Airspeeder will see 10 pilots from five teams face off in purpose-built flying vehicles capable of hitting speeds up to 200 km/h. Each quadcopter will be four meters long, weighing in the region of 250 kg. They will be propelled by eight 50 kW motors driving 60-inch blades, with power provided by swappable 500 kW battery packs that can provide full thrust for around 15 minutes. It's envisioned that races will mirror the early years of Formula E, with a single pit stop / battery swap enabling sprint-style ..."

Jetco E-Shark 15 C/L Airplane

Jetco E-Shark 15 C/L Airplane (electric-powered) - Airplanes and RocketsI have been wanting to build another Jetco Shark 15 control line model airplane for a long time and finally decided to take the dive into the project. Having sold all of my glow fuel engine support equipment (power panel, fuel pump, electric starter, etc.) in exchange for electric power equipment, it would be necessary to modify the airframe to accommodate a brushless outrunner motor, an electronic speed controller (ESC), a motor timer, and a LiPo battery. I dubbed it the "E-Shark 15." Without a whole lot of engineering calculations, I settled on one of the two ElectriFly Rimfire .10 motors I purchased to power my Douglas DC−3 / C−47 twin engine control line models. A 30 A ESC with a 3-cell (3S), 1300 mAH LiPo completed the package ...

Autonomous Aircraft Set for Automatic Landings

Autonomous Aircraft Set for Automatic Landings - Airplanes and Rockets"Unlike large commercial airports, smaller airstrips lack the infrastructure to ensure the safe navigation of aircraft for automatic landings. Now, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and TU Braunschweig say they have demonstrated a completely automatic landing with vision assisted navigation that functions properly without the need for ground-based systems. The research is detailed in the Journal of the Institute of Navigation. The team point out that large airports are equipped with an Instrument Landing System (ILS) which allows ..."

NASA X-59 QueSST Has 4K Display Instead of Front Window

NASA X-59 QueSST Has 4K Display Instead of Front Window - Airplanes and Rockets"The X-59 QueSST, a new supersonic demonstration aircraft that US-based aerospace firm Lockheed Martin is building for NASA that the agency hopes will reduce the ground-level intensity of sonic booms over land, has another interesting design feature besides the updated aerodynamics: it went with a 4k display in the front of the cockpit instead of a forward-facing window. Opting for a 4k instead of a window certainly seems like an unorthodox choice when it comes to the cockpit of a plane, but that's what Lockheed Martin has done with their new X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology, or QueSST, aircraft. NASA released an image of the cockpit of the X-59 QueSST that shows three displays at the front of the cockpit ..."

Sailplane Aero-Tow

Sailplane Aero-Tow, American Aircraft Modeler - Final Issue (March 1975) - Airplanes and RocketsAirplanes & Rockets website visitor David T. wrote asking about locating an article where the author reports on having initially tried aero−towing by a powered airplane with the tow line connected to the tail of the tow plane. I have never seen that method tried, and this article demonstrates why it is not commonplace. Disaster evidently resulted, so the author ended up connecting the tow line to the wing hold-down bolts and success ensued. This is the only aero-tow article I could find in the 1975 year range that David referenced, but it is not what he was looking for. If you know of an article that contains the experience he requested ...

Navy Orders Small UAVs with Persistent Surveillance Sensor

Navy Orders Small UAVs with Persistent Surveillance Sensor - Airplanes and Rockets"Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designers at Insitu Inc. in Bingen, WA, will build 34 ScanEagle small UAVs for the governments of Malaysia; Indonesia; the Philippines; and Vietnam under terms of a $47.9 million U.S. Navy order in late June. Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, MD, are asking Insitu to provide 12 ScanEagle UAVs for Malaysia; eight for Indonesia; eight for the Philippines; and six for Vietnam. Insitu also will provide spare sensor payloads, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools, training, technical services, and field service. Insitu is a subsidiary of the Boeing Co ..."

Guillow No. D4 Menasco Trainer Kit

Guillow No. D4 Menasco Trainer Kit - Airplanes and RocketsThe No. D4 Menasco Trainer kit was manufactured by the Paul K. Guillow Company beginning in the late 1930s. The date on the plans is 1939. It was given to me by Mr. Steven Krick from part of his very large collection of vintage model airplane kits. It might be one of the earliest surviving Guillow kits. The Menasco Trainer has a diminutive wingspan of just 7-9/16 inches. No box accompanied the kit parts. The only balsa provided was square strips die cut from 0.050" (3/64") sheet, and a block for the nose. The hardwood thrust button arrived broken into four pieces, so I carefully glued it back together. The remaining parts including wing ribs, curved tip pieces, fuselage formers (0.032" material), and even the propeller blades (0.012" material) are printed on stiff card stock ...


Sears Model 6305A 60 mm Equatorial Refactor Telescope

Sears Model 6305A 60 mm Equatorial Refactor Telescope - Airplanes and Rockets

AMA Historical Video Collection

AMA Historical Video Collection - Airplanes and Rockets



Free Flight Sensation: Bob Linn's B-70

Free Flight Sensation: Bob Linn's B-70 Article & Plans, May 1961 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsFree Flight Sensation: Bob Linn's B-70 Article & Plans May 1961 American Modeler
















Only Flying YL-15 Scout in the World

Only Flying YL-15 Scout in the World - Airplanes and Rockets"Nine years after the end of World War II, Keith Brunquist's father, Norm, took him out to an airstrip near their Anchorage, Alaska home and showed Keith, who was nearly three years old, a Boeing YL-15 Scout. Sixty-three years after his first glimpse of the odd little airplane, Keith landed the fully restored Scout at the world's biggest gathering of aircraft: the Experimental Aircraft Association's 2017 AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. By the time the show was over, the YL-15 was recognized as the grand champion for post-World War II warbirds. In addition, Keith's workmanship in restoring the Scout earned him a Gold Wrench award ..."

NTSB Offers Preliminary Information on B−17 Accident

NTSB Offers Preliminary Information on B-17 Accident - Airplanes and Rockets"As the Collings Foundation's crippled B−17, N93012, was approaching Runway 6 at Bradley Windsor Locks, Connecticut, a few weeks ago, the crew was already desperately pressed for altitude to try and align the World War II bomber with the runway for landing. Shortly after takeoff from Runway 6 just minutes before, the airplane never climbed above 500 feet AGL before it began a return to the field with a mechanical problem reported in the number four engine. By the time the airplane was on downwind, its altitude had dropped to 300 feet. During the turn from base to final, the Boeing continued losing altitude, eventually striking the airport approach lights 1,000 feet short of the hard surface ..."


















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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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Kirt Blattenberger
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