This full-page advertisement for
Sabre 44 control line "gas" model appeared in the January 1955 issue of Model
Airplane News. Ready-to-fly "gas" models were just entering the market at the time.
The "All Plastic" model preceded Cox's popular line of ready-to-fly plastic control
line models. Whereas the Cox models used their own line of .049 and .020 glow fuel
engines, Comet used the 1/2A-Herkimer 049B engine. The $9.95 price tag in 1995 is
the equivalent of $101.25 today, which is really about what such a model with engine
would cost now if anyone made such a product (which they don't)...
Here are the plans and article for Charles
P-40 Warhawk control line stunt model as they appeared in a 1963 issue of American
Modeler magazine. It sports a 38" wingspan and is powered by an inverted-mounted
Fox .35 Stunt engine fed by a modified Veco 3.5 ounce fuel tank. There was
an effort in the era to have competition stunt models resemble real-life airplanes,
even though exaggeration of fuselage, wing, and tail surfaces were required to facilitate
stunting. As is evidenced by today's top control line stunt models, the fad gave
way to structures designed specifically for accommodating the needs of flight. Even
full-size aircraft design moves in that direction over time, where traditional features
and methods give way to modern technology and materials. Compare the look of a production
composite frame general aviation airplane from Diamond Aircraft or Cirrus Aircraft...
"A photographer takes us on a spooky tour
of abandoned aircraft. We can't help being tantalized by the sight of derelict airplanes.
Their mere presence represents a mystery, a backstory of abandonment we yearn to
hear. Award-winning Russian photographer Dmitry Osadchy knows that well, and uses
his drone cameras to take us on a world tour of
aviation's ghostships. Some of the airplanes rest alone in barren landscapes,
like the F104 Starfighter pictured above, on an abandoned airfield near Crete. Others
are clustered together in mass graves. Either way, they all possess a strange, forlorn
beauty. Here's a selection of Osadchy's imagery..."
Airplanes and Rockets website visitor Peter W.
wrote to ask that I scan and post this "'The Langely'
Mulvihill Winner" article that appeared in the July 1962 issue of American Modeler
magazine. Designer and flyer Frank Parmenter wrote the article. Per the Academy
of Model Aeronautics website on the history of the Mulvihill free flight competitions:
"Major Bernard Mulvihill, born June 8, 1890, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was a
full-scale and model aviation enthusiast at the beginning of the era of flight.
In the model aviation world, Mulvihill was a member of the Aero Club of America
and served as president of the local Aero Club of Pittsburgh. He helped the Pittsburgh
club negotiate permission to fly at the nearby Government Aerial Field. Mulvihill
saw the value in encouraging youth to build models...
""It uses elytra, a
beetle-inspired set of wings, to self-right itself. When life knocks you down,
you've got to get back up. Ladybugs take this advice seriously in the most literal
sense. If caught on their backs, the insects are able to use their tough exterior
wings, called elytra (of late made famous in the game Minecraft), to self-right
themselves in just a fraction of a second. Inspired by this approach, researchers
have created self-righting drones with artificial elytra. Simulations and experiments
show that the artificial elytra can not only help salvage fixed-wing drones from
compromising positions, but also improve the aerodynamics of the vehicles during
flight. The results are described..."
While not specifically drawn as plans for
building a model of the
Air Camper, all the detail and dimensions necessary for scaling to any size
is possible using these sketches which appeared in the March 1961 issue of American
Modeler magazine. The "Piet" has been as popular a subject for modeling as is was
and still is for building full-size aircraft. Originally designed in 1930 by Bernard
Pietenpol, the craft borrowed many of its metal parts from Ford automobiles, including
the engine and suspension spring for a tail skid. Aircraft Spruce & Specialty
Company still sells Sitka spruce wood kits for the full-size Pietenpol Air Camper;
the total as of this writing is less than $4,000. You can be sure the information
contained in this article is trustworthy because it was authored by Mr. Pietenpol
advertisement appeared in the November 1946 issue of Air Trails magazine.
The name is unfamiliar to me. The company claims to have the first jet-propelled
models, which use their brand of "Rocket Units" that use "no fire," "no chemicals,"
and are "absolutely harmless." It was obviously not some form of the Jetex rocket
engine since they did not enter the marketplace until 1958. According to the Model-Plans.co.uk.com
website, which has good info on the Ray Models kits, the "Rocket Unit" was a CO2
cartridge that get punctured at launch. The Jetex.org website has a mention of the
Ray Jet−Racer, describing the launch method, and another page on CO2-powered
jet models. On rare occasion one of the Ray Models kits will appear on eBay...
Here is a big part of the reason the FAA
is punishing R/C hobbyists with draconian rules and regulations. Thank a druggie
near you. "Drug cartels attack enemies and spread terror with
weaponized drones in U.S. Mexican police were clearing blockades placed by organized
crime groups in El Aguaje, a western Mexico town that has become a battleground
for drug cartels. Suddenly, authorities said, a drone flew over, dropping a gunpowder
bomb and wounding two members of the Michoacán state police force in the arms and
It seems most every old time rubber-powered
free flight model has been converted by someone to electric-powered radio control.
The availability of motors and R/C airborne systems weighing in the grams - or fraction
thereof - is making R/C flight for even the tiniest models possible. It would be
interesting to see somebody convert these
which appeared in the April 1962 issue of American Modeler magazine, to
at least single-channel R/C using one of the nano-size radio systems available today.
Heck, there's probably a way to even mount a camera to a model this small these
Plans with minimum instructions for the
Miss Max free
flight model were published the July 1961 issue of American Modeler magazine.
Bryant A. Thompson (AMA 2697 - USAF Team Member), of Wichita Fall, Texas, placed
third in the Open Clipper event at the 1960 Dallas Nationals using his Miss Max
cargo design. It lifted 40−½ ounces. The "300" ½A Free Flight and Clipper Cargo
versions are both shown in the plans. Scaling factors for "300" (Class ½A), "450"
(Class A), and "900" (Class B) model sizes are provided. A Cox Pee Wee .020 is drawn
on the plans for the Cargo Clipper version. In the top view, note that the wing
is shown "flattened" (without polyhedral). "Flat span" dimensions are what appear
in the table.
If you didn't know that the famous
Head engine was made by a firm named Duro-Matic Products Company, you're not
alone. Duro-Matic made a lot of models and accessories in its early days, including
tethered model cars, engines for airplanes, boats and cars. According to an article
on The Internet Craftsmanship Museum website: "Starting in the late 1930's, Dick
[McCoy] produced about 35 race car engines on his own before having them made by
Duro-Matic Products Co. in Hollywood starting in 1945. From 1953 to 1956 the engines
were made by McCoy Products Co. in Culver City before turning production over to
Testors in April, 1956." Accordingly, this advertisement in a 1946 issue of
Air Trails magazine appeared not long after Duro-Matic Products Co. began making
the McCoy engines...
Per Merriam-Webster, the word "quiz" as a
noun means: 1) an eccentric person, 2: a practical joke, or 3: the act or action
of quizzing specifically - a short oral or written test. As a verb it means: 1)
to make fun of - mock, 2) to look at inquisitively, or 3) to question closely. Since
this "Quiz on Aeronautical Engineering Education" from a 1946 issue of Air Trails
magazine is directed toward the reader, its content does not seem to meet any of
the definitions. It can only really be called a "quiz" if it is directed toward
Northrop Aeronautical Institute, which it is. It is clearly a case of the reader
asking the questions, not the reader being quizzed on his aeronautical knowledge.
I point this out only because it seems like a deceptive technique for grabbing the
reader's attention by implying a test of technical prowess - in which the kind of
people who read this sort of magazine typically love to participate. Instead, it
is merely an advertisement...
"These engines will allow upper stage rockets
for space missions to become lighter, travel farther, and burn more cleanly. Researchers
have developed a rocket propulsion system, known as a
rotating detonation rocket engine, that will allow upper stage rockets for space
missions to become lighter, travel farther, and burn more cleanly. Rotating detonations
are continuous, Mach 5 explosions that rotate around the inside of a rocket engine.
The explosions are sustained by feeding hydrogen and oxygen propellant into the
system at just the right amounts. This system improves rocket engine efficiency..."
Website visitor Eduardo wrote to ask that
I scan and post this construction article for the
Bonanza Debonair. It appeared in the July 1971 issue of American Aircraft
Modeler magazine. I am glad to do so for anyone, at no charge, as time permits.
Usually, I am able to get requests completed within a couple days. If plans are
still available through the AMA Plans Service, then only lower resolution versions
are posted (typically 1500 pixels wide) in order to not cheat the AMA out of needed
revenue. Besides, there are distortions in the scaled-up magazine version that would
not be present in the AMA's reproductions from the originals. The AMA Plans Service
will provide a version of the plans at a size different from the original, so, for
instance, if you want a 48" wingspan rather than 60" like the one featured...
This article for the rubber-powered free
flight Penni Helicopter,
by John Burkam and Gene Rock, was scanned from my purchased copy of the January
1970 American Aircraft Modeler magazine. The Penni Helicopter is fairly unique in
that it has a functional tail rotor to counter the main rotor torque rather than
just a big flat vertical surface. It also features a flybar on the rotor head to
help stabilize flight. Main rotor span is 16 inches. Because the plans spanned two
pages, I had to adjust the size and alignment a bit to get halves to line up properly.
The AMA Plans Service does not carry the Penni Helicopter, so if you need a larger
version, e-mail me and I will send you a 4.5 x 3.0 kpixel version. You should be
able to scale up the image below, though...
Control Line Flying Scale" article in the 1960 Annual Edition of Air Trails
magazine is still a good primer on how to go about getting into scale flying model
competition. Some of the contest rules have changed over the decades since, but
the basics are the same. The table of model sizes and engines might need to be adjusted
for electric powered models, but in the scale world there are still many modelers
who use internal combustion engines - especially in the large airplanes. A quietly
humming motor does not give quite the same real-world affect as a screaming engine.
Even with all the research going into full-scale electric aircraft, we're still
many moons away from have a viable military fighter, transport, or commercial commuter.
The drawing is by the famous Cal Smith (as is the cover image), but the text of
the article is not attributed to any named author...