Back in the early to mid 1970s, I built a
Sterling Cirrus Sailplane kit. Shortly thereafter
I bought my first radio control system (a used 3-channel OS Digitron set), and in
a somewhat desperate attempt to fly an RC glider, actually managed to crammed two
of its huge servos, a huge metal-cased receiver, and a NiCad airborne battery pack
(the only part that has not gotten smaller in the intervening 40 years) into the
cockpit area. Although the cockpit was very spacious, the balsa frame construction
was way too weak to support a radio system, but that didn't stop me... well, not
right away anyway. The ready-to-fly weight was probably three times the recommended
12 ounce nominal. Although the Cirrus has a generous 87-5/16" wingspan, with it
25:1 aspect ratio, the root chord is only a little over 4" and the wingtip chord
is around 1"...
Website visitor Danny B. wrote to ask
that I scan and post this article and plans for the "Just Right"
(aka J.R.) pee wee size free flight model. It appeared in the November 1958 issue
of American Modeler magazine. J.R. is a simple built-up balsa airplane
with a 29" wingspan that uses a Cox Pee Wee .020 engine for power. As with
most other vintage models, the J.R. could fairly easily be converted to electric
power. I did not have the November 1958 issue, but fortunately there was a batch
of the entire year of 1958 on eBay, so I bought them. The Post Office gave itself
10 days to deliver a 2-Day Priority Mail package from two states away, and of course
blamed it on the Wuhan Virus. When they finally arrived, I discovered the seller
had mistakenly sent 1957...
An Airplanes and Rockets website visitor
asked me to make good on my offer to scan articles of interest to visitors - in
this case one from the 1973 edition of American Aircraft Modeler magazine.
Sam's Plastic Air Force," it details the ambitious project the military undertook
to provide visual aids to servicemen to help them identify enemy aircraft and, equally
as important, to identify friendly aircraft. This private collection of World War II
plastic identification airplane models is owned by the estate of a former Lt. Commander
in the U.S. Navy who was a Class of 1953 U.S. Naval Academy graduate...
Pentagon has announced that one of its offices has completed planned research and
development work on a number of
unmanned drone swarming technologies and has now turned them over to the U.S.
Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps to support various follow-on programs. The
systems in question are the Block 3 version of Raytheon's Coyote unmanned aircraft
and an associated launcher, a jam-resistant datalink, and a software package to
enable the aforementioned drones to operate as an autonomous swarm. These developments
give us a glimpse into what has been a fairly opaque, integrated development effort
to field lower-end swarming drones across the services that leverages common components.
All of these technologies were developed under the auspices of the LCCM effort,
led by the Pentagon's JCTD program office..."
Cal Smith's semi-scale control-line model
of the Duo-Mono
bi/monoplane is certainly an unusual-looking airplane that might make a good
subject for an electric power conversion. It is based on one of Maurice Henri Delanne's
designs featuring a larger primary wing and an offset smaller secondary wing. The
model shown here has a 31" span for the main wing and about 22½" of span for the
secondary wing. The fuselage is around 25¾" from tip of the spinner to back of the
rudder. A .30-size engine is used, yielding 70 mph flights at full bore. Construction
is standard balsa and plywood, with fully sheeted wings. Burt Rutan, a couple decades
later, was famous for his canard and dual-wing (not biplanes) designs such as the
very unique and popular Quickie.
"Last August, Microsoft released the latest
version of its
Simulator, extending the run of that franchise to 38 years and making it the
longest-running product line in Microsoft's history. Published by the technology
giant's Xbox Game Studios, the new Flight Simulator treats gamers to vastly greater
detail and texture in both environment and aircraft, far better lighting, and much
more realistic flight characteristics than in previous versions. The precise renderings
of all 20 airplanes (which include the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Cessna 172, and Beechcraft
B350) and the particulars of individual airports are stunning. Aircraft cockpits
are functional down to the position of almost every switch. Air traffic (both actual
and that of other users) is reproduced in real time, as is the weather..."
"Future lunar landers might come equipped
3D printed rocket engine parts that help bring down overall manufacturing costs
and reduce production time. NASA is investing in advanced manufacturing - one of
five industries of the future - to make it possible. Through a series of hot-fire
tests in November, NASA demonstrated that two additively manufactured engine components
- a copper alloy combustion chamber and nozzle made of a high-strength hydrogen
resistant alloy - could withstand the same extreme combustion environments that
traditionally manufactured metal structures experience in flight..."
Problem with Mylan Pharmaceuticals' Estradiol Dosage
Website visitor Doug W. wrote to ask that
I scan and post this article on Dave Platt's familiar
Contender. It mentions
at the end of the article that Top Flite would soon be kitting the Contender, which
indeed it did. The man down the street from me when I was a kid flew radio controlled
models and he had a Contender (early 1970s). It was covered in yellow and light
blue MonoKote - kind of a strange color scheme. When he crashed it beyond repair,
he gave me the carcass. That was a treasure to me at about 13-14 years old. It was
the closest I had ever come to owning an R/C airplane. Occasionally, American Aircraft
Modeler magazine printed plans in blueprint format, which is very difficult to use
as a model building plan. They definitely do not convert well to graphical format...
"Researchers have published a study revealing
their successful approach to designing much
propellers. The team used machine learning to design their propellers, then
3D printed several of the most promising prototypes for experimental acoustic testing
at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's specialised
'echo-free' chamber. Results now published in Aerospace Research Central show the
prototypes produced around 15dB less noise than commercially available propellers,
validating the team's design methodology. RMIT University aerospace engineer and
"NASA is set to start high-voltage functional
ground testing of the agency's first all-electric X-plane, the
X-57 Maxwell, which will perform flights to help develop certification standards
for emerging electric aircraft. NASA is also supporting these new electric aircraft
by developing quiet, efficient, reliable technology these vehicles will need in
routine use. Testing is expected to start with low power, checking the startup and
shutdown sequences and verifying that the new motor control software boots up and
controls the motors as expected. The first pair of electric cruise motors to fly
on the X-57 will be powered up and activated, allowing engineers to ensure that
the vehicle's propellers spin as designed..."
"World War II is one of the most documented
conflicts in history. Millions of photographs and miles of motion-picture film stock
provide a rich visual record of its brutal violence and celebrate its martial purpose.
Color photography, though not new, had only just become widely available when
the war began in 1939. Color images of the war are not hard to come by, but they
are considerably rarer than black-and-white images. As the lived experience of World
War II fades - because of the passing of those who participated in it and
of those who observed it from the home front - the use of original color imagery
provides a sense of immediacy for younger generations, for whom the war is often
a vague and distant event from the last century. As part of the National Air and
Space Museum's ongoing renovation, which includes creating new exhibits in our flagship
location on the National Mall in Washington, D.C..."
TV Guide crossword puzzles
were always my mother's favorite Sunday evening pastime. It's not that she couldn't
handle the New York Times' notoriously challenging crossword, it's just that The
Evening Capital newspaper didn't have a Sunday edition so we didn't get
the puzzle. My father worked as the classified advertising manager at The Evening
Capital so we received a free subscription tot he paper. This particular crossword
puzzle appeared in the edition of TV Guide that featured the first-ever
airing of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" which I bought on eBay, so I figured I might
as well scan and post it. Enjoy! Back in the day I was not an avid crossword puzzler,
but I am now a daily worker of crossword puzzles and once a week I even create a
custom crossword for visitors of my RF Cafe engineering website...
autumn I used to anxiously await the appearance of the newest edition of
The Old Farmer's Almanac on the store shelf, and such was the case with this
1981 issue. It is not that I was/am an avid farmer, just that I enjoy reading the
anecdotes, tales, and interesting historical tidbits included amongst the pages
along with tables of high and low tides, moon and sun rising and setting times,
astronomical events, and weather patterns expected for the year that lay ahead.
Most of all, I liked working the puzzles and riddles. Over the years the difficulty
levels gradually got lower and lower (aka dumbed down), to the point where for the
last decade or so I have not even bothered buying the OFA. Now it is full of numbnut