Home Page Archive (page 13)

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.

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USGS Releases 1st-ever Geologic Map of Moon

USGS Releases 1st-ever Geologic Map of Moon - RF Cafe"The USGS released a map of the moon which answers the question about the composition of the moon surface. The new map explains the 4.5-billion-year-old history of our neighbour in space. Scientists from the USGS Astrogeology Science Center collaborated with NASA and the Lunar Planetary Institute to map the entire lunar surface. The map - called the 'Unified Geologic Map of the Moon' was created using six other maps drafted during NASA's Apollo lunar missions and fused with the recent data from satellite missions. It could serve as a reference point for lunar science studies and future manned-missions to the Moon and could be an invaluable addition for the science community world wide..."

NASA Working with Tom Cruise on Movie on International Space Station

NASA Working with Tom Cruise on Movie on International Space Station - RF CafeTom Cruise has been one of my favorite actors ever since "Top Gun." He is one of the few that do their own stunts, and he is a real-life pilot and even owns a P−51 Mustang.  "NASA said Tuesday it is working with Tom Cruise to film a movie on the International Space Station, but details on the arrangements are scarce. The news that Cruise was in talks with to shoot an action-adventure film on the space station was first reported Monday by Deadline, which said the actor is working with SpaceX on the project. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted Tuesday that the agency is 'excited to work Tom Cruise on a film aboard the space station. We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make NASA's ambitious plans a reality.' Cruise, the 57-year-old star of Top Gun and the 'Mission: Impossible' film franchise, has performed daring stunts before. NASA did not confirm Tuesday whether Cruise would himself fly to the space station as part of the film. SpaceX has not confirmed its role in the film project, but Cruise could fly to the space station on the company's Crew Dragon spaceship..." Hopefully, China won't be involved and be able to force the exclusion of a Taiwan patch from Cruise's uniform as in "Top Gun: Maverick."

Bob Brown, AMA President Emeritus, Has Passed Away

Bob Brown, AMA President Emeritus, Has Passed Away - Airplanes and Rockets"Bob Brown, AMA's most recent president emeritus, has passed away after a brief illness. Bob, 75, a member of the AMA Model Aviation Hall of Fame, served two terms as AMA president from 2012 through 2016. He died May 14 in his home state of Pennsylvania. Bob had been a member of the Southern Tier Aero Radio Society (STARS) club in western New York. In his later years, he became interested in multirotor racing and how to make it part of the aeromodeling hobby. He enjoyed attending the MultiGP International Open and many other events held at the International Aeromodeling Center. AMA wants to thank Bob for his tireless efforts in advocating for the hobby that he loved and for his contributions to model aviation." RIP, AMA #100!

The Boom in R/C Boats

The Boom in R/C Boats, June 1955 Popular Electronics - Airplanes and RocketsThis article entitled "The Boom in R/C Boats" appeared in the June 1955 edition of Popular Electronics magazine which, during the early years of its existence devoted quite a bit of print space to radio control airplanes, boats and cars. As with all things electronics, a huge surge in consumer interest was occurring with over-the-air communications. Bill (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...

NASA Nanosat Swarm to Probe Solar Eruption Source

NASA Nanosat Swarm to Probe Solar Eruption Source - RF Cafe"NASA has selected a mission to dispatch six CubeSats, each the size of a toaster oven, to an orbit more than 20,000 miles from Earth to study massive particle ejections from the sun. The Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment, or SunRISE, mission will launch no later than July 1, 2023, after its selection by NASA as a mission of opportunity under the agency's Explorers program. SunRISE will consist of six CubeSats flying as close as 6 miles (10 kilometers) from each other. The nanosatellites will together act as a giant radio telescope, detecting low-frequency emissions from solar activity and downlinking the measurements through NASA's Deep Space Network. Data gathered by the SunRISE CubeSats will tell scientists about the source of coronal mass ejections, which launch huge bubbles of gas and magnetic fields from the sun. Employing a constellation of small satellites will allow researchers..."

Intuitive Machines Announces 2021 Moon Mission

Intuitive Machines Announces 2021 Moon Mission - RF Cafe"Intuitive Machines, under contract to carry NASA science instruments to the moon on a privately-developed robotic spacecraft, said this week its first commercial lunar mission will target landing in October 2021 near a deep, narrow valley named Vallis Schröteri. The startup company, based in Houston, announced Monday the landing site for its first lunar landing mission. Vallis Schröteri is located in on the upper left part of the moon's near side, as viewed from the northern hemisphere on Earth. Scientists think the channel-like valley, or rille, has volcanic origins. The rille, also known as Schröter's Valley, likely formed from a collapsed volcanic lava tube..."

Flyin' Jenny Comic Strips: January 23, 1944 Baltimore Morning Sun

Flyin' Jenny Comic Strips: January 23, 1944 Baltimore Morning Sun - Airplanes and RocketsThis is the Sunday, January 23, 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 who divided her time between wringing out new airplane designs and chasing bad guys. She was the creation of artist and storyteller Russell Keaton. All I have are the Sunday editions, but it was a daily strip as well. From the time of the Wright Brothers' successful flights at Kill Devil Hill, Americans have been in love with aviation. In the early days, access to flight was limited to those with know-how and access...

SpaceX Loses 3rd Starship Prototype

SpaceX Loses 3rd Starship Prototype - RF Cafe"A prototype for SpaceX's Starship space vehicle collapsed during pressure testing early Friday at the company's facility in South Texas - the program's third failure during such testing since November - but assembly of a new version is already underway. The stainless steel cylinder appeared to rupture near its top after filling with super-cold liquid nitrogen overnight at SpaceX's launch site at Boca Chica, Texas. Elon Musk, SpaceX's founder and CEO, tweeted early Friday that the accident may have been the result of a 'test configuration mistake.' The Starship the upper stage of of SpaceX's next-generation launch and space transportation system. Coupled with a massive booster named the Super Heavy, the Starship could haul more than 100 metric tons, or 220,000 pounds, of cargo to low Earth orbit, according to SpaceX..."

World's Largest Plane Takes to the Skies Once Again

World's Largest Plane Takes to the Skies Once Again - Airplanes and Rockets"The massive Antonov AN-225 cargo airplane is up in the air after a long stint on the ground. Aviation enthusiasts will be delighted to hear the news that the world's largest cargo airplane to ever grace our skies is back. The Antonov AN-225 was tracked by Flightradar24 on Wednesday as it flew out of its hub at Antonov Airport in Kiev, Ukraine. After 18 months on the ground without so much as a peep by the airline in the meantime, the AN-225 took off and flew over rural areas for two hours, before landing back down. After the monstrous AN-225 became grounded in October 2018 as part of its maintenance and upgrade program, no further information on its improvements..."

Combat King Article & Plans

Combat King Article & Plans, June 1959 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThe name Frank Ehling was big in control line circles (pun intended) back in the middle of the last century. He was a very active modeler in free flight, control line, and radio control for that matter, and was the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) technical director for a while. Frank was a prolific and accomplished airplane designer, plans draftsman, flyer, and competitor. This article and plans for his "Combat King" control line combat model appeared in the June 1959 issue of American Modeler magazine. It is a flying wing design with a 37" wingspan and is meant to powered with a .29 to .35 size engine. As with most of the vintage model designs, it would easily be converted to electric power and be competitive. Construction materials are standard balsa and plywood.

Lunar Crater Radio Telescope

Lunar Crater Radio Telescope - RF CafeHere is an interesting idea from the world of astronomy - a Lunar Crater Radio Telescope. RF Cafe visitor Alan Dewey sent me this article on plans to build a 1 km diameter radio telescope, operating in the 5 to 100 m wavelength band, in a crater on the far side of the moon. That will facilitate blocking of Earth-origin radio emissions from the telescope's super-sensitive receiver. Unlike the 60-year-old 1,000 meter Arecibo Observatory radio telescope, the moon-base instrument will sweep a much larger area of the sky and at a greater frequency than its Earth-based relative. "An ultra-long-wavelength radio telescope on the far-side of the Moon has tremendous advantages compared to Earth-based and Earth-orbiting telescopes, including: (i) Such a telescope can observe the universe at wavelengths greater than 10 m (i.e., frequencies below 30 MHz), which are reflected by the Earth's ionosphere and are hitherto largely unexplored by humans..."

Control Line Capers

Control Line Capers, July 1961 American Modeler - Airplanes and Rockets"Wild Bill" Netzeband taught me a new word in his July 1916 "Control Line Capers" column in American Modeler magazine - taciturn. It means temperamentally disinclined to talk according to Merriam-Webster. Not stopping there, he uses the word "loquacious," meaning full of excessive talk. Not normally given to the use of such highbrow language - at least in his columns - methinks perhaps Wild Bill referenced a copy of Roget's Thesaurus for this month's piece. His writing style is both elucidative and jocose (two can play this game). The AYSC held at Willow Grove NAS, is mentioned; it stands for Air Youth State Competition. The monoline versus dual line debate in control line speed was a fairly new issue in 1961, and it is still "up in the air" so to speak today. Preferences dictate in the end...

How Radio-Control Systems Work

How Radio-Control Systems Work, May 1974 Popular Electronics - RF CafeRadio control (R/C) systems operating in the 2.4 GHz ISM band, using one of or a combination of frequency hopping and direct sequence spread spectrum scheme, have been in widespread use since the early 2000s. As with any new technology, there was a lot of reluctance to adoption of the systems based on a few reports (valid or not) of performance issues - primarily lack of control range where communications between the transmitter (Tx) and receiver (Rx) with a pilot and aircraft was lost and a crash ensued. Tx power was already at the FCC-mandated maximum, so manufacturers quickly improved receivers by adding diversity with a second Rx antenna. The receiver microprocessor continuously monitors signal integrity from both antennas and uses the best one. It is the same scheme that was already being used by WiFi routers also operating at 2.4 GHz...

Douglas XF4D-1 Skyray

Douglas XF4D-1 Skyray, July 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsHere is yet another of Walter M. Jefferies, Jr.'s inked masterpieces as it appeared in the July 1954 issue of Air Trails - Hobbies for Young Men magazine. This 4-view drawing of the experimental Douglas XF4D−1 Skyray reveals many details of airframe components, fuselage cross-sections, and panel lines. Per Wikipedia: The Douglas F4D Skyray (later redesignated F-6 Skyray) is an American carrier-based fighter/interceptor built by the Douglas Aircraft Company. Although it was in service for a relatively short time (1956–1964) and never entered combat, it was the first carrier-launched aircraft to hold the world's absolute speed record, at 752.943 mph, and was the first United States Navy and United States Marine Corps fighter that could exceed Mach 1 in level flight. It was the last fighter produced by the Douglas Aircraft Company before...

UPS Partners with Wingcopter to Develop Delivery Drones

UPS Partners with Wingcopter to Develop Delivery Drones - Airplanes and Rockets"UPS Flight Forward, a subsidiary of the logistics company, has partnered up with Wingcopter, a German drone-making startup to create a fleet of multipurpose delivery drones in the U.S. and globally. UPS selected Wingcopter as its partner given the company's impressive unmanned aircraft technology and great track record of delivering goods over long distances to remote places. 'Our collaboration with Wingcopter helps pave the way for us to start drone delivery service in new use-cases. UPS Flight Forward is building a network of technology partners to broaden our unique capability to serve customers and extend our leadership in drone delivery,' said Bala Ganesh, vice president of the UPS Advanced Technology Group..."

Graupner Weltmeister Cirrus R/C Sailplane Kit

Graupner Weltmeister Cirrus R/C Sailplane Kit - Airplanes and RocketsPeople are paying amazing prices for a piece of model aviation history. This 1968 era Graupner Weltmeister Cirrus sailplane kit recently sold at auction on eBay for $2,500. You might think for that price the seller would pick up the shipping cost, but evidently not. According the the BLS Inflation Calculator, that $2,500 in 2020 money is the equivalent of $505 in 1968. The Graupner Weltmeister Cirrus (kit #4229) has a wingspan of 3000 mm (3 meters). The box states, "True-to-scale R/C soarer for tow launching, slope soaring and conversion to powered glider. Accommodates multi-channel or proportional R/C equipment with 2 - 6 channels for rudder, elevator and aileron control. Wingspan is 118 1/8" " The fuselage appears to be constructed of four sections of molded ABS plastic. My guess is that packet of " A look at the kit contents shows lots of metal parts, including an aluminum main former for the power pod assembly. Lots of balsa and hardwood parts are required for the big wing and empennage components...

Pentagon Tests Hypersonic Glide Body

Pentagon Tests Hypersonic Glide Body - Airplanes and Rockets"The Army and Navy, under supervision of the Missile Defense Agency, jointly tested a hypersonic glide body at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii this week, according to the Department of Defense. According to the Pentagon, the MDA monitored and gathered tracking data from the flight experiment that will inform its ongoing development of systems designed to defend against adversary hypersonic systems. The experiment - and future tests like it - is intended to inform the DoD's goal of fielding hypersonic capabilities within the next few years. Hypersonic weapons can fly at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound..."

Andrews Aircraft Model Company (AAMCo) H−Ray Kit

AAMCo Andrews Aircraft Models H-Ray - Airplanes and RocketsThe Andrews Aircraft Model Company (AAMCo) produced a radio control airplane, the H−Ray, that was my first successful RC model. An advertisement from a 1964 edition of RC Modeler includes both the H-Ray (high wing) and the S−Ray (shoulder wing). I'm pretty sure that I put an OS .20 R/C engine in it - probably the only one I had at the time. Advertisement for the OS Digital 3-channel radio control system I bought second-hand from a man down the street from where I lived as a teenager. I paid him $100 for it sometime around 1974 or so. That is the equivalent of $532 in 2020 dollars according to the BLS's Inflation Calculator. My second-hand OS Digital 3-channel radio control system was installed in it, which is why I can still vividly remember running after it with the transmitter held high above my head trying to regain control after it ran out of range. My H-Ray spent a night in a corn field out at the original PGRC club in along Route 301 in southern Maryland because of it. The range with that OS digital system was about 600 feet under ideal conditions...

The Man Who's Flown Everything

The Man Who's Flown Everything - Airplanes and Rockets"Robert 'Hoot' Gibson's priorities: (1) Fly. (2) Fly some more. An hour before the doors of the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center opened to visitors, the vast, multi-level space was filled with a theatrical pre-curtain hush. Only a few docents were here, getting reacquainted with the 170-some air- and spacecraft on display, machines that had made some of the most important history of the last hundred years. The docents were there to tell their stories. So was the man I'd traveled to Chantilly, Virginia, to meet: Robert 'Hoot' Gibson. Hoot (the nickname originated with cowboy movie star Edmund 'Hoot' Gibson) knew many of these flying machines personally. From light piston aircraft to thundering World War II fighters to supersonic jets to the space shuttle, Gibson had flown them - 111 types so far..."

Spartan School of Aeronautics Advertisement

Spartan School of Aeronautics Advertisement, December 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsNowadays know as Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology, the Spartan School of Aeronautics was founded in 1928 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by oil magnate William G. Skelly. Skelly believed air transportation was the way of the future and to be successful would require skilled aircraft technicians and pilots. Spartan claims to have trained more than 100,000 technicians and pilots for careers in the aeronautics industry. They now have branches in Denver, Colorado, and Los Angeles and Inland Empire, California. The Spartan Black Cat logo, which includes the number 13, and the slogan "Knowledge and Skill Overcome Superstition and Luck," was the original insignia of the Spartan College Dawn Patrol. The fact that Spartan School of Aeronautics began only a year before of the stock market crash of 1929 and survived the ensuing decade-long Great Depression and Dust Bowl years is a testament to its tenacity. This advertisement appeared in a 1954 issue of Air Trails - Hobbies for Young Men magazine...

Critical Test for NASA's Monster Rocket

Critical Test for NASA's Monster Rocket - Airplanes and Rockets"Facing immense challenges, the agency bulls ahead with its Space Launch System. From a test-stand catwalk almost 300 feet above the ground at NASA's Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi, Maury Vander and I take in a view of the 14,000-acre rocket propulsion test complex, its 200-square-mile acoustical buffer zone, and distant New Orleans. Vander, who started at Stennis in 1989 after graduating from the University of New Orleans with a degree in mechanical engineering, is the chief of test operations for the approaching Green Run, a long-awaited test that will certify for flight the core of a rocket that has been in development for a decade..."

Bob Violett, October 30, 1941 - March 21, 2020

R.I.P. Bob Violett - Airplanes and RocketsAn icon of the radio control model airplane sport, Bob Violett passed away on March 21st. He first made his mark on model aviation in the 1970s as a champion R/C pylon contender. Bob later revolutionized the R/C EDF and turbine jet world with his first-of-their-kind kits produced by BVM Jets. "U.S. Navy jet carrier pilot flying the F-8 Crusader and the A-4 Skyhawk during the Vietnam War. Bob was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Gold and Silver Stars, Navy Commendation Medal with Gold Star, National Defense Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, Bob started a career as a commercial Airplane Pilot for Eastern Airlines. In 1981 Bob merged his long-time love for model airplanes into a new business venture BVM Jets." I first saw Bob in action at the PGRC club flying field in the mid-1970s and at club meetings. Here is a tribute to Bob Violett by Model Airplane News magazine, and another from the Dignity Memorial. R.I.P.

AAMCo Andrews MiniMaster Kit

AAMCo Andrews MiniMaster Kit - Airplanes and RocketsWhen I was a teenager living in Holly Hill Harbor, Maryland, a man down the road from me was an avid R/C modeler and had a carport chock full of airplanes, engines, radio systems, and assorted modeling tools and accessories. I've mentioned him before; I bought my 3-channel OS Digitron DP-3 radio system from him for a cool $100 (earned from my paper route and cutting grass). He was kind enough to give my flying buddy, Jerry Flynn, and me a couple pieces of his excess inventory. A broken but repairable Andrews MiniMaster was handed to me one day, which was a real thrill for me in the day. I fixed what needed fixing and installed my 3-channel radio in it. Although the MiniMaster is a full house (4-channel) ship...

Unmanned Solar Aircraft Competes with Satellites and Drones

Unmanned Solar Aircraft Competes with Satellites and Drones - Airplanes and Rockets"BAE Systems' new plane has the potential to fly without landing for a year, and can maintain its position over a specific point for monitoring purposes. At 35 meters, the wingspan of the new BAE Systems aircraft equals that of a Boeing 737, yet the plane weighs in at just 150 kilograms, including a 15 kg payload. The unmanned plane, dubbed the PHASA-35 (Persistent High-Altitude Solar Aircraft), made its maiden voyage on 10 February at the Royal Australian Air Force Woomera Test Range in South Australia. 'It flew for just under an hour - enough time to successfully test its aerodynamics, autopilot system, and maneuverability,' says Phil Varty, business development leader of emerging products at BAE Systems. 'We'd previously tested..."

Monokote Sealing Iron Handle Repair

Monokote Sealing Iron Handle Repair - Airplanes and RocketsMy original Top Flite Monokote Sealing Iron, purchased in the mid-1970s, lasted until the late 1990s, when the heating element burned out. A quarter century of use was not too bad. To replace it, I bought a Tower Hobbies iron, and the first time I used it the handle started to bend where it transitions from a hollow round shape to a flat shape. The metal was noticeably softer than the Top Flite handle, which never even hinted at bending. For two decades I have had to be very careful not to press too hard on the iron lest it bend. After many times of bending and straightening the handle, a major stress crack had formed, and it was pretty evident that the handle would not last much longer. I would either need to buy a new Monokote sealing iron, which in all likelihood would be equally cheaply built since Top Flite does not make them anymore, or come up with some kind or repair for this one...

AAMCo Andrews Aeromaster Too Biplane Kit

AAMCo Andrews Aeromaster Too Biplane Kit - Airplanes and RocketsWhile I never had the pleasure of owning an AAMCo Lou Andrews Aeromaster Too biplane, it was one of the many kits I though someday I would build. After 61 years of existence, there still is no Aeromaster Too kit in my collection, and at this point likely never will be. The Aeromaster Too was a four-channel ("full-house" as it was known back in the day) aerobatic biplane with a 48" wingspan for .45 to .61 in3 displacement glow fuel engines. It used balsa, plywood, and hardwood construction along with music wire components for the landing gear and cabane struts. The photos presented here were downloaded from multiple Aeromaster Too kits listed on eBay. They typically sell in the $125 to $200 price range, which is very comparable to what a new kit of similar size and complexity would sell for today...

Simple, Fuel-Efficient Rocket Engine for Cheaper, Lighter Spacecraft

Simple, Fuel-Efficient Rocket Engine for Cheaper, Lighter Spacecraft - Airplanes and Rockets"It takes a lot of fuel to launch something into space. Sending NASA's Space Shuttle into orbit required more than 3.5 million pounds of fuel, which is about 15 times heavier than a blue whale. But a new type of engine called a rotating detonation engine promises to make rockets not only more fuel-efficient but also more lightweight and less complicated to construct. There's just one problem: Right now this engine is too unpredictable to be used in an actual rocket. Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a mathematical model that describes how these engines work. With this information, engineers can, for the first time, develop tests to improve these engines..."

Marvelous Miniatures: Aeromodeling in the 1970s

Marvelous Miniatures: Aeromodeling in the 1970s - Airplanes and RocketsSome of my favorite YouTube aeromodeling videos are converted from movies of vintage contesting events. This "Marvelous Miniatures" documentary is a prime example for showing the state of aircraft modeling in the 1970s, when I got into radio control (R/C). See Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) President John Worth at the Toledo show, soaring at Torrey Pines, Maxy Hester and his famous Ryan STA, techno-modeler Maynard Hill, digital proportional R/C system pioneer Phil Craft, along with many other "unknowns" are shown doing their thing. Something that always stands out in these vintage films is how devoid of residential and commercial development the surrounding areas are.

Africa's Lake Kivu Drone Challenge

Africa's Lake Kivu Drone Challenge - Airplanes and Rockets"Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. These videos show some highlights from the Lake Kivu Drone Challenge, which took place in Rwanda, earlier this month. In addition to a conference and forum, international teams and their drones competed in emergency delivery, sample pick-up, and find and assess tasks."

AOPA Q&A with U.S. Rep. Sam Graves

AOPA Q&A with U.S. Rep. Sam Graves - Airplanes and RocketsAOPA's government affairs team had the chance to catch up with U.S. Representative Sam Graves, a longtime general aviation pilot, advocate, and AOPA member, about his aviation background and GA [General Aviation] issues that he is working on in Congress. "You've flown a lot of different airplanes over the years, but which is your favorite? Honestly, I don't have a particular all-time favorite. I own a 1947 PA–11 Piper Cub Special, and I'm a part-owner of a T–6 Texan and Vultee BT–13. I'm also working on restoring a 1943 Beech AT–10. It's hard to beat the P–40 or P–51, but whichever plane I'm flying at the moment—that's my favorite. You have established yourself as an effective leader and key advocate for transportation and certainly for general aviation while in Congress. You serve as the top Republican on the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Please tell us a little about yourself, your career, and your passion for flying..."

Axiom Test Equipment Blog – Keep UAVs Flying High with Proper Testing

Axiom Test Equipment Blog – Keep UAVs Flying High with Proper Testing - RF CafeAxiom Test Equipment, an electronic test equipment rentals and sales company headquartered in North County San Diego, has published a blog post entitled "Keep UAVs Flying High with Proper Testing." This blog is the first in a series of four planned articles that will take a closer look at the global fascination with UAVs and how they are used, whether for farming or for warfare, and some of the best test tools that can be applied to ensuring the best UAV performance possible. "Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), popularly known as drones, have been a part of military operations for decades, often paving the way for an operation with their remote intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance (ISR) capabilities. Those familiar with military drones may think of million-dollar UAVs like the Predator with comprehensive electronic weapons payloads, including radar and sophisticated navigation and guidance systems. The military demand for fixed- and rotary-wing UAVs has grown steadily over the past decade...

Outward Bound

Outward Bound, November 1946 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsBy 1946, nobody had ever even launched an unmanned rocket into outer space, much less a manned one. Nevertheless, plenty of people were working toward it. With World War II having been over for a year and much of the technology developed being applied toward future wars and societal advancement, the dream of exploiting a presence in orbit around the earth was hotly pursued. The world's superpowers were engaged in a race into space both for prestige and military advantage. As is the case today, countries pretended to get along well enough to cooperate on shared goals, but we all know behind the scenes scheming was going on about how to apply lessons learned to the disadvantage of "them" and to the benefit of "us." It is a survival of the fittest scenario. Unfortunately, when you cannot trust "them" to not do the same to "us," offensive and defensive plans are required - it has always been so and probably always will be ...but, I digress. This article by Will Ley delves into some of the then-anticipated issues...

How Things Work: Cabin Pressure

How Things Work: Cabin Pressure - Airplanes and RocketsThis article from the January 2020 issue of Air & Space magazine explains why you remain conscious at 30,000 feet. "We humans need air to breathe, so we do best around sea level. Airplanes are at their best up high, where the air is thin and smooth. And therein lies the rub: We invented a machine that thrives where we don't. This became obvious as soon as engine power increased to a point at which aviators could reach altitudes where they lost consciousness. At first, fliers coped by filling tanks with pressurized oxygen and inhaling the gas through rubber tubes; later, form-fitting face masks made oxygen delivery more reliable. In many high-flying light airplanes and military aircraft, oxygen systems and face masks..."

Airbus Design Could Revolutionize Flying

Airbus Design Could Revolutionize Flying - Airplanes and Rockets"The plane looks more like an air force jet, but it could make flying much more efficient. One big difference between land-based vehicles and aircraft is that there's been much less innovation for airplanes in the last few decades than there has been for cars. Aerospace company, Airbus, is looking to change that. Their MAVERIC is not set to fly in the skies anytime soon, but the prospects certainly look promising, and more efficient than current airplane models. You may have noticed that most aircraft have a similar design: a single or double aisle long fuselage that has wings attached on either side. There are exceptions, of course, namely when it comes to military aircraft..."

Amateurs Dig up Buzz Bombs That Fell on England in WW2

Amateurs Dig up Buzz Bombs That Fell on England in WW2 - Airplanes and RocketsAccording to UK National Archives: "6,725 [V−1s] were launched at Britain. Of these, 2,340 hit London, causing 5,475 deaths, with 16,000 injured." Re the map: "This patch of English woodland near the village of Bromley Green, about eight miles from the Channel shore, was once a smoking crater. A V−1 flying bomb - fired by Germany's Luftwaffe at London but shot down minutes before getting there - crashed and exploded here around eight o'clock in the morning on August 27, 1944, gouging a hole in the earth 10 feet deep and 20 feet across. The blast of its warhead and fuel lifted the nearest house, more than 600 feet away, off its foundations. Seventy-five years later, to the exact day, the old crater is the site of an archaeological investigation led by two brothers who grew up hearing stories of the terror wrought by Germany's V−1s. Colin and Sean Welch have searched for fragments of the flying bombs over the past 10 years..."

Army BC-1 Free Flight Article & Plans

Army BC-1, May 1941 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsThe U.S. Army Air Corps' BC−1 low-wing monoplane was North American Aviation's first trainer aircraft (company designation was NA−16). The "BC" part of the designation stands for "Basic Combat," so the Army intended to use the BC−1 on missions. If you think it looks a lot like the AT−6 Texan trainer, it is because the AT−6 evolved from the NA−16. In fact, the Wikipedia entries give April 1, 1935 as the date of maiden flight for both of them. 17,000 variations were built from 1935 through 1939. This construction article and plans appeared in the May 1941 issue of Flying Aces magazine. Wingspan is about 20", making it a rather small model. Standard stick and tissue methods are used, and a pattern is provided for carving your own propeller...

Cox Control Line Demonstration Circle

Disneyland Rocket to the Moon cox Control Line Demonstration Circle - Airplanes and RocketsFrom 1955 to 1961, the TWA-sponsored "Rocket to the Moon" was the E-ticket attraction of Tomorrowland, the neighborhood of the Disneyland theme park modeled after a speculative utopian future. (© Disney) Cox Control Line Demonstration Circle. Eric Boehm, in the "Letters" section of the January 2020 issue of Air& Space magazine, submitted the following comment: "'My Trips to the Moon' (Sept. 2019) and the accommodating photos really caught my eye, and not because of the big TWA rocket. the fenced-off area in the foreground was the Disney Flying Circle. Between 1955 and 1966, daily demonstrations were conducted using control-line model airplanes and gas-powered tether cars. The photo shows a man in the center with both hands raised. He may be flying two models at once, which was a regular display feature. There was one employee named Bart Klapinski who could fly three airplanes simultaneously: One control handle in each hand and a third in his mouth.

No Twin Mustang Has Ever Been Restored …Until Now

No Twin Mustang Has Ever Been Restored…Until Now - Airplanes and Rockets"Reilly's latest undertaking might be his most challenging: a North American XP-82, the second prototype - but the first to fly - of the U.S. Army Air Corps' Twin Mustang. Invented by German-born aircraft designer Edgar Schmued and green-lit by the U.S. Army Air Forces' General Hap Arnold in 1943, the Twin Mustang is unique: It mates two North American P-51 fuselages with a common center wing and a horizontal stabilizer. Schmued's double aircraft could accommodate a two-man crew, which would lighten workload and reduce pilot fatigue - a necessity for the airplane's expected long-range missions. In February 1947, Colonel Robert E. Thacker flew a P-82B nonstop from Hawaii to New York without refueling. The 5,051-mile flight is the longest nonstop flight ever made by a propeller-driven fighter..."

Du-Bro Whirlybird 505 Helicopter Review

Du-Bro Whirlybird 505 Helicopter Review, March 1972 RC Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThere is no doubt that Du−Bro set the stage for commercially produced radio controlled (R/C) helicopters with the Whirlybird 500. Its use of a top-mounted engine that relied on counter-torque to set the main rotor blades spinning was unique. There were a few published articles on homebrew free-flight helicopters that used the arrangement, and Cox even marketed a ready-to-fly model that had a Cox .020 engine mounted on top called the Sky Copter (I owned one as a kid in the late 1960s). To my knowledge all other R/C helicopter models used a gear or belt drive from the engine to the main rotor shaft. It is amazing that this quite top-heavy configuration flew at all. Du−Bro engineers deserve a lot of credit. Note extensive use of common Du−Bro products like wheel collars, pushrods and clevises, strip aileron hookups, brass tubing, and nuts, bolts and screws. A lot of assembly work was involved, including a good bit of soldering...

New Wing Dramatically Improves Flight for Small Drones

New Kind of Wing Dramatically Improves Flight for Small Drones - Airplanes and Rockets"Inspired by insects and small birds, this wing design offers a massive endurance boost for micro aerial vehicles. Drones of all sorts are getting smaller and cheaper, and that's great - it makes them more accessible to everyone, and opens up new use cases for which big expensive drones would be, you know, too big and expensive. The problem with very small drones, particularly those with fixed-wing designs, is that they tend to be inefficient fliers, and are very susceptible to wind gusts as well as air turbulence caused by objects that they might be flying close to. Unfortunately, designing for resilience and designing for efficiency are two different things..."

MS Flight Simulator 2020 Is Coming!

MS Flight Simulator 2020 Is Coming! - Airplanes and RocketsEvery single airport on Earth will be featured in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. "This is an impressive feat considering there are a total of 37,000 airports worldwide. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, the impressive game unveiled at E3 last year, will feature every single airport on Earth. Yes! You read that correctly: every single one. Developer Asobo Studio has put in an amazing amount of work into this game that is hyper-realistic, and now they are offering players the chance to fly anywhere on the planet. If that's not something to get excited about, then I don't know what is. To be clear, there are 37,000 airports on Earth and all these were manually designed in the game to look just like their real-world counterparts. In addition, the 80 most frequented airports will be given extra attention to detail...

Sig Fly-In 2020: Mike Getz Memorial

Sig Mike Getz Memorial Fly-In 2020 - Airplanes and RocketsSig's Mike Getz Memorial Fly-In is scheduled for June 12-14, at Hazel Sig's airport 2 miles south of Montezuma, Iowa. Sig doesn't give much information on their website, so you might want to check on the AMA's events page. I try to buy from Sig as much as possible for nostalgic reasons (dating back to the early 1970s), but honestly, their website is not done very well - slow, clunky and not inspirational.