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.
"Amplify Technical Solutions was contracted
to reverse engineer and manufacture a first article assembly of the secondary flight
controls, focusing on the throttle quadrant and console configuration, for a
NATO E-3 AWACS. The finished deliverables were part of a sophisticated flight
simulator controls system being produced by Simulation and Control Technologies
for an E-3 AWACS Full Flight Simulator program. The project presented challenges
due to the vintage and highly evolved state of the aircraft, which required creative
engineering to accurately capture and replicate the control assemblies. The NATO
E-3 AWACS has stood the test of time. The E-3 Airborne Early Warning and Control
System (AWACS) was first carried aboard militarized Boeing 707 commercial aircraft
with the first E-3 entering U.S Air Force service in 1977. "
For a long time I have been kicking around
the concept of tethered
R/C, where the airplane would be completely under remote control, with its inboard
wing being attached to a tether that is in turn anchored to a pivot point in the
center of the circle. My first effort was to convert an electric-powered control
line stunt model to have R/C control of the elevator and motor speed. After doing
the conversion, I decided that it would be safer to start out with a slow-flying,
inherently stable model, so since I was in the process of building an electric-powered,
three channel Carl Goldberg ½A Skylane, it was used as the Guiney pig. The steerable
nose gear was pegged in the center, and the rudder pushrod was secured with a screw
in the servo mount so that it has permanent right rudder. A tether attachment point
was epoxied into the left wingtip. It weights 25.3 ounces ready to fly. The
wing chord was increased by about 0.5" over the plans outline in order to get a
little more area and decrease the wing loading a tab bit...
"On a cold March night last year in Portsmouth,
England, an entirely new type of aircraft flew for the first time, along a dimly
lit 120-meter corridor in a cavernous building once used to build minesweepers for
the Royal Navy. This is the Phoenix, an
uncrewed blimp that has no engines but propels itself forward by varying its
buoyancy and its orientation. The prototype measures 15 meters in length, 10.5 meters
in wingspan, and when fully loaded weighs 150 kilograms (330 pounds). It flew over
the full length of the building, each flight requiring it to undulate up and down
about five times. Flying in this strange way has advantages. For one, it demands
very little energy, allowing the craft to be used for long-duration missions. Also,
it dispenses with whirring rotors and compressor blades and violent..."
Control line (CL) carrier flying is one of
those things I've always wanted to try, but have never gotten around to it. Unlike
with radio control (RC) modeling, CL has not changed much over the decades. A lot
of people have made the switch from glow fuel power to electric power, but the overall
methods and technology has been pretty consistent. CL carrier events are still,
it seems from my reading, dominated by glow fuel power, a three-line systems, and
some form of the old standard Martin MO−1 airplane model. Prior to the 1970s, before
all the major commercial and residential development took place all over the country,
control line flying could be found in many community and industrial area vacant
lots. There was plenty of room and opportunities to build and fly models were abundant
(if there were no neighbors complaining of the noise. Nowadays, you're lucky to
find a public control line flying area, and you almost never just happen to be driving
by someplace and see model aviation of any sort being carried out...
"Three performers on the
Control of Revolutionary
Aircraft with Novel Effectors program will seek to demonstrate active flow control
for aircraft stability and in-flight control. DARPA has selected three performers
to work on the Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors (CRANE) program,
which aims to demonstrate an aircraft design based on active flow control (AFC),
an area not fully explored compared to traditional flight controls. The goal is
to demonstrate significant efficiency benefits of AFC, as well as improvements in
aircraft cost, weight, performance, and reliability. 'The performers are looking
at using active flow control very early in the design scope. That's the differentiating
piece that hasn’t been done before,' said Alexander Walan, the program manager for
CRANE in DARPA's Tactical Technology Office..."
"A flock of swifts and a ballbot mobile manipulator
are the newest robots from the German company. Every year or two, Festo shows off
some really quite spectacular bio-inspired creations, including robotic ants and
butterflies, hopping kangaroos, rolling spiderbots, flying penguins and flying jellyfish,
and much more. The
BionicSwifts are not the first birds that Festo has developed, but those flexible,
feathered wings are particularly lovely. To execute flight maneuvers as true to
life as possible, the wings are modeled on the plumage of real birds. The individual
lamellae are made of an ultralight, flexible but very robust foam and lie on top
of each other like shingles. Connected to a carbon quill, they are attached to the
actual hand and arm wings as in the natural model. During the wing upstroke, the
individual lamellae fan out so that air can flow through the wing. This means that
the birds need less force to pull the wing up..."
Participate in this ground breaking, virtual
international amateur radio expo. Packed with world renowned speakers, exhibitors,
and special conference rooms built on a virtual reality platform. Attend from the
convenience of your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo coming to
your laptop, tablet, and smartphone on: August 8th and 9th (that's this weekend).
QSO Today called on its former guests and other expert amateur radio operators to
create an amazing series of lectures in webinar format from one of our five virtual
lecture halls. All lectures are: Fully live interactive with speaker during the
session hour, Completely downloadable after the weekend, Collateral materials are
downloadable in PDF format, Everything available up to 30 days.
Although I have never owned or run one of
the vintage ignition type model airplane engines, the articles telling of their
operation makes me glad that glow engines were the powerplant du jour by the time
I entered the modeling realm in the late 1960s. Just as the smaller A−size and smaller
glow fuel engines are generally more finicky to start and adjust to run consistently,
so were the similar sized ignition engines - like the
probably was. Persistence and anticipation of the joy of hearing a model airplane
engine fire up and scream - and of course the smell of the burning glow fuel - as
you prepare to launch the craft skyward is what made all the hassle worth it. My
friends and I spend untold amounts of time struggling to get our Cox .049s started
and running well enough get a few turns around the control line circle before the
"The FCC has issued a Forfeiture Order (FO)
HobbyKing to pay a fine of $2,861,128 for marketing drone transmitters that
do not comply with FCC rules. An FCC Enforcement Bureau investigation stemmed in
part from a 2017 ARRL complaint that HobbyKing was selling drone transmitters that
operated on amateur and non-amateur frequencies, in some instances marketing them
as amateur radio equipment. The fine affirms the monetary penalty sought in a June
2018 FCC Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL). The FCC said its investigation found
that dozens of devices marketed by the company transmitted in unauthorized radio
frequency bands and, in some cases, operated at excessive power levels. 'Such unlawful
transmissions could interfere with key government and public safety services, like
aviation systems,' the FCC said.'We have fully considered HobbyKing’s response to
the NAL, which does not contest any facts..."
A story about the restoration of America's
Air Force One, the president's airplane, appears in the June 2020 issue of
Air & Space magazine. Dubbed Columbine II, the four-engined
Constellation ferried President Dwight D. Eisenhower around. "When Dwight Eisenhower
was president, he traveled in style. Now a team is restoring his airplane to presidential
perfection. On a sunny day last November, Air Force One was parked inside a hangar
140 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. The large, four-engine transport had logged
thousands of miles. Countless VIPs had flown aboard it. Speeches on the peaceful
purpose of atomic power had been crafted inside its cabin, and presidential naps
taken in its comfy berths. But this Air Force One was not waiting for the president.
No, this airplane, a 72-year-old Lockheed VC-121 Constellation - the first presidential
aircraft officially designated as Air Force One - was waiting for resurrection..."
At some point you have probably read about
an old model aircraft contest event called "
PAA-Load." This advertisement for participants appeared in a 1961 issue of American
Modeler magazine. As its name implies, the challenge involved hauling specific weights
of 'payload' aloft and vying for the longest flight. What you might find surprising
is that the 'PAA' part of the event title comes from Pan American Airlines (PAA,
aka PanAm), who created and sponsored the activity as an educational effort to encourage
youngsters to consider the necessary accommodations to efficiently and profitably
transport people and cargo from point A to point B. Careful attention to airframe
configuration and weight, powerplant size, propeller, wheel size and weight, covering
material and finish, etc., was required to win...
HX−1 Mars mission will draw on previous lunar explorations and human spaceflights.
China aims to become only the second country to land and operate a spacecraft on
the surface of Mars (NASA was first with a pair of Viking landers in 1976). With
just a few months before launch, China is still keeping key mission details quiet.
But we can discern a few points about where and how it will attempt a landing on
the Red Planet from recent presentations and interviews. Celestial mechanics dictate
that China, along with NASA's Perseverance rover and the Hope orbiter from the United
Arab Emirates, will launch around late July during a Hohmann transfer window, which
comes around only once every 26 months and allows a trip to Mars using as little
propellant as possible. A huge Long March 5 rocket will send the Chinese spacecraft
on a journey for about seven months..."
As stated previously, one of my main motivations
for posting articles such as this "With
the Model Builders" feature from a 1941 issue of Flying Aces magazine
is to provide sources for people doing Internet searches for family members and/or
friends. Family tree research is a big pastime these days, and it is always nice
to run across a unique item, especially with a photo, about someone you know and
perhaps were not aware of that particular aspect of his or her life. After having
posted stories from many of the major model aircraft magazines for nearly two decades,
a few people have taken the time to write to express gratitude for making the information
available. You're welcome.
"The upcoming Perseverance mission will attempt
the first powered flight on another planet. If ever there was life on Mars, NASA's
Perseverance rover should be able to find signs of it. The rover, scheduled to launch
from Kennedy Space Center, in FL, is designed to drill through rocks in an ancient
lake bed and examine them for bio signatures, extract oxygen from the atmosphere,
and collect soil samples that might someday be returned to Earth. But to succeed
at a Mars mission, you always need a little ingenuity; that's literally what Perseverance
is carrying. Bolted to the rover's undercarriage is a small
autonomous helicopter called Ingenuity. If all goes as planned, it will become
the first aircraft to make a powered flight on another planet..."
This "Sketchbook" was
scanned from the March 1961 American Modeler magazine, page 60. Most building
tips are timeless. Even in this era of ready-to-fly (RTF), almost-ready-to-fly (ARF),
bind-and-fly (BAF), etc., there are still many modelers who build their own aircraft.
Nearly all top tier competition fliers build their own models, as do aficionados
of vintage (aka old-timer) models. Some guys just would rather build than buy a
pre-build airplane, whether from a kit or from plans. There is an interesting suggestion
for making fine adjustments on free flight models for wash−in and wash−out while
at the flying field, which could be useful when trimming for a contest.
"The motor uses a novel ignition system that
breaks water down into oxygen and hydrogen and burns them. Los Alamos researchers
developed the first
restartable motor for solid rockets. A motor built according to the patented
design was restarted at least six times in succession. All other solid rocket motors
in use provide a 'one-and-done' firing for maneuvering in space. This new technology
will help solve the increasing problem of space traffic, as more small satellites
(CubeSats) are sent into orbit. The restartable motor will let satellites maneuver
around other orbiting objects on short notice, preventing costly space crashes.
A second high-priority defense application of this invention is missile maneuvering..."
Remember when when there were no computers
or 24/7 TV broadcasts on hundreds of cable channels to take up all your free time,
and you would search for a meaningful hobby to keep you occupied? No, probably not
for most people who are reading this. Beginning in the late 1990s,
local hobby shops (LHSs) were disappearing as interest in activities involving
the hands-on wares they sold - model kits, craft kits, et al - was being replaced
by activities involving sitting in front of a video display of some sort. Hands-on
was coming to mean hands on a video game controller or a keyboard and mouse. Nowadays,
hands-on more likely describes activity on a smartphone. Alas, you can't stop progress,
as the saying goes, and ultimately that's a good thing. Old timers like me came
into the model building world when ready-built flying models primarily meant a molded-plastic
Cox .049-powered control line airplane or maybe a .020-powered helicopter...
FAA UAS Symposium – Remotely Piloted Edition
brings together industry professionals and regulators to promote learning and growth
within the UAS community. "It's an exclusive opportunity to talk face-to-face with
stakeholders from all sectors, where you can help define the rules and concepts
that govern the future of drone operations." Episode I is July 8-9, and Episode
II runs August 18-19. Presented by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems
If you have been visiting the Airplanes
and Rockets website for any length of time, you know I put a lot of effort into
delivering a historical perspective on aviation and aerospace. The June 2020 issue
of Air & Space magazine contains a great article entitled, "The History
of Aviation in Posters, Brochures, Badges and Ticket Stubs." It begins: "Slipped
between the pages of diaries and journals, glued into scrapbooks, and stuffed into
envelopes, we've found things that were never meant to last. Most people hang on
to bits of paper that they didn't mean to save forever: a ticket stub from a concert,
a greeting card, a tour brochure. Within the 20,000 cubic feet of archival materials
at the National Air and Space Museum Archives are personal and professional papers,
corporate and organizational records, 20,000 motion pictures, two million technical
drawings, and three million photographic images. But the Archives is also home to
ephemera -banquet menus, airline baggage labels, company brochures..."
The Douglas Aircraft Company's
DC−4 conducted its maiden flight on June 7, 1938. It was a hugely successful
four-engined aircraft used for civilian and military passenger and cargo transportation.
Military versions of the plane were designated C−54 and R5D. The DC−4 was designed
to be the airline industry's "dream" airplane - "a Grand Hotel with wings", capable
of cruise speeds of more than two hundred miles per hour and a range of 3,300 miles,
making it capable of non-stop coast-to-coast flight. Although the DC−4 was the brainchild
of United Airlines, a consortium of five companies - United, TWA, American, Eastern
and Pan American - financed the endeavor to ensure success would not be hampered
due to cost and competition concerns. The airplane's control systems were so complex
that a new crew member position called "flight engineer" was created to monitor
and tend to all the meters, dials, knobs, switches, and panel lights, while allowing
the pilots to worry mostly about flying...
Dog Days of Summer,
contrary to what many people believe, is named not to describe the hottest, most
humid, most oppressive period of the year, but marks the astronomical point in time
following the heliacal rising of the star system
Sirius, aka the Dog Star in the
constellation Canis Major.
40 days later, on August 11th, the Dog Days end. That also happens to be middle
of summer (not midsummer),
which is on or about August 6th. Never having been a proponent of summer, the end
of the Dog Days has always meant we're closer to the end of summer than to the beginning,
and autumn is on the way.
Here are a few more helpful
model building tips from the May 1961 issue of the Academy of Model Aeronautics'
American Modeler magazine. Many are not so useful anymore because inexpensive
and commercially made versions of the gadgets and tools presented are readily available.
Of course you can still do it yourself for any of them, and if time and/or money
is an issue, you might need to. The first one requires a product that is scarce
these days - photographic negatives. Nearly every household used to have old negatives
laying around, but not anymore. Maybe your parents or grandparents have some they
could spare if you really want to give it a try. The painted-on water-transfer decal
seems like a pretty slick idea, and could still be a useful trick. I wonder how
well it works...
The Great de Havilland
eve of World War II, the Brits built an amazingly successful twin-engined bomber
called the D.H.98
Mosquito. It proved to be the bane of German cities, bridges, and dams. More
than a decade after the aeronautics industry had switched from wooden to metal airframes,
de Havilland engineers decided to design the craft using materials and techniques
familiar to model airplane hobbyists - balsa, plywood, spruce, silk, and dope. The
April/May 2020 issue of Air & Space magazine has a great article entitled
War II's Strangest Bombing Mission" containing a quote from
Hermann Göring which
is like music to the ears (double entendre intended)
of our English brethren. To wit: "Famously, the RAF's speedy wooden workhorses left
a lasting impression on Göring. According to a 1973 history of the Luftwaffe, he
later blustered, 'The British, who can afford aluminum better than we can, knock
together a beautiful wooden aircraft that every piano factory over there is building...
They have the geniuses and we have the nincompoops.
After the war is over I'm going to buy a British radio set - then at least I'll
own something that has always worked.'" Key up "God Save the King/Queen."
I find myself conflicted when
contemplating the situation I discovered. While looking on eBay for a vintage Morse
code straight key, on a whim I decided to try just the phrase "Made
in the USA" to see what kinds of products would be returned. To my shock, the
entire page was filled with nothing but cloth face masks! Who would have
guessed that a virus coming from Wuhan China would spark the first big wave of domestically
made products - to protect us from the virus! Well, there is another product type
suddenly being manufactured in large quantities in the USA - ventilators, to treat
critically sick patients with the Wuhan Flu (aka COVID−19). As our economy and national
spirit suffers profoundly, do most people even remember where this all started and
how it got here? I'm guessing not, because the news media does not mention it.
We old-timers miss the days when flyer-built
models and glow fuel power were the norm for model airplane flying. Companies like
Tower Hobbies were the mainstay of the distributor side of model aviation. Those
of not without a nearby hobby shop depended on Tower Hobbies, Hobby Lobby, Hobby
People, et al, for our supplies. Most of the old companies are long gone. Tower
Hobbies is barely surviving as a vestige of Horizon Hobby. If you are nostalgic
for how those familiar websites used to appear, fret not. Fortunately, the "Wayback
Machine," provided by Archive.org, has been capturing and storing copies of
websites since the mid 1990s, at the birth of the World Wide Web. Look up your favorite
erstwhile model supply website and chances are you will find it there. Happy memories!
Stunt control line aerobatics model was designed and flown by Don Still. Don
was top placing (2066.6 points) member of the winning USA team, with his new version
Stuka Stunt, at the 1960 World Stunt Championships in Budapest, Hungary. The model
sports a 42" wingspan with a wing area of 391 sq. in., weight is 28-30 ounces. Construction
is standard balsa, plywood, and spruce. Plans for the original version Stuka Stunt
were featured in the April 1952 issue of Air Trails. The model won the
1952 and 1954 Nationals (Nats), the 1953 Internationals, and the 1951 Tangerine
Internationals. It took second place in the 1951 and 1960 Nationals. These plans
for Don's new Stuka Stunt appeared in the July 1961 issue of American Modeler
ThereCraft's Lifting Body Drone Delivers
"A unique drone design promises aircraft
payload with helicopter precision. The
delivery drone space is getting more and more crowded, but we tend to see slightly
different flavors of the same basic designs and modes of operation. There are point-to-point
multirotors, hybrid point-to-point systems (like tailsitters), and fixed-wing drones
that require launch and landing infrastructure. One thing that all of these drone
platforms have in common is scale - the current generation of autonomous commercial
delivery drones are optimized for payloads of a few kilograms, delivering high value,
time sensitive payloads in low infrastructure areas. There are plenty of use cases
where small drones work just fine, but once you need more than a handful..."
Nufnut free flight model airplane article and plans came to being in response
to laments from would-be model airplane builders who tried and failed at their first
(and sometimes more) attempts to make and fly something even as simple as a rubber
powered model. The author decided to present detailed instructions on building and
covering an open frame stick and tissue model, being sure to detail areas that generally
cause the most trouble. The most difficult task for most beginners is covering the
airframe with tissue and then obtaining a warp-free structure after application
of dope. If you are new to the hobby and either have experienced such disappointments
or are considering getting into the fine hobby of model airplane building and flying
and seek sage advice on how to avoid discouraging pitfalls, then you have come to
the right place. Tufnut is a somewhat unique design with its solid balsa fuselage
that has a slot cut in it for containing the rubber band, rather than just using
a stick with the rubber hanging underneath...
new sunshade, or visor, designed to reduce the brightness of SpaceX's Starlink broadband
Internet satellites will debut on the company's next launch, a measure intended
to alleviate astronomers' concerns about impacts on observations through ground-based
telescopes, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said Monday. Beginning with the next launch
of Starlink satellites - scheduled as soon as May 7 from Cape Canaveral - SpaceX
will try out a new
light-blocking panel to make the spacecraft less visible to skywatchers and
astronomers. 'We have a radio-transparent foam that will deploy nearly upon the
satellite being released (from the rocket),' Musk said Monday in a virtual meeting
of the National Academies' Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics 2020 panel,
a committee charged with setting the top priorities for U.S. astronomy for the next
"Israel's Ministry of Defense has procured
FireFly, a lightweight loitering munition designed for infantry and special
forces. Jointly developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the MoD, FireFly's
canister-deployed design with multiple rotors enables it to hover around buildings
and attack concealed enemies that may be beyond line of sight or hiding in urban
environments. FireFly is designed to fulfill a need that platoons and smaller units
have on the modern battlefield for an unmanned system that is rugged and lightweight.
Mini-UAVs are increasingly in demand for infantry use, and the ability to combine
them with loitering munitions that can conduct surveillance and attack..."
Blue Origin Wins NASA Funding for Human
"NASA has selected Blue Origin, Dynetics
and SpaceX to move forward with development of
human-rated lunar landers, committing nearly $1B in funding for a range of moonship
concepts that include a variant of SpaceX's next-generation Starship vehicle, officials
announced Thursday. 'These are three companies that we believe have a lot of capability
that are going to enable us to get to the moon,' said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
'Each one of them is very different. They have all proposed something very different
and unique, which has a lot of value to us.' NASA said Blue Origin's contract is
valued at $579 million, and Dynetics will receive $253 million for the 10-month
contract base period..."
"Dope Can" was a monthly roundup
of aeromodeler news and views which ran in American Modeler magazine (which was
re-named American Aircraft Modeler in 1968). This March 1961 edition covered a lot
of ground, as did all Dope Can columns. A "Hummin' Boid" towline-launch R/C glider
with a 9-foot wingspan took the "My Favorite Model" photo prize for the month. Well
known in control line circles (pun intended) Hi Johnson has a new stunter design
he dubbed "Stunt Supreme." Then, there's the 0.006 cubic inch displacement
Hummingbird diesel engine - claims to be the world's smallest, and I believe it.
The Jacksonville "Prop Kickers," incredibly still in existence today, was endowed
with the "Club of the Month" honor. A big deal is made of the action photo on the
magazine cover. Remember that back in the day, there were no microprocessor-controlled,
auto-focusing, light-level-setting lenses and irises that could make a rank amateur's
photos look like a seasoned professional's, so a lot of planning and test runs were
"Skyports has been accepted into the UK Civil
Aviation Authority's (CAA) Regulatory Sandbox programme to trial beyond visual line
of sight (BVLOS) UAV flights in non-segregated airspace. The CAA's Regulatory Sandbox
was established in 2019 to create an environment where innovation in aviation can
be explored in line with its core principles of safety, security and consumer protection.
Alex Brown, Head of Operations at Skyports, explained that
deliveries are already happening globally through trials and in dedicated corridors
that keep UAVs away from other airspace users. 'To achieve commercial operations
at scale, particularly in more congested environments, delivery UAVs will need to
be able to safely share the skies with other..."
There is currently a big shift from internal
combustion engines to electric motors for powering model vehicles of all sorts -
airplanes, helicopters, boats, and cars - and of all control modes - autonomous
(free flight), radio control, and control-line. The state of motor and battery technology
has passed the point where the weight and thrust available with electric power meets
or exceeds that of engines for most applications. Costs are pretty much at parity
as well when you compare engine vs. motor and fuel vs. battery acquisition and cost
of ownership over the life of the power system. All sorts of useful
electronic peripheral equipment has been developed for use with electric motor
power: programmable electronic speed controllers, motor cutoffs based on altitude
and/or elapsed time for free flight, motor timer/speed controls for control line,
and even engine noise generators to give life-like sound to otherwise eerily quiet
war birds and commercial transports, to name a few. These devices had made the switch
to electric power nearly seamless for most flyers...
Douglas Rolfe, who provided many detailed
and line drawings of full-scale aircraft for American Modeler magazine, here summarizes
the history of
Chance Vought Aircraft Company. While the name appears to be the joint venture
of two separate people, one by the name of Chance and the other by the name of Vought,
it is in fact the namesake of Mr. Chance Milton Vought. Another such instructional
name of the same sort is Johns Hopkins University, which is named after Mr. Johns
Hopkins. Probably the most well-known airplane models are the F4U Corsair
and OS2U Kingfisher of World War II and Pappy Boyington's Black Sheep
Squadron (VMA-214) fame, and the F8U Crusader of Korean War fame. Chance Vought
obviously was really fond of the "Corsair" name since he name three separate models
with it: the 1926 O2U Corsair, the 1931 V50 Corsair, and the 1940 F4U Corsair...