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Home Page Archive (page 26)

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.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20
21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35


Radio Control Installations

Radio Control Installations, February 1955 Popular Electronics - RF CafeAnyone who has been in aeromodeling for more than a decade or so is familiar with the name William (Bill) Winter. Bill has been in the model airplane realm for longer than a lot of us have been alive and is one of the true pioneers of the sport. He has served as editor for a couple aircraft modeling magazines, and has written countless articles both for the magazines he edited and for other special interest magazines. When Popular Electronics came on the scene in the mid 1950s, Bill was editor of Model Airplane News magazine. Radio control was beginning to mature from its infant state when only hobbyists with an intimate knowledge of electronics were able to participate. Oliver Read, editor of Popular Electronics, tapped Bill's ample knowledge and skill to craft quite a few articles for his own magazine. This one, "Radio Control Installations," appeared in the February 1955 issue. As always when reading this type of vintage material, it is amazing how much innovation has occurred between then and today in the fields of electronics, materials, and construction techniques...

"As God As My Witness, I Thought Turkeys Could Fly"

WKRP in Cincinnati: "As God As My Witness, I Thought Turkeys Could Fly" - RF CafeAnyone who watched the WKRP in Cincinnati sitcom back in the 1970s has to remember what was one of the funniest episodes ever. Here is the 4 minutes that made Prime Time history. In this Thanksgiving episode, station owner / manager Arthur Carlson decided he would surprise the community with good deed - that doubled as a promotional stunt for his radio station - by dropping turkeys from a helicopter for lucky shoppers at the local shopping mall. Watch the disaster unfold as Les Nessman reports live, and then see Carlson's final comment that is still used or alluded to in many comic routines. Posting this video is an RF Cafe tradition. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sterling Cirrus Sailplane Kit

Sterling Cirrus Sailplane Kit - Airplanes and RocketsBack 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), and in a somewhat desperate attempt to fly an RC glider, actually managed to cram 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 50 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". Even with vertical sheer webbing between the upper and lower main spars, the wing was far too weak for so much weight. After much work covering the undercambered airfoil and compound curves around the fuselage with Japanese tissue and brushing on a few coats of clear dope, it was finally ready to fly...

Sig Balsa "Box of Blocks" - Making Large Blocks out of Small Blocks

Sig Balsa "Box of Blocks" - Making Large Blocks out of Small Blocks - Airplanes and RocketsThe cost of balsa, like everything else, has been rising significantly since the COVID-19 "plandemic" hit the world a couple years ago. Along with it the price of manufactured kits has gone up as well. A simple 1/16" x 3" sheet of balsa now costs around $2.00 (Sig price). In 2019, you could get it for $1.13 per the stored page at That's a 77% increase. Being a scratch builder of model airplanes, I frequently watch e-Bay, RC Universe, RC Groups, etc., for bargains on balsa, but they're getting harder to come by. If you have to order a balsa block online, there is a good chance it will end up being more dense (i.e., harder and heavier) than desired. Since local hobby shops (LHS's) are very rare these days, there is seldom an opportunity to go in and look for a suitable block prior to purchasing...

75th Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force

75th Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force - Airplanes and Rockets"How it grew from the Wright brothers’ airplane to become the largest military branch of its kind in history. A B-17G Flying Fortress and a B-52H Stratofortress fly in a heritage flight formation on Saturday, May 13, 2006 during the Defenders of Liberty Airshow at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. These two aircraft represent 70 years of "fortresses." It was the first time in 50 years that they flew together in formation. Millions across the nation and around the world celebrated the 75th anniversary of the United States Air Force on September 18, 2022. FLYING also celebrates this 'birthday' and salutes the men and women who serve - and who have served - as members of the U.S. Air Force and its predecessors. Origins: Orville Wright made the world’s first controlled, powered, and sustained heavier-than-air human flight on December 17, 1903. Less than four years later (August 1, 1907), the U.S. Army Signal Corps formed an Aeronautical Division..."

Tone Modulator for Radio Control

Tone Modulator for Radio Control from April 1958 Radio-Electronics Magazine - RF CafeDeclaring any kind of straight LC tank circuit to be high stability is a bit of a stretch when compared to the Q available simply by adding a crystal, even in 1958. Tone modulation was an early method for achieving remote control of model airplanes, boats, and cars. The number of channels with these tone modulation systems is two times the number of modern proportional systems in that moving the rudder left took one channel and moving it right took another. Up and down elevator likewise took two channels. Therefore, this four channel system is only two channels by today's terminology. Technology evolved into fully proportional systems on crystal-controlled 27 MHz using pulse position modulation (PPM), then to 72 MHz, and today nearly every every R/C uses a combination of frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) and direct-sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) in the 2.4 GHz ISM band...

Ambroid Liquid Cement

Ambroid Liquid Cement, Annual 1960 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsAmbroid was probably the biggest name in model aircraft cement. It has been around in one form or another since the early 1900s. The name is a portmanteau of amber (its color) and celluloid. By the time I got into the balsa model building scene in the late 1960's, Duco cement was being fairly widely used, and since it is what was on the shelf of my local convenience store, that's what I used. A few years later when I was driving and could visit hobby shops, I tried Ambroid cement, but never really took to it, primarily because it seemed to get brittle quickly. There was never a joint failure I could attribute to Duco cement, so I stuck with it (pun intended). About ten years or so ago the price of Duco cement began going way up, so nowadays I use mostly Sigment*. I had used Sigment occasionally prior to that and had confidence in its integrity. It appears Ambroid cement is no longer being manufactured, but Sigment is, so I highly recommend it as a general purpose glue for balsa structures...

Artemis Moon Rocket Launch Set for November 14th

Artemis Moon Rocket Launch Set for November 14th - RF CafeAll the world's astronauts have been launched to the ISS via the communist, America-hating countries of Russia and China since the Space Shuttle program shut down in 2011, with no standby replacement capability. "NASA's moon rocket is back on the pad for another launch attempt, following more repairs. The 322-foot rocket departed its hangar in the middle of the night and completed the 4-mile trip shortly after sunrise Friday. NASA is aiming for a launch attempt on Nov. 14, sending an empty crew capsule around the moon and back in a dramatic flight test before astronauts climb aboard in a couple years. Forecasters are keeping their eyes on potential tropical weather that could interfere. It is NASA's biggest step yet to get astronauts back on the moon by 2025. The space agency is nearing the 50th anniversary of its last human moon landing: Apollo 17 in December 1972..."

Ace All Star Biplane Kit

Ace All Star Biplane Kit - Airplanes and RocketsMy Ace All Star biplane was built while I was stationed at Robins Air Force Base, in Warner Robins, Georgia (just south of Macon). A pair of foam wings help it to build quickly. Ace sold both this tapered chord version and a constant chord version of the foam wings for decades, and they are still very popular on eBay when they come up for sale. I put an OS .15 engine up front, and three channels worth of Hobby Shack Cirrus 4-channel radio in it. My memory of the All Star is not very clear, although I do remember flying it in a field somewhere out on the back 40 (more like back 400) acres of the base where no full-size air traffic ventured. It lost its life during some dumb low-level maneuver, and went down really far away. That involved walking through a lot of tall grass - in Georgia, where snakes and even alligators were not uncommon. I seriously considered just leaving it there, but my unwillingness to abandon that amount of investment (quite a lot for a USAF enlisted guy's pay) overpowered the chicken-ness in me and I cautiously waded over to it. I snatched it up and made like an F-15 back to open ground exactly in the path from which I came...

Project Sparrow Arrives at AMA Museum

Project Sparrow Arrives at AMA Museum - Airplanes and Rockets

I remember receiving my copy of the September 1973 issue of American Aircraft Modeler magazine with the photo of the Sparrow RPV (remotely piloted vehicle) on the cover. Such a thing was a big deal back in the day. It was ground-breaking research and development for small RPVs with real-time video feedback. There was no Global Positioning System (GPS) to help guide the airplane and flight stabilization was relatively crude. Well-known R/C modeler and former AMA president Don Lowe was on the team. "On Monday, Oct 19th Jim Dalton and Doug Erhardt delivered a new aircraft to the museum, the Sparrow. Offered by Jim and accepted by the Museum's Acquisition committee, the aircraft was designed by Raymond Fredette of the Flight Dynamics Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the early 1970s..."

Cuban Pilot Defects in 1940s Biplane

Cuban Pilot Defects in 1940s Biplane - Airplanes and RocketsIf you thought the only 1940's-60's era vehicles still serving as mainstream transportation in Cuba were rusting hulks of Chevys and Fords, check out this Antonov An−2 biplane just used by pilot Ruben Martinez to escape the island paradise. This plane could have been on an airport tarmac during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That beautiful radial engine is similar to the ones in the Boeing B−17 Superfortress used in WWII. Maybe Mr. Martinez should have routed his flight to cross into the USA via Mexico, because recently some Cuban refugees arriving via the ocean have been returned, while millions of undocumented, unauthorized aliens are welcomed at the land border. The State Department began allowing travel to Cuba for certain purposes in 2017 in spite of the long-standing atrocious human rights policies. Here is a video of an R/C Antonov An−2...

With the Model Builders

With the Model Builders, December 1939 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsTo the average Joe model builder who otherwise has no shot at national recognition, having his model airplane featured in a magazine like this 1939 issue of Flying Aces was a major source of pride. Even today with easy access to making yourself known on the Internet, there is still something special about seeing your self and/or your model appear in print. The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMAs) has each month a "Focal Point" section in its Model Aviation magazine consisting of a collection of photos and descriptions of models submitted by members. Most seem to be radio control, with an occasional control line or free flight model. I even managed to have my scratch built 105% Aquila sailplane in there a few years ago. As you can see in this "With the Model Builders" page that there were no R/C models at all. The Good brothers (Walt and Bill) were still in the early stages of developing reliable radio systems at the time...

Sketchbook: Tips and Tricks

Sketchbook from March 1957 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsThis Sketchbook was scanned from the March 1957 issue of American Modeler magazine, published by the Academy of Model Aeronautics. 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. I like the idea of using a sharpened bullet cartridge for boring lightening holes in ribs, tail surfaces, etc., rather than using a drill bit. The tip about using a slot in the bellcrank for the flaps of a control line stunt models seems a bit iffy, since it can permit oscillations (fluttering) during normal flight...

Instruments for Scale Aircraft Models

Instruments for Scale Aircraft Models, Annual 1960 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsSure, you can go online and find hundreds or maybe thousands of instances of real-life aircraft instrument images for your model airplane or helicopter, then scale them to the right size and do a high definition color printout for gluing onto the panel of your latest pride and joy. However, prior to just a couple decades ago, the task was more difficult. You could fairly easily find instrument images in magazines and books and then make copies on a printer or copying machine; some even had a scaling function allowing you to change the size to fit your need. That was so for about the last four to five decades, and often gaining access to a printer. Before that, it was necessary to either be lucky enough to find printed images of the correct size, or buy a set of printed instruments from a company that sold instruments sets of various scales...

Blohm Voss 141-B Article & Plans

Blohm Voss 141-B Article & Plans, August 1970, American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsAirplanes and Rockets website visitor Lieven M. requested that this article on the Blohm Voss 141-B (BV 141-B) be scanned and posted from the August 1970 edition of American Aircraft Modeler magazine. The BV 141-B, designed by Mr. Terry Aldrich, is a unique scale subject in that it is a World War II German fighter-bomber featuring an asymmetrical configuration. It looks sort of like a P-38 Lightning with the right boom missing. The engine in on the left at the nose end of the single fuselage boom, and the pilot compartment is on the right, on the wing. The horizontal stabilizer span is about 80% to the left of the vertical fin, and 20% to the right of it. Construction uses sheet balsa for the wings, tail surfaces, and profile fuselage. Power is provided by a single 049 engine...

eVTOLs: The Promise and the Risk

eVTOLs: The Promise and the Risk - Airplanes and Rockets"The eVTOL movement came on the scene around 2012, promising fast, point-to-point, intra-urban transportation -after an Uber-in-the-sky vision. Their futuristic looks and eco-friendly, mainly lithium battery-powered electrical propulsion systems garnered plenty of publicity and enthusiasm. A blizzard of designs ensued. Transport Up, a website that tracks news related to electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, says there are some 98 designs now in the works - not counting hoverbikes and other single-person aircraft. The Vertical Flight Society's Electric VTOL News), also covers the industry. It lists a whopping 679 designs, divided among vectored thrust, lift and cruise, wingless multi-copters, electric rotorcraft, and hoverbike categories. The National Business Aircraft Association reported that 400 companies are involved in some segment of this future aviation vision, be it in UAM (urban air mobility), AAM (advanced air mobility - including longer-range..."

Bombs of the World War

Bombs of the World War, May 1934 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsThese are not your father's bombs; in fact, they're your great-grandfather's bombs. Note that per the title "Bombs of the World War," there was no "I" or "1" appended to it. That is because as we learned in grammar class in elementary school while being instructed on creating outlines, one does not assign a number "1" or a letter "a" or "A" if there will be no number "2" or letter "b" or B." Since what we now refer to as World War I was "the war to end all wars," there was no expectation that there would someday be a World War II. Hence, up until the end of 1941, people referred to the 28 July, 1914 through 11 November, 1918 conflict simply as the "the World War" or "the Great War." But I digress. Many of the bombs shown here were tossed out of the cockpit by either the pilot or back seat bomber/gunner. BTW, when I saw that the Whitehead Aircraft Torpedo supposedly had an 8,000 yard (24,000 feet, or 4.5 miles) range running on compressed air...

Bounty Hunter Article & Plans

Bounty Hunter Article & Plans, September/October 1965 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsAirplanes and Rockets website visitor Mel G. wrote to ask that I scan and post this article on Dick Mathis' famous Bounty Hunter 1/2A free flight airplane. It appeared in the September/October 1965 issue of American Modeler magazine. Mel says he built one from a kit bought at MAL Hobby (Model Aircraft Laboratories) back in the 1980s. According to their website MAL Hobby has been in business in Irving, Texas, since 1948, but according to their website appears to have disappeared sometime about 2014. I could not find the Bounty Hunter kit listed on their website. If you are looking for an article or plans not already posted here, please send me an e-mail and I will be glad to do so if I happen to have the issue you need...

Paul Harvey - Radio Control Modeler

Paul Harvey - Radio Control Modeler, May 1972 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsWhilst looking through some old issues of American Aircraft Modeler magazine, I was quite surprised to find that none other than radio great Paul Harvey is (or was) a builder and flyer of radio controlled airplanes. The first feature on Paul Harvey appeared in the May 1972 edition in a monthly column titled, "On the Scene." (see below) Mr. Harvey then wrote a regular column titled "Paul Harvey Views." Understandably, the column only ran for a few months - probably because of his extremely busy schedule. I did a Google search to try to find information on Paul Harvey's modeling activities, but could not find anything at all. That is when I decided to go ahead and reprint this one article from the May 1974 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. I hope he won't mind...

Wright J5 "Whirlwind" 9−Cylinder Radial Engine

Wright J5 "Whirlwind" 9-Cylinder Radial Engine, Annual 1960 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsFor a few months, Air Trails magazine ran a series of scale line drawings called "Aircraft Engine Scrapbook" which were meant to be cut out and put in a 3-ring binder. They were one-page information sheets on various powerplants of the day containing dimensions, mechanical specifications (displacement, horsepower, compression ration, rotations per minute, etc.), and a brief note on the engine's production and usage history. This drawing for the 9−cylinder Wright J5 "Whirlwind" radial engine must be the first of the series because it is numbered as "−1." Interestingly, the Fokker company is included in the list of "American" aircraft manufacturers who used the J5. I thought Fokker was primarily a Germany / Netherlands company, but according to the Wikipedia entry Anthony Fokker established a presence in the United States in 1927, and eventually merged with General Motors and then North American Aviation. It is ironic that the builder of the P-51 Mustang and the B-25 Mitchell bomber...

How to Fold a Bandsaw Blade into 3 Rings

Woodworking Tips: How to Fold a Bandsaw Blade into 3 Rings - Airplanes and RocketsSometimes when I change or replace the blade on my bandsaw, I have to re-learn how to fold the blade into that nifty 3-ring configuration it has in the package when new. Even with trying to carefully note how the new blade unfolds, it can still difficult to get the old blade back in its original format. It can be confounding and almost seems impossible to be able to fold the stiff blade into that third loop without bending it. In fact the bandsaw blade folds quite easily when done properly. This time after figuring it out once again, I decided to make a video of the process. There is probably a complicated equation in knot theory which mathematically described the complex curve formed by the folded bandsaw blade...

FOD Discovered on Mars!

NASA Ingenuity 'Copter Picks up FOD on Mars - RF CafeThis is kind of weird. It's either a phenomenal discovery or bad news for the Ingenuity coaxial helicopter making the airborne rounds on Mars. The video clip shows the 'copter descending without anything hanging from its landing gear leg, and then there is a wispy object dangling from it after taking off again. It looks like a weak water flow from an aerated faucet - which obviously it cannot be - or maybe a piece of Saran Wrap - which it also cannot be (... or could it be litter from a Martian's sandwich?). NASA has designated it as Foreign Object Debris (FOD). It'll be interesting to learn of NASA's conclusion.

Build the S.S.P. Helicopter

S.S.P. Helicopter from the August 1972 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsImagine if your path to flying an R/C helicopter involved first designing, then building, and then troubleshooting the contraption. That was the burden of pioneers. We have people like S.S.P. Helicopter designer Gene Rock to thank for being able to enjoy the state-of-the-art models that are available today. This article from the August 1972 edition of American Aircraft Modeler magazine describes the process of machining all the metal parts for an Enya .45-powered craft. Mr. Rock even designed a very successful mechanical gyro for keeping the tail under control. If you have ever tried flying an R/C heli without any type of gyro (I have, on a DuBro Tristar), you will fully appreciate what a pleasure it is to not have to manually counter torque changes (throttle) with tail rotor stick input from the transmitter. Around 2008 I bought a Blade MCX2 coaxial rotor helicopter for flying inside, and the gyro is so good on that thing that you can put it in a full speed pirouette...

That Feminine Touch - AMA '59 Nats

That Feminine Touch - AMA '59 Nats, Annual 1960 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsAs I have written many times, the lack of proportional representation of women and girls in the model airplane realm is not because when they do show up, no attention is paid to them. In fact it is just the opposite. Go to any flying field of any type - R/C, C/L, or F/F, and watch what happens when a girl shows up with a model if you doubt it. In 1960 and in 2022, and all the years in between, the fairer sex is sought out and highlighted by model aviation magazines. They are never exploited, ignored, or criticized - just the opposite. You can be sure that any female model builder/flyer and/or contest official receives due attention and credit. The 1959 Academy of Model Aeronautics Nationals (Nats) is a prime example of that which I claim to be so. Many other examples can be found in the articles posted here on the website...

How Douglas Created the DC-3

How Douglas Created the DC-3 - Airplanes and Rockets"We celebrate National Aviation Day with a look at the world's first successful commercial passenger transport airplane. The Douglas Aircraft Company was a pioneer in early aviation and produced a number of different aircraft. However, it is best known for its DC−3, among the most important aircraft ever built. In Part 1 of this two-part series, the genesis of Douglas Aircraft and the DC−1 and DC−2 were profiled. The DC−2 Started the Revolution As recounted in Part 1, the DC−1 and DC−2 were developed after a request by Transcontinental and Western Airlines (TWA). What was then United Airlines was TWA's rival in transcontinental air service, using the Boeing 247. Because Boeing (then named United Aircraft and Transport Corporation) also owned United, TWA sought an aircraft that would allow it to compete. Douglas and his talented team designed and built the DC−1 in 1932-33..."

Auto Progress: Down Memory Lane

Auto Progress: Down Memory Lane III, December 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsAir Trails HOBBIES for Young Men magazine, which was published in the 1950s and 1960s, covered a wide array of subjects including model cars, boats, trains, rockets, and helicopters. It may have billed itself as targeting young men, but men of all ages enjoyed its monthly contents. The December 1945 edition had this spread on some early cars such as the Pierce Silver Arrow and 1922 Durant. The image of line drawings and brief descriptions would also make a good wall poster if you want to print it out. If you are a vintage car aficionado, then most likely you have visited the Jay Leno's Garage website. He has one of the nicest private collections of antique automobiles and motorcycles in the world...

Rockets & Missiles on Display at Udvar-Hazy

Rockets & Missiles on Display at the Udvar-Hazy Center - Airplanes and RocketsOn May 10, 2012, Melanie and I visited the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, part of the National Air and Space Museum, in Chantilly, Virginia. It is the first time we have ever been there, although we have been to the main museum in Washington, D.C., two or three times. The collection of airplanes, helicopters, rockets, spacecraft, and associated engines and paraphernalia is utterly amazing. Unfortunately, we only had two hours to take in the entire experience, so we rushed around taking pictures and reading as many of the placards as possible in that time. It is at the same time both heartening discouraging to see the names of wartime manufacturing companies that no longer exist due to consolidation or the exporting of work to other countries - even enemies like Red China...

Starting Control Line Combat

Starting Control Line Combat, Annual 1960 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsAccording to this 1960 Air Trails magazine "Starting Control Line Combat" article, the contest event first appeared in the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) rulebook in 1950. Hard to believe that was 72 years ago as of this writing. It's equally hard to believe it was only 8 years before I was born - ugh. Control line combat remains a very popular sport today, and is one of the relatively few aspects of the hobby which has not changed considerably. Engines have gotten more powerful and reliable, and building materials have improved, but the basic outline of the airframe is about the same. The story reports on combat rounds having up to five planes flying at once, duking it out for air superiority. Too bad there's not a video of it with all the flyers trying desperately to not become entangled in each other's lines or even keeping out of each other's way. There must have been a lot of smashed balsa after that event. Anyway, this article provides a lot of detail concerning all aspects of model construction, engine and fuel tank setup, and flying. Interesting fact: In the early days of control line combat, prolonged inverted flight was permitted...

Blade 230 S Helicopter Parts for Sale

Blade 230 S Helicopter Parts for Sale - Please Support the Airplanes and Rockets WebsiteMy Blade 230 S Smart R/C Helicopter had an unfortunate meeting with my foot. The result of my stupidity is broken fuselage frame, blade holders, and a bent tail boom. That appears to be the extent of the damage. I could buy the parts to restore and fly it again, but I'm not that interested at this point. Prior to the Big Foot incident, I had about 50 flights, all in the Stability mode, so it has not been subject to strenuous conditions. Instead, I am offering all the components shown here for a total of just $175 (+shipping). The BNF version of the Blade 230 S helicopter (which this is, purchased from Horizon Hobby in March of 2022) currently costs $249.99 - although as of this writing they are on backorder. There are well over $300 worth of parts here (including spares) that would make a good investment for excusing your own mishaps...

Flying High at Zero Altitude

Flying High at Zero Altitude, December 1958 Popular Electronics - RFCafeMy flight simulator software (MS Flight Sim 2002) and computer it runs on (HP i7 notebook) are each more powerful than the software and computer that ran the Douglas DC-8 pilot training simulator featured in this 1958 article in Popular Electronics magazine. Two racks of 1000+ vacuum tubes did the figurative electronic heavy lifting while massive DC motors did the literal physical cockpit heavy lifting. The computer needed to handle as many as 40 variables at one time, including 6 differential equations of motion. 100 servomotors, 540 amplifiers and 2,200 gears drove the instrument panel gauges, dials, and movie projector mechanisms. The instrument panel description conjures images of the inside of a modern office-grade copying machine with its very dense conglomeration of gears and axels...

Cockpit Details for the Scale Model

Cockpit Details for the Scale Model, Annual 1960 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsModern day scale models are amazingly detailed with functional miniature instruments, control yokes and joysticks moving in unison with stabilizer, rudder, ailerons, throttle, and others. Access to relatively inexpensive 3-D printing, laser printers, and laser cutters has greatly enabled scale modelers. The state of the art has advanced for far that competition is extremely stiff. Even so, in the 1960's when this "Cockpit Details for the Scale Model" article appeared in Air Trails magazine, the skill level was quite impressive given the resources available at the time. This particular subject is an instrument panel for a Piper J3 Cub, but photos from scale contents of the era showed highly detailed cockpits for civilian and military aircraft ranging from Cessna 180's to B-36 bombers and F−86 Saber jet fighters...

Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge

Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge - Airplanes and Rockets"Sustainable air travel has made big progress over the last two years. Many airlines and carriers have exploited the opportunity afforded by the drop in passenger numbers to scrap older, less economic and less efficient planes. Planes spew out carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxides (NOx), which also helps form ozone in the upper troposphere. They also emit particulates and leave water-vapor trails (contrails), both of which trap heat. Sustainable air travel has made big progress over the last two years. With airlines and plane manufacturers keen to improve their environmental credentials, one simple solution is to power aircraft with bio-fuel, known as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the trade. Existing aircraft can use jet fuel mixed with 50% SAF without needing to be modified in any way. Doing so can slash emissions by up to 80% compared to ordinary jet fuel, with Rolls-Royce and Boeing having already carried out test flights..."

A-justo-jig and Great Planes Wing Jig

 A-justo-jig and Great Planes Wing Jig - Airplanes and RocketsSometime in the 1970s, a radically new model airplane building tool appeared in R/C Modeler, American Aircraft Modeler, and other model aviation magazines - the "A-justo-jig." It was pitched as the answer to all the many misaligned wings and fuselages that were preventing everyone from being a world class radio control and/or control line pattern flyer and/or scale master. Undoubtedly, use of a jig to align and hold in place ribs, leading and trailing edges, fuselage side and formers, etc., did/does result in a more perfect model airframes; however, in the many hundreds of model aircraft building articles I have seen in magazines, to my recollection not one featured an A-justo-jig. Many showed custom jigs designed by builders, but none in a commercial jig. Sometime in the 1990's Great Planes introduced a Precision Wing Jig...

Dynamic Attitude-Aware Motor Speed Control for E-Powered Control Line Aircraft 

A Programmable Dynamic Attitude-Aware Motor Speed Control for Electric-Powered Control Line Aircraft - Airplanes and RocketsThere 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. I'm throwing this idea out to companies like Winged Shadow Systems, who make some ingenuous peripheral products like the How High altimeter and the Thermal Scout thermal detector, and the Sky Limit altitude/time limit motor cutoffs. Surely those guys can design and affordably market a dynamic, attitude-aware motor control for electric-powered control line airplanes. I provide here a basic outline of the concept, what I title "A Programmable Dynamic Attitude-Aware Motor Speed Control for Electric-Powered Aircraft©." While its indented initial application is for control line aircraft, it is possible to extend the usage to free flight and other modes of flight...

Construct a Solid of the Army's New Martin "167"

Construct a Solid of the Army's New Martin "167", December 1939 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsPlastic model kits were rare in 1939. For that matter plastic "anything" was rare at the time. It was not until after World War II that injection molded plastic was commonly found in commercial and household items. Accordingly, the majority of small static display models were carved from balsa, basswood, pine, or other soft woods with straight grain and no knots. Many craftsmen honed their skills carving, sanding, painting, and detailing solid models such as this Martin 167 bomber which appeared in the December 1939 issue of Flying Aces magazine. Boats, ships, cars, trains, trucks, and other types of vehicles and equipment was commonly modeled, for both military and civilian varieties. In one of the vintage modeling magazines - possibly Flying Aces - there was a photo of a guy with his extensive model of a circus, including tents, beasts, human performers, transport trucks and trailers. Different strokes for different folks, as the saying goes...

Rocket Battle at Denver

Rocket Battle at Denver, April 1962, American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsIt's hard to believe 1961 was over half a century ago (62 years to be more precise). That is when this "NARAM," the National Association of Rocketry Annual Meet, took place in Denver, Colorado. As with the U.S. Navy's involvement in the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) Nationals (Nats), the U.S. Air Force, in July of 1961, officially encouraged model rocketry as a hobby for USAF personnel, including the Civil Air Patrol (CAP, headquartered at Ellington AFB, Texas, at the time). The USAF had a vested interest in encouraging young men to develop an interest in rocket development, operation, and maintenance in order to ensure an ample supply of enlisted and officer personnel for its missile programs. The contest has held at the Hogback Rocket Range near Denver, which was close to Lowry Air Force Base (now closed) and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs...

NASA Sending 2 More Helicopters to Mars

NASA Sending Two More Helicopters to Mars - Airplanes and Rockets"NASA has announced a conceptual mission architecture for the Mars Sample Return (MSR) program, and it's a pleasant surprise. The goal of the proposed program is to return the rock samples that the Perseverance rover is currently collecting on the Martian surface to Earth, which, as you can imagine, is not a simple process. It'll involve sending a sample-return lander (SRL) to Mars, getting those samples back to the lander, launching a rocket back to Mars orbit from the lander, and finally capturing that rocket with an orbiter that'll cart the samples back to Earth. As you might expect, the initial idea was to send a dedicated rover to go grab the sample tubes from wherever Perseverance had cached them and bring them back to the lander with the rocket, because how else are you going to go get them, right? If Perseverance can’t make it, is to collect the samples with two helicopters instead..."

Astro-Jeff Sailplane Article & Plans

Astro-Jeff Sailplane Article & Plans, August 1974 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsHere is another sailplane that, like the Aquila, really appealed to me back when I first saw it in the August 1974 edition of American Aircraft Modeler magazine. The Astro−Jeff's 12'−7" (151") wingspan and 1370 sq. in. of wing area, was too much for my 16-year-old wallet. The cost to build and cover it, and then the launch system needed was way more than what I was accustomed to paying compared to my Standard Hi-Start and 72" and 99" gliders (the 2−meter class hadn't been created yet). I had forgotten about the Astro−Jeff until a few years ago when I ran across a re-kitting of it by Mr. Jim Ealy of Vintage Sailplaner. He offers a short and full kit of the Astro−Jeff with a fiberglass fuselage. Maybe now that I have a lot more money (don't I wish), someday I probably will finally build one of my own...

Join the Flying Aces Club

Join the Flying Aces Club, December 1939 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsAlthough this solicitation for membership to the Flying Aces Club appeared in a 1939 issue of Flying Aces magazine, it might as aptly show up in the next edition of the AMA Model Aviation magazine, for the Flying Aces Club is still in existence lo these 83 years hence. The wording would be a little different - especially the list of Honorary Member names almost none of which today many people would recognize - but the theme hasn't changed. I took the time to look up and hyperlink to biographies of everyone in the list. Having been born in 1950 and being a life-long aviation aficionado, I am familiar with probably half the people. You will see a lot of aircraft designer names in there. One notable absence is Charles A. Lindberg, which makes me wonder if the "Honorary" title is bestowed upon certain people whether or not they are aware of it and accept the honor. In fact, I'm pretty sue Mr. Lindberg was an active model builder and flyer, and was a regular member of the Flying Aces Club...

R/C Compound Escapements & Servos

R/C Compound Escapements & Servos, February 1955 Popular Electronics - RF CafeEarly "servos" were nothing more than the electromechanical equivalents of rubber band-powered escapement. Rather than energizing a solenoid that would allow the rubber band to turn the control arm, the pulse signal from the receiver would set a motor in motion, and then limit switches would stop it once the predetermined position was reached. They had a number of advantages over rubber-powered escapements in that the power delivered to the control surface was not diminished with every actuation (except from some negligible energy drain from the batteries), they were able to deliver a lot more power, and they took up less real estate inside the fuselage. It was a first step toward today's proportional servos. This 1955 issue of Popular Electronics magazines shows the state of the art in the day...

Inside the Two-Cycle Engine

Inside the Two-Cycle Engine, February 1968 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsEven while electric propulsion systems are gaining ground in the modeling realm, 2- and 4-cylinder engines are still quite popular amongst modelers. I have made a switchover totally to electric, but I sure miss the sound and smell of the nitro engines. For those who still use internal combustion engines, and for those who just want to learn a little more about how these model engines work, this article by Glenn Lee in the February 1968 issue of American Aircraft Modeler magazine will be a very useful read...

Wings for the King

Wings for the King, December 1939 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsCrash Carringer was one of Arch Whitehouse's later ace pilot characters. Officially an aircraft salesman for Hale Aircraft Corporation on Long Island, New York. However, in his efforts to prove the superiority of his prized Hellion monoplane fighter with a twin tail boom configuration, he often ended up fighting and winning dogfights against evil worldwide crime organizations who were often in league with governments of notorious for desiring to rule the Earth. World War I had been over for nearly two decades and World War II was newly on the table following Hitler's and Hirohito's invasions in Europe and Asia, respectively. Accordingly, those two countries played prominently in the stories. As with most of these sorts of stories in Flying Aces magazine, they were quite long, filling eight to ten full pages...

Airbus Zephyr Drone Breaks Flight Record

Airbus Zephyr Drone Breaks Flight Record - Airplanes and Rockets"The solar-powered Zephyr drone beat its own record for time spent aloft as an uncrewed aircraft system, with 36 days completed so far, and counting, according to Army Futures Command. AFC's Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing/Space Cross-Functional Team launched the aircraft on June 15 and it remains deployed some 70,000 feet over Arizona. The pilotless aircraft previously set the longevity record at about 26 days in 2018. The first stratospheric UAS of its kind, Zephyr can fly continuously for months at a time, far above weather and conventional air traffic. It has a wingspan of just over 82 feet - longer than 2 school buses placed end-to-end, but weighs less than 166 pounds."



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