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Home Page Archive (page 30)

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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Northern Minx R/C Airplane

Northern Minx, May 1956 Young Men • Hobbies • Aviation • Careers - Airplanes and RocketsIn 1956 when this Northern Minx article and plans appeared in Young Men magazine, state of the art radio control (R/C) was still composed of vacuum tubes and discrete components, usually connected together via point-to-point wiring. Batteries were of the lead-acid type for the transmitter and carbon or alkaline for the airborne receiver. As you might guess, that resulted in heavy models which needed to be relatively large in order to keep the wing loading down. Northern Minx only had a 48-inch wingspan, and used a simple one-tube receiver with a rubber-powered escapement for channel control of both the rudder and the elevator. The plans show only the rudder control installation, and the photos appear to only show a single escapement, though. The builder just about needed to use a shoe horn to squeeze all that in the fuselage. Interestingly, the Northern Minx has a break-away nose section containing the firewall, engine, fuel tank, propeller, spinner, and cowling...

Proposed Arecibo Observatory Replacement Downsized

Astronomers Downsize Proposed Arecibo Observatory Replacement - Airplanes and Rockets"Astronomers at the iconic Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico have revised their plans for a telescope to replace the original facility, which dramatically collapsed in 2020. The so-called Next Generation Arecibo Telescope (NGAT) would, if funded, involve building a phased array of small parabolic antennas to carry out pioneering research to maintain the island's position at the forefront of astronomy. The Arecibo Observatory, which first opened in 1963, is located in a natural bowl and was used for research into radio astronomy, planetary and space studies as well as atmospheric science. But on 1 December 2020 the radio telescope's suspended platform - with its Gregorian dome focus and a plethora of instrumentation - fell after multiple suspension cables failed. The 900-tonne platform crashed into the 305 m dish, which lies almost 140 m below, destroying parts of it. Despite the damage, the National Science Foundation (NSF), which funds the observatory, decided it would not close the site..."

For the Tenderfoot: Bonanza and Mustang

For the Tenderfoot: Bonanza and Mustang Article & Plans, January 1971 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsWebsite visitor Kenneth E. wrote to say that he is working to build a complete collection of the Tenderfoot models that were published in the Academy of Model Aeronautics' American Aircraft Modeler magazine. The Tenderfoot series was an attempt to provide motivation to young newcomers to the hobby. They were a mix of freeflight rubber powered airplanes and helicopters, gliders, and ¼A & ½A control line designs that built quickly, simply, and cheaply. Kenneth requested reprints of the following three models: the ½A C/L Saucerer from January 1970, the FF HLGs Bonanza and Mustang (this article) from January 1971, and the FF rubber Clodhopper from February 1973...

Craftsman 12" Wood Lathe

Craftsman 12" Wood Lathe (Model No. 113.228162) - Airplanes and RocketsMy introduction to using a wood lathe was my high school wood shop class in my Junior year (circa 1974-1975) at Southern Senior High in Harwood, MD. Mr. Charles Smith was the teacher. I have him to thank for imparting a lifelong love for woodworking. Back in those days, we respected teachers by addressing them Mr., Mrs., or Ms. Surprisingly, about a decade after graduating, I ran into Mr. Smith at AACC while taking a class toward my electrical engineering degree (he was not in my class). The wood shop at Robins AFB was well-equipped, and include a wood lathe. I used it to turn a couple lamps from blocks of oak provided by a Sgt. Eddie Nugent from my radar shop, who had cut down a tree a year or so earlier. One of the two, which incorporated a burnt-out thyratron tube from the S-band search radar, disappeared decades ago. I gave it to Melanie as a Christmas present before we got married (in 1983). The other oak lamp is still around today. After getting out of the USAF in 1982, I bought a Craftsman 12" wood lathe from the Sears store in Parole Plaza, in Annapolis, Maryland. When Melanie and I got married, I set it up in the basement work shop of our tiny Cade Cod house in Arnold, Maryland. You can also see in the photo my first Craftsman radial arm saw, also bought at the Parole Plaza Sears store. After four decades of moving from place to place many times, I still have a Craftsman radial arm saw...

Computer Chair Carpet Protector

Computer Chair Carpet Protector - Airplanes and RocketsWith as expensive as carpet is these days (even cheap carpet is expensive), protecting it from the ravages of a computer chair is essential for preservation. Casters wreak havoc with carpet, and even if you replace the castors with fixed feet (w/ or w/o Teflon bottoms), deep depressions are formed. One solution is too buy one of the plastic carpet protectors, but they're big and ugly. Nice ones are available, but they're usually very expensive. I have seen picture of very nice rectangular wooden surfaces people have built to allow the chair to roll, but my space is cramped. All I need is a compact surface to contain the chair feet without requiring the chair to roll. Since the seat swivels, getting in and out of it is simple enough. My solution is shown in the photos. It did not take long to construct, and is as diminutive as possible, being just large enough to cover the foot span. The base of the computer chair carpet protector is cut from 1/2" furniture grade plywood...

"Flying Platform" Gets Three Engines

"Flying Platform" Gets Three Engines, May 1957 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsA lot of wild and zany ideas for flying machines have been tried over the years. Most, if not all, of them could probably be coaxed into flying with modern computer-controlled stabilization and navigations systems that use fast-reacting powerplants, sensitive accelerometers and position sensors. For anything other than stable platforms, human pilots just could not provide control - at least on an extended basis and under adverse weather conditions. This "flying platform" by Hiller Helicopters is one such example. It appeared in the May 1957 issue of American Modeler magazine. Piloting it was essentially the same as with the Lunar Lander...

Tempest Programme Gets £656M Funding Boost

Tempest Programme Gets £656M Funding Boost - RF Cafe"Known officially as the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP), the flagship future air defence project recently became a trilateral endeavour between the UK, Italy and Japan. According to the MOD, the three partners will now 'progress the maturity of more than 60 cutting-edge technology demonstrations, digital concepts and new technologies,' with a view to a finished fighter taking to the skies by 2035. 'The next tranche of funding for future combat air will help fuse the combined technologies and expertise we have with our international partners - both in Europe and the Pacific - to deliver this world-leading fighter jet by 2035, protecting our skies for decades to come,' said defence secretary Ben Wallace. The MOD says Tempest is planned to be an innovative stealth fighter with supersonic capability, equipped with advanced sensing..."

Mini-ROD Article & Plans

Mini-ROD Article & Plans, February 1969 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsWebsite visitor Bob G. wrote to request help with identifying a Cox .020-powered free flight model that he remembered seeing in an old edition of American Aircraft Modeler modeler magazine. He couldn't recall the name for sure, but gave a good enough description and a guess at the approximate timeframe that I was able to find it for him - the "Mini−ROD." His completed Mini−ROD is shown to the left. The finish has not yet been applied. You can see where the wing panels are joined temporarily with masking tape. The horizontal stabilizer is in its dethermalizer position. Wing and stabilizers are sheet balsa with airfoil-forming ribs underneath. A Cox .020 engine will power the Mini−Rod. Bob is planning on building a lot of the Tenderfoot series of models that appeared monthly back in the era...

Chipper II Free Flight

Chipper II, December 1964 Model Airplanes News - Airplanes and RocketsAirplanes and Rockets website visitor Bob G. wrote to request that I post the articles for the Skyrida (October 1969 American Aircraft Modeler) and for the Minirod (February 1969 AAM). He is on a mission to build many of the "Tenderfoot" series of free flight models featured in American Aircraft Modeler magazine back in the 1970s. "Chipper II" was published in the December 1964 issue of Model Airplane News magazine. The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) Plans Service can supply high quality plans for the Chipper II.  Says Bob, "I was building "Chipper II" (plans supplied by my brother-in-law) when you posted the plans for "Skyrida". The "Chipper II" is largely complete. (photo attached) It is the first engine powered plane that I've attempted in 40 years. I've applied sanding sealer and dope. The only dope available here was clear, so I haven't painted it, and may not. I doped it in the garage, and it took a couple of days for the odors do dissipate, to my wife's disgust...

Peanuts Hungerford Doll Collection

Peanuts Hungerford Doll Collection - Airplanes and RocketsOver time, our (Melanie and me) Peanuts collection of memorabilia has grow from the few items she had left over from her girlhood to complete sets. She had the Hungerford Linus and Sally, so we still needed to find Schroeder, Lucy, Charlie Brown, Pigpen, and Snoopy. Everything was procured via eBay auctions. It took a lot of patience to be able to get good quality items at an affordable price. The "Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz" book was very helpful in identifying which Peanuts memorabilia items were made. The author mentioned that the rarest Hungerford piece was the piano that came with Schroeder, so a saved search was placed on eBay and after about a year, one came up for auction. We paid less than $100 for it back around 2010. We're still in need of Lucy, Charlie Brown, Pigpen, and Snoopy. Please let me know if you have these that you are will to sell at a reasonable price...

Dual Rotation-Reverse Thrust Propeller

Dual Rotation-Reverse Thrust Propeller, December 1945 Flying Age Including Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsAt the time this "Dual Rotation-Reverse Thrust Propeller" article appeared in Flying Age magazine in 1945, the jet-engine-powered aircraft were still mostly in the developmental stage, although both Axis and Allied countries had managed to deploy a design or two at the tail end of World War II. Commercial and military aircraft had been using variable pitch propellers for a long time, even with reverse pitch for aerodynamic braking. The concept of coaxial, counter-rotating propellers was a relatively new idea in terms of building and testing working models for full-scale aircraft. Four primary advantages of the configuration were more thrust for a given projected propeller area, and the reduction or even total elimination of the counter-torque associated with a normal propeller, the reduction or total elimination of gyroscopic precession, and the reduction or total elimination of p−factor. History shows that while the counter-rotating propeller has been employed successfully in certain instances, it has not enjoyed widespread acceptance - primarily due to cost and complexity...

Mad Modelers' Slot Racer

Mad Modelers' Slot Racer, from September/October 1963 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsSlot car racing used to be a big deal back before battery-powered radio control cars became inexpensive and readily available. Many hobby shops, including one I used to frequent in Laurel, Maryland, had slot car tracks set up for patrons to use. I think we paid something like a dollar for half an hour. You could either bring your own car, or rent one from the hobby shop. As with any activity, certain stereotypes are created and stick with slot car racers and their creations. This set of comics from the September/October 1963 edition of American Modeler magazine documents some of those things...

Buzz Aldrin Promoted to Brigadier General

Buzz Aldrin Promoted to Brigadier General - Airplanes and RocketsApollo 11 astronaut Colonel Buzz Aldrin, the second man to ever stand on the moon's surface - and the first ever to photograph another man standing on the moon's surface - retired from the U.S. Air Force as a full bird colonel. As the result of a distinguished career as a fighter pilot and test pilot, and after earning a PhD in astronautics from MIT (thesis: "Line-of-sight guidance techniques for manned orbital rendezvous"), and after flying as an astronaut in NASA's Gemini space program, Buzz Aldrin was chosen as one of the three-member Apollo 11 crew (along with Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins). On May 5, 2023, at the Space Systems Command Los Angeles Air Force Base, Buzz was honorarily promoted to the rank of brigadier general (one-star) in the U.S. Space Command. Congratulations, Brigadier General Buzz Aldrin!

Rocket-Powered X-15 Research Vehicle

Rocket-Powered X-15 Research Vehicle, November 1961 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThe X-15 was an experimental aircraft developed by NASA and the U.S. Air Force in the 1950s and 1960s. It was a rocket-powered aircraft designed to explore the high-speed and high-altitude flight regimes. The X-15 program aimed to gather data on aerodynamics, structural heat resistance, and control systems for future space and hypersonic vehicles. The X-15 was primarily built for research purposes, aiming to push the boundaries of manned flight. It provided valuable data on the effects of high speeds, altitudes, and temperatures on aircraft and human physiology. The X-15 achieved impressive speeds, with its fastest recorded speed being Mach 6.7 (about 4,520 miles per hour). It also reached altitudes of up to 354,200 feet. The X-15 was flown by a select group of experienced test pilots, including Neil Armstrong. From 1959 to 1968, the X-15 completed a total of 199 flights...

Gravitational Lensing Yields New Value for Hubble Constant

Gravitational Lensing of Supernova Yields New Value for Hubble Constant - RF CafeWho says that supergenius astrophysicists don't have a sense of humor? Certainly not me, and here's proof. A news story entitled "Gravitational Lensing of Supernova Yields New Value for Hubble Constant," tells an amazing account of how a group of researchers exploited the phenomenon of gravitational lensing (a relatively new discovery) by a recently discovered supernova to calculate a more accurate value for the Hubble constant (H0). Here's the hilarious part: One of the three primary research groups in the quest for ever-improved Hubble constant values calls itself H0LiCOW (H0 Lenses in COSMOGRAIL's Wellspring). "A study of how light from a distant supernova was gravitationally lensed as it travelled to Earth has been used to calculate a new value for the Hubble constant - an important parameter that describes the expansion of the universe ... The lumpy distribution of mass in the cluster created a complex gravitational field that sent the supernova's light along several different paths towards Earth. When the supernova was first observed in 2014, it appeared as four points of light. As the four points faded, a fifth appeared 376 days later. This light was delayed by the longer path it had taken through the cluster. During those 376 days the universe had expanded, which means that the wavelength of the late arriving light was redshifted..." Holy cow, another nonconstant constant!

Sopwith Camel - Manzano Laser Works

Sopwith Camel - Cox & Manzano Laser Works - Airplanes and RocketsMelanie gave me a Peter Rake-designed Sopwith Camel from Manzano Laser Works short kit for Christmas 2008. The entire building process has been documented here. The laser cut parts are very nice, as can be seen in these photos. There are a couple places you can go to read construction articles on the Sopwith Camel, but they are for radio control. My Camel was originally going to be built for control line, so I figured it would be worth including some additional information here. I have since then decided to use a 3−channel R/C setup. I planned at first to use the recommended Graupner GR170323 motor/gearbox combination, but have since settled on an E−flite Park 370 brushless outrunner motor to get the extra power. Either a 2−cell, 1500 mAh LiPo or a 3−cell, 1300 mAh LiPo battery will be used. Using an APC 10x4.7 e−propeller and the 3−cell LiPo, the thrust-to-weight ratio on a full charge well exceeds 1:1. The instructions and plans are very sparse, and leave a lot to the imagination regarding the actual construction, so there are photos here that you will not find elsewhere...

All Questions Answered

All Questions Answered, March 1937 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsAt first I was skipping over these over these "All Questions Answered" columns that appeared monthly in Flying Aces magazine, because I thought it was dumb to print responses to questions without also printing the questions that elicited them. After finally reading this one from the March 1937 issue, I realized that the questions can be inferred from the responses, and the information contained in the responses was stuff that required someone with an encyclopedic knowledge of the aeronautical field and/or someone with access to scarce volumes of data. Although not explicitly attributed to him, I believe after reading much of Joe Archibald's work (including the misadventures of Lt. Phineas Pinkham and his "Happy Landings" column) that most, or maybe even all, of it was provided by him. Mr. Archibald was himself a World War I flying ace with a vast knowledge of airplane models, aeronautics, and aviation history...

My Peanuts Memorabilia Collection

My Peanuts Memorabilia Collection - Airplanes and RocketsPeanuts Apollo 10 Charlie Brown Snoopy Moon Music Box Anri Charles SchulzThe Peanuts© comic strip, drawn by Charles Schulz, has been my lifetime favorite. That it is also the world's favorite strip is no wonder. Now that I have crossed the half-century threshold, I tend to look back at the innocence and complexity of the themes with a perspective other than simply entertainment - although I still thoroughly enjoy reading them just to get a few good laughs. Along the way, I have managed to collect a few bits of memorabilia. Melanie was a Peanuts fan as a child and actually still had some of her girlhood collection. Part of her dowry when we married was a couple dozen Peanuts paperback comic books, Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Snoopy Skediddlers, the Snoopy Christmas tree ornament, a couple Peanuts banners, and a few other odds and ends. The rest of the stuff like the Snoopy astronaut and the magazines with early Charles Schulz artwork was purchased off of eBay. Schroeder, Lucy, and Snoopy Bobbleheads (aka Nodders) were added in November 2012 as well as the Schroeder & Piano...

Flight 50 Means for Ingenuity Mars Helicopter

Flight 50 Means for Ingenuity Mars Helicopter - Airplanes and Rockets"JPL's Ingenuity helicopter is preparing for the 50th flight of its 5-flight mission to Mars. Flight 49, which took place last weekend, was its fastest and highest yet - the little helicopter flew 282 meters at an altitude of 16 meters, reaching a top speed of 6.50 meters per second. Not a bad performance for a tech demo that was supposed to be terminated two years ago. From here, things are only going to get more difficult for Ingenuity. As the Perseverance rover continues its climb up Jezero crater's ancient river delta, Ingenuity is trying its best to scout ahead. But, the winding hills and valleys make it difficult for the helicopter to communicate with the rover, and through the rover, to its team back on Earth. And there isn't a lot of time or room to spare, because Ingenuity isn't allowed to fly too close to Perseverance..."

Days of the Americans

Days of the Americans, December 1945 Flying Age Including Flying Aces - Airplanes and Rockets"Days of the Americans" is one chapter out of a book entitled "The Big Distance." Per this article which appeared in the December 1945 issue of Flying Age magazine, "The Big Distance, the official story prepared by the AAF, is to the struggle in the Pacific what Germany was to the European phase of the war." Unlike the European Theater of World War II, much of the populations of South Pacific islands were inhabited by people who were barely out of the Stone Age in terms of cultural and scientific evolution. The arrival of Northern hemisphere Western and European Anglo Saxons brought a culture of sophistication never dreamed of by the backwards civilizations indigenous to the islands. That was a common theme of the villages visited by the McHale's Navy crew in the 1960s TV series. While reading the story, I was a bit taken aback by the narrative of Americans having come to the island paradises and bringing their gigantic machines and inexplicable habits, but then the author states, "There always will be a faction among the elders who will attempt to establish the basic facts of the legend of the Americans through use of pure logic, simply pointing out that if the Americans had not been there, the Japs still would be. If the Americans weren't actually present, the question will be posed...

Radio Controlled Flight

Radio Controlled Flight, January 1947 Radio News - RF CafeEven though the U.S. Army Air Force and other research agencies around the world were at the forefront of experimenting with remote control airplanes, helicopters, tanks, trucks, cars, boats, and rockets, hobbyists were forging their own paths in the electronic art. I did not know until reading this article that drones were flown through the radiation field at the Bikini Atoll atom bomb test site for data collection. In fact amateur radio operators have long had the privilege of broadcasting for the purpose of remotely controlling a vehicle - the only scenario of Earth-based transmission whereby the "control operator" is not required to identify his/her call sign at an interval prescribed by the FCC (currently at least once every 10 minutes and at the end of the broadcast). Vintage modeling magazines have articles on early radio controlled (R/C) airplane experimentation. Target drones subject to remote control were not just small models, but also full-size aircraft that were deemed not airworthy enough to carry a human crew...

Phantom Article & Plans

Phantom Article & Plans, June 1971 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsWebsite visitor Richard P. wrote to ask for me to scan articles from the June 1971 edition of American Aircraft Modeler magazine. The two articles, subtitled "A Study in Design Ideas," feature two control line stunters, the F-4 Phantom and the B8 Crusader, presented together as complimentary models but with varied construction techniques. Designed and built by two separate modelers, Bill Suarez and Vic Macaluso, respectively, they are similar in that both represented at the time "the Navy's best current jet fighters," both have tricycle landing gear, have wingspans in the 55-60" range, and use inverted mounting for a .35-size engine. The big difference between the two is that the Phantom ahs a built-up wing while the Crusader has a foam core wing...

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Amazon Prime - Airplanes and RocketsThe AirplanesAnd website exists entirely on the support of its visitors by way of a small percentage earned with your purchases, which typically works out to less than $10 per month. That barley covers the domain registration and secure server fees for If you plan to buy items via, please click on this link to begin your shopping session from here so that I get credit for it. Doing so does not cost you anything extra. Thank you for your support.

230 Ultra-Rare Classic Cars in Barn

230 Ultra-Rare Classic Cars in Barn - Airplanes and RocketsSome guy in the Netherlands has a collection more than 230 classic autos, many in showroom condition, that have just gone up for auction. I would love to be able to afford just one nice pickup truck from the 1960s or 1970s. My 1st choice would be a 1952 Ford F−1 stepside like the one on the Sanford and Son TV show (I have the DVD set). "An elderly car enthusiast's astonishing collection of 230 rare classic cars has been discovered by a Dutch auction house, and the lot, including European and American cars collectively worth millions, is soon to be sold at auction. One particular, 'undeniably stylish and sophisticated' sports car from the 1950s is expected to fetch in excess of 675,000 euros ($729,432). Former professional car dealer Ad Palmen of the Netherlands, 82, had been collecting cars for decades. He stored them in a church and two 'dry but dusty' warehouses in Dordrecht until his ailing health forced him to sell them all ... Mr. Palmen started collecting cars approximately 40 years ago, with a yellow Lancia B20 being the first car..."

FCC Launching Space Bureau

FCC Launching Space Bureau - Airplanes and Rockets"The Federal Communications Commission will officially launch its Space Bureau tomorrow, reflecting the agency's reorganization to deal with increased interest in satellite-based communications. Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel proposed the reorganization late last year and the Commission unanimously approved it in January. The change splits the International Bureau into two 'separate, cooperative units' within the FCC: The Space Bureau, which will focus on 'policy and licensing matters related to satellite and space-based communications and activities,' and Office of International Affairs (OIA), which will coordinate FCC work with foreign and international regulatory authorities. The FCC has already received applications for 64,000 new satellites, indicating just how much the sector is booming - particularly in the area of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. In the coming years, tighter integration between 5G terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks is expected to emerge. Early use cases for smartphone-based satellite connectivity are already in play, such as T-Mobile US' deal with Starlink to share spectrum..."

Decade of Progress - Propellers

Decade of Progress - Propellers, December 1945 Flying Age Including Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsIt really is amazing how quickly aeronautics evolved in the mere four decades between when the Wright brothers first flew their Flyer until when this 1945 issue of Flying Age magazine printed a history of development of propellers. The technology went from fixed pitch, hand-carved wooden models to variable pitch, machine formed and finished high strength metal alloy variants. Those c1945 props needed to withstand the incredible forces of not just 1000-plus horsepower engines, but the centrifugal force and bending moments imposed on them by high speed rotation and rapid changes in axial orientation as the airplanes they were attached to performed high−G maneuvers. Research and development from American, European, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese engineers and scientists are to be primarily credited...

AK1-3 Kit Helicopter Coming to America

AK1-3 Kit Helicopter Coming to America - Airplanes and Rockets"The Aerokopter AK1-3 is a Ukrainian-designed and built helicopter distributed by Warsaw, Poland's Manufaktura Lotnicza as the Argon AK1-3 Sanka. The aircraft is supplied as both a kit and a complete, ready-to-fly helicopter. In several Slavic languages, Sanka is the term for sled. Designed to comply with Ukrainian AP-27 rules - which approximate the European Aviation Safety Agency's (EASA) CS-27 standards - the AK1-3 is a conventional helicopter featuring an enclosed, two-occupant cabin; a single main rotor; and a boom-mounted anti-torque rotor. The aircraft is powered by a four-cylinder, air-cooled, four-stroke, 156−horsepower Subaru EJ25 engine designed to run on automotive gasoline..."

Straighten Bowed and Cupped Laminated Countertops

How to Straighten Bowed and Cupped Laminated Countertops - Airplanes and RocketsHere is the method I came up with to straighten what were initially very bowed (lengthwise) and cupped (depthwise) laminate countertops. An Internet search on recommended ways to correct it turned up nothing. Many suggested that with as severely curved as mine were, the best thing to do is to discard them and buy new countertops. That was not an option for two reasons. First, after the COVID scamdemic the cost was double what it had been just two years prior. Second, the scamdemic, in early 2022, was still causing a major shortage of building materials, so finding a suitable selection was nearly impossible. Having been a woodworker for many decades, there have been a few times I needed to remove warps, twists, or bows from wood surfaces. Cutting a crosshatch pattern on the underside for stress relief and then flattening and bracing the surface always did the trick. Attempting to flatten the countertop by weighing down the edges and screwing the top to the base cabinets would not work because the tension in the curve would likely have caused the laminate on the top to split. Cutting slots in the bottom surface made the less-thick wood easily bend back into a flat surface. The slots were cut about a third of the way through from the bottom, and were spaced 2 inches apart...

Plane Views - December 1945

Plane Views, December 1945 Flying Age Including Flying Aces - Airplanes and Rockets"Plane Views" was a monthly feature of Flying Age magazine, with this installment being from the December 1945 issue. Flying Aces changed its name to Flying Age in the middle of 1944, probably to focus on the rapidly advancing aeronautical technology prompted by World War II. Whereas Flying Aces was full of fictional stories of flying aces during World War I and the interim up though the middle of World War II - along with plans for airplane models - Flying Age was essentially an entirely new magazine with very little in the way of model aviation and none of the adventure stories. Many Flying Aces readers were highly upset at the extreme change, especially since it essentially abandoned the Flying Aces Club as well. The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) had no involvement with either the Flying Aces or the Flying Age magazines. In fact, I don't recall the AMA ever being mentioned. The AMA had its own magazine that went by various titles over the years, including American Modeler, American Aircraft Modeler, and its present incarnation, Model Aviation...

Aircraft Designed Using Advanced Supercomputing

Aircraft Designed Using Advanced Supercomputing - Airplanes and Rockets"No, it's not hypermodern art. This image, generated by NASA's high-performance computers, shows a Transonic Truss Braced Wing (TTBW) aircraft concept being tested in a virtual wind tunnel, showing how its wings interact with the air around them. In this case, the dark red area along the front of the wing represents higher-speed airflow as the TTBW's wings, which are thinner than those of today's commercial airliners, pierce the air. The tan-colored area shows the relatively smooth wake generated by the aerodynamic wings. A TTBW aircraft produces less drag due to its longer, thinner wings supported by aerodynamic trusses. In flight, it could consume up to 10% less jet fuel than a standard airliner. The Advanced Supercomputing Division of NASA's Ames Research Center in California created this image as part of an effort by the Transformational Tools and Technologies project to develop computational tools for TTBW research..."

Drone Tag Announces New $49 UAV ID

Drone BS $49 UAV "Remote ID" Device - Airplanes and RocketsThe "BS" part of this device's name must refer to the FAA's outrageous requirement that R/C hobbyists carry identification devices aboard every model - not just drones but even gliders and power planes. The $89 (+ tax and shipping) price tag is a far cry from the FAA's promise of "inexpensive" devices. This is yet another unnecessary tax upon citizens. "Dronetag has announced their 'Dronetag BS' system as a cost-effective method to bring consumer UAVs into Remote ID compliance. Dronetag BS is, of course, short for 'Dronetag Basic Solution,' though the company is sure to draw in some eyes with their brash take on the normally staid UAV market. The firm will offer Dronetag BS for an introductory price of $49 upon its May 22 drop date, offering the special for the first 24 hours of its release. For those that miss the intro rate, the standard retail price will remain at $89. The firm obviously has its feet in the trenches with the average drone pilot, admitting that many don't quite think much positive regarding the new Remote ID regulations. The Dronetag BS allows operators to easily bring their small aircraft into compliance with a compact..."

Celestron NexStar 8SE Telescope

Celestron NexStar 8SE Telescope - Airplanes and RocketsHere I am in my back yard in Erie, Pennsylvania, "playing" with my newly acquired (in June) Celestron NexStar 8SE telescope. City lights are fairly bright here to the east and west, but farm land is to the south and Lake Erie begins two miles to the north, so that limits the light pollution somewhat. Erie is not that large of a city, so that also helps. Still, compared to the truly dark skies in areas I have lived in Vermont and Colorado, the seeing is noticeably bad. I haven't had a chance to try any of the filters that came with the eyepiece and filter kit that came with the scope. I also bought a Celestron NexImage camera for use with the telescope. It is only good for really bright objects like planets and the moon, mainly because the stock interface does not allow long time exposures. However, there is a hack online that modifies it for longer settings. The pixel resolution...

Good Haunting with Phineas Pinkham

Good Haunting with Phineas Pinkham, December 1934 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsWhen I first began perusing the large collection of Flying Aces magazines that I bought on eBay, I enthusiastically read all the fictional adventure stories of, well, flying aces, like Richard "Dick" Night, Kerry Keen (aka "The Griffon"), "G−2" secret agent Cap. Philip Strange, Battling Grogan and his Dragon Squadron, and others. For some reason I skipped over the adventures of Lt. Phineas Pinkham, of the 9th Pursuit Squadron. Maybe it was because of the way he was drawn that I figured it was just a dumb story about a hayseed doofus and wouldn't be very good. One day I decided to actually read through one of the stories, and much to my surprise discovered that the series was as good as any of the other aforementioned yarns - with a lot of humor to boot. Lt. Pinkham is sort of the Boonetown, Iowa, World War II version of LA police detective Lt. Columbo (whose first name we were never made privy to). As did I, people assume he is a bumbling fool who couldn't figure out the simplest of schemes by nefarious evil-doers, but in actuality he is an extremely clever strategist and prankster who, in the manner of the famous Canadian Mountie Dudley Do−Right, "always get his man." See if you agree...

Electric Power Unlikely for Long Range Aircraft

Electric Power Unlikely for Long Range Aircraft - Airplanes and Rockets"Of all the elements in the periodic table, silicon has the highest capacity for combining with lithium. It can hold ten times more lithium ions than the graphite anodes common in today's lithium-ion batteries. Several carmakers and battery startups are looking at silicon anodes for the next generation of long-range, lightweight EV batteries. And now Amprius Technologies in Fremont, Calif. reports a silicon-anode battery with almost twice the energy density of most EV batteries today. The new battery's record-high 500 Wh/kg energy density was verified by Mobile Power Solutions, an independent test and verification lab in Beaverton, Oregon. 'Typical batteries used by Tesla and others are in the 250 to 300 Wh/kg range,' says Ionel Stefan, CTO of Amprius. 'With our cells, you will have double the driving range for the same vehicle weight. Or you could keep the same range and have a lighter battery so the mileage efficiency of the car increases.' But cars are further down the road for Amprius. The company is initially targeting aviation applications geared towards defense..."

The Insect Article & Plans

The Insect Article & Plans, April 1970 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsHere is the article and plans for the "Insect" that I electronically scanned from my purchased copy of the April 1970 American Aircraft Modeler magazine. Rogallo Wings were all the rage in the 1970s as hang gliding was really gaining in popularity, so the modeling world joined in the fun. An article for the R/C Flexi-Flier, complete with a G.I. Joe pilot, was published four years after this free flight model. Plans for this fine model were drawn by Bill Warner. Because they spanned two pages, I had to adjust the size and alignment a bit to get the halves to line up properly. They were printed full-size in the magazine, so to get the right size when printing, you will need to do some trial and error. There really is no need to even print plans, because dimensions for the parasol components are shown, and the remaining few pieces can be scaled accordingly...


Propellers, December 1945 Flying Age Including Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsIn the mid-1940s, toward the end of World War II, Flying Aces magazine changed its name to Flying Age, while changing its focus from model aviation to aviation in general. Much to the consternation of many of its readers, that included no longer including the much-loved fictional stories of flying superstars like Kerry Keen, Dick Knight, Capt. Philip Strange, Battling Grogan and his Dragon Squadron, Crash Carringer, and of course Lt. Phineas Pinkham. The good aspect of the change is that Flying Age published a lot of stories about full-size aircraft and flying which were geared toward their audience of modelers who were interested in all aspects of aeronautics. This piece discussed primarily variable pitch, constant speed propellers being used on military, commercial, and civilian airplanes. You, like I, though that by now there would be similar propellers available for model aircraft use, but apart from a few homebuilts, no commercially made products are available (there was one for indoor electrics, but nothing for powerful engines / motors). Given the number of variable-pitch rotor heads for helicopters, it shouldn't be so hard to implement for airplane propellers...



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Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

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