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Drones - Airplanes and Rockets

Home Page Archive (page 32)

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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Low-Drag Rocket Design

Low-Drag Rocket Design, May 1968 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsG. Harry Stine was (and in some places still is) a household word (ok, a letter and two words) amongst people who engage in model rocketry. As a degreed physicist, he spent his professional years working in both civilian and government aerospace projects. In his spare time, Mr. Stine contributed mightily to the science, industry, and sport of model rocketry. His monthly columns in American Aircraft Modeler magazine were read and appreciated by enthusiasts hungry for a regular helping of the technical side of the craft, served in layman's terms. A typical article written by him reports on some happenings in the trade show and contest realms, while including a lesson in model rocket design and flight...

Race Car Clinic: Mercedes Benz G.P.

Race Car Clinic: Mercedes Benz G.P., October 1961 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsNow here's a term I had never heard before: "desmodromic valve." I thought it was something that Cox made up by borrowing the "drom" part of Thimble Drome. Not so. According to Wikipedia, "In general mechanical terms, the word desmodromic is used to refer to mechanisms that have different controls for their actuation in different directions." It describes the type of valve used in the full-scale Mercedes-Benz W196 Racer. The Cox model uses their famous .049 glow fuel engine. There is an ocean of information available on Cox engines, cars, helicopters, boats, and airplanes. The Cox Mercedes-Benz W196 was a scale model of the real Formula One car that ran in many European Grand Prix races. The mechanical features were quite sophisticated, including a flywheel with integrates fan for cooling the engine, spring-loaded suspension, and an adjustable muffler for desired quietness/power tradeoff, and careful engineering to assure compatibility of hot metal parts against molded plastic. The Cox Mercedes-Benz Racer on occasionally shows up on eBay, but be prepared for a shock price tag compared to the original $20 back in 1961 when this article appeared in American Modeler magazine...

Rocket Trails: Boost Gliders: Winged "Birds"

Rocket Trails: Boost Gliders: Winged "Birds" (July/August 1963 American Modeler) - Airplanes and RocketsRocket-boosted gliders grew in popularity in the early 1960s and then seemed to ebb by the end of the decade. I'm not sure why. Maybe the rocketry purists drove a more timid Boost Glider (B/G) bunch into the background. I remember getting some pretty nice flight out of my Estes Falcon glider. This article from the 1963 March/April edition of American Modeler magazine mentions Vern Estes' efforts to foster the boost glider craze by modifying what I knew as the Gyroc to perform as a glider once the engine cartridge was ejected, rather than recover in its original form by creating a high drag profile via a rapid spin. Rockets, like free flight model airplanes, need a lot of open space if altitudes of more than a few hundred feet are planned. Sure, you can estimate the angle for the launch pad tin hopes of firing upwind enough to allow the rocket to be blown back near the launch location, but I can tell you from personal experience that just a model airplanes can be unexpectedly snatched by a passing thermal and carried away to the hinterlands, so too can a model rocket hanging on a parachute. In fact, since I grew up on the East Coast near Annapolis, Maryland, where large, open spaces are rare, I always configured my parachutes (small diameter or larger with hole in the middle) to bring the rocket back down ASAP. The problem with that is then you don't get to enjoy watching the rocket float down for very long...

The Beautiful Grumman Widgeon

Grumman Widgeon, March 1967 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsJust like with the old commercial jingle that went, "Everybody doesn't like something, but nobody doesn't like Sara Lee," I can pretty confidently substitute "seaplanes" for "Sara Lee." The Grumman Widgeon was one of many iterations of their twin engined amphibious airplanes that is immediately recognizable to most people over the age of 40. In fact, the Widgeon was the seaplane that appeared each week on the 1970s television show "Fantasy Island." It was "Ze plane! Ze plane!" that Tattoo would call out at the beginning of each episode. The Marh 1967 issue of American Aircraft Modeler magazine carried a nice article on the Grumman Widgeon's history, along with a fine set of 3-view drawings by Paul R. Matt...

Designing RC Helicopters

Designing RC Helicopters, March 1971 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsJohn Burkam was one of the few true pioneers in free flight and particularly radio controlled model helicopters. His experiments date back into the 1940s. His rubber-powered Penni Helicopter appeared in the January 1970 issue of American Aircraft Modeler. Also, he covered the 1972 and 1974 helicopter Nationals competitions in American Aircraft Modeler. John was an engineer with the Boeing Company. His attention to detail and lack of fear in tackling design issue with numbers, graphs, and formulas is apparent in his work, although any type of design in previously unexplored or little explored areas of technology requires some degree of seat-of-the-pants guestimates. Both philosophies are present in this article. The "Super Susie" is powered by a Cox .049 Tee Dee engine, has four channels, and weighs in at around 2 pounds. That is pretty remarkable for early 1970s equipment. It's too bad someone doesn't produce an .049-powered R/C copter today...

1955 National Model Race Car Championships

1955 National Model Race Car Championships!, Model Annual 1956 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsIs that a way-cool-looking collection of fuel-powered model cars or what? They are fashioned after what full-size Indy (Indianapolis 500) race cars of the era looked like. To be a national champion in the model race race world back in the day (and to some extent today) required skill as a machinist with an excellent knowledge of mechanics, internal combustion engines, and metallurgy. A scan of photos of the winning cars makes that evident. There were no CNC (computer numerical control) milling machines or lathes; the operator made every cut but hand-cranking feeds and measuring lengths and diameters with calipers and dial indicators. Interest, too, is that the engines were started by pushing them with a stick that had the battery contacts for the glow plug at the end so the plug was lit by the stick. Note that these model race cars ran in a circle on a tether (wire or string), so the aerodynamics needed to keep the cars stable while constantly fighting the struggle between centripetal (center-seeking) and centrifugal (center fleeing) forces...

Dumas Pay'N Pak R/C Hydroplane

Dumas Pay'N Pak R/C Hydroplane - Airplanes and RocketsAround 1978, before entering the U.S. Air Force, I built a Dumas Pay'N Pak radio controlled hydroplane (modeled after the Pride of Pay'n Pak unlimited hydroplane). Sadly, this is the only known existing photograph of my Pay'N Pak unlimited hydroplane. As shown in the photo to the right, it is hanging in my room in the barracks at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia (c.1980). The cowling & rear airfoil assembly is not attached for some reason, so you can see the water-cooled engine, flywheel, part of the drive shaft, rudder assembly on the transom, and the plywood hatch over the radio compartment. Like most of my other R/C models, it sported a Futaba radio. Construction was not simple, as I remember it. Interlocking plywood bulkhead members formed the basic inner structure, and the plywood sheeting was epoxied on the bottom, sides, and top. Forming and holding all the compound curves while the epoxy cured without allowing a twist to be built in was a real challenge. The transom is the only totally flat piece on the entire craft. I coated the entire thing with fiberglass resin and managed to get a very smooth and shiny finish using an automotive lacquer paint (sprayed by my friend, Jerry Flynn). I cannot recall which engine I used, but it was a marine type with the water-cooled head. To start the beast, I used a piece of string about 1/8" in diameter, threaded it under the grooved flywheel, and gave it a tug...

Self-Eating Rocket Takes Big Bite of Space Industry

Self-Eating Rocket Takes Big Bite of Space Industry - Airplanes and Rockets"New developments on a nearly century-old concept for a 'self-eating' rocket engine capable of flight beyond the Earth's atmosphere could help the UK take a bigger bite of the space industry. University of Glasgow engineers have built and fired the first unsupported 'autophage' rocket engine which consumes parts of its own body for fuel. The design of the autophage engine - the name comes from the Latin word for 'self-eating' - has several potential advantages over conventional rocket designs. The engine works by using waste heat from combustion to sequentially melt its own plastic fuselage as it fires. The molten plastic is fed into the engine's combustion chamber as additional fuel to burn alongside its regular liquid propellants. This means that an autophage vehicle would require less propellant in onboard tanks, and the mass freed up could be allocated to payload instead. The consumption of the fuselage could also help avoid adding to the problem of space debris - discarded waste that orbits the Earth and could hamper future missions. Overall, the greater efficiency could help autophage rockets take a greater payload into space compared to a conventional rocket..."

Race Cars in Your Living Room

Race Cars in Your Living Room, January 1962, American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsSurprisingly (or maybe not), electric slot car racing is still fairly popular amongst kids. I say surprisingly because with radio control electric cars being under $10 in some cases, it is a wonder that anyone these days wants anything that confines a car to a specific course or has to plug into the wall to work. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, slot car racing was very popular. I can remember even into the 1970s that some of the bigger hobby shops still had slot car tracks set up where you could rent time on the track for a buck or so an hour. If you didn't have your own car, you could rent one there. My good friend, Jerry Flynn, was a slot car aficionado and would lend me one of his spares. I think the hobby shop we went to was in either Bethesda or Rockville, Maryland. It was quite a drive from our neighborhood around Annapolis. While typing out these words I can remember the smell of the electrical arcing of the motor brushes heating the oil we put on the axels and motor bushings. Ah, those were the days...

Thrills of the Navy Test Pilots

Thrills of the Navy Test Pilots, August 1937 Popular Mechanics - Airplanes and RocketsWhen I think of a Navy (or Air Force, or Army, or Marine, or Coast Guard) test pilot, what comes to mind is a high powered fighter airplane, a bomber, or even maybe a helicopter, but the guys in this 1937 Popular Mechanics magazine article are proving cargo and personnel type seaplanes. Doing so might not be as glorious as the aforementioned types, but it is still no job for the weak of heart or slow of mind. The average lifetime of a test pilot is less than that of "regular" pilots because not only are new, untried concepts tested, but part of the wringing out procedure involves pushing the craft to its limits to determine whether the design goals were met, and to know what the placarded "never exceed" numbers should be. Many a test pilot perished during the final "10-G" stress tests of airplanes during World War I, which is quite a demand from what were usually stick and tissue (spruce and silk, actually) airframes...

C/L F4F-3 Grumman Wildcat Article & Plans

Control Liner F4F-3 Grumman Wildcat Article & Plans, May/June 1963 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsIn 1963, when this article was published in American Modeler magazine, it had only been 18 years since the end of World War II, where the Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat earned its place in the history books as the only fighter in the U.S. armed forces' inventory capable of taking on Japan's Zero fighter. None other than the inestimable Walter A. Musciano designed this 38" wingspan control line model fashioned after ace fighter pilot Joe Foss' Wildcat. It used a .29 size engine, but could easily be converted to electric power. Construction is very typical of the day: rugged and heavy, but durable. Some lightening effort is advised if using electric power...

NASA and Lockheed Martin Quiet Supersonic Aircraft

NASA and Lockheed Martin Quiet Supersonic Aircraft - Airplanes andRockets"NASA has unveiled an experimental quiet supersonic aircraft that it claims could pave the way for a new generation of commercial aircraft that can travel faster than the speed of sound. Developed in partnership with Lockheed Martin, the X-59 is the centerpiece of NASA's Quesst mission, which focuses on providing data to help regulators reconsider rules that prohibit commercial supersonic flight over land. For 50 years, the U.S. and other nations have prohibited such flights because of the disturbance caused by loud, startling sonic booms on the communities below. The X-59 is expected to fly at 1.4 times the speed of sound, or 925 mph while generating a quieter sonic thump. At 99.7 feet long and 29.5 feet wide, the aircraft's shape and the technological advancements it houses will make quiet supersonic flight possible. The X-59's thin, tapered nose accounts for almost a third of its length and will break up the shock waves that would ordinarily result in a supersonic aircraft causing a sonic boom...."

Fizz-Wizz CO2-Powered Model Airplane Article & Plans

Fizz-Wizz CO2-Powered Model Airplane Article & Plans, March 1962 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsCO2 power for model airplanes gained a lot of popularity in the 1950s and throughout the 1960s and then waned for some reason in the 1970s. The same trend was exhibited in Jetex type engines. CO2 engines run off a cylinder of compressed carbon dioxide gas, which were and still are readily available due to their use in air rifles and pistols. A metal tube feeds the top of the engine cylinder where a metal ball under pressure from the gas seals off the cylinder until the piston pushes up on it. When the port opens, gas pressure forces the piston down to the point where the gas is ejected at the exhaust port. Momentum from the propeller mass swings the piston back to the top of the cylinder where it once again opens the ball valve to start the cycle all over again. CO2 engines are very reliable and easy to start since no ignition is required; however, the power−to−weight ratio is fairly low. This 1962 American modeler magazine article presents plans, and building and flying instructions for the "Fizz−Wizz..."

R/C Codes and Escapements

R/C Codes and Escapements, December 1954 Popular Electronics - Airplanes and RocketsThe evolution of radio control (R/C, or RC) systems has occurred at about the pace of most other electromechanical systems from the early part of the last century up through today. As with other technologies, credit for advancement is shared between professionals and amateurs. Of course the first transmitters and receivers used vacuum tubes for amplification and signal generation/detection; it wasn't until the 1960s that transistorized versions became available for public purchase. Integrated circuits for modulators and demodulators were introduced in the 1970s, synthesized oscillators hit the scene in the 1980s, and then spread spectrum changed the landscape in the mid 2000s. Actuators used to move control surfaces started out as rubber band-powered escapements and servomotors. Both were all or nothing displacement in neutral, left, or right. Galloping ghost actuators used constantly flapping control surfaces that would dwell longer in the left or right, up or down position to effect control. All were rather crude, but did the job. Proportional systems with feedback servos permitted control displacement in synchronization with transmitter gimbal stick position. Digital control eventually replaced analog, providing fine enough increments that it responded

Amateur Radio Astronomy Articles in QST

Amateur Radio Astronomy Articles in QST - Airplanes and RocketsQST is the official publication of the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL), the world's oldest and largest organization for Ham radio enthusiasts. Many amateur radio operators also have an interest in astronomy and as such, occasionally articles appear covering topics on amateur radio astronomy. There are also quite a few articles dealing indirectly with aspects of astronomy such as Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) communications where signals are bounced off the moon's surface in order to facilitate transmission (although it is really more of a hobby achievement). The October 2012 edition of QST had an article entitled, "Those Mysterious Signals," which discusses galactic noise in the 10-meter band. Arch Doty (W7ACD) writes about the low-level background noise that is persistent in the high frequency (HF) bands. At HF, Cygnus A and Cassiopeia A are major sources of cosmic noise, for example. Low level signals come from pulsars, quasars, black holes, and other remote objects that were created during the early formation of our universe. However, the strongest background noise emanates from the center of the Milky Way galaxy with a source that is a mere 27,000 years old...

Zlin Akrobat: For the Tenderfoot Article & Plans

Zlin Akrobat: For the Tenderfoot Article & Plans, September 1971 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsWebsite visitor Adrian C., of Moncton NB, Canada, wrote to ask that I scan and post the article for a catapult-launched free flight glider model of the Zlin Akrobat. It appeared in the September 1971 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. Written by well known and frequent contributor to the "For the Tenderfoot" series in AAM, this version of contest-winning full-size Akrobat has an 11" wingspan and the plans provide a high level of detail and realism for such a small model. Its bright scale-like red and white covering scheme is particularly attractive. I took the liberty of adding color to the plans...

Radio Control News, May 1954 MAN

Radio Control News, May 1954 Model Airplane News - Airplanes and Rockets1954 was just a decade after World War II, during which time the Army Signal Corps introduced a method of printing - or etching - metallic circuit conductors on an insulator substrate, and thus was born the printed circuit board (PCB). The first boards used a phenolic-paper laminate, which is the shiny brown substrate material that is still found in some industrial applications like motors and control panels. Ferric chloride was used to etch away the copper foil not masked off with photoresist chemicals. I made many crude PCBs using a resist ink pen to draw circuit traces and component mounting pads, then etched away the exposed copper with ferric chloride purchased at Radio Shack. This line from the article is reminiscent of people who remarked similarly about the first televisions and computers: "One of the first questions that arises is: 'What good is it and what do I gain by using it?'" Printed inductors were already being used, as the photo shows. Back in the mid 1980s, I programmed an HP 85 computer, using HP BASIC (aka Rocky Mountain BASIC), to draw printed inductor patters in the engineering development lab where I worked for Westinghouse. A built-in thermal printer spit out the image on paper, and then the image was transferred onto clear acetate in a copying machine for use in the photoresist exposure process. Anyone else remember using one?

Ever Hear of a "Submarine Library?"

Ever Hear of a "Submarine Library?", May 1956 Young Men • Hobbies • Aviation • Careers - Airplanes and RocketsAmazingly, the General Dynamics Corporation's Groton, Connecticut, Electric Boat Division is still in operation after all the years passed since this article appeared in Young Men magazine. According to the company website, "Established in 1899, Electric Boat has established standards of excellence in the design, construction and lifecycle support of submarines for the U.S. Navy. Primary operations are the shipyard in Groton, CT, the automated hull-fabrication and outfitting facility in Quonset Point, RI, and an engineering building in New London, CT. The current workforce is more than 14,000 employees." Why "electric boat?," you might ask? Submarines, whilst submersed, are typically driven by electric motors powered by storage batteries. When on or near the ocean surface, a diesel engine powers the craft while recharging the batteries. Nuclear powered subs can run underwater nearly indefinitely since they do not require air for combustion. Shown here are some of the many models of the world's submarines throughout their relatively short history. The library's more than 1,200 books record of Alexander the Great having had himself sealed in a glass barrel and lowered into the water in order to observe submarine phenomena. For some reason the library's employees are not named. The man building the models is in a business suit, but then it was still fairly common at the time for men to wear a suit and tie even at home whilst performing domestic chores or participating in a hobby...

Fast Start Set Uses The AAM Glowdriver

Fast Start Set Uses The AAM Glowdriver (July 1974 American Aircraft Modeler) - Airplanes and RocketsDanny M., a website visitor from The Land Down Under, wrote to ask that I scan and post this article for what today we would call a "smart" glow plug driver. There is also an accompanying article in the same July 1974 edition of American Aircraft Modeler magazine titled "The AAM Glowdriver." Danny said, "I built one in 1978, it is still working fine. When a friend saw how it would light a plug under water and clear a flooded engine instantly he begged me to build him one. Unfortunately the original article is long gone, so I found your website and noticed that you list the magazine in question." Well, thanks to our resourceful mate, now the plans and article are available again in case you are experiencing a bit of nostalgia...

Airplanes and Rockets' Official Observatory Construction

Airplanes and Rockets' Official Observatory ConstructionThe official Airplanes and Rockets website observatory is complete! First light for the entire setup was May 19, 2012. An alignment of the equatorial was performed, and then a GoTo alignment was done. The result was pretty good, but it's been better. I will need to take time to do a really precise alignment of both. It was a clear night in Erie, with a few high, wispy clouds. There was a lot of atmospheric unsteadiness, so image quality varied considerably. The JMI electric focuser is extremely nice; not having to touch the telescope during focusing makes a world of difference in how well the NexImage camera can be focused, especially under conditions where the image is being randomly distorted by the unsteady air. Maneuvering inside the shed is a bit tricky, but it is possible to get a comfortable viewing position for everything so far - with some position more comfortable than others. Total investment including telescope, building, and accessories (not including computer) is around $2,500 - it ain't cheap, and that is with fairly low-end equipment and buying used (eBay) where possible...

1968 NAR Nats Caps a Decade of Progress

1968 NAR Nats Caps a Decade of Progress, January 1969 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsNational Association of Rocketry Aeromodeling Meet No. 10 (NAMRAM-10) was held August 19th through the 23rd at NASA's Wallop's Island, Virginia station. Growing up outside of Annapolis, Maryland, (about 50 miles as the crow flies) I recall seeing the southern sky turn various colors when atmospheric research was being conducted there. It was a very appropriate location for model rocketry contesting given Wallop's Island's significant role in full-scale rocketry. Being at the height of the manned space program, the country was filled with boys (and some girls) who were excited to be part of the action. Model rocket clubs could be found in every major city and many small towns. Farm boys and guys like me in the suburbs launched model rockets from our back yards - and often had to retrieve them from rooftops and tree branches. Most trees in my neighborhood were of the genus/species of rocketus/eatumupus, and usually of the subspecies kantclimbit. My friends and I literally risked our lives reaching for model rockets and airplanes stuck in trees we would never consider climbing if not for our treasured models suspended within their branches. Open, accessible spaces are very difficult to find these days unless you live in the plains areas. Property owners these days rarely allow you onto their land, primarily due to legal concerns, and I don't fault them...

Celestron NexImage Astrophotography Camera Teardown

Celestron NexImage Camera Teardown - Airplanes and RocketsCelestron released the NexImage astrophotography camera sometime 2008. I bought it in 2012 for around $100 ($133 in 2023 - a 33% increase due to inflation!).  As with most things, if you read online reviews for the NexImage, most people either love it or hate it. My own experience is that the frustration I had initially was due to inexperience in setting up the software and with getting a good focus on the telescope. Once those two obstacles were overcome, I began getting some really good images of the moon and planets. Printed Circuit Assembly Front Side Front Side of Both NexImage Printed Circuit Assemblies Back Side of Both NexImage Printed Circuit Assemblies Celestron now has a 10 Mpixel version of the camera out called the NexImage 10. It costs $309. I have learned a bit more about imaging CCDs and will do a bit of shopping around first. I really do not want to get a DSLR because they are big and heavy. What would be nice is to buy a medium quality telescope camera for doing deep space imaging and another for planetary work. The investment would be around $1,000, which is what an acceptable DSLR would cost. However, the DSLR will not come with software and, especially for the deep space work, will probably not have as good of a low light level capability as a camera designed for astroimaging...

Quiz: Models and Manufacturers

Quiz #1: Models and Manufacturers - Airplanes and RocketsYour knowledge of model aircraft kits, engines, and equipment will need to stretch back a couple decades to score 10 out of 10 on this model-aircraft-themed quiz. 1) Which company manufactured the "Antic" series of open frame R/C models? 4) What is the full last name of Sig Manufacturing's co-founder Hazel Sig? 7) What type of models did Estes first produce? 10) What type of airplane model construction was Cox Manufacturing famous for? Winners get a free 1-year subscription to the Airplanes and Rockets website ;-)   Good luck!

Message from Apollo 8, Christmas Eve, 1968

Earthrise Commemorative Stamp - Airplanes and RocketsWhile orbiting the Moon on Christmas Eve, 1968, NASA astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders made a live broadcast from from the Apollo 8 command module, in which they showed video of the lunar surface and the Earth as seen from one of the spacecraft's portals. That flight produced the famous "Earthrise" photograph which is featured on a U.S. commemorative stamp issued in May of 1969 - just three months before Apollo 11 landed on the moon. On the ninth orbit, toward the end of the transmission, the three astronauts each took a turn reading from the book of Genesis, chapter 1, verses 1 through 10. They finished with, "And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth."

From Melanie and me here at AirplanesAndRockets.com, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year!

Gilbert Erector Set from 1969 Sears Christmas Wish Book

Gilbert Erector Set from the 1969 Sears Christmas Wish Book - Airplanes and RocketsOn page 511 of the Sears 1969 Christmas Wish Book are a few Erector Sets. This was probably the year (±a couple) that I got my first Erector Set. This was a step up from the Tinkertoy sets I previously owned. While not the largest set made, it had quite a lot of parts, including a motor. Although I already had a natural interest in assembling and - to my parents' dismay - disassembling stuff, it was gifts like this that really helped nurture what would become a life-long pursuit of things mechanical and electrical, eventually leading to my earning an electrical engineering degree. I remember getting a pretty good finger pinch by one of the motorize contraptions I built. Show above is Erector Set #3, similar to the one I received for Christmas in 1969. This one I bought on eBay since, as with most things I owned, the original did not survive my handling...

Sketchbook - Hints and Kinks by the Readers

Sketchbook, October 1961 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThe "Sketchbook" feature in American Modeler magazine presented "hints and kinks" furnished by readers came up with good ideas to help make building and operating model airplanes (primarily), car, and boats a little easier. Some of them are pretty good, and I have applied the principles in my own efforts over the years. October 1961, the date of this set of ideas, was a couple years before my time of building models. Being born in 1958, it would probably have been around 1966 or 1967 before I was building and flying Estes rockets and rubber powered airplanes. By 1969 I was flying Cox control line models, and it was maybe 1971 or 1972 before building my first control line model. When reading over these vintage Sketchbook ideas, I always pay attention to the names of the submitters to see whether any are recognizable as someone who would later become renowned in the modeling world. There is a good chance that the "E. R. Violett, Jr." with the control line fabric hinge technique is none other than Bob Violett...

Ramblin' Wreck Article & Plans

Ramblin' Wreck Article & Plans, December 1959 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsRadio control Combat flight is a huge sport these days. You might be tempted to think that it is a late-comer to the model airplane sport realm, but if so, you'd be wrong. Here is an article from the December 1959 American Modeler magazine that describes the successful effort of modelers half a century ago pioneering R/C combat. Those were the days of heavy, tube-based airborne receivers and servos, escapements, or reeds (crude though they were). Per author H. Donald Brown, "With us, mid-air crashes have out-numbered cut steamers but the damage minor in most eases." The more things change, the more they stay the same...<p class="homepage-header">Model Boat Record Breakers</p>
<p><a href="../boats/record-breakers-american-modeler-july-1957.htm">
<img alt="Model Boat Record Breakers, July 1957 American Modeler Magazines - Airplanes and Rockets"
class="float_lt_5px"
src="hompage-archive-images/model-boat-record-setters-american-modeler-july-1957-hp.gif"
style="width: 175px; height: 80px"></a>When most people think about control line
(CL) models, airplanes are what comes to mind. However, prior to the advent of miniature,
reliable radio control (RC) systems, model boats and model cars also ran on control
lines, as reported in a 1957 issue of <em>American Modeler</em> magazine. Most of
the time they went in circles, just like model airplanes do; however, some hobbyists
stretched out long sections of straight line in order to get maximum speeds from
their craft. Unlike with model airplanes where an operator in the center of the
circle exerted control of the elevator (and sometimes throttle), the
<a href="../boats/record-breakers-american-modeler-july-1957.htm">control line boats
and cars</a> generally ran with no form of control. In fact, usually the models
were tethered with a single line in the center of the circle and the operator handled
the boat or car from the outside...</p>
<p class="homepage-header">Industry Cannot Produce If It Is Taxed to Death</p>
<p>
<a href="../magazines/saturday-evening-post/industry-cannot-produce-taxed-death-february-19-1949-saturday-evening-post.htm">
<img alt="Industry Cannot Produce If It Is Taxed to Death, February 19, 1949 Saturday Evening Post - Airplanes and Rockets"
class="float_lt_5px"
src="hompage-archive-images/industry-produce-taxed-death-feb-19-1949-saturday-evening-post-hp.gif"
style="width: 153px; height: 175px"></a>It might be hard to imagine, but there was
a time when all of the major media outlets were not socialist propagandists for
the State. This editorial from the February 19, 1949 edition of The Saturday Evening
Post magazine is an example. Titled "<a
href="../magazines/saturday-evening-post/industry-cannot-produce-taxed-death-february-19-1949-saturday-evening-post.htm">Industry
Cannot Produce if It Is Taxed to Death</a>," it makes the case. Which magazine or
newspaper of today would print something like, "The idea seems to be that you tax
the corporations to the point of extinction because corporations are rich, selfish
and antisocial. Actually, the corporation is a legal device to mobilize the savings
of scattered individuals in such a manner that they can be used to set up and equip
our industrial system more effectively than individual savers could do alone?"
</p>
<p class="homepage-header">Halley's Comet Inbound Again</p>
<p><a href="https://www.space.com/halleys-comet-return">
<img alt="Halley's Comet Inbound Again - RF Cafe" class="float_lt_5px"
src="hompage-archive-images/halleys-comet-apogee-december-8-2023-hp.gif"></a>I was
too young to remember where I was when President Kennedy was shot in 1963, but I
do remember hearing of Rev.&nbsp;King's shooting (and massive riots) in 1968, President
Reagan being shot in 1981, and the Islamist attack in America on September 11, 2001.
I also remember seeing <a href="https://www.space.com/halleys-comet-return">Halley's
Comet</a> during its last appearance in 1986. Melanie and I were in a condo in Arnold,
Maryland, preparing to move to Burlington, Vermont. The perihelion (orbit's closest
point to sun) then was February 9th. The next perihelion is July 28, 2061. On December
8th of this year, Halley's Comet reached aphelion (farthest point from sun) and
is now on its way back. Melanie will be 100 years old, and I will probably be taking
a dirt nap by then (born 1958).
<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Twain">Mark Twain</a> (Samuel Clemmons)
was born in <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halley's_Comet#1835">1835</a>
under Halley's Comet, and predicted he would live until the next appearance in
<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halley's_Comet#1910">1910</a>. He was right.</p>
<p class="homepage-header h-orange">Criterion RV−6 "Dynascope" Telescope for Sale</p>
<p style="background: #EEE">
<a href="../astronomy/telescopes/Criterion-RV-6-Dynascope-Telescope-Restoration.htm">
<img alt="Criterion RV-6 Dynascope Telescope Restoration Project - Airplanes and Rockets"
class="float_lt_5px"
src="hompage-archive-images/criterion-rv-6-dynascope-restored-kirt-blattenberger-hp.gif"
style="width: 142px; height: 175px"></a>We are moving back to Erie, PA, where overcast
skies dominate, and the city lights kill views, so I am going to try to sell my
fully restored
<a href="../astronomy/telescopes/Criterion-RV-6-Dynascope-Telescope-Restoration.htm">
Criterion RV−6 Dynascope</a> before leaving. I'd keep it as a museum piece for display
if I was going to have room, but we might be going into an apartment. Includes telescope,
mount, clock drive, finder scope, 9&nbsp;mm and 18&nbsp;mm eyepieces, 2x Barlow,
dust covers. This is truly a unique opportunity. Please contact me via e-mail if
you are interested in buying it. Local pick-up only, or I'll deliver for $50 within
100 miles of
<a href="https://www.google.com/maps/place/Thacker+Dairy+Rd+&+Basington+Rd,+North+Carolina+27406/@36.0155905,-79.6770535,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m6!3m5!1s0x88532314ef17f01b:0x66ba524f2b63f7d7!8m2!3d36.0155862!4d-79.6744839!16s/g/11gf0tv24c?entry=ttu">
Greensboro, NC</a>, with payment in advance. Since completing the restoration, I
did amore accurate collimation and took the Criterion RV−6 Dynascope out at night
for a test drive. I have the two original 9&nbsp;mm and 18&nbsp;mm focal length
eyepieces and the 2x Barlow lens. Beginning with the 18&nbsp;mm, I found Jupiter
and the four Galilean moons, and Saturn along with Titan. They were in very sharp
focus. Changing to the 9&nbsp;mm yielded amazingly good images - about as good as
I remember seeing through my Celestron CPC−800 telescope. I then put the 18&nbsp;mm
in the 2x Barlow lens and found the images. Thanks. </p>
<p class="homepage-header">Boeing-Stearman &quot;Kaydet&quot; Primary Trainer</p>
<p>
<a href="../magazines/american-modeler/boeing-stearman-kaydet-american-modeler-october-1961.htm">
<img alt="Boeing-Stearman &quot;Kaydet&quot; Primary Trainer, October 1961 American Modeler - Airplanes and Rockets"
class="float_lt_5px"
src="hompage-archive-images/boeing-stearman-kaydet-plans-american-modeler-october-hp.gif"
style="width: 175px; height: 145px"></a>These, what appear to be official
<a href="../magazines/american-modeler/boeing-stearman-kaydet-american-modeler-october-1961.htm">
Boeing-Stearman drawings for the "Kaydet" biplane primary trainer</a>, were published
in the October 1961 issue of American Modeler magazine. The set of three sheets
provide a high level of detail on materials and construction. The front view plan
includes detail about the physical parameters as well as on instrumentation and
power. Of course this is far from a full set of construction plans, but if you are
building a scale model of the Boeing-Stearman Kaydet, the information should be
useful. Included in the article is a brief history of the relationship between Boeing
and Stearman, as well as on the formation of United Air Lines in 1928. According
to the author, the "Kaydet" was the last standard biplane produced for the Army
and Navy, more were manufactured than any other biplane design, with 10,346 being
completed between 1936 and the end of World War&nbsp;II...</p>
<p class="homepage-header">Linus' 12 Days of Christmas - Quantified</p>
<p><a href="https://assets.amuniversal.com/336ddf30f87f013014e9001dd8b71c47">
<img alt="Linus 12 Days of Christmas comic - Airplanes and Rockets"
class="float_lt_5px"
src="hompage-archive-images/peanuts-comic-12-days-of-christmas-color_small.jpg"
style="width: 175px; height: 143px"></a>Leave it to Linus to quantify the total
number of gifts given during <em>The 12 Days of Christmas</em>. Admittedly, I did
not verify Linus's numbers, but I'm fairly certain that Charles Schulz did the math
correctly for him. After much searching, I finally located a link to what appears
to be the official website image (click thumbnail above). It is in black and white,
so if you want my colored version, a small version of it is
<a href="hompage-archive-images/peanuts-comic-12-days-of-christmas-color.jpg">here</a>.</p>
<p class="homepage-header">B-21 Raider Nuclear Stealth Bomber Maiden Flight</p>
<p>
<a href="https://www.c4isrnet.com/air/2023/11/10/nuclear-stealth-bomber-the-b-21-raider-takes-first-test-flight/">
<img alt="B-21 Raider Nuclear Stealth Bomber Maiden Flight - Airplanes and Rockets"
class="float_lt_5px"
src="hompage-archive-images/b-21-nuclear-stealth-bomber-hp.gif"></a>"The
<a href="https://www.c4isrnet.com/air/2023/11/10/nuclear-stealth-bomber-the-b-21-raider-takes-first-test-flight/">
B-21 Raider</a> took its first test flight on Friday, moving the futuristic warplane
closer to becoming the nation's next nuclear weapons stealth bomber. The Raider
flew in Palmdale, California, where it has been under testing and development by
Northrop Grumman. The Air Force is planning to build 100 of the warplanes, which
have a flying wing shape much like their predecessor the B-2 Spirit but will incorporate
advanced materials, propulsion and stealth technology to make them more survivable
in a future conflict. The plane is planned to be produced in variants with and without
pilots. 'The B-21 Raider is in flight testing,' Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek
said. Such testing is a critical step in the campaign to provide 'survivable, long-range,
penetrating strike capabilities to deter aggression and strategic attacks against
the United States, allies, and partners..."</p>
<p class="homepage-header">The G-Engines Are Coming!</p>
<p>
<a href="../magazines/young-men/g-engines-coming-young-men-november-1956.htm">
<img alt="The G-Engines Are Coming!, November 1956 Young Men • Hobbies • Aviation • Careers - Airplanes and Rockets"
class="float_lt_5px"
src="hompage-archive-images/g-engines-coming-young-men-november-1956-hp.gif"
style="width: 175px; height: 110px"></a>According to what I have found during Internet
searches, this "<a
href="../magazines/young-men/g-engines-coming-young-men-november-1956.htm">The G-Engines
Are Coming</a>" article is a much-sought-after story. It appeared in the November
1956 issue of Young Men magazine (a 13-month-long title existing between Air Trails
and American Modeler). An article in the October 1958 issue of American Modeler
titled "Anti-Grav" referenced this story. Until Mr. Bob Balsie scanned the pages
from his rare copy of the original magazine, it was available nowhere. Science fiction
writers are fascinated with the concept of anti-gravitational devices. More than
one false premise forms the basis of this article, the most notable of which is
a claim of the existence of a "g-particle" (that which is responsible for the gravitational
force). Although the postulated possibilities for exploiting the misconception are
fantastic, we now know that only extragalactic beings possess such knowledge. Do
they walk among us?</p>

Model Boat Record Breakers

Model Boat Record Breakers, July 1957 American Modeler Magazines - Airplanes and RocketsWhen most people think about control line (CL) models, airplanes are what comes to mind. However, prior to the advent of miniature, reliable radio control (RC) systems, model boats and model cars also ran on control lines, as reported in a 1957 issue of American Modeler magazine. Most of the time they went in circles, just like model airplanes do; however, some hobbyists stretched out long sections of straight line in order to get maximum speeds from their craft. Unlike with model airplanes where an operator in the center of the circle exerted control of the elevator (and sometimes throttle), the control line boats and cars generally ran with no form of control. In fact, usually the models were tethered with a single line in the center of the circle and the operator handled the boat or car from the outside...

Industry Cannot Produce If It Is Taxed to Death

Industry Cannot Produce If It Is Taxed to Death, February 19, 1949 Saturday Evening Post - Airplanes and RocketsIt might be hard to imagine, but there was a time when all of the major media outlets were not socialist propagandists for the State. This editorial from the February 19, 1949 edition of The Saturday Evening Post magazine is an example. Titled "Industry Cannot Produce if It Is Taxed to Death," it makes the case. Which magazine or newspaper of today would print something like, "The idea seems to be that you tax the corporations to the point of extinction because corporations are rich, selfish and antisocial. Actually, the corporation is a legal device to mobilize the savings of scattered individuals in such a manner that they can be used to set up and equip our industrial system more effectively than individual savers could do alone?"

Halley's Comet Inbound Again

Halley's Comet Inbound Again - RF CafeI was too young to remember where I was when President Kennedy was shot in 1963, but I do remember hearing of Rev. King's shooting (and massive riots) in 1968, President Reagan being shot in 1981, and the Islamist attack in America on September 11, 2001. I also remember seeing Halley's Comet during its last appearance in 1986. Melanie and I were in a condo in Arnold, Maryland, preparing to move to Burlington, Vermont. The perihelion (orbit's closest point to sun) then was February 9th. The next perihelion is July 28, 2061. On December 8th of this year, Halley's Comet reached aphelion (farthest point from sun) and is now on its way back. Melanie will be 100 years old, and I will probably be taking a dirt nap by then (born 1958). Mark Twain (Samuel Clemmons) was born in 1835 under Halley's Comet, and predicted he would live until the next appearance in 1910. He was right.

Criterion RV−6 "Dynascope" Telescope for Sale

Criterion RV-6 Dynascope Telescope Restoration Project - Airplanes and RocketsWe are moving back to Erie, PA, where overcast skies dominate, and the city lights kill views, so I am going to try to sell my fully restored Criterion RV−6 Dynascope before leaving. I'd keep it as a museum piece for display if I was going to have room, but we might be going into an apartment. Includes telescope, mount, clock drive, finder scope, 9 mm and 18 mm eyepieces, 2x Barlow, dust covers. This is truly a unique opportunity. Please contact me via e-mail if you are interested in buying it. Local pick-up only, or I'll deliver for $50 within 100 miles of Greensboro, NC, with payment in advance. Since completing the restoration, I did amore accurate collimation and took the Criterion RV−6 Dynascope out at night for a test drive. I have the two original 9 mm and 18 mm focal length eyepieces and the 2x Barlow lens. Beginning with the 18 mm, I found Jupiter and the four Galilean moons, and Saturn along with Titan. They were in very sharp focus. Changing to the 9 mm yielded amazingly good images - about as good as I remember seeing through my Celestron CPC−800 telescope. I then put the 18 mm in the 2x Barlow lens and found the images. Thanks.

Boeing-Stearman "Kaydet" Primary Trainer

Boeing-Stearman "Kaydet" Primary Trainer, October 1961 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThese, what appear to be official Boeing-Stearman drawings for the "Kaydet" biplane primary trainer, were published in the October 1961 issue of American Modeler magazine. The set of three sheets provide a high level of detail on materials and construction. The front view plan includes detail about the physical parameters as well as on instrumentation and power. Of course this is far from a full set of construction plans, but if you are building a scale model of the Boeing-Stearman Kaydet, the information should be useful. Included in the article is a brief history of the relationship between Boeing and Stearman, as well as on the formation of United Air Lines in 1928. According to the author, the "Kaydet" was the last standard biplane produced for the Army and Navy, more were manufactured than any other biplane design, with 10,346 being completed between 1936 and the end of World War II...

Linus' 12 Days of Christmas - Quantified

Linus 12 Days of Christmas comic - Airplanes and RocketsLeave it to Linus to quantify the total number of gifts given during The 12 Days of Christmas. Admittedly, I did not verify Linus's numbers, but I'm fairly certain that Charles Schulz did the math correctly for him. After much searching, I finally located a link to what appears to be the official website image (click thumbnail above). It is in black and white, so if you want my colored version, a small version of it is here.

B-21 Raider Nuclear Stealth Bomber Maiden Flight

B-21 Raider Nuclear Stealth Bomber Maiden Flight - Airplanes and Rockets"The B-21 Raider took its first test flight on Friday, moving the futuristic warplane closer to becoming the nation's next nuclear weapons stealth bomber. The Raider flew in Palmdale, California, where it has been under testing and development by Northrop Grumman. The Air Force is planning to build 100 of the warplanes, which have a flying wing shape much like their predecessor the B-2 Spirit but will incorporate advanced materials, propulsion and stealth technology to make them more survivable in a future conflict. The plane is planned to be produced in variants with and without pilots. 'The B-21 Raider is in flight testing,' Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said. Such testing is a critical step in the campaign to provide 'survivable, long-range, penetrating strike capabilities to deter aggression and strategic attacks against the United States, allies, and partners..."

The G-Engines Are Coming!

The G-Engines Are Coming!, November 1956 Young Men • Hobbies • Aviation • Careers - Airplanes and RocketsAccording to what I have found during Internet searches, this "The G-Engines Are Coming" article is a much-sought-after story. It appeared in the November 1956 issue of Young Men magazine (a 13-month-long title existing between Air Trails and American Modeler). An article in the October 1958 issue of American Modeler titled "Anti-Grav" referenced this story. Until Mr. Bob Balsie scanned the pages from his rare copy of the original magazine, it was available nowhere. Science fiction writers are fascinated with the concept of anti-gravitational devices. More than one false premise forms the basis of this article, the most notable of which is a claim of the existence of a "g-particle" (that which is responsible for the gravitational force). Although the postulated possibilities for exploiting the misconception are fantastic, we now know that only extragalactic beings possess such knowledge. Do they walk among us?

About Airplanes & Rockets 

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and RocketsKirt Blattenberger

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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