Website visitor Alain Pons, of France, wrote with this
great information on his decades-long involvement with designing, building, and flying radio
controlled canard model airplanes. Alain graciously agreed to allow me to post his story,
photo. and video. He hopes to soon submit plans for his canard, which I am sure will be welcome
by modelers looking for a proven design to build, so stay tuned. "Dear Kirt, Very happy
to know you are interested of my work on my canards. I think I am an old dinosaur in aeromodelism.
I was born in 1953 and began to glue balsa when I was 10 years old, following my father in
free flight, fly by wire and later R/C. And now jets and war birds with big radial ..."
I first learned of
because of news coverage of his winning the Experimental Aircraft Associations (EAA) 1962
design contest for his single-seater Fly Baby homebuilt airplane with its unique foldable
wings. That allowed the plane to be easily towed to and from the airport rather than needing
to pay for hangar or tiedown space. Another unique feature is its all-wood construction -
including the landing gear undercarriage. I actually bought a set of plans and construction
manual for the Fly Baby Biplane that Bowers later designed based on the Fly Baby monoplane;
alas, I never did build it. Peter Bowers was an aviation historian for Boeing Aircraft in
"NASA successfully flight-tested a prototype, twin-fuselage
towed glider that could lead to rockets being launched from pilotless aircraft at high altitudes—a
technology application that could significantly reduce cost and im- prove efficiency of sending
small satellites into space. The one-third-scale twin fuselage towed glider’s first flight
took place Oct. 21, 2014, from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. The
towed glider is an element of the novel rocket-launching concept of the
Towed Glider Air-Launch System (TGALS). NASA Armstrong
The 1950 Academy of Model Aviation (AMA) regulations
listed four model engine displacement ranges: Class A: .000-.200 cu. in., Class B:
.201-.300 cu. in., Class C: .301-.500 cu. in., and Class D: .501-.650 cu. in. Notice
that there was no Class ½A or Class ¼A. That jives with this 1950
article in Air Trails magazine where the
K&B Torpedo .049 engine
is highlighted. It claims, "Half-A engines started out a short time ago as a mere novelty,
but they caught on fast and every manufacturer was in a hurry to get one on the market." It
is hard to imagine a time when the .049, .020, and .010 engines were not around, but machinery
capable of achieving high production levels of engines with such tight tolerances were ...
Model aviation magazines have a long-held tradition
of dedicating a page or two of each issue to reporting on new products. When I happen to notice
an instance of the first announcement of a model, engine, radio, or device that is now in
common use, I like to post it along with everything else on the page(s). This September 1967
edition of American Modeler introduced Su-Pr-Line Products' "Nyrod." That
was 60 years ago! I know I have been using Nyrod and its clones for as long as I can remember,
which is since at least the mid 1970s. When properly supported along its length, Nyrod results ...
Arch Whitehouse authored many aviation-related techno-thriller
mysteries for Flying Aces magazine. He was a British World War I veteran with
the RAF as a mechanic and observer. In this adventure, Hale Aviation Company's intrepid chief
test pilot Crash
Carringer took on the challenge of identifying the cause of an unreasonably high number
of deaths of Hellfire aircraft fighter pilots while in the air. I won't spoil the plot by
giving any details of the story. It's a good way to kill 20-30 minutes ...
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a year away
when this article would have been written, given that it appeared in the January 1941 issue
of Flying Aces magazine. Major Frederic Ives Lord preferred a light-weight, inexpensive,
more expendable type of aircraft like the P-40 Warhawk than something like a P-51 Mustang.
His thinking being that it would be more effective to overwhelm the enemy with massive squadrons
of airplanes that could be quickly replaced (and pilots, too?) rather than recovering and
repairing battle-damaged aircraft (and their air crew). In fact, the major envisioned mostly
enlisted pilots, akin to the expendable crewmen in Star Trek - usually identifiable by their
Many thanks to Airplanes and Rockets website visitor
Pat S. (who happens to also live here in Erie, Pennsylvania) for letting me know about
the Sceptre Flight website with its huge list of
engine test data. Per the webmaster, "This list of tests is continually added to on a
monthly basis due to the hard work of Zoe Quilter who completely scans 3 old magazines each
month and also to Colin Usher who has collected all of Zoe's scans. My thanks to both of them
as this list would otherwise be nowhere near as large. Thanks also to Ray Jennings in Northern
Ireland for his help in scanning many test reports." There are links to 600-700 magazine articles
reporting on glow and diesel engines. Amazing! ...
enables you to travel 5 times faster than a car by introducing the world's first all-electric
vertical take-off and landing jet: an air taxi for up to 5 people. You won't have to own one,
you will simply pay per ride and call it with a push of a button. It's our mission to make
air taxis available to everyone and as affordable as riding a car. In 1894, Otto Lilienthal
began experimenting with the first gliders and imagined a future in which we could all fly
wherever we want ..."
Website visitor George A. wrote to ask for the
dimensions of the Cox model 789-3, 1½-volt starting
battery box so that he can create one using his printer. He also needed high resolution
images of all sides. The photos below show both sides of the flattened box, along with a ruler
for scale. The scans have not been edited except to move the terminal clips closer to the
box to keep file size down, so edit color and sharpness as you deem fit ...
"Kim Jong-un could launch nuclear bombing raids on
South Korea using 70-year-old biplanes so slow they cannot be tracked by modern radars. North
Korean despot Kim Jong-un is preparing his special forces for suicide parachute missions across
the border on 70-year-old Stalin era biplanes. The dictator has a fleet of 300
Antonov An-2 transport aircraft which are capable of flying as slow as
30 miles-per-hour and can even go backwards into a heavy headwind. Footage has emerged of
North Korean paratroops jumping from the aged aircraft ..."
"NASA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the
National Airspace System, or UAS in the NAS, project is attracting international attention
as increasingly complex flight tests take place over NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center
in California. The project is designed to develop recommendations for the FAA to safely open
the skies to allow UAS to fly in the same airspace with human-piloted aircraft. Using NASA's
remotely piloted Ikhana aircraft as a demonstration platform ..."
"UAV designs are a perpetual compromise between the ability to fly long
distances efficiently with payloads (fixed-wing) and the ability to maneuver, hover, and land
easily (rotorcraft). With a very few rather bizarre exceptions, any aircraft that try to offer
the best of both worlds end up relatively complicated, inefficient, and expensive. A group
of researchers from the University of Sherbrooke in Canada have come very close to making
that happen, with a little airplane that uses legs and claws to reliably perch on walls ..."
electric plane, which uses light and powerful batteries and motors, is
less costly than its gasoline-engine rivals. When you first sit in the cockpit of an electric-powered
airplane, you see nothing out of the ordinary. However, touch the Start button and it strikes
you immediately: an eerie silence. There is no roar, no engine vibration, just the hum of
electricity and the soft whoosh of the propeller. You can converse easily with the person
in the next seat, without headphones. The silence ..."
Here is an interesting bit of history. According to
this article from a 1952 issue of Air Trails magazine, the reason British model engine
designers switched from ignition type engines to
diesel was due to
a shortage of copper element wire and other components brought about by World War II.
Diesels are still very popular in Europe both for model airplanes and full-size automobiles.
The Alternative Fuels Data Center claims that diesel fuel has a 13% greater energy density
that gasoline, which jives with many other independent sources, some of which say overall
efficiency is up to 20% greater. Diesel just has never really "caught on" here in the U.S.
for some reason - maybe its the stinky exhaust. One nice aspect ...
"There are many iconic photographs from World War II:
An aircraft spotter standing atop a London building with St. Paul's Cathedral rising in the
background, taken by LIFE photographer George Strock; Alfred Eisenstaedt's photo 'The Kiss,'
shot in Times Square the day Japan surrendered. They're all powerful - and they're all in
black and white. While color images of the war exist, they aren't extremely common. Yet official
photographers serving with the British armed forces shot nearly 3,000 color photographs, using
Kodachrome film obtained ..."
The "AT" Interceptor is a very nice
control line twin. Designed
for a pair of .049 engines, its 30" wingspan and tricycle landing gear provides a solid platform
that could easily be adapted for twin brushless motor setup. A common fuel tank feeds both
engines. If you are trying to decide whether the "AT" Interceptor is a takeoff of the P-38
Lightning or the P-61 Black Widow, you'd be right in either case, since both inspired the
model, per Walt Hughes. Both tail booms, the fuselage, and the wings are built-up construction
with balsa sheeting over all ...
- Archives -
Commercial Airliner Hits Drone in Canada
FAA Seeks 'Emergency' Action on Drones
What's Wrong with Experimental Pilots?
Drone Hits Army Helicopter Flying over Staten Island
Tragedy of Americana: California Wildfire Destroys 'Peanuts'
Drones Deliver Storm Response
Vintage Aviation Publications Acquires Warbirds News
'Strega' Dethrones 'Voodoo' at Reno Air Races
NASA and Industry Take Next Step Toward X-Plane
"Rescued from a desert bombing range then painstakingly
restored over many years, the
B-29 Superfortress Doc brought vintage strategic air power to EAA AirVenture
in July. Doc and crew flew away from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, with the 'Best Bomber Award,' among
others, returning home to temporary quarters as Doc’s Friends Inc., pass the hat to build
a permanent home for the beloved bomber in Wichita, Kansas ..."
Rick Rabe's rubber-powered free flight "Pogo," not to be confused
with Bob Morse's glow fuel-powered R/C 1/4 Midget racer "Pogo" that appeared five months later
in American Aircraft Modeler, is a quick-building stick and tissue job for modelers
of all ages and interests. Rabe adds a little pizzazz to the craft with a "V" shaped vertical
fin. The flat, stick-framed wing and stabilizer are built directly on the Jap tissue, which
speed the already minimal construction time ...
John Burkam was one of the few true pioneers in free
flight and particularly
model helicopters. His experiments date back into the 1940s. His rubber-powered Penni
Helicopter appeared in the January 1970 issue of 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 ...
is great! "This Brazilian pilot is in big trouble for taking selfies thousands of feet up,
even though the photos are fake. Pilotganso is a well-known Instagrammer with 72K followers;
he's gained a rabid following thanks to the incredible selfies on his page showing the aviator
hanging out the cockpit of a
Boeing 737 thousands of feet above the earth. His shots have many scratching
their heads as to whether they are in fact real. No, they're not. The Instagrammer, real name
Daniel Centeno achieves these aerial shots using ..."
Contest-minded aeromodelers, or for that matter competitive
types of all disciplines, are most often the people who advance the state of the art in any
field. Never content with good enough, they continually strive to come up with new and better
ways of doing things. That's not to say everyday sportsmen don't
they just don't usually do it with the vim and vigor of competitors. Although I cannot know
for sure, I suspect that the tip offered here for a suggested way to carve rubber power free
flight propellers to maximize thrust under a continually changing amount of torque from the
twisted motor is the result ...
spring-loaded plastic clamps
are ubiquitous on model builders' and woodworkers' workbenches across the world. With swiveling
jaws that accommodate almost any pair of surfaces needing to be held together while sanding,
measuring, painting, cutting, or many other tasks, these things are one of the best deals
in the tools universe. They are so great that I feel bad even criticizing them in any way,
but I shall. Aside from the occasional snapping of the plastic handles ...
Lt. Walt "Pitt" Pittman was the father of our neighbor, Barbara. He flew a P-51 Mustang as
a fighter pilot in WWII and Korea. "Pitt" wrote more than 350 letters and sent many photos
to his wife (Barbara's mother) prior to being shot down in 1951.
It wasn't until 2012 that she finally decided to create "The Letters Project" to document
the life story of her father. Historians interested in the Korean War (a conflict, technically,
not a declared war) will find the content useful. Says Barbara, "If you are wondering why
I am doing this project now or why I waited so long, I don't think I have the answer ..."
"The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed
a patented system and method of transitioning an aircraft between helicopter and fixed wing
flight modes. The
stop rotor aircraft is capable of both a helicopter mode vertical takeoff
and landing (VTOL) and efficient high speed fixed wing flight by flipping the left wing/rotor
blade 180 degrees between flight modes. Conversion between flight modes will take about 1-2
seconds and simulations indicate altitude deviations of less than 50 feet ..."