Sometime back in the 1990s when our daughter,
Sally, was around three years old, her grandmother (Melanie's mother) made one of
these Rabbit Family House sets from the
McCall's pattern #8346. Grandma was a very
craftsy person who had decades of experience making rugs, wall hangings, quilts,
clothes, and decorative items. You can see from the pattern instructions that a
lot of work is involved with many different types of skills required. Now that
we have a five-year-old granddaughter, Melanie decided it would be nice to make
a Bunny House for her. Sally found the pattern package at a Goodwill store, and
it was of the same vintage as the one Melanie's mother used. At first, the plan
was to make one that looked like Sally's ...
Earlier today, the FAA issued a notice that
provides temporary guidance for recreational fliers.
AMA is already working with the FAA to make accommodations for our members, and
we wanted to let you know what to expect. First, we’ll share a bit of background.
Throughout the past few years, thousands of new recreational drone users and more
than 400,000 new commercial drone operators have entered the airspace. Late last
year, Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law the FAA Reauthorization
Act of 2018. This law gives the FAA more authority to address the surge of new users
and changing airspace. Part of the law includes Section 349, which outlines eight
statutory requirements for the recreational operation of all unmanned aircraft,
including all drone and model aircraft hobbyists ...
Jean "Shep" Shepherd, most recently known for the movie "A Christmas Story," spawned
by his book entitled "In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash," was widely known in
the 1950s through 70s for his ad hoc story telling on AM radio stations like WOR
in NY City. Shep was an avid amateur radio enthusiast his entire life, and told
anecdotes about it often while on the air. He was also an airplane modeler in his
younger days. This May 3, 1973
Model Airplanes broadcast
by Shep recounts the time he and his friend Schwartz (a real guy and one of The
Christmas Story" characters), as teenagers, pooled their paper route money to buy
and build Flying Quaker R/C airplane from plans, with a Brown engine and home-built
radio gear (they were both Hams with electronics skills). It was nearly a year-long
project for them. On the Flying Quaker's maiden flight, it got caught up in a strong
thermal. Listen to his story to learn how it turned out ...
"Alphabet's subsidiary Wing announced this
week that it has officially launched a
commercial drone delivery service 'to a limited
set of eligible homes in the suburbs of Crace, Palmerston and Franklin,' which are
just north of Canberra, in Australia. Wing's drones are able to drop a variety of
small products, including coffee, food, and pharmacy items, shuttling them from
local stores to customers’ backyards within minutes. We've been skeptical about
whether this kind of drone delivery makes sense for a long, long time, and while
this is certainly a major milestone for Wing, I'm still not totally convinced that
the use-cases that Wing ..."
Up until sometime in the early 2000s, Ace
R/C manufactured a very popular set of injection molded foam wings for ½A size models
- the Ace R/C Mini Foam Wing.
There was a constant chord and a tapered chord version. Up until fairly recently,
a third-party firm was selling equivalent foam wing panels eBay. Of course you can
often buy original Ace R/C Mini Foam Wings on eBay so you might want to check periodically
to see if they appear. Laser Design Service and Balsa Builder both offer a balsa
built-up version of the foam wing. Andy Kunz has a free plan for cutting and building
your own Ace tapered chord mini foam wing replica. Owen Kampen and others designed
and kitted many ½A airplanes using his Mini Foam Wing cores ...
"A 'spaceplane' that flies 25 times faster than the
speed of sound has successfully passed a crucial testing milestone. The hypersonic
plane is so fast it could jet from London to New York in less than 60 minutes and
transport you from the UK to Australia in four hours. Oxford-based Reaction Engines
has been working with the European Space Agency and the UK Space Agency, along with
BAE Systems, to make the powerful aircraft. Reaction Engines has recently been testing
a 'pre-cooler' for the plane, which is technology that would allow it to travel
faster than ever before. The pre-cooler is critical in the plane's development because
it is required to stop the engine from melting by lowering the temperature of compressed
air in the engine ..."
Founded in 1964 and located in Brentwood,
Hobby Lobby International closed its doors a couple years ago. Born in an era
when many - if not most - products used by aircraft, boat, and car modelers were
manufactured here in the United States, Hobby Lobby served the entire spectrum of
modeling. Hobby Lobby did offer many hard-to-get foreign kits as well, though. It
was the first mail-order hobby shops that I remember using. There were not any "real"
hobby shops near my Mayo, Maryland, home as a kid, so unless I could whine enough
to get my father to drive me the 20+ miles to the nearest hobby shop, the only alternative
was to cut out the order form, fill it out, have my mother write a check (from money
I earned on my paper route), stuff it all in an envelope ...
"Drone sightings at London's Gatwick Airport
disrupted operations there for three days last December, and in January, rumored
sightings near Newark [N.J.] Liberty International Airport delayed incoming air
traffic temporarily. These incidents highlighted a growing problem with
small drones: Miscreants, or just clueless operators,
can make real trouble by flying these machines where they're not allowed. Rogue
drones have been a long-standing worry for regulators, who have pursued a wide array
of ideas to address the issue. Now, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is
preparing a new report on the matter ..."
It was in the May 1975 issue of R/C Modeler
magazine that I first saw the
sailplane (she's way too graceful to refer to her merely as a glider). Airtronics
had not introduced a kit yet, but they were selling a canopy and hardware kit along
with plans, so I ordered them and scratch built my first Aquila. I was 17 years
old then. It was covered to look like the one in the photo above (which would become
the kit box label photo). Not having lite ply for the fuselage, I used hard balsa.
Somehow I eventually managed to destroy Aquila #1, but by that time a kit was available,
so I bought one and also the ABS plastic fuselage. A standard Hi-Start was used
for launching. Back in the 1970s, there were still plenty of areas, even near small
cities, to stretch out a Hi-Start ...
"Inspired by birds that fold their wings
in the air when space is limited, researchers from the
University of Zurich and EPFL have developed
a new foldable drone. The researchers designed the
quadrocopter with four independently rotating propellers. The propellers are mounted
on mobile arms that can be pivoted around the main frame with the help of servomotors.
The control system regulates, in real time, each new position of the arms and adjusts
the propeller speed depending on the center of gravity. The drone's default configuration
is X-shaped, but it can adapt into H, O, and T shapes ..."
Du-Bro was the first American company to
produce a radio control helicopter kit - the Whirlybird 505. That was sometime
around 1972 It was modeled after the way free flight helicopters were built an the
engine and propeller sitting on top of the main rotor, using a free-wheeling rotor
that turned in response to the counter torque of the engine. Fixed pitch rotor blades
were controlled via a flybar assembly as was the case prior to the advent of flybarless
rotor heads. Du-Bro's next helicopter was a much-improved and very popular Hughes 300,
using a driven rotor with the engine mounted in the fuselage. It also used a flybar
for rotor control. Building off that success, they next introduced this
R/C helicopter. It was smaller than the Hughes 300 and modeled after the
RotorWay Scorpion homebuilt helicopter that was all the rage in the 1970s and 80s ...
This short history on one of model aviation's
most recognizable hobby shops is sad, albeit not unusual in the era of online distributors.
"The End of an Era - Hobby Lobby Building Torn Down" is a good
read if you remember the old days when modeler-built kits and glow engines were
king. "The building that so many of us bought our hobby goods from is gone for good.
I found out through the grapevine that they were tearing down the original Hobby
Lobby building in the next few days. That's a sad thing to think about for many
of us in the RC hobby. I thought I would take this time to write some recollections
of that place as a former HL employee and prior to that a customer ...
"Frederick A. Johnsen's recent Of Wings &
Things - JATO pushed performance - looked back at jet-assisted takeoff (JATO) power.
While interest in the column was high, several commenters referred to an
Ercoupe as early JATO test bed. In response,
Fred reached out to his connections and was able to gain access to a few documents,
including a photo and a page from the JATO-powered Ercoupe's test report. 'This
report deals with the flight tests of the Ercoupe airplane with and without auxiliary
jet propulsion carried out at March Field, California. Capt. H. A. Boushey, Jr.,
liaison officer for the project, was assigned as pilot by the Air Corps Materiel
Division, and personnel for assisting the flight tests were made available ..."
The Swinamer vintage ½A model airplane
factory has turned out yet another enviable product in the form of Fred Reese's
(Ace R/C) Simple Duster, which originally
appeared in the February 1987 issue of R/C Modeler magazine. Those long,
cold Canadian winters provide ample opportunity to build up a fresh squadron of
models for the long-awaited flying season. Steven is an ardent believer in the Earthly
spiritual connectedness between mankind and the sound and smell of an .049 engine
screaming at 20,000 rpm. It is akin to the swoosh sound at launch and after-aroma
of an Estes rocket motor after a flight that a model rocketeer is drawn to. The
Simple Duster uses the famous Ace foam wing core. Ace had both a constant chord
and a tapered chord version. The Simple Duster uses the tapered chord version ...
In yet another testament to the venerable
Douglas DC-3 (and its predecessor DC-2), this 1942 article in Flying Aces
magazine highlights the extreme extent of battle damage some of these planes suffered
and still managed to fly to a safe landing. Of course not all flight crews were
so fortunate, but the robustness of the airframe and engines are rightly credited
for their endurance and reliability. During and long past the rigors of World War II
service years, the DC-3 built upon its reputation as a work horse. It is no wonder
that the DC-3 (and its military designation of C-47) has for going on a century
been the all-time favorite transport type airplane of many aviation enthusiasts
- including yours truly. If I had a bucket list, which I really do not, at or near
the top of the list would be to take a ride in a DC-3 or a C-47. In all the places
I have lived in the last many decades, there has never been one at an airshow that
was offering rides for hire. Time is running out
According to the About Us page on the
RipMax website, "In 1949 Ripmax first opened its doors as a Toy & Model
Shop based in Camden Town. Focusing on the popularity of Radio control, the co-founder,
Max Coote, decided to concentrate on design and sale of exclusive lines of modelling
goods, primarily accessories for model boats. 'Everyman's Model Shop' as it was
known soon became recognised as the 'Radio Control Specialist', and it wasn't long
before Max was looking at manufacturing and supplying to the model trade direct."
One of the most popular items RipMax exported was the Jetex line of rocket / jet
engines manufactured by Telasco ...
"The U.S. military has long sought quick,
low cost access to space along with the ability to operate a satellite launcher
like a commercial airliner making daily round trips. The Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA), which launched an experimental space plane program in 2013,
recently settled on a winged design that would be propelled by a version of Aerojet
Rocketdyne's AR-22 engine originally used as the main engine for the American space
shuttle. Prime contractor Boeing said it is applying automation technology developed
during testing of the X-37B shuttle to its
Phantom Express prototype selected by DARPA ..."
A couple years ago I posted an article about
Victor Stanzel ElectroMic "Copter" Tethered Helicopter that I had bought on
eBay. It was just like the one I had as a pre-teen in the 1960's. If memory serves
me correctly, I also had one of the ElectroMic Flash Tethered Airplanes as well.
Someday I'll probably buy one of those on eBay. The webpage hyperlinked above has
a video embedded that tells the story of the Stanzel Brothers' Model Airplane Museum.
You will be amazed at all the types of models they produced - powered airplanes,
gliders, helicopters, flying saucers. They were a couple of the earliest pioneers
in manufacturing ready-to-fly model airplanes. This feature article in American
Modeler magazine tells a little more of their story ...
Hawk 30 prototype will begin its maiden flight
at a NASA base within days. A secretive joint venture between SoftBank and U.S.
aerospace company AeroVironment is poised to launch an experimental solar-powered
drone to deliver connectivity for 5G and the Internet of Things. The Hawk 30 will
have a curved 'flying wing' design similar to a series of high-altitude solar drones
that AeroVironment made for NASA twenty years ago. Filings with the Federal Aviation
Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission suggest the new Hawk will
have 10 electric engines and an operational altitude of over 20 kilometers. According
to a Space Act Agreement signed with NASA in November, the prototype drone ..."
This International Model Aircraft Company
advertisement appeared in the June 1960 issue of England's Aero Modeller
magazine. The company, which went by the moniker FROG ("Flies
Right Off the Ground"),
had been in business producing flying models since the early 1930s. Price formats
such as 17/6 for the Talisman control line model is interpreted as 17 shillings
and 6 pence, seventeen and six, or seventeen and sixpence. According to the UK National
Archives website currency conversion calculator, 17/6 in 1960 is the equivalent
to £18.34 (pound sterling) in 2017, which is the equivalent of $24.23 U.S. That
somehow seems way too low for a 1960 to 2017 price conversion ...