Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets
Kirt Blattenberger
Carpe Diem!
(Seize the Day!)

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- Welcome to the Airplanes & Rockets Website -
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." Lord Kelvin, 1895

Aerospace Headline News

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Density of Existing Technology

AOPA Announces >$156k in Scholarships

Russian Hypersonic Glider Can Penetrate Any Missile Defense

National Museum of the USAF Opens 4th Building

Army Mulls Hybrid Electric for Next Gen Drones

Unusual Alloy Brings Magnesium-Ion Batteries Closer

Georgia Tech Student Designs Fuel-Cell Plane

India Performs Successful Space Shuttle Test Launch

Brodak Manufacturing & Distribution Videos & Photos

Brodak Manufacturing & Distribution, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania - Airplanes and RocketsWhile talking to a lady working one of the tables at the 2016 Brodak Fly-In, she happened to mention that the Brodak Manufacturing & Distribution operations plant is located about a mile away, right behind Brodak's Hobby Shop in Carmichaels, PA. Brodak, unarguably the largest seller of control line models and flying supplies, has the advantage of being its own manufacturer for most of its products. Because of that, they are able to sell at the lowest prices possible for a proprietary line of goods. Control line model airplane kits, nuts and bolts and washers and other assembly hardware, flying ...

Some of My Stuff Is for Sale

I am selling few items. All are in new or like-new condition and are priced very fairly. If you are planning to purchase any of these items anyway, please consider buying them from me to help support the Airplanes and Rockets website. A complete list is here. Thanks for your help.

Shark 35 Control Line Airplane Plans

Shark 35 Control Line Airplane Plans - Airplanes and RocketsLew McFarland's series of 'Shark' control line stunters are favorites to many vintage and classic design flyers. They were all very simple to build and were excellent fliers. The Shark 15, which featured a profile fuselage and built-up wing with flaps, was my first 'real' stunt airplane, and my first control line model that used an engine larger than the Cox .049. Jetco produced the Shark 15 and the Shark 45 kits, but to my knowledge the Shark 35 never made it to production. I didn't even know it existed until I saw ...

Did ESD Blow the Hatch on Liberty Bell 7?

Astronaut Grissom Didn't Hit the Chicken Switch - RF CafeCharles Murray, of Design News just posted a piece about a new book called Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom, by George Leopold." Anyone knowing the history of America's manned space flight program is familiar with the hatch blowing off the capsule (which quickly sunk) of the Mercury Redstone 4 mission while awaiting a helicopter rendezvous for pickup in the Atlantic Ocean. Grissom insisted he did not activate the firing mechanism, and now, 55 years later, a forensic investigation suggests that possibly an ESD event was the cause. An electrical spark, ironically, is believed to have ignited the fire on Apollo 1 that claimed Grissom's life.

ATT Using Drones for Cell Tower inspections

ATT Using Drones for Cell Tower inspections - RF Cafe"Flying drones might sound like a fun hobby, but some RF engineers are making it part of their job, going so far as to envision flying COWs, or Cells on Wings, to provide LTE coverage at concerts or during emergencies. Earlier this month, AT&T announced the launch of a national trial involving drones in a program being overseen by Art Pregler, who serves as AT&T's drone program director and began his tech career in the U.S. Air Force. More trials are continuing, including this week. AT&T started its LTE drone program investigation a year ..."

Cox .020-Powered Sky Copter

Cox Sky Copter Helicopter - Airplanes and RocketsIn the late 1960s when I received a Cox Sky Copter for Christmas, there was very little in the way of commercially available flying model helicopters. Victor Stanzel sold its tethered ElectroMic "Copter" that was powered by a pair of "D" cell batteries. As far as I know, Cox made the only nitro fuel powered free flight helicopter named "Sky Copter." It was powered by a Cox .020 engine mounted to the top, center of the main rotor shaft, and caused the rotors to turn due to the counter rotation cause by the propeller on the .020. It worked very well. After getting the engine ...

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Bell's X-247 Armed Tiltrotor Drone For Marines

Bell's X-247 Armed Tiltrotor Drone For Marines - Airplanes and Rockets"A sleek little model sits on the desk of Lt. Gen. Jon 'Dog' Davis, Marine deputy commandant for aviation. What is that, we asked? The next tiltrotor Bell Helicopter Textron hopes the Marine Corps will buy. But it's not the V-280 Valor, the new manned tiltrotor Bell plans to fly next year. It's an unmanned tiltrotor designed to give the Marines a drone that can do everything the Air Force's armed MQ-9 Reaper does – and more. Especially taking off and landing from ships or from land where there's ..."

Airlander 10 Takes Maiden Flight

Airlander 10 Takes Maiden Flight - Airplanes and Rockets"Hybrid Air Vehicles' 92m long airship is the world's longest aircraft, and the maiden flight marks a key milestone in its Flight Test Programme. Airlander was originally scheduled to make its debut on Sunday, but a technical issue meant it was unable to fly during daylight hours, which is a prerequisite during flight trials. The four giant engines, which have been undergoing testing since since February 2015, were started up ..."

Facts About Flying Boats

Facts About Flying Boats, January 1955 Model Airplane News - Airplanes and RocketsAs is often - even usually - the case, science is able to test and quantify theories and opinions to not just determine which of competing views is most correct, but it also applies known principles to improve upon the concepts. I have seen it done over and over again both within and without the modeling realm. As early 1955, articles like this one have removed some of the guesswork from amphibious model aircraft design. Similar articles have been written using scientific methods to determine optimal parameters for various aspects of control line...

KeilKraft Glider Ad, June 1960 Aero Modeller

KeilKraft Glider Ad, June 1960 Aero Modeller - Airplanes and RocketsKeilKraft was one of the prime manufacturers of model airplane kits, engines, and supplies in the UK in the middle of the last century. This full-page advertisement for their line of kits appeared in a 1960 issue of the British magazine Aero Modeller. The Vintage Model Company offers a huge selection of laser cut replicas of the classic Keil Kraft kits ...

Moon Express Cleared for Lunar Landing

Moon Express Cleared for Lunar Landing - Airplanes and Rockets"The two-week mission was given the go-ahead by the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation. The plan is to send a suitcase-sized lander to the moon in late 2017. The lander, which is not yet completed, will be carried on a rocket made by Rocket Lab, a start-up firm which has not launched any commercial missions. Science experiments and some commercial cargo will be carried on the one-way trip to the lunar surface. Moon Express also plans to beam pictures back to the Earth. What if you could mine the moon? "The Moon ..."

What's Ahead for You in Engineering?

What's Ahead for You in Engineering?, July 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsSaid Jimmy Stewart's character in "It's a Wonderful Life," George Bailey, "I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Colosseum. Then, I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I'm gonna build things. I'm gonna build airfields, I'm gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high, I'm gonna build bridges a mile long..." It was common dream for an era when Americans were tired of the struggling economy of The Great Depression and great advances were being made in technology. The world was still a mystery to most people whose familiarity with foreign lands ...

Navy Blue Angeles Get New F/A-18E/F Super Hornets

Navy Blue Angeles Get New F/A-18E/F Super Hornets - Airplanes and Rockets"Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team are upgrading their aircraft from the decades-old Boeing F/A-18A, C, B, and D models to the newer and larger F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced a $12.1 million contract Monday to the Boeing Co. Defense, Space & Security segment in St. Louis to adapt F/A-18E/F aircraft to the needs of the Blue Angeles ..."

Saelig's Aaronia Drone Detection System Discovers Unwanted UAV Incursions

Saelig's Aaronia Drone Detection System (ADDS) Discovers Unwanted UAV Incursions - RF CafeIs this cool or what? Saelig isn't kidding with their "unique electronics" logo tag line. Saelig Company has introduced the Aaronia Drone Detection System (ADDS) for discovering the incursion of unwanted drones or other remote-controlled flying objects, thus protecting privacy and insuring physical security. Detecting the real-time directional measurement of the radio emissions used for controlling drones, the ADDS system warns the user when drones are in the area and can send automatic alerts ... (they need a look-down/shoot-down system to compliment it)

Building a Sturdy 2x4-Frame Workbench

Woodworking Tips: Building a Sturdy 2x4-Frame Workbench - Airplanes and RocketsAfter moving back into our first house in Erie, I needed to build a couple workbenches in the basement. The ones I used when there before were made from Gorilla Rack metal frame parts and had been left at the previous house. Besides, I really prefer a good, sturdy wooden framed workbench with doors and drawers. Also, after using many types of materials as a work surface, I have found that a good interior grade plywood (7-ply or greater) makes works best. It is very stiff and durable, and does not puff up and distort when water is spilled on it. One criterion was that the standard 24" depth (half a 4'  x 8'sheet of plywood) would be insufficient ...

London Teens Fly High on Gliding Course

London Teens Fly High on Gliding Course - Airplanes and Rockets"We all know that UK STEM is facing a huge skills crisis. According to some reports, the country needs around 100,000 new scientists, engineers and technologists every year until 2020. To achieve this, STEM must draw from the widest possible talent pool, with every boy and girl growing up in the UK made aware of the opportunities available. For many, though, a career working in certain STEM industries can seem unobtainable. Aviation ..."

KeilKraft Engine Ad, June 1960 Aero Modeller

KeilKraft Engine Ad, June 1960 Aero Modeller - Airplanes and RocketsKeilKraft was one of the prime manufacturers of model airplane kits, engines, and supplies in the UK in the middle of the last century. This full-page advertisement for their line of engines and fuel appeared in a 1960 issue of the British magazine Aero Modeller. eBay has many KeilKraft engines and other items available ...

Military Unveils Insect-Sized Spy Drone with Dragonfly-Like Wings

Military Unveils Insect-Sized Spy Drone with Dragonfly-Like Wings - Airplanes and Rockets"A tiny remote-controlled aircraft modelled on an insect will become Britain’s latest weapon against terror. The Dragonfly drone – which can fit in the palm of a hand - will spy on enemy positions and gather intelligence for the military and British agents. It is inspired by the biology of a dragonfly, with four flapping wings and four legs to enable it to fly through the air seamlessly and perch on a windowsill to spy on terrorists ..."

London Woman Possibly 1st Drone-Related Death

London Woman Possibly 1st Drone-Related Death - Airplanes and RocketsHere is a prime example of media purposely engaging in misleading headlines in an attempt to blame a drone for a woman's death, when in fact the lady was killed in a car accident while fleeing police after being was caught flying a drone near a prison. This is why people hate the news media.

America's First Jet Fighter - the P-59

America's First Jet Fighter P-59, February 1956 Young Men • Hobbies • Aviation • Careers - Airplanes and RocketsBell Aircraft Company is probably most famous for the X-1 supersonic airplane, piloted by Chuck Yeager. The P-39 Airacobra likely is the runner up. Their P-59 Airacomet is a less-known because it was never used in combat, but it is billed as America's first production jet aircraft. Its maiden flight was in 1942, at the beginning of World War II. During flight testing, its nature was disguised by placing a faux propeller on the nose, underneath a cloaking tarpaulin ...

FAA Approves Virgin Galactic to Fly into Space

FAA Approves Virgin Galactic to Fly into Space - Airplanes and Rockets"Space tourism is dawning upon us with Virgin Galactic obtaining an 'Operational License' from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA-AST) after successfully running taxi tests with their new spaceship, SpaceShipTwo. On August first, Virgin Galactic achieved two significant milestones by receiving permission to operate commercially by the FAA, and successfully running a taxi test. The license awarded by the FAA ..."