Unmanned Aircraft Capable of Soaring Like Birds
Generation Solar Plane Unveiled in Switzerland
to Establish Center of Excellence to Conduct Research into Unmanned Aircraft Issues
Model WWII Craft Takes Flight with Fuel from Sea Concept
Unmanned Copters Deliver Goods for Marines
Drone That Shot Down the Feds
Model Aircraft Builder Remembered by McDonald's Coffee Buddies
Veteran Jim "Fang" Maroney Crashed in Tennessee Forest
Hunting to Be Illegal in Alaska
to Build Drones and Satellites to Beam Internet Around the World
Find First Asteroid with Rings
Aircraft Spotted over Texas
Dwarf Planet Discovered Beyond Pluto
Unveils Next-Generation Blimp
Developing 'Radical' Copter/Plane Hybrid
Force to Upgrade UAV Ground-Control Stations for Use with the Internet
Judge Rules FAA Ban on Commercial
Displays 2014 Plastic Model Line
2014 Generation 5 Cirrus Aircraft
Ruling May Bring Flocks of Buzzing Drones to U.S. Skies
Jets 2014 Brings Model Planes to Lakeland
Wants to Build 11,000 Drones to Bring Internet to Africa
Radio Control News
Printed Circuits & Capacitors
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
indoor models is one (of many) aspects of model airplane
building and flying that I've always wanted to try, but never found the opportunity. You might
be tempted to think this is the exclusive realm of white-haired old men, and admittedly it
nearly is, but when you look at contest coverage in the modeling magazines, it is heartening
to see a good showing of youngsters. For that matter, the same holds true for just about all
forms of model aircraft these days except for radio controlled airplanes and helicopters.
As recently as a couple decades ago, radio equipment was too expensive for many younger modelers
to buy, so those who aspired to hobbies involving airborne craft had...
Your Dream Home
on Michigan's Long Lake
17039 Dreamers Lane
you looking for a quality starter home, retirement home, vacation home, or a home for a small
family? This home has quality construction that includes a maintenance-free full brick facing
from the ground up to the soffits, all the way around. Windows are double paned and airtight.
R-45 insulation in the attic keeps heating bills at a minimum as does the metered gas supply
for the furnace and water heater. That, and sitting on 1.28 flat acres with beautiful trees,
on a private road 100' from the main highway,
deeded access to a boat launching area on
Long Lake, a large 2-story pole barn, with boat/camper storage, topped off by great neighbors,
makes this estate an ideal choice for your lifestyle. Low taxes, very high speed cable Internet
are a bonus to boot. SimpliSafe alarm installed.
Peter O'Dactyl F/F
is "Toeliner," Too!
controlled models of birds have been popular for a long time. You might recall the R/C version
of Jonathan Livingston Seagull that was made for the movie back in the 1970s
(it showed up in an edition of R/C Modeler),
and then various others have appeared in modeling magazines throughout the decades. The Best
of Show winner at the Toledo show in 2011 was a giant size, twin turbine powered, fire breathing
dragon! This "Peter O'Dactyl"
was published in American Modeler back in 1962 by Roy Clough, Jr. Its 36" wingspan
and simple stick and tissue construction makes it a great novelty project for stirring up
interest in young modelers...
Don Pratt's Full-Scale
visitor Lincoln R. wrote to ask for a scan of the
3-view for the
Taylorcraft that appeared in the February 1968 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. This
particular 1941 vintage Taylorcraft was owned by well-known scale aeromodeler Don Pratt. It
was still in pristine condition three decades after being manufactured. Don built a 1/4-scale
model of his own airplane.
1957 AMA Nat Photos
you happen to be 10-year-old Stephen Stackhouse, of Levittown, Pennsylvania, then chances
are if you recognize anyone from these 1957 Nats pictures, it is your father or grandfather.
I think I saw that pinstriped sport jacket of Frank Bropher's hanging in the local Salvation
Army thrift store ;-) The Corsair control line model was make from the same type kit as my
Sterling F4U Corsair (which
is still under construction).
Rocket Trails - How To Get
Started In Model Rocketry
(aka "Old Rocketeer") Stein wrote a monthly column for American
Modeler back in the 1960s that covered a variety of topics ranging including model rocket
contesting, model rocket building and trimming for flight, recovery systems, and even a little
rocket scientist theory when appropriate. This particular article discusses getting started
in model rocketry with using the diminutive Astron (Estes) Scout
rocket which used a low-tech tumble recovery system. With the Space Age in full swing by that
time, youths and adults around the world were anxious to get involved. It was an
exciting time for everyone. My own foray into model rocketry began in the late 1960s during
Testor Corporation has been manufacturing
products for hobby, craft, and home decorating for more than eight decades. Since 1929, the
oval Testor logo has been associated with quality and integrity. Testor hobby finishing materials
and accessories, plastic model kits, craft paints and supplies, and airbrushes are sold world-wide,
satisfying the demand for these fine products. Testor currently staffs a manufacturing facility
in Rockford." - from the Testors "About Us" page. This advertisement appeared in a 1954 edition
of Model Airplane News.
"ATH" Airmen of Vision
Aircraft Design Competition
a look at the jet fighter design submitted by Lorry Burchett of Detroit, Michigan, and
see if it looks somewhat familiar to you. Except for the horizontal stabilizer spanning between
the twin tail booms, it reminds me a lot of Scaled Composite's ("Scaled") X-Prize-winning
This and two other 'futuristic' aircraft designs were part of a run by Air Trails Hobbies
for Young Men in 1954. The chosen three are nothing like each other. First prize was
awarded $50, which in 2014 is the equivalent of $434.79. Scaled founder Burt Rutan, the man
who single-handedly popularized canard configurations...
Line Speed always seemed like a great aspect of competition to get involved in, but like
so many others, I just never made time for it. There are some really cool videos on YouTube
of C/L Speed models being flown. On a properly adjusted engine, you can hear the engine break
into a screaming 2-cycle mode after the airplane picks up some speed and the propeller unloads
a bit from the pilot whipping it. It is like seeing / watching the afterburner kick in on
a jet engine! A major change in the design of Speed models from the 1955 vintage of this "Monitor"
is the use of a wing only on the inside...
For the Tenderfoot
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 that 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.
PAA-Load Free Flight
is unique and sophisticated 1/2-A
free flight model designed for and flown successfully in Half-A payload, Half-A free flight,
Class A free-flight, and it meets FAI gas requirements. By adding a set of floats it can be
flown in R.O.W. events. Chula Vistan's elliptical dihedral and use of a diesel engine set
it apart from many similar models of the era (mid-1950s). As with many F/F models, the Chula
Vistan's framework is a work of art that is most appropriately covered in a translucent or
transparent scheme with colored trim so that its structure can be appreciated. Not being a
free flighter, I do not know if it meets modern specifications for...
Model This B-24 Liberator
thing you can be pretty sure of when looking at airplane model articles in 1954-vintage magazines
is that they are either free flight, static display, or control line. Radio control was still
very new at the time and it was largely the realm of experimenters and guys who were willing
to risk a lot of building time and effort on what would almost certainly eventually end in
disaster. So, when I saw this construction article for a nice 68" wingspan, 4-engine
B-4 Liberator, I knew it would
be for control line. Although finding a copy of the original plans will be a challenge, the
version I scanned along with the construction article high enough resolution to scale up for
Novel Field Kit
for a Free Flighter
is novel idea from well-known free flight modeler Bill Hannan and hobby shop owner Russ Barrera.
The pair converted an unused transmitter case into a handy
box for use with free flight models. In addition to adding a hinge and latch to the cover,
the retractable antenna sports a small wind sock for judging launch times and even a compass
in place of the RF power meter to note the direction of your model as it drifts off into the
wild blue yonder when the dethermalizer fails to trigger.
Model Building Tips
is the earliest edition I have of Air Trails Hobbies for Young Men, so this is also the first
edition of Sketchbook I have. Sketchbook continued for many years as a monthly feature where
modelers wrote to the magazine with handy ideas for saving time and/or money, and just for
offering tips and suggestions on a different way of doing something. In those days there was
not the plethora of accessories available for building models, so a lot of creativity was
involved. Even items as commonplace as bellcranks for control line models and dethermalizers
for free flight were fabricated from salvaged parts like metal soup cans and hairpins. I'm
guessing no magazine today would publish a scheme to attach bottle rockets...
is a nice, quick project if you have ever wanted to try your hand at an
amphibious model airplane. The Shoehorn
was originally designed and built as an .049-powered free flight job with a 32" wingspan,
but with today's miniature radio systems it could easily be converted to 3-channel operation.
For that matter, you can substitute a brushless electric motor for the glow fuel engine that,
along with today's high density, low weight Li-Po batteries, would easily provide as much
power as the .049. The Shoehorn is of built-up
balsa construction with Silkspan and dope covering, but of course there you could substitute
iron-on plastic covering available for park flyers (which this would
have been considered if park flyers had a name back then).
World War II, a lot of leisure activities were sacrificed due to unavailability of raw
materials for manufacturing products needed to pursue them. We have all see photos of kids
collecting scraps of metal, rubber, and other materials for recycling as components of airplanes,
guns, canteens, ships, etc. Aircraft modeling took a hit along with most other hobbies since
metal for engines and wood for airplane kits (balsa was popular for
shipping contain packing) were scarce. It wasn't until the late 1940s that
Leroy Cox was able
to begin mass producing his famous line of miniature engines, most notably the .049 family.
Other manufacturers - like Allyn - were following suit...
Iron Curtain Engines
- Da? Nyet?
even during the Cold War
years it was not uncommon to see aircraft modelers from the "Iron
Curtain" countries participating in international contests. Even Commies like flying model
airplanes. Because their societies and politics were so closed and guarded, getting information
about their modeling supplies was darn near impossible except during events where inspection
could be made. Being a generally friendly bunch of guys, the modelers would share their designs
with the Free World, and vice versa. Then, in subsequent years the Commies would show up with
equipment that was exact replicas of ours. Truth be know, most or all of the participants
were probably KGB agents engaging in extracurricular espionage...
Color and Visibility Chart
has been written about
colors and trim patterns that assist in preventing our model airplanes from being lost
from flying out of sight against a blue sky or against a background of white, puffy clouds.
Free flighters are particularly concerned about such things since their models are at
the mercy of air currents. Even dethermalized models can be whisked away, never to be seen
again, when a boomer of a thermal or a strong gust of wind asserts its influence. As a flier
of radio controlled sailplanes, I can attest to the tense moments when suddenly a model at
great altitude transitions from visible to invisible. Down elevator and rudder trim is the
best action to set up a spiraling dive until eye contact is made once again...
Jim Walker's A.J. Aircraft
(American Junior) Aircraft Company began operation in 1929,
with no way of knowing the doom and gloom that would befall the country in October of the
year when the Stock Market crashed and triggered what would become known as The Great Depression.
By the time we had begun to come recover from the financial tragedy, World War II was
at our doorstep, and a lot of raw materials - balsawood for airframes, metal for engines,
rubber for wheels - was being directed toward the defense equipment and supply buildup, supplies
were hard to come by. It was a really bad time to be starting a new business. The passion
for all things that flew...
Skiddin' II Racing Hydroplane
boat plans are more difficult to come by than model airplane plans, so seeing this article
in Air Trails for a small, free-running
model hydroplane was a nice find.
Its simple, inexpensive construction makes it a quick build for those rare modelers that still
build their own models out of wood. The Skiddin' II can easily accommodate a modern miniature
radio control system and a brushless motor setup. The original model was designed for a transom-mounted
glow fuel outboard engine, but those things make model boat plans look plentiful. If you really
want an outboard, try eBay, and be prepared to pay a couple hundred bucks for it.
Rubber Power Wakefield
F.A.I. Free Flight "Gas"
you an aeromodeler and does your name happen to be Carl Hermes, Rolf Hagen, Robert Dunham,
or Donald MacKenzie? Were also you contesting in the free flight realm during the mid 1950s?
If so, you might find yourself among these photos taken during the 1954
FF championships held at the Suffolk County Air Force Base, sponsored by now defunct Convair
aircraft company. All those young men are old timers now, as are the models they were flying.
Maybe one of these fellows is your father or grandfather. Print out the photo and send it
to him if you want to see a grown man cry. Take a close look at the last photo and you will
spy none other than Lt. General Jimmy Doolittle...
Amazing Airplanes Photos
from Post WWI - Pre WWII
couple weeks ago I published an article on my RFCafe.com engineering website titled, "Amazing
Collection of QSL Cards and Photographs from 1924-1978." If you are an amateur radio operator,
you will probably want to take a look at the absolutely huge collection of QSL cards collected
over many decades by Mr. Thomas "Tom" Russell Gentry (W5RG).
I mention the website here as well because there is an equally amazing collection of post
World War I through pre World War II
airplane photographs that have most likely never been seen anywhere else. There are hundreds
of biplanes and pilots and hangars and engines and officers and aerial reconnaissance views,
and a whole lot more. Many show the result of...