Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets
Kirt Blattenberger
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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

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 ...

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 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 ...

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 ...

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 ..."

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Air Progress: The Search for Speed

Air Progress: The Search for Speed, November 1950 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsDouglas Rolphe ran a series of "Air Progress" and "Auto Progress" features similar to this one where he included line drawings and short factoids on each vehicle, with a timescale of sorts that shows progression in the state of the art. "The Search for Speed" has, as you might guess early model aircraft that were designed for racing and/or setting speed records. Many were one-of-a-kind and might make excellent subjects for scale builds in any of the competition categories - radio control, control line, free flight, or even static display ...

Estes Mercury Redstone Model Finished!

Estes Mercury Redstone Rocket Kit - Airplanes and RocketsYay, my Estes Mercury Redstone is finally complete! It was purchased on eBay sometime around 2011 and sat around until, according to the date I wrote on the instruction sheet, I began building it on January 12, 2014. The final coat of clear was sprayed on today, and that finishes the job. The rocket would have been done a year ago except that for some reason I had a really bad experience when spraying the Rustoleum black paint. It wrinkled at the first attempt, so I painstakingly sanded it off, taped everything off again, and re-sprayed. The same thing happened ...

'Double Bubble' Plane by 2027 with NASA Funding

'Double Bubble' Plane by 2027 with Nasa Funding - Airplanes and Rockets"NASA is bringing back the era of 'X-planes' - a series of experimental aircraft first tested by the space agency in the 1940s. Among its plans is the 'double bubble' D8, which is a twin-hull plane that is designed to make the experience of flying more fuel efficient, with faster loading and unloading and a quieter, more comfortable takeoff. The design was initially developed by Aurora Flight Sciences and MIT in 2008 ..."

"Air-Track" System of Blind Landing

"Air-Track" System of Blind Landing, October 1937 Radio-Craft - RF CafeThe Instrument Landing System (ILS) has been around for an amazingly long time - almost as long as commercial airlines have been operating. This 1937 article in the October issue of Radio-Craft magazine reports on the current state of the art. The Douglas DC-3 twin-engine airliner (my all-time favorite airplane) entered service in 1936 and is credited with creating widespread public acceptance of the safety and comfort of airplanes. Much of the content for this article also appeared in "The History and Development of the Washington Institute of Technology," by ...

FAA Expects 600,000 Commercial Drones Within a Year

FAA Expects 600,000 Commercial Drones Within a Year"We are in 'one of the most dramatic periods of change in the history of transportation,' says Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. He was talking about all of it: the self-driving cars, the smart-city movement, the maritime innovations. But the staggering prediction of the day goes to the drone industry: The Federal Aviation Administration expects some 600,000 drones to be used commercially within a year ..."

Woodworking Tip: Sanding Table Legs w/o a Lathe

Woodworking Tip: Sanding Table Legs w/o a Lathe - Airplanes and RocketsWhile reconfiguring and refinishing an old farm table, I decided to remove the paint from the round legs and stain them instead. A belt sander made quick work of removing most of the paint (very dry and dusty). Some minor flat areas were created in the process, but I was able to retain most of the roundness. I owned a Craftsman lathe many moons ago that would have been nice to use to sand the legs, but the lathe was sold prior to one of many household moves. In place of a lathe, I clamped my cordless drill to the workbench and used a used a socket to drive a couple nuts on a hanger bolt that had been screwed into one end ...

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 ..."

Blue Origin's New Glenn Rocket May Someday Take You to Space

Blue Origin's New Glenn Rocket May Someday Take You to Space - Airplanes and Rockets"Blue Origin, the secretive space company created by Amazon.com's Jeffrey Bezos, offered a look at its newest rocket design on Monday — and, by extension, its ambitions to make space travel more frequent and inexpensive. Both the rocket and the ambitions appear to be big. The rockets, named New Glenn after John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, are almost as large ..."

Glider Will Attempt Record-Breaking Flight to Edge of Space

Glider Will Attempt Record-Breaking Flight to Edge of Space - Airplanes and Rockets"In a spot in South America known for its powerful winds, scientists and engineers are gearing up to attempt a record-breaking feat: to fly a human-carrying glider to the edge of space. The expedition, known as Perlan Mission II, aims to take the glider up to an elevation of 90,000 feet (27,000 meters). The project is more than an attempt at aviation history; it's designed to study the layers of Earth's atmosphere ..."

Herb Davis' Hot Canary Dyna-Jet Control Line Record Setter

Herb Davis' , January 1952 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsDyna-Jet pulse jet engines were a big deal in the 1950s and 60s in part because it was the era when full-size jet aircraft were coming onto the scene in military and commercial applications. They fulfilled the need for speed that many modelers have. The Hot Canary set a record of 157 mph which, of course, has been far exceeded since then. In fact, both pulse jet and internal combustion reciprocating engines have set control line records of well in excess of 200 mph ...

Future Airplanes Will Fly on Twistable Wings

Future Airplanes Will Fly on Twistable Wings - Airplanes and Rockets"More than a century ago, the first aviation pioneers figured out a way to use rigid wings with flaps to generate enough force to lift a heavy craft into the sky. [There] is one promising strategy that remains - changing the shape of the aircraft wing during flight. For three decades, engineers at aerospace companies, universities, and defense labs have been working on twistable aircraft wings that could be instantaneously and minutely adjusted ..."

Evening Capital Newspaper from Christmas Eve 1969

Evening Capital Newspaper, Decemeber 24, 1969 - Airplanes and RocketsA white Christmas was not exactly a common thing in the Mayo, Maryland region where I grew up. I remembered there was a Christmas sometime when I was around 12 or 13 years old when our family was at my Grandmother's house for dinner when it unexpectedly began snowing in the late afternoon. It happened to be the same year that I received my Cox Sky Copter free flight helicopter, which I recall being outside trying to get the darned Cox .020 engine started in the cold. I had brought it with me from home since it was my prized gift for the year, and I ...

World War I Bristol M. 1C Control Line Scale Article & Plans

World War One Bristol M. 1C Control Line Scale Article & Plans, American Modeler, August 1957 - Airplanes and RocketsThis Bristol M.1C WWI monoplane was designed and built by the ineffable (when it comes to model aircraft designing and building) Walter A. Musciano. This unique monoplane was a rarity during the era when biplanes and triplanes ruled the skies. Construction is very robust in that it uses balsa sheeting on the built-up wing and balsa planking on the fuselage. The wingspan works out to around 27", and power can be anything from a .099 to .29 engine. Of course electric power can be substituted if you prefer the 'silent' route ...

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)