"The future is electric, and we are one step closer
Eviation Aircraft released the first prototype of an all-electric airplane.
The futuristic machine has a range of 965 kilometers and the capacity to carry nine passengers
and two crew members. The plane was released at the 52nd International Paris Airshow. The
non-emission aircraft is a huge leap forward in electrical aircraft. Currently, aviation is
responsible for 2% of the world's total carbon emissions. Called the 'Alice,' the plane is
marketed as a commuter ..."
Here are another seven
of the aeromodelling trade. As with many of the tips and kinks offered by readers of the era,
some - if not most - involve materials and/or methods that have long ben replaced by more
modern means. Still, you might find something useful in the extensive collection from vintage
American Modeler and Air Trails magazines ...
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have designed a drone capable of staying aloft
five days at a time. This technology could prove a huge boon in the
communications sector, particularly in regards to disaster situations. Unpiloted aerial vehicles
(UAVs) have long held the potential to be a valuable asset in the face of disasters. When
communications fail over a wide area, these UAVs can be used to travel into affected regions
carrying communications payloads. These would allow temporary communication access, and could
ultimately save lives ..."
In the 1960s, model aviation was still a fairly enticing
hobby to boys captivated by the sights, sounds, and smells of airplanes, helicopters, and
rockets. Indeed, that was the era that began my lifelong engagement in model building and
flying. The U.S. Navy sponsored the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) National Competition
for many years in hopes of providing a segue into naval aviation through aeromodelling. Somehow,
local television stations and newspapers never bothered to give the sport much air time or
print space, respectively. A quick search ...
Thanks to the Academy of Model Aeronautics for this!
"The FAA is providing the following updated information regarding the
UAS Registration and Marking interim final rule as a result of a recent decision by the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit regarding the small UAS registration
program. The court's decision invalidated the registration requirement as it applies to certain
model aircraft that meet the definitional and operational requirements provided in section
336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act. Owners of model aircraft which are operated in
compliance with ..."
'Pandemonium Airlines' - LOL, is that funny or what?
Obviously, USAF Captain Keith Laumer had a great sense of humor to go along with a fine skill
as a model airplane and mechanical gadget craftsman. In the days before commercially available
landing gear and powerful servos were nonexistent, this sort of clockworks mechanism was
commonly found. 'Clockworks' is literal in that a key-driven wind-up arrangement, along with
clock gears is used. In fact, I have a book titled "How to Design and Build Flying Models,"
by Keith Laumer, that describes just such a retractable ...
"Workhorse - the US-based transport company working
with UPS to make drone delivery a reality - has upscaled its airborne technology with the
personal helicopter. 78 years since the first 'copter took to the sky,
workhorse has set out to reinvent the VTOL craft using its expertise in battery-powered electric
mobility. the drone-helicopter hybrid is designed to be easy to operate. initial models will
be piloted, yet longer-term plans include a goal to introduce autonomous flight ..."
"Naval Research Laboratory engineers want to improve
the ability of unmanned platforms to support a 24/7 information, surveillance, and reconnaissance
(ISR) mission. A new concept being tested consists of a photovoltaic array integrated into
the center wing panel of the
PV-SBXC aircraft as a drop-in replacement to the original wing. A power
management and distribution system converts the power from the solar arrays into DC voltage
that the electric motor can use for propulsion, or to recharge a smart battery. An autonomous
soaring software ..."
Douglas Rolfe produced for Air Trails and
American Modeler many 2-page spreads of drawings depicting early model airplanes,
automobiles, and boats. This month's "Post-Pusher Parade" includes aeroplanes that came onto
the scene after the initial Wright-like biplanes that sported pusher propeller configurations.
The Curtiss JN-1 and the famous JN-4 Jenny biplanes, the bullet-nose Sturtevant S4 with its
gunner's 'sidecar,' and the triwing Martin TT trainer are amongst the 17 models shown. There
is a list at the bottom of the page with Mr. Rolfe's sketches ...
"Paul Allen's monstrous
Stratolaunch airplane finally rolled out of its hangar in Mojave, Calif.,
Wednesday, showing off its complete twin-hulled majesty for the first time. It will now spend
many months on ground tests before a first flight. And it's not expected to be used to launch
a rocket into space -- a mission that some observers are skeptical will ever make business
sense -- any sooner than 2019. Two tugs pulled the 250-ton giant from the hangar where it
was built for Allen's Stratolaunch Systems company by Scaled Composites, the specialty ..."
"The casting of the secondary mirror blank for ESO's
Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) has been completed by SCHOTT at Mainz,
Germany. The completed mirror will be 4.2 metres in diameter and weigh 3.5 tonnes. It will
be the largest secondary mirror ever employed on a telescope and also the largest convex mirror
ever produced. ESO's 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) will be the largest telescope
of its kind ever built when it achieves first light in 2024. A new milestone has now been
reached with the casting of the telescope's ..."
in the early 2000s I began making a transition from
glow fuel power to electric power. There
was a general trend in that direction in the modeling world, and there were certainly advantages
in doing so. Lack of fuel mess, almost no noise, and simple, reliable operation were the primary
compelling reasons for adopting the new paradigm in power plants. After all, technical advances
in brushless motors, lithium polymer (Li-Po) batteries, and electronics speed controllers
(ESC) has reached - or nearly reached - parity with internal combustion engines ...
"As air-launched munitions
get smarter, the Air Force is creating a new class of weapon—a combination of
drones and missiles. But can they be advanced enough to work, yet cheap
enough that it's okay to lose a few in battle? It has advanced radar, forward-looking infrared
cameras, and laser rangefinders—all used to help the 13-man crew direct a barrage of lethal
fire to the ground from 12,000 feet. But for all of this advanced technology, the vision of
the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command gunships can be thwarted by the threatening
adversary known as a cloudy sky. The USAF has a solution ..."
Dremel Model 370 Moto-Tool
is one of my longest-owned tools. It was bought sometime around 1976. After 40 years of use,
it began exhibiting erratic behavior due to the motor brushes finally having worn down to
where they were not making good contact with the commutator. You can see in the photos how
the original brushes did not wear evenly, although the contact surfaces were clean and not
pitted at all. I decided that given the Moto-Tool's age, it might be a good idea to disassemble
it and do a good cleaning and inspection ...
"NASA managers have ruled out putting a crew on board
Orion capsule atop the agency’s huge Space Launch System rocket for the
gargantuan booster's maiden flight in 2019, citing technical risks and higher costs, up to
as much as $900 million, agency officials said Friday. Earlier this year, the Trump administration
asked NASA to look into the possibility of either adding a crew to Exploration Mission 1,
EM-1 for short, or moving up the launch of EM-2, the flight NASA already earmarked for the
SLS booster's ..."
Having never been truly satisfied with the silence
of electric-powered model airplanes, I made a decision to start reverting back to glow fuel
models. Yes, electric power is clean, easy to set up, and consistent motor runs are the rule,
but I grew up with models I could hear flying as well as see flying. I've really missed the
sound and smell of glow fuel engines after a 15-year hiatus. I'm starting with .049 engines
mainly because of the high cost of fuel, but there's also a back-to-basics feel about them
since I, like most kids in the 1960s and 70s, learned to fly with the plastic Cox models.
As you might ...
Thanks to the efforts of the Academy of Model Aviation
for its efforts! From the AMA website: "Friday, May 19, the federal appeals court struck
down the FAA's
registration requirement for recreational model aircraft. The Court ruling is
effective immediately. As such, if you have not registered with the FAA, you are no
longer required under the law to do so. For those of
you who have already registered with the FAA, you may be wondering what this means for you.
We are currently working to obtain answers from the FAA and will share more information as
Could this be part of
Trump's 2-for-1 regulation reduction mandate?
Toyota has announced its backing for a group of engineers who are developing a
flying car. It will
give 40 million yen (£274, 000) to the Cartivator group that operates outside Toyota city
in central Japan. The Nikkei Asian Review reports Toyota and its group companies have agreed
in principle to support the project. So far crowd funding has paid for development of the
so-called Skydrive car, which uses drone technology and has three wheels and four rotors ..."
Here are a half dozen more tips and ideas that might
make your aeromodelling hobby a little easier -especially if you ardently adhere to doing
things 'the old way.' Most of the homebrew schemes presented in this and the many other "Sketchbook" postings
are these days available in pre-made form, with higher reliability, made of inexpensive materials,
and low in cost. The converted hand drill-cum-rubber-winder is a good example. In 1954, most
workshops had such a drill, but now everyone has a battery-powered, variable speed drill that
would make the job much ...
"The airport serving the capital of Canada's Alberta
province is to use a
robotic autonomous bird, mimicking a small bird of prey, to scare away
other birds from aircraft around the airport. Called Robird, the drone is the latest in a
suite of UAV systems that the airport plans to use to observe wildlife, inspect buildings
and take 3D measurements. The new device will be brought into service at the end of May. Robird
was developed by Clear Flight Solutions, a spin-off of the University of Twente in the Netherlands ..."
"The research unit at AT&T is working to combine
two of what are perhaps the hottest buzzwords in the tech industry:
drones and artificial intelligence. Specifically, AT&T Labs is researching
ways to take video footage from a drone flying around an AT&T cell tower and use AI to
analyze that footage for signs of rust, corrosion or other defects on the tower. The result
would save AT&T the time and money it takes to have engineers physically climb cell towers
to do inspections (thanks to the drone), as well as the time and money it takes to have engineers
review video from a drone inspecting a tower ..."
"Aerial dogfighting began more than a century ago in the skies over Europe
with propeller-driven fighter aircraft carried aloft on wings of fabric and wood. An event
held recently in southern California could mark the beginning of a new chapter in this form
of aerial combat. In what may have been the first aerial encounter of its kind, researchers
from the Georgia Tech Research Institute and Naval Postgraduate School recently pitted two
swarms of autonomous aircraft against one another over a military test facility. While the
friendly encounter may not have qualified ..."
Indoor airplane models covered with microfilm seem
to have always been for a very particular, dedicated group of modelers who possess the patience,
steady hands, and eyesight to build and maintain very delicate structures. A directed sneeze
can literally blow them to pieces. It is an aspect of aeromodeling into which I have never
Joseph Bilgri, AMA #4393, was a contest-winning pioneer of the craft. The
Project has a biography of Joe that is worth reading if you have an interest in indoor
modeling. Of course today, with the advent of nano-size ...
"First flight tests of
stealth superdrone that can stay airborne for fifteen hours revealed and
is launched by catapult. Lockheed Martin is getting closer to unleashing Fury on the battlefield.
The Maryland based firm has announced that its unmanned aerial system, named Fury, has demonstrated
a flight endurance time of 15 hours, while operating with over 200 lbs. of payload and fuel
at an altitude up to 15,000 feet. But what makes this craft the ultimate warfighter, is that
it does not need a runway for takeoff, instead ..."
O.S. Digitron DP-3,
3-Channel Radio Control System was my first radio control system. After watching eBay
for an affordable set, I finally found one in January of 2017 for a little over $100. It is
in pretty good physical condition, but I have not tried to power it up to to see whether it
works. My plan is to buy a modern spread spectrum 2.4 GHz radio and swap out the electronics
in the O.S. Digitron DP-3 transmitter. I will have to rig the trim tabs to be spring centered
with switch contact on each side of center since analog (potentiometer) trims are no longer
used. The 2.4 GHz antenna will mount in place of the original telescoping whip antenna ...
V-2 model rocket kit was modeled after the original Estes V-2. The V-2 is one of the Estes
models that I always planned on building as a kid, but for some reason - most likely budgetary
- I never got around to it. What I liked about the Semroc kit was that it kept with the original
all balsa components rather than substituting molded plastic parts for the nose cone and tail
section. The building process was pretty straight-forward. The Estes Fin Alignment Guide was
used for attaching the fins. It was the first time I ever used the jig. Because of the way
the bottom of the Semroc V-2's body curved ...