About Airplanes & Rockets

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

Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD. There is a lot of good information and there are lot of pictures throughout the website that you will probably find useful, and might even bring back some old memories from your own days of yore. The website began life around 1996 as an EarthLink screen name of ModelAirplanes, and quickly grew to where more server space ...

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Copyright 1996 - 2016
Webmaster:
Kirt Blattenberger
BSEE - KB3UON
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Modeling Resources

Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) - Airplanes and Rockets
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- Home Page Archive #8 -
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." Lord Kelvin, 1895

In order to provide for a reasonable homepage loading time, it is impractical to just keep adding items to the top of the stack and keep all the old stuff there too. Therefore, I have created these Airplanes and Rockets Homepage Archives to maintain a historical snapshot of everything once on the homepage. Unfortunately, I did not think to keep a record until around Fall of 2009; I had just been deleting items from the bottom of the stack. No more, though. Hence forth, if you recall seeing something on the homepage but it is no longer there, please check out these archive pages. I also keep an archive of all the modeling news additions:

Homepage Additions Archive:

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 |
| 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 |

Modeling News Archive:

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 |

Bellanca 28-70 Irish Swoop Article & 4-View

Bellanca Irish Swoop Article & 4-View (August 1972 American Aircraft Modeler)Don Berliner wrote a historical article about the Bellanca 28-70 Irish Swoop racer for the August 1972 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. Bjorn Karlstrom provided one of his masterpiece 4-view illustrations. I scanned, OCRed, and posted the contents for your convenience. The Academy of Model Aeronautics still provides full-size drawings and plans for most of the airplanes featured over the years.

A Surprise Reuniting with an Old Friend

Comet Curtiss JN4-D Jenny BiplaneMy father's side of the family hearkened from the Buffalo, New York area (Lackawanna and West Seneca, to be more specific), but we lived in Mayo, Maryland, where my mother's family resided. Most summers my father's sister, Bonnie (my aunt) and her husband, Brian (my uncle) would load my grandparents and another uncle or two into their big cruiser and drive down for a week. It was always a great time. Every five years <more>

1969 Radio-Control Equipment Survey

1969 Radio-Control Equipment Survey, Annual Edition 1969 American Aircraft ModelerThis was quite an undertaking by authors Ed Sweeney and Fred M. Marks. They reported on practically every radio control system that came new onto the market in 1969 and printed the findings in the 1969 Annual edition of American Aircraft Modeler. That was still the era of galloping ghost systems with reeds, rubber band-powered escapements, and some of those newfangled things called transistors. By 1969, some of the transistors had graduated from germanium to silicon. The authors actually get into a little detail on the dual conversion receivers with their IF frequencies and selectivity - music to the ears of a radio guy.

Knuffingen Airport - World’s Largest Model Airport

Knuffingen Airport - World’s Largest Model AirportI have always thought it would be cool to build a model of an airport, similar to the way train aficionados build model train layouts. How to make the airplanes take off and land realistically would be the biggest problem. Now it has been done. After six years of building, the fictitious Knuffingen Airport, based on Hamburg’s airport, has is on public display at Miniatur Wunderland, in Hamburg, Germany. The layout features 40 aircraft that take off and land and 90 vehicles that roam around the runways automatically. Detail is incredible. Fortunately, there is a video that showcases the operations. Enjoy.

Building Model Planes for the War Effort

Building Model Planes for the War Effort"With 500,000 miniature planes required immediately for the training of Army, Navy, and civilian personnel, and the likelihood that still more will be required, every patriotic builder of models is likely to ask, 'What's needed and how can I do the best job?'" That was the opening sentence in an article in the May 1942 edition of Popular Science (pp 174). Schools were provided with plans for 50 different aircraft at a scale of 1:72, so that at 35' away they will look like the silhouette of the full-size plane at 1/2 mile. Read the article by clicking on thumbnail.

Dave Mathewson Named New AMA Exec Director

Airplanes andRockets - Dave Mathewson named new AMA Executive Director, April 15, 2011Effective date is April 15, 2011. Assuming the responsibilities of the AMA president, per the bylaws, is Executive Vice President Mark Smith. Smith will undertake these additional duties until a special election for AMA president is conducted this September concurrent with the regular annual AMA officer elections. The Interim Executive Director, Joyce Hager, will resume her duties as staff director and assistant executive director. "Dave has been an exemplary leader for the AMA," said Smith.

What Is the Chance of This Happening to You?

Surprise! Another Side of the Satellite 1000 (May 1972 American Aircraft Modeler)Says Ed, "I was browsing your excellent website and while looking at the Bob and Bill Hunter Satellite plans, noticed that I am in the Cover Photo of the May 1972 American Aircraft Modeler magazine.  I was taking a photo of Bill Hunter at exactly the same moment as the photographer who shot the Cover Photo.  I'm wearing the funky hat standing on the other side as Bill launched his airplane.  I had no idea I was in the Cover Photo!   The photo I shot at the exact same moment is attached.  How strange that these two photos came together so many years later."

Sparrow Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV)

Sparrow Plans & Article (September 1973 American Aircraft Modeler)Website visitor David M. wrote to request this article Sparrow RPV, from the September 1973 edition of AAM. The Sparrow was the forerunner to virtually of the world's modern marvels of technology in the RPV - now called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) - world. Why "unmanned" rather than "remotely piloted"? Simple, it is because many of the aircraft now fly autonomously for at least a segment of their missions; therefore, it is its own pilot. Author Dave Scully could not have known at the time he was describing the future of everything from mass produced large, prefabricated aircraft, high displacement engines, 14"-plus propellers, and the installation of wireless sensors <more>

Models in Industry - Annual Edition 1969 AAM

Models in Industry, Annual Edition 1969 American Aircraft ModelerHere is a look at how models were used in the aerospace industry in the 1960s. How many of us would have worked for mere peanuts in the modeling jobs some of these guys had? It was not all fun and games, however. Lives, fortunes, and the fate of nations often depended on the skill of the designers and builders. This article from the 1969 Annual Edition of American Aircraft Modeler takes an extensive look at the role of Models in Industry. There are lots of photos that have probably never been seen anywhere else.

Vintage R/C Radio Equipment Tutorial Video

Vintage R/C Radio Equipment Tutorial VideoWhile doing some research on the old reed type radio control systems, I ran across this superb video that has the producer interviewing Mr. John Donovan, AMA #8557. John has been flying R/C since the 1950s, worked for Phil Kraft at one time, and now owns Donovan's Hobby & Scuba Center, in Sioux Falls, SD. OK, I get the hobby part, but scuba gear? Anyway, he give a great tutorial on how a lot of the old system components worked. As with most things in life, it was the pioneers like John <more>

How Bill Wisniewski Reworks His Engines

How Bill Wisniewski Reworks His Engines, June 1957 American ModelerBill Wisniewski was a world-class competitor in the control line realm back in the 1950s and 1960s. His "Pink Lady" series of models were particularly successful. Website visitor Barrie H. requested that I post an article from the June 1957 American Modeler on how Bill reworks his engines for maximum performance. "The engine as you receive it is a powerplant worthy of your best efforts. However, it is built as good as machinery can make it and requires a personal touch to get the most out of it."

Slingsby Type 49 Capstan Glider Article & Plans

Slingsby Type 49 Capstan Glider Article & Plans, August 1972 American Aircraft ModelerWebsite visitor Scott wrote to request that I post the article for the Slingsby Type 49 Capstan Glider glider that was published in the August 1972 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. This version is a rudder-only, all-balsa sheet model with about a 70" wingspan. I say "about" because there is no size scale on the plans and the wingspan is not mentioned in the article. An optional .020 power pod is provided.

Designs of Tomorrow - Updated

Designes of Tomorrow, June 1957 American ModelerRemember a few months ago when I posted this scan of the "Designs of Tomorrow" contest that was featured in the June 1957 edition of American Modeler? I wondered what ever happened to design winner Bill Martin. Well, he saw the page and wrote to answer the question!

.02 "Rivet" Rudder-Only

.02 Rivets Article & Plans, Jul 1969 American Aircraft ModelerWebsite visitor Merle S. wrote to ask for a scan of Owen Kampen's .02 "Rivets.". It appeared in the July 1969 American Aircraft Modeler on page 19. In 1969, a 26" wingspan, .02-powered model with rudder-only R/C was doing well to weigh only 10 oz. With today's micro systems, a "full house" system could be installed with the same weight. Owen Kampen designed many models, and had a few of his designs kitted by Ace R/C.

MIT's Unified Flight Competition

RF Cafe - MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has long been regarded at one of the nation's top engineering colleges. Their 2010 Unified Flight Competition, where the objective was to design, build, and fly two circuits around the Johnson track an R/C aircraft while maximizing the difference between the payload weight and the empty weight, was held on May 12 with 13 teams successfully completing flights. The winning aircraft had a payload weight of 758 grams and an empty weight of 300 grams. Our future lies in their hands.

Patty Jo Hand-Launch Glider Plans

 - Airplanes and RocketsThese plans for the Patty Jo hand-launch glider were scanned from my purchased copy of the March 1969 American aircraft Modeler magazine. The 4-view for this fine model was drawn by Mr. John Thornhill. No article accompanied the plans, but the plans are heavily annotated with instructions, so anyone with a little bit of experience should have no problem building it.

Control-Line Aerodynamics Made Painless

Control-Line Aerodynamics Made Painless, December 1967 American ModelerThis is part four of a series of technical articles on the aerodynamics of control-line flying. It appeared in the December 1967 edition of American modeler. Figures, equations, and graphs do not begin at #1 because this is a continuation of the series. I do not yet have the edition for part 2. By Bill Netzeband.

Read AMA's Dave Mathewson's Meeting w/FAA

 - Airplanes and RocketsINtheAIR - AMA and FAA Discuss Regulatory Process

On November 29, 2010, AMA President Dave Mathewson and AMA Government and Regulatory Affairs Representative Rich Hanson met with FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety Peggy Gilligan. Following are excerpts from the discussion with Ms. Gilligan regarding the proposed regulation for small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and its potential impact on model aviation. Gilligan seems very shifty and full of bureaucratese. This is why the AMA plays such an essential role in maintain our rights to use airspace for model aviation. Soviet-style control is on the way if we aren't vigilant! Read the transcript.

Martin Baker M.B.5 Article & 4-View

Martin Baker M.B.5 Article & 4-View, May 1971 American Aircraft ModelerAirplanes and Rockets visitor Robert F. wrote to ask for a scan of the article for the Martin Baker M.B.5 that appeared in the May 1971 edition of American Aircraft Modeler. The M.B.5 came online at the beginning of the jet era, and never had a chance to prove its worthiness. With a P-51 sleekness and contra-rotating props, it would have been a frightful opponent for the Luftwaffe. It included a brief historical perspective by Don Berliner, and the typical über high quality 4-view drawing by Björn Karlström.

Phil Kraft's Dragon Fli Pattern Ship

Phil Kraft's Dragon Fli, January 1971 AAMWebsite visitor Steve S. asked for a scan of Phil Kraft's Dragon-Fli pattern plane. It appeared in the January 1971 American Aircraft Modeler on page 19. Precision / advanced aerobatics airplanes have undergone a significant transmorgrification from somewhat boxy outlines with only slightly larger than normal control surfaces and retractable, tricycle gear, to curvaceous tail draggers with fixed gear. Programmable radio with multiple throw rates and control mixing have permitted a lot of freedom in the configuration of the entire aircraft.

Steve Wooley's ARGUS Article & Plans

Argus Article & Plans, August 1961 American ModelerWebsite visitor Mark Radcliff (yes, THE Mark Radcliff, of 75-77-79-81 USA F3a RC Aerobatic Team fame) wrote to request that I scan the article for Steve Wooley's control line Argus, which, appeared in the August 1961 American Modeler. The Argus was the star of the 1960 world championships in Hungary. Note the unique wing construction where rather than using full ribs, upper and lower outlines are used that sit over and under the beefy solid wing spar. The entire article is very short.

A Pair of Formula Racers

Hot Canary Article & Plans, August 1971 American Aircraft ModelerPogo Article & Plans, August 1971 American Aircraft ModelerWebsite visitor Marlene B. wrote to ask for me to scan the articles for the Pogo Formula I race and the Hot Canary Formula II racer, both having appeared in the August 1971 American Aircraft Modeler. They were presented as a matched pair even though each was created by a separate designer, Bob Morse for the Pogo, and Bob Seiglekoff for the Hot Canary.

Control-Line Aerodynamics Made Painless

Control-Line Aerodynamics Made Painless, July / August 1966 American ModelerThe Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is granted tax-exempt status because part of its charter is for activity as an educational organization. I think as time goes on, it gets harder for the AMA for fulfill that part of its mission because presenting anything even vaguely resembling mathematics or science to kids (or to most adults for that matter), is the kiss of death for gaining or retaining interest. This article, "Control-Line Aerodynamics Made Painless," was printed in the July/August 1966edition of American Modeler, when graphs, charts, and equations were not eschewed by modelers. It is awesome.

Model Aviation Has New Owner

A Statement of Policy, July / August 1966 American ModelerWhile scanning an article in the July / August 1966 edition of American Modeler, I ran across this page titled, "A Statement of Policy." It talks about this issue being the first published by the magazine's new owner, Potomac Aviation Publications, and how beginning in January 1967, the magazine will be published monthly rather than in a bi-monthly manner.

New Editions of American Modeler & TOC

I just added 6 more editions of American Modeler - Mar/Apr 1964, Jul/Aug 1966, and Mar, Sep, Oct, Dec 1967. The Table of Contents (TOC) for all have been scanned and OCRed so you can do a text search for something that you might be looking for. Also, the vintage magazine page has been broken into two separate pages - one for American Aircraft Modelers and one for American Modeler. As always you are welcome to request that a particular article be scanned (send me an e-mail).