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- Home Page Archive -
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." Lord Kelvin, 1895

These archive pages are provided in order to make it easier for you to find items that you remember seeing on the RF Cafe homepage. Of course probably the easiest way to find anything on the website is to use the "Search AAR" box at the top of every page.

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Sailing Drone Measures Oceans Autonomously for 12 Months

Sailing Drone Measures Oceans Autonomously for 12 Months - Airplanes and Rockets"Saildrone is a Californian company which designs and manufactures wind and solar powered autonomous surface vehicles, called Saildrones, designed to monitor the ocean for months on end. The hard wind design emerged from a decade-long pursuit of the land speed record – company founder Richard Jenkins ultimately achieved 126.2mph in 2009, having started his Windjet Project in 1999 while studying mechanical engineering at Imperial College. Using wind power for propulsion, a Saildrone fleet travels at 3-5kts, with each drone collecting high-resolution data either by holding station or following a survey pattern. The drones sail autonomously ..."

Free Flight Rocket, Jr. Jetex PAA-Load and PAA Load Jet

Free Flight Rocket, Jr. Jetex PAA-Load and PAA Load Jet, June 1959 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThis article provides a really good look at how varied model airplane designs can be for a defined contest event - in this case Free Flight Rocket, Jr. Jet PAA-Load and PAA Load Jet. Wing, fuselage, and tail outlines, pylons or not, sub-rudders, and engine mounting locations are all over the map, figuratively speaking. "Jet" as used here refers almost universally to the Jetex engines that were popular at the time. Jetex motors, fuel, and accessories were imported from England and distributed in the U.S. by Aristo-Craft Distinctive Miniatures, in Newark, New Jersey. Jetex rocket engines were quite popular with model airplane, boat, and car builders through the early 1970s, at which point the fuel supplies began to disappear ...

China Aims to Beat NASA with Super-Powerful Rocket

China Aims to Beat NASA with Super-Powerful Rocket - Airplanes and Rockets"China is working on a super-powerful rocket that would be capable of delivering heavier payloads into low orbit than NASA, a leading Chinese space expert was quoted as saying Monday. By 2030, the Long March-9 rocket under development will be able to carry 140 tonnes into low-Earth orbit - where TV and earth observation satellites currently fly - said Long Lehao, a senior official from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, according to the official Xinhua news agency. This compares to the 20 tonnes deliverable by Europe's Ariane 5 rocket or the 64 tonnes by Elon Musk's Falcon Heavy ..."

Facebook's Project Aquila Arial Base Station Crashes

Facebook's Project Aquila Arial Base Station Crashes - Airplanes and Rockets"Facebook has cancelled its UK-based high altitude unmanned aircraft project, Aquila. The project, based in Somerset, aimed to provide Internet basestations that could stay in the air for weeks at a time at an altitude of 60,000 ft. However the 2 kW power requirements and the laser communications technology that was intended to link aircraft in the sky and to the ground were both significant challenges. 'The only spectrum available for these platforms wasn't suitable for broadband due to technical and geographical limitations,' said Yael Maguire, director of engineering at Facebook ..."

Heathkit 3-Channel for Cars, Boats, or Lanier's Hawk Glider

Heathkit 3-Channel for Cars, Boats, or Lanier's Hawk Glider, February 1971 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsA long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there existed a modeling civilization that enthusiastically embraced the concept of building kits for the personal satisfaction of being able to hone craftsmanship skills, to learn about the make-up of the products being built, and to save money. Radio control systems were expensive on a per channel basis compared to today's systems. Heathkit, as it did with a very wide assortment of electronics products, sold a few radio control systems in kit form. The buyer built everything - transmitter, receiver, and servos. I do no remember whether the NiCd battery packs came pre-assembled. Note that Heathkit servos used capacitive feedback ...

JWST Launch Delayed to 2021 at Extra Cost of ~$1B

JWST Launch Delayed to 2021 at Extra Cost of ~$1B - Airplanes and RocketsI'm looking forward to JWST data, and sure hope it doesn't suffer a HST-type failure. "An independent panel has informed NASA that the James Webb Space Telescope will not be ready for launch until March 2021, and Congress will have to reauthorize the long-delayed, over-budget mission after breaching an $8B cost cap, officials said Wednesday. Blunders made by Webb's manufacturing and test team at Northrop Grumman, the mission’s prime contractor, are largely responsible for the launch delay, according to Thomas Young, a former Lockheed Martin executive and NASA program manager who chaired the review board examining the mission's development ..."

Boeing's Concept Jet Could Fly New York to London in 2 Hours

Boeing's Concept Jet Could Fly New York to London in 2 Hours - Airplanes and Rockets"Boeing has unveiled a concept jet that will be capable of whisking passengers from New York to London at a blistering Mach 5 - making it capable of crossing the pond in just two hours. The hypersonic plane would fly almost three times faster than the legendary Concorde - which was decommissioned in 2003 - and cruise at 95,000 feet, about 3,000 feet higher than its supersonic predecessor, according to Aviation Week. The concept aircraft, which was unveiled at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Aviation 2018 conference in Atlanta, is part of a long-range development plan with both commercial and military applications, the news outlet reported ..."

Sketchbook, January 1952 Air Trails

Sketchbook, January 1952 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsCreativity and ingenuity was needed more often by aircraft modelers back when various aspects of the hobby were in the development stages and access to a prefabricated device was not as ready as today. If you need a special-purpose product or method nowadays, a Google search will usually turn up a solution in the form of an off-the-shelf item and/or instructions on how to do it yourself - sometimes even with a video to show you how to do it. In the middle of the last century, if you wanted a component or gizmo other than common things like wheels, propellers, and bell cranks, you had to make them yourself from on-hand materials or do without. I often am amazed at the ideas presented in these Sketch Book installments. Check out the device designed by Mr. Mustafa K. Artam, of Istanbul, Turkey, for checking relative thrust ...

More Precise GPS Coverage Now Available Across U.S.

More Precise GPS Coverage Now Available Across U.S. - Airplanes and RocketsThis might benefit some GPS-directed drones. "There is now more precise GPS coverage across the U.S., thanks to the recent deployment of the FAA's Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting 5 Wide Area Augmentation System navigation payload, which was developed by Raytheon's Intelligence, Information and Services business. The GEO 5 payload joins two others already on orbit in correcting GPS satellite signal ionospheric disturbances, timing issues, and minor orbit adjustments, giving increased coverage, improved accuracy, and better reliability, according to Raytheon officials. 'GPS alone can't meet the FAA's stringent requirements for accuracy, integrity and availability ..."

Flying Jenny

"Flying Jenny, by Theasa Tuohy - Airplanes and RocketsAlthough not directly related to the mid-last-century aviatrix Virginia Dare, aka "Flyin' Jenny," the "Flying Jenny" book written by Theasa Tuohy is a novel about a daring tabloid newspaper reporter named Jenny Flynn. This Jenny was inspired by real-life barnstorming female pilot Elinor Smith, aka "The Flying Flapper Freeport." The author's mother and namesake (Theasa Tuohy) was a contemporary of Will Rogers and friend of Wiley Post ...

Atomic-Power Air Transport

Atomic-Power Air Transport, January 1952 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsAtomic-powered aircraft was another dream of mid-last-century visionaries. It was the post World War II era where, following the demonstration of nuclear energy's awesome capacity demonstrated in Japan, plans were being made to harness its capacity for peaceful uses. Large scale atomic power electricity and steam generation stations being designed and built. So, too, were personal nuclear power packs, atomic-powered car, boats, submarines, airplanes, rockets, and trains envisioned. Unfortunately, designers soon learned that safe containment of the fuel made small form factor generators impractical. Unfortunately, a few accidents in power stations has spooked ...

Student Pilot Crashes During Unauthorized Solo Flight

Student Pilot Crashes During Premature Solo Flight - Airplanes and RocketsNotice the tail number has been blotted out. "A student pilot who was training at Fullerton Airport in southern California is in major trouble after an incident on Sunday. Too eager for his first solo, the man took a Cessna 172 from a local flying club without permission, but was unable to successfully complete his mission. Fullerton's airport manager Brendan O’Reilly said the student pilot had recently joined the RI Flying Club, which had the Cessna 172 as part of its fleet. O'Reilly said the flying club has been operating at the airport for more than 30 years without any incidents. The student pilot was not qualified to fly the airplane solo, but somehow snagged the keys and took the airplane to the skies. The student pilot made not one, not two, not three, not four, but five attempts at landing, each time messing up the airplane more ..."
















July 1969: "The Engineer's" Coverage of the Apollo 11 Mission

July 1969: "The Engineer's" Coverage of the Apollo 11 Mission - Airplanes and RocketsHere is a subject near and dear to my heart: Apollo 11. The Engineer provided extensive coverage, and they now make available their complete archive. This is a year shy of the half-century anniversary. "Just days before Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon. The Engineer took a detailed look at the technology that would get him and his fellow astronauts safely there and back again. How do you mark the most significant achievement in the history of mankind? The Apollo landings of the late 60s and early 70s are still seen as the high water mark of humanity, and as The Engineer pointed out, much of the millions of words of press coverage of the first mission to land, Apollo 11 ..."





Video: A Conversation with Vern and Gleda Estes

A Conversation with Vern and Gleda Estes

Home of Jim Walker & The American Junior Aircraft Company

Home of Jim Walker & The American Junior Aircraft Company - RF Cafe
















Soviet Military Cemetery Filled with Aircraft Fins Grave Markers

Soviet Military Cemetery Filled with Aircraft Fins Grave Markers - Airplanes and Rockets"The Amari Cemetery located in Harju County, northern Estonia, is a place where you'll witness a series of graves decorated with aircraft tail fins. The answer to why these graves have aircraft fins on them lies beneath these tombstones, with all those who are resting in these graves. These are Soviet pilots who were killed while serving their duty during the Soviet occupation of Estonia. The burial place is truly a sight that will kindle respect for all the soldiers who put their lives on the line for their country. What could have been a better way to pay homage to the martyrs than using the fins of an airplane that they were likely died in? The soldiers were buried on a site that was designated for the burial of war causalities ..."

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System - Airplanes and Rockets"NASA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System, or UAS-NAS project, works on identifying, developing and testing the technologies and procedures that will make it possible for UAS to have routine access to airspace occupied by human-piloted aircraft. The UAS-NAS project uses modeling, simulations and flight tests to develop and test technologies that provide safe, effective, secure capabilities including detect and avoid (DAA) and command and control (C2). The SIERRA-B unmanned aircraft system developed at NASA's Ames Research Center ..."

2 Flying Taxi Startups Got Pentagon Funding

2 Flying Taxi Startups Got Pentagon Funding - Airplanes and Rockets"Self-flying vehicle firms got $2M last year, as U.S. military envisions taxis as more Blade Runner than Back to the Future. Last year, Kitty Hawk and Joby Aviation received a total of nearly $2M from the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), a Pentagon organization founded to help America's military make faster use of emerging technologies. Neither company, nor the DIUx, disclosed the funding at the time. The website for Cora, Kitty Hawk's experimental air taxi, emphasizes its role in solving urban transportation challenges: 'Cora is about the time you could save soaring over traffic. The people you could visit  ..."

Flying Trains Could Be Coming Your Way

Flying Trains Could Be Coming Your Way - Airplanes and RocketsThis author must have never heard of the C-47 Skytrain. "It sounds like something Q, the tech guy in James Bond movies, would create: A plane that lands on a runway, shrugs its wings off, turns into a train and rolls on to rails to drop you off at your local station. That's what a French entrepreneur, who's made millions by connecting engineers with industrial groups, is pitching to Boeing Co. and others. 'Link & Fly' is Akka Technologies's new flagship aircraft design, with wings that come off to hasten turnover at airports and make boarding easier and closer to passengers' homes ..."

Experimental Spaceplane Engine Test Successful

Experimental Spaceplane Program Successfully Completes Engine Test Series - Airplanes and Rockets"DARPA's Experimental Spaceplane (XSP) advances toward its goal for rapid turnaround and on-demand launch with the completion of a test series that put the spaceplane's AR-22 Experimental Spaceplane Main Engine through a rigorous campaign. In the two weeks preceding the campaign, the engine ran twice to establish initial performance characteristics and turnaround processes. Then, starting July 26, the engineering team successfully fired the engine 10 times in just under 240 hours. All firings lasted at least 100 seconds. The AR-22 engine is a variant of the RS-25, also known as the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) ..."









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Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets
Kirt Blattenberger
Carpe Diem!
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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 ...
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Kirt Blattenberger
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