Sometime back in the 1990s when our daughter,
Sally, was around three years old, her grandmother (Melanie's mother) made one of
these Rabbit Family House sets from the
McCall's pattern #8346. Grandma was a very
craftsy person who had decades of experience making rugs, wall hangings, quilts,
clothes, and decorative items. You can see from the pattern instructions that a
lot of work is involved with many different types of skills required. Now that
we have a five-year-old granddaughter, Melanie decided it would be nice to make
a Bunny House for her. Sally found the pattern package at a Goodwill store, and
it was of the same vintage as the one Melanie's mother used. At first, the plan
was to make one that looked like Sally's ...
Earlier today, the FAA issued a notice that
provides temporary guidance for recreational fliers.
AMA is already working with the FAA to make accommodations for our members, and
we wanted to let you know what to expect. First, we’ll share a bit of background.
Throughout the past few years, thousands of new recreational drone users and more
than 400,000 new commercial drone operators have entered the airspace. Late last
year, Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law the FAA Reauthorization
Act of 2018. This law gives the FAA more authority to address the surge of new users
and changing airspace. Part of the law includes Section 349, which outlines eight
statutory requirements for the recreational operation of all unmanned aircraft,
including all drone and model aircraft hobbyists ...
Jean "Shep" Shepherd, most recently known for the movie "A Christmas Story," spawned
by his book entitled "In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash," was widely known in
the 1950s through 70s for his ad hoc story telling on AM radio stations like WOR
in NY City. Shep was an avid amateur radio enthusiast his entire life, and told
anecdotes about it often while on the air. He was also an airplane modeler in his
younger days. This May 3, 1973
Model Airplanes broadcast
by Shep recounts the time he and his friend Schwartz (a real guy and one of The
Christmas Story" characters), as teenagers, pooled their paper route money to buy
and build Flying Quaker R/C airplane from plans, with a Brown engine and home-built
radio gear (they were both Hams with electronics skills). It was nearly a year-long
project for them. On the Flying Quaker's maiden flight, it got caught up in a strong
thermal. Listen to his story to learn how it turned out ...
"Alphabet's subsidiary Wing announced this
week that it has officially launched a
commercial drone delivery service 'to a limited
set of eligible homes in the suburbs of Crace, Palmerston and Franklin,' which are
just north of Canberra, in Australia. Wing's drones are able to drop a variety of
small products, including coffee, food, and pharmacy items, shuttling them from
local stores to customers’ backyards within minutes. We've been skeptical about
whether this kind of drone delivery makes sense for a long, long time, and while
this is certainly a major milestone for Wing, I'm still not totally convinced that
the use-cases that Wing ..."
Up until sometime in the early 2000s, Ace
R/C manufactured a very popular set of injection molded foam wings for ½A size models
- the Ace R/C Mini Foam Wing. There was
a constant chord and a tapered chord version. Up until fairly recently, a third-party
firm was selling equivalent foam wing panels eBay. Of course you can often buy original
Ace R/C Mini Foam Wings on eBay so you might want to check periodically to see if
they appear. Laser Design Service and Balsa Builder both offer a balsa built-up
version of the foam wing. Andy Kunz has a free plan for cutting and building your
own Ace tapered chord mini foam wing replica. Owen Kampen and others designed and
kitted many ½A airplanes using his Mini Foam Wing cores ...
"A 'spaceplane' that flies 25 times faster than the
speed of sound has successfully passed a crucial testing milestone. The hypersonic
plane is so fast it could jet from London to New York in less than 60 minutes and
transport you from the UK to Australia in four hours. Oxford-based Reaction Engines
has been working with the European Space Agency and the UK Space Agency, along with
BAE Systems, to make the powerful aircraft. Reaction Engines has recently been testing
a 'pre-cooler' for the plane, which is technology that would allow it to travel
faster than ever before. The pre-cooler is critical in the plane's development because
it is required to stop the engine from melting by lowering the temperature of compressed
air in the engine ..."
Founded in 1964 and located in Brentwood,
Hobby Lobby International closed its doors a couple years ago. Born in an era
when many - if not most - products used by aircraft, boat, and car modelers were
manufactured here in the United States, Hobby Lobby served the entire spectrum of
modeling. Hobby Lobby did offer many hard-to-get foreign kits as well, though. It
was the first mail-order hobby shops that I remember using. There were not any "real"
hobby shops near my Mayo, Maryland, home as a kid, so unless I could whine enough
to get my father to drive me the 20+ miles to the nearest hobby shop, the only alternative
was to cut out the order form, fill it out, have my mother write a check (from money
I earned on my paper route), stuff it all in an envelope ...
"Drone sightings at London's Gatwick Airport
disrupted operations there for three days last December, and in January, rumored
sightings near Newark [N.J.] Liberty International Airport delayed incoming air
traffic temporarily. These incidents highlighted a growing problem with
small drones: Miscreants, or just clueless operators,
can make real trouble by flying these machines where they're not allowed. Rogue
drones have been a long-standing worry for regulators, who have pursued a wide array
of ideas to address the issue. Now, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is
preparing a new report on the matter ..."
It was in the May 1975 issue of R/C Modeler
magazine that I first saw the
Aquila sailplane (she's way too graceful to refer to her merely as a glider).
Airtronics had not introduced a kit yet, but they were selling a canopy and hardware
kit along with plans, so I ordered them and scratch built my first Aquila. I was
17 years old then. It was covered to look like the one in the photo above (which
would become the kit box label photo). Not having lite ply for the fuselage, I used
hard balsa. Somehow I eventually managed to destroy Aquila #1, but by that time
a kit was available, so I bought one and also the ABS plastic fuselage. A standard
Hi-Start was used for launching. Back in the 1970s, there were still plenty of areas,
even near small cities, to stretch out a Hi-Start ...
"Inspired by birds that fold their wings
in the air when space is limited, researchers from the
University of Zurich and EPFL have developed
a new foldable drone. The researchers designed the
quadrocopter with four independently rotating propellers. The propellers are mounted
on mobile arms that can be pivoted around the main frame with the help of servomotors.
The control system regulates, in real time, each new position of the arms and adjusts
the propeller speed depending on the center of gravity. The drone's default configuration
is X-shaped, but it can adapt into H, O, and T shapes ..."
One of the monthly columns in R/C Modeler
magazine, written by Chuck Cunningham, entitled "Cunningham on R/C," that reported
on the current state of radio control, which had only fairly recently evolved into
fully solid state, proportional control systems. Anyone involved in electronics
is painfully familiar with the weird kinds of issues that crop up in complex circuits
that operate in hostile environments. The March 1970 issue contained part of an
article authored by D. L. Klipstein, Director of Engineering, Measurement Control
Devices, entitled, "Murphy's Law:
The Contributions of Edsel Murphy to the Understanding of the Behaviour of Inanimate
Objects.*" Only a few of the items were printed in Cunningham's column, but
I managed to locate a copy of the full article ...
"Most planes use rigid wings with moving
parts. But what if there was a wing that was not only completely flexible, but could
be programmed to change on the go? A wing that could adapt to the most efficient
shape for any flight, wind conditions or scientific mission? MADCAT is making that
wing a reality. The Mission Adaptive Digital Composite Aerostructure
Technologies, or MADCAT, team at NASA's Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon
Valley, uses carbon fiber composites - a strong and light material made of carbon
atoms - to design and test efficient, ultra-light wings that can adapt on the fly ..."
"In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii
Island is surrounded by thousands of miles of thermally stable seas. The 13,796-foot
Maunakea mountain summit has no nearby ranges to roil the upper atmosphere, and
for most of the year, this atmosphere is clear, calm, and dry, enabling the
W. M. Keck Observatory, with its twin 10-meter-mirror
telescopes, to observe our galaxy and beyond at levels special to it since opening
in the early 1990s. Now, after the completion of a significant nine-year motion
control upgrade project, the Keck Observatory telescopes, each standing 30 meters
(almost 100 feet) tall, are offering data and observations with new and impressive
nanometer precision. And all changes were made without experiencing any downtime
on either telescope ..."
"The hypersonic vehicle appears similar to
an American hypersonic weapon development project, HAWC. Images on Chinese social
media appear to show a hypersonic test vehicle that is a likely prototype for a
weapon system. The
Jia Geng No. 1 rocket, allegedly built for hypersonic
research, appears very similar to an American concept for a hypersonic cruise missile.
The images, which recently surfaced in Chinese language media, show the Jia Geng
No. 1 rocket, a collaboration between Xiamen University Aerospace Academy and Beijing
Lingkong Tianxing Technology Co., Ltd. The images show a rocket 28.5 feet long by
2.5 8.2 feet wide ..."
This is pretty amazing. "Culver Props specializes in making custom, fixed-pitch,
two-blade, wood propellers. Lewis makes about 120 propellers a year. The path: Lewis
was taught by her grandfather, a mechanical engineer. 'I worked here while I was
going to college,' says Lewis, 'doing the things nobody else wanted to do, like
answering the phones. My grandpa taught me everything as we went along, and I've
been doing this now for 10 years. He passed away in 2016, so I continued the business
- me and my 84-year-old granny, who comes in every day and helps me. We specialize
in the larger-diameter propellers, a lot of World War I replicas. That's our sweet
"A restored one-of-a-kind 1944 flying-wing
airplane owned by the Planes of Fame Air Museum crashed April 22 during a flight
to prepare for an upcoming airshow, killing the pilot. The crash of the
Northrop N-9MB on the grounds of a state prison
near the Chino Airport, where the museum is located, occurred under unknown circumstances.
News accounts reported that the pilot had stopped responding to calls from the Chino
Airport control tower about seven minutes after takeoff from the airport. There
were no serious injuries of persons on the ground reported at the California Rehabilitation
Center in Norco ..."
"A rocket manufacturer pioneering 3D printing
technology is scheduled to loft its first payload into orbit as early as 2021 under
terms of a deal between the aerospace startup and a launch services provider. Relativity
Space said this week it has signed a launch services agreement with Spaceflight,
a satellite rideshare and mission management specialist. The deal calls for Spaceflight
to book satellite launches to low-earth orbit using Relativity's Terran 1 rocket,
an entirely 3D-printed rocket. Relativity bills itself as
the aerospace industry's first autonomous rocket factory and launch service integrating
machine learning and intelligent robotics with 3D autonomous manufacturing technology.
The startup claims it can build a rocket using additive manufacturing ..."
"Imagine you’re hiking through the woods
near a border. Suddenly, you hear a mechanical buzzing, like a gigantic bee. Two
quadcopters have spotted you and swoop in for a closer look. Antennae on both drones
and on a nearby autonomous ground vehicle pick up the radio frequencies coming from
the cell phone in your pocket. They send the signals to a central server, which
triangulates your exact location and feeds it
back to the drones. The robots close in. Cameras and other sensors on the machines
recognize you as human and try to ascertain your intentions. Are you a threat? Are
you illegally crossing a border? Do you have a gun? Are you engaging in acts of
terrorism or organized crime? The machines send video feeds ..."
"U.S. Air Force says a ground-based laser
downed multiple test missiles over New Mexico. A successful ground test has moved
the U.S. military one big step closer to putting anti-missile lasers on its aircraft.
A ground-based laser shot down 'several' missiles in flight during an April 23 test
at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, Air Force officials said. Run by
the Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, the test was part of the
Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator,
or SHiELD, a program intended to protect aircraft from incoming missiles. AFRL officials
said security reasons prevented them from saying how many missiles were downed in
the test. The laser that the Air Force lab used for the test was ground-based ..."
"A new study of the environmental sustainability
flying cars (electric vertical takeoff and landing
aircraft, or VTOLs) finds that they wouldn’t be suitable for a short commute but
could be valuable in congested cities or in places where there are geographical
constraints. The found that for trips of 62 miles, a fully loaded VTOL carrying
a pilot and three passengers had lower greenhouse gas emissions than ground-based
cars with an average vehicle occupancy of 1.54. Emissions were 52% lower than gasoline
vehicles and 6 percent lower than battery-electric vehicles ..."
Note: I don't see the inverted gull wing
plane mentioned. "Today, the best-known air race event is probably the Red Bull
Air Race World Championship, where small single-engine aircraft fly through a slalom
course featuring sharp turns at high speed against the clock. However, the
Formula One Air Racing series in fact predates
this event, and was first proposed in 1936 with its first event in 1947. The biggest
air race event in the world, the US National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada,
attracts some 150,000 spectators annually. In contrast to the Red Bull championship,
Formula One events are full multi-entrant races, where eight aircraft compete virtually
wingtip to wingtip around a 5.13km oval course at an altitude of about 10m ..."
"Known as the
Lilium Jet, the prototype aircraft is powered by 36 electric
jet engines. The main wings house 24 engines, while a smaller wing bank at the front
of the plane is home to the remaining 12. Maximum power output of 2,000 horsepower
is available for take-off and landing, but Lilium claims less than 10 per cent of
this will be required for cruising flight. The air-taxi has no tail, no rudder,
no propellers, no gearbox and just one moving part in each engine. Founded
in Munich in 2015, Lilium has attracted more than $100M in venture capital ..."
"One of the keys to unlocking the future
Urban Air Mobility (UAM) is exploring how different
technologies and configurations of aircraft will perform in the urban environment.
To start gathering as much data as possible, NASA engineers are moving forward with
their newest modular unmanned aerial system, the Langley Aerodrome #8. 'The project
is called Advanced Urban Air Mobility Test Beds,' said Dave North, Unmanned Aerial
Systems Section Lead. 'This is a new effort in aeronautics to look at urban flight,
both unmanned flight like package delivery vehicles, all the way up to manned vehicles
that may carry six or eight people at a time ..."
Landing System Made to Enter Spoofing
"Just what the airplane passenger who is
always skittish does not want to hear: Radio navigation on planes for landing purposes
is not secure; signals can be hacked. In a video demonstration of the attack by
researchers, 'Wireless Attacks on Aircraft Landing Systems,'
spoofing starts automatically as soon the aircraft enters 'the spoofing zone. The
attacker signal is in real-time generated accounting for the maneuvers of the aircraft.'
What does the spoof actually do, to trick the pilot? Dan Goodin in Ars Technica
said the researchers can spoof airport signals in a way that causes a pilot's navigation
instruments to falsely indicate ..."
"Plans have been unveiled for a
3,000mph plane that will fly passengers from New York to
London in just 90 minutes. Aerospace firm Hermeus has won funding to develop
supersonic commercial planes that will fly more than five times the speed of
sound within 10 years. Hermeus has funding to develop a supersonic plane that
will fly passengers from New York to London in just 90 minutes The company was
set up by alumni from Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos-backed aerospace company
Blue Origin - which is planning to fly passengers to the moon. Hermeus says its
planes would travel at speeds of more than 3,000mph with a range of 4,600 miles ..."