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

Aerospace Headline News

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archives -

• EAA AirVenture Will Look a Little Different This Year

• NASA Test of Mega Moon Rocket Engines Cut Short

• 1966 Surveyor 2 Centaur Rocket Booster Found in Orbit

• Need for Pilots and Technicians Worldwide Continues Despite Wuhan Virus

• Researchers Look to Reduce Rotorcraft Noise

• China's Chang'e 5 Returns Moon Rock Samples to Earth

• Aircraft Electronics Association Awards $100,000 in Scholarships

• Japan May Cut China from Supply Chain for Drones

• Walmart Signs Trio of Drone Deals to Counter Amazon

How to Break into the Aviation Radio Game

How to Break into the Aviation Radio Game, April 1932 Radio News - RF CafeYes, this is another article that will probably appeal to a small percentage of RF Cafe visitors, but please countenance my indulgence in things aeronautical as well as things electrical. The early 1930s was a time when both airplanes and electronics were a wonder and a mystery to most of the public worldwide. Of course today both are still a mystery to the public but the wonder is gone - it's merely taken for granted. Many idiosyncrasies of airborne electronic communications were encountered for the first time, like the need for proper grounding and static electricity dissipation. Ruggedization of chassis assemblies in terms of mechanical vibration and shock as well as for temperature extremes was a real challenge to engineers, technicians, and pilots...

NASA Helicopter Will Soon Fly on Mars

NASA Helicopter Will Soon Fly on Mars - Airplanes and Rockets"The Perseverance rover's Mars Helicopter (Ingenuity) will take off, navigate, and land on Mars without human intervention. Tucked under the belly of the Perseverance rover that will be landing on Mars in just a few days is a little helicopter called Ingenuity. Its body is the size of a box of tissues, slung underneath a pair of 1.2m carbon fiber rotors on top of four spindly legs. It weighs just 1.8kg, but the importance of its mission is massive. If everything goes according to plan, Ingenuity will become the first aircraft to fly on Mars. In order for this to work, Ingenuity has to survive frigid temperatures, manage merciless power constraints, and attempt a series of 90 second flights while separated from Earth by 10 light minutes. Which means that real-time communication..."

Macchi MB-308 Free Flight

Macchi MB-308, September 1949 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsThe Macchi MB−308 (or MB.308), designed by Ermanno Bazzocchi, was one of the most popular light planes in Italy in the 1940s. Although it appears to be of Cessna type construction with an aluminum skin, in fact the MB−308 was of made entirely of wood - just like this free flight model of it by Cristo Russo. With a wingspan of 24", it is a medium size rubber-powered (or CO2) model built in stick and tissue form. The tricycle landing gear was unusual in the era, and is not found very often even in more contemporary free flight models. These plans and building article appeared in the September 1949 issue of Air Trails magazine...

These Frankenplanes Are Built from Parts of Other Planes

These Frankenplanes Are Built from Parts of Other Planes - Airplanes and Rockets"The big silver airplane parked in an open field was the only worthy target for miles. The Japanese bombers quickly sieved the exposed Douglas DC-3 with hundreds of machine gun bullets. Hugh Woods, a pilot with China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC), was watching from a nearby hillside. His heart sank as a 100-kilogram bomb detonated under the right wing of his aircraft, throwing dirt, grass, and splintered aluminum across Suifu airfield. His crew and passengers were alive and unharmed, but his precious airplane was gone. With the wing mangled, there would be no chance of escape. More attackers would soon return to finish the job. The best Woods and his men could do was to hide the wounded airliner among the trees..."

World Model Air Olympics

World Model Air Olympics, November 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsFor some odd reason the venue for the 1954 F.A.I. World Model Air Olympics was not mentioned in this pictorial featured in the November 1954 issue of Air Trails magazine. However, an article appeared in the July 27, 1954 edition of The New York Times newspaper stating that the event took place at Suffolk County Air Force Base in New York state. The 1955 event also occurred there according to this 1955 Air Trails article entitled "International Meets: Rubber Power Wakefield F.A.I. Free Flight 'Gas'." Do you recognize anyone here?

Piper Colt: A Real Contender

Piper Colt: A Real Contender - Airplanes and RocketsMy first 45 logged hours were in a Piper Colt! "Browsing the web in search of an airplane to buy is not unlike taking a stroll through your local bookstore; the newest and trendiest items tend to be featured prominently, with substantial fanfare. Carbon Cubs, Kitfoxes and Cessna 170s dominate social media and are featured front and center, while commanding ever-increasing prices on the usual classified sites. But hiding in the quiet, less-traveled aisles toward the back of the store, treasures can be found: older, less-flashy editions that, while frequently passed over, nonetheless faithfully continue to provide wonderful experiences. Such is the case with the Piper Colt. Often overlooked as a lower-powered..."

Airplane and Rocket Models by David S.

Airplane and Rocket Models by David S. - Airplanes and RocketsWebsite visitor David S., who wrote a while back to let me know about the line of Atlantis Models* re−manufactured vintage plastic kits, recently sent these photos of his amazing collection of model airplanes and rockets. As you can seem, most of the airplanes are rubber-powered free-flight. A few electric-powered R/C models are hangared in the garage over the door (a good use of the space). Let's see, for airplanes I spy a P−47 Thunderbolt, an L−4 Grasshopper, a J−3 (or maybe a J−5) Cub, a couple P−51 Mustangs, A Focke-Wulf, a Beechcraft Bonanza, a Supermarine Spitfire (or two), a Sopwith Camel, a Fairchild something-or-other, a P−40 Warhawk, and a Stearman PT−17. In the rocket category is an Estes Mars Lander, an Alpha (of course), a Gyroc, an Honest John, an Aerobee, a Big Bertha, and an Avenger. How many can you identify? David didn't mention whether he flies the free-flight models and rockets or if they're primarily hangar queens...

Sony Unveils Airpeak Drone at CES

Sony Unveils Airpeak Drone at CES -  Airplanes and Rockets"Sony unveiled its Airpeak drone at CES, the world’s largest consumer electronics and information technology show, which opened over the internet Monday. The 2021 Consumer Electronics Show, which is scheduled to run through Thursday, aims to create connections and showcase the latest in robotics, smart devices, digital health and more. Some 1,800 exhibitors are participating in the show, forced to go online by the coronavirus pandemic. Airpeak marks Sony’s entry into the drone business. It can wield Sony's Alpha mirrorless cameras and is expected to allow creators to shoot high-definition aerial videos. 'With Sony's technology, creativity has no limits..."

800 MPH in a Jet-Powered Car

800 MPH in a Jet-Powered Car - Airplanes and Rockets"I treat Bloodhound as a very low-flying airplane,” says Ron Ayers, the chief aerodynamicist for the Bloodhound Land Speed Record project - a Mach-busting car designed to exceed 800 mph. 'We're trying to go faster at ground level than any jet fighter has,' says the project's driver, Andy Green, a retired Royal Air Force fighter pilot. 'No jet airplane has demonstrated sustained speed at low-level over 1,000 mph.' Ayers and Green are no strangers to land-speed records. They were part of the team that worked on the Thrust SSC (supersonic car), which blazed across Nevada's Black Rock Desert in 1997, setting the current world land-speed record of 763 mph..."

Allbon Diesel Engines

Allbon Diesel Engines, November 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsIf the distributor name, American Telasco, seems familiar, it is because they were the importers of the very popular line of Jetex engines. Allbon engines were the product of Mr. Alan L. Allbon, of Sunbury-on-Thames, England. As with in automobiles, Diesel engines were quite popular in Europe, and most of the Diesels available in the United States were imported from overseas. A few of the Allbon engines were a huge success - notably the 0.5 cc Dart and the 1.49 cc Javelin Mk I - and challenged production capacity to a point that jeopardized the company's market position as competitors moved in to fill the void. Allbon operated independently from 1948 through 1952, after which it partnered with Davies-Charlton. That means this 1954 advertisement in Air Trails magazine appeared in the partnership era. For a deep dive into the history of Allbon, check out The Early Years at Allbon, by Adrian Duncan...

Round-the-Pole Circle Whirly: The Jumpin' Giro

Round-the-Pole Circle Whirly: The Jumpin' Giro, Annual 1958 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsHere is an unusual project for the control line enthusiast. Bob Tennenbaum's Jumpin' Giro is an autogyro craft that due to its potential for slow, helicopter-like flight, can be flown in a small area. That makes Jumpin' Giro a good subject for old-timers who don't suffer spinning in circles well anymore. It is designed for an .020 glow fuel engine, but a small electric setup can be easily substituted. The rotor span is only about 14-15 inches, and as designed there is no form of control; it simply flies in circles on its own. There is probably not enough centrifugal force on the tether line to provide positive control, but use of an R/C controlled electric motor would add to the fun. My guess is it should only be flown in no wind or very light wind conditions. That leaves out most days in my Erie, Pennsylvania locale...

Radio Lands the Plane

Radio Lands the Plane, August 1938 Radio News - RF CafeConsidering that only three-and-a-half decades had passed since the brothers Wright first flew their eponymous "Flyer" off the sands of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, it is pretty impressive to think that by 1938 the majority of commercial air transport planes were under the able control of electromechanical apparatus(es?). Rudder, elevator, aileron, and throttle, driven by electrical servomechanisms rather than human hands and feet, responded to the signals to analog computers fed data from onboard barometer, accelerometer, level, and compass sensors, and from ground-based radio directional beams. That was for mostly straight and level flight from one fixed waypoint to another. An ability to program vectored flight paths came later. This "Radio Lands the Plane" article discusses progress being made in the realm of completely automated landings. As can be seen, the framework for modern instrument landings systems was being laid...

Drones Use Private LTE to Monitor Power Lines

Drones Use Private LTE to Monitor Power Lines -  Airplanes and Rockets"As the largest state public power organization in the U.S., New York Power Authority (NYPA) operates more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. Live lines can now be inspected up-close by drone-mounted cameras connected to a private LTE network, the utility said recently. Currently, humans have to fly by the lines in order to inspect them. NYPA said its drone test also demonstrated that high-definition video and thermal imaging can be live-streamed from drones using private LTE. 'It is extremely gratifying to see the progress of this drone test,' said Gil Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. 'The pilot program to install private LTE wireless technology across our generation and transmission network is integral to NYPA's transition..."

Gallery of Chevy Camaro History

Gallery of Chevy Camaro History - Airplanes and RocketsThis slideshow stepping through the years of the Camaro holds special meaning for me since my first car was a '69 Camaro SS. "Chevrolet introduced its Mustang-fighting Camaro selling the first one on September 29, 1966. The first episode of Star Trek debuted on NBC TV three weeks earlier. For the 1968 model year, the just-introduced Camaro saw changes mainly for regulatory issues, such as the newly mandated side marker lights in the fenders. For 1969, Chevrolet stylists toughened the Camaro, widening the rear fenders and adding crisp character lines atop the wheel arches, rendering the openings trapezoidal rather than rounded. After a late production start, the second-generation Camaro..."

Charlie's Cox Model Airplane Collection

Charlie's Cox Model Airplane Collection - Airplanes and RocketsAs the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. That being the case, here are 8,000 of some of the most amazing words that I've ever seen regarding Cox control line airplanes. These photos were sent to me by Airplanes and Rockets website visitor Charlie H. According to his e-mail, there are around 300 models in all, many of which are still in their original boxes. I see some pretty unique examples in the photos. If my understanding is correct, he is interested in selling his collection. It must be worth a small fortune. I will let you know how to contact him if he does want to sell part or all of the models...

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 ...

1996 - 2026

Kirt Blattenberger
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All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.

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