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...
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..."
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...
"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..."
For 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?
My 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..."
Website 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
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
"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..."
"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
If 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...
Here 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...
Considering 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...
"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..."
This 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..."
As 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...