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 ...

Copyright
1996 - 2026

Webmaster:
Kirt Blattenberger
BSEE - KB3UON
Family Websites:
RF Cafe | Equine Kingdom

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

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Model Aviation & Aerospace Headline News

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archives -

• China Begins Building Its First Advanced Space Station

• Air Force Spills Some Secrets About Its New Bomber

• RotorWay International Helicopter Sold to Rotor X Aircraft

• Remarkable Aviators Honored During Hoover Presentation

• The Long, Frustrating Saga of the Mole on Mars

• 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

3D Printed Rocket Engine Parts Survive 23 Hot-Fires

3D Printed Rocket Engine Parts Survive 23 Hot-Fire Tests - Airplanes and Rockets"Future lunar landers might come equipped with 3D printed rocket engine parts that help bring down overall manufacturing costs and reduce production time. NASA is investing in advanced manufacturing - one of five industries of the future - to make it possible. Through a series of hot-fire tests in November, NASA demonstrated that two additively manufactured engine components - a copper alloy combustion chamber and nozzle made of a high-strength hydrogen resistant alloy - could withstand the same extreme combustion environments that traditionally manufactured metal structures experience in flight..."

Contender Article & Plans

Contender Article & Plans, July 1970 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsWebsite visitor Doug W. wrote to ask that I scan and post this article on Dave Platt's familiar Contender. It mentions at the end of the article that Top Flite would soon be kitting the Contender, which indeed it did. The man down the street from me when I was a kid flew radio controlled models and he had a Contender (early 1970s). It was covered in yellow and light blue MonoKote - kind of a strange color scheme. When he crashed it beyond repair, he gave me the carcass. That was a treasure to me at about 13-14 years old. It was the closest I had ever come to owning an R/C airplane. Occasionally, American Aircraft Modeler magazine printed plans in blueprint format, which is very difficult to use as a model building plan. They definitely do not convert well to graphical format...

Making Quieter Drone Propellers

Making Quieter Drone Propellers - Airplanes and Rockets"Researchers have published a study revealing their successful approach to designing much quieter propellers. The team used machine learning to design their propellers, then 3D printed several of the most promising prototypes for experimental acoustic testing at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's specialised 'echo-free' chamber. Results now published in Aerospace Research Central show the prototypes produced around 15dB less noise than commercially available propellers, validating the team's design methodology. RMIT University aerospace engineer and lead researcher..."

NASA to Begin Ground Testing on All-Electric X-57

NASA to Begin Ground Testing on All-Electric X-57 - Airplanes and Rockets"NASA is set to start high-voltage functional ground testing of the agency's first all-electric X-plane, the X-57 Maxwell, which will perform flights to help develop certification standards for emerging electric aircraft. NASA is also supporting these new electric aircraft by developing quiet, efficient, reliable technology these vehicles will need in routine use. Testing is expected to start with low power, checking the startup and shutdown sequences and verifying that the new motor control software boots up and controls the motors as expected. The first pair of electric cruise motors to fly on the X-57 will be powered up and activated, allowing engineers to ensure that the vehicle's propellers spin as designed..."

World War II in Color

World War II in Color - Airplanes and Rockets"World War II is one of the most documented conflicts in history. Millions of photographs and miles of motion-picture film stock provide a rich visual record of its brutal violence and celebrate its martial purpose. Color photography, though not new, had only just become widely available when the war began in 1939. Color images of the war are not hard to come by, but they are considerably rarer than black-and-white images. As the lived experience of World War II fades -  because of the passing of those who participated in it and of those who observed it from the home front - the use of original color imagery provides a sense of immediacy for younger generations, for whom the war is often a vague and distant event from the last century. As part of the National Air and Space Museum's ongoing renovation, which includes creating new exhibits in our flagship location on the National Mall in Washington, D.C..."

Crossword Puzzle from December 4, 1965 TV Guide

Crossword Puzzle from December 4, 1965 TV Guide - Airplanes and RocketsTV Guide crossword puzzles were always my mother's favorite Sunday evening pastime. It's not that she couldn't handle the New York Times' notoriously challenging crossword, it's just that The Evening Capital newspaper didn't have a Sunday edition so we didn't get the puzzle. My father worked as the classified advertising manager at The Evening Capital so we received a free subscription tot he paper. This particular crossword puzzle appeared in the edition of TV Guide that featured the first-ever airing of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" which I bought on eBay, so I figured I might as well scan and post it. Enjoy! Back in the day I was not an avid crossword puzzler, but I am now a daily worker of crossword puzzles and once a week I even create a custom crossword for visitors of my RF Cafe engineering website...

Mathematical Puzzles, 1981 Old Farmer's Almanac

Mathematical Puzzles, 1981 Old Farmer's Almanac - RF CafeEach autumn I used to anxiously await the appearance of the newest edition of The Old Farmer's Almanac on the store shelf, and such was the case with this 1981 issue. It is not that I was/am an avid farmer, just that I enjoy reading the anecdotes, tales, and interesting historical tidbits included amongst the pages along with tables of high and low tides, moon and sun rising and setting times, astronomical events, and weather patterns expected for the year that lay ahead. Most of all, I liked working the puzzles and riddles. Over the years the difficulty levels gradually got lower and lower (aka dumbed down), to the point where for the last decade or so I have not even bothered buying the OFA. Now it is full of numbnut stuff...

Mathematical Puzzles, 1986 Old Farmer's Almanac

Mathematical Puzzles, 1986 Old Farmer's Almanac - RF CafeI finally got around to scanning selected content from the 1986 issue of The Old Farmer's Almanac. The "Old and New Mathematical Puzzles" feature was always my favorite, so that's what is posted first. Difficulty levels are assigned as 1 for the easiest to 5 for the hardest. Solutions are provided for levels 1 through 4, but level 5 (problems 12 through 15) problems were to be mailed in (no e-mail in the day) to vie for a cash prize for providing the "best set of solutions," though I don't know how one solution to these problems can be deemed "better" than another. Problem #5 is interesting in that you must assign a value for the various numerical prefixes and quantities. Sure, we all know what "atto" and "score" are, but what about "crore" and "myriad?"

DARPA LongShot Unmanned Air Vehicle

DARPA Initiates Design of LongShot Unmanned Air Vehicle - Airplanes and Rockets"DARPA's LongShot program, which is developing an air-launched unmanned air vehicle (UAV) with the ability to employ multiple air-to-air weapons, has awarded contracts to General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman for preliminary Phase I design work. The objective is to develop a novel UAV that can significantly extend engagement ranges, increase mission effectiveness, and reduce the risk to manned aircraft. Current air superiority concepts rely on advanced manned fighter aircraft to provide a penetrating counter air capability to effectively deliver weapons. It is envisioned that LongShot will increase the survivability of manned platforms by allowing them to be at standoff ranges far away from enemy threats, while an air-launched..."

Mathematical Puzzles from the 1980 OFA

Mathematical Puzzles, 1980 Old Farmer's Almanac - RF CafeEach autumn I used to anxiously await the appearance of the newest edition of The Old Farmer's Almanac on the store shelf. It is not that I was/am an avid farmer, just that I enjoy reading the anecdotes, tales, and interesting historical tidbits included amongst the pages along with tables of high and low tides, moon and sun rising and setting times, astronomical events, and weather patterns expected for the year that lay ahead. Most of all, I liked working the puzzles and riddles. Over the years the difficulty levels gradually got lower and lower (aka dumbed down), to the point where for the last decade or so I have not even bothered buying the OFA. Now it is full of numbnut stuff. Because quite a few of the Mathematical Puzzles from the older editions are worthy of an engineer's cerebration, contemplation, and deliberation, I am posting the ones I own here on RF Cafe. Answers to numbers 1 through 11...

The Ghost from G-2

The Ghost from G-2, May 1934 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsDonald Keyhoe wrote a huge number of aviation adventure articles for Flying Aces magazine in the 1930s. His flying ace was Captain Philip Strange, a "G−2" agent with a unique sense of intuition that allows him to practically (but not really) read people's minds. He is also a master of disguises. Capt. Strange's era is World War I and his venue was the front lines of Germany and France. After Philip Strange came Kerry Keen (aka "The Griffon") during the World War II era, written by real-world ace pilot Arch Whitehouse. You will likely be introduced to a new bunch of words that were particular to the times, like "ack emma," referring to the signalman's phonetic pronunciation of "A" and "M." In "The Ghost from G−2," the reference is to "aircraft mechanics," but ack emma was more routinely applied to "A.M." for morning, or ante meridian ("pip emma" was P.M., or post meridian). "Ack-ack" was for...

Sky Battle Guillow's Javelin / Lancer Postal Contest - April 24−25

Sky Battle Guillow's Javelin / Lancer Postal Contest, KC Free Flight - Airplanes and RocketsMr. Ronnie Espolt, of the Kansas City Free Flight club, is hosting a Postal Contest this weekend, April 24th and 25th, 2021, featuring the Guillow's Javelin and Lancer rubber-powered models. A "postal" contest is where pilots fly their models at their home field, and then report results to headquarters by email. Must be "built to the plan," no major modifications. Stock prop diameter, with landing gear in place. Any covering-material is OK. Any size rubber motor is OK. Deletion of those snappy-looking cheek cowls is allowed. We urge anyone that has photos of their entry or entries into this year's Sky Battle 2021 Postal Contest to submit them so we can add them to the gallery below for everyone to enjoy.

Supersweep Hand-Launched Glider

Supersweep, October 1974 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThis is part two of an article that began in the September 1974 American Aircraft Modeler magazine. The Supersweep was used to break the long-standing Indoor Hand Launched Glider (IHLG) record of one minute and thirty seconds. In 2009, Stan Buddenbohm set a new record for 1:52.12 (see video below). Website visitor Ward B. recently wrote asking that I post the second article on the Supersweep, so, here it is. Plans can be found in the September 1974 edition of American Aircraft Modeler.

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