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

Aerospace Headline News

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archives -

• USAF Faces Substantial Shortfall in Unmanned Aircraft Pilots

• James Webb Space Telescope Launch Date Pushed Out Again

• Sporty's Pilot Shop to Match EAA Donations Through July 31st

• EAA Spirit of Aviation Week Runs from July 21st to 25th

• Business Aviation Slowly Comes Back to Life

• Sisters Solo on Same Day, at Same Airport

• How the Curtiss P-40 Got That Wicked Shark Grin

• Airports Hurt by Wuhan Virus Receive Stimulus Money

• Aerion Supersonic Moving Global HQ to Florida

Festo's New Bio-Inspired Robots Include a Feathery Bionic Bird

Festo's New Bio-Inspired Robots Include a Feathery Bionic Bird - Airplanes and Rocket"A flock of swifts and a ballbot mobile manipulator are the newest robots from the German company. Every year or two, Festo shows off some really quite spectacular bio-inspired creations, including robotic ants and butterflies, hopping kangaroos, rolling spiderbots, flying penguins and flying jellyfish, and much more. The BionicSwifts are not the first birds that Festo has developed, but those flexible, feathered wings are particularly lovely. To execute flight maneuvers as true to life as possible, the wings are modeled on the plumage of real birds. The individual lamellae are made of an ultralight, flexible but very robust foam and lie on top of each other like shingles. Connected to a carbon quill, they are attached to the actual hand and arm wings as in the natural model. During the wing upstroke, the individual lamellae fan out so that air can flow..."

QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo August 8th & 9th

QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo - Airplanes and RocketsParticipate in this ground breaking, virtual international amateur radio expo. Packed with world renowned speakers, exhibitors, and special conference rooms built on a virtual reality platform. Attend from the convenience of your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo coming to your laptop, tablet, and smartphone on: August 8th and 9th (that's this weekend). QSO Today called on its former guests and other expert amateur radio operators to create an amazing series of lectures in webinar format from one of our five virtual lecture halls. All lectures are: Fully live interactive with speaker during the session hour, Completely downloadable after the weekend, Collateral materials are downloadable in PDF format, Everything available up to 30 days.

Arden .099 Engine Advertisement

Arden .099 Engine Advertisement, November 1946 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsAlthough I have never owned or run one of the vintage ignition type model airplane engines, the articles telling of their operation makes me glad that glow engines were the powerplant du jour by the time I entered the modeling realm in the late 1960s. Just as the smaller A−size and smaller glow fuel engines are generally more finicky to start and adjust to run consistently, so were the similar sized ignition engines - like the Arden .099 probably was. Persistence and anticipation of the joy of hearing a model airplane engine fire up and scream - and of course the smell of the burning glow fuel - as you prepare to launch the craft skyward is what made all the hassle worth it. My friends and I spend untold amounts of time struggling to get our Cox .049s started and running well enough get a few turns around the control line circle before the carefully...

FCC Fines HobbyKing ~$3M for Unauthorized Drone Transmitters

FCC Fines HobbyKing ~$3M for Unauthorized Drone Transmitters - Airplanes and Rockets"The FCC has issued a Forfeiture Order (FO) calling for HobbyKing to pay a fine of $2,861,128 for marketing drone transmitters that do not comply with FCC rules. An FCC Enforcement Bureau investigation stemmed in part from a 2017 ARRL complaint that HobbyKing was selling drone transmitters that operated on amateur and non-amateur frequencies, in some instances marketing them as amateur radio equipment. The fine affirms the monetary penalty sought in a June 2018 FCC Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL). The FCC said its investigation found that dozens of devices marketed by the company transmitted in unauthorized radio frequency bands and, in some cases, operated at excessive power levels. 'Such unlawful transmissions could interfere with key government and public safety services, like aviation systems,' the FCC said.'We have fully considered HobbyKing's response to the NAL, which does not contest any facts..."

The First Air Force One

The First Air Force One - Airplanes and RocketsA story about the restoration of America's first Air Force One, the president's airplane, appears in the June 2020 issue of Air & Space magazine. Dubbed Columbine II, the four-engined Constellation ferried President Dwight D. Eisenhower around. "When Dwight Eisenhower was president, he traveled in style. Now a team is restoring his airplane to presidential perfection. On a sunny day last November, Air Force One was parked inside a hangar 140 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. The large, four-engine transport had logged thousands of miles. Countless VIPs had flown aboard it. Speeches on the peaceful purpose of atomic power had been crafted inside its cabin, and presidential naps taken in its comfy berths. But this Air Force One was not waiting for the president. No, this airplane, a 72-year-old Lockheed VC-121 Constellation - the first presidential aircraft officially designated as Air Force One - was waiting for resurrection..."

PAA-Load Events for 1961

PAA-Load Events for 1961, May 1961 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsAt some point you have probably read about an old model aircraft contest event called " PAA-Load." This advertisement for participants appeared in a 1961 issue of American Modeler magazine. As its name implies, the challenge involved hauling specific weights of 'payload' aloft and vying for the longest flight. What you might find surprising is that the 'PAA' part of the event title comes from Pan American Airlines (PAA, aka PanAm), who created and sponsored the activity as an educational effort to encourage youngsters to consider the necessary accommodations to efficiently and profitably transport people and cargo from point A to point B. Careful attention to airframe configuration and weight, powerplant size, propeller, wheel size and weight, covering material and finish, etc., was required to win...

Here's Where and How We Think China Will Land on Mars

Here's Where and How We Think China Will Land on Mars - Airplanes and Rockets"China's 2020 HX−1 Mars mission will draw on previous lunar explorations and human spaceflights. China aims to become only the second country to land and operate a spacecraft on the surface of Mars (NASA was first with a pair of Viking landers in 1976). With just a few months before launch, China is still keeping key mission details quiet. But we can discern a few points about where and how it will attempt a landing on the Red Planet from recent presentations and interviews. Celestial mechanics dictate that China, along with NASA's Perseverance rover and the Hope orbiter from the United Arab Emirates, will launch around late July during a Hohmann transfer window, which comes around only once every 26 months and allows a trip to Mars using as little propellant as possible. A huge Long March 5 rocket will send the Chinese spacecraft on a journey for about seven months..."

With the Model Builders

With the Model Builders, February 1941 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsAs stated previously, one of my main motivations for posting articles such as this "With the Model Builders" feature from a 1941 issue of Flying Aces magazine is to provide sources for people doing Internet searches for family members and/or friends. Family tree research is a big pastime these days, and it is always nice to run across a unique item, especially with a photo, about someone you know and perhaps were not aware of that particular aspect of his or her life. After having posted stories from many of the major model aircraft magazines for nearly two decades, a few people have taken the time to write to express gratitude for making the information available. You're welcome.

NASA's Next Mars Rover Will Carry a Tiny Helicopter

NASA's Next Mars Rover Will Carry a Tiny Helicopter - Airplanes and Rockets"The upcoming Perseverance mission will attempt the first powered flight on another planet. If ever there was life on Mars, NASA's Perseverance rover should be able to find signs of it. The rover, scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center, in FL, is designed to drill through rocks in an ancient lake bed and examine them for bio signatures, extract oxygen from the atmosphere, and collect soil samples that might someday be returned to Earth. But to succeed at a Mars mission, you always need a little ingenuity; that's literally what Perseverance is carrying. Bolted to the rover's undercarriage is a small autonomous helicopter called Ingenuity. If all goes as planned, it will become the first aircraft to make a powered flight on another planet..."

Sketchbook, March 1961 American Modeler

Sketchbook, March 1961 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsThis "Sketchbook" was scanned from the March 1961 American Modeler magazine, page 60. Most building tips are timeless. Even in this era of ready-to-fly (RTF), almost-ready-to-fly (ARF), bind-and-fly (BAF), etc., there are still many modelers who build their own aircraft. Nearly all top tier competition fliers build their own models, as do aficionados of vintage (aka old-timer) models. Some guys just would rather build than buy a pre-build airplane, whether from a kit or from plans. There is an interesting suggestion for making fine adjustments on free flight models for wash−in and wash−out while at the flying field, which could be useful when trimming for a contest.

1st Restartable Rocket Motor to Maneuver Satellites

1st Restartable Rocket Motor to Maneuver Satellites - Airplanes and Rockets"The motor uses a novel ignition system that breaks water down into oxygen and hydrogen and burns them. Los Alamos researchers developed the first restartable motor for solid rockets. A motor built according to the patented design was restarted at least six times in succession. All other solid rocket motors in use provide a 'one-and-done' firing for maneuvering in space. This new technology will help solve the increasing problem of space traffic, as more small satellites (CubeSats) are sent into orbit. The restartable motor will let satellites maneuver around other orbiting objects on short notice, preventing costly space crashes. A second high-priority defense application of this invention is missile maneuvering..."

National Model Distributors Advertisement

National Model Distributors Advertisement, October 1958 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsRemember when when there were no computers or 24/7 TV broadcasts on hundreds of cable channels to take up all your free time, and you would search for a meaningful hobby to keep you occupied? No, probably not for most people who are reading this. Beginning in the late 1990s, local hobby shops (LHSs) were disappearing as interest in activities involving the hands-on wares they sold - model kits, craft kits, et al - was being replaced by activities involving sitting in front of a video display of some sort. Hands-on was coming to mean hands on a video game controller or a keyboard and mouse. Nowadays, hands-on more likely describes activity on a smartphone. Alas, you can't stop progress, as the saying goes, and ultimately that's a good thing. Old timers like me came into the model building world when ready-built flying models primarily meant a molded-plastic Cox .049-powered control line...

FAA UAS Symposium - Remotely Piloted Edition

FAA UAS Symposium - Airplanes and RocketsThe FAA UAS Symposium – Remotely Piloted Edition brings together industry professionals and regulators to promote learning and growth within the UAS community. "It's an exclusive opportunity to talk face-to-face with stakeholders from all sectors, where you can help define the rules and concepts that govern the future of drone operations." Episode I is July 8-9, and Episode II runs August 18-19. Presented by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

The History of Aviation in Posters, Brochures, Badges and Ticket Stubs - Airplanes and Rockets

The History of Aviation in Posters, Brochures, Badges and Ticket Stubs - Airplanes and RocketsIf you have been visiting the Airplanes and Rockets website for any length of time, you know I put a lot of effort into delivering a historical perspective on aviation and aerospace. The June 2020 issue of Air & Space magazine contains a great article entitled, "The History of Aviation in Posters, Brochures, Badges and Ticket Stubs." It begins: "Slipped between the pages of diaries and journals, glued into scrapbooks, and stuffed into envelopes, we've found things that were never meant to last. Most people hang on to bits of paper that they didn't mean to save forever: a ticket stub from a concert, a greeting card, a tour brochure. Within the 20,000 cubic feet of archival materials at the National Air and Space Museum Archives are personal and professional papers, corporate and organizational records, 20,000 motion pictures, two million technical drawings, and three million photographic images. But the Archives is also home to ephemera -banquet menus, airline baggage labels, company brochures..."

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
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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