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

Aerospace Headline News

Tech Industry Headlines - RF Cafe- Archives -

• 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

Pause on Pilot Cadet Programs Leads to Loss and Opportunity

•  Boeing's 20-Year Job Prediction Lowered

• NASA Plans for Return to Moon to Cost $28B

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...

"Smellicopter" Uses Live Moth Antenna to Seek Smells

"Smellicopter" Uses Live Moth Antenna to Seek Smells - Airplanes and Rockets"Who needs a sensor from the manufacturer? Researchers from the University of Washington have equipped their drone with one of nature's finest detectors: a moth antenna. 'Nature really blows our human-made odor sensors out of the water,' said UW doctoral student Melanie Anderson , lead researcher of the aerial vehicle known as the 'Smellicopter.' 'By using an actual moth antenna with Smellicopter, we're able to get the best of both worlds: the sensitivity of a biological organism on a robotic platform where we can control its motion.' The live antenna responds to chemical signals, allowing the flying vehicle to navigate toward specific odors..."

Vintage Carrom Board (and Box) Restoration

Vintage Carrom Board Restoration - Airplanes and RocketsFor the last dozen years or so, I have been working to re-acquire some of the items I remember having as a kid and teenager back in the 1960s and 1970s. Dittos for Melanie's stuff. Very few of the original articles survived my handling, but fortunately many other people took better care of their stuff (or their parents did), so much of it is available on eBay. Back in the early days of eBay, a lot of the vintage gears could be purchased at a decent price, but nowadays the costs have skyrocketed. This 1960s era Carrom (aka Carom) Game Board came from our daughter, who found it in a Goodwill store for just a couple bucks. Even Goodwill and Salvation Army store prices have gone through the roof, but she got this at one of the specialty "Bins" outlets...

Japanese Air Force After World War I

Air Progress - Japanese Air Force After World War I, November 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsJapanese involvement in World War I is generally not as well known as it is for World War II. The surprise attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, has permanently implanted itself as one of the nation's most memorable events, and obviously the U.S. and Japan were mortal enemies until the Japs' unconditional surrender on September 2, 1945, following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Conversely, Japan was part of the Allied (aka Entente) powers in World War I, and was considered an ally of America, Great Britain, Italy, and France (primarily) in their war against Germany, Austria, and the Ottoman Empire. It was one of those "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" scenarios. Japan played a major role in barricading German sea lanes in the South Pacific...

UAV Software Prioritizes Human Safety

UAV Software Prioritizes Human Safety - Airplanes and Rockets"Autonomous aircraft systems have the potential to save lives, and NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center's Resilient Autonomy project is at the forefront of development. These advanced software systems are preventing air-to-ground collisions in piloted aircraft and the project is now focusing on developments to prevent aircraft from colliding with other aircraft in the air. The software can better manage the mission intent of the flight while always maneuvering within the acceptable performance limits of the aircraft, much like how a pilot manages a safe flight. Autonomous aircraft systems have the potential to save lives..."

Buhl Bull Pup Article & Plans

Buhl Bull Pup, October 1950 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsBuhl Aircraft Company, founded in 1925 in Detroit, Michigan, really had just two successful airplane designs - the CA−6 Airsedan and the LA−1 Bull Pup. The Buhl A−1 Autogyro was a novelty aircraft that never gained popularity. It came out in 1931, a year before the company went out of business. This 1/2A size Bull Pup construction by Charles Hollinger article and plans appeared in a 1950 issue of Air Trails magazine. The Bull Pup began life as a rubber powered model, and Mr. Hollinger adapted it for powered free flight at a request from Air Trails editors. Its 35" wingspan is a convenient size and makes for an economical building project, even more so with today's balsa prices. A conversion to electric power with three-channel R/C would be easily accomplished...

1st TV Airing of "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

"Peanuts on Television," by Charles Schulz - Airplanes and RocketsAs a lifelong admirer of Charles Schulz's Peanuts comic strip, I occasionally buy a collectible item like a Snoopy music box that plays "It's a Long Way to Tipperary," a plastic Schroeder and piano figurine, a Charlie Brown Skediddler, or a Snoopy astronaut from the Apollo era. This time I bought the edition of TV Guide that announced the first showing of the "A Charlie Brown Christmas" cartoon. Also in this edition is the announcement of plans to preempt regular programming to televise the launch of the Gemini VII spacecraft, which carried astronauts Frank Borman and James A. Lovell. It launched right on time at 2:30 pm on December 4th. "As his millions of fans long since have discovered, under that inept, ineffectual, bumbling exterior of Charlie Brown's there beats a heart as soft and sweet as a marshmallow. In the sequence on these pages, drawn exclusively for TV Guide by Charlie's creator, Charles Schulz, he becomes concerned about...

Smart Parachute Rescues Drones

Smart Parachute Rescues Drones - Airplanes and Rockets"An intelligent parachute system deploys itself an emergency to bring the damaged drone safely to the ground. The system can be easily mounted to a drone at any time using a bayonet lock. Intelligent electronics monitor the flight condition, independent of flight control; an algorithm implements automatic crash detection. In an emergency, the pilot no longer has to react and press a release button. The system operates without explosive, pyrotechnical components. Drone Rescue Systems GmbH, awarded by the European Space Agency (ESNC-2016), developed the fastest and most efficient parachute safety solution for drones available on the market right now..."

A-1 Jetstream Towline Glider

A/1 Jetstream Towline Glider, November 1960 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsAirplanes and Rockets website visitor L. Ross wrote to request that this article featuring Warren Kurth's Jetstream A-1 towline glider be posted. I recently purchased the November 1960 issue of American Modeler magazine, where it appeared, so I scanned and processed the images and text. Detailed building, covering, and flying instructions are provided by Mr. Kurth. The Jetstream's projected wingspan is given on the plans as 47", with a wing area of 269 square inches. The fuselage is 31" long with a balsa box construction, while the wing an tail surfaces are sticks and sheet ribs. The wing airfoil is undercambered, which makes covering with Jap tissue a little tricky, but the horizontal stabilizer uses a flat bottom lifting airfoil. Instructions for making the regulation A-1 towline is even given. The model is built so light that it requires more than 1.5 ounces of ballast to bring it up to the A-1 class minimum of 5.08 oz (144 grams)...

Sparks on Ice: Radio in the Arctic

Sparks on Ice: Radio in the Arctic, December 1945 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsThe old adage about pioneers taking the arrows is true in many realms - not just the exploration and settling of the wild west. This story entitled "Sparks on Ice" recounting the trials and tribulations of the troops who installed and debugged the first arctic directional beacons appeared in a 1945 issue of Flying Age magazine. "Sparks" (or "Sparky") was an endearing nickname given to early radio operators who used spark gap transmitters to send out their Morse code messages. It stuck around for many years after better transmitter systems were developed - although it is not very often heard today. The most interesting part of Mark Weaver's article is a discussion of the many atmospheric phenomena that affect radio waves of various wavelengths. A lot of smart people - enlisted, commissioned, and civilian - sacrificed mightily...

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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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