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...
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
For 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 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...
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 Aircraft Company, founded in 1925
in Detroit, Michigan, really had just two successful airplane designs - the
CA−6 Airsedan and the
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
As 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
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..."
Airplanes 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
The 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...