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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

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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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Home Page Archive (page 20)

These archive pages are provided in order to make it easier for you to find items that you remember seeing on the Airplanes and Rockets homepage. Of course probably the easiest way to find anything on the website is to use the "Search AAR" box at the top of every page.

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The Silver Hill Story

The Silver Hill Story, November 1969 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsMelanie and I visited the Udvar-Hazy annex of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum for the first time. We visited the main building in Washington, D.C., a time or two a couple decades ago. A major renovation of that facility is underway now, but with the rewriting of history going on these days, their claim of "reimagining" the displays is worrisome. It is amazing to me when looking at the airplanes represented in this story from the November 1969 American Aircraft Modeler that most of them have been restored by now and are on display in one location or the other. It appears maybe the authors' pleas were heeded after all...

"Wing of Tomorrow" Programme Reaches Key Milestone

"Wing of Tomorrow" Programme Reaches Key Milestone - Airplanes and Rockets"An Airbus research and technology programme dubbed Wing of Tomorrow has reached a key milestone with the assembly of its first full-size wing prototype. According to Airbus, the Wing of Tomorrow programme will test the latest composite materials and new technologies in aerodynamics and wing architecture whilst simultaneously appraising how wing manufacturing and industrialisation can be improved to meet future demand as the sector emerges from the pandemic. Three full-size prototype wings will be manufactured: one will be used to understand systems integration; a second will be structurally tested to compare against computer modelling, while a third will be assembled to test..."

Counted Cross Stitch Orbis Terrae Compendiosa Descriptio

Counted Cross Stitch Orbis Terrae Compendiosa Descriptio - Airplanes and RocketsBack when Melanie had more time (around 1984), she made a lot of counted cross stitch pictures. This one remains her most ambitious project ever - a large nautical map of the ancient world, fashioned after the works of famed cartographer Gerard Mercator and titled with "Orbis Terrae Compendiosa Descriptio," which is, loosely translated, Latin for "A Comprehensive Description of the World." Melanie's work was done on 22-count fabric, and measures approximately 13" by 8" (not including white border). Such a fine effort needed a special frame, so I set about making a custom 23" by 17" frame out of teak wood bought at World of Hardwoods in Baltimore. The fancy fluting was done on my Craftsman radial arm saw with the molding head. It was a scary operation with the sharp teeth flying while feeding that teak through it. Teak, as you might know, is used extensively on boats because it weathers well. It is an oily type wood that starts out life with a shiny golden patina, but turns to the familiar gray if left unprotected in the sun...

American Modeler Comics of Yore

American Modeler Comics of Yore, Comics from 1950s through Mid 1970s Vintage American Modeler Magazines (page 10) - Airplanes and RocketsThese couple vintage model aviation comics appeared in the May 1957 issue of the Academy of Model Aeronautics' American Modeler magazine. The one on page 8 might need some explanation in order "get it." Back in the era, aviation of all sorts - both model and full-size - was still a novelty for most people. When either type of aircraft was seen close to the ground where people could get up-close looks, a crowd would often gather. In this comic, a huge group of people stopped to watch the model airplane fly, so the modeler decided it was his civic duty to provide a show for the onlookers. Many decades ago, comic strips had a very broad appeal with people. Daily newspapers and magazines often carried a large variety of single pane comics and strip comics...

Dyna-Jet Engine

Dyna-Jet Engine - June 1957 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsHere are a couple videos of pulse jet engines being run. The top one is a home-made pulse jet engine mounted on an R/C Long EZ. The bottom video presents a short tutorial on how the Dyna-Jet is built, how it is made, and how to start it. Back in the 1950s, a company named Curtis Automotive Devices manufactured the now-converted Dyna-Jet engine (they typically sell for >$400 on e-Bay - if you can find one). Are they still around today? Yep, only the company name is now Curtis Dyna-Fog. One of the first pulse-jet products aerospace engineer Russell Curtis produced was the Dyna-Jet "Red Head" miniature engine for use in model rocketry (per their website)...

Du-Bro's Whirlybird 505 R/C Helicopter

Du-Bro's Whirlybird 505 R/C Helicopter, November 1972 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsDu-Bro's Whirlybird 505 was the first successful commercial helicopter kit (although successful is a relative term as applied here). I was fortunate as a kid in Holly Hill Harbor, Mayo, Maryland, because there was a man down the street from me who was an avid radio control modeler and seemed to buy just about every new type of radio, engine, and kit available. I would anxiously await the sound of an engine running, and instantly jump on my bicycle to ride down and see what he was doing. The strange thing about it was that he had three step-sons who were notoriously bad actors who counted it as sport to harass and occasionally beat up guys like me, so I always approached the yard with a bit of trepidation. The gentleman himself was very nice, and a few times even gave me...

Thimble Drome TD-1 Control Line Airplane

Thimble Drome TD-1 Control Line Airplane - Airplanes and RocketsThimble Drone - later to become Cox - sold its first ready-to-fly control line model, the Thimble Drome TD-1, beginning around 1959. Reports have it that the original selling price was $9.99, which according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' inflation calculator, is about $95 in year 2021 dollars. The wings were of built-up construction with ribs and thin, molded sheets of aluminum skins. A modified Space Bug .049 engine was used for power. There was no spring starter on the early .049 engines, but a rubber finger guard was provided to help spare the modeler's finger...

Glowing Trees a Problem for Astronomy

Glowing Trees a Problem for Astronomy - RF CafeA controversy brews over the merits of breeding plants that glow like a lightning bug. Proponents say glowing trees could eventually replace electric street lights, thereby reducing pollution created by generating stations. Opponents say messing around with tree genes is dangerous and should be disallowed since it could lead to unanticipated environmental ramifications on both plant and animal species. The unique aspect of this effort is that it is being pursued primarily by genetic hobbyists rather than corporations - at least for now. There is bound to be a huge financial potential for such a copyrighted line of plants. My opposition to the concept is primarily a concern for light pollution projected skyward. Astronomers have a difficult enough time with ever-encroaching sources of ambient light...

Radar Rockets

Radar Rockets, July 1946 Radio-Craft - Airplanes and RocketsDuring World War II, Germany terrorized Europe with it rocket bombs, most notably the V−1 Buzz Bomb and the V−2 Rocket. The "V" prefix, BTW, stands for Vergeltungswaffe, translated as "vengeance weapon," or "retribution weapon." Both "vengeance" and "retribution" are really misnomers since it was Germany that was the aggressor in both WWI and WWII. The vengeance or retribution in Hitler's view was likely the punishment and restrictions imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles for its vicious and inhumane behavior before and during World War I. History shows they doubled down on it during World War II. But I digress. This 1946 article in Radio−Craft magazine proposes a scheme for a "radar rocket" system that could detect, acquire, and intercept an enemy rocket bomb in flight - a concept that was never really successful until the Patriot Missile...

More of Those Fabulous Mini-Copters

More of Those Fabulous Mini-Copters (January 1957 American Modeler Magazine) - Airplanes and RocketsThis is yet another of my unrealized lifelong ambitions - building and flying an autogyro. The state of the art has advanced significantly since the early garage-based and corporate experimenters. Companies such as Autogyro USA sells a number of models for private pilots with both open and fully enclosed cockpits. The Bensen Autogyro was the craft du jour in the 1970s, with articles appearing in all the handyman and airplane magazines of the day. My appetite was sufficiently whetted, albeit well beyond the means of my meager paycheck. I vowed to build one when my finances would allow. I'm going on 52 still waiting. There are quite a few model autogyros flying with plenty of plans and a kit or two available if you would like to build one...

Model Airplane Theme Comics of Yore

Model Airplane Theme Comics of Yore, February 1941 Flying Aces Magazines (page 11) - Airplanes and RocketsThis triad of model airplane-themed comics appeared in the February 1941 issue of Flying Aces magazine. They are a bit on the goofy side, but keep in mind what a novelty airplanes and parachutes and such were even in the 1930s and early 1940s. Humor style was markedly different in the day overall as well, so what passed as clever then might not be considered equally clever today. That being said, don't pass up these comics - they might be just the does of lightheartedness you need at the moment...

Propulsion System Could Enable Mach 17 Speed

Propulsion System Could Enable Mach 17 Speed - Airplanes and Rockets"University of Central Florida researchers are building on their technology that could pave the way for hypersonic flight, such as travel from New York to Los Angeles in under 30 minutes. In their latest research published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers discovered a way to stabilize the detonation needed for hypersonic propulsion by creating a special hypersonic reaction chamber for jet engines. 'There is an intensifying international effort to develop robust propulsion systems for hypersonic and supersonic flight that would allow flight through our atmosphere at very high speeds and also allow efficient entry and exit from planetary atmospheres..."

Here's a Flying "Broomstick"

Here's a Flying "Broomstick" - Article and Plans, January 1941 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsYou might expect this "Flying Broomstick" article to be about one of the many novelty witch-on-a-broomstick models that typically appear in September or October issues of model airplane magazines, but in this case it is simply a contest-worthy Class C rubber free flight job. The fuselage has a slight resemblance to an old wooden broomstick, but the similarity pretty much stops there. The hollow tubular fuselage made of rolled 1/16"' balsa holds 18 strands of rubber. Semi-elliptical shaped wings with a gull type dihedral give it unique look. Per designer / builder Kukuvich, "Flights of 2 min., 30 sec., are common in "dead air" and are accomplished without the help of risers..."

Model Boating Aquativities

Model Boating Aquativities (July/August 1963 American Modeler) - Airplanes and RocketsAs with model airplanes, if you wanted to enjoy the hobby of model boating back in the 1960s when this article appeared in American Modeler magazine, you had to be willing to tackle building your own model either from a kit or from plans. Ready-to-run boats were a relative rarity. Having built half a dozen model boats myself, including nitro and wind powered types, boats require a bit more work than an equivalent level of airplane because working with birch and mahogany plywood and various other-than-balsa woods is more difficult when bending, forming, and sanding. Nothing makes you appreciate carving and sanding a balsa block like trying to do the same on a piece of soft pine (or worse, something like maple or teak). Radio control was well established by the 1960s...

Best Model Airplane Kits

Best Model Airplane Kits - Airplanes and RocketsThis is kind of an unusual story for a TV news outlet, but glad to see it: "Which model airplane kit is best? Model airplane kits come in a vast variety of styles and detailed constructions. They aren't just a few wooden planks that click together and barely float anymore. They can be almost exact to scale replicas that can be radio-controlled. Model airplane kits are for all ages and can be a wonderful bonding experience when putting them together with family and friends. The best model airplane kit is the Guillow's P-51 Mustang, perfect for those seeking a touch of challenge and plenty of detail in their builds. What to know before you buy a model airplane kit. Who it's for. There are all sorts of different model airplane kits, some of which are better suited to certain intended uses. If the model airplane is intended..."

U.S. Air Force - Precision Approach Radar

U.S. Air Force Recruitment - Precision Approach Radar, March 1961 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and RocketsThis is pretty cool. A recruitment ad for the U.S. Air Force appeared in the March 1961 issue of American Modeler magazine showing the type of precision approach radar (PAR) that I worked on while in the service. It was part of the AN/MPN−14 Landing Control Central system which was a mobile combat unit consisting of airport surveillance radar (ASR) and PAR primary radar, a TPX−42 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) synthetic radar, an AN/GPA−131 data mapper, and AN/ARC−? VHF/UHF radios. Alignment of the display for glide slope (top) and course line (bottom), and mile markers, was a complicated procedure involving twisting multiple interdependent control knobs until the sweeps met with a template. It was not a raster type sweep like a vintage CRT television, but like a old fashioned oscilloscope sweep instead where x-y data was fed to the deflection coils...

How NOT to Retrieve a Model

How NOT to Retrieve a Model, from April 1957 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsEvery month in Model Aviation, the AMA's monthly publication, there is a "Safety" column that reports on model-related accidents and issues like not charging Li−Po batteries in appropriate containers, not smoking around glow fuel and gasoline, not flipping your propeller with a bare finger, etc. Many moons ago the big safety concern was not flying control line models too near to high voltage power lines. This photo from the April 1957 edition of American Modeler shows some guy attempting to retrieve a radio control model from its landing spot atop a set of telegraph wires. He is standing on a barbed wire fence using a wooden pole to prod it off the lines. The captions asks, "Who knows line voltage?"

Dwight D. Eisenhower Private Pilot Certificate

Dwight D. Eisenhower Private Pilot Certificate - Airplanes and Rockets"In an enduring image of the Second World War, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, huddled with members of the 101st Airborne Division on the eve of D-Day. Later he watched as a procession of C-47s took off carrying numerous paratroopers, many of whom died later that night. Eisenhower and his companions saluted each plane. 'It was a painfully moving and exhilarating experience,' his biographer Carlos D'Este wrote, 'and the closest he would come to being one of them.' In fact, Eisenhower did know a little of the terror and thrill of flight. There were near-crashes as he learned to pilot a Stearman trainer. 'Because I was learning to fly at the age of forty-six,' Eisenhower wrote, 'my reflexes were slower than those of younger men.' Once, a sandbag jammed the control stick..."

Model Plane Landing Gears

Model Plane Landing Gears, December 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsBelieve it or not, there are still some people who scratch build their own model airplanes or build kits that require bending and even soldering music wire for making landing gear. I fall into that category, although I occasionally buy a pre-built model to use while projects are on the building board. This article from a 1954 Air Trails has some handy tips and illustrations to help someone doing doing landing gears for the first time and maybe even for seasoned landing gear builders. In fact, after reading this article, I implemented step #8 that shows a good way to assure that the wheel retaining washer is soldered perpendicular to the axel. If you do not use a jig of some sort, the surface tension of the molten solder tends to pull the washer askew because of the proximity of the bend in the wire between the wheel axel and where it leads up to the fuselage. The phenomenon occurs because the natural action of the solder is to minimize surface tension everywhere...

Delanne and His Duo-Monoplanes

Delanne and His Duo-Monoplanes, October 1950 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsThe October 1950 issue of Air Trails magazine did a duo-feature on Henri Delanne and his Duo-Monoplane designs. This article reports on the life and accomplishments of Delanne and his out-of-the-box concept of what an airplane should look like. While not quite canards, they did have the wing far back on the fuselage, and larger than usual horizontal stabilizer surfaces (essentially a second wing - almost a biplane with sever staggering) and dual vertical fins. Flying surfaces were so close to each other that airflow from the forward wing had to profoundly affect the rearward wing. Wind tunnels, pioneered by Wilbur and Orville Wright, were available for study of such configurations, but it would be very interesting to see on of Delannes Duo-Monoplanes modeled on a modern software simulator using computational fluid dynamics algorithms...

Aviation Tech We Wish We Had...

Aviation Tech We Wish We Had... - Airplanes and Rockets"We posed a simple question to top people in a few leading aviation companies and asked - regulations, market impacts, and investment aside - how can technology improve aviation and what should be commonplace that we don't currently have? The answers were interesting, insightful, and surprisingly consistent. Connectivity Our lives nearly depend on connectivity. Work, communication, social interactions, home management, and virtually everything in our world rely on sharing information with other people and other devices. Except in the aircraft. With limited exceptions our aircraft remain black holes of connectivity. We have radios and receive GPS signals, but until you get into large business jets and airlines, other communication and information sharing is sparse at best. Maybe because of marketing to business jet owners..."

59 Nats Hailed Great Success

'59 Nats Hailed Great Success (July 1959 Model Aviation News Bulletin) - Airplanes and RocketsHere is a report on the 1959 Nats, aka the 28th National Model Airplane Championships, held at Los Alamitos Naval Air Station, California. For those not familiar with the early Nats, the U.S. Navy used to sponsor and host the entire show primarily because it was considered a good recruitment tool for young men of a necessarily competitive nature. Their hopes were that those guys would see really cool stuff at the base and anxiously anticipate the day when they could join. Some time in the late 1960s, the attendance by youngsters was so low that the Navy decided to pull its support. Bill Winter managed to talk them into staying for a few more years after promising to work to bring youth participation back up, but, alas, it did not last...

Model Airplanes from Sears and JCPenny Christmas Wish Books

Model Airplanes from Sears and JCPenny Christmas Wish Books - Airplanes and RocketsPerusing through some old Christmas Wish Book issues printed by the likes of Sears, Ward, JC Penny, Spiegel, etc., turned up quite a few model airplane types. Joe Ott and Comets stick and tissues kits were available as were Cleveland as static display models. Many fuel-powered, ready-to-fly models that pre-dated the Cox line used the Wen Mac .049 engines with much-heralded "Rotomatic," "Cyclomatic," and "Flexomatic" starters, which were variations on the simple spring type starter used by Cox. One particularly interesting item is the "Remote Control Unit" that appeared in the 1958 Wards catalog for control line airplanes. It allowed the pilot to operate controls from outside the flying circle. I'm guessing no beginner ever got one of those to work - it was unlikely enough that he would be successful holding the handle from inside the circle...

Thomas W. Haas We All Fly Gallery

Thomas W. Haas We All Fly Gallery - Airplanes and Rockets"A new gallery in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum devoted to the largest category of human activity in the air - general aviation. Scheduled to open in 2022, the Thomas W. Haas We All Fly gallery will help define the wide world of general aviation and, through interactive exhibits and audiovisual displays, explore its impact on everyday life and how it has influenced society. Most people experience flight aboard airliners, and a great many have flown in military aircraft. General aviation is everything else - private pilots who fly for fun and those who, like Mock, set records; performers who fly aerobatics and compete in races; and professional pilots who fly for all kinds of practical reasons other than fighting wars or moving cargo..."

Russian Modelers Seek Service in Salt Mines!

Russian Modelers Seek Service in Salt Mines!, November/December 1963 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThis short tongue-in-cheek article about the use of salt mines in Communist countries like Romania for indoor free flight contests was appeared in a 1963 issue of American Modeler magazine, at a time when the Cold War was in full swing, your neighbor might have built a nuclear shelter in his back yard, and kids practiced getting under their desks in the event of a wave of incoming ICMBs tipped with MIRVs. In fact, the FAI world championships have been held in Romanian salt mines a few times, and they will return there in 2014. BTW, for those too young to remember, it used to be a common joke to talk about sending someone to the Siberian salt mines as a form of punishment...

Peanuts Toys from the 1969 Sears Christmas Wish Book

Peanuts Toys - Featuring Snoopy the Astronaut from the 1969 Sears Christmas Wish Book - Airplanes and RocketsHere on page 541 of the Sears 1969 Christmas Wish Book is a wide selection of Peanuts paraphernalia, including books, calendars, ribbons, coloring books, hand bags, and Snoopy the Astronaut dolls. If you look for the authentic Astronaut Snoopy dolls (item #4 in the photo) today on eBay, you'll find that they regularly sell for $250 or more. I've been a big Peanuts fan for all my life (more than 60 years, sigh), and I have a few collectibles, but nothing worth much - a few old comic strip books, and some glasses/mugs. I have all the fairly recent biographies on Charles Schulz, which provide an interesting insight into his childhood, WWII Army years, and career path from working as an art instructor up to his final years drawing Peanuts...

Wisecrack-Ups

Wisecrack-Ups, February 1941 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsA little levity is good comic relief from the burdens of the day. These half-dozen quips from a 1941 edition of Flying Aces magazine are the perfect pick-me-up for an otherwise mundane day... as well as for an otherwise good day! You will probably notice that the style of humor is a different than what would be seen today. Other magazine of the era, like The Saturday Evening Post, often contained short pieces interspersed throughout the pages with similar odd-sounding poems and quips...

Standard Aircraft Company Model "J"

Standard Aircraft Company Model "J" Drawings, January 1955 Model Airplane News - Airplanes and RocketsIf the Standard Aircraft Company's model Standard "J" looks a lot like the Curtiss JN−4 "Jenny," there's a good reason - it was manufactured to supplement the Army's urgent need for trainer planes. Its two-seater configuration provided the student-instructor accommodation not available in the high-powered, single-seat fighter and patrol aircraft. The January 1955 issue of Model Airplanes News magazine contained a two-page spread of some of the most highly detailed line drawings you will find of the Standard "J," inked by Willis L. Nye. Mr. Nye produced many such fine quality drawings for both model airplane and professional aeronautical magazines...

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Amazon Prime - Airplanes and RocketsThis website exists entirely on the support of its visitors by way of a small percentage earned with your Amazon.com purchases. It typically works out to less than $10 per month. That barley covers the domain registration and secure server fees. If you plan to buy items via Amazon.com, please begin your shopping session from the AirplanesAndRockets.com website so that I get credit for it. Doing so does not cost you anything extra. Thank you for your support.

Comet Curtiss JN4-D Jenny Biplane

Comet Curtiss JN4-D Jenny Biplane - Airplanes and RocketsMy father's side of the family hearkened from the Buffalo, New York area, but we lived in Mayo, Maryland, where my mother's family resided. Most summers my father's sister, Bonnie (my aunt) and her husband, Brian (my uncle) would load my grandparents and another uncle or two into their big cruiser and drive down for a week. It was always a great time. Every five years or so, my parents braved a trip with my siblings and me up to Buffalo. I loved it up there because of the cool weather. Sometime around 1972, we made the trek and while there, in-between going to Niagara Falls, Crystal Beach, and other nearby attractions, I built from a Comet kit the Curtiss JN4-D Jenny biplane shown below. My Uncle Brian cleared a spot in his basement for me to work. I left it for him as a decoration. The years passed... and passed... and passed...

Apollo 11 Ascent Stage May Still Be Orbiting Moon

Apollo 11 Ascent Stage May Still Be Orbiting Moon - Airplanes and Rockets"James Meador, an independent researcher at the California Institute of Technology, has found evidence that suggests the Apollo 11 ascent stage may still be orbiting the moon. He has written a paper outlining his research and findings and has posted it on the arXiv preprint server. In 1969, NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made history when they landed a craft successfully on the moon. After more than 21 hours on the surface, the astronauts blasted off the surface in a part of the Eagle lander called the ascent stage. They soon thereafter rendezvoused with Michael Collins in the command module which carried them back to Earth. Before departing for Earth, the ascent stage was jettisoned into space - NASA engineers assumed that it would crash back to the moon's surface sometime later. Meador reports that the ascent stage may not have crashed into the moon after all and might, in fact, still be orbiting the moon..."

Sketchbook, May 1968 American Aircraft Modeler

Sketchbook, May 1968 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThis "Sketchbook" was scanned from the July 1968 American Aircraft Modeler magazine. 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. This month's building tips include a method for making scale WWI machine guns, fabricating scale flat-head rivets and screws, properly balancing an airplane, and a holding jig for use when soldering...

Wakefield Model Photos by Peter W.

Wakefield Model Photos by Peter W. - Airplanes and RocketsHere are some photos of very nicely built and finished Wakefield models from UK modeler Peter W. He is an active contester. Peter originally contacted me ask to the Langley Mulvihill article and plans from the July 1962 American Modeler magazine to be scanned and posted, which I did.

Programmable Dynamic Attitude-Aware Motor Speed Control for Electric-Powered Control Line Aircraft

A Programmable Dynamic Attitude-Aware Motor Speed Control for Electric-Powered Control Line Aircraft - Airplanes and RocketsThere is currently a big shift from internal combustion engines to electric motors for powering model vehicles of all sorts - airplanes, helicopters, boats, and cars - and of all control modes - autonomous (free flight), radio control, and control-line. The state of motor and battery technology has passed the point where the weight and thrust available with electric power meets or exceeds that of engines for most applications. Costs are pretty much at parity as well when you compare engine vs. motor and fuel vs. battery acquisition and cost of ownership over the life of the power system. All sorts of useful electronic peripheral equipment has been developed for use with electric motor power: programmable electronic speed controllers, motor cutoffs based on altitude and/or elapsed time for free flight, motor timer/speed controls for control line, and even engine noise generators to give life-like sound to otherwise eerily quiet war birds and commercial transports, to name a few. These devices had made the switch to electric power nearly seamless for most flyers...

Dope Can, March 1961 American Modeler

Dope Can, March 1961 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and Rockets"Dope Can" was a monthly roundup of aeromodeler news and views which ran in American Modeler magazine (which was re-named American Aircraft Modeler in 1968). This March 1961 edition covered a lot of ground, as did all Dope Can columns. A "Hummin' Boid" towline-launch R/C glider with a 9-foot wingspan took the "My Favorite Model" photo prize for the month. Well known in control line circles (pun intended) Hi Johnson has a new stunter design he dubbed "Stunt Supreme." Then, there's the 0.006 cubic inch displacement Hummingbird diesel engine - claims to be the world's smallest, and I believe it. The Jacksonville "Prop Kickers," incredibly still in existence today, was endowed with the "Club of the Month" honor. A big deal is made of the action photo on the magazine cover. Remember that back in the day, there were no microprocessor-controlled, auto-focusing, light-level-setting lenses and irises that could make a rank amateur's photos look like a seasoned professional's, so a lot of planning and test runs were required...

   
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