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Chairman’s Corner for July – Aug 2020

Hey guys, not a whole lot to talk about this month but still a few items.

With the county locking down again due to increased virus activity – I hope everybody is staying safe!

After arriving very early a couple of weeks ago to find a homeless gentleman sleeping on a table near gate 6, I would say it’s not a bad idea to disinfect tables before using them. Thanks for keeping up the sanitation of our portable restroom. It is nice to have it available for use!

For now I would like to keep the gate mainly closed and have members pass through and close it behind them. This is primarily to keep our club from having a bunch of random people on site and risking losing access if the wrong person notices and reports a lack of social distancing. The new combination locks seem to be working out after some initial drama. Thank you for your patience.

A BIG Thank you to Mark Davis for the hard work you put in repairing and updating four of the work tables on site! They should last for many years to come. I always appreciate the members who step up selflessly.

I don’t know yet whether Electroglide or T-28 racing events will be held in August, it will depend on the Covid requirements at that time and the decision will be made by the race master, Steve Neu and the Electroglide king, Jeff Struthers. Keep an eye on your emails for more information.

For now, our Monthly fun fly events, hot dogs, and meetings at the field are still on hold. The plus side is that the prize money we are saving will be available to allow us to still hold our yearly banquet in January ( Covid willing).

Finally, with the summer heat upon us please remember to bring sunscreen, portable shade, and enough liquids to stay hydrated while on site.

Fly them if you can, but please stay safe doing so!


Brad with Extra taxiing

An MQ-9 Story pt.6 – 3D Missiles & Bombs (continued)

By Bob Kreutzer

Locked down, but not out.

Last issue I showed my “lock down project”. A good friend lent me His Ender 2 3D printer. At ~$200 it is an absolutely great deal on an entry level 3D printer. I can recommend it. I wanted to add a full ordinance load onto my MQ-9 project. So I jumped in with both feet and learned a new skill. Like most things, once you get the hang of it, well it becomes pretty easy. Basically there are 3 steps.

1: Obtain an STL file of what you want to print.

2: Download a slicing program (more on that)

3: Put your sliced STL file into the printer and press the on button.

OK. An STL file is to a 3D printer as a PDF file is to a regular printer. Nothing more.

A slicing program (I used CURA and do recommend it highly) allows you to place the project in the proper place on the 3D printer bed. It also allows you to size it to your needs. You press the SLICE button and everything magically happens. Then tell it to copy onto a SD card.

Take the SD card and insert it into the 3D printer. Scroll through like, 2- 3 menu options and press “PRINT”. That’s pretty much it.

So here is what I did:

Hell Fire missile on the printer bed. I found printing vertically was best.

Continue reading

Treasury Report for July 2020

We are at 280 members as of 7/21/2020. We’re seeing more members signing up now as the field reopens. We are ahead of budget this year due to fewer expenses on club events. The club also earned $120 in interest from a CD that matured in July. It’s great to see more people come to the field recently while maintaining social distancing. Thank you all for supporting this club!

I’ll see you at the field,


Find the Correct Center of Gravity for Your Plane

I have started a new section on our website aimed at helping flyers learn a little more about their planes’ performance.  The first section to be completed is the Center of Gravity (CG) calculator.  

We all know that sometimes model manufacturers do not get the CG location correct for your model.  For example: My 59″ Kyosho Hawker Hurricane ARF had the CG location placed about 5/8″ too far aft, making it nearly impossible to fly.  After a simple calculation, the correct CG was determined and the plane flies like a dream.

The CG calculator below very accurately determines the optimum location for your CG.  It takes into account both the wing and horizontal stabilizer.  It also gives you a lot more information about your plane.  Below is a picture of the real calculator.  Click on it to go to our new web page.

Pics From The Old Days at Mile Square Park

There used to be a nice RC flying field in Fountain Valley located in Mile Square Park.  Charles L. sent in some pics taken back in the early to mid-80s.  Featured are Steve Neu, Steve Manganelli and Larry Jolly pylon racing.  Steve Neu has provided some captions.

Join Schübeler Technologies for our 1st Aeromodelling Expo


Don’t miss the 1st

Virtual Aeromodelling Expo

In light of many of our favorite air shows and jet modeling events getting canceled or postponed, we thought we’d try to bring the show to you! So, please join us for the first International Virtual Extreme Jet Aeromodelling Expo, brought to you by Schübeler Technologies.

The virtual expo will take place on Tuesday, July 28 with 2 shows to choose from.  Enjoy the show in English at 9am Eastern Standard time or in German at 9am Central European Time.

CLICK HERE to register or copy and past this link into your browser: https://bit.ly/3j4ZXAX

During this Expo we will be joined by Christian Wileschek a Schübeler Jets Sales specialist and Aeromodelling enthusiast to take a closer look at his latest Aeromodelling project and some of the highly efficient and robust drive systems from Schübeler Jets.

Watch a flight, learn about Schübelers EDF product-line and capabilities and get some tips on getting started in this fun and exciting hobby!

We’re also looking for other aeromodellers who would like to show off their projects, connect with other enthusiasts and share their flight experiences.  Let us know if you’d like to feature one of your projects in an upcoming Expo?

Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you at the first International Virtual Extreme Jet Aeromodelling Expo, brought to you by Schübeler Technologies.

Best regards,

The team at Schübeler Jets



Date: Tuesday, July 28
Time: English- 9am ET  or German- 9am CET
Registration: https://bit.ly/3j4ZXAX



Chairman’s Corner for June – July 2020

Welcome back Flyers!

 As we finish our third week of being allowed back into our site, I want to thank all of you for your patience as we were negotiating with the city, county, and Park Services for approval to re-enter and resume operations at our field.

One major change is that we are now using a combination lock at the entry gate and on the Porta potty. Current members have received emails from the club with the combination, and new members will have the combination printed on the back of their membership card once it gets mailed out. The expectation will be to change the combination with yearly membership. The city’s new keyed lock on the gate will no longer open using the previous key – that key will no longer fit in the lock – please don’t attempt to force it in.

 Last weekend we were able to allow access to our on-site porta potty. As you can imagine, three months of no use lead to a couple thousand earwigs and a couple of fat spiders taking up residence. I have sprayed bug barrier throughout and terminated all the spiders I could find, but it would be in your best interest to take a good look around before sitting down in there! Posted on the door and inside the bathroom itself are the cleaning requirements that will keep us in the good graces of county and Park services. In the bathroom is a 2 gallon liquid sprayer containing diluted disinfectant that is EPA approved. Please put a light spray on any areas you have touched before exiting.

Seen over the past few weekends while I’ve been on site, and from the feedback I have received from the weekday crew – The consensus is that we are not experiencing overcrowding or people having to wait their turn in the parking lot. I appreciate that everyone is sharing the site! As we move forward please remember there are still social distancing requirements In-place, including separating ourselves in the parking areas near the logs, on the tables, and at the flight line gates. Anytime we are within 6 feet of each other we should be wearing masks as currently required by state/county protocols.

For now we have not determined whether we are going to resume Club events in July, August, or September. Please pay attention to the email blasts from the club for updates. Right now Covid cases are on the rise again in San Diego county likely due to the protests that occurred around memorial day. If numbers continue to rise, we will do our part and hold off on the organized events for a couple more months.  I have received member feedback that some are not receiving all of the mail blasts from the club. The solution is simple, contact the Editor editor@sefsd.org.

Recently a notification came from the FAA stating that all pilots that originally registered with the FAA with 2015 will require renewal of their FAA registration by December. There are a lot of sites out there that will process your registration for a fee between $15.00 and $50.00 – but that is not required if you go to the RIGHT site.  It’s not too bad, begin by going to  https://faadronezone.faa.gov/ and towards the bottom of the page you will see a line that will allow you to log in to your existing account. You may have to reset your password… Once logged in, you will see an option to renew. Check that you understand the safety guidelines and it will take you to the payment page. Before you pay, it will tell you that you will get a new registration number, but by using this process of logging in to my existing account before paying, it renewed my current registration number for three years – so I do not have to replace the numbers in any of my airplanes.

Usually we whoop it up pretty big at the club for Independence Day. Sadly, that is just not practical this year. Let’s just think of it as a normal use day. Seaworld has announced that there will not be fireworks, and the current agreements with the FAA and western division of Air Traffic Controllers prohibit flying recreational models between dusk and dawn. If we do a banquet fundraiser raffle this year, it will likely be on Labor day.

I heard of a lot of projects that were completed while we were in lockdown, I would appreciate if you share your projects with everyone! Share your repair/build experiences and make the newsletter more fun!  [Please submit your articles to: Editor@sefsd.org]

Again, pay attention to emails from the club for any updates concerning Electroglide and Mini T-28 Racing.

It’s been great to see a lot of you, and I’m looking forward to meeting the new members!


Click the pic of Brad for an album of “Return to Flight!” pics from Frank Sutton.

Thanks Brad!

Please give Brad Bender a hardy, and well deserved, “Thank you” the next several times you see him.  He has tirelessly monitored the restrictions placed upon our flying site.  He stayed in near constant communication with the Parks Dept. Rangers and the SD Police.  He got the field opened up, arranged for the field cleaning and repair, and most recently, even got the Porta Poti opened back up by instituting a strict cleaning regiment that the Rangers found acceptable.  (I personally thank him from the bottom of my bladder).  It is this kind of leadership that makes our club truly exceptional.  So please, say: “Thanks Brad!”, shower him with gifts, offer to fly his planes for him, stop peeing on his wheels, or whatever you need to do to show your appreciation.

Steve B.

Mark Davis’ Latest – The 90mm Avanti

I finally finished the 1.9m Avanti XS (120mm EDF on 12S).  Everything is ready to go except for me – I haven’t flown in two months. I thought these pilots needed kindergarten-level controls, so Bert has buttons for “Fly” and “Land.”  (I don’t know why most cockpits are more complex than this, because that pretty much covers 100% of what an airplane needs to do.)  Ernie is a bit more negative in his outlook.

FMS T-28 Expert Setup for Pylon Racing

Setting up your T-28 to race by Steve Neu.

The most important thing that many people miss when starting to race RC planes is that going fast is nothing without control! The FMS T-28 is a small plane and setting it up to race IS very different than for your basic sport flying. Getting the CG and control throws dialed in are key to getting the plane to “go fast and turn left” and keep in control. As a racer running at full throttle— the elevator and aileron travels needed are minimal. A properly setup T-28 will actually be easy to fly with only small control deflections.

The control throws suggested in the FMS instructions are intended for a plane flying much slower on a 2S battery. We are flying much faster with 3S. Here are the control deflections I have on my plane:

Ailerons: 6mm up 6mm down

Elevator: 3mm up, 3mm down

Rudder: 6mm left, 6mm right

CG measured from edge of wing at fuselage opening 71-72 mm—see picture below.

I like about 30-40% expo on both aileron and elevator—helps make the plane less sensitive around center making it easier to do fine adjustments to the plane’s track. A little nose heavy helps make the plane positively stable in pitch and the elevator less sensitive but the recommended CG in the FMS instructions is too nose heavy for my taste. Too rearward CG locations will make the plane neutral in pitch stability or even negative which will make it more difficult to find a stable track down the course. The trade offs in moving the GC is stability vs turning ability with the aft CG setup being able to turn more quickly. You need to be careful with the CG and elevator throws in that if you get too aggressive the plane will tend to snap roll in tight turns.

If you find the racing setting a little too mild for take off/landing and general sport flying I suggest setting up a dual rate switch so you can easily swap from control rate one to another.

Some of you did not read my previous article regarding the “AD” for the nose wheel strut—I learned the hard way that on our rough field the stock strut puts the nose wheel too close to the prop which will result in props getting busted when the blade hits the nose wheel rubber. The fix is easy—just turn the nose wheel around (be sure to put a flat on the shaft on the opposite side!).

Our first T-28 race will be in July!

Steve Neu’s Prop Adapter for the FMS T-28 Pylon Racer

By Steve Neu – sneu@mac.com

After busting several of the rather fragile 3 bladed FMS 7×6 props I decided to come up with a clean solution to mount an APC 7x6E prop without having to resort to stacks of washers, as the motor does not have an adapter that will work with “normal” props. I designed some parts and thanks to the fact that my business has both a Haas CNC lathe and mill it was easy to get some of the adapters made. No mods of the motor or plane are needed—simply remove the old prop and plastic adapter and put the slotted drive plate in it’s place. Install the smallest hole reducer that comes with the APC prop and balance the prop and slip it over the shaft—then install and tighten the spinner nut and you are done—ready to go race again. I made enough so others who need them can get them—I will keep some in the car so if you need one let me know when you see me at the field. I am optimistic that we will be in a position that T-28 racing can get going again in July.

Bill Allen’s Projects for May

Here are my May projects: the Ryan STA is a 57” Great Planes ARF from Tower. Needed a smallish wheeled plane as we just got a new site at the school near my house available Wednesday evenings. Nice paved play area leading into a large soccer field. The Skyray was inspired by a foamy project in last months model aviation magazine.

Treasurer’s Report for June/July 2020

I’m very excited that we’re finally open for flying again! I went flying the last two weekends, and the field has been pretty quiet. Last Sunday, I had a nice little impromptu picnic at the field with Brad, Lisa, and Steve when Lisa brought some mouth watering chile relleno and pozole. I couldn’t have asked for a better Sunday!
We have 268 members as of June 23rd, and our finances are healthy. Even though we’re not able to raise funds for the holiday party this year, we had a generous donation by John Forester’s estate and AMA grant that fully funds our events for the remainder of the year. I look forward to seeing you all again soon as the county continues to re-open.
Stay Safe!
6S batteries were strategically placed to hold down the tablecloth when the wind picked up.

FAA – Recreational Flyer Registration Renewals

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Recreational Flyer Registration Renewals

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has important registration information for drone recreational flyers whose registration was automatically extended until December 12, 2020.

Your registration expires in 180 days and you can now renew it in your FAADroneZone dashboard:

Drone Registration Dashboard

  • Once you click ‘renew’ the process is the same as when you initially registered.
  • Once you have renewed, to print an updated registration card: Login to the FAADroneZone, select the Recreational Flyer Dashboard and select Print.

How much does it cost to renew a registration?
$5 through the FAADroneZone.

Why Was My Registration Extended?
The National Defense Authorization Act for 2018 restored the FAA’s registration rule with respect to model aircraft and recreational flying. If you registered prior to December 12, 2017 and did not request to have your registration information deleted, the FAA extended the expiration date until December 12, 2020, which is three years from the rule restoration date. If you requested a refund of registration fees, you would have had to re-register again after December 12, 2017. Therefore, your expiration date would now also be December 12, 2020, or later. At this time you can retain your registration number.

Questions? Contact UAShelp@faa.gov

State of the Art in Electric Full Size Aircraft

Click the pics below for their stories:

The key players in the emerging eVTOL air taxi market


HyPoint’s “turbo fuel cells” promise huge range and power for eVTOLs


Electric Cessna lifts off as the world’s largest zero-emission aircraft


Pipistrel Velis Electro earns first all-electric aircraft type certification

Chairman’s Corner for May-June 2020

Sorry guys,

As of this writing, Mission Bay Park is still closed to any non-boating, non-exercise (sandy beach only) related activities. It is a fluid situation, and I am really hoping that it changes prior to Memorial Day weekend! We are keeping a close eye on the situation, and even though new recommendations were sent to the Governor on Tuesday, requesting more openings in San Diego, the response has not been publicized as of this writing.  I also heard that Balboa Park and Mission Bay Park will remain closed longer after other parks reopen due to the manpower required for the place to keep an eye on these extremely large areas. I hope it’s not true!

As I mentioned in my weekly updates, some other local clubs in the San Diego area (but not on the beach) have reopened. In the past couple of weeks I have joined and flown with the Chollas RC Flyers, and as a guest at the Chula Vista Model Radio Control Club. Both clubs were very welcoming and accommodating. I hope you’re getting out while being careful!

One thing I want to discuss is how we are going to reopen our area when the time comes. Once we have an indication that we can access the site, The Board of Directors will be looking for a few volunteers to join us on-site getting it ready for recreational activities. That will involve placing some City and County mandated signs at the gate, and within the flying site outlining the directives that we must follow: such as limiting the numbers using the site at one time, and explicit social distancing requirements. In the beginning we will be limiting the number of vehicles allowed to park near the pits to 20. Most of the work tables are long enough to share from opposite ends, but the short ones will be limited to one person per table. Each 9 foot gate can be used by two people distancing themselves to each end. If there are vehicles in the parking lot waiting to pull up to the tables, we are asking members to limit their flying time, at the beginning, to two hours then move away and let other members move up and fly. We are not going to be the table police, but I’m asking you all to share the site with each other on your honor. Due to strict cleaning requirements every 2 hours if opened, the Porta Potty will remain locked until further notice. Facilities will be available at the boat ramp if in dire need. Once things level out a bit we will look into reinstating the monthly event calendar, and possibly electroglide and Mini Trojan racing. Randy had a chance to take a look at the field in the last 2 weeks and most of our chairs have migrated away. Please plan to bring chairs with you, and if you have some old ones you would like to donate, we could use them!

While I do miss flying at our club, I miss interacting with the members most of all. I want to thank Scott Charity for helping me check the final balance, and standing by when I did the maiden flight on my 125” Extra 300 at Chollas, and Jim Bonnardel who was my wingman at Chula Vista for subsequent flights last weekend. Steve Neu also spent an evening basically soldering jumper cables ( 6AWG wire ) on to the battery packs  as needed to support a 330 amp draw to hover a 46 lb plane.  Thanks guys!!!

John at Discount Hobbies currently has both of his stores open for curbside service.  His hours have varied for the last two weeks, so please call before going to the store. You can call ahead and check if particular items are in stock, or order at the door. Sorry, no browsing.  It is critical that we support him in these times or we could lose his store fronts all together!

I hope to see you all soon, Stay safe!


SEFSD Founder Chuck Grim Has Passed

My Friend Chuck Grim

By Steve Manganelli

To most current members of SEFSD, Chuck was the guy in the cool red Tesla Model X. Few people know that Chuck is actually the founder of SEFSD! I don’t think Chuck flew in several years having battled cancer for most of the last 10; his health not sufficient to allow him to participate in our pastime. Chuck was always the quiet guy, tirelessly turning the cranks behind the scenes; never the loudmouth front man, always the selfless supporter. To me Chuck was both a friend and co-worker, we were both career Engineers at NAVAIR/North Island, him retiring about 2010 and myself in 2019.

Turning back the clock to about 1990, Chuck knew that Steve Neu and myself were experimenting with electric powered R/C models. Chuck suggested, “Why don’t you bring one to work and demonstrate it for us during lunch in the newly built park in Coronado”. Sounded like a plan to me, I brought a 7-cell racer I’d designed called the DC Tempest. That was (7) 1.2 Ah round cells, not 7S something or the other, more like 2S1200 but weighed more like 3S3300! With a crowd of other Engineers including Kurt Fowler, Lynn Heffern and of course Chuck eagerly looking on, the DC tempest was tossed and made that park seemed tiny. Talk about turn around maneuvers, that’s all I could do! Fortunately all of San Diego Bay was available to set up my landing approach nothing went wrong during a couple of minutes of loops and rolls; the Tempest settled into the grass without problems. The assembled crowd of Chuck’s fellow Engineers were suitably impressed. Chuck clearly thought there was a future in electric powered R/C.

Not too much later, I was hanging out in Chucks office when he said something like “Steve, this electric thing is clearly viable, what do you think about starting a new club in San Diego dedicated to electric propulsion?” “We would be strictly electric, no ICE would be allowed, and because we’re avowed to be quiet, finding a club field should be easy!” At that time, I was unaware that Chuck was dabbling in R/C modeling and was experimenting with E-power also. I said, “OK sounds like a plan”. We (probably he, because that was Chuck) ginned up a flyer announcing an introductory meeting, we set a date a few weeks in the future at some community center I don’t remember. We distributed these flyers to all the Hobby shops in town (there were 5 or 6 back then, sadly more than there are now). We were astonished that more than 30 people showed up and by the end of that meeting we agreed to form a club and collected $5 dues from each person present. Of course, as organizers of the group, myself and Chuck and probably Steve Neu were sitting at the head table pontificating over the assembled masses. When the dust cleared, Chuck managed to elect himself Treasurer or Secretary and myself as President! Pretty darn crafty for someone for which a club was his own idea! One topic of discussion is what we would name ourselves. “Prop Busters” or “Battery Burners” of San Diego certainly wouldn’t do. Chuck wanted us to have a more regal moniker. Chuck already had a name “Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego”, which was derived from Silent Electric Flyers of Long Island, an East Coast group whose exploits Chuck admired and I’m sure he hoped we’d eventually usurp.

Chuck, never the hero observed Steve Neu and others flying FAI-F5B and managed to get himself “appointed” as Team Manager for at least (3) bi-annual World Championship Teams. The Team Manager is the person whom gets to use his spare time, “spare” vacation time and money to organize a trip to Europe carrying huge model boxes, trying to get the AMA to pay for everything, find hotels, transportation and the penultimate achievement : participate in an International Team Managers meeting where minutia of rules are argued vainly in English, each TM trying to gain advantage for his home team. After that, you get to sit in the sun for a (2) day toy airplane contest followed by a (4) or (5) day toy airplane contest!

Between his and my retirements, Chuck and I were discussing work at North Island. After several organizational changes and reorganizations we both concluded that I in fact occupied the closest thing that remained to Chuck’s former position in charge of Aircraft Avionics Engineering which was a country mile from where we were when the club was started. Hmmm, how did Chuck manage to hand me down his old Federal job?

After excusing himself from shepherding any more US FAI-F5B World Championship Teams, Chuck took on the equally thankless task of leading the US FAI-F5 Team Selection Committee. This fun job involves developing and maintaining various Team Selection Program Plans, seeing to it that proper US World Championship Teams are fairly created via sanctioned competitive events and the winning Team Members names are dutifully conveyed to the AMA.

Sometime after Chuck’s health deteriorated, Steve Neu twisted my arm into taking on the task of US FAI-F5 Team Selection Program Manager…wait a minute this was Chuck’s job! Dang it Chuck, you did it to me again! And I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We’ll miss the selfless courage you used to fight illness for many years and your irreverent humor. Wishing you forever blue skies, light winds, perfect landings and batteries that always stay charged. Goodbye old friend.