413 posts

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.

Steve Neu’s 73″ Twin Otter Project

One of my C19 plane projects.
I have always liked Twin Otters since flying in them a number of times when I was a kid. They are a “work truck” plane that can land and takeoff in the most improbable locations with just about anything that will fit in the fuselage. The DH6 first flew in 1965 and is still in production.
Back last autumn I saw that VQ Models (https://vqwarbirds.com/product/vq-dhc-6-twin-otter-73/) had a good deal on their version—if you were willing to order and wait a few months for them to take a slow boat from Vietnam. They finally arrived in late January—about the same time the C19 virus started making news here. So what better plane to build during the “stay at home” order than the DH6?
The basics for the VQ DH6:
73 inch wing span
RTF 7 lbs
Construction materials mostly balsa
Power: 2x Neu3814/950 Kv with Talon 35 controllers
props: APC 10×6 E
Servos: 6xHitec 4 mini and 2 std digital
battery 3500mAh 4S 35 C
Plane goes together pretty well —the instructions are fine for anyone who has some experience with more complex models. Twins with lots of servos require some work to avoid a wiring nightmare—so plan your work! The kit includes most of the hardware—one time that I ended replacing were the spinners which I could get to balance  to my satisfaction. I ended up going to Discount and picking up some Great Planes 2 inch spinners which solved then problem. The finished plane looks great with all the details—even the doors open!
Depending on when we get our field back the first flight will either happen at Mission Bay or Chollas very soon—all is ready and it has passed the taxi tests in the street at my house. Some pictures of the assembly process for your enjoyment.
Steve Neu

Tuan Adds Flaps to His 60″ FW-190

I did it!!
Took a loooong time because I didn’t know what I would find inside once the flaps were cut and luckily I cut correctly.  So a bit of thought put into building as I have nooooo experience. Those Zona saws are amazing and a must have, (Thanks to Brian!).  Since hinges are on top, and I couldn’t cut any angle on the bottom of the flaps, I had to add a 5mm wide spar on top. I think they came out as good as I can get it. I had extra  covering material from the kit, it’s a stick-on type. When  I was about to test, one of my servo died, so ordering now…
It was a very interesting and a fun project during lockdown. It was a toss-up between either I have a FW-190 with flaps or loss of a nice plane since I don’t have a spare wing, the don’t sell them..
Thank you again for all info before I started.

Odie and His 3D Printed GB R3 Racer

Odie sent in the pics below showing some of his 3D printed projects.  The blue plane is a GB R3.  This is a scratch build using mainly plastic 3D printed parts.  Like many models of full size planes there were compromises such as increasing the wing area to reduce the wing loading.  The chord was increased to 120% and the area increased to 160%.  Other challenges include making the plane light but also stiff and strong.  Wall thicknesses are alway in mind and must be kept thin as possible.  He says one needs a good printer to maintain the structural integrity of thin components.

He started with an imported drawing of the plane and created the segmented parts in a professional version of Solidworks.

To keep the tail light he uses balsa for the stabilizers.  This also helps with balance.  He uses a slicing program, along with Solidworks, to help calculate the weight and balance on the computer before printing the parts.

Printing time is proportional to the amount of plastic used (mass).  The GB took about 16 hours of printer time.  As with most 3D printed planes, the parts are printed in sections and glued or snapped together.

Spektrum Transmitter Switches

For those of you who have maybe jumped up and down on your transmitter screaming bad words after a bad landing, or just knocked the TX off a table, there are a few sources to get replacement switches.  Thanks to Frank Sutton’s efforts to get replacement switches for Alex’s transmitter (knocked off a table) your search is made easy.  Here is where they got theirs:

JK Electronics’ Website is at this link:  http://jkelectronics.com/
JK Electronics is located just off I-405 and the address/phone number is on their Website.  I don’t have the part number, but I’ve attached two photos showing both sides of the replacement toggle switch. One side it states “D Q 11” and on the other side it states “ON  OFF ON” and “2A 250VAC”, then “5A 120VAC”. This is the same thing in our Spektrum Transmitters. The price was right too, just under $3 each!


Brad found some transmitter switches at Digikey:

The website is  www.digikey.com

The 3 position long round switch – usually flap:
The 3 position short round switch :
The 2 position long flat switch:

WWII American Spitfire Pilot

An 18 year-old just out of high school was trained to take pictures of damage done to German targets  by B-17’s. He flew in a British Spitfire fitted with extra fuel tanks where the guns were. In other words, he flew over Germany unarmed…

WWII American Spitfire Pilot…

This is probably one of the best WWII film clips out there. Stored for 61 years in two suitcases of 16mm home movies that were inherited by filmmaker William Lorton from his great uncle who served as a Flight Surgeon. Those suitcases contained 3 hours of war footage that included a compelling crash landing of a Spitfire in 1944

Filmed in a 2005 interview with the now 83 year old pilot and seeing the expression on his face when he realizes it is him in the cockpit, is something you won’t soon forget.

At 18 years old, he was all alone, behind enemy lines, with no guns, no escort, and he gladly did it.

They just don’t make them like that anymore. It was truly the greatest generation and we owe them so much.

Two FAA Emails Regarding Remote ID

For Immediate Release
May 5, 2020
Contact: pressoffice@faa.gov

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced the eight companies that will assist the Federal government in establishing requirements for future suppliers of Remote Identification (Remote ID). Remote ID will enable Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly called drones, to provide identification and location information while operating in the nation’s airspace.

The FAA selected the following companies to develop technology requirements for future Remote ID UAS Service Suppliers (USS): Airbus, AirMap, Amazon, Intel, One Sky, Skyward, T-Mobile, and Wing. These companies were selected through a Request for Information process in December 2018.

“The FAA will be able to advance the safe integration of drones into our nation’s airspace from these technology companies’ knowledge and expertise on remote identification,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

This initial group will support the FAA in developing technology requirements for other companies to develop applications needed for Remote ID. The applications will provide drone identification and location information to safety and security authorities while in flight.

The technology is being developed simultaneously with the proposed Remote ID rule. Application requirements will be announced when the final rule is published. The FAA will then begin accepting applications for entities to become Remote ID suppliers. The FAA will provide updates when other entities can apply to become qualified Remote ID USS on FAA.gov.

Drones are a fast-growing segment of the transportation sector with nearly 1.5 million drones and 160,000 remote pilots now registered with the FAA. The agency’s ability to develop Remote ID technology simultaneously with the rule enables the FAA to continue to build on a UAS Traffic Management (UTM) system that has demonstrated global leadership through the small UAS rule and the implementation of the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC), which automates the application and approval process for most UAS operators to obtain airspace authorizations.



Remote ID Cohort Information

Thanks for the questions we received after yesterday’s press release on the Remote ID Cohort. To clarify, the Cohort is not part of the decision-making process for the proposed Remote ID rule final rule. The Cohort will help the FAA develop technology requirements for other companies to develop applications needed for Remote ID. The comment period on the Remote ID Notice of Proposed Rulemaking closed on March 2, 2020, and the FAA is reviewing the more than 53,000 comments.

If you are a member of the media, contact us at pressoffice@faa.gov and a public affairs specialist will respond.

If you are a drone operator with questions about Remote ID, or any other drone-related question, please email UAShelp@faa.gov or call 844-FLY-MY-UA.

Chairman’s Corner for April – May 2020

Hey guys,

It’s going on five weeks now since the city shut down the beach areas, and subsequently our flying field. I have had people sending me messages with recommendations for hidden flying sites, and I’ve also had one member tell me he received a $400.00 ticket for flying behind a Target store near I- 805. If you absolutely have to fly, please be careful. I, for one have still been at work, and have been staying home on the weekends – working on an “Apocalypse project”.

Sad news this month as we have had two SEFSD members pass away recently (NON-COVID). Jack Hix was an active member when I first joined the club in 2003. He was heavily involved in the club from the late 90’s to early 2000’s, and his personable attitude is one of the things that brought me back to flying with an AMA club after a 10 year break. I haven’t seen him for a while, but I remember his smile and his friendly influence In the club at that time. Also, John Foster passed away recently. For the last 20 years John has been an institution of training at the club and he was always willing to volunteer his time with new pilots with both an intensive ground school preflight training program, and then hands-on instruction. I know a lot of current pilots who spent time with John Forrester as they were getting their wings. Steve Belknap had a chance to meet John’s son this week as he was in town settling affairs, and will also make some comments in this newsletter. John will be sorely missed!

With the exception of the homeless people using Mission Bay Park during the virus outbreak, there should have been little to no traffic on our site. I am hoping the rain has done its job of smoothing out the runway surface, and that no one has slipped in during the evenings to do donuts in the parking lot. I do expect a problem with weed control on the runway proper upon eventual return.

Just a quick note I’m carrying over from last month: When we do return to the site – we will need your used, but still serviceable lawn furniture, and any decent carpeting that you may have replaced while stuck at home.

Not much else to write about since we haven’t had any events at the club since our initial T-28 race practice day mid March, so instead I’m going to paste a couple of pictures in. I get asked quite often just how I store my airplanes, and what my garage looks like. When I purchased my home the garage was unfinished. I had the chance of hanging the drywall myself and chose to Hang it right to the bottom of the roof joists. The first image is of the open ceiling space after I completed the sheet rock. This gives me quite a large space in the overhead to the peak to mount angle irons with pool noodles zip tied to them from which to hang my planes. If you look at the attached pictures, right now I have 68 planes in the garage from micros all the way up to 40% aircraft. And I can still fit a car in there! If anybody wants more specifics, please feel free to email me.

Here’s to hoping things normalize in May and we can get back to enjoying our great Hobby!


Thanks To Everyone Who Contributed!

When I sent out the request to let me know what you guys are doing on your COVID vacation, I never thought I would get such a tremendous response.  Thank you so much for your stories and pictures.  Never let it be said a modeler does not know how to keep himself occupied.  Below are the articles you sent in during the last couple weeks.  These are your editor’s favorite kinds of things.  I love to share what our members are doing with the readers.  Anything from a picture and a paragraph to full blown build article.  It is all appreciated! – Steve B.

“SEFSD Memories 2019”

(The video above starts 16 minutes from the beginning.  Click on the left end of the status bar to see it from the start.)

Frank Sutton, our intrepid photographer, has put together a beautiful collection of pictures and videos from 2019 for your enjoyment.  He says it best:

“This is the SEFSD 2019 Memories movie, 92 minutes of rocking music, videos and photos covering the flying highlights of the entire 2019 year! We recommend you get your favorite drink and pop some popcorn when you’re ready for that one – and crank your speakers up! Starring in this movie are the Pilots and Planes of Silent Electric Flyers San Diego, and the movie is dedicated to them. We hope that by watching it, the Pilots and their Friends and Families will be able to escape for at least 92 minutes from these uncertain times we’re in now.
  During these uncertain times, we all probably have a lot of spare time on our hands and little entertainment. We certainly can’t go flying! So, it took a national disaster for me to taxi down the runway and get this going, and it is about time too!
  In addition to our San Diego County Dash Cam Spy Channel on YouTube, we have a brand new Channel – Aviator Alex! We already have three short videos and one full-length feature movie ready for your viewing pleasure! Please take a look and give us a “Like” if you like it – and we think you will!
  For the moment, all the videos are with Silent Electric Flyers San Diego and flying via Radio Control (R/C), however, we will soon be adding more videos to include Alex’s adventures flying actual sailplanes a Lake Elsinore Soaring Airfield and Hemet Airport with Cypress Soaring (with a Go Pro camera in the air too!)! I have a lot of photos and videos ready to go, and too much time on my hands!
  Here’s the direct link to the new Aviator Alex YouTube Channel……
  And here’s four videos ready for your viewing pleasure……


Stay tuned, our new YouTube Channel Aviator Alex has just taken off!
Keep your seatbelts on, you ain’t seen nothing yet!”

Our Friend & Fellow Member John Forester

“Remembering John

John was born in London England October 1929.  His father was CS Forester, an author who wrote many books but was known for the Horatio Hornblower series and the African Queen

John served in the Navy for a short term before being honorably discharged.  He earned a Master of Science in 1964

He had three passions in life: Cycling, Taking pictures, and Flying model airplanes.

Cycling was not only a passion but a way of life for him. He started to ride in 1937 in England and then continue when they moved to California in 1940.  He was instrumental for helping to fight the battle against mandatory bike paths in 1972.

I remember him as always building and tinkering.  We made model boats and rubber band launched gliders out of balsa wood and tissue paper which would slowly circle before landing.  He also had several rubber band power planes.  I think it really changed for him with the advances in battery technology and then finally from analog to digital controls.  We would often talk about the issues with the analog controls.  He loved to fly and also to teach in his own style and was never afraid to give suggestions and guidance at the field.  He typically liked to fly on weekdays when it was less crowded so that on weekends other could fly.”  – Geoffrey Forester


I was happy when John come and sat with Alice, Sean & I at a table in the back of the room at the Harbor House this last January.  Little did I know that was the last time I would see him.  I heard from him a few days before he died.  We exchanged a couple emails where he asked if I thought someone from the club, who lived near him, might consider helping him if he needed it.  That was our last conversation.

During the dinner he showed me the response he had written to the FAA regarding their proposed new rules.  Well written, concise and to the point.  I was impressed how well written it was.  I just learned that John has been writing professionally for a long time.  He wrote Practical Cycling which is now in its seventh printing.  

John was a big contributor to our club.  He headed up the flight training program and many of today’s pilots learned to fly under his tutelage.  Maybe you have read his comprehensive article on learning to fly.

I received an email from his son Geoffrey a few days ago telling me he had passed in his home.  John was 90 years old.  – Steve B.


“I remember John Forrester as a kind gentleman and an avid competitor in our EMAC competition series. John rarely missed a chance to improve/demonstrate his flying skills in the BASIC class even though he probably surmised that just taking home his airplane in one piece was a successful endeavor! More recently, John’s reasoned and impassioned letters to the FAA defending our rights to fly our models without restrictions, registrations, etc. became the model for mine and other peoples’ writings on the subject. We’ll miss your charm and wit, John. Hope your skies above are filled with light to no winds, perfectly axial rolls and all 10 point round loops”.  – Steve Manganelli


“John Forester (1929 – 4/2020)

When I first contemplated joining SEFSD, John Forester was one of the members I connected with first.  It turned out that John and I shared a common background as subject matter experts; he consulted about bicycle cases while I worked on accident reconstruction cases.  Once I formally joined SEFSD, it became a weekend ritual for one of us to seek the other out for some good old fashioned flight line chatting.

John was well versed about many topics, but the two I recall the best were aero modeling and bicycling.  John was an engineer and those two fields of interest seemed to suit him to a tee.  Each was a science-based endeavor that clearly kept his mind active and heart young.  I think he was 83 when I met him and, irrespective of age, he was a remarkably good pilot. He even remained an SEFSD Flight Instructor until the last year or two.

I had earned his confidence, along the way, and he occasionally spoke with me about his active consulting cases.  I felt honored that he confided in me as a case-related sounding board and I enjoyed the time we shared together.

John’s influence can still be felt today since he was a staunch advocate for the bicycle transportation industry.  I’m convinced that bicyclists today owe a certain debt of gratitude to John and that many policies were advanced by him.

I’ll remember John Forester as a kind and intelligent person who will, no doubt, be missed.  Rest in Peace, my friend.

Eric Shapiro


Farewell to SEFSD Member Jack Hix

“Dearest friends of Jack,

My name is Sara, and I am Jack’s daughter. This post is to let you all know that, early Easter morning, my Dad passed away peacefully in his sleep. He had been receiving absolutely wonderful care for the past nine days from the staff at Day Break Retirement Villa and Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care. Everyone involved with both these organizations was so skilled at helping us navigate this difficult time under such extraordinary circumstances. We never imagined we would be saying goodbye to him over video chat, but the universe does what it does, and you just have to roll with the punches. I will be forever grateful to the staff at Day Break and Seasons. They made this confluence of events as easy as it could possibly have been considering this previously unfathomable scenario. They are truly gifted care providers, for both patient and family. Though we were not by his side, they were able to provide enough connection to make us feel that, in a way, we were there. From the bottom of my heart, I thank them.

My mom, Mary, has moved in with my brother, Jesse, and sister-in-law, Laura Mae, in Richmond, CA. The three of them are enjoying each other’s company and sharing this experience together with deep love and gratitude for our cherished family. My husband, Joel, and I are able to video chat with them several times a day and, for that, we are thankful. I await the moment when we can all wrap our arms around each other again. There will be tears that day.

Once the shelter in place order is lifted, the five of us will be having a memorial service and burial of his ashes which we will live stream here. I will make sure to provide updates as to when that will be taking place. I know how dearly loved my dad was by so many of you. I know you all treasured the amazing, funny, kind, and endlessly brilliant person he was. Please feel free to comment on this post with any pictures of him you’d like to share or stories you’d like to tell about him. Don’t spare the details. Go on at length. Make us laugh like he would have. Since social media is all we have right now, let’s make good use of it. My love to you all. I know my Dad is at peace, and I hope we can use the connections we make here to bring some peace to each other.

-@Sara Jane Hix”


We lost a great club member recently, Jack Hix.  Most of the current members may have never met Jack, but you would remember if you had.  He has not flown much in the last 10 years or so.  Jack was an outstanding modeler and great story teller.  Always quick with a joke and had a tremendous sense of humor.  I think that is what I’ll miss most about him.  I remember him coming out to the field so pleased with his latest creation and ready to show it off.  His attention to detail was inspiring.  Some of his models are shown below like his Mini-Mamba, Old Timer, etc. 

For those members who were around then, Jack provided his expertise as a graphic designer to create the wonderful logos for our yearly events such as the Mid-Winter Electrics, Spring Fling or Fall Fun Fest.  Some of his designs are below.

I can still hear his laughter. – Steve B.


“As for Jack Hix in addition to him being a most excellent modeler and builder of miniature airplanes it he was also the the leading pool shark of, I think he lives in Vista, but the local senior center he regularly clean them out of a couple hundred dollars a night just shooting pool with them.” – Wayne W.


Still Grounded

I know, with self-quarantines, city park closures and this cold wet weather, it feels like we will never get our airplanes off the ground.

But take heart, these drastic measures enacted, seem to be having the intended effect. Infection rates of the virus in San Diego appear to be leveling off. So hang in there everyone and stay healthy.

If you haven’t done this already, drain all your batteries to the storage voltage (3.8 V/cell). Check your aircraft for any repairs needed and maybe start a kit airplane. The Electroglide, T-28 racing and general flying will start up again.


Jeff Struthers

Treasurer’s Report for April 2020

Business is still getting done at SEFSD even with Covid-19. First off, I want to thank the members that continued to join our club even after the city closed the parks in in Mission Bay. All of your support is appreciated! We are at 253 members. As of April 23rd, we are still closed, but look for reopening announcements. Just FYI, we have temporarily suspended service on the port-a-potty until the field reopens, so if for some reason you go there (which you should not) and notice a lack of service, that’s the reason. When we do reopen, we plan to do maintenance on both the runway, and the parking lot. We’ll have 50 – 60 gallons of dust control to soak the entire field and parking lot to get everything in good shape again. Our charter has been renewed, as well as our insurance policy for the city. We’re still waiting to hear back from the AMA to see if we got any money from the Flying Site Improvement Grant. 


Who Needs a Stinking Runway?

Bob Stinson here. Many of you have seen some of my unusual aircraft at the field. Words like “crazy”, “what the heck is that?”, and my favorite “of course you’d have one, Bob”, have been heard often over the years. Well, there was a method to my madness! What would I do if the field was closed down? Vertical flight was the answer. Of course, I wasn’t expecting the culprit to be a virus.

I’m fortunate to live on a cul-de-sac, and on the edge of a canyon. I’ll fly drones over the canyon and helis over both. Happily, neighbors are tolerant of my toys!

Stay safe and healthy everyone. See you all when this is over.

Mark Davis’ Avanti XS Jet Project

I’m using quarantine to work on a Sebart Avanti XS.  It has a 120mm fan running on 12S.  The fuse is fiberglass, the wings are wood, and it has a wingspan of 1.8m.  For comparison, the plane in my hand is the Freewing foam Avanti S (wingspan 1236mm) that many of us have.  I chose a carbon-fiber 17-blade fan (optimized more for thrust than for top speed). – Mark Davis

Allan Flowers’ FW-190

Hi, Fellow COVID Exiles.

Since I can not fly at either the electric field or the Chula Vista club, I have spent time on a new foamy from Motion RC. This is a FlightLine FW-190 44” model, a bit smaller than I like (due to my old eyes). The model is a reboot of an older design which now has added flaps – but not the proper “scale” split flaps : ( I guess the days when I would spend 1500 hours on an over-the-top scale project are probably over anyway.)

This plane runs on a four-cell, which is one of the reasons I got it, since I have several batteries that can be used in it. The battery bay is extremely tight and required some surgery to get everything in. The model is spectacular in detail and fairly good in terms of scale fidelity. I did it in the optional Heinz Bar #13 scheme, adding my own Photoshopped swastika which was missing on the tail (PC reigns). I decided to try some weathering which I have really never done before. My attempt is terrible compared to the incredible models I see on the internet – but I had fun and it isn’t too bad after all. A little black to hit the panel lines, ocher for oil leaks and where the guns dirty the wing, and blotched silver to look like chipped paint on metal…  Everything on the model has been coated with some acrylic floor finish, which pulls it together – as well as sealing down the stickers which, on this model, were not good. The colors and detail was great but they really didn’t stick very well at all – especially the small/thin ones.

Today was spent binding the new RX and setting the throws, etc. Hopefully I will be able to handle this fast little plane, once the field is open again.

I hope all is well with all of you,

Otto’s Nostalgic Builds

Well as soon as the confinement to quarters hit I pulled out two projects to complete. 
The first is Jim Kirkland’s 1970 Nats pattern winning A-6 Intruder. This was built from and old Skyglass kit produced in 1972 that I found in a storage bin. The major issue was the fiberglass fuse. It had been on its side for 35 years and had deformed. I cut it all up and built a jig to reassemble. Turned out pretty well but probably would have been easier to scratch building a new one.
The second project completed Is a ModelTech ARC Calypso. Hanno Prettner’s Calypso won the 1984 International F3A pattern competition. The kit was my first ARC, almost ready to cover, and went together very easily. Very pleased with the results.
Both projects have retract gear and are electric conversions. You should see them at the field tearing up the sky. – Otto

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

A co-worker kindly lent me his Ender 3  3d printer. I have taught myself to use it and am now printing missiles and bombs.  In particular, Hell Fire missiles and GBU -12 Paveway  laser guided smart bombs for my MQ-9 project.  So  am learning new skills and moving the MQ=9 project forward in these difficult times.  I can recommend the Ender 3d printer as a nice and economical beginner’s printer as it is producing a fine product(s). – Bob Kruetzer

What I Did on my Covid-19 Vacation by George Sullivan

Like most everyone I have done some repairs to my airplanes. But here is something a little different. It’s flying related but not an airplane. In a prior life I had a video business where I would record various events and provide DVD’s and/or downloads. For this purpose I purchased a Servocity Pan and Tilt device (picture below). I would mount my video camera on it and using a hand held wired remote I could move the camera both left to right and up and down. – George Sullivan

Taking video of RC aircraft is a pain in the …. I always hoped I could use this device but aiming it was a problem. So the project I have is in 2 phases. The first phase is to convert the controls from the hand held wired controller to a wireless receiver and my Spektrum transmitter. This was surprisingly easier than I expected. I now have a 4 channel receiver mounted on the device and can control the pan and tilt motions using the right stick of my Spektrum transmitter. I will output the video from the camera to either a small monitor or perhaps a pair of goggles. Here is a short video showing the Pan and Tilt mechanism controlled by the Spektrum transmitter. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpZS2jtaciw )

The second phase is to solve the problem with aiming the camera. My plan is to put a “headtracker” on the output display (monitor or goggles) and input that into my Spektrum transmitter. So at least in theory the camera should point where I’m looking.

The first phase is completed . Phase 2 is waiting on the delivery of the electronics for the headtracker. I hope to get the electronics by 4/15. If all goes well, an update for next months newsletter.

Plenty Happening at “Casa Gagliardi”

Like the rest of us, I’ve been “hunkered down” in my case at Casa Gagliardi trying to keep my brain from going to sleep with way too much TV !  So let’s build something…..First it was the Wanderer Glider that Mike Morgan so graciously laser cut for me as it was my first glider back in ’75 after going to Torrey Pines and watching the action there. I had just been transferred here after Recruiting Duty with the Marine Corps in Indiana (can you say FLAT?)

Wow the cliffs were amazing!….It was fun building something small for a change. It’s Monocote covered and weighs 24 oz RTF. I can only practice drums, vibes & piano so much each day so it was a fun build….Mike was building one also so we shared ideas via the phone & internet. 
Build #2 was to finish my Ziroli SNJ which spans 101″ and is to be powered by a NeuMotors 8019/180 which Steve PROMISED will turn a 22×10 APC @ 8K on 12S….This is probably the 5th one I’ve built, as I raced them in the past at USRA and Unlimited Air Racing events. FiberGlass fuse, foam core wings, which Belknap & I cut, Robart retracts, fabric built-up tail feathers Ultracote covered wings, paint from Home Depot and a sound system courtesy of Mike Morgan. That should keep me busy for a while !!!!!
Semper Fi
Frank Gagliardi