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Chairman’s Corner for Oct./Nov. 2019

As we get closer to the end of the year, I hope everyone met their flying goals, whether it was mastering a new type of craft, a new style of flying, or just getting it done without crashing!

Right off the bat, I would like to mention that the seasonal Santa Ana currents are in full swing – bringing warm, dry winds to San Diego. Nearly all of the county is designated a red flag zone as I write this. The outer field area is extremely dry and could flare up easily if there is an incident. Please continue to bring your extinguishers and be ready to use them if needed. If anything gets out of control, we need to call 911 and direct fire response to South Shores Park.

The FAA has held quite a few meetings this month talking about the fate of model aviation in the United States. Still more to follow, but it sounds like – again- we will be needing a letter of agreement with Lindbergh air traffic control center to continue flying at our site into the future. Thank you to Steve Neu, Tony Blackhurst, Quan Nguyen, and Eric Shapiro for spearheading this effort and opening lines of communication with the FAA and ATC Lindbergh. One way to keep ourselves off of the bad FAA radar for now, is to make sure that all active members have registered themselves at the FAA drone zone website and placed their registration numbers on each aircraft. Also, it is more critical than ever that we do not bust our 400 foot ceiling. If we are part of the problem, they will just make us go away.

Last weekend I had a member from the drone area approach me at the main runway inquiring if I knew the status of drone flights from our site. He stated that in the middle of his flight that day, his DJI multi rotor interface instructed him to land and wouldn’t allow him to take off again. He stated that I should send something out to the club with the current condition of permissions at our site. I am sorry, but I am just not that up-to-date on the permissions required to fly the with current updates to each drone used at our site…. While there are a couple club members who are really into it and try to remain current, if you are drone operator it will be in your best interest to go online regularly and see what changes are being made.

Quan has again secured us the use of the Harbor House Restaurant for our end-of-year banquet coming up. It has been a great site for our event for the last two years, and I expect it to be just as great this year! It was booked on the day we originally requested, so now we are going to have the event on January 18. Mark your calendar! We try not to use membership funds directly for this event. Due to poor turn outs at our fundraising events, we will again be asking for $20.00 per person as we did last year, and will again limit seating to 130 members/guests. We will have raffle prizes for members and spouses as we did last year. We sold out early last year, so once ticket sales are announced I recommend not procrastinating. More information to come.

We have received enough club member nominations to the Board of Directors to allow us to field a complete board for 2020. If you would like to compete for a position, make sure you get your name to me, and the position you would like to run for, by November 01 so I have the chance to send email ballots to the club for any positions that will be competed. Voting for board members will be held during our club meeting scheduled for November 23rd at the field. Also in November, we are trying to pull together an organized night fly event. On November 10, the day before Veterans Day, and the week after daylight savings reverts, we will have pizza and fun starting around 4 PM and taking us up to 10 PM or later. If you have a night flyer aircraft and want to come out and enjoy an evening of camaraderie, and still be able to sleep in on the holiday, I hope to see you!

It looks like we’re going to finish up 2019 right around 340 members. While AMA is always required to fly at our site, Usually – for the month of November we give new members a pass and have them pay for their next years membership in December when we open renewals for the new year. There are always questions about when your club membership expires. ALL SEFSD membership goes from January 1 to December 31 of the year. All 2019 memberships will expire on December 31 2019. There may be a separate date on your membership card that reflects your AMA expiration date. This is not the club membership expiration date! Speaking of AMA. Have you renewed for 2020 yet?

We finished our two yearly event series in October, Electroglide, and pop-wing racing. Jeff Struthers has already given the awards for first second third place and had a drawing for the participants. Jim Bonnardel plans to present the awards and any other prizes at the banquet in January. Congratulations to all winners! The series were a lot closer this year than ever before.

This months fun fly will be Kenny’s choice, Show up and see what goes down! Following the monthly event we will have our club meeting and Hot Dogs!

Are you going to the AMA EXPO? See you there??

Brad

President’s Corner for Oct./Nov. 2019

Hey pilots,

Another great month of flying has passed. Thank you for help making this club so great. Thank you to those that bring their fire extinguishers with them, that is a good sign that we care about our field and the safety of those around us. We still have a lot of dry weeds so please be prepared for any event.
We are still looking for nominations for Board of Directors. Please make your submissions to the board if you want to be a part of growing your hobby and making this club great the way you see fit. Please remember to vote for those that you want to see lead. 
We are still excepting photos for next year’s ID if you want to see your photo as the ID please bring it to the attention of George Sullivan as he is the coordinator for IDs. So if you would like to see your picture of your airplane submit it so it can be reviewed and voted on for next year‘s club ID. 
Tables are for airplanes. Please refrain from using the tables as chairs.  We still have a few that are in need of repair and we would not like to see anybody injured due to the table giving way.
We did get a new batch of keys and they do work, they are just a little on the loose side I checked them all personally and they do work for both locks that we access. If you do find a key that does not open either, please see one of the board members and we will look at getting you a key that works, thank you for your patience. 
I have enjoyed being your president this year and look forward to next year this is a great club with many members and I want to see it succeed, and with your help I know we can. Thank you and have a great next month of flying. 

Sincerely,

Tony Blackhurst. 

Airplane Derby

October’s Event

Airplane Derby

 

Where skill and luck come together in a fun, crazy day full of prizes.

1.  First event, take off and land as many times as you can without going around.

2.  Second event, take off and do as many loops as you can without going around.

3.  Third event, will be take off and do formation fly by as many times as possible.

Followed by Club Meeting and Hot Dogs.

 

The above is NOT a demolition derby but here is a fun video anyway

Otto’s Journey to Marks Vintage Fly in MD & Home Again

Practicing for the Marks Vintage Fly In back here in MD. Swan Hardor RC Field.

Otto’s Vintage RC Trip Home

A year ago I met up with Meyer Gutman (AZ), a long time RC flyer and full scale Pitts performer. Meyer had seen a video of my Classic Pattern Marksman and had the original 1965 fiberglass molds from Paul Ennis, the plane’s designer. Meyer surprised me with a freshly molded Long Nose Marksman fuse.

A few months pasted and in the mail I received another fuse, this time the 1970 evolution of the earlier Marksman design. I was “all in” at this point and had laser cut ribs made for both fuses. I called Meyer to thank him for the additional fuse and he told me of a possible Vintage meet planned in Salisbury Maryland, home of the Marksman’s designer, Paul Ennis, now 88 years young.

I was 13 when I first met Paul in 1967 at my first AMA contest. Paul was the dominant RC flyer in Maryland and competed successfully at the National level. To a kid (me) he was an RC God. I studied everything he did at contests and occasionally he’d provide some pointers and advice.

After a few months of building, my Marksmans were getting close to flight. Meyer informed me he had two Marksman in production and was planning to drive East for the October 12 event. He offered to transport my planes to the event if I brought them to Yuma. I could not say no and plans were made.

Well we had a great time competing with old friends and made many new ones. The Mid Atlantic Radio Kontrol Society (MARKS) hosted the event and provided perfect California weather. Meyer and I brought home all the top hardware placing 1st and 2nd in Vintage Pattern and winning the Pilot’s Choice award for my red Long Nose Marksman. Paul and his wife Ellie made it to the event and he even flew my red Marksman. It was a perfect day.

Electroglide Report for October 2019

The final Electroglide of 2019 happened last Saturday, and it could not have happened on a better day. The sky was a solid blue, wind was calm and the was lift just solid fun.

Nine pilots sent their aircraft aloft at the first launch shortly after 10:00 a.m., three open class gliders and six Radians.

The lift must have been still building over Sea World because all the flight times were somewhat short. Bob Stinson, flying a Conscendo in the open class, had the longest flight at 4:04 with a 20-point landing. Alex Sutton was second with a flight lasting 3:35, also with a 20-point landing. Eric Byrd came in third at 3:12 with a 20-point landing. Scott Vance picked up a 30-point landing. All the rest of the flight times were below three minutes.

All of the fun started two minutes later with the second launch. Most pilots headed west and found the lift just beyond the western edge of our runway. It was a strong lift and the flight times jumped. Stephen Treger, flying an Easy Glider, had the longest flight at 9:45 and picked up a 30-point landing, which Stephen noted as a personal best. Eric, flying a Radian, was second at 8:55, with a 20-point landing and Scott came in third at 8:21, also picking up a 20-point landing. Bob scored a 30-point landing, Alex had a 20-point and I had a 10-point landing. Most of the other flight times were in the six-minute range, confirming a big change in the flight conditions.

For the third launch, again pilots headed west. Now remember, we only have 20 seconds of motor run time. That is not much time to get your glider up high enough to find good lift, let alone to where you think the lift is located.

This time, the lift was easy to find. It stretched from the field’s driveway just west of our runway, to above the palm tree line. The lift seemed to start around 250-300 feet, and it was quite strong. Like one large block of rising air.

Both Scott and I have altimeters in our Radians and we quickly found our aircraft flying through 500 feet. This was crazy fun; it was hard to keep our aircraft below 400 feet.

Flight times were all above eight minutes with the longest flight recorded by Jon Graber flying a Radian. He almost landed just before time expired at 10 minutes, but was forced to abort his landing to avoid people on the field. As a result, his time came in at 10:15, and could not be counted. We’re so sorry about that, Jon, and we thank you for being such a good sport.

Stephen had the next longest scoring flight at 9:40. Alex came in after that at 9:20 plus a 30-point landing. Scott came back at 9:15, also picking up a 30-point landing. Bob and Dennis LaBerge both had 30-point landings.

I’ll also point out that Bob flew the shortest time and earned the Lucky Dog award flying a Conscendo. His flight time was at 8 minutes, 15 seconds. Yeah, there was lots of lift!

The fourth and final launch was pretty much into the same conditions. The wind was now starting to pick up, but the lift was still there. Stephen beat his second launch flight time by six seconds, coming back at 9:51 and scoring a 10-point landing. Jon came in second at 9:40 and picked up a 20-point landing. Alex was third with a flight of 9:20 plus a landing worth 30-points. Neil Zhu also earned a 30-point landing. Bob, Dennis and I all had 20-point landings. Scott also picked a 10-point landing.

Winner for the day? Bob Stinson, flying in the open class scored the most points overall at 319. Second place in the open class goes to Stephen Treger at 236 total points. Neil Zhu came in third at 148 points.

In the Radian class, first place goes to Alex Sutton at 278 points. Second place was earned by Scott Vance at 269 points. Third place goes to at 184 points.

It was a very fun day to close out the Electroglide season for 2019. We will resume the Electroglide on January 18th, 2020.

We also had a prize drawing for all the Electroglide pilots and a trophy ceremony for the total point winners this year.

In the open Class, first place went to Stephen Treger with 781 total points. Second place went to Bob Stinson at 466 total points and third place was earned by Vince Gonsowski at 125 points.

In the Radian Class, first place went to Scott Vance with 1757 total points. Second place went to Arthur Markiewicz with 1439 points and third place was earned by Dennis LaBerge with 1144 points.

A Special thanks goes to Frank Sutton for being our photographer this year.

I would like to close with a request. There are several club members who fly gliders other than the Radian. Perhaps those folks may feel that they can’t compete against the float of a Radian or don’t want to buy an airplane just for competing in the Electroglide.

On this last Electroglide, Bob Stinson proved Park Zone’s Conscendo is a competitive glider. This is also a full house aircraft that can do stunts and general flying. So, if you have a non-Radian Glider, come fly in the open class next year. Like all the club’s contests, it’s about fun and honing your skills as a pilot.

Next Electroglide will be January 18th, 2020. First launch will be at 10:00.

See you there,

Jeff

BOD Minutes for September and October 2019

September

Meeting starts at 6:40 pm

Present: Quan, George, Tony, Steve, Brad

For this month’s meeting, Quan took notes in my absence.

-LOA is on pending action from FAA.  AMA asked if we have a verbal agreement.  SEFSD response was FAA enforcement officer came in July and advised members to have FAA numbers on models.

-Portapotty lock was vandalized again. Brad bought parts to repair.

-Tony to buy another lock.

-Lisa will help Quan will holiday party planning.  Will also inquire about corporate prize contributions.

-Discussed board member nominations. We need more volunteers!

-Approved Prices each for pop wing and electroglide.

-Brad had suggestion for CD account. Quan will look into 9 month CD.

-No safety issues

-332 members

-George to pick badge picture for 2020.

We the Board of Directors thank you, the member for making this the great club it is.

Your Humble Secretary,

Ken Dresser

Meeting Adjourned at 7:33 p.m.

 

October

Meeting starts at 7:12 pm

Present: Quan, Tony, Steve, Brad, Ken, Eric

For this month’s meeting we talked about how to get more people interested in become board members.

The FAA now requires your registration number on your aircraft, and we suggest getting one on your plane to avoid heavy fines.

Fire season is here, please be aware and be ready.

We finally have a CD for the club, with 1.6 % interests for 9 months.

Our holiday party will be at the Harbor House once again, with a tentative date of January 18.  Tickets will be 20 per person.

November’s event will be War Bird Day.  Get your birds ready to rumble.

Club officer voting will be in November, during our scheduled meeting.  Please be ready to volunteer.   

Special Veterans Night Fly event with food scheduled for November 10 Sunday one hour before sunset.

We the Board of Directors thank you, the member for making this the great club it is.

Your Humble Secretary,

Ken Dresser

Meeting Adjourned at 7:12 p.m.

Safety Corner for October 2019

The past month has been fairly quiet on the safety side of things at Mission Bay. Aside from the couple of the pit overflights when a model gets away from the pilot there is nothing major to report discuss. 
There is little news to report on the LOA with the FAA/Lindberg tower—we are as they say “in a holding pattern”. The best thing we can do is continue to observe all the club rules and be especially aware of any full size traffic in the area and decent to 50 feet or less until the traffic is well out of our field area—a mile or more would be a good rule to follow. If you are flying higher performance model that flies higher and faster please have a fellow club member act as your extra eyes to keep you aware of any full size traffic.
The FAA rules do require that you have your ID number on your models—there is a sizable fine possible for not complying. 
Steve Neu
Safety Officer SEFSD

Treasurer’s Report for October 2019

We have 345 members as of October 23rd, and $19,001.70 our bank accounts. We invested $10,000  in a 9 month Certificate of Deposit (CD) with Wells Fargo that pays a 1.7% interest rate. Our combined cash assets is $29,001.70.
Our board elections is coming up next month. I am the default Treasurer for 2020 if no one else runs. However, if someone would like to nominate themselves or someone else for that position, I’ll gladly defer to them and take on another position. I believe we are still short 2 positions on the board for next year, so I’ll fill any vacancy remaining if someone prefers to be Treasurer if they serve.
The last two years, improved automated software and equipment has made the treasurer position much easier to perform than in the past. I will also train an incoming treasurer to perform their tasks successfully. So if you have just a little bit of time, and can commit to 12 months of service, please step up! If you have any questions about what the position entails, please talk to me.
-Quan

Chairman’s Corner for Sep./Oct. 2019

Thank God Fall is finally here!!

 This past summer didn’t get as hot as last year, but seem to drag on forever. Even though cooler weather and even some rain is on the way, we still have to be careful about the fire danger in the outlying field area. Please keep your fire extinguishers handy If needed, and be ready to respond.

 I won’t be able to make this months meeting due to an out-of-town event, so there are quite a few things I want to touch on in this article.

 To start, I am still looking for a volunteer to help our treasurer, Quan, with event planning for our yearly banquet. We have some had some great end of year banquets the last few years, and I want to keep this positive trend going. Quan can’t do it by himself! If you have any event planning or just want to get involved, please let me, Tony, or Quan know. We need you!

 As we finish of 2019, One task that needs to be completed is voting for board of director officers to take us into 2020. While some of our current officers have agreed to stay on for 2020, all positions are up for competition! If you want to get involved, if you want to show us the direction you think our club should go, or if you just want to see what the board is about, feel free to put your name in the hat for a board of directors position. For me, the last few years have been very rewarding, and I would like to pass that experience on to the next generation of directors. If you would like to nominate yourself, or if you would like to nominate someone else (with their permission), please send your or their name to myself or Tony and we will get it promoted to the club that you would like a position on the board.  Voting for Officers will be held during the November club meeting.

Still no new news on our letter of agreement with the Air Traffic Control at Lindbergh. Sometimes no news is good news… For now we have not been told to stop flying, we have just been told to standby for further direction. The last actual response we received was that the FAA and Southern California Traffic Control centers were writing one letter of agreement to cover all clubs within 5 miles of an airport in SoCal. Thank you to Tony Quan Steve and Eric for keeping us abreast of any changes in our status. Along with this though, goes the current requirement from the FAA to register yourself as a pilot of recreational small unmanned aircraft, and put your registration numbers on all aircraft that you fly. We did have an FAA officer visit our site a couple of months ago, and state that he is authorized to write tickets and dispense fines for each aircraft that does not have a registration number. Nearly everyone here is an adult, and if you’re not an adult – you have an adult in your family that should be ensuring you’re following the current guidelines from the FAA.

As of the first week of September we were at 332 members for SCFSD. A little lower than last year, but not by much. For those folks who are still on the fence for joining for this year, we are still the best value in town as far as local clubs go. It still disturbs me when I go to the rotorplex and see past members flying with 2016 badges stating they didn’t know they were expired…

Something else we need to do at the end of each year is pick a new picture for the following years membership badges. I have asked George, Our membership coordinator, to receive and sort through picture submissions for the 2020 membership badges and pick one for use. I would like members to send aviation oriented pictures to george@oldharborvideo.com  What I don’t want is George buried under gigabytes of photographs! if you have one or two favorites in a landscape orientation, please send them to George and you never know!

 On September 27 we will have our monthly fun fly which is SCALE Day. Ken Dresser has volunteered to run our fun fly’s for the remainder of the year, and I believe he has a fun day plan for all. The only requirement is that your plane must be a scale model of a real airplane. Ken will state the event requirements to get a chance at the $150 worth of gift certificates for Discount Hobbies as the event starts Saturday at 10 AM. Between 10 AM and 12 PM flying will be limited to scale aircraft after which we will have our monthly club meeting at the field, followed by the hotdog lunch served up by Mark Davis. I hope everybody has a great month!

Brad

President’s Corner for Sep./Oct. 2019

Hey pilots,

Another great month of flying is complete. As you all know, the FAA and the AMA are requiring that we add our numbers to our aircraft. It is not the board’s responsibility to check and make sure that your numbers are on your airplanes. It is your responsibility to maintain flight worthiness of your aircraft. If someone comes and checks, the fine will be your responsibility. I would hate to see our members be fined for a simple number that can be put on with a LabelMaker or a sharpie. So please don’t be that guy who gets fined for not having his numbers on his aircraft. 
Just a friendly reminder that it is still fire season so please bring your fire extinguishers with you. And thank you to those gentlemen who have been bringing their fire extinguishers to the field. 
Please no sitting on the tables we still have a couple more to change out. Safety is your responsibility if you sit on the table and it breaks that’s never a good thing. 
We are taking photo submissions for next year‘s badge ID. if you would like your aircraft picture to be on that ID please submit your pictures to be considered. 

Last but not least, we are coming to the end of the year and we will be asking for nominations for the Board of Directors for next year. If you know anybody or want to nominate yourself please feel free. We are always looking for new members to step up and become part of the board to help shape the club in the direction you wanted to go. The closer we get the better we will know who is going for what position so feel free to nominate yourself for a position on the board. 

Sincerely 

Tony Blackhurst. 

Scale Day 2019

REMINDER!

This Month’s Club event is:

 

SCALE DAY

Bring your scale airplanes (Military or Civilian) down and fly for a chance to win a raffle prize, or to take the awards for Best Scale Flight

Any scale airplane, glider, helicopter or drone (we have full scale drones now) .. fly scale .. optional formation flying.. show your airshow stunts.

1. Static event, people will mark their favorite airplane based on static scale looks.  One mark per member.  most marks wins static event. 1st and 2nd place wins gift certificates.

2. Flying event. take off, fly by (optional scale stunts) , landing.   pilots will be judged on scale looks. 1st, 2nd, 3rd place wins gift certificates.

3. Formation flying.  pilots will form groups any size any type of aircraft and fly formation.   groups will be judged on scale flying.   1st Group will have surprise gift. 

Scale Event Begins at 10:00

Meeting and lunch to follow.

Mark’s Spring-Loaded RC Airplane Bomb

Anybody with a bomber model eventually gets around to experimenting with dropping models of bombs from airplanes.  These are usually solid foam pieces, or break-apart plastic shells filled with chalk.

I thought it would be interesting to experiment with models that actually carry some stored energy (in the form of a compression spring), to throw dust a bit more upward on impact (as opposed to just splashing outward along the ground).   Below are links to files I posted on Thingiverse, and videos of tests dropping them by hand.   These were designed in Fusion 360, and can be printed in any filament, and of course at any scale.   I used ABS for increased durability versus PLA.   A compression spring sits in the nose, and is released on impact, launching upward whatever is inside.   I found that Indian Holi Powder disperses really well, and although it usually comes in bright neon colors, you can also find it (less commonly) in neutral colors like white, grey, and black.

If you want to try one out, and don’t have a 3D printer, contact me and I can give you one of these prototypes, as long as you promise to drop it from a plane and take a video.   I have only dropped them by hand so far, and I wonder they behave when hitting the ground at much higher speeds.     I also have some 3D printed mounts for the Eflite release that could be glued to any of these.

Here are two youtube videos showing tests:

Spring-loaded RC airplane bomb

Here is a link to the .stl files on Thingiverse:

Gringotuerto’s Thingiverse Profile

BOD Minutes for August 2019

Board of Directors Meeting

Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego

Meeting starts at 7:01 pm

For this month’s meeting we once again discussed the pending agreement San Diego Control Tower.  We are talk with people and making sure we are ready when the tower responds.

Also as a priority we once again like to remind our members to get the FAA numbers on airplanes asap.

We also discussed putting permanent links on our website of the FAA drone registration information and the AMA’s know before you fly information.

Then we discussed how to make 100% sure we have no problems with the FAA, we entertained the idea to limit electroglide time to 15 seconds and have altimeters to check altitude.

Next we talked about replacing the lock for the gate.

For the next events, Ken volunteers to run them. Make sure you participate for a chance of winning some gift certificates.

Staples asked our club to send a representative to a back to school event.  We happily accepted.

As of today we have 324 members.

We the Board of Directors thank you, the member for making this the great club it is.

Your Humble Secretary,

Ken Dresser

Meeting Adjourned at 8:03 p.m.

Early American Aviation History

Source: Denham S. Scott

How many of you know that in 1910, mighty Martin Marietta got its start in an abandoned California church? That’s where Glenn L. Martin with his amazing mother Minta Martin and their mechanic Roy Beal constructed a fragile biplane that Glenn taught himself to fly.

It has often been told how Douglas Aircraft started operations in 1920 in a barbershop’s backroom on L.A.’s Pico Boulevard. Interestingly, the barber-shop is still operating.

The Lockheed Company built the first of their famous Vegas’ in 1927 inside a building currently used by Victory Cleaners at 1040 Sycamore in Hollywood.

In 1922, Claude Ryan, a 24 year old military reserve pilot, was getting his hair cut in San Diego, when the barber mentioned that the ‘town’s aviator’ was in jail for smuggling Chinese illegal’s up from Mexico. Claude found out that if he replaced the pilot ‘sitting in the pokey,’ that he would be able to lease the town’s airfield for $50 a month – BUT he also needed to agree to fly North and East – BUT not South!

Northrop’s original location was an obscure So California hotel. It was available because the police had raided the hotel and found that its steady residents were money-minded gals entertaining transitory male hotel guests.

Glenn Martin built his first airplane in a vacant church, before he moved to a vacant apricot cannery in Santa Ana. He was a showman and he traveled the county fair and air meet circuit as an exhibitionist aviator From his exhibition proceeds, Glenn was able to pay his factory workers and purchase the necessary wood, linen and wire.  His mother, Minta and two men ran the factory while Glenn risked his neck and gadded about the country. One of his workers was 22-year old Donald Douglas [who WAS the entire engineering department]. A Santa Monica youngster named Larry Bell [later founded Bell Aircraft which today is Bell Helicopter Textron] ran the shop.

Another part of Glenn Martin’s business was a flying school with several planes based at Griffith Park, and a seaplane operation on the edge of Watts where his instructors taught a rich young man named Bill Boeing to fly.  Later, Boeing bought one of Glenn Martin’s seaplanes and had it shipped back to his home in Seattle. At this same time, Bill Boeing hired away Glenn’s personal mechanic. Later, after Boeing’s seaplane crashed in Puget Sound, he placed an order to Martin for replacement parts.

Still chafing from having his best mechanic ‘swiped,’ [a trick he later often used himself] Martin decided to take his sweet time and allowed Bill Boeing to ‘stew’ for a while. Bill Boeing wasn’t known to be a patient man, so he began fabricating his own aircraft parts, an activity that morphed into constructing entire airplanes and eventually the Boeing Company we know today.

A former small shipyard nicknamed ‘Red Barn’ became Boeing Aircraft’s first home. Soon, a couple of airplanes were being built inside, each of them having a remarkable resemblance to Glenn Martin’s airplanes .. that, interestingly, had its own remarkable resemblance to Glenn Curtiss’ airplanes.

 A few years later, when the Great depression intervened and Boeing couldn’t sell enough airplanes to pay his bills, he diversified into custom built speed boats and furniture for his wealthy friends.

After WWI, a bunch of sharpies from Wall Street gained control of the Wright Brothers Co in Dayton and the Martin Company in L.A. and ‘stuck them’ together as the Wright-Martin Company.

Wright-Martin began building an obsolete biplane design with a foreign Hispano-Suiza engine. Angered because he had been out maneuvered with a bad idea, Martin walked out .. taking Larry Bell and other key employees with him.

From the deep wallet of a wealthy baseball mogul, Martin was able to establish a new factory. Then his good luck continued, when the future aviation legend Donald Douglas, was persuaded by Glenn to join his team. The Martin MB-1 quickly emerged from the team’s efforts and became the Martin Bomber.

Although too late to enter WWI, the Martin Bomber showed its superiority when Billy Mitchell used it to sink several captured German battleships and cruisers to prove it’s worth. Mitchell was instructed to stay above a high altitude  {Out of gun range?}   He flew his planes in low so as to increase probability of bombs hitting the ships. He was later court-martialed for his effort.


In Cleveland, a young fellow called ‘Dutch’ Kindelberger joined Martin as an engineer. Later, as the leader of North American Aviation, Dutch became justifiably well-known.

Flashing back to 1920, Donald Douglas had saved $60,000, returned to L.A. and rented a barbershop’s rear room and loft space in a carpenter’s shop nearby. There he constructed a classic passenger airplane called the Douglas Cloudster.

A couple of years later, Claude Ryan bought the Cloudster and used it to make daily flights between San Diego and Los Angeles. This gave Ryan the distinction of being the first owner/operator of Douglas transports. Claude Ryan later custom built Charles Lindbergh’s ‘ride’ to fame in the flying fuel tank christened: The Spirit of St. Louis.

In 1922, Donald Douglas won a contract from the Navy to build several torpedo carrying aircraft. While driving through Santa Monica’s wilderness, Douglas noticed an abandoned, barn-like movie studio. He stopped his roadster and prowled around. That abandoned studio became Douglas Aircraft’s first real factory.

With the $120,000 contract in his hand, Donald Douglas could afford to hire one or two more engineers. My brother, Gordon Scott, had been schooled in the little known science of aviation at England’s Fairey Aviation, so he hired Gordon.

My first association with the early aviation pioneers occurred when I paid my brother a visit at his new work place. Gordon was outside on a ladder washing windows. He was the youngest engineer. Windows were dirty. And Douglas Aircraft Company had no money to pay janitors.

Gordon introduced me to a towhead guy called Jack Northrop, and another chap named Jerry Vultee. Jack Northrop had moved over from Lockheed Aircraft. And all of them worked together on the Douglas Aircraft’s world cruiser designs. 

While working in his home after work and on weekends, Jack designed a wonderfully advanced streamlined airplane. When Allan Loughead [Lockheed] found a wealthy investor willing to finance Northrop’s new airplane, he linked up with Allan and together, they leased a Hollywood workshop where they constructed the Lockheed Vega. It turned out to be sensational with its clean lines and high performance. Soon Amelia Earhart and others flew the Vega and broke many of aviation’s world records.

I had the distinct pleasure of spending time with Ed Heinemann who later designed the AD, A3D and A4D. He told me how my Dad would fly out to Palmdale with an experimental aircraft they were both working on. They would take it for a few hops and come up with some fixes. After having airframe changes fabricated in a nearby machine shop, they would hop it
again to see if they had gotten the desired results. If it worked out, Mr. Heinemann would incorporate the changes on the aircraft’s assembly line. No money swapped hands!

In May 1927, Lindbergh flew to Paris and triggered a bedlam where everyone was trying to fly everywhere. Before the first Lockheed Vega was built, William Randolph Hearst had already paid for it and had it entered in an air race from the California Coast to Honolulu.  In June 1927, my brother, Gordon, left Douglas Aircraft to become Jack Northrop’s assistant at Lockheed. While there, he managed to get himself hired as the navigator on Hearst’s Vega. The race was a disaster and ten lives were lost. The Vega and my brother vanished. A black cloud hung heavily over the little shop. However, Hubert Wilkins, later to become Sir Hubert Wilkins, took Vega #2 and made a successful polar flight from Alaska to Norway. A string of successful flights after that placed Lockheed in aviation’s forefront.

I went to work for Lockheed as it 26th employee, shortly after the disaster, and I worked on the Vega. It was made almost entirely of wood and I quickly become a half-assed carpenter.

At this time, General Motors had acquired North American consisting of Fokker Aircraft, Pitcairn Aviation [later Eastern Airlines] and Sperry Gyroscope and hired Dutch Kindelberger away from Douglas to run it. Dutch moved the entire operation to L.A. where Dutch and his engineers came up with the P-51 Mustang.

Interestingly, just a handful of young men played roles affecting the lives of all Americans ….. as it initiated the So  California metamorphosis, from a semi-desert with orange groves and celluloid, into a dynamic complex, supporting millions.

Although this technological explosion had startling humble beginnings, taking root as acorns in – a barber shop’s back room – a vacant church – and an abandoned cannery – but came to fruit on as mighty oaks.

If you read all this then take a break and come back for an incredible amount of interesting aviation history ‘and great historical photos’.  Go to ‘Galleries’ and ‘Pioneers in Aviation’. 

http://aerospacelegacyfoundation.com/

Treasurer’s Report for September 2019

This month, we have 335 members and $29,443.11 in our bank accounts. The board has found a good high yield CD from a credit union, and I’ll open one in the next few weeks.
As you’ve all heard, the FAA wants us to put our FAA numbers on our planes.  For next years registration renewal, we’ll include the FAA number as part of the SEFSD registration process.
Thank you!
-Quan

Electroglide Report for September 2019

We had a nice Electroglide competition last Saturday, the 21st. Clear skies greeted us at the 10:00 a.m. start. Winds were around 5 mph from the North West, temperatures were 73 degrees.

On first launch six Radians and two open class gliders took to the sky and headed west. Arthur Markiewicz, Scott Vance and Alex Sutton found the lift to the far western edge of our flight area. Getting one’s aircraft to a good lift zone is a hard thing to do in the 15 seconds of allowed motor run time.

Arthur had the longest flight at 9:52 minutes plus a 10-point landing. Scott had a flight lasting 9:32 with a 20-point landing. Alex had a flight at 5:47 with a 20-point landing. Stephen Treger flying an open class Phoenix 2, also picked up a 20-point landings and Bob Stinson flying a Conscendo, picked up a 10-point landing.

Second launch had vastly different flight times. Arthur, having the long flight again, came back at 4:21 with a 20-point landing. Scott came in at 3:57 with a 10-point landing and Stephen came in at 3:50. Alex and Bob Stinson both picked up 20-point landings and Dennis La Berge had a 30-point landing.

The lift was still allusive for the third launch as flight times were all below five minutes. Dennis had the long flight at 4:30, with a 20-point landing. Scott was second at 3:50 and Alex was third at 3:38 with a 20-point landing. Arthur picked up a 20-point landing as well.

Fourth and final launch was again into weak lift. Dennis again found some lift coming back at 4:53 with his second 30-point landing. Arthur came in second with a flight lasting 4:31 plus a 20-point landing and Scott had 4:25 aloft with a 30-point landing. Alex picked up a 30-point landing and Stephen Treger also picked up a 20-point landing.

To bad the lift was so fickle, first launch yielded some great flight times. Everyone tried their best and the extra points earned from landing within the target circles helped keep the contest competitive.

High score in the open class was earned by Stephen Treger at 94 points. Second place was Bob Stinson at 83 points. In the Radian class, highest score was Arthur Markiewicz with 198 points. Second place goes to Alex Sutton at 194 points and third place finish goes to Scott Vance with 192 total points.

We all had a fun time under a beautiful San Diego sky. Thanks to Frank Sutton for the photography.

The final Electroglide for 2019 will be next month, October 19th. 10:00 a.m. first launch.

At the end of the contest I will be passing out the trophy plaques for the top point earners in both Open and Radian classes. We will also have prize drawings for all Electroglide pilots. You do not need to be present to win but please be sure to write your e-mail or phone number on your score sheet.

See you then,

Jeff    

Safety Corner for September 2019

Things for the most part have been pretty quiet at the field with few major safety issues to report. We have had some destroy the latch and hardware on the outhouse a couple times in the past month or so. Brad has beefed up the latch and hardware in hopes that we can keep the night crawlers out. For our who are the last to leave the filed please make sure the gate is closed AND locked. Be sure to make sure any visitors are aware that they need to leave or risk being locked in. 
On the FAA letter of agreement front no news is good news. We have not done anything to cause any concern which means members are doing their part to operate safely and avoid bringing notice to our activities. Please continue to observe the field boundaries as well as the altitude limits. For many you will be getting your AMA membership renewal notices—while you are doing that it would also be a perfect time to get your FAA number and put it on all your planes. Is is a FAA requirement—it is easy to comply with and does not cost much. There is a hefty fine possible if they catch you without the ID numbers on the plane. https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/register_drone/
One last thing—even though the weather is getting a little cooler the brush and grass at our field is very dry and the risk of fire is high. Please take care with models that go down to get to them quickly and remove the batteries and dispose of them properly to avoid fires. 
Stay safe!
Steve Neu

Fuel Cells for UAVs

DOD Wants U.S. Solid Fuel Source For Fuel Cells

The U.S. Defense Department wants to establish a domestic production capability for alane, a solid fuel that can be used in fuel cells that generate electricity to power a wide range of applications from wearable electronics to aircraft systems.

“Military systems of today and tomorrow are eclipsing the limits of batteries,” says a U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) solicitation seeking proposals to establish a manufacturing capability for high energy-density alane fuel.

Alane, or aluminum hydride, stores hydrogen that can be controllably released by heating to feed a fuel cell. The project, under Title III of the Defense Production Act (DPA), will support a path toward mass production and cost reduction for stable crystalline alane, also known as alpha alane.

Hydrogen fuel cells offer high energy density with simple refueling and enable longer mission times compared with rechargeable batteries. “While the military investigated many different hydrogen sources, the one that has stood out as the most promising and able to fit in our logistic structure is alane,” the solicitation says.

Alane was developed in the 1960s by both the U.S. and Soviet Union under secret projects to produce a high-energy rocket fuel. In 2016, HRL Laboratories proposed using an alane fuel cell to power unmanned aircraft.

According to HRL, an alane cartridge weighing 280 grams (less than 10 oz.) could provide the same flight time as 3 kg of lithium-ion batteries or 980 grams (2.15 lb.) of gaseous hydrogen stored at 4,500 psi. The Pentagon also has tested wearable alane fuel cells produced by Ardica.

According to AFRL, alane’s advantages are high energy content for a small weight and volume, safe and simple usage, long shelf life and minimal environmental impact–hydrogen fuel cells emit water vapor. Alane contains 10% hydrogen by weight and has twice the volumetric energy density of liquid hydrogen.

The disadvantages have been that producing alane has required large quantities of raw materials and large amounts of energy to produce small amounts.

But companies such as Ardica claim to have developed more efficient methods that reduce the feedstock and energy required to produce the fuel.

“The significant disadvantage of alane is the lack of any large-volume commercial production capacity,” the solicitation says. The fuel has been synthesized at costly laboratory scale, but has not been transitioned to mass production to reduce its cost.

The plan is to use DPA Title III funding to support development and construction of a pilot line that will prove out the capability to produce alane at a small production-representative scale. This line will provide the government with information on the requirements for scaling up production.

AFRL plans to make up to two awards worth $2 million, each matched by $2 million in contractor cost sharing. Bidders must detail how they plan to reduce the costs or volumes of raw materials and increase production to meet viable target fuel costs for military and commercial applications.

–Graham Warwick, warwick@aviationweek.com