Daily Archives: June 23, 2011

12 posts

Annual Association Swapmeet, July 9th

Hi Guys!!!  

The Annual Association Swapmeet will be held at the Chula Vista Club Field on Saturday, July 9, 2011. Sellers are charged $10 and buyers are free!  Usual hours are 7AM – 11AM, however gates will open earlier, as last year! I’ll update you all in a few days with more detail!! Questions—Don Madison 619-296-1510,  and Don Hille  619-225-0090 !!!

Thrust Vectoring Made Easy


It seems that the ideal of using thrust vectoring on the front of an aircraft is fairly new compared to using it on the rear of the aircraft, and even more so using a propeller instead of a ducted fan, which made the idea more intriguing to me.  I quickly found where the kit was available, and put it on my wish list.  It is affordable, but my hangar is pretty full at the moment.

I went to bed that night thinking (more like obsessing) about that thrust vectoring.  Man,  I wanted that plane.  In the early AM, I snapped awake with a crystal clear idea that was very simple and used off the shelf parts to give me thrust vectoring. I had no other obligations for time so I grabbed a cup of coffee and headed to the workbench. Having all the parts I needed I quickly had a plan and before lunch, I was at Mission Bay getting ready to test my new device.

For years, I have seen how we mount tricycle landing gear nose wheels to the aircraft firewall. A plastic ‘block’ with a raised vertical hole, that with two blocks, you secure the landing gear leg (wire).  The blocks let the wire pivot, which allows you to steer.  With that picture in my mind I thought about putting another block, opposite of the two on the firewall to provide a pivot point.


TV Mount

Its very simple indeed. Using off the shelf parts you can add Thrust Vectoring to a very wide selection of aircraft with little to no modification at all. Using firewall mounted nose gear blocks.  You need at least 3 blocks.  4 blocks can be used for larger applications but I have not done that yet!

I mounted one of the nose gear blocks directly to the back of the motor as the holes lined up perfectly (on both the Dualsky and Hyperion motors, probably more) and I sandwiched the original mounting plate to provide a location to attach a plastic aileron rod clevis holder I had in my junk parts box. I then used a section of landing gear to be the pivot pin.  I glued the pin into the top block only to secure it, leaving the others free for an easier installation.


TV Mount 2

The pivoting set adds about ½” to the overall length of the motor from the firewall.  In both of my planes I did not modify the firewall, with the consideration that I might remove the TV set,  but in the future, I’ll modify the firewall back so the motor is more flush as it was before the additional components were added.  I used a control rod from an airplane’s rudder control that met an untimely demise,  but salvaging parts is always part of the hobby.


TV Mount 3

I used a separate servo with a switched mix to rudder with as much throw as possible. The foam airplanes allowed me to simply cut a well and secure a servo in the location I desired.    With the Thrust Vectoring switched on, the plane is amazingly capable of some pretty crazy rudder maneuvers.  Knife edge flight can be crazy slow, and hovering control is enhanced.  Knife edge loops are almost within its own length now and flat spins are crazy cool.

I have a couple of videos, not the best quality but you can get the idea:




In summary, for the low parts cost (under $5 from DuBro) you can add thrust vectoring to your foamy for some real neat 3D performance.  I highly recommend you give this a go!

In summary, for the low parts cost (under $5 from DuBro) you can add thrust vectoring to your foamy for some real neat 3D performance.  I highly recommend you give this a go!

New Date for Indoor Flying


I spoke with the manager at Hour Glass Field today and she agreed to allow us to fly on both the Second and Fourth Tuesday’s of every month until the end of the year.

Hours for both Tuesdays will be 7:00pm till 9:00pm as before.

The first fourth Tuesday will be July 26th (corrected) and the last will be November 22nd.  I did not include a fourth Tuesday in December as it will be very closer to the Christmas Holiday.

I did not renew our monthly meeting room reservation since she told me the rooms are hardly ever used and we could get one on less than a weeks noticed if we needed it.

As we agreed at the last Board Meeting we will review continuing on the Fourth Tuesday at the end of the year when we discuss our 2012 budget and the level of attendance over the next six months.

As we also agreed at the Board Meeting Mike Eberle will be in charge of our indoor flying activities and will work with Steve Belknap to promote these events to maximize the value to the club.  The cost remained the same at $95 per night for our two hours and use of two courts.

We are also now in possession of our AMA insurance for Hour Glass Field having successfully agreed a frequency management plan with MRCF.

Jim’s Bomb Drop Event for July Mtg.


The bomb drop device, and bombs will be provided, all you need to bring is your own airplane of choice.  Each pilot gets 5 minutes to drop three bombs onto the marked field target.  The pilot may stand where they prefer.  Scoring and points value will be explained at the beginning of the event.

The bomb drop devices are easy to attach to many different aircraft types, and there are several device mounting styles to select from.
In most cases it is held on with rubber bands,  and when bands wont work, tape does.  There is even a velcro mount if you want to stick a section of Velcro on your plane.  The device, with a loaded bomb, adds 12 grams to your airplane. Only the smallest of park fliers will even notice it attached.  It has been tested with airplanes down to stock slow stick’s without any issue.


Bomb Drop 1


Bomb Drop 2


Dropping the bomb is accomplished via a few different maneuvers. You can loop, roll, dive, or any other way you prefer to get the nut off 
the rod over the target, but its where it stops rolling that counts.


Jim Showing the Setup


Bombs Away

Jack’s New Treasures


As we were packing up, Jesse called my attention to a guy with a co-ax heli he wanted $20 for.  I bought it, came home, and sorta went insane. This receiver is three-channel with twin motor output, esc and a gyro that controls rpm to stabilize in the yaw axis (see below). The digital servos weigh just over 5 grams. Two 1200 mA single cell lipos (my 30 mm edf could use these (peanut scale Skyray, anyone?) The frame and motors could easily be modded to a contra-rotating set-up for an airplane. It also came with a Walkera 2.4 ghz, 4-channel transmitter bound to the receiver. I sorta took it all apart.


Heli Parts


Here’s the plan for the receiver and servos. I think it’s feasible to build  a twin pusher, flying wing that would have built-in yaw stabilization controlled my motor rpm. It really wouldn’t need a rudder.The transmitter doesn’t have computer mixing for the elevons but I can do that mechanically.

Here’s some research:







Li P.04-106


Li P.04-106

N-1M: the first Northrop flying wing (this may be the one … less scale detail and no rudder).


Northrop Flying Wing

I’m gonna need a bathroom in my garage.

An Airplane Story – Carl Cox


As he recovered his careers seem limited but he pushed hard to become a Dive Master in 1986 and started a business cleaning hulls and doing instructional diving work.  In 1995 he was placed on permanent state disability and now works for the Veterans History Project.  He has been a volunteer since 2003 and now is the project coordinator.  The Project  goal is to interview war veterans and have them tell of their experiences which then get sent on to the Library of Congress memorializing their contributions to our country.  Carl has done 59 of these and says he will continue until he cannot do it anymore.

In July 2010, a watershed moment occurred when he got his hands on an RC airplane catalogue and leaped into the world of radio control models.  His first was a Super Cub with floats which took a beating and went on the shelf for a later time.  Taking its place was an Easy Star glider that he was very comfortable with under the guidance of Dave Braithewaite.  Dave helped him configure a flight station on the fence at Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego flying site near Sea World.  This wood support attached to the fence allowed Carl to position the radio in such a way that he could use his left hand to manipulate the normal Mode 2 sticks to fly his Easy Star and after getting a launch he would sail around and then land.  Jim Bonnardel from SEFSD got involved with his development when he saw how committed Carl was to progressing to a more challenging aircraft….which turned out to be a foam T – 28.  This aircraft found itself in the weeds and in the fence numerous times and was faithfully glued back together over and over by Don Griffin and others to help keep Carl in the air.  Steve Dente secured an invention that would allow Carl to use a handgrip device so that he could control everything with his one hand but it did not work that well and they gave up on it after several attempts to fly the well worn T -28.  Many SEFSD members saw Carl’s passion and stepped up with motors, planes, radios, servos etc. to get him closer to his goal.

Don Griffin then called Tony Stillman from Radio South, as he had heard that Tony was extremely talented in creating special applications with radio control transmitters.  Tony, a very busy man in the AMA doing site development chores, came up with just the right radio, a mode 2 radio with a knob for rudder on top of the right stick so that all control were on the right stick and a bar was attached to the throttle left stick that could be operated by Carl’s little finger.  After getting the airplane trimmed by Jim Bonnardel Carl used this radio recently and found it to be just what he needed.  He now is dreaming about the many options that are in front of him for different aircraft….including a reconstruction and modification of the Super Cub as well as an F- 14 that he put together for a later day. One of his favorite jets from the Kitty Hawk days is the Phantom F-4 and he has one of those ready to go also.     It would seem  clear that nothing will halt his ascent to achieve that ultimate goal of flying whatever aircraft that he wants to fly and that is in keeping with the numerous times he has faced challenges in his life and succeeded.  SEFSD proudly salutes his passion and commitment to radio control flying as well as his other endeavors.


Carl Cox

June Meeting Agenda

Barter Day at the Bay

Barter Day at SEFSD is June 25th starting at 8:00 AM.  Time to clean out the barn!  Bring all the stuff you have been thinking of getting rid of (sorry, no spouses or children) down to the field and see if you can unload it.  Set your stuff on the ground, tailgate or bring a card table, chairs, etc.  This is a great opportunity for everyone to scoop up some great items you might not have even known you wanted or needed.  Don Madison will have a pile of goodies from an estate sale: radios, foam planes, glider stuff, LiPos, chargers, & misc. electric hardware.

Bartering starts at 8 AM or earlier and goes until the meeting at 10 am and then back to bartering until food is ready at 11. Ray will provide victuals….hot dogs etc.

The Scale event will be postponed until a later date.

Minutes from May 28th Meeting

Sharing and discussion about Signage

  • Ray Fulks secured signs from Moller Sign company and worked with Parks and Rec to put up new informational signs and rock barrier on the street .  Great Job Ray!!!
  • New signs for fence line to replace temporary signs now there at six flight stations to be coming soon…Moller Sign company contracted.
  • Our site is more secure now and for the future due to enhancements

Gate closure issue revisited and we remind all to close the gate if you are the last one out when finished flying for the day.

New pin board ….Chuck Grim is working on it….our present board works fine

Board member Mike Eberle has taken control of Hour glass Indoor flying site and will be having two nights per month….see schedule on web site.

New events coming up soon:

  • June 25th…..Scale event with Frank Gagliardi as CD, Ray Fulks/SEFSD providing the  DOGS…YEAH. General meeting to share at 10:00 am  ALSO—DO NOT FORGET — SEFSD BARTER Day..   Bring stuff you don’t want anymore and trade barter sell it so that you can buy, barter , trade for new stuff you may or may not really need.   NO COST
    COME EARLY….7 AM. Until…….????
  • July Event…Jim Bonnardel  explained Fun Fly he is planning..Thanks Jim…..the Bombadier Day for the July 30th,  General Meeting etc. with Sub Sandwiches by SEFSD
  • August Event…Steve Dente and others for EDF Day at the Bay or better known as   “JETS DAY BY THE BAY’ 
    The meeting was adjourned ….All Present… watched the Pylon Racing Association of the SEFSD  presenting a demonstration flight/race under the supervision and control of Steve Belknap. 

Festivities concluded we enjoyed Hebrew National Luncheon with potato salad,  Red Velvet cake etc and so on.  60 DOGS SERVED.

Tim Attaway reporting, over and out.


Some pics from the meeting and entertainment:


Tim's Agenda


New Sign


Mike Eberly


Whole Group


Wake Me When the Meeting is Over


Electrogliders Ready


Electrogliders Launch


Planting the Landing


Mr. Electroglide


B-17 #1


B-17 #2


Mini-UltraStick Pylon Racers


Ready for Takeoff



Rounding the Pylon


Tim Doing the Dogs - Yum!!


Food Lineup

The Next Big Thing-Step 6


As you can see, I have a computer hooked up to my flying machine via a USB cable. This is both a good thing and a bad  thing.  It’s a good thing because I can (so I’m told) talk to my little Itialian friend with a universal translator called a GUI. It’s a bad thing because, just because I can pronounce GUI doesn’t mean I know how to do anything with it!

I’m so confused.
But, I want to fly a tricopter and so I carry on.

I use the GUI and find that all is well with my little Italian friend, whom I now call Mario. Yes, I have now anthropomorphized my inanimate tricopter and given it a name and a personna. The depths of my journey into tricopter nirvana seem to be a bottomless chasim… But Mario tells me that he has not received instructions on how to fly his new body.(?)  I now have an epipheny. When I want to fly “my” tricopter, I will wiggle the transmitter sticks and the radio receiver will tell Mario what I want and Mario will fly the tricopter, not me! Yes , this is beyond “fly-by-wire” folks. This is fly-by-computer transmitter-to-X giga hertz radio link-to-computer receiver-to-Mario-to tricopter.

I’m so confused.
But, I want to fly a tricopter and so I carry on.

With my new found vision I am determined to give Mario all the wisdom needed to be a multicopter pilot. This requires me to get the
information from here:



And teach it to Mario with an Arduino sketch program/application from here:


Are you confused?
I’m so confused.
But, I want to fly a tricopter and so I carry on.

It’s not so bad. Actually it’s kind of rewarding. Mario now has everything he needs to fly “his” tricopter. He is so-o-o happy that he blinks his lights at me in a kind of electronic kumbaiya!  ( it’s ok, I’ll be alright, really…)


So now it’s the big moment. Mario knows what to do. I know what to do. What I must do is to plug in the battery pack. Sounds simple huh?  Well, not really because if you have followed this whole saga, you know that if even ONE little thing is not correct, well, ZZITT! Something is going to burn up. I know this too. And with great trepidation and triple checking every connection, I do it. I plug in the battery. ( have you ever had so much drama plugging in a battery pack?)

OH, LORD ALMIGHTY ! The ESC’s start blinking and beeping, Mario just blinks ( but, he’s the strong silent type) NOTHING starts smoking!  YES-S-S! I move the stick to arm the motors and the Green LED confirms arming and ..and.. and..?

And nothing! Just the cacophony of 3 ESC’s saying that they hear nothing,know nothing, and will do nothing but blink and beep.  Now this is a bit unnerving with three ESC’s blareing away and me being, well, so confused.

But, I want to fly a tricopter and so I carry on.

So I try to wiggle the rudder stick and see if the tail servo works. Yes, for one brief instance and then it’s dead. chit I forgot I am using an old computer controlled solid state programmable multivariable everything-mixable-do-everything Airtronics NEGATIVE shift radio. Yeah, it fried the beautiful positive-shift metal geared Hitech 85mg servo in a 1/2 heartbeat. chit

I will not be denied! I will throw money at this project! I will buy a new radio and servo. ( I’ll save you Mario! ) So I buy a DX6i and a Hitech 65HB and install them. ( how anticlimatic is that?)  But the exciting part is :

I plug in the battery pack once again!  Oh Yeah! Blinking lights and treble tone beeps and no smoke.  The high anxiety move: wiggle the rudder stick. YES! it works! It works! Oh the sweet smell of sucess! When I move the tricopter around the yaw axis , Mario moves the servo in the opposite direction . OK. thats sucess, kind of like a blinking light. It means the gyros are working and the CPU is working and the reciever is working and , and, and. chit. the ESC’s are still blinking and beeping their treble tone of a cacophony of failure.

I’m so confused.
Do I really want to fly a tricopter?

Folks, I tried everything, really. Nothing worked. Finally I called Lucien at innov8tive designs and asked him about these Scorpion Commander ESC’s. Let me tell you, Lucien’s great. He is the gold standard of techinal support.  I did not like what he told me, but….  The bottom line is: Scorpion ESC’s will “time out” in 3 -5 seconds upon plugging in to the battery pack and go into fail-safe mode if there is no control signal. It is a nice safety feature.  BUT, Mario needs 6-8 seconds to “wake up” upon plugging in the battery pack before hes sends a signal.  Do the math.

I’m not confused.
I have to buy 3 new ESC’s that do not have fail safe programming.
Because I still want to fly a tricopter , I will carry on…

Until next month, stay tuned for :

The Next Big Thing

Rocket Bob Kreutzer

Electroglide Report from 6/18/2011



This months Electroglide had one real highlight….John Forester had the longest Electroglide flight of his life onthe first toss –9:41 –with his Ascent. Believe me, he was thrilled. The first of many more, John! Good work!

Next month, the July Electroglide. Again it’s early in the month, the 16th. Write it down on your calendars so you won’t forget it. See you then (more Open Class and Easy Star pilots are still welcome!). Join the fun of the Electroglide!

Don Wemple

The Results for the Standard Class –Radians

                                  Toss 1             Toss 2             Toss 3             Toss 4              Total
Jeff Struthers               53                  52                   40                39 (10)              184
Tom Erickson                66 (10)             56                     0                  30                   152
Terry Thomann               30                  20                   22                77 (20)              149

Open Class

John Forester                58                  18                41 (20)               7                    123 (124 corrected)
Steven Scott                  0                   11                   17                 68 (10)                90 (96 corrected)
(“Super” Radian)