Daily Archives: January 24, 2019

18 posts

President’s Corner for Jan./Feb. 2019

Hey pilots,

I wanted to welcome everybody to a great year ahead for flying, I look forward to serving to my best potential for the club and everybody involved. 

I wanted to take a minute and And tell you a little bit about myself. I have been flying models for around four years but I have been in the aviation industry since I was a little kid. I spent four years in the Navy as a jet engine mechanic after that I got my A&P license. I have been fascinated with all things RC I have flown helicopters driven boats cars and now I’m flying airplanes that is the most fun. 

We are still on track to get the field swept down at the end of this month or the beginning of next so that we can have a nice runway to fly off of. And thanks again for staying off the runway during the wet and rainy seasons. Foot prints make it hard on landing gear. 

We did have a minor fire at the west end of the field we had 2 fire trucks show up. Fortunately for the pilot who crashed there were fire extinguishers at the site to help keep the fire from spreading when it first started. Please if you have a fire extinguisher bring it to the field with you. If you don’t use it great but it’s always good to have just in case. 

And finally to hit on the Christmas party we had a great time everybody was joyous and happy. Even the wives got prizes this year. The food was excellent the Harbor House venue was amazing. A big thank you to the Harbor House for putting on the event for us. 

A new year, a new you. Remember to have fun. This hobby is as great as you make it so make it the greatest hobby you can. And remember we are all safety officers. 

Respectfully yours,

Tony Blackhurst. 

January 2019 Club Event – Bomb Drop

It’s that time again. Come out for the first Bomb Drop of 2019. Also if you have any payload releases on your plane your encouraged to bring them for some target practice before and after the regular event.  Click the pic for pics from the last Bomb Drop event.

Scale MQ-9 UAV R/C Project – Cheap and Easy Vac-U-Forming!

By Bob Kreutzer

I have been working on an MQ-9 UAV (top) R/C model. It started with a Nitro Planes model kit (above).

Yes, It has all of the standard Chinese good and bad that has been talked about (Ad nauseam) but it is a starting point.  For this report though, I had to fabricate some scale pieces that had to be custom made. In this case, it is the elevator and rudder servo fairings. This aircraft has no hydraulic systems, for control actuation it is all electric servo control just like our models!

Please take note as to how prominent these covers actually are. They are a visually defining bit of the overall look of this scale model. As a bit of technical information also note that there are two servo covers per elevator. This is the double redundancy of this control. There are 4 electrical elevator servos per aircraft. Note the single rudder servo ( no redundancy?). The Vee tail can, in case of a rudder servo failure, make it back to base with just the Vee tail authority. There are a lot of engineering trade-offs on this aircraft.

All control surfaces are multi redundant and electrically powered.  Servo covers are an important scale feature that should, in my opinion, be addressed.  To that end, I vacuum formed my elevator covers in a really simple way that I found on ( where else? ) You Tube. Here is a picture of the result.

I used a 10% scale 3d printed model servo cover for my 8% model because that’s what I had. This is close enough as you can see by the slightly more trimmed back plastic final result .

For the vacuum forming platen, I used a tin can, a shop vacuum, a heat gun, and plastic bowl that I had lying around.

I pinched the can to fit the vacuum hose and to clamp into the vise. Duct tape took care of the air seal.  I just drilled a bunch of holes with a 1/16” drill and that is about it. Check out my really nice brass form.  This is as simple as it gets.

This picture shows the set up and the before and after heat-gunning the plastic bowl.  Try to keep the heat in the center of the bowl and the rim will provide a bit of a stable “frame” that help with the vacuum seal around the edge.

I just heated up the center of the plastic bowl and turned on the vacuum and pressed it onto the can/vacuum former. That’s it !  Be ready to scrap 50% or so until you get “ the feel for it” But, at 8 cents a try, well ….

So for a few minutes of work I have my 4 servo covers and I’m ready for paint. I hope this inspires.  Some of you to try this super simple, super quick, cheap, vacuum forming technique

Post Script:

I tried a few improvements, and here are some pictures.

I went to party city and purchased some grey plastic plates because they are easier to paint to match.

I also used some aluminum window screen to distribute the vacuum and it worked much better (less scrap)

I also used some old caulk to seal the vacuum hose and this worked better

Take note of the little piece of foam I used at the back of the servo cover mold to help the plastic not

Bridge and cut itself off (and pop a vacuum leaking hole) at the back edge of the servo cover mold.

The last tip I can offer is to continue using the heat gun after applying the vacuum.

You can really improve your success ratio with a little bit of well placed heat.

Well, that’s about it. It’s pretty easy , cheap, LIGHT, and makes a big difference in the visual effect of a scale model.

Bob K

More pics: Continue reading

Prism Isotope RC Kite Plane at SEFSD – January 2019

I live in Minnesota but spend January in San Diego. I enjoy flying with the Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego (SEFSD) at the Mission Bay field (not to mention the fabulous banquet in January), but I needed a reasonably sized model airplane that would travel well on an airline. Last year, I modified a Prism Zero G Glider Kite (purchased at the kite store in Seaport Village) for this mission (see the March 2018 SEFSD Peak Charge for details).

This year I decided to design a more robust Kite-Plane from a Prism Isotope kite purchased from the kite store in Seaport Village ($55). It flies quite well as a kite. As an airplane, it flies even better. High overhead, it looks like a kite without a string, traveling cross country.

A light weight rudder (foam board) provides yaw/roll control (using dihedral). The dihedral is accomplished by pulling a tight string across the back of the kite from the right corner to the left corner – like you have all done with the typical diamond kite. The motor is gimbaled up and down to provide pitch control. This gives very effective pitch control as long as you have some power applied to the motor. When you cut the throttle it becomes a glider with only yaw/roll provided by the rudder. To land, you need to add some power and a lot of up “elevator” to enter a high alpha mode. If you play it just right, you can “plop” it down right at your feet. The conversion was very successful. It can be flown either as a kite or airplane. All of the special fittings for this Kite-Plane were created in 3D CAD and printed on my low cost 3D printer. All the parts could be built up with wood, but the 3D printing process allows a lot of tweaking/redesign in a short period of time. I think the basic kite frame is fiberglass. I used some 3/16 wood dowels and carbon fiber rods along with the 3D printed fittings to complete the structure.

The empty weight is 576 grams and the All Up Weight with a 3S 1500mah Lipo is 715 grams. The wing span is 48 inches. The motor is a Cheetah 2212-13 1000 KV with a 10 x 4.5 prop. It flies nicely with just under 50% throttle. Measured flight time is 21 minutes when the 3.6V warning beeper starts telling me it’s time to land. It handles wind very well up to point. At the SEFED field, I was able to fly it slow enough to fly “backwards” with an 8 mph breeze.

Since we stay in Coronado for the month of January, the Kite-Plane makes a great backpack airplane. I ride the Coronado Ferry to the Broadway Pier, then take the trolley to the Morena/Linda Vista stop. The bike takes me the rest of the way to the SEFSD field.

Attached are some photos of the Prism Isotope Kite-Plane in the kite configuration, airplane configuration, and backpack configuration.

Rob Jahnke

Member – SEFSD (San Diego CA), MARCS (Madison WI),  Northstar Flyers (Holdingford MN) 

Click HERE for a nice video of the Isotope.

Events Calendar for 2019

By Ian Mckinlay

Jan 26th.   Bomb Drop 1
Feb 23rd.   Don’t Spill The Beans
Mar 23rd.   Poker Fly
Apr 27th.   Foam Frenzy
May 25th.  Jet Day
Jun 22nd.  Bomb Drop 2
Jul 27th.   Umx Flea Circus
Aug 24th.  Limbo
Sep 28th.  Scale Day
Oct 26th.   Airplane Derby
Nov 23rd.  Warbird Day

The new event “Airplane derby” will be fun for everyone. Participants and audience. Dig out your old ugly planes and come out for the first airplane derby. The object is to try to midair anyone else in the air. It’s a crash up derby, but with planes. Streamers are optional.  Will be harder than most people think.

Since we can’t score this event all participants will get a raffle ticket. Prizes will be the usual gift certs from DHW. 

Safety Report for January 2019

Safety counts!
As your new club safety officer I get to hear and see all sorts of calamities, some are simple excusable “dumb thumb” errors and some are a result of more serious disregard of common sense safety procedures. I would like to use the monthly newsletter to provide some insight into the safety concerns related to our activities at the field. 
With over 300 members operating a wide range of aircraft flying by VLOS and FPV there are lots of things that need to kept in mind. We have had several reports of some FPV flying getting too close to joggers on the paths along the water. While we have not been able to verify the facts in the incidents we ask all members to take extra care to be sure that they keep well clear of members of the public at ALL times regardless of where your craft is being flown. 
We will likely be updating the field map with some additional information so as to make it clearer what the operating boundaries are for the various aircraft type.
My goal is to preserve our right to use our field safely with the fewest restrictions possible—to this end it is important for everyone to exercise common sense and not do something that gets our activities on the radar of the city officials in a negative way.
Each member has a right and duty to ensure others operate their craft in a safe manner. If you see a unsafe practice let the person know in a calm and civil wha the problem is. If the issue is not resolved then please let me or an other board member know of the problem and we will try to resolve it.
Safe flying!
Steve Neu

SEFSD BOD Minutes for January 2019

Meeting starts at 6:57 pm

For this month’s meeting we discussed the incident with a drone flying recklessly through “trees” at high speeds and then being reported by a civilian to everybody and their grandmother.  We find it hard to believe that a club member would endanger people and our field by this type of behavior.  It could just be a non-member flying from a park bench.  Regardless, we have to police ourselves and other non-members flying at our filed or close to it.  We advise taking pictures and documenting any reckless behavior, otherwise we may lose our flying site. 

The Palm trees are out of bounds.  The other trees are within our bounds, however FPV thru these trees requires common sense, like a spotter at the trees maybe?  Also, remember our field has no fence and people do walk through it all the time.  I personally fly at palm tree top height near the palm trees.   Never fly lower than 10 ft AGL everywhere else because I have been surprised to see people walking right where I just flew.  People and full scale aircraft have the right away at any height and at any point on our field.  It is your responsibility to avoid people and animals crossing the runway.  Take a look and or have a spotter.

The next topic was field maintenance and setting up dates for rolling the runway.  Then we talked about AMA grants for the club.

And finally we talked about organizing the club events for the year.  Between bomb drop and limbo we are working on a great year full of fun events.  Please bring your badge to the next club event.

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

Your Humble Secretary,

Ken Dresser

Meeting Adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

Treasurer’s Report for Jan 2019

We are starting the year financially strong with over [removed] in our bank accounts. We’re currently at 245 members, with the expectation of around 400 by the end of the year. Last year, we made significant investments in our field, including fence modifications to make the Rotorplex safer, dust control for our runway, and two excellent PA systems. We also invested in many events at the field, including a catered food truck, T-shirts for the UAS4STEM participants, and of course our monthly contests. I want to thank the club members for your generosity at our 4th of July raffle and the T-shirt sale fundraiser. I also want to individually recognize Larry S. and Hoang T. for their direct cash contributions to our holiday party.  We are on track to have another successful and enjoyable year thanks to our supportive membership base.


SEFSD Treasurer 2019

Please Contribute to the Newsletter

Thanks to all who sent in goodies for this month’s newsletter!  You folks are the best! 

Your editor would love to hear from club members.  If there is anything you would like to share with the rest of us I want you to send it to me.  I will add it to the next newsletter.  My favorite things to publish are items sent in by members!!  These can be anything like reviews of your plane or equipment, links to good videos, links to articles and things you have built or created.  Bad spelling and/or grammar gladly accepted.  Anything from a picture with a caption to a full blown build/review article is good.  Letters-to-the-Editor are always welcome as well.  Tell us what you think.  Please help make the newsletter and website more interesting with your submissions.  Embarrassing pics/vids are the best.  I look forward to hearing from you.   — Steve    editor@sefsd.org