Daily Archives: April 14, 2020

12 posts

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

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