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Oct 05, 2015, 12:48 PM
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Electric runway project

With the club-wide runway discussion going on right now via email I created this thread to present selected information about this project.

Chris B.
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Oct 05, 2015, 12:51 PM
Team Hello Kitty
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Runway extract from SVSS 9-12-2015 meeting minutes

Electric runway project. It was reported that Bill Rinkleib has been working on this project. Many calls and discussions have happened on the topic of which type of “runway covering” is best. Bill Curry offered his runway experiences at NBRC in Napa saying they had to add new a fabric layer every few years but then it had to all be removed every 3-4 years because the weeds eventually started coming through fabric tears caused by propeller contact. Bill said that particular material is used in asphalt highways.

Lou Fox has also researched materials including Geomat that he said is UV tolerant and heavy duty. Lou did say that doing proper prep on the ground with 3-4” of roadbase ran another club who did this around $3-3.5k. This was for a 15' x 300' runway. So the big cost in this project may be ground prep. it was suggested that we explore getting access to a scraper either via another club or using one owned by the county. It was also suggested that there is a possibility that the park's caretaker Jesse might help us with that.

Longtime club member Ty Hoblitt related that he does lots of work in this area (he is an architect) and is very familiar with ground prep for projects like this. He suggested lime treatment as a permanent way to prep and pack the ground for a runway like this.

It was reported that there is no specific timeline for this project while a ground prep solution is worked out. A question was asked about how much club money was allocated for this project when it was last being pursued. The answer was $500 which was intended to cover materials but it is now recognized that the bigger cost is with ground prep. Someone suggested that we consider establishing a special Runway Fund to help cover these costs.

Another question was asked about whether our field is a public park and therefore might allow us to control who uses the runway. Answer was offered that due to the terms in our new lease we have “exclusive rights” to our field as the controlling concessionaire. So the club at least technically has the power to restrict field use to paying club members. Another member asked if we could require all who use our field to be AMA members and the answer was given that we could but as another member pointed out our club has no established provisions for how we would (ed.-legally and safely) enforce such a requirement.
Oct 05, 2015, 12:52 PM
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Supplement to Sept 12 minutes: Electric Runway info

Sept 14 2015: I just received an email from Bill "Weeds" Rinkleib. Because he was unable to attend this meeting he requested that I post the following results of his research so far into electric runway materials and ground preparation. --Chris
Bill Rinkleib met with Carl Springer, sales manager for Reed &Graham Inc. (Geosynthetics). He is located in Sacramento near the old Army Depot. We discussed qualities, sizes, life spans, costs etc. of the fabrics he has in stock. I learned the following: Petromat is the lightest weight of the overlay fabrics. It's primary use is as an underlayment to an asphalt overlay for highways. The other material he showed me is woven RG315W. Both materials are porous, but Petromat is about 10 times as porous as the RG. I explained our ground squirrel situation, and Carl indicated that the squirrels would nibble on the Petromat and use the fibers for their nest. Petromat is not a consistent spread layout, but meets quality standards. When you look through it, one area will be dense, while the area adjacent will be much less dense. I have samples of each available.

Petromat comes in a roll 12 1/2 feet by 360 feet and costs $318.
RG315W comes 12 1/2 feet by 360 feet and costs $472, or
RG315W comes 17 1/2 feet by 258 feet and costs $472
60d nails come in a 50# box for $68. (Approx 550)
1 1/2" washers come in a 50# box for $96 (approx 1500)
3 boxes of nails are equated to 1 box of washers
Both materials have a 3 to 7 year life out in the elements.

To do this absolutely right, we should dig down 1/2 to 1 foot, install a layer of Petromat, build up to grade with some compacted base material, grade, compact, spray pre-emergent, then lay the fabric.

To do it, the way I see us doing it, is as follows: grading, leveling, rolling for compaction (the piece I believe was never taken into consideration), spraying a pre-emergent, then rolling out the fabric and nailing it in place.

Carl indicated that he has a sealant (like chewing gum) to stick the overlay to the following placement of overlay. It costs $30 per 50 foot roll.

I would suggest we go with the RG315W, after all the prep work is done. Carl will deliver to the site for $100.

I also propose that we go with the 17.5 foot by 258 foot roll, and do only the south runway at this time, but expand it to 34 by 129 feet.

Material costs (only) would be:

RG315W. $472
Nails (3) $68x3 = $204
Washers $96
Delivery. $100
Sealant 3x$50= $150
Total. $1022 Excluding preemergent, leveling, grading, compaction, etc.

So far the club has authorized spending $500 for materials for this project. Materials alone will cost at least $1022.

The piece not yet discussed is the prep work. This will be the most expensive part, unless someone knows a contractor or someone in the earth moving business, who can cut us a deal. I believe this issue needs much more discussion, before we move forward.

Oct 05, 2015, 12:59 PM
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Newsletter extracts, Electric Runway topic

SVSS Newsletter extracts regarding the Electric Runway topic (2010 to present, reverse chron. order):

2014 - Jan/Feb - pg6 - For years, we’ve been flirting with the idea of an electric runway. I'm not sure if there's a big push for it any longer. ALES is taking the electric world by storm and here again I think we need a wide, closely cropped south winch area for use in landings practicing and electric flying. Further, to the extent we keep the south winch area mowed, this entire area gets used as a runway. I’ve never had an issue landing and taking off in the winch areas with ROG (ground roll) electric airplanes. Having said all that, if there are at least 6 SVSS members who feel strongly about a true runway, we’ll take another look at that. By “strongly” I’m referring to a willingness to do the actual work necessary to design, plan and build the runway.

2012 - Sept - pg1 - Then on Saturday after the June make up contest that drew 21 pilots, the electric runway was getting some business as Scott and Rick were flying their T 28’s around in semi formation. Tom Ball had his Red Old Timer out (and let me fly it, what a beauty !!) and appears the runway was working out nicely. We’re still working out the exact location of a mirror runway on the north side of the containers for a second runway option depending on wind and winch consideration.

2012 - May - pg1 - Carl is working on our electric aircraft runway. Next step will be to order some fabric, spike it down and spray some roundup through it. Dudley brought out his tractor and disc last Thursday.

2012 - Mar - pg1 - Carl (Juan Mota) has pulled a drag over the small electric plane runway on the south end of the field and we will be grading a similar runway on the north of the field so depending on which direction the winches are set up, we will have an active runway. The plan is to also start writing a few guidelines for flying slow and fast electrics. Safety Officer Martin will be putting a draft of [electric] safety guidelines together and we will be discussing them at the next club meeting.

2012 - Feb - pg1 - The expansion of the electric runway is in the planning stages and some early discussion indicates the introduction of rules and areas designated for flying electrics when the winches are set up for a north or south direction. Also discussion continues with some suggestions for electrics that are fast and / or big and heavy. Park flyer of the foam variety could have an area closer in, but for any variety, we need to think of the appropriate safety line and flying areas to designate. Safety Officer Martin Falarski and coordinator Carl Vega could be reached for suggestions.

2011 - Aug - pg1 - “We also discussed site safety at the meeting with particular focus on how electrics are being flown. A couple of recent events have raised concern especially with low flight over people, the shade structure and the parking lot. The consensus was to remind everyone of the AMA safety rules regarding flying electrics which I did in a recent email, to erect markers showing the limits of the electric flight zone and to consider a more formal process for address pilots who ignore the safety rules. Hopefully a few words will suffice to alert everyone as to the clubs position on following the Club‟s and AMA‟s safety rules.

2011 - Aug - pg2 - Electric Runway. Juna Mota continues with his research for an idea surface for our new Electric Runway. He appears to have narrowed his prospects to decomposed granite. We thank Steve Vaczovsky for that suggestion. Once the final surface decision is reached, we could be just a few weeks away from completion of this project and an inaugural celebration.”

2011-July - pg2 - Electric Runway. Progress continues on the new runway for electrics. Project manager, Carl Vega, reports that the area was recently graded and prepared for the runway material. He’s doing some research for best surface material to use for the actual runway. The use of asphalt isn’t allowed by the County so the use of alternative materials is being explored. Carl’s checking with various clubs in the are to see what they’ve used. He’s also checking with AMA and landscape contractors for ideas.

2011-June - pg1 - You will see that the field has grown a bit on the SW corner. That is thanks to the hard work of Juan and his electric team who are making a space for an electric runway. They’ve move logs and with the help of Dudley smoothed the area. Next is more grading and then a fabric mat to help create a runway.

2011-May - pg4 - Electric Runway Update - Juan Mota. A sample footprint is now down. Next is grass removal, leveling and moving the logs.

2011-Apr - pg2 - Electric Runway. Carl Vega reports that progress continues on our new runway for electrics and aero-tow events. “The electric runway is proceeding, pending the weather. The grass will be removed and then mat will be installed”

2011-Mar - pg2 - Electric Runway. For quite some time, many club members have been clamor-
ing for an area dedicated to electrics. Past President Carl Vega .(a.k.a. Juan Mota) is spearheading the effort to locate and build a runway for electric planes. Those interested in this process are encouraged to contact Carl to render your comments and suggestions. pg3 - Electric Runway Project. We are moving forward with the planning phase of the electric runway. … As soon as we have the runway finished I want SVSS to host the first annual Central Valley Electric Fun Fly.

2011 - Jan - pg2 - The absence of a runway for electrics still seems to be a popular topic both on the field... What seems to be lacking is one or two guys to spearhead the project...

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