Frank Clement, W6KPC (SK)
HF antenna pioneer A. J. F. (Frank) Clement, W6KPC, of Bakersfield, California, died September 23 as a result of an highway accident. He was 93 and an ARRL Life Member.
A former owner of Tri-Ex Tower, Frank designed and built a number of high performance HF arrays over the course of several decades. The June 1980 issue of QST featured his article describing the Collinear Yagi Sextet. As he described it: “The antenna systems at W6KPC and OH8OS are computer controlled. The computer is programmed to search through the eight modes to see which receives the incoming signal best.” His other state of the art antenna projects appeared in the September 1951, May 1958 and November 1978 issues.
In 2006, The Radio Club of America (RCA) honored Clement with its 2006 Barry M. Goldwater Amateur Radio Award. The award recognized his accomplishments in designing and manufacturing towers and designing and constructing the Yagi Sextet, described as North America’s largest Amateur Radio phased HF Yagi sextet.
Clement worked for Hughes Aircraft and was part of the engineering team that designed and built the Hughes Flying Boat (the HK-1 Hercules), better known as the Spruce Goose. He later worked in missile technology at Northrop; founded Diodes Incorporated, a silicon rectifier maker; built Golden Valley Radio, an early specialized mobile radio system, and acquired Tri-Ex Tower.
In expressing appreciation for the Goldwater Award, Clement noted that he knew the award’s namesake -- five-term US Senator, 1964 Republican presidential candidate and ham radio advocate Barry Goldwater, K7UGA (SK) -- because Goldwater had bought a Skyneedle while Clement owned Tri-Ex.
Clement is survived by his wife, Chong Ye. There will be a graveside service October 4 at 1 PM at the Delano Cemetery, Delano, California. A memorial service will be held at First Assembly of God, 4901 California Ave, Bakersfield, on October 4 at 3:30 PM. Services were arranged by Mish Funeral Home. Memorial contributions can be made to The A. J. F. Clement Memorial Fund, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, PO Box 9506, Bakersfield, CA 93389-9506.