Northwest Control-Line History

Gallery 1, 2007 and before

These are photos from Pacific Northwest control-line model aviation history, submitted by FL readers in 2007 and before. More recently submitted photos are on the current Northwest CL History page and on the 2008 NW CL History Gallery page.

If you have information that would add further detail to the captions on this page, e-mail the Flying Lines editor.

New! The 1973 Nats and the Original Line Slider See article in Navy Carrier section

Puget Sound fliers in the CL Craze Days

More historical photos from Don Shultz! Left photo: Don Schultz, now of Gig Harbor, Wash., around 1956 with his Wildcat Right photo: Mike Potter in the 1960s, probably flying in Lakewood, Wash. Mike is still an active carrier and scale flier in the Northwest, living in Auburn, Wash.

Stunt fliers at the old Boeing site

Don Shultz provided the latest batch of historical photos. This is a group of stunt fliers captured on film at the old Boeing Aerospace Center site in Kent, Wash., in the 1970s. Left photo: Gary Letsinger. He's still seen regularly at Seattle area contests, though not lately with an airplane. Right photo: Letsinger at left, with Joe Dill, now a resident of the Spokane area.

Left photo: Bob Emmett, who is still an active modeler, residing in Sequim, Wash. Right photo: (From left) Gary Letsinger, Bob Emmett and Jim Parsons. Parsons was a hard-working stunt judge in many Northwest contests. The annual Jim Parsons Memorial Stunt-a-Thon in the Puget Sound area is named for him.

Stunt flier Mark Freeman and his planes

Leo Mehl passed along these photos of Mark Freeman and the scan of plans (right) for the Spitfire (above left) that Mark designed and had published in American Aircraft Modeler. Leo recalls Mark flying at Delta Park in Portland, Ore., in the 1960s and '70s. The plans were published in the early '70s. The photo at left is from the magazine article. The FL editor remembers that Mark made a brief comeback flying stunt at a later time, possibly the late '80s. Plane at right is a Novi. Gerald Schamp recalls that the Spitfire was powered by a highly modified SuperTigre .60, with all extra metal removed to make the total weight as low as possible. Photo below shows Mark and Peggy in the stunt pits during a Northwest contest. Here's hoping that Mark shows up on the Northwest flying circuit again. Photos provided by Don Schultz.

1981 Regionals combat winners

In the past, fast combat was a top-gun event at the Northwest Regionals. At the contest held in Eugene, Ore., in 1981, the champ was Will Naemura of Portland, Ore., flanked by Gene Pape (right) of Eugene and Norm McFadden of Lynnwood, Wash. Will is still an active modeler, now concentrating on speed, and has been on the U.S. world championship speed team several times. Norm still serves as a combat official in Puget Sound area contests. Gene, designer of several successful combat airplanes, still lives in Eugene and flies occasionally with the Prop Spinners. Charlie Johnson photo.

1960s stunt flier Mel Winters

Leo Mehl of Portland, Ore., and Don Shultz of Gig Harbor, Wash., are proving to be a wealth of CL historical photos. The photo at right, provided to Leo by Don, is of the late Mel Winters of Ridgefield, Wash., an active stunt flier in the 1960s.

Stunt trio, 1960s

Leo Mehl of Portland, Ore., provided this photo, taken in the 1960s by Gary Letsinger and sent to Leo by Don Schultz. On the left is Ben Madsen of Tacoma, Wash. In the center is John Lindermn of Clatskanie, Ore., and on the right is the late Bill McDow of the Portland area. Gary Letsinger photo.

Racing action, 1986

Paul Gibeault of Edmonton, Alberta, has attended nearly every Northwest Regionals. Here's a photo of Paul in action pitting a mouse race in 1986, though the location of the contest is uncertain. Mike "ZZ" Hazel says the background indicates that the contest was at the Rice Mill Road site in Richmond, B.C., which may mean that it took place at that year's Canadian Nationals. Photo provided by Paul Gibeault.

Two NW stunt icons

Some great historical photos sent in by Don Shultz of Gig Harbor, Wash. Above are portraits of Charley Huff, who was a noted stunt judge in the Northwest for many years and a great promoter of control-line model flying. He's seen at left judging at Sand Point Naval Air Station in Seattle, and at right in closeup. Below, stunt flier Tim Dunlop presents Huff with a lifetime achievement award at the Albany, Ore., contest in a 1971 photo. Below right, Tim Dunlop with the modified Thunderbird he flew at the 1968 Nats in Olathe, Kan.

The ultimate CL endurance flight

That was the headline in Model Airplane News, August 1979 (back when MAN still carried control-line news). It was an article about the famous Eugene, Ore., endurance flight, that had begun fading from memory. Yes, using a remote fueling system (the pilot had a gallon can of fuel strapped to his chest, and it was fed down a tube via the lines) and a remote needle adjustment (a servo was powered by signals sent down insulated control lines), the Eugene Prop Spinners' plane took off on Sept. 1, 1957, and landed on Sept. 3, 64 hours and 33 minutes later, having burned 30-7/8 gallons of fuel and traveled 2,705 miles. Thirteen pilots and four ground crew members participated.

These are the Eugene Prop Spinners members who participated in the record flight, using a modified Veco Chief powered by a specially prepared K&B Allyn .35 with two glow plugs, and electronic components and fuel system designed by CL pioneer Oba St. Clair (second from left in standing row). The fourth man from the left in the standing row is Morrie Gilbert of Eugene, Ore., who remained an active member of the Prop Spinners until his death in 2008. Third from the left in the standing row is Fred Hazel, father of Mike "ZZ" Hazel. Two others recently identified are Ron Fetsch (to the left of Oba St. Clair), and, in the back row on the far right, Wendell Gray and Bob Steen (far right). The plane still exists and is in the Eugene Toy & Hobby shop. Thanks to Mark Agerter of ET&H for the recent identifications.

For complete details of the flight, see the article in the August 1979 issue of MAN. The flight also was covered in the modeling press shortly after it happened in 1957.

A trio of chipper Chipmunk fliers

Don Shultz sent in this photo of three stunt fliers campaigning the Chipmunk design in the 1980s. That's Don on the right. Flier on the left is Rich Schaper of Kelso, Wash., and the pilot in the center is Randy Schultz of the Seattle area. Don's plane is a 59-inch-span Chipmunk powered by a SuperTigre .46. Don recently retired from Boeing, lives in Gig Harbor, Wash., and is still flying the Chip! The photo was taken at the Boeing Aerospace Center.

A pair classic Northwest fliers

Who's this guy with the classy red airplane, photographed at the Sand Point Naval Air Station sometime in the mid-1960s? Hint: The plane is called a Rebel, and it looks a bit like a more modern airplane called the Grinder. Now you know: It's Leo Mehl of Portland, Ore. Leo recalls that the plane was powered by a Merco redhead .35 and weighed 39 ounces. He would like to document the date of the picture in order to classify the plane for Classic Stunt. He also thinks a Johnson .35 would complete the classic nature of the plane. Photo provided by Don Shultz. In right photo is Gene Matheny, one of Leo's flying buddies in Portland in the 1960s. The plane was an original Matheny design that looked a lot like a Spitfire. Leo recalls that Gene built three of these airplanes; this one was powered by a Fox .35. Leo says Gene was one of the best stunt fliers in the area in the '60s.

Send in your historic CL photo. All you have to do is e-mail the editor or mail the hard-copy photos to Flying Lines, 2456 Quince St., Eugene, OR 97404.

Back to current NW CL history page

NW CL History 2009 gallery

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This page was upated Sept. 2, 2010