The Bod Busters battle the elements at the 2007 Fall Follies. Mark Hansen photo.
SALEM, Ore. -- Yes Folks, it's true.
Narrowly missing a major explosion in Tacoma, the ******Broadway Bod Busters****** finished the 2007 flying season at the Fall Follies by winning:
First, Second, Third, Forth and Fifth!!!!!!!
First: Dan Rutherford ***STUNT GURU*** P-41 stunt
Second: Jeff Rein *** THE REIN MAN*** Combat
Third: Ken Burdick *** KENNY B*** Combat
Fourth: Buzz Wilson ***THE BUZZ MAN*** Combat
Fifth: Don McKay ***COMBAT MONSTER*** Combat
The weather conditions were, to say the least, windy. Only the brave of heart would venture out into the stunt circle and risk hundreds of hours of skilled work to the 30 mph winds that were plaguing the contest.
Dan Rutherford, our Stunt Guru, sojourned on to a FIRST PLACE in P-41 using the now famous signature edition, Dirtmobile. Dan has flown this combination of well tuned ARF and OS .20 to show what can be done and not "break the bank" or spend hundreds of hours building.
Dan has shown all that a reasonable flying profile with a consistent running engine can in fact be competitive. So what? Here's what, a kid..no, even a combat flyer, could enter stunt using Dan's formula and be competitive. There is a point here and Dan is the only one to make it, I hope that he publishes the results of his efforts soon.
Apparently Mike Hazel made it back from his escape in B.C. to administer whale oil and chili to the barbeque, John Thompson seemed to have calmed him down enough to do some real damage in racing on Saturday, winning three events as the evil Nitroholics.
After the worldwide premiere of the notable "Oriental Clown" in Seattle, we burned the midnight oil to get the speedy stunter to behave, apparently we should have burned the stunter. At The Seattle contest the engine ran lean, hot and just plain didn't like to go slow. The obvious answer was to put a bag on it to eliminate the variables introduced by the tank and vibration. This was done beautifully by Jeff and "secret testing" commenced last week. The Maginum started and ran like a dream, rich and at about 9,000 rpm.
I let it go, the engine picked up speed, a few level laps allowed it to show us how truly wonderful it would now run on a bag. Within another 60 seconds the speed had steadily increased and was now somewhere near 80 mph, maybe the high 70'\s.
Shortly after the 2/3 fuel point, the engine went over lean. The yellow bird sagged and inched its way around all the while eating what was left of the piston. We looked at each other with that "NOW WHAT!" look as the bastard ARF sagged by once again.
I yelled that I could drop my hat on it when Jeff slid the overheated tail dragger past me. "YES, GOD YES!" "Just make the engine stop!" (We had a plan)
Running like a Baby Bee with a loose tank, Big Bird approached me, I was ready and dropped my ball cap for a direct prop hit.
Relief turned to horror as the 11 x 4 APC grabbed the hat and threw it under the still running engine tearing off the landing gear! I could hear Jeff hollering "NOW LOOK!"
The anguish continued until the melt down of the Magnum .36 was complete, it landed smoking hot on the muffler and tail-wheel. "That went well" I said, (feeling a little guilty about the hat) we returned to the stunt lab. We had just enough time to make one last attempt to correct the lean running. All indicators point to the engine, and now it was incinerated, at least that variable was out of the way. We could put a new engine/tank on it and test fly in Salem.
Outfitted with a fresh Magnum, a new shiny metal tank that was insulated with "secret stuff" to dampen vibration, the big yellow lumber yard took off and as far as I could see ran well, I left to go sign up for combat. Apparently while I was gone the new Magnum became a racing engine dragging Jeff around like a rag doll in ever increasing wind storm. I have a theory, once a combat engine, always a combat engine. Simply put, the thing can not be retrained!
We listened hard for encouragement and thought our mentor, Stunt Guru Dan Rutherford was yelling "Dumas" ...like the old Veco Kits. We smiled and said, "he thinks we should fly something like a Chief, or the Smoothie." It was however not what he said at all, it was "Dumb-Ass!"I think it was the pointing and laughing that finally gave it away..
The BROADWAY BODBUSTERS Staggered ... no wait, swaggered onto the field Fresh" from our team meeting at Stars the night before. Many things were discussed there, things that will forever change combat as we know it today, things we may not remember right off .We even hatched a plan to bring in flyers from around the world. "All things in their own time" as they say, so that will be for another article.
he Buzz Man spent some time interviewing a candidate for "Executive secretary" of the BBB. He is still explaining why we need one, but seems emphatic that we do. He say's it has to do with our impending "Scale entry" at next years Regionals, and press release to that effect.
The wind was interesting to say the least, I put up a test flight only to watch the wing turn left and fly sideways over my head and into the ground. Others were just plain crashing so test flying came to a halt and matches were begun. The field was small and potential for cut-ways high due to the wind. When pilots get separated its bad enough, when they are fighting to maintain control due to gale force winds it's dangerous. I had cut Don Mckay loose right at the wingtip, his H&R shut-off shut down immediately.
All were struggling with the wind, Jeff and I flew a match and both thought we'd fly conservative, the wide loops and maneuvers only made the impending collision that much higher in speed, you could not pick a spot and aim at it.
We called off the destruction derby after two rounds of flying. Coin tosses determined who won based on our scores to that point.
Combat Monster Don McKay somehow lost to Bob Smith in a match that was never started. Don and Bob got into a line ball moments after the launch and Bob was given the win. The "incident" as we now refer to it, has created an unofficial tie for fifth place.
The Combat Monster grabbed the loot and mumbled "MINE!" We let him take whatever was there.
We phoned Don from a safe distance to let him know that he had lost to someone who "hadn't won, just in case of another "unfortunate reaction."
It's been a fun season of flying as the Bod Busters, old friends and new old friends all have come together to make the BBB and to us that's the best reason there could be.
The team is an unusual mix of characters, we know it, and it's no secret. Each one has always been this way, "just a little out there"
Some say it's that gleam in the eye, or the too loud laugh, the occasional fire in the pits. To me it's like coming home after a long trip and I for one wouldn't have it any other way. Fun is contagious and so is laughter, we will continue to enjoy the company of each other and our friends, competing with them in the next year's events.
We will continue to support John Thompson in his work to develop this most excellent Web site and encourage others to contribute both time and funds to keep it going.
The BROADWAY BOD BUSTERS intend to add one, perhaps two more events to our repertoire next year so I will keep you all informed as the technology progresses, lab experiments are proven (disproven) and as always the comings and goings of Mike Hazel and his band of blood thirsty Whale hunters.
This page was upated Oct. 17, 2007