The Broadway Bod Busters

New control-line Speed event gets a name
and the Winner is ...

By Ken Burdick

Yes folks, it's true.

There actually was a winner in the Name That Sled contest. The overly large mail sack was delivered to the BBB top secret research center in Covington Wa, where all sorts of clever plans are hatched. Hatched is about the best adjective one can put on the ideas that come outta there.

A meeting of the BBB fraternity was called to sort through the massive numbers of entries we either got in the mail or on the email. There were so many, we decided to construct one of those huge squirrel cage wheels so we could mix them all together and get the best ….nawwwww, it was just cool to do it.

Mine….no mine! …No, wait, MINE!


We all had ideas on how to construct this cage of mixology, unfortunately they were wildly different.

The Buzz Man, being an engineer, decided we should build it out of wire mesh, like in the old TV shows. The Combat Monster insisted that carbon fiber would be better since it was lighter and we could use the new lightweight gorilla glue on it. The Rein Man was standing on a chair shouting that HIS idea made the most logical sense, while Dirty Dan, the Stunt Guru and Steve-O saved time by just slugging it out.

When the smoke cleared and we were all exhausted, we decided to just put them into a box once used to contain beverages. The Rein Man said he would choose, but the Combat Monster went for it first. Sadly, they were both smoking at the time and during the struggle the box caught fire burning most everything in it.

When the REAL smoke cleared, we found one piece of scrap that had the letter C on it. Immediately the Rein Man said it was his and he should win the engine. The rest of us all sat back and had a beer while Jeff ran through the facility shouting “I win! I win!” (Combat fliers are just that way)

So dear readers, the new speed event will be known from here on as “C” speed. Not very clever, but it gets the job done.

What's been going on!

Since the introduction article to C speed, I have been amazed at how many new and used speed fliers have decided that this is a cool idea, it seems to have gained momentum all its own. Notable speed figures such as Slugger Brown, Joey Mathison, Paul Gibeault, Steve Wilks are either looking into this event or actually building something. Much credit goes to Dick Shannon, an ex-drag racer with a pedigree of professional cars, who has been collecting equipment for the upcoming event. Dick's enthusiasm is such that he has synergized a team in Arizona to fly this event. “Team Slugger” (already formed!) is buying pro engines from Henry Nelson, speed pans from Henry and the Hippy, and all manner of other speed goodies to create the new generation of C speed. With this crowd, there will be runs into the 190's in no time. Teams for this event are popping up like beers at a Texas combat session ... oh wait ... that's politically incorrect. To any of you outside of the U.S, the Texans do not drink beer while flying combat. Now, back to the speed teams. To quote Fast Hippy, “to go fast, ya gotta look good.

Fast Hippy speed Team (team shirt at right), Louie-Louie Speed team, Team Slugger, New Math Speed team, The Broadway Bod Busters speed team, Newkirk-Bennett Racing Team, and several individuals that are so far unaffiliated with a team, but killer speed flyers all the same. I will try to get photographs of all these teams and individuals.

The Northwest is abuzz with activity and no less than three in Britishm Columbia and four in the Washington-Oregon, four in Arizona, a few back East and one cool guy in Alberta (Rock Star, Paul Giebault) building models. Recently I spoke with free flight champion and record holder Jim Buxton; he is seriously considering the event and has a model just about ready, yes it is a converted Formula 40 but is sporting “The” Nelson reportedly is the fastest.

Altogether we may have eight in the Northwest alone plus the Arizona crowd that now includes Ted Gritzmacher, who moved to the Phoenix area. This leaves the So-Cal guys. So far Joey Mathison has said that he is in. I wonder if Luke Roy will stroll out to set all record speed in this one, or maybe even Jerry Rocha? I have not heard from either one. A couple of stragglers that might well blow the doors off everybody are Jim Rhodes and Glen Dye. If either or both show up at a contest, bring your lunch ... it'll be a long day!


This is the “collecting” phase of a project, as Dick Shannon would say. We, mostly The Hippy, myself and Shannon/Slugger Brown, have been getting as much stuff as possible to make available to those who want to build these big-block airplanes.

You have seen the beautiful parts as supplied by Fast Hippy, we are now looking for a regular source of GOOD speed pans. I am sorry to say, the pans purchased from Barry Tippits turned out to be less than desirable. The sand cast pan as supplied by Barry will need quite a lot of work to fit the Nelson spinner, outside surface shaved down in several steps to an acceptable finish and the mating surface will need to be flattened and top surface ground flat. What we do have is Henry Nelson's pan and whatever you can manage to get out of the Ukraine or on Ebay plus one other I had not considered.

The Nelson Pan (left) is a work of art, and while it does not have holddowns where a wing spar might be, it should be an easy fix to add a hardwood piece where required for the holddown position. All holes are precise and tapped for 5-40 thread, the Nelson engine is a precision fit into the pan. The thickness is .050 however so making an asymmetrical ship with a sub spar is questionable, I would contact Henry Nelson for suggestions on reinforcement.

The surprise was the venerable Harters Proto/Rat pan (right), I was shocked to see the Nelson fit into the old proto pan with just a small amount of carving, but there you have it. Marty has shown in his photos, how he made this happen. An important thing to remember is that magnesium is brittle; if you drill a hole in it, take the time to deburr the edge so no cracks can form there.

Plans for the is XIZANG, (shizang) (right) are available now from Fast Hippy Martin Higgs.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tibet (Xizang in Chinese) is a plateau region in Asia, north of the Himalayas. It is home to the indigenous Tibetan people, and to some other ethnic groups such as Monpas and Lhobas, and is inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people. Tibet is the highest region on earth, with an average elevation of 16,000 feet. It is sometimes referred to as the roof of the world.

Xizang, additionally is a bitchin C speed plane found in the British Columbia region of North America. (see Fast Hippy Speed Team.)

This is one smooth flying ship that has been tested in F-40 and proportionate size for D speed. I want a proven ship that I can build and know that it has no surprises. So far there is one kit from John Newton, an asymmetrical design. The more conventional idea is an upright that can use either the Nelson Pan or the Harters Proto/Rat pan. This is the direction The Fast Hippy is going, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see a one wing wonder pop out of his shop over the winter.


Lots of pictures from around the U.S.

Engines are being produced, pans being modified, torque units and extraneous parts fabricated, airplanes converted to mono line. This is like a renaissance of good ol speed, and all of this has surfaced since Flying Lines first released the Si speed story in August 2010.

For the readers who are not speed followers, here is a quote from one of the best, Joey Mathison of the “New Math Speed Team” (John Newton and Joey Mathison): "Been flying and enjoying control line speed for a few years now and have seen many a new event added to the menu but I think this C speed is going to be a really good one. it is already special, first new mono-line event to be tried in my lifetime. These 40's are going to have enough grunt to keep you on your toes and yet not enough to make you cry Uncle. Now Carls bomber will have some competition."

Photos show some of the plane designs and parts available. At bottom right, the Louie-Louie Speed Team, Mike Hazel (left) and Ken Burdick.

Looking for the stuff? See the C Speed Parts Finder

This page was upated Sept. 21, 2010

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