A View from Broadway

Chris Sackett's Blondie One for B Proto Speed. Ken Burdick photo.

Blondie One for Northwest B Proto

(G Speed)

By Ken Burdick

Yes Folks, it’s true.

The Geezer phenomenon seems to have no boundaries.

  • Geezer Clown became real not long ago, because too many were wearing out flying a racing event.
  • Geezer stunt (Old Time Stunt) ... well, that one is still a mystery.
  • And now G Speed, (Geezer Speed), Northwest B proto.

 Something has gone terribly wrong here! Okay, let’s have a rational look at this thing and try to put some sense to it, shall we?

There were many who used to fly fast but learned when too late, it costs cubic money to really do well, a lot of technical stuff, chemicals and parts you can’t seem to get or want to get anymore, plus you gotta hang onto the darn thing and spin around the stupid pylon! Relax old timer ,,, don’t pop a brain vein. All set? Okay, here we go.

Story time

(Giants Trolls and Hippies…oh my!)

Once upon a time in a land far from here, there lived a couple of well-intentioned speed flyers. One was a master craftsman named “The Hippie” while the other of lesser skill was a hack named Ken-Louie, aka kennyb.

The Hippie had been watching from his cave, someplace in British Columbia, while Kennyb the hack, was developing F2D Proto speed. It was sometime around the Northwest Regionals when The Broadway Bod Busters (BBB)  offered “ONE MILLION DOLLARS” to the winner of the F2D proto event, that the Hippie sent kennyb an email.

The F2D proto event being promoted by kennyb had woken the sleeping genius inside the Hippie. Being a man of vision, Martin Higgs described his idea for reviving the once junior-only, and at that time dead, AMA event into the one we now know as C speed. Kenny the hack was fully onboard and together with Mike Hazel aka the “other Louie” of the Louie-Louie speed team, the three amigos set off to work up the rules for C speed. The idea was of such a great magnitude, it spread throughout the land until some evil Trolls stole the idea and called it their own, but that’s another story.

Enter The Giant

While C speed was in its promotion and development stage, the Hippie had yet another idea. This one was NOT a 190 mph speedster, but at the other end of the spectrum. Another email was sent to kennyb describing a proto event for beginners that used some stock sport engine. Kennyb was not impressed. He was too busy developing the next coming of C speed and a bit burned out from all the promotion of F2D Proto and now this ... another newfangled idea.

Not far from the hippie cave, lived a secret society of speed guys named the Aces. They would get together a couple times a year and brew up a big cauldron of speed ideas, and led by the Hippie, would peer into a crystal ball to see what was going to be the next big thing in control-line speed. Thus the concept of Geezer Speed was born. While kennyb labored with C, the hippie and the secret society called The Aces were doing their thing convincing others that this was yet another good idea.

Around that time, a Giant in Speed, who had been slumbering for almost 20 years, woke up.

This was no ordinary Giant. He was and is an innovator and zealot who has been a source of inspiration to speed flyers all over the world and the originator of NASS (North American Speed Society), both author and publisher of Speed Times and a F2A super star. It was none other than ‘Partner” sometimes called Chris Sackett, Country Boy, Hey You, and too many other names to mention here.

Meanwhile, the Hippie had struggled back from the Mountain of Grouse, with the stone tablets that said “thou shall only use the O.S. LA .25 engine “as well as other beginner friendly ideas for the NW B proto event.

Partner, the Giant, decided that the Hippie was on to something here and began to promote the now “preliminary event” we call NW B Proto.

After a long holdout, kennyb, aka Ken-Louie, finally came to the turning point of Geezerdom said, “okay, I give” and purchased two LA .25 engines for the event. Some think it was his D speed partner Mike Hazel, aka Mike-Louie of the world renowned Louie-Louie speed team that became the last straw. Mike-Louie had built a NW B proto, and Kenny thought if it was good enough for the man who invented the Sport jet event (also stolen by Trolls), it was good enough for him.

The end.

But Wait!!! We want more story!

Oh ... Well, in that case, lil' geezers, here ya go.

Partner Productions has created two kits, actually three, available for the NW B proto event. Currently he is limiting production to active Northwest fliers only.

  1. Smokey Joe
  2. Blondie one
  3. Blondie one Pro Kit

Let’s look at the Blondie One Pro kit, shall we? That's the model shown completed at the top of the article.

What’s a Pro?

A pro kit is a nice way of saying, “This is a good design so don’t screw it up.”

As a result, many fundamentally important things are done for you buy a master builder.

This ensures that the average hack, like myself, or a beginner, can produce what the designer had intended without things going wrong.

As a designer, there is nothing more disheartening then to see your brainchild “modified” into a junker because of poor skills or bad ideas.

The Pro kit takes all of this away. So, as Bill Murray said in "Stripes," ”Do what I do, and say what I say.”

We are going to build the Blondie One Pro kit as directed by the Giant named Partner.

So Geezers, get out the glue.

The Blondie One Pro Kit

The airplane shown here is a kit made by Partner Productions. Partner has kitted many speed planes over the years all excellent, detailed and very well thought out. If you have the opportunity to get hold of one, do it.  It is only being offered to the fliers in the Northwest area at this time, however.

The kit arrived in the mail well packaged and with no damage. What first struck me was the eye for detail given to it. Everything was well laid out and the hardware package was complete. The only thing needed was a set of 1-1/4” racing wheels which I purchased from Marc Warwashana.

Marc not only carries the Don's brand of racing wheels, but a lighter and very strong polyurethanes wheel for around $10.00 a pair. Marc accepts PayPal, which makes things easier to purchase.

The Blondie one is designed to accept a 1-1/4"  engine spinner. This was a slight problem for me as all of mine were 1-1/2” Veco. Any spinner will work so I suggest the hunt and peck method of finding one. Plastic is one option and most available so that would be my suggestion for the mild mannered LA .25 specified in the provisional rules.

I was also impressed with the wood selection in this kit, it's C grain and contest light. Proto is an acceleration event so lightness = good stuff.

One very nice feature is the metal engine mount pieces. The kit is made with the standard hardwood engine bearers capped with plywood doublers. The aluminum pieces help with a stiffer mounting system that will reduce vibration and protect the nose from compression as the engine is tightened.

The landing gear is a very standard but sturdy piano wire arrangement. The axles are fitted with brass keepers that center the wheel in its position for whisper smooth landings.

The kit can be ordered as either two line control or monoline; my model was fitted with internal monoline controls. The torque unit is smooth and perfectly aligned.

I received a note from Partner that his model was slightly noseheavy until he lightened the LA .25 somewhat. I suggest adding some lead to the furthest part of the fuselage to achieve the suggested balance point rather than grinding on the engine,. A smooth takeoff will get you more speed than you might think so err on the noseheavy side rather than tailheavy. See the engine notes for potential benefits gained by reducing the engine cooling fins for this event.

The model all but built itself and using CA and epoxy combined with the featherweight fillers available now this thing can be constructed in a very short period of time. The wing carving is something to take your time with however.  (See How to carve a solid wing.)

If you are a beginner, make the controls external for simplicity, running the lines directly to the bellcrank on the outside of the wing.  Over 80% of the drag is the flying lines and not so much on the airplane so no worries. If you wish to learn to fly monoline, this model will make an excellent trainer.

Once built, the finish process for a very light model is as follows:

Two coats of nitrate dope lightly sanded with 220 grit between. The fuselage is coated with a light sealer of DAP wall filler mixed with water and brushed on. Sand it off and then a thin coat of nitrate. You are now ready to paint on any color. I chose Painters Touch white gloss followed by a coat of painters touch crystal clear.

I left the wings clear for simplicity and lightness showing off the nice balsa supplied in the kit. An additional two coats of Painters Touch clear are applied to the wings.

The fuel tank supplied is a tried and true design constructed by Partner. Do not use rubber bands to mount your fuel tank, use the hardware supplied in the kit. I tested the tank under pressure in my water tank with perfect results -- no leaks! Yay! I use a 1/8” thick rubber vibration damper under the fuel tank and suggest that you do as well. The small amount of fuel foaming that can occur will give you a false needle valve reading and you will richen the mixture to compensate for it.

Well that adds up

The all up ready-to-fly model weighed in at 19 ounces. That is very light and will help get you to the quick first lap so important in proto speed. Remember, a winning time on the stopwatch is a combination of the prop you choose, the weight of the model, the top-end speed of the engine as well as the fuel delivery system.

To summarize:

This, boys and girls, is a very well thought out kit that should be your first stop in less hassle and frustration to the learning process of Proto speed.

No matter if you buy a basic kit or the Pro version of these kits, The Smokey Joe and the Blondie One are superlative and will put you at an immediate advantage when you arrive at the pylon.

But wait -- there’s more!

A free gift from the Bod Busters!

Yes folks, it’s true.

For the equivalent of a Canadian penny, you too can defy the experts. Do not be afraid! This is an exercise in doing the wrong thing and forging ahead in your own manner. No longer will you be tied to the experts, you will be leading the field with this model and doing it YOUR way.

Yes, for the price of a coin no longer used as legal tender, you too can be forging your own way through Northwest B proto -- a rebel without a clause.

You will have the full moral backing of the greatest of the greats. Kennyb, The Rein Man, The Buzz Man, and of course The Combat Monster. That’s right, the entire crew here at the Broadway Bod Busters will be squarely in your corner, arguing about paint, props and whatever else we can think of. So here you go lil' geezers, it’s the F2D Proto ship redesigned for NW B proto. THE SLINGSHOT!

It was the first model to set a WORLD record in F2D proto, flies very well and is cuter than a Ringmaster.

Gee Kenny, what does this mean to me?

It means independence from the pros! No longer will you be following such greats as The Hippie, Partner, Mike-Louie and the like. Nope, not you. For a mere $25.00 at the local hobby shop, you too can join in the fun on YOUR terms by using a no name model! It’s NEVER been flown in NW. B Proto ... EVER!!!

Drawn in a foreign country by none other than Hoppy Hopkirk, this is the Mini-Max of model airplanes.

Be the first on your block to be chased by a torque roll from this magnificent model.

To convert the design to monoline, please send me a note and I’ll splain it all. The controls are all outside of the wing, so not much is left to the imagination. Put a leaky homemade tin tank on it, or better still a bladder system and go beat feet around the nearest pylon. Remember lil' geezers, take no guff from a Beaver.


Supplier list for Northwest B proto

Next, we will review the O.S. LA.25  and some basic and not so basic modifications.

Stay tuned to Flying Lines for further details.

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This page was upated Feb. 12, 2015