A View from Broadway

"Boris," the big Russian D Speed engine, in the pan and ready to run. See the article on reworking Boris for Speed. Ken Burdick photo.

The running of the bulls
(Boris gets loose)

By Ken Burdick

Yes Folk’s, it’s true.

The bulls were run once again, but this time it wasn’t in Pamplona, it was just down the road in Salmon Arm. Ok, sure, one is famous and in Spain, the other used to be a sleepy small town in B.C.

That was before “The Cheese” aka Greg Davis moved in. As some know, Greg is a master modeler who at one time ruled the Northwest in Fast Combat. He was also one of the front row and first place flyers in precision aerobatics, but back then we called it “stunt.” I digress ... back to the bulls.

At least once or twice a year, I amble east to Salmon Arm to go flying with my buddy Greg. Things aren’t what they used to b,e so he and I no longer fly super-fast combat wings, but instead enjoy fiddling with old McCoy powered sport planes.

“The Bulls -- what about the Bulls?” 

Hold on there, I’m getting to that, now where was I?

I tested a new B Proto engine that has great promise, fiddled with a new Combat Graffiti ship, and then we opened the gate and let Boris out. Oh yes, we did.

“Now look what’s happened!”
-- R.F. Stevenson

Boris, as you know, has been biding his time while the Regionals were being held. He was nearly ready to go at the Walker memorial, but with a D ship, everything must be 100% right as they do not forgive when things go wrong.

Greg did the final machine work, which was to skinny down a head clamp for the super head I got from Richard Justic, and put a groove inside the mini pipe for an O-ring. So, when the sport flying was done, I brought out the Soviet missile and we prepared to fire it off for Boris’s initial run.

Honestly, I had some nagging thoughts about the drive pin on the OS Drum, the fact that Boris did not have a port (like O.S. does) just above where the fuel would blast into the engine, and would there be an air leak in the adaptor that Doug made? As they say, nothing from nothing is nothing, so here goes.

Fuel was 10% nitro, 20+ % castor and some glow plug I found lying around. A beautiful McGee/Newton D prop in carbon fiber from ZZ Prop by Mike Hazel was bolted on so things looked pretty much ready to go.

Now you must understand that the Cheese builds quarter-scale gliders. They, like all his models, are flawless. The other thing they are is quiet, while Boris is like Daffy Duck with a PA system.

 “Just push the starter button when I say “go,” I told him. “You sure about this?” Yah, just push the button ...

For a second or two, Boris did nothing, but once the slight flood cleared out, he roared into life spitting fire and snorting at an unbelievable rpm and racket into the pristine Canadian wilderness. Greg was eyeing the spinning razor blade of a prop and backing up, I was trying to hold onto the half pan and needle more speed into the howling monster that we all have come to know as Boris. As Boris hit his song note, birds and wildlife were making a break for it and the once quiet community field was now the bell that couldn’t be unrung. I’m pretty sure that somewhere in Moscow, they could hear Boris hitting his stride.

Folks, I know this prop and have run it on the current D ship, but never have I heard this rpm note while using it. In terms of D ships, the tell of a good engine is the “Grunt” it makes -- man, did Boris grunt!  The OS Drum was working like I had hoped it would and the massive Italian-looking ports were pumping fuel at a pretty good clip. Boris is a success and well worth the cost and effort to make a nice D speed engine.

Next is to get Boris airborne and his ride (the Pink-O Lady) trimmed out, then on to the high compression head.

Stay tuned right here on Flying Lines to see what Boris has up his ... sleeve ... (ahem) next.


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This page was upated July 25, 2017