2017 Northwest Control-Line Speed Championships

Sept. 23-24, Bill Riegel Model Airpark, Salem, Ore.

By Mike Hazel, contest director

Weather was nearly perfect for this go-fast weekend, nice mild temperatures with some nice sunshine and calm air. All that was missing were contestants! Only five speedsters signed up and flew in these great conditions. Several other Northwest speed people were missing in action for various reasons and excuses, some probably good and some probably not.

We had a few spectators over the weekend to watch the action. Most notable was Steve Lindstedt, who is making a return to control line action after a several decades layoff. Steve brought out some new planes he has built for us to take a look at. Some good stuff!

Something new was added to the contest: Although the original plan was for no prizes, we decided to add a perpetual-type trophy. This trophy will award the best record ratio performance, with the Flying Lines Northwest Speed records as the basis. It is hoped that this will create some extra interest in some of those classes that need to have the times upped a bit.

Here are some blow-by-blow notes: Jim Booker kicked off the action in Sport Jet with a 151-mph romp. He put in several more flights testing trying to best that. These flights were very close and consistent but none were any faster. His plane starts amazingly quickly. Mike Hazel had a brand new Pod Racer from the Booker kit to sort out. The new setup had some problems in getting the engine to light off, but after some troubleshooting it was starting right up easily as well. Several test flights in the mid 140-mph range were flown. This design flies very well.

The very popular Northwest B Proto should have had a flurry of entries because there are a flurry of planes out there. But the planes' owners didn’t show up! Chris "Partner" Sackett put up several flights testing and managed to squeeze up the Northwest record up a few hundredths, taking first place in that class. Mike Hazel put up the second-place flight with a really lean run but was then done for the day due to an unrelated problem. Ken Burdick tried out his trick-looking full-fuselage plane but it dorked.

Ken Burdick came back strong in the Northwest F2D Proto class very close to the record. Bruce Tunberg also had a pretty good flight.

Ken’s big asymmetrical class ‘C” sports a powerful Nelson .40 engine, which really shows some promise but had some fuel feed problems which kept it below potential.

Ken had the fastest flight of the contest with his class ‘D’ going 168+ mph. Wonder if that new fresh coat of orange paint helped?

As mentioned previously, there is a new perpetual award and that goes to Chris Sackett for 2017. His Northwest B Proto performance came in at 100.2% of the Northwest record. Ken Burdick was close behind at a 99.l% mark with his F2D Proto flight.

Here are the complete results. Northwest standings points in parenthesis.

1. Jim Booker, LaGrande, Ore. -- 151.89 mph (2)
2. Mike Hazel, Mehama, Ore. -- 145.92 (1)

1. Chris Sackett, Maple Ridge, B.C. -- 113.09 mph (3) (New Northwest record, eclipsing Sackett's 112.87 mph set on Sept. 11, 2016, in Salem)
2. Mike Hazel -- 90.53 (2)
3. Ken Burdick, Kamloops, B.C. -- attempt (1)

1. Ken Burdick -- attempt (1)

D SPEED (1 entry)
1. Ken Burdick -- 168.47 mph (1)

1. Ken Burdick -- 104.85 mph (2)
2. Bruce Tunberg, McMinnville, Ore. -- 95.96 (1)

Results of this contest are included in Northwest Control-Line Competition Standings.

Northwest CL Speed Championships photo gallery

Chris "Partner" Sackett won the first Northwest Speed Championships perpetual award. All photos by Steve Lindstedt.

Jim Booker's Pod Racer, for Northwest Sport Jet Speed.

Mike Hazel's Pod Racer.

Ken Burdick's Louie-Mobile for D Speed, powered by McGee .65, turned the contest's fastest speed at 168.47 mph.

Chris Sackett's Blondie for Northwest B Proto Speed.

Mike Hazel's Smokey Joe for B Proto, built from a Sackett kit.

Ken Burdick's asymmetric C Speed plane features Nelson .40 power.

Steve Lindstedt, returning to CL flying after a long layoff, showed off this new replica of a vintage Hell Razor.

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This page was upated Sept. 25, 2017