The Half-A Combat scene at the Salem Speed & Combat Contest. Flying Lines photo.
Weather was occasionally threatening for this early fall bash, but other than just a few minor sprinkles and a little breeze from time to time, it was fairly pleasant. The Speed and Combat events might seem to be an odd pairing, but quite a few of players do both.
The overall Speed participation was down as most of the dual-action players elected to hit the road once their combat activity was done. Plus some of the usual Speed suspects were not available to play this weekend. One of the highlights of the Speed activity on Saturday was the hot dog bbq. After the charcoal in the grill was liberally dosed with lighter fluid, it was discovered that nobody had a match to light it. Modelers in general, but Speed fliers in particular are a resourceful engineering bunch. Dick Salter fetched his jet ignition box, and with the leads placed upon the charcoal with a bit of paper scrap, the spark lit up a flame in an instant. After hot dog time we broke out the F2D proto ships.
Sunday was when the 1/2 A Combat action happened, with plenty of midair mayhem and other assorted maneuvers. Not once but twice a midair resulted in the planes stuck together and remaining in flight; never saw that before. Gene Pape was the Combat event director, with the contestants taking turns officiating when he flew.
The Sunday speed activity was also pretty minimal with lots of bench racing going on, plus the added distraction of watching some pretty interesting combat matches. Dick put up his Sport Jet for a couple of runs with the Bailey engine starting up instantly. Ken flew his 1/2 A Proto several times, and the event director got lazy and left his stuff in the truck.
Photo: Ken Burdick at the handle for a 1/2-A Proto Speed flight. Flying Lines photo.
By Gene Pape, event director
When it was discovered that combat would not be part of this year's Raider Roundup, the Bod Busters put out a request to Mike Hazel to allow 1/2A Combat to be added to this year's Salem Speed contest. Mike agreed, and we set out to make it happen.
Sunday morning, John Thompson and Gene Pape got to the field in Salem about 9:00 to find Ken Burdick already there. About 9:55, Don McKay, Buzz Wilson, Robert Smith, and Jeff Rein all showed up in Don's van.
After about a half hour of putzing around, we held the pilots' meeting and decided to try a new method of starting the matches. At small contest such as this, we routinely have the pilots start their own engines. Running to the handle can be a bit treacherous, so we decided to have the pilots start the engines at the start command as usual, but not start counting air time or start combat until 30 seconds into the match. This procedure was well received by all contestants. It worked without a hitch until the finals when a midair occurred with no cuts recorded resulting in a refly.
There were two flyaways, which are uncommon in 1/2A. The first was only half a flyaway, when Gene's lines got ripped apart in a midair with Buzz Wilson. Buzz's engine was stopped, and Gene's up line was attached to Buzz's plane, with Buzz still holding the handle. Gene's plane proceeded to do a number of inside loops while Buzz's plane sort of flopped around powerless. When Gene's plane finally pancaked in, Buzz's plane landed at the same time. The other flyaway saw Robert Smith's airplane end up in the very top of a tree. Fortunately, there was a long pole available to knock it down.
After many good matches involving all contestants, Ken Burdick came out on top. Gene Pape ended up second, and Don McKay third.
After combat was finished, All the combat flyers except Ken went to the airport restaurant for a late lunch and a good chance to visit.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable contest which I hope we get the opportunity to repeat next year.
Photo: Sonic Chickens, built by Jeff Dawson, were the dominant design used in the 1/2-A combat event. Flying Lines photo.
Northwest Standings Points in parentheses
1/2-A COMBAT (7 entries)
1. Ken Burdick, Kent, Wash., 4 wins, 1 loss (7)
2. Gene Pape, Eugene, Ore., 3-1 (6)
3. Don McKay, Redmond, Wash., 3-2 (5)
4. Buzz Wilson, Belfair, Wash., 2-3 (4)
5. Jeff Rein, Covington, Wash., 1-2
Robert Smith, Roy, Wash., 1-2
7. John Thompson, Eugene, Ore., 0-2
NORTHWEST F2D PROTO SPEED (3 entries)
1. Mike Hazel, Mehama, Ore., 98.86 mph, (3)
2. Ken Burdick, 97.64 (2)
3. Dick Salter, Tenino, Wash., attempt (1)
NORTHWEST SPORT JET SPEED (1 entry)
1. Dick Salter, 138.54 mph (1)
1/2 A PROTO SPEED (1 entry)
1. Ken Burdick, 85.55 mph (1)
Ken Burdick's 1/2-A Proto Speed plane. Flying Lines photo.
Robert Smith (left) and Ken Burdick prepare for Combat matches. Flying Lines photo.
Jerry Studer launches Ken Burdick's 1/2-A Proto Speed plane for an official flight. Flying Lines photo.
This page was upated Sept. 19, 2011