Well.... It's Over.... For Now
Yep... Sport's Fans the Next Gardner, Kansas annual Gathering of Eagles and 
( or Mud Pit of Shame )  
Combat-Plank challenge for 2011 is history!! Will YOU be ready for 2012? 

(New: Rick Bennett's Black Widow Tune-up Secrets unveiled. Click HERE)

Alaina Smith, Larry Smith's daughter and Gene Smith's Grand-daughter of Culver Props/Valley Engineering is getting her own combat plank and says she's ready to open up a 55 gallon drum of Whup-Ass  on anyone STUPID enough ( Now these are HER words.. not mine) to enter the Circle Of Honor against her at Gardner, 05. She says, and I quote... "No grunting, belching, drooling, unshaven, spitting, snorting, butt-scratching, disgusting, perverted, flatulent, halitosis-afflicted, repulsive, obtuse, BOY with his testosterone inflated ego is going to scare me out of the circle. I've made men cry before.. I CAN DO IT AGAIN!! I LIKE DOING IT!! MAKING GROWN MEN CRY IS A LOT OF FUN!!! BRING'EM ON!!! JUST REMEMBER... I TAKE NO PRISONERS!!"  
( Dang.. Wheeeeeewww... Them smart-aleck college girls know some awful big jawbreaker break-teeth words don'tcha know? I had to look some of them UP in the Big Book of Words!! I'm pretty positive we've been insulted but I'm not real sure....)

Now.. come on guys... are we going to let this little wet-behind-the-ears college girl beat a bunch of hairy-chested, testosterone-dripping MEN!!! 
"Snort"... "Drool"... "Grunt"  I THINK NOT!!  "Spit"... "Belch"... "Blast-of-Flatulence"
( Did you read all that above... She called us BOYS!!! )

( Flatulent is it? That tears it!!!...... NOW it's PERSONAL)

Build Them Planks!!!

( Have you got what it takes??... Read Below )

Now.... For all you guys with some hair on your chests, 
(or, All you Gals with hair on your legs like someone whose name I won't mention.)  

Yessir... Do you think you have what it takes? Are you're tough enough to stand Toe-To-Toe, Eyeball-to-Eyeball, chest-to-chest, ego-to-ego and do battle like the knights of old did way back there in them-there olden times when MEN were MEN and WIMMEN were WIMMEN?

Are you? Huh???

We shall see.

If you think you have what it takes... Then..... Gird Your Loins 
( whatever in the hell THAT means.)

And Prepare To Enter 
( drum roll please....) 
Taa Daa!!

History: The Combat Plank design has evolved into its present configuration over several years. Designed  by Mr. Rick Bennett, (Drives an outstanding Nieuport 23.) it can take an enormous amount of damage and still come back for more. 

Rules: This basic design illustrated below must be used. No BUILT UP wings are allowed. An 049 engine is the only one allowed. The Cox 049 engines are the most popular with the Cox Golden Bee, Texaco and Black Widow being the engines of choice. (The standard little Babe Bee 049s don't have large enough tanks for a real good combat.) There's plenty of them available on Ebay. (Make sure you get the ones with metal tanks. The plastic tanks on the new engines aren't worth spit!! ) The nylon tanks on the 049 Norvel engines will take a lot more punishment.

The ribbon is composed of a 3' long piece of string attached to a 6' X 1" crepe streamer which is tied to the outer vertical fin of the plank.

The challenge? Cut the other guy's ribbon. ( It ain't easy. )

Another Note: If you don't put some right (out) thrust in the motor mount, you're going to have one REALLY SQUIRRELLY plane!!! Just ask Dick Lemons!! He just about swallowed his plane once when it came into the circle and aimed its screaming self right at him. 

In the picture at the right, I've put in the right thrust by shimming the firewall  with some sanded down 1/8" ply.

Plank details are below along with some links to places where you can get U-control supplies.

Combat Plank List Of Materials:

1 piece of 1/8" balsa sheet 6" X 18"
( Or you can glue two 3" wide pieces together )
(This makes the wing and twin rudders.)
1 piece of 1/8" X 1 1/2" balsa. 
(This makes the elevator.)
1 - 1/2A bell crank
1 -  1/2A control horn 1/8" hobby plywood for top and bottom of fuse and firewall 6" quarter-round molding.
5 minute epoxy 049 motor. Control handle with 30 foot lines measured from the back of the handle to the clips on the ends.
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The above thumbnail views can we viewed much larger by clicking on them.


Brodak Hobby supplies. ( good place to get 1/2 supplies )

Kitting It Together. (another good place to get all kinda parts and supplies for 1/2A combat.)

Tornado Model Airplane propellors.

Cox engine parts are available at: 800-451-0339 ( don't even try their web page.. No help there at all. And, DO NOT buy a new Black Widow.. The tank's a piece of plastic crap and won't take any abuse at all. ( Get a metal tanked one off Ebay. )

Dandy Dick's Combat Plank Box
24.5"( length) X 15.5"(width) X 12"(Height)
Thumbnail views can we viewed much larger by clicking on them.

box-1.JPG (25718 bytes)

The Box has everything in it needed for a day of flying fun.

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Since I discovered PVC tubing my life hasn't been the same. The leg sockets are 1 1/4" couplers cut in half glued to the bottom of the box with GOOP..
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The box is divided into two sections. The top section holds the planks. In this case, 4 demons of the circle are ready to go.
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With the planks removed, the 1/4" ply false bottom can be taken out.
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Fuel, tools, spare engines and the legs for the box fit in the bottom section.
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The legs are ready to be inserted into the sockets in the bottom of the box.
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Legs in one side.
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The box is ready for battle and we'll be starting the engines at a comfortable height.

And, For those of you on a budget, You can always build a 
combat box like the one that Dick Lemons showed up with.



Dandy Dick's Cheap-Assed 049 starter. About $15. I took a motor out of a ruined cordless drill, a radio shack push-button, a 6" piece of PVC tubing and whipped up this little booger. It really does the trick. You don't even need to prime the engines to start them. A 12V garden tractor or motorcycle battery is all you'll need. I split the PVC so I could clamp it to the motor. 


Click on the thumbnails for bigger photos.

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Dick Lemons tries to get his lines straight before flight.
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Robert Baslee, Sharon Starks, Kevin Drewelow and Brad Smith work in the pits.
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More action in the pits. Brad Smith helps someone find neutral while Sharon Starks does the same.
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Fight's ON!! Sharon Starks and Alan Lail get ready to snip some serious tail.
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Dick Starks launches a plank and Mark Pierce and Rick Bennett "get it on."
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Dick Starks waits for his victims to launch.
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Rick Bennett and Kevin Drewelow launch two planks at the same time.
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Rick Bennett lets one fly.
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The warriors wait for their aerial steeds to get started.
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Tom Glaeser, Kevin Drewelow and Mark Pierce just a'splishing and a'splashing.
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Kevin and Tom both auger in at about the same time.
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Mark Pierce and Rick Bennett put on the best show of all.

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You know... It oughta be against the law to have this much fun!!!