Perspectives from the Inner Circle - Frank Boden - A Control Line Modeler Extraordinaire

By Henry Hadjik

Whether your control line contest travel is limited to British Columbia, or even if you travel to the USA, you won't find many modelers that haven't competed against Frank Boden at one time or another.

My personal first experience with Frank was as an observer watching a combat match in 1956 at Brockton Point Oval in Vancouver. Frank loved to fly combat. He was paired in a finals match, which quickly ended in a midair collision that destroyed his opponent's aircraft. Judges determined that the match should continue. Frank’s opponent did not have a back-up ship and Frank would win the match by default. However, Frank refused the option and immediately provided his opponent with his best combat ship to continue the match! I don't recall the final Results of that match, but, in my mind, Frank Boden taught a huge lesson about sportsmanship and, from then on, it was clear that Frank and the Control Line Sport were the real winners!

Prior to Frank's control line days, WWII was still raging in 1943 and Frank was only 17 years old, living in Vancouver. On a breezy afternoon, having completed his Giant Box Kite with his name painted on the outside, Frank set out to test fly his pride and joy out of his back yard.  Unfortunately, someone some distance away spotted the Monster Kite with the strange writing and immediately reported that an “enemy airship was spotted over Vancouver!!!” During the war years, paranoia was rampant and a squadron of fighter aircraft was immediately ordered from the Sea Island Airport "to intercept the enemy airship" The fighter aircraft soon located this formidable enemy and within minutes several police cars arrived at Frank's home to deal with the enemy threat to this quiet Vancouver neighbourhood!!! The local press got wind of this story and Frank managed to avoid incarceration in the local brig - but not without securing a place in Vancouver's history!

Frank proved to be a formidable combat flyer, but he also participated in other control line events such as Speed, Stunt, Scale, Naval Carrier, and Racing events plus free-flight and R/C. He always made a point of entering as many events as possible - not to win, but to provide support and success to the contest! He recognized that clubs do not succeed unless all members are willing to work together to plan, organize, publicize, and, then, fully participate in club programs.

Promotion was a major concern for Frank, and he spent many years on the executive of the Vancouver Gas Model Club as editor of the VGMC Hothead Newsletter. In 1990, Frank became one of the key founding members of the new Pacific Aeromodellers Club and he also assumed a position on the executive and editor of the PAC Airwaves Newsletter. Frank is the only member that has been awarded a "Life Membership" in both organizations in recognition of his diligent and outstanding support of control line modeling in the Pacific Northwest British Columbia Region. Frank Boden will be 80 yrs. of age on October 17, 2006. For health reasons he has moved to Revelstoke. He no longer flies, but, as a supporter of control line modeling, Frank has become a legend in his own time.

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