Larry Bell and his Navy Carrier WildcatLarry Bell
Q. When did you start in control line?  
A.  About 1961, but I’m old now and can’t remember that far back!
Q. Have you tried any other styles of model airplane flying?
A.   HLG and Free Flight, but as a poor kid the loss of my only Cox TD .049 to a huge cornfield finished that!
Q. What interests you in control line?
A.  Pure flying, the physicality. If you do it right, its great…but there is the heavy cost of doing it badly! R/C should appeal to me, and does, but not the flying part.





Q. What is your favourite memory of flying?
A.  Making the ‘kids’ (and the old guys) at a Bladder Grabber Combat contest go nuts when I had not competed in at least 10 years and not many knew (or remembered) who I was. In the first round I killed the ‘expert’ I was matched against in about 2 seconds after the starter’s hornblast, then made it to the 3rd or 4th round with just one old model. A very good day!
Q. Do you build your own models?
A.  Not anywhere as often as in the past. I have taken up road racing my Trans Am and I simply can’t find the time to start from scratch any more. I love the new ARTF C/L stuff!  Here is a "quick" video of my racing.
Q. What is your favourite model?
A.  An old combat model called the Spectrum which I modified to my specs and it was simply perfection in flight!
Q. What was your most spectacular crash?
A.  I have crashed most things I’ve ridden/driven/flown numerous times so it’s hard to give a rating to any of them. Maybe when HH and I were doing a demo at the BCIT Open House a few years ago and we had a ‘miscue’ and the models met at the top of the circle while doing opposing wingovers! Re-kitted both airplanes in a spectacular crash!
Q. Have you ever participated in any competitions? If yes, which ones?
A.  Well . actually I grew up thinking that the only reason to fly was to beat the other guy(s) at whatever I was doing! Rat Race, NW and .15 Sport Race, Fast and Slow Combat, Aerobatics, Carrier, Goodyear Racing, Balloon Burst… I tried them all.
Q. How did you start in control line? Who got you started in control line?
A.  My life-long friend Brian Shrum received a Cox plastic P40 as a birthday present from his Uncle at Boeing in Seattle. I just knew I could fly it, and Brian was therefore convinced to let me break it in… and I sure did…in about a half lap it was surely broken all right! That engine survived and I was convinced by a tall dark stranger in the local hobby shop to not fix up the un-flyable plastic brick but to build a pair of Little Satan balsa models instead. Current PAC President Henry Hajdik became my mentor and another lifelong friend from that day to this one.
Q. What advice would you give someone who wanted to try control line?
A.  Visit a club, find a few new friends, and just give it a try!  You’ll probably have a new hobby!



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