Friday, April 20, 2012

Charlie Richardson - Interview of a Legend

Though this isn't VTPR related it surely is a piece of important slope soaring history we can all appreciate. I have known CR for about 22 years since the heyday of slope MOM and 4 man slope racing when "fast and furious" plane banging was the norm. Charlie was instrumental during the 80's and 90's for developing some of the most iconic and high performance slope gliders in the world that have sustained the test of time even today. His designs included the Turbo wingeron, Renegade 60" slope racer, the Fun-1, Climmax HLG, V tail Blazer, the beautiful 80" Contender wingeron, Raptor, and the famous unlimited  class Raider slope racer. Quite an inventory of awesome models that still impress and perform to a very high degree. I have a Raider waiting to be next on the bench.

I have also known CR in another and current pastime of mine called Vintage Motocross. He is the owner/operator/racer of CR High Performance Products that supplies top notch CZ motocross race bikes and performance products. As with his huge success in slope racing he is equally if not more of a champion builder and racer on the vintage motocross scene. His brand of CZ motocross engines are the fastest in the land! I have had the pleasure to work with CR building my own CZ race machines with nothing but professional service. In fact it was Charlie that helped propel me into VMX and CZ's through his assistance back in 2001 selling my pristine F3B Eagle sailplane. That plane helped finance my first CZ400 restoration that is currently being raced by its new owner.

Its been a pleasure knowing and working with CR on so many levels. He still enjoys talking about the old days on the slope revisiting his battles and winnings like an old pro he is. He still has a slight hand on the RC sticks with his kids but competition is reserved for the MX track and boy does he still haul the mail with that great fluid form.

Chip Greely is proprietor of the new CR Aircraft bringing to you the same legendary models Charlie produced and more new CR based model designs for the 21st century. He really enjoys the hobby and is currently developing some new models under the CR brand. Some of them include the current Contestant, Pretender, Climmax Elite, Savaron S and Obscure. I look forward to seeing these come available in the future.

Paul Naton did an interview of CR back in 2009 that recounts his beginnings all the way through his racing career and current professional status. Here is his podcast interview for your listening enjoyment. (let it load)

Click here to download the interview

and be sure to visit Paul's Radio Carbon Art Productions

 CR circa 1993 with a new Raider

CR flying his CZ at Perris Raceway for the checkers - again!

 Thanks Charlie for your legendary impact on slope soaring
and vintage motocross in America... EJ

Links and photos by permission 2012

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