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One of the Coolest, Most Short-Lived Planes I Ever Built...Jetco PA-12 "Super Cruiser" Babe_b10
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Post  Kim on Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:09 pm

In the 1960's, my Uncle Wayne built this Jetco Super Cruiser, posed here with my cousins Bobby and Carol, and powered it with a well-worn, and muffled Cox engine, along with an occasional super-tired Wen Mac as well. It was our "Dead-Calm Day Airplane" due to it's extremely "casual" performance, flying with what could only optimistically be referred to as "Line Tension". While I never personally witnessed them, Wayne told stories of it making several forays into the flight circle, with only Bobby's fast "back-peddling" saving the day.

One of the Coolest, Most Short-Lived Planes I Ever Built...Jetco PA-12 "Super Cruiser" Waynes10

One of the Coolest, Most Short-Lived Planes I Ever Built...Jetco PA-12 "Super Cruiser" 1_16

It was also a personal favorite of mine because, to me, it seemed so much like a real airplane. The slow turning engine required a pretty decent take-off run, and it's super slow flight allowed for careful "full-power" touch-and-goes, running it on it's main gear across the infield dirt of our local ball diamond.

In the 1980's I was able to get the same kit from America's Hobby Center, and decided to build it as a slow-flying R/C. I chose a throttled Dragon Fly .049, and built it "Old School" with Ambroid, Aerogloss, and silkspan. Models of this era always seemed to me to be built over-the-top-complex: resplendent with plenty of bracing angles, lamination of parts, and with the legendary "die-crushed" parts sheets. I persevered though, and finished the plane, installing a "Micro" Airtronics flight pack.

The flights were an R/C version of it's predecessor, with SUPER slow passes being it's specialty. We only got a couple of trips to the field however, before my little Cruiser planted it's self in the pavement. In those days, I still used a "Wall Tick" block charger, plugging it in the night before a flying session, and just hoping for the best.

Near as I can figure, the battery gave up the ghost, and gave me full down elevator on it's way out, with no chance of backing off the throttle to lessen the carnage.. These planes are rigid little rascals, and other than the wing, just about everything in that complex, stick and tissue fuselage was shattered, along with my morale!

Still, I've got some photos of it doing it's thing:

One of the Coolest, Most Short-Lived Planes I Ever Built...Jetco PA-12 "Super Cruiser" Pa-12510

One of the Coolest, Most Short-Lived Planes I Ever Built...Jetco PA-12 "Super Cruiser" Pa-12310

One of the Coolest, Most Short-Lived Planes I Ever Built...Jetco PA-12 "Super Cruiser" Pa-12411

One of the Coolest, Most Short-Lived Planes I Ever Built...Jetco PA-12 "Super Cruiser" Pa-12110

One of the Coolest, Most Short-Lived Planes I Ever Built...Jetco PA-12 "Super Cruiser" Pa-12210

Hope this isn't too boring, just some more lint-gathering from an aging kid !
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Post  Mudhen on Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:30 pm

You have some neat history, Kim. I always appreciate your sharing.
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Post  Kim on Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:37 pm

Thanks Mud ! Just don't want to put the troops to sleep....
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Post  John Goddard on Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:48 pm

You're joking Kim, please don't stop anytime soon.
I wish I had just one photo of my past models.
Very Happy
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Post  shell shock on Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:54 pm

Hardly! I always love hearing about the adventures (and misadventures) of our fellow members. Good share, and I feel for you. It looked like a great plane.
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Post  Kim on Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:15 pm

Thanks Guys. If I were to preach anything to my younger compatriots, it would be to TAKE PICTURES: ...of your house...your street...the neighbors' dogs...the tree that always ate your Sleek Streek...and of the ones you love.

We got all this good digital stuff now, so USE IT ! At some point in the future, you'll be glad you took a few seconds to record stuff that may seem boring right now.

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Post  RknRusty on Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:21 pm

I do love the stick and tissue models. One day soon I'll turn it from talk into something on the table. Thanks for the inspiration, Kim.

Right now I'm keeping a promise to my 8 year old neighbor(now 9) to build her a Kitty Cat plane. Based on a platter plane, I started drawing it out on the 3/16" foam board this morning.

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Post  Kim on Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:34 pm

Cool deal! You can never under estimate the impact on a kid when an adult gives them some time and inspiration.
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Post  andrew on Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:59 pm

I LOVE that model. That's model building at its best!!!!!
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