Odds and Ends (Alias Lines and Tubing)

By Alice Cotton-Royer

April 2007

The legality of the A-J Firecat

There's been talk. Is it legal? Can you fly it in OTS? Well, it's been discussed before and I say now is the (second?) time to put it to rest.

And who knows the answer for sure? Why Frank Macy, of course. He is the keeper of the flame for American Junior, the company who made our first control-line models and is still making them. Frank Macy is the control-line American Junior historian and restoration modeler, builder and flyer who has the archives (letters, photos, historical data) of the very beginnings of our hobby.

All of the following comes from his archives, which he lovingly gave to me to share with you. It is a noble cause of his to do such a thing. I, however, have no noble cause here except that I fly a Firecat and I don't want to hear any nonsense about not being able to fly it at the next OTS contest.

First of all: YES it IS legal.

How do we know?

Well, there is the matter of "the letter" written by Bob Smurthwaite that has all the proof you need about the legality of the Firecat. Who is Bob Smurthwaite, you ask? Well he is simply the guy who invented and kitted many American Junior control-line model airplanes in the 1950s such as the Firecat and has passed on all the information about these airplanes to Frank Macy. Here is his letter in full:

And in case you are interested, here is a photo of the "new" Firecat. See it at this Web site: Click on the Firecat photo to go to the American Junior Web site.

Cost: $79.95 plus $10 shipping

The parts are laser-cut. Check it out and have a great time flying it in OTS next year!

This page was updated April 3, 2007

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