The Jim Walker FireWire Newsletter from American Junior Classics
Wings for Young America
February 2005 - Newsletter #4

Welcome to the forth issue of the Jim Walker FireWire. Lots going on this week as we continue to add to our web site. Thanks for your input and support. Please pass this Newsletter to your friends and encourage them to sign-up for the FireWire on our web site.

Also, visit the A-J Store on our web site, and the new eBay Store. Your purchases are very important as the proceedes go to the maintenance and growth of this important resource site dedicated to Jim Walker and American Junior Aircraft.

Hornet on Floats

Jim Walker Hornet on floatsThis unique Hornet was modified with floats by Mr. Gerald Clark and Grandson Jacob of St. Joseph, MO. Their first attempt was successful as it got off the water okay, but it failed to clear the fence around their yard. Jacob decided he needed more horespower so he added more rubber. This time it performed perfectly and cleared the fence with no problem. A genuine Rise Off Water experience (R.O.W.). Anyone else out there with a Hornet that has been modified for floats or skis or....?

Firebaby to make a comeback..

Electric control line FirebabyTop Secret Project at American Junior Classics. The Firebaby is getting a new life, this time as an electric control line model. Frank Macy gave the OK for this preview photo of the Firebaby under development. The next time you see it, it will be in full color.

This Firebaby is intended to be the next production version. There has been a lot of interest in seeing the Firebaby offered again. Hopefully, we will see this classic model back in the air again soon. Stay tuned for more on the progress from the A-J Skunk Works.

Jim Walker's Sonic Glider

Jim Walker holds a sonic controlled glider of his inventionJim Walker is holding his largest Sonic Controlled Glider (there were several smaller ones) at Westmoreland Park in Portland Oregon. The date of this photo is early Spring of 1944.

This model has a wood frame and is covered with silk. At one time this same design was equipped with a Herkimer O.K. twin-ignition engine for experiments with early radio control.

A-J Test Pilot

Bill Walker with Willie Willingham the American Junior Test PilotThis picture shows Bill Walker, nephew of Jim Walker, and Willie Willingham who was employed as a Test Pilot for American Junior Aircraft.

...It wasn't by accident that the A-J models flew well. There were many reasons, with the main one being Jim Walker, himself. He insisted on top quality in all of the A-J products. He was often heard to say that he "never wanted to hear of a boy or girl shedding tears because their American Junior wouldn't fly." The advertising theme of the company was "Wings for Young America," and in 1940 an A-J ad read as follows: "American Juniors fly better than all the rest because they are aerodynamically engineered and precision made."

Another reason that the American Juniors flew well is former A-J Test Pilot Willard Willingham. What follows is a conversation between the author and Willie Willingham about his experiences with Jim Walker and A-J.

Read the complete A-J Test Pilot story...

email: Your comments are always welcome!

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