Welcome to the Jim Walker "FireBee" Gallery

We hope you enjoy a look at our photos of the historic Jim Walker "FireBee" control line
(U-Control) model, with throttle control, from the 1950's. These images are from the archives
of Frank Macy and American Junior Classics.

Place your mouse over FireBee box to see what is inside
Place your cursor over this picture of the FireBee box to see what is inside.

The FireBee kit was produced by American Junior Aircraft in the mid 1950's. This model
was designed by Bob Smurthwaite and approved for production by Jim Walker. Here we
show you the production kit, factory photos, and original prototype.

Willie Willingham poses with the FireBee at Rocky Butte in Portland, Oregon
Willie Willingham again with the FireBee in Portland, Oregon
Willie Willingham with FireBee in this Chuck Hein photo taken at Rocky Butte in Portland, Oregon - mid 1950's.
Willie Willingham again in a Portland, Oregon location. These A-J factory photos have a clear plastic disc for a turning prop.
The first production Jim Walker FireBee
The Jim Walker FireBee trying on wheel pants
Bottom view of 1st production "FireBee."
Willie Willingham holds model with experimental wheel pants.
Jim Walker FireBee advertisement
Original A-J "FireBee" advertisement.
Here's the original A-J factory photo used to produce the Ad you see to the left.

Here is the final production "FireBee" kit

Jim Walker FireBee Kit Plans for the Jim Walker FireBee
"What you can do" is printed on the side of the box.
Assembly instructions and Firecracker .065 engine information.
Detail of FireBee Kit, wood has rounded edges Firecracker engine came with the FireBee kit
Wood parts have rounded edges already formed.
Firecracker engine with speed control
squeeze bulb.
Jim Walker Firecracker engine with throttle control Jim Walker FireBee
Detail of engine, rubber bellows not attached in
this shot.
Finished FireBee and N.I.B. kit.
Frank Macy's black FireBee Detail of the black FireBee
Here is Frank Macy's Navy Blue "FireBee."
A closer look shows the streamline gas tank supplied with kit.
Jim Walker FireBee kit and finished model by Frank Macy
Frank Macy finished this model to closely match the paint scheme on the box. Frank notes: "When I was in my teens I flew this airplane alot. It was pure fun and I put in many hours doing touch and goes,  throttling back to hover in the wind, even doing a bunch of hi-speed  touch and goes. It was truly a fun airplane from the word go."

The original prototype "FireBee" was designed and built
by Bob Smurthwaite

Prototype FireBee by Bob Smurthwaite Jim Walker's fingerprints on the prototype FireBee wing
The very first FireBee Prototype built by Bob Smurthwaite.
Jim Walker's fingerprints are still visible on the wings.
Royal Spitfire engine on the prototype FireBee Prototype Jim Walkjer FireBee
This FireBee sports a Royal Spitfire engine w/throttle control.
Jim Walker was amazed by this model and flew it all day.
Bob Smurthwaite 3-line control for the prototype FireBee model plane
The prototype FireBee had a miniature 3-line control designed and built by Bob Smurthwaite.
Prototype Jim Walker FireBee had flaps as well as throttle control
This prototype FireBee had flaps as well as throttle control. This allowed the model to idle on the ground, take off without an assistant, fly at high speed or slow, and land with the engine still running.

Read about the history of the "FireBee"

 

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