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on the first full-sized prototype was started in Peters garage, later
moving to brother Leos garage, and then to building 14 at the Edmonton
Municipal Airport. It had its first flight in 1958 (he had developed and
patented a small model earlier, which has since disappeared). Both Leo and
Peters nephew Ted helped in its construction with some input from
brothers Emil, Andy and Paul. An engineer, Ted designed a triangular boom
for the second prototype, after the first was found to be somewhat wobbly.
According to Jaycopter promotional material, the training chopper had many
- It offered a realistic appraisal of a pilots ability. Operating in absolute
safety, it taught the fundamentals of control and co-ordination easily and
- The cost of training time was insignificant in comparison to equivalent
time spent in a conventional helicopter.
- There was no need to keep a valuable helicopter standing by for initial
- It was designed to produce a larger number of qualified pilots faster and
cheaper while eliminating the possibility of personal injury and/or
Several students with no previous flight ability managed, after just 15
hours in the Jaycopter, to fly and control the helicopter to such a degree
that it was unnecessary for the chief pilot to touch the controls once.
Despite these advantages, the Jaycopter never achieved mass production,
although the governments of the United States and Argentina did order one
each. By this time, military and transportation agencies were dazzled by
the electronic revolution, and were focused on the development of
electronic training devices, although Ted Jacobs says that the Jaycopter
nevertheless gave a more realistic helicopter experience.
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