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Flitecraft founder Gary Leonard Passes

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Old 06-22-2002, 09:39 PM
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KansasBill
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Default Flitecraft founder Gary Leonard Passes

I received word today of the passing of a good friend and a true R/C hobby innovator, Gary Leonard, Sr., the founder of the Flitecraft and the Jayhawk Little Model Aircraft Company. Gary passed suddenly this past Wednesday, June 19th. Gary and his wife Alice have been living in Holland Michigan these last few years with their youngest son Jim.

From their little shop in Baldwin City Kansas, Gary and his family produced what I think were the first and some of the best and successful ARF airplanes to hit the R/C market. There was a long list of different models over the years, The Solo, Arrow, Cardinal, Minuteman, Shadow, Flitecraft Cub, Aerobat, Bonanza, Laser 300. All the Flitecraft planes were durable and rugged. Each had their own little quirks, some were really hot doggers, The Arrow and Shadow were bullets with a good 40 or 45 sized motor. Along with a successful line of planes, Gary and his sons also produced a wonderful line of flight caddys, and a highly successful line of R/C hydroplane airboats.

I came to know Gary as a dear and close friend. He and his wife Alice were like second parents to my daughter. You could always count on being welcome and spending hours at there shop and home.

Gary was as creative and as innovative a person as I've met in this hobby. From designing and building foam cutting machines to vacuum formers and rotational molders for making tires, Gary never lacked for ideas, and always had a pencil and cards in his pocket to scribble them down.

I truly have lost a dear friend, and the hobby has lost someone who helped bring R/C flying and models to the next level. I would love to hear form others of you in this vast R/C Universe who have known Gary or have flown one of his airplanes. I would ask those of you who would, to pray for Gary, his wife Alice and his Sons Gary Jr. and Jim, and for their wives and Gary's grandchildren. Thank you all.

God speed, Gentle winds and Soft Landings my cherished friend.

Bill
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Old 06-25-2002, 10:39 AM
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Joss Stick
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Default Flitecraft founder Gary Leonard Passes

My first trainer was the SOLO II. What a great plane! After that I had the Arrow. Another fine model.

I flew one day out over a wooded area and lost the Arrow in a tree. I got the fuse back after a couple of days but the wing was gone. I wrote to Flightcraft and told them what happened and asked them about purchasing a new wing. The UPS man delivered a New Wing and Tailfeathers one day and there was no charge for the items.

I am sorry for the loss to you and his family and to the modeling community.
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Old 08-28-2002, 12:02 PM
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Default Belated condolences

While it has been sometime since Gary's passing I would like to
offer my condolences to his family and friends. I knew Gary
and his brother Glen quite well when I lived in Overland Park, KS in the late
70's. Gary and his Brothers owned a hobby shop and were
very active in helping newcomers learn to fly. Gary eventually
closed the shop and directed his efforts toward Flitecraft. I was
always amazed at his abilities in designing and fabricating
the equipment he used, a true genius in this regard. While I had
been flying for many years I always had Gary "Test Fly" my planes, as he was the best pilot around. I moved away from the
area in 1979 and only saw Gary one time after that, on a visit
in about 1983. Again, I will always remember Gary as a friend, and a true modeler.
Carl Carson
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Old 08-29-2002, 05:30 PM
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nick.wright
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Default Flitecraft planes

My first trainer was the last version of the Flitecraft Cardinal. It met its demise in the backyard pecan tree. I now have one the earlier versions of the Cardinal with the two piece fuse. Must be old because the decal sheet says "the little jayhawk co." . The box also says the same thing. Anyone know where I might be able to find more of these ARFS NIB?????
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Old 01-15-2003, 04:44 AM
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8KCABrett
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What a shame

I too would like another Arrow III. I have to say that that was the most fun, and best flying aircraft I have had, and it was the cheapest by far. All the other companies out there could learn thing or too from these little planes!! My arrow looked like it did about 115 MPH, had an excellent roll rate, phenomenal power to weight ratio, perfect balance, took 6 hours to build, had a sleek look (even though the adds made it look a little homely) I put a royal .40 in it, which was about $60, the kit was 59.99. . . and that was enough power that I was out running the the guys at our club who were doing races with the GP patriot, and it was the plane I learned to torque roll with. I also had a tendency to do vertical takeoffs from my hand after finishing my needle adjustment. . which irritated the club officers to no end, and made me frequent the airstrip during the week so I could keep from frightening anyone with the triple digit low inverted flybys. . . hovers, and insane snap rolls. I did need a new wing kit after I did a few too many High-G maneuvers. . .this set me back a whopping $20. I ended up losing this model after 3 years of fun, when someone stole the contents of my hangar (garage) while I was moving.

If anyone knows if any of these are still out there. . . email me at mtbfsr@aol.com or reply here.

Brett
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:19 PM
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Default RE: Flitecraft planes

if you are still lookin for one these i have one that is complete with the original os. max .40 and 1980's futaba radio, it still all works great, please email me back if your still looking for one of these.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:30 PM
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Last edited by GallopingGhostler; 11-02-2013 at 11:29 AM. Reason: Moved to a new thread.
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