Discontinued Proctor Kits

Thayer Syme (thayer_syme@skellington.com)
9 May 1995 08:21:11 -0800

Reply to: Discontinued Proctor Kits
Date: 5/8/95 10:14 PM
To: Thayer Syme
From: Paul Butler
Thanks Guys

Your response to my enquiry was overwhelming and it will take some
time for me to read all of your advice on the subject.

Proctor Kits

I had heard that the Jenny kit had been discontinued because of some legal
action being taken (don't know the reason through) but was unaware of the
Albatros suffering a similar fate.

Can anyone enlighten me on why

Thanks again

here's a repost of info I posted on r.m.r last week or so about Proctor's Jenny
and D-Va. Both were drawn by Ralph Beck, hence the similar fate.



Subject: Re: Proctor Jenny
Date: 18 Apr 1995

Please excuse my language but this is a case in which I feel veracity is
extremely necessary!! Product Liability and Lawers who scare clients are
the number one pain in my butt!! Bastards, every one of them!!!!!!!

I just got of the phone with Proctor Enterprises and found out the reason
the Jenny and Albatros were recently discontinued was a bit of 'advice'
from a product liability lawyer. He was advising, not Proctor, but the
plans draftsman! IMHO he is a first class F----ng A----le!!!!

Proctor fought this one for over a year and was offered the ability to
assume all product liability for several tens of thousands of dollars!!
This on a product that sells, how many? 20, 30, 50 a year? How many of
these actually get built to fly vs static museum quality display? They
already carry insurance for the products but in this case they were being
forced to drop the products orcover the designer as well.

Is it not logical that someone who spends $400 to $700 for a model
airplane kit requiring close to 1000 hours of construction time has some
appreciation of his/her investment made, and sufficient grasp of the
safety issues at hand to eliminate, as much is as humanly possible, the
risk to a third party? Would not the modelers home owners policy and the
AMA sufficiently insulate the designer?

Both of the Jenny and the Albatros were products I intended to invest in
for my building pleasure at a later date. I was waiting for the right
financial climate and have realized today that that time will never
come. I have been dreaming of building the Jenny ever since I first
discovered it was available, probably soon after I started modeling 17
years ago. The release of the Albatros a few years ago brought great joy
to my heart as yet another of my favorite aircraft was blessed with the
Proctor box.

I have found bittersweet pleasure in a call I made right after contacting
Proctor. One of their dealers is about to receive a final shipment of
four kits. At the time of my call 2 were already sold. I politely
corrected the man who answered and told him that 3 were now sold. It is
sad, but I feel almost no happiness in this purchase. The normal joy of
a new project is all but erased by the reason I had to buy the kit
today and that I must bid the Albatros, adieu.

Perhaps it is not unreasonable to forcast that this legal climate will
force us to scratchbuild our own designs in the not too distant future.

The EAA and homebuilders have had this same problem though they have
pretty much worked around it. The most notable loss in that arena has
been the removal of Burt Rutan's designs from current availability. If
you want a Long-Eze today you have to buy plans used or someone else's

It pains me to think that our hobby is in danger of the same fate as full
scale general aviation.

Thayer Syme Soaring
thayer@crl.com Electric Scale
San Francisco, CA Indoor Free Flight
*** Long live Proctor Enterprises ***

This is my second Proctor kit, first was the Antic-bipe. It's
eight years old and doing well. I liked it so much I decided, with
some hesitation, to build another Proctor kit and selected the Jenny.
This kit is for the VERY experienced modeller ( which I think I
qualify for) and someone much more into building than flying.
For instance, I have put together some kits that didn't take as
long as the landing gear on the Jenny. The one thing that sustains
my interest is that it is going to be a marvelous sight when it
finally takes off (incidentally, I intend to borrow a paved runway for
that--the land gear is made of wood, with a wooden spreader bar--
can't tolerate any bumps or pebbles)
Those of you familiar with Proctor kits will get the drift of what I
am saying and maybe we should develope a "support group" :-).
To those of you who haven't let me say your modelling experience is not
complete till you try one.
Keep smilin' Walt

and this from our list

From: Thayer Syme (5/8/95)
To: Douglas R. Jones
CC: wwi@pease1.sr.unh.edu
Reply to: RE>>Painting flying models

Date: 5/8/95 11:20 AM
To: Thayer Syme
From: Douglas R. Jones
>Just thought it might be of general interest to know that Proctor is following
>up their recently discontinued Curtiss Jenny and Albatros DVa kits with a
>DVII. They test flew the prototype a week or so ago and expectations were
>exceeded!! Didn't ask the scale or price as I did not want to write
another check
>for a Proctor kit for the 3rd consecutive week! recently I was lucky to find a
>source for the extinct Jenny and DVa and, yes, bought both. Ouch!! I guess I
>look at it as my IRA investment for this year! :)

Ouch is right! By my calculations that's about...about...oh never mind. In
any case congratulations!

The D-VII will be neat to see. Their products certainly are incredible, I
just wish they were within the grasp of guys like ms :-(

>BTW: The Jenny plans are being re drawn to reflect the Proctor hardware which
>deviates from scale slightly, and they are planing to offer the kit again
in the
>future, based on a new set of plans. No word when, however. In their
words the
>Jenny has too much historical significance in the US to not be represented by a
>model of this caliber. It sounded like the kit would be identical except for
>the plan set. I was too delighted to have the sense to ask about the fate of
>the Albatros however.

This is good news! Let's hope the D-Va meets with the same fate!

Thanks for passing this along!