Jump to content
Randy Treadway

1965 Jaycopter found

Recommended Posts

I just found this on eBay, five days after it closed without any bids.

The seller says it was built in 1965 and mentions something about Expo in Montreal, but nothing about the NYWF.

If the date is correct, I'd say there's a reasonable chance that this could be one of the coin-op machines which operated at the NYWF, next to the full-size Jaycopter ride.

Comparing photographs from 1964 and 1965, it looks like they doubled the number of coin-op machines for the second season, increasing the number from 10 or so, to 20 or so (22 is noted by this seller in an unattributed description!).

So this machine, if it indeed has a 1965 marking, could be one of the additional ones installed for the second season.

Since it is now located in Quebec, it might be that the seller's story about Expo is also true.

<a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&Item=180057769143" target="_blank">http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...em=180057769143</a>

Update: I checked the official Fair Guidebooks:

The 1964 Guidebook says there were 20 small operable helicopter models.

The 1965 Guidebook says there were 23.

So whether there were only ten or so in 1964 as the photos suggest, or whether there were 22 or 23 in 1965, all the references do seem to indicate that there was an increase in the number of machines that were installed the second year. And those machines had to end up somewhere, probably carrying with them the manufacturer plate, perhaps with the year indicated.

Also, since the NYWF units were owned by Jaycopter Corp., it might make sense that they would try to re-propose them a year or so later in Montreal.

I think I'll e-mail the seller to ask more about the "1965" information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another observation:

The "increase" between the two Guidebooks is 3.

The seller of this "1965" one says it and three others were manufactured.....

Okay, the count is off by one, but it's intriguing, no?

I sent the e-mail and asked both about the 1965 marking and where the information came from that this Jaycopter is one of a batch of four. Of course I also offered to share the information I have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some versions of the Jaycopter Trainer at the Aviation Museum of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (Home of the Jaycopter!)...

Jacobs Welding & Engineering brand...

jaycopter3.jpg

jaycopter2.jpg

jaycopter1.jpg

Minicopter Enterprises brand...

minicopter3.jpg

minicopter4.jpg

minicopter5.jpg

minicopter2.jpg

Sold by CoinCo of St. Louis (serial number #67040 [1967, #40?] made by Minicopter Enterprises)...

Photo20005.jpg

20020003.jpg

Photo20002.jpg

Please post a serial number of the eBay unit if you get one Randy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gary Holmes is even closer... then I can play with it when I go to see his new WF room!

Hey Randy, get the SN#.

We can compare it to the one in the photo above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No response from the seller yet, but looking at these pictures (I saw them on the web last night too), the first unit- the plastic "cyclinder" with a dome on top- matches the NYWF units.

Unfortunately that means the one on eBay- housed in a plastic globe- is the later unit, which was smaller.

The biggger one- the cylinder- was apparently called the "Baby Jay".

My bet is that the seller is going to say that his reference to "1965" was an error, and the manufacturer label says 67 on it.

Randy

Last night I also sent an e-mail to the nephew of the Jaycopter founder, who now runs the corporate descendant of the Jaycopter business- they're still in aerospace but not helicopter trainers. They build what we at Boeing call integrated test units. He helped his uncle back in the Jaycopter days so probably knows a lot, and might have access to any World's Fair exhibit corporate archives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We can compare it to the one in the photo above.

From the listing photo, it looks like JCM6706x, so it might be a later version. If the first two digits are truly the manufacturing date, then these two machines were never in New York. The one at the museum is serialized JRM67040.

0jaycopter%20008.jpg

Sorry, can't buy it Doug if it wasn't at the Fair!

P.S. I had a Vertibird too. Wore it out. I have the Chopper Command version now.

Mattel really missed the boat not reissuing that toy, eh?

Back to the Jaycopter, I don't see the smaller versions in this photo I found on Flickr.

62891345_26fd953600_o_d.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to the Jaycopter, I don't see the smaller versions in this photo I found on Flickr.

That's 'cause they're in the shadows under the "porch" on the right.

Try this one:

65-06-03-cx_Jaycopter.jpg

By the way, in the Flickr picture that Randy L. posted, see the "blue block" on the opposite end of the 'crane' from the helicopter? That's the counterweight, and it moved in and out on the track that you see there. How that movement was synchronized to the throttle controls was the key to how the whole thing worked, to keep the powerful helicopter from wrenching and twisting the support structure into a heap of scrap metal. Competitors weren't able to figure it out or make it work right. But the Jaycopter people came up with the right equations. But the thing that did in Jaycopter before they could get into mass production, was the advent of computerized flight controls and advanced flight simulators.

But the experts (that I found on the web) say that even the best of today's flight simulators still does not reproduce as accurately the sensation of helicopter flying the way that the Jaycopter did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even with computer simulators... I'm kinda surprised that you don't still see some version of this at amusement parks and state fairgrounds across the country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard back from the current owner of the coinop Jaycopter that didnt' sell on eBay....

<!--coloro:blue--><span style="color:blue"><!--/coloro-->Hi,

I am not very good in english but I will try to explain you. I have bought this machine of the original owner. The owner tell me than he was made four machines in 1965 to put them at the expo in 1967 but these machines was not choose

and the owner put the machines in the bars and restaurant or arcade.

Let me know what you know about it. <!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This morning I received a response to my e-mail, from Darryl Jacobs, of the Jacobs family who produced the <!--coloro:blue--><span style="color:blue"><!--/coloro-->Ja<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->ycopter. I had asked about the switch from a red Jaycopter to a yellow one part way through the 1964 season, as well as the minicopter recently offered for sale on eBay.

<!--coloro:green--><span style="color:green"><!--/coloro-->Hi Randy,

I talked to my Dad who was a key designer and part of Jaycopters to answer your questions. The red Jaycopter (8 passenger), was in the area, so it was used until the yellow one (16 passenger) could arrive.

There were 23 Baby Jays (6' dia. Bubble) at the fair. They were assembled at a local where house, during the first month of the fair in 1964.

The copter offered on eBay is a Minicopter (42" bubble). They were not used at NY Fair. They were developed later. There were 45 or 50 built, used in airport waiting areas across Canada. One was even at Circus Circus casino in Las Vegas.

Best Regards

Darryl<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

I sent a thank-you to Darryl for he and his dad helping us with Jaycopter information.

The confirmation that there were 23 Baby Jays resolves some conflicting information. I had noticed that in photographs there was a row of 11 of them, with another row of 11 exactly behind the first row. That made 22, and at least one reference (apparently wrong) said there were 22.

But I went back and looked at photos, and in one single solitary photograph, I found the 23rd one. It's sitting out next to the ticket booth. Apparently they had one there, operating, to entice people to buy a ticket to fly one themselves. So 23 it is.

The explanation of the Baby Jays being assembled in a nearby [where]house in the first month of the Fair, also provides an answer for why my single early 1964 photo shows only about half of the 22 bubbles present. They were still installing them as they arrived from that warehouse.

In my thank-you e-mail back to Darryl I also noted that it appears that one of those 23 "6-foot big bubble" Baby Jays is in the museum in Edmonton, but does he or his father know anything about what became of the other 22?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even with computer simulators... I'm kinda surprised that you don't still see some version of this at amusement parks and state fairgrounds across the country.

I would imagine that the relatively low ride capacity probably made it difficult to earn a return on the initial investment. If you figure 16 people per ride, with a 4-5 minute cycle time (loading, ride, unloading), then you can only handle about 192-240 people per hour - versus modern rides like Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, or the Rock-n-Roller Coaster at Disney MGM studios with hourly capacities of 3400 and 1500 respectively - even the local carnival Tilt-a-Whirl can handle about 500 people per hour...

Still, it would be pretty cool to ride on one of this things!

Best Regards,

Kevin

PS - Interesting dialog Randy - Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Still, it would be pretty cool to ride on one of these things!<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

So whatever became of them, Randy? Did he say?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I asked what became of the Baby Jay's (other than the one in the museum) when I e-mailed him back this morning. I'll try to ask about the big full-sized 8- and 16-passenger ones too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another e-mail just came in from Darryl, regarding my question about what happened to the Baby Jay's.

<!--coloro:blue--><span style="color:blue"><!--/coloro-->Hi Randy,

I think they are all but gone out there. I know the Edmonton Aviation

Museum has one set up, but we don't know what became of all the rest out

there. The assets of Jaycopter Corporation were sold to Klondike vending

and from there they faded.

We used to have one set up in our basement as a kid, and that got lost

thru the generations as well....

I am overseas right now, but we should chat in the new year. I think I

have some Worlds fare pics in the archives that may be of interest.

Cheers!

Darryl<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

Now THAT would be one kid, when he said 'want to come over to my house to play after school?'- wouldn't have to ask twice! Especially after word got around about this cool helicopter in his basement.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now I got an e-mail from a Ted Jacobs. Obviously my inquiry was passed along from Darryl. Not sure who Ted is, but maybe Darryl's dad.

<!--coloro:blue--><span style="color:blue"><!--/coloro-->Hi Randy:

Yes there is one Baby Jay here in the Aviation Museum here in Edmonton.

The other 22 were scrapped. The Minicopter was smaller and more acceptable to Malls etc.

There also is a Minicopter at the Museum and I have one also.

Best regards

Ted

<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this thread is 4 years old....but I had to comment as I just found it.

I own a Baby Jay. So not all 22 were scrapped. I bought it from an Amusement park that has been around for probably 100 years. I didn't ask them for any history on how / when they acquired it, but I am still in contact with the former owner and will ask him for some history if anyone cares.

It's a pretty cool thing - but really big.

John Yates

VintageVideogames.com

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks great. Does it still run?

I was told it does. I bought it and put it in one of my remote warehouses, and haven't plugged it in to be honest. I'm in the coin operated game business and have over 1200 games. I buy stuff as-is and don't plug most stuff in until I'm getting ready to either sell it or put it in my museum:

http://www.vintagevideogames.com

Next time I'm at that warehouse, I will try to remember to try it out.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey John, have any EM pinballs in the museum?

Right now the only one I've got in there is a home-use-only Target Alpha that plays about like new. I've got a super nice Star Lite that I intend to put in there - it's from the 20s or 30s. And I've also got super nice Wizard, Sing Along, Skyline, and some others that may make their way in. But for now, just the Target Alpha.

Thanks for asking!

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×