American Junior Classics A-J 404 Interceptor

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American Junior "404" Folding Wing Interceptor

History from the 1947 original to the 2014 Interceptor II

404 Interceptor by Jim Walker, American Junior Aircraft in 1947
The original 1939 Army Interceptor was redesigned in 1947 to the "404" Interceptor. Sporting a shorter wingspan and the new rounded fuselage called "Sleek Kurve," this model stayed in production into the early 1960's.

American Junior Interceptor Boy launching the 404

Watch This 11 minute video from 1989.

Production of the "404" Interceptor when Frank Macy was successfully producing this model. This rare video footage shows his shop in Oak Grove, Oregon. We see the production techniques used to produce the "Assembly Kit" version and also some of the assembly process for the "Ready-To-Fly" version that he also produced.Jim Longstreth, Susan Holm, and Vick Wolfe helped in production.

404 Interceptor Folding Wing Glider Kit Assembly from 1989
404 Interceptor, American Junior 1989 version
404 Folding Wing Interceptor, American Junior, Jim Walker
Here are the Assembly Kit and finished "Ready-To-Fly" versions of the "404" Interceptor. Frank Macy had high hopes and was well on his way to reintroducing this model. By the following year he was shipping to 600 hobby shops and was getting ready for investors. Health issues and other problems stopped production in 1991.

Pivot Pin & bushing for folding wing glider 404 Interceptor pivot pin and wood bearing
Close up of the pivot pin and split dowel bearing, used from 1939 to early 1960's.
Pivot pin installed and ready for the wing. Pin is snug but must rotate freely.

Pactra version of the 404 folding wing Interceptor
Plastic fuselage of folding wing Pactra 404 Interceptor
When Pactra took over American Junior in the early 1960s, they redesigned the Interceptor using plastic for the fuselage. They produced the "404" and another version called the "Sky Diver."

The 1984 "Jim Walker" Sky Diver Folding Wing Glider,
Remanufactured in Limited Quantity for Frank Macy's "A-J Fun-Pak"

Sky Diver folding wing glider from 1984, Frank Macy with Pactra parts

HISTORICAL INFORMATION: The Jim Walker Sky Diver is basically the same model as the famous A-J folding wing Interceptor, which was manufactured in the forties and fifties. The main difference being the plastic fuselage, the name of the model, and the color. Produced by Pactra in the early sixties, after they purchased American Junior Aircraft. This model is the last version of the long line of folding wing gliders, a wonderful part of American Model Aviation History.

Many parts of your Sky Diver model are old original stock that was stored in a boat house (dry) for almost 30 years. The wings, folding mechanism and stabilizer were produced by the same dies that were used for the famous A-J 404 Interceptor. Only the printing was changed. However, the Sky Diver had a plastic fuselage (like the Space Interceptor) and was too heavy for good flight performance. For this reason, it was decided to junk the plastic, and manufacture a new fuselage patterned after the 404 Interceptor shape. Only Premium quality balsa was used for the new fuselage, as you can see. The design on the fuselage was not an original A-J design, but was designed to have that "A-J look." Production ended in 1985 to produce the "404."

404 A-J Interceptor and box, Frank Macy production from 1999
In the late 1990's a brief attempt was made to produce the "404" Interceptor along with a replica box that copied the original artwork of American Junior. The only difference is the use of darker cardboard stock and the inclusion of the new American Junior website.

Interceptor Folding Wing flight adjustments
Flying adjustments were printed on the box. The stradle wire allowed the adjustment for the angle of attack of the wing. The plane was a good flyer but sometimes a bit tricky to get properly trimmed.

Launching the Army Interceptor - artwork
Army Interceptor Poster, Jim Walker

Jim Walker introduced the first folding wing glider in 1939, the "Army Interceptor." This model was produced during WWII and up through 1946. Poster is original A-J.

404 Interceptor Poster, Jim Walker

The "404" Interceptor came out in 1947, stayed in production into the early 1960's.Frank Macy brought it back in 1985. Poster by Frank Macy.

Interceptor II an 2006 model by Frank Macy, folding wing glider
2003: The metal wing pivoting mechanism was redesigned into an updated plastic version and is seen here on this "404" Interceptor II. More info in our folding wing gallery

2013 red Interceptor II from American Junior Classics
2013: The 404 Interceptor II got a color change but otherwise stayed the same.

New 404 Interceptor II for 2014, folding wing glider, American Junior Classics
2014: Several new changes were made to the Interceptor II. The pivot notch in the fusealge is gone, the straddle wire is back and allows for adjusting the wing angle like the original 404. Also the fuselage has a 1/4" fuselage instead of the 3/16" version used since 2003, so the nose weight can now be hidden and the ball bearing is gone. Also the wing has been lowered back to it's original location. As of 10/28/2013 this is the first prototype and is still undergoing testing but the results so far are very promising.

The original 1947 "404" folding wing Interceptor designed by Jim Walker, American Junior Aircraft
One final look at an original "404" Interceptor from 1947. The 2014 Interceptor gets a lot closer to the classic look and flight characteristics of the original that Jim Walker designed.

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