The Transavia PL-12 Airtruk is a single-engine agricultural aircraft designed and built by the Transavia Corporation in Australia. The Airtruk is a shoulder-wing strut braced sesquiplane of all-metal construction, with the cockpit mounted above a tractor engine and short pod fuselage with rear door. The engine cowling, rear fuselage and top decking are of fibreglass. It has a tricycle undercarriage, the main units of which are carried on stub wings. It has twin tail booms with two unconnected tails. Its first flight was in 22 April 1965, and was certified on 10 February 1966.
For the movie, the plane was painted black and bears signs of wear. Differently colored panels emulate patched elements of the fuselage, the cabin is equipped with various additional makeshift items and instruments.
Appearances on screen
The Flying Jalopy is first seen in the opening scene of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. It glides through the air with its engine off to attack an unsuspecting driver of The Camel Wagon - Max. The plane hits Max with one of its wheels and successfully knocks him off the vehicle. The Flying Jalopy then starts the engine and circles around for another fly-by. The pilots of the plane are Jedediah and his son. Jedediah Jr. takes control of the plane while his father jumps out from the plane onto a driver-less vehicle and steals it.
The second time we see The Flying Jalopy is in the final scenes of the movie. Max and a band of Lost Children find Jedediah and urge him to escape together in his plane. Everyone gets on board, but the plane is too heavy to take off. Max releases baggage strapped to the wings of the plane, but the plane does not take off but stops and turns around right at the edge of a cliff. Max takes off the plane and promises to make way for the plane to take off while driving head-onto Auntie Entity's approaching armada. Max clears the way and The Flying Jalopy takes off. The plane later flies into a dust storm and flies into the ruins of Sydney, where it delivers the Lost Children that start civilization anew.
The Flying Jalopy refers to the Disney animated short starring Donald Duck.