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Flapping Terror: The Website that Gets Dangerous

/ / The Life and Times of Launchpad McQuack \ \

Before becoming Darkwing's sidekick, Launchpad worked as the personal pilot for Scrooge McDuck, the richest duck in the world. His salary was one cent a day! Talk about cheap labor! But the satisfaction and thrill of adventure was more than enough pay for LP at the time.
This page is mostly devoted to Launchpad's adventures in the "DuckTales" series where he originated. However, the actual purpose of this page is to educate and inform the Darkwing fan masses about LP's past so as to better understand his character. Sadly, there is a noticeable lack of fan fiction and fan art of our favorite pilot, indicating a lack of popularity. We hope to remedy this problem, because hey, we love the big guy! The Darkwing Duck show would have gone nowehere without him. In fact, it probably would have never existed if it weren't for him!

DuckTales Episode Tidbits

1.) Three Ducks of the Condor

The first episode Launchpad ever appeared in, this was the third part of the five-part special that launched the DuckTales series, and the episode that starts to establish Launchpad's character.

Episode Summary: Scrooge finds out from a coin expert that a gold coin in his possession happens to be a coin from the legendary Treasure of the Golden Suns. After finding out that there is a second coin like it, Scrooge becomes to determined to find its owner in the Andes Mountains. After acquiring a special plane from Gyro Gearloose, Scrooge hires Launchpad to fly it. Along the way, Scrooge's nephew Donald, on 72-hour shore leave from the Navy, is literally picked up to join Scrooge and Launchpad on their adventure. The three ducks reach an ancient fortress in the mountains, only to have Launchpad crash the plane. Scrooge and Donald learn that the Golden Sun coin belongs to a man in conquistador's clothing named Walking Slowly, worshipped by descendants of cliff-dwelling, Latin American sun-worshippers as a Gold Sun High Priest. They also learn, from Walking Slowly himself, that he has half a map that leads to the Valley of the Golden Suns, where the Treasure lies. After Launchpad and Donald cause a considerable amount of destruction, Walking Slowly agrees to give up his map in exchange for Scrooge's coin. Being a greedy tyrant, however, Slowly double-crosses our heroes and attempts to destroy them... only to lose both Golden Sun coins in the process, and thus losing his power over the sun worshippers. Scrooge is dropped off in the ocean's currents to find the second half of the map, while Launchpad and Donald make it back to Donald's ship just in time.

What Happens to LP:

  • Crashes his red bi-plane, The Joyrider. This is when we learn why he crashes airplanes instead of bailing out: parachutes make him airsick.
  • Crashes the Golden Condor, an experimental aircraft invented by Gyro Gearloose to fly through mountains.
  • Meets Donald Duck, whom he believes to be "a couple of quarts low" at first, while Donald thinks LP is a "stupid hotshot." In the end, they turn out to be good pals. LP even grows to understand what Donald says! He also stands up to Donald's navy lieutenant when Donald arrives bedraggled back at the ship.
  • Flies (and crashes) a giant mountain condor, with a little help from Donald's flash camera.
  • Is praised by the sun-worshippers and is christened by them as "Bird Man."

    "Big rubble? No trouble!"
    "Don't worry, Mister McDee. If it's got wings, I can crash it!"
    "What's the matter with his voice? Did I grab him by the neck or something?"
    "You're flying with the King of Wings!"
    "You know, I just don't feel right unless I bring 'em in for a real Launchpad McQuack landing." (crash) "Heh, now I feel better!"
    "It'll never play the violin again."

    Extra Tidbits: LP's quote "Big rubble? No trouble!" is a parody on an old Hubba Bubba bubblegum slogan: "Big bubbles? No troubles!" This refers to the gum's easy clean-up: if you blow a large bubble of Hubba Bubba, and it pops on your face, it comes off easily rather than being super-sticky.

    2.) Cold Duck

    Launchpad's second episode, the fourth part of the five-part special that launched DuckTales. In the previous episode, we got a first glimpse of Launchpad's relationship with Scrooge. In this episode, we see LP in relation to the rest of Scrooge's family.

    Episode Summary: While searching for the second half of the map to the Treasure of the Golden Suns, Scrooge is lost at sea on his rubber raft. Launchpad prepares a plane for Scrooge's rescue, only to have Huey, Dewey, Louie, Webbigail, and Mrs. Beakley join him. Launchpad informs them all that there's no turning back to Duckburg: unless he finds Scrooge before his homing device dies out, "he's a goner!" One crash-landing in Antarctica later, the ducks meet a little penguin girl, who is being chased by a walrus with Scrooge's raft hooked onto it! After Launchpad takes an impromptu ride, the boys use fancy rope tricks to send the walrus falling down a crevasse. The ducks conclude that Scrooge previously used the walrus to hitch a ride. Mrs. Beakley suggests that they follow the walrus's trail back to where it came from in order to find Scrooge. The ducks and the penguin girl are led to an ice cave, where an accident with a flare gun causes LP and the boys to go sailing down an ice-cold river. To save them, the penguin girl, Skittles, leads Mrs. Beakley and Webby to her home, a city made entirely of ice and inhabited by penguins. These penguins, living in an environment of ice and snow, are so jaded by the whiteness surrounding them that they'd give anything for a scrap of color from the outside. Sure enough, when the penguins find LP and the boys, they strip them of their clothes just so they can wear some color. They are then arrested for being friends of Scrooge, who tried to steal the second half of the map from the local Color Museum. Thanks to Mrs. Beakley's ingenuity, they eventually get their clothes back and escape from jail. A prehistoric walrus chases the ducks and crushes the color museum, but after a very close getaway it turns out that Webby made a copy of the map with her crayons. She gives the crayons to Skittles as a parting gift, and the ducks set course for the Valley of the Golden Suns!

    What Happens to LP:

  • Dragged along the ice of Antarctica in a rubber raft by a rampaging walrus.
  • Sails on a block of ice in a river in an ice cave, which broke off in the first place because he fired a flare gun, causing a frozen stalagtite to fall and break the river's frozen surface.
  • Stripped of his clothes - save for his woolen underwear - and arrested by an underground city of penguins.
  • Had an entire jailhouse made of ice collapse on him.

    "Hey, nice landing! On a scale of one to ten, I give it a C plus!"
    "Frozen river, dead ahead!" (tests the ice) "No problem. It's as hard as my noggin!"
    "Hey, you renegades from a prom!"
    "Brr! Talk about a cold reception!"
    "Hey! Y'wanna keep it down to a low roar back there?"

    3.) Too Much of a Gold Thing

    Launchpad's third episode, the fifth part of the five-part premiere special. In this one, we get to see LP when he's on his own.

    Episode Summary: Coming soon...

    What Happens to LP:

  • Saves the family from falling over a waterfall by filling up the adrift plane with water.
  • Dragged underwater in the Quackawack River by a large snake.

    "Huh! Seat broke, my tailfin!"
    "Don't worry! When the going gets tough, the harder they fall, heh?"
    "Row, row, row your hook, gently 'cross the stream! Merrily, merrily..."
    "Yaahh!! A snake! I hate snakes-- oh. That's somebody else."
    "NOW I hate snakes!"
    "Warp drive, Scotty!"
    "Nice engine... nice engine..."
    "No wonder the plane flew heavy! She was covered in gold like a dipped ice cream cone, heh heh heh!"

    Extra Tidbits: LP's hatred of snakes is a reference to the Indiana Jones movies. Many elements from the premiere special can be found in Indiana Jones if one looks closely enough! And in case you haven't noticed, the DuckTales writers liked to squeeze in Star Trek references throughout the whole series.

    4.) Where No Duck Has Gone Before

    The eighth episode of DuckTales, LP's fourth. Here we see our first example of one of Launchpad's most unique traits that continues to show on Darkwing Duck: knowing a bad apple when he sees one. We also see how he gets when he's jealous of another hero-type-- and it's not too different than how Darkwing gets when he's around Gizmoduck!

    Episode Summary: Coming soon...

    What Happens to LP:

  • Falls down and knocks over some scenery at Duckburg Studios, during a rehearsal of "Courage of the Cosmos."
  • Meets "Major Courage," who's not only a lousy actor, but also a phony, a suck-up, and an egotistical jerk. On more than one occasion he tries to punch Launchpad in the face or make him look bad in front of the triplets and Doofus.
  • Falls down a flight of stairs and is knocked unconscious when Major Courage kicked him.
  • Navigates the Starship Phoenix through an asteroid belt... only to have Major Courage take the credit.
  • Strapped to an alien brain-probing device.
  • Attacked an alien leader with a food-synthesiser gun-- specifically, one that shoots custard.
  • Has body parts swapped with the aliens, Doofus, and the triplets in a glitchy alien transporter device.
  • Navigates an alien spaceship using touch-activated psycho-technology.

    "Well, I bet I can give this spaceman a few pointers on how a real hero acts."
    "Yeah, a real pilot, not some phony flyboy."
    "If you ask me, a real hero doesn't need cameras or makeup. Real heroes just do their job!"
    "BIG DEAL?! Listen, if I hadn't steered us through those asteroids, we'd all be galactic garbage by now!"
    "I would've been here sooner... but they weren't done putting my brain through a blender!"
    "Now that's what I call using my head!"

    More to come on this page soon!

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    Darkwing Duck and all related characters and elements are copyright Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Animation, 1991-1995. Used without permission, for entertainment and informational purposes only. Flapping Terror is property of Melissa M., 2002 - 2010. Everything else belongs to their respective companies and persons. Thank you.