The series centered on the adventures of bush pilot Baloo the bear, whose air cargo freight business is bought out by Rebecca Cunningham, and Higher for Hire. An orphan boy and former Air Pirate, Kit Cloudkicker, attaches to Baloo and becomes his navigator. Together, they are the crew of Higher for Hire's only aircraft, a modified Conwing L-16 named the Sea Duck.
Baloo von Bruinwald XIII is the main character of the story. Although lazy, slobbish, unreliable and always broke, as bears often are, he is also an excellent pilot and capable of the most daring maneuvers in the air, as bears often are not. He flies a cargo plane called the Sea Duck. He will also selflessly come to the aid of those in need of help. He also has a penchant for getting into schemes that require him to dress up in drag to suit the situation, such as when he became Rebecca's "female" co-pilot Tan-Margaret (a play on Ann-Margret) in "Feminine Air". Some of his mannerisms survive from The Jungle Book, including his nickname of "Papa Bear" by Kit, which Mowgli had given to him. Baloo comes from a prominent noble family, (being Baloo, Baron von Bruinwald XIII) though he himself had been initially unaware; raising the possibility that he was adopted. He inherited 500 million dollars in the form of an extravagant estate, which was taken from him to settle the matter of his family's impressively long history of owing back taxes, thus restoring the status quo. Baloo only once mentioned any family, in reference to a gramophone record that had belonged to his father. He also calls Kit "Li'l Britches," as he did with Mowgli.
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