At last I have some pictures of "Little Toot" to send you. I am well pleased with the way it turned out. I started this project about five years ago (see Experimenter for April, 1954 & September, 1955).
First I made up a set of drawings and then built a scale model, ½ inch to the foot scale, with full details as to construction, etc. The model is all metal with the same type of construction as the large one with the exception of the wings. The model has metal ribs and spars with silk covering, and the full scale ship has wood spars and ribs. The model even has a scale constructed engine also of metal. I believe it is a good idea to make a scale model of any ship the homebuilder has in mind - then he will know exactly how the full size counterpart will look when completed. Also many construction details can be worked out in a model.
Here are the dimensions of "Little Toot": Wingspan - 19 feet; Total length - 16 feet 6 inches; Wing area - 123 sq. ft.; Sweep back, upper wing - 8°; Lower wing, straight; Dihedral - 3° in lower wing only. Engine is 90 HP Continental.
Fuselage is metal monocoque from the cockpit aft; tube truss from the cockpit forward with metal cowling over same. Wings are spruce with 1/8 inch plywood ribs with 1/2 inch x 3/16 inch spruce cap strips and fabric cover.
The engine cowl is hand hammered of aluminum. Landing gear is Cessna with Cessna wheel pants. There are four flying wires and two landing wires on each side of the plane. It is stressed for a full 10 G's with plenty of beef in all of the fittings, flying wires, etc. I don't have to worry about it coming apart.
She is painted white with red trim and has "Little Toot" on the engine cowl. It has been through all the flight tests and came through with flying colors. There wasn't a thing that had to be changed - it performed beautifully from the first flight on. We rigged it and flew it and just had to bend the rudder tab a little. It trims for level flight with the elevator trim in neutral. It will top 127 MPH at 2000 feet and cruise at 110 at 2200 RPM. I timed it to 5000 feet with a 150 lb. pilot - 5 minutes and 20 seconds. It won't do that well with me though - I weigh 200 lbs. and the climb is about 800 feet per minute with me in it. Next year I would like to install a 135 or 150 HP Lycoming in it.
The ship has very good stall characteristics - breaks clean with plenty of warning and resumes flying as soon as pressure is released. It has been held in sustained spins and recovery is very rapid with only the pressure released from the controls. "Little Toot" stalls at 55 MPH and lands at the same speed. It is very easy to fly - has no bad characteristics. Its take-off run is about 200 feet and landing roll-out is about the same.
The plane is fully aerobatic and has done just about everything but sustained inverted flight which can't be done until I put an inverted system in it, but I think I'll wait now until I get a bigger engine in it. I am reworking all my blueprints to incorporate all the changes and modifications I made while building the plane. They will be available if someone wants a set - after I complete the revisions. In the revised drawings I will have an alternate fuselage method which will be a more simplified tube cover for those who prefer it to the more difficult monocoque truss with stringers and fabric method used on mine. Also I'll show a tube tail as an alternate to the metal cantilever on "Little Toot". I hope "Little Toot" and I will see "you-all" at the Fly-In this year.
George W. Meyer - EAA Experimenter - June 1957
The Little Toot From Texas
George Meyer's "Little Toot" is shaping up into the snappy little bi-plane it was designed to be. Under construction for almost two years now, only the wings remain to be completed. The ship is constructed of welded steel tubing, and is completely metal covered. It is powered by a 90 hp, Continental engine, and it is, of course, single place. The accompanying pictures point up the excellent job which Meyer has done so far. The upper wings have an eight degree sweepback from the center, and are set at three degrees incidence. The lower wings are straight and set at two degrees incidence. A standard Cessna 120 landing gear and 6..00 x 6 wheels are used. The excellent drawing of the "Little Toot" clearly defines the finished lines of the aircraft. No expected performance figures are available yet.
Leo J. Kohn - EAA Experimenter - September 1955
George Meyer of Corpus Christie, Tex., was very popular with his little biplane "Little Toot". I had the great pleasure of making three flights in it and think its an excellent little ship and not difficult to fly. It has a Continental 90 hp engine in it and George plans on installing a 135 hp Lycoming. Even with the 90 Continental it did very well and indicated 115 mph at cruise with no trouble at all. I was also impressed by the roomy cockpit and its comfort.
I received a fine 3 view drawing of a 19 foot wing span bi-plane from GEORGE MEYER, Corpus Christi, Texas. It will be powered with a 90 HP Continental, has a swept back upper wing and spring steel landing gear. The fuselage will be of truss and metal monocoque construction. Any of you fellows interested in this type of ship may contact him, as he has detailed blue prints of all assemblies.
Paul Poberezny - EAA Experimenter - June 1953
N61G is the tail number of George Meyer's homebuilt airplane, the original Little Toot. It's unlikely that he had any idea that the cute little biplane that he built in his garage would become a sensation with a strong following to this day. The road of life is often paved with highs and lows, and Little Toot is no exception. This is the story of the man and his machine, told from excerpts of the EAA Experimenter over the years.
Mechanix Illustrated First Place Achievement Award
and the smaller trophy is for
Outstanding Design, Second Place
won at 1957 AirVenture
George Meyer showing the original Little Toot a Little TLC.
George Meyer was a craftsman extraordinaire. Here he is posing with the last project he worked on,a five cylinder radial model airplane engine. Everything on this engine was constructed by Dad, except the screws! All constructed by hand.
George Meyer with the Mechanix Illustrated Achievement Award, First Place The trophy to our left is for Outstanding Design, Second Place and the third trophy is for Longest Distance Flown to AirVenture, Second Place. Three Awards for George Meyer in 1957, Little Toot's First time at AirVenture.