"Toot Sweet" is pretty much a standard Meyer's "Little Toot," using wood wings with ribs of the stick-and-gusset type, and employing the alternate steel-tube fuselage. Covering is of Eonnex, with DuPont automobile enamel dressing it up in the color scheme of the Curtiss "Hawks" which were flown from Selfridge Field by the Army Air Corps during Fred's high school days. Fiberglas was used for the fuel tank, engine cowling, wheel pants and various fairings.
A 125 hp Lycoming ground power unit, swinging a 72 x 54 Hegy propeller provides power for the ship. This combination gives an honest 110 mph cruise at 2250 rpm. Accurate data on performance has not been compiled, partly because of prevailing rough flying conditions, and partly because of Fred's attitude. He says, "Heck, I'm not trying to sell it."
While "Toot Sweet" is a heavy ship (950 lbs. empty), this is not an undesirable feature in Fred's eyes. "She climbs real well, handles beautifully and lands like a 'dream'. I love butterflies but I have no use for an airplane that flies like one," says Fred.
The only purchased components which were utilized on the ship are the spinner, propeller, gear legs, wheels, landing and flying wires, instruments and, of course, the engine which Fred converted himself.
Fred (EAA 14270) lives at 16623 Hazelton in Detroit, MI. He learned to fly in the waning days of World War II, and continued on to earn his commercial and instructor ratings. Like many other pilots, he eventually turned away from flying but was brought back to the fold through the EAA and the homebuilt movement. Living halfway between the headquarters of both of Detroit's EAA Chapters, Fred joined them both and is now an active member of East Detroit Chapter 13 and West Detroit Chapter 113.
Webmaster's Note: The following is an article from the June, 1969 Sport Aviation magazine. My thanks to Gary in PA for getting me the date. Attempts are being made to get some updated information about the current state of Toot Sweet and perhaps get some current colored photographs.
Construction on Fred Lettau's "Little Toot" biplane got underway on New Year's Day, 1963 when the first saw cuts were made on some nose blocks for wing ribs. Four years, eight months and sixteen days later, on September 16, 1967, Fred's "Toot Sweet" took to the air for the first time. During that time Fred spent most of his winter evenings and weekends in the basement of his house where conditions were right for gluing, while the warmer weather found him in his garage where the metal work was accomplished.