This Little Toot was built by James D. Mahoney of St. Louis, MO from 1962-1968 using the plans of George Meyer. The plane was first donated to the EAA Air Museum by the Mahoney Family.
Subsequently, on behalf of the EAA, Tommy Meyer donated it to the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas. TX, where it is now on display. It was completely restored for this display by Tommy Meyer.
Observe the Petit Papillon's Little Toot kin in the background
Not every museum, especially aviation museums, has the large choice of displays that is afforded the Frontiers of Flight Museum. With many more aircraft in inventory than can be displayed, the opportunity for "rotation" comes into play.
One of the latest aircraft to move into the display area is a pristine Meyer "Little Toot", N217J, Serial Number JDM-3. This particular single place biplane has been in the EAA collection for over 16 years and many old-time EAA people will remember this airplane from the Hales Corners days. Perhaps the pretty logo and nickname on the side of the fuselage will jog your memory-"Petit Papillon" - which means "small butterfly" in French.
Donated to the EAA for viewing in the EAA Air Adventure Museum by James D. Mahoney Family (EAA 9234) of Clayton, MO, suburb of St. Louis, the Little Toot was started in May 1962 and finished in September 1968.
Powered with a Lycoming 0-320A1 A of 150 hp swinging a Hartzell constant speed prop, "Petit Papillon" features a full electrical system including starter, generator, taxi light, landing light, nav lights and radio. Most unusual is a cockpit operated elevator trim and rudder trim.
The full instrument panel includes a gyro horizon directional gyro compass, turn and bank indicator along with the usual flight instruments. The recording tachometer shows 66.13 hours total time since new. Included in the total hours are the two flights while in EAA registry: Tom Poberezny ferried the Little Toot from near St. Louis to Hales Corners and Gene Chase ferried the craft from Hales Corners to Oshkosh. Gene reported the little biplane flew well with good handling characteristics. The empty weight of 1125.5 lbs. and a gross of 1429.5 lbs. makes for a hefty wing loading so you don't close the throttle and glide to a landing. Power is carried all the way to touch down and then the throttle is closed.
The paint scheme is reminiscent of pre-war (WW II) Navy fighters and it really dolls up the already classic lines of the design by George Meyer (1957). Between the wings are eight streamlined flying wires and four streamlined landing wires. Each 5/16 wire is good for 6900 lbs. in tension. At gross weight of 1430 lbs., the wires are good for 38.6 Gs positive and 19.3 Gs negative. One has the distinct feeling the wires may be the last item to fail on the entire Little Toot.
Paul Poberenzy, on behalf the EAA, donated the aircraft to Tommy Meyer and sponsored Tommy the materials to refurbish it. Tommy did the refurbish work and then he donated "Petit Papillon" to the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field in Dallas, TX, on behalf of the EAA.
Be sure and check this "Petit Papillion" over carefully on your next visit to the Frontiers of Flight Museum. Had it not been for the generosity of the James D. Mahoney Family, the EAA and Thomas R. Meyer, you and I would not be so fortunate.
-Article edited by LJ
AN OLD FRIEND REAPPEARS
This is the fuselage emblem below the cockpit.
Pictures of Petit Papillion taken in 2004
Pictures of Petit Papillion taken in 2008
"Petit Papillion" - N217J
Greenville, Illinois about 1979
Scott Kee climbs into this now famous Little Toot
Read brief bio on Scott below
I was airport manager Greenville Ill from about 1968 to 1976.
Worked as corporate pilot after that for Kellwood Co, Empire Gas, 25 years as senior captain for SBC Communications, contract pilot for Freescale semiconductor and Silver Ventures. Typed in HS125, DA20, DA200, CE650, DA50, CL604 & DA-EASY.
I did my first inverted maneuvers in the Little Toot doing loops,rolls, spins, snap rolls... was scared to death, too.
I really hated to see it go away; glad Tommy found it and put it back together.