One of the most significant designs of the post World War II era, Texan George W. Meyer’s “Little Toot,” took six years to design and build, and set a pattern for this type of aircraft that continues today. Its first test flights were piloted by Pauline Glasson and George Meyer over Cuddihy Field near Corpus Christi, Texas in February, 1957. Its aerobatic test flights were piloted by Paulines’ husband Claude in the same week. George flew ‘Little Toot to the fifth EAA Convention this same year and won the prestigious ‘Mechanics Illustrated magazine award for “Outstanding Achievement in a Homebuilt Aircraft.”
This single place aerobatic biplane design is of mixed metal, wood and fabric construction typical of its era and can accommodate engines from 90 hp through 200 hp. With the original 90 hp engine, it took off in only 500 feet and climbed at 1,000 feet per minute to a ceiling of 16,500 feet. It cruised at 110 mph for 300 miles on 18 gallons of fuel.
The aircraft on display, “Little Toot/Petit-Papillion” was originally built during 1962-1968 by James D. Mahoney of St. Louis, Missouri, using George Meyer’s plans. It was transported from Oshkosh, Wisconsin and completely restored for the Frontiers of Flight Museum by Ralph Meyer, the son of George Meyer.
This aircraft was donated by The EAA Air Venture Museum of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.