The Little Toot

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Lowflynjack, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    Well, a couple of weeks ago I was looking at a Onex, then a Corben Jr. Ace, then I fell in love.

    How did I end up with a Meyer Little Toot biplane? I certainly didn’t plan it far in advance.

    I had a share of a Cessna 175 with a 180HP and it was a great photo plane for my air-to-air photography. It’s a great plane, but I soon found out it just wasn’t my style. Very cool plane, very functional, but it’s more of a cross-country plane and I wanted something that was pure fun.

    I stumbled across a Little Toot for sale about a 1.5 hour flight away and oddly enough it was at Northwest Regional, which is the same airport where I had sold my beloved 140. I took it as a sign. I called the owner, Steve, and he said he would be there and needed to sell his plane quickly. A plan was set in motion.

    Travis and Donn flew up there with me and when I first saw the plane, I loved it. I wasn’t sure it was for me though. I walked around it, touched it, poked the fabric, and asked Steve a lot of questions. I climbed into it, or strapped it on, and it was a tight cockpit. I again questioned what I was doing. I pulled myself out, walked around again, and in the end, I made a deal on it! Life is short and I’ve crossed off a lot of things on my bucket list, but I still have a few. I’ve flown biplanes, but never owned one. I’ve flown a plane with a starburst paint scheme, but never owned one. I’ve flown aerobatic planes, but never owned one. I can’t say that anymore!

    A week later my friend Chris flew me up there and Donn joined us. Of course, it was windy. It was gusting to 25 mph there and some reports between there and home showed gusting to 29 mph. This was just what I needed when flying a new plane that I’d never flown, especially a short-coupled biplane!

    Tommy Meyer was there. He’s the son of the guy who designed the Little Toot and he is carrying on the legacy. He’s currently working on the Big Toot, a two-seat version of the Little Toot, which will hopefully debut at Oshkosh this year. Tommy is a great guy to talk to. He showed us the original Little Toot and we spent some time looking through his memorabilia (he has a lot) and getting to know each other. Part of the allure of the Little Toot is the support and the community.

    It was very hot, and eventually I ran out of excuses to stay on the ground. It was time to head home. The Little Toot is a tight fit. I’m about 6’, 215 lbs and I barely fit. You climb into it, standing on the seat, then step into the floor and while holding onto the handle on the top wing, you slide your feet forward to the rudder pedals. It’s only then that you realize just how tight the cockpit is! Everything I’d heard about visibility was true though. You can see over the nose when taxiing, so no S-turns are needed.

    I taxied out and Chris and Donn followed me in the 175. I took off first. The plane was off the ground quickly and of course the wing dipped on me, but it’s very responsive and I quickly corrected. Nothing too exciting! It’s a small plane and the 160hp gets it off the ground quickly and it climbs very well. I rocked the wings a little and found it to be as responsive as I had dreamed it would be. I circled for a low pass, then joined up behind them to follow them under the Class B airspace.

    Once we got out from under the Class B airspace, I started to climb for cooler and smoother air. I noticed I was tense, watching the instruments closely and worrying about everything. Then I stuck my hand out and scooped in some cool air (there is no wind in the cockpit) and looked out at the wings with the sun lighting them up and remembered this was amazing. Take a deep breath and enjoy flying a biplane. Grin every time you move that stick a little and the wings respond like they were just waiting for you to ask.

    I was not comfortable with the fuel burn, so I decided to land a little over halfway home at McGregor. I lined up for a straight-in on 17 and kept it at 100 mph for most of the approach. It slows down in a hurry when you pull power back. I settled in for a very nice 3-point landing and felt it twitch just a little as the winds were howling and doing their best to smite me. It worked out fine though. The plane had exactly the amount of fuel it should, and exactly what it said it had, so that was comforting.

    After fueling, the plane wouldn’t start. The battery was dead and it took us a while to get it started again, but I expected a few issues, so not a big deal. I did end up losing my radio on the way back due to this, but I just flew over my home airport high and looked for traffic. The second landing was about like the first. We were home and she looks great in my hangar! Takes up a lot less room than most planes too!

    On Sunday I went up a couple of times and did a bunch of rolls and a couple of loops. What a blast! I’m really enjoying this plane! I’m hoping eventually I get to fly it in less than 20 mph gusting winds though!

    Overall review of the plane:

    · It is really tight inside. It’s not a comfortable plane for a long trip. I think 2 hours will be my max, and unless I fill the reserve tank, it’s the plane’s max too. At first the small cockpit was uncomfortable mentally too. I’m over that. It’s a plane you strap on, and that’s okay with me.

    · The tail is from a Luscombe and if you’ve ever flown a Luscombe you know that rudder is very effective. You don’t stomp a rudder to correct when landing. Gentle, gentle inputs! This plane is very short and that combined with the rudder will react accordingly to what you tell it to do.

    · Some, maybe most, say they approach at 80 mph. I think this is a good speed, but I’ve decided to approach at 100 mph and pull most of the power off on short final. This is a plane with a lot of drag and it slows down in a hurry. It worked out nicely, leaving me just enough authority for a nice, easy landing.

    · The roll rate is quick and fun. Diving to 140 or 160 for a loop is interesting. Dive too steep and you float the fuel out of the carb! I think this is the first plane I’ve done aerobatics in that wasn’t fuel injected, so this is on me. I figured it out pretty quickly.

    · People giggle when you say Little Toot.

    · People ask what type of plane it is and when you say Little Toot, they think it’s a nickname for the plane and ask again. You have to smile and say, “No, the type is a Meyer Little Toot!” J

    All-in-all, I love the plane and I’m looking forward to flying it a lot. My review above may change some as I get used to the plane and I’ll let you know. However, as of now, I have the Little Toot smile just thinking about it and I’m looking forward to the next flight!

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  2. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    Congrats! What a pretty new ride.
     
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  3. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don En-Route

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    Looks like a lot of fun!
     
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  4. champ driver

    champ driver Line Up and Wait

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    Congratulations!!!
    What a sweet looking little biplane, too bad you don't see too many around these days. I remember seeing some at Oshkosh in the 70's.
     
  5. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    Thanks. There are a lot of them flying. At one time, there were 9 at Northwest Regional in Fort Worth!
     
  6. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Cool plane Jack. So you have the 175 too?
     
  7. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    Oh man I have always loved those!! Such a cool little plane, nice to see something different than a Pitts.
     
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  8. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    Thanks. No, I sold the 175. I take most of my photos from a 170 my friend owns anyway!
     
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  9. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    That's a really lovely looking plane Jack! A worthy replacement for the 140 it appears.

    Only one problem. If you are flying it, who's going to shoot the superb air-to-air pictures we demand to see and insist you post on this thread? :eek: :D
     
  10. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    LOL, I might know a guy!
     
  11. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    Nice!
     
  12. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Very nice. What’s the power plant in it?

    (I’m being google-lazy right now.)
     
  13. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yea, I thought this thread was going to be fart jokes.

    But, nice looking ride! Gots to be lots of fun.

    When you said it had the tail from a Luscombe, I thought you meant how it handled, then I saw the pictures. Now I see it has the tail from a Lusbombe...
     
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  14. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    Google wouldn't help, lot's of choices! This one has an O-320.
     
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  15. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    The story is, George Meyer designed and built this first one back in the 50's. His son, Tommy, watched a show called Little Toot about a tugboat.
    Click here to see the original, which still looks beautiful today and will fly to Oshkosh at the end of the month!
     
  16. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    That’s kinda what I figured, so asked.

    Nice setup.
     
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  17. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    Sounds like a blast! Enjoy.
     
  18. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Jack, just noting your avatar could now benefit from an update. ;)

    Picture #5 in the opening post might be a nice interim, until you have time for the air-to-air session :D
     
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  19. Challenged

    Challenged Pattern Altitude

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    Boy howdy. Enjoy!
     
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  20. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Congrats, that looks like a real blast. That should have some real ooommmph with an 0320 . Sounds more like a hoot than a toot.
     
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  21. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    Dang that looks like a hoot! Pretty to boot!

    The rhyme was purely unintentional.
     
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  22. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

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    You done good.
     
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  23. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Nice airplane!!

    Where I come from a little toot may mean something different.
     
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  24. Twin_Flyer

    Twin_Flyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    Congratulations...:cheers: That's one nice looking aerial hot rod... Enjoy it...
     
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  25. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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    Nice looking bird. I'll fly it if you want to take some air to air shots of it.

    Just sayin'....
     
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  26. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Lovely plane! And Little Toot was a character in Little Golden Books.
     
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  27. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    Great looking biplane!!
     
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  28. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    I remember. I had an LP record that told the Little Toot story. One of my favorites at the age of 6.
     
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  29. skier

    skier Line Up and Wait

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    Beautiful plane. I hope you enjoy it.

    What's your ride now for the air to air photo work?
     
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  30. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    Most of the time I use my friend's 170. He's my photo pilot. He just won't let me take the door off! I liked the 175 for that reason, but I was bored!
     
  31. Gerhardt

    Gerhardt En-Route

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    I thought these threads might be related.

    upload_2018-7-3_11-33-31.png
     
  32. Gerhardt

    Gerhardt En-Route

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    She's a beauty, really. I'm envious.
     
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  33. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    Screenshot from my new video camera. Gotta get a filter to stop the prop from turning into rubber! Video coming soon. This plane is a blast!

    [​IMG]
     
  34. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Hey! The ground is in the wrong place!
     
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  35. biplanebob

    biplanebob Pre-takeoff checklist

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    "we were inverted"
     
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  36. Mike Smith

    Mike Smith En-Route

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    It’s a time machine!
     
  37. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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    He flew all the way to Australia!
     
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  38. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    Not if you're in a bipe like that... :D
     
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  39. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    Funny thing is, I went to fix that and it had updated itself!
     
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  40. Erik Johnston

    Erik Johnston Filing Flight Plan

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    Great shots Jack! Love your work
     
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