Versatile racer makes flying fun
The full-scale Midget Mustang had always been attractive to Fred Reese, and he knew that someday he
would have a model of one. Of particular
interest to him were the polished looks of
the Goodyear-class racers #67 P-Shooter
Mustang and #9 Midget Mustang.
The full-scale aircraft had an 18-foot
wingspan and Fred’s design was nearly
1/4-scale, with a 54-inch wingspan. The
model’s fuselage was slimmed in width and
height by 1/2 inch to utilize a 3-inch spinner
instead of one that was 31/2 inches. His
objective was to produce a Pattern-capable
Scale model using either an O.S. or Enya four-cycle . 40 engine.
With a . 40 engine, the Midget Mustang
“happily flies the IMAC [International
Miniature Aerobatic Club] Sportsman pattern
and does very pretty inside or outside square
loops and figure eights …” He did report,
however, that “the only thing it doesn’t do
well is snap rolls.”
Construction followed normal methods
using less or thinner wood. Fuselage sides
were 3/32-inch balsa with a 3/32-inch doubler
through the radio compartment. The curved
fuselage top was 1/16-inch light, straight-grained balsa stiffened with several 1/8-square-inch stringers. The wing was also
typical construction, using light 1/16-inch balsa ribs and sheeting. It was built flat on a
table because it was flat-bottomed from the spar to the trailing edge. The complete
airframe, minus the engine and radio, weighed approximately 11/2 pounds.
Fred covered the Midget Mustang with chrome MonoKote and used Coverite
Graphics trim sheet to simulate the full-scale aircraft’s polished aluminum covering
trimmed with black. He used the forward part of a Sig 12- to 15-inch bubble canopy
on the model, gluing it in place with RC- 56 canopy glue. Pactra Formula-U silver
was used to paint the cheek cowls and spinner.
Formula 1 racing wheels and wheel pants were originally used on the model,
however, wing sheeting above the gear blocks began cracking because the O-ring
wheels were transferring too much landing shock to the wing. Fred changed to
standard Du-Bro 21/4-inch wheels and the problem stopped.
Although he mentioned Williams Bros. racing wheel pants on the plans, Fred
discontinued using them, stating that with wire landing gear, the wheel pants could
rack backward on a hard landing and punch a hole in the wing’s bottom.
After the cheek cowls were fitted in place, the engine was installed and any
cutouts—air inlets and exit holes—were made. He made another cutout for the
short 1/4-inch aluminum exhaust pipe using a pipe-flaring tool.
The model was slightly nose-heavy with a 6-ounce fuel tank, so Fred replaced it
with a 4-ounce tank. He noted that if a two-cycle . 40 or an Enya . 46 was used, a
larger fuel tank would be necessary.
Servos were mounted as far to the rear as possible, and the receiver and 250 mAh
battery pack were placed under the
cockpit and held in place by a 3/32 balsa
sheet and 1/4-square-inch rails glued to
the fuselage sides. Foam padding kept
the sheet from sliding forward.
Fred mentioned that the Midget
Mustang was one of the nicest flying
airplanes he’d ever had. The Mustang
and his lightweight O.S. FS-40-powered
Swallow “have given me hundreds of
flights that are both relaxed and fun.
They’ve put a new level of fun in flying
Featured in the April 1987 Model
Aviation as AMA Plans Service number
547, the Midget Mustang is available for
$19 plus shipping and handling. AMA
members can access the MA Digital
Library on the magazine’s website to
read more about this airplane and its
construction. See page 143 or go to
94 Model Aviation SEP TEMBER 2015 www.ModelAviation.com