Peanut Scale : Hank Nixon. : “Mr. Mulligan”

PeanutScale.com [This article was published in the September 1973 issue of Model Builder magazine.]

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PEANUT GALLERY

This month our “Gallery” features a plane that has been popular as a model for many years. Certainly Peanut Scale deserves a visit from this famous design. As usual, it’s a great flyer.. PHOTOS by AUTHOR

"Mr. Mulligan" Hank Nixon Model Builder
Hank Nixon’s little ” Mr. Mulligan” is our Peanut model of the month. With that big prop, takeoffs must occur within the first revolution!

The Howard DGA-6, “Mister Mulligan,” is without a doubt, one of the best known and most popular airplanes of all time. It won both the Thompson and Bendix trophy races in 1935. In the 1936 Bendix, it went down near Crown Point, New Mexico, when it threw a prop blade. In winning the Bendix, it averaged 238 mph, a great speed for an airplane of its type, even today.

Construction of the model is conventional, but the fuselage has some tricky spots, so this is where I ‘II be fairly specific. Begin by building two sides over the cross hatched area on the side view. When these are dry, separate them except at the tailpost. Next add the cross-pieces at the cabin.

"Mr. Mulligan" Hank Nixon Model Builder
Walt Mooney’s Druine Turbulent is a going machine. Whadya know, a wooden prop for a change!

Now comes the tricky part. You will notice that the longerons and stringers curve sharply in front of the cabin. Mine were sliced from 1/16 sheet in order to get the desired curve. Place the fuselage on the top view and add these two sliced pieces along the thrust line, then add former D. When you can remove it from the plan, add formers C through K and the remaining upper cross pieces. Now install the 1/16 sq. bottom stringer with the sliced front like the two at the thrust line. Check now to see that everything is straight. If it is, add the 1/64 wire landing gear. It’s all downhill from here. Add the 1/32 sq. bottom stringers. I find it easier to notch my formers after they are in place but this is up to you. A thin, double edged razor blade (broken in half) makes this job much less difficult. Add the rest of the nose stringers and the window framing and you are ready to go at the cowl.

First, cut out formers A and B. Cut three pieces of 1/16 sq., 7/16 long. Put former B on a flat part of your work board (I usually find such an area on the third Tuesday of each month, between 7:00 and 7:15 p.m.) and glue the 1/16 sq. pieces standing on end. Glue former A to these so that it lines up when viewed from above. Wrap soft 1/16 sheet around these to form the cowl. After trimming this, add the 1/8 sheet ring to the front of former A and attach the whole thing to the fuselage framework.

"Mr. Mulligan" Hank Nixon Model Builder
Moderately low aspect ratio of Mr. Mulligan allows a decent amount of wing area within the 13″ span limit.

Little needs to be said about the wing and tail surfaces. Pick light, straight wood for these and they will come out the way they should. (If laminated outlines are preferred, check previous issues of MB for construction method. It’s been explained several times. wcn)

Sand the entire framework well and give it a coat of thinned dope. Cover everything with white tissue and very lightly water shrink. Give everything two coats of thinned clear dope, plus one extra on the fuselage because this gets most of the handling. I use Sig Lite Cote dope thinned 50-50. This helps prevent warps.

Build up the wing struts, wheels, landing gear, and fairings out of very light wood. There aren’t any real tricks to this, but take your time and do a nice job on these things because they make a big difference in how the whole job looks when it is done.

Assemble the ship, beginning by gluing first the stab in place and then the rudder. The wing is next. Be sure to check how things are lined up. Add the windshield of very light’ plastic. Finally, add the wheels, pants, fairings, and wing struts.

"Mr. Mulligan" Hank Nixon Model Builder
This 1913 E. A. C. Monoplane is by Bill Warner, for rubber or co2 power. Span 19·1/2″. Design won Senior at 1967 Nats for Mike Mitsch, and co2 F/F Scale at the 1970 Flightmasters Annual (This ship). co2 engine fits inside dummy motor.

I doped my struts and landing gear white, which made a nice accent. The wheels and inside the cowl are doped black. My prop is a plastic one from a Delta Dart, trimmed to size and painted grey.

The wing license number is NR273Y and should be one inch high. These are of yellow tissue outlined in black ballpoint pen. This is done before they are cut out with your trusty razor blade. Try laying these out over grid paper that has five grids to the inch. This makes it downright easy. The racing number is 40 and is black tissue. Make these about 5/8 of an inch high. These go on the upper left and lower right wings, and both fuselage sides. The Gulf insignias are 7/16 dia. orange circles outlined in black with GULF typed in capitals. These are on both sides of the nose and rudder. Many other details can be found by referring to the March/April 1972 issue of MODEL BUILDER.

Flying is easy with this little bird. The rudder has been increased in area to insure good directional stability. Balance 1/2 inch behind the L.E. Bend the elevator up a little if it dives in the glide and down a little if it stall s. Bend the rudder to give a slight left turn. If you got the down thrust as shown on the plan and have a little right thrust it shouldn’t need too much adjustment under power. If it stalls under power, add a little more down thrust. My airplane uses a loop of either 1/8 or 3/32 rubber, depending· on how much pitch I twist into the prop. With 1/8 Pirelli and lots of pitch, I get about thirty seconds on mine. Not bad for all of that detail.

"Mr. Mulligan" Hank Nixon Model Builder
Hank’s cousin, Sandy Nixon, releases the Mulligan for a short hop. It makes a good flying scale subject, as proved by Tom Stark at last year’s Nats.

My Mister Mulligan has been a lot of fun and is in good condition even after hundreds of flights. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I have mine and I’m sure you’ll agree that it is a DGA (Darned Good Airplane).

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