Sunday, October 14, 2018

My Dad - Robert Wesley Bushby

Robert Wesley Bushby
2-24-1927 to 10-14-2018

Dad and his wife Sharon

Bremer County Independent Newspaper, July 27, 1960

This next text is from a typed document that I believe was intended for advertising the Midget Mustang, circa 1960.

"Bushby Midget Mustang"

"The Bushby Midget Mustang is a modernized and updated version of the famous Dave Long Midget Mustang. This aircraft was originally designed in 1947 by the late Dave Long, who at that time was chief engineer for Piper Aircraft Co., as a high performance and fully aerobatic sport airplane. In 1951 all drawings, jugs, fixtures, and parts on hand were acquired by Dr. F. Torrey and R. Bushby. Their intentions being to develop a sport aircraft for construction by the amateur aircraft builder.

Although the Bushby Midge Mustang is identical in exterior configuration to the latest Long model, it does incorporate construction changes designed for the homebuilder and sport flyer. These changes include standardization of materials to make use of the new alloys that are readily available today; construction simplifications; cockpit and canopy changes for more pilot comfort.

The Midget Mustang’s 9G structural strength and low power loading give a true high performance and fully aerobatic sport plane, as well fast cruise speed for cross country flying. The Midget Mustang can be powered from 65 to 150 HP. Level flight speeds to 230 MPH with a rate of climb in excess of 3,500 FPM are possible. The most popular powerplant is the Continental 85 HP model, which can be equipped with fuel injection when an inverted flight fuel system is desired. Because of their low cost the Lycoming 125 HP G.P.U. engine is becoming popular.

Flight characteristics are very good. The low center of gravity and wide landing gear results in very ground handling, and visibility over the nose is adequate. Take off run is short and initial climb angle is steep. The different aileron travel used reduces the rudder requirement considerably, very good aileron rolls can be executed simply by raising the nose slightly and applying aileron pressure in the desired direction, with both feet on the floor, completely off the rudder pedals. Stalls are proceeded by ample warning in the form of the tail buffeting and reduced stick pressure. Recovery is rapid upon application of power or relaxing the stick back pressure. Full power on stalls however may alarm the novice pilot. The nose attitude with full power is very high and the stall quick, with engine torque tending to drop a wing. Stalling speed with full flap is 57 MPH, without flat stall speed is 63 MPH. Landing is very similar to that of a Piper Pacer. While on downwind leg at approximately 130 MPH the flaps are lowered to 2nd position. Full flaps are applied at 90, and an approach speed of 80 is maintained until “over the fence”. Flare out is executed at 70, and the plan will touch down nicely at 55 to 60 MPH. The flaps are very effective in eliminating any floating tendency.

Being of simplified all metal construction, the Midget Mustang is perhaps the easiest aircraft to construct that is available to the homebuilder today. Due to the great utilization of aluminum by industry today, and the resultant decrease in aluminum costs, the Midge Mustang is also the least expensive aircraft to construct. Stressed skin type construction is employed, utilizing flush riveting throughout. Although the dimpling operation for the flush rivets adds about 25 hours labor to the construction time it is more the justified by the performance gained. The fuselage is of full monocoque type construction employing seven bulkheads. Wings are full cantilever, employing a built up modified “I” beam type main spar, and ten ribs. A modern laminar flow airfoil is used. There are no complicated fittings or parts that the homebuilder would not be able to fabricate. Also, no machine work is required. The construction manual, which is included with the construction drawings, gives a step by step description of the construction process so that the inexperienced aircraft builder will have no great difficulty in its construction. The construction manual is fully illustrated with photos and sketches, and the drawings are very complete."

My dad's passion was aviation. It did not matter of what type. He enjoyed planes used in air races, which is one reason he picked up the "Long Midget" to build and to help others to build. In the 1950's the popularity of building your own plane became a reality for many. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) came along to help join the airplane designers with the builders, helping each other in the crusade of home built aviation. My dad obtained membership #26, though that was because he did not decide the first day and went back the second day, or he would have had an earlier number.

The next 4 pages are from the Sport Aviation magazine, dated May 1960. An article written by George Hardie, Jr. can be found starting on page 5. I want to thank the EAA for giving me permission to scan and load this article in my blog. This was the beginning of "Bushby Aircraft". You can find out more on the EAA by clicking "here".

I remember living in Dolton, Illinois, and watching my dad working on what I believe was prototype parts for the upcoming Mustang II. It was nice just to be there, let alone all of these toys I could play with (that I was told not to play with). We then moved to Glenwood, Illinois. Once the garage was built, I remember the Mustang II center section being built in our garage. I was perhaps age 5 at the time. This began my remembrance of his devotion to the building of experimental aluminum aircraft.

My dad still had a day job (actually night job). He worked for Sinclair Research in Harvey, Illinios, which later became Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO). He then went to work at the Westinghouse Armature rewinding facility in Chicago. Eventually he quit there and worked the airplane business full time.

Lots to still write.  In the mean time you can find out more about my dad on Wikipedia of all things.

Me, Dad, and son Nick

My cousin's daughter Emily with my dad.