Hustler build

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    I purchased 6 Hustler kits from Jim O’Reilly in 2010, and started the project in 2012. Two each of 400, 600, and 750 sizes were begun. I finished one of the 400s in 2012, along with 5 stabs, and 3 wings which were only framed up. The 400 has flown very well with a MAX 15 on it and is legal for both A NOS gas and Vintage FAI power.

    This Winter I decided to clear my building boards of this project, and have finished the remaining fuselages shown in the attached pictures, and all of the stabs are complete with covering. Just have two more of the 600 wings to build. I will have at least the two 750s and the remaining 400 ready to go this Spring. The 600s should be ready early Summer.

    I built my first Hustler in 1958, and flew it for the first time to a first place at the 1958 King Orange. It was flown with an Enya 15 diesel first, and then a Super Tiger 15 diesel was installed prior to the 1960 NATS in Dallas where it won first place, and was campaigned until 1967 when it was too oil soaked to rebuild. I still have the bones from this model in a casket.

    The second Hustler was built in the Summer of 1959 and flown for the first time at the 1959 NATS at Los Alamitos. It was a 600 square inch B job with a Torp 23 green head on it. This was the first year that the 173 ounce rule was in place, and the model had to weigh 39 ounces. It won several of the local contests, but I sadly remember the last flight which I VTOd at a club record trials and also that I failed to start the timer and watched it climb right through the low clouds never to be seen again……..damn!

    So I am anxious to get these big Hustlers out this Spring, make sure to always start the timers, and to have my Walston transmitter in them!

    Now about the Hustler design: Sid Jepson and Willard Anderson saw Russ Hansen’s T-Bird in 1954, and designed the Hustler in 1955 and competed with it late in 1955. Sid tried to get it accepted as a NOS design back in the 1980s, but the NOS committee thought the design was toooooo advanced for the period. I submitted it again in 2006 and it was approved since the documentation existed that it was a legitimate NOS design. The model was designed as a 100 ounce per cubic inch meaning that the .15 design only had to weigh 15 ounces. But since it was a model for typical Midwest contests, it was rugged and probably weighed normally about 18-20 ounces. My two 400 size models weigh in about 20 ounces. The 600 looks like it will be somewhere around 32 ounces, and the 750 about 40 ounces. Now my 600 flown in 1959 flew very well with a K&B .23 greenhead for power at the required 39 ounces. So the 600s with K&B 29Rs at 32 ounces should be adequately powered for 5 second fly off flights! The Hustler design could always use as much power as was available with a consistent left left power glide pattern with ALWAYS a smooth transition. Another nice thing about the Hustler design is that it is rugged. It is not fragile like the T-Bird design. I have flown T-Birds also, have several, and know how the fuselages always break behind the pylon, and the wing is marginal.

    Since the rules changed in 1959, Sid Jepson started tweaking the design for the FAI 173 ounce requirement, and went to higher aspect ratios and elliptical wing and stab shapes.

    In the AMA events, the 173 ounce rule was dropped about 1963 after much criticism from the power flyers, and left many designs in the 1959-1963 era as kind of white elephants like the Satellite 320, Viking 330 and so forth.

    So look for a bunch of Nostalgia Hustlers boring a hole in the sky at the next NATS complete with red covering and silver wing tips!!!!

    George Reinhart

    Like those Hustlers don’tcha, Dave?
    What color is that, exactly, on the fuselages?


    Ultracote Deep Red solid color. Standard Ultracote.

    The nacelle is epoxie, 2 coats.

    Yep, I love my Hustlers. I have a modified 1/2 A Hustler that really goes even with a Cyclon 049. Will have to bump it up to an 061 for F1J. I fly free flight for the Nostalgia of being a kid again. I think these are competitive even with the AMA gas designs.

    Denny Dock

    Nice Dave…Great read on the history of the design. Looks like you have had a coooold winter with all the building you have done.
    Thanks for contributing.


    Beautiful models Dave! I have been looking at building the 400 Hustler from the NFFS plan. In the article in the NFFS Digest back when it was approved you mentioned that they typically had 1-1/2″ rib spacing, but the one built for the FAI eliminations had one inch spacing as Sid had to get the weight up for the FAI rules. That FAI version is the one approved for nostalgia. That’s a lot of ribs and I was wondering if it was okay to go with 1-1/2″ rib spacing on the 400. The nostalgia rules say you can change rib spacing when you scale up or down, but don’t say anything about when you stick with the original size.
    I have the plan for the 62 version too (which has 1-1/2″ rib spacing) and, though they are different, you have to look really closely and get out a ruler to figure out what the differences are. The Digest article just said the 62 version wasn’t legal, but it didn’t say why.
    Regards, Simon


    The 62 magazine version is not NOS legal. It is different from the 55 version. Rib spacing is not a problem. Actually, the 1955 version was 1″ spacing, not to make it heavy, just the way it was. The 55 version was legal at 15 ounces. The 1962 version at 26 ounces. The original design in 1955 was first in the 400 size for FAI competition. But in 1955, Sid also made the larger version, the 600 for AMA competition with a K&B .23. I believe the FAI rules changed in 1958 going to the 173 ounce weight, AMA in 1959.

    I used the 1″ spacing in the center section, and a couple of bays out past the center section, then 1 1/2″ spacing. There are a couple of closely spaced ribs next to the very center, due to the way I am now keying the wing.

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