Here is a link to an article that originally appeared in the September 1988 issue of Vintage Airplane about Ron Testerman’s newly restored Monocoupe 90AL. The airplane was restored by Harmon Dickerson. I met Ron at a local EAA meeting in Roanoke, VA, when I was going to graduate school at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
The aircraft is still on the FAA registry and is in Illinois. Does anyone know it’s current status?
Here is a link to a video produced by HG Frautschy.
Mark Ludtke posted family video of Harold Neumann and Fred Ludtke flying their Monocoupe 90A’s on youtube.
Jim Harvey wrote the following story in a Monocoupe Club Newsletter from the early 1960′s. It’s absolutely incredible to imagine the experience of flying a Lambert powered ‘Coupe so much. It turns out that Mr. C.B.McMahan was quite an interesting guy. Here is an article about him (the article mentions the Monocoupe).
|Admin, 2006-07-30 00:00:00|
|History: 1935 Universal Moulded Products MONOCOUPE 90A, Serial Number (c/n) A-714 Cancel Date: 06/13/1952 Reason for Cancellation: Destroyed|
Here is Jim’s article:
While paging through the St. Louis Post Dispatch several months ago I happened upon an article about an aerial pipeline patrol company that had begun in the St. Louis area in the early twenties, operating out of Lambert Field. The founder being Mr. C. B. McMahan. It filled an entire page, telling details of the early days, the struggle to find backers and customers for this revolutionary operation and how the profession was finally accepted. The company, Aerial Pipe Line Patrols, Inc., is still operated by Mr. McMahan, from Monroe, Louisiana, and flies into Lambert regularly.
It named some of the early ships that had been used and some of the hours that had been logged. Of course, you must realize by now that a Monocoupe was one of these ships. The casual mention that one had flown about 4800 hours on patrol really brought me out of my chair. I immediately filed the article in a safe place for follow up and correspondence. After several weeks I found it again and wrote to Mr. McMahan. I wrote and received immediate response plus the only photograph of the airplane while in his service.
Mr. McMahan writes: “We purchased a Lambert Monocoupe, NC 11789 On October 27, 1935, and the first trip was made from St. Louis to Monroe, Louisiana, and return to St. Louis on this route, a distance of 940 miles and average time of 9 hours per round trip.” “I personally logged 4990:30 hours on this airplane. The average speed was 104.4 miles per hour at an average altitude of 200 feet. The last trip in NC 11789 was on June 22, 1940. During this ” time I logged 83:30 hours instrument time. The ship was flown through every kind of weather imaginable, flying two round trips per week on the above mentioned route. ” “It is interesting to note that during this time the only trips missed were due to engine overhaul. It is also interesting to compare an airplane built in 1935 with the “SO CALLED” modern airplanes for speed and durability! ! !
Mr. McMahan added that the ship as pictured had been in service 3 years and 8 months, had about 4000 hours at the time, and was two tone green color. They are pictured in front of the old Lambert Field terminal building. Engine overhauls averaged 500 to 600 hours! ! ! I have no record of NC11789 showing that it is still in existence. Has anybody heard of the ship? It would be most interesting to find that it is still around and being cared for and gently handled. Thank you again Mr. McMahan.
James H. Harvey
I had heard from the owner of G-AFEL in January of 2011 during the restoration and he sent me the following information.
G-AFEL is a 1939 Monocoupe 90A, serial number A-782, with it’s original Lambert motor and complete logbooks and forms since leaving the factory. It is the only flying Monocoupe in Europe. The only other Monocoupe in Europe is a Model 110 project in the Netherlands. N19432 was restored in the late 1960′s by Willard Benedict and the last owner in the US was Ted Babbini from California.
Here are some clips from the Monocoupe Club Newsletters about the aircraft.
Here is a picture of N19432 before being exported:
Ted Babinni sold the aircraft to a person in England where the aircraft was based until the current owner purchased her in 1994 and flew her for 10 years mostly out of Germany.
More information from the owner:
In Summer 2005 I decided to do a complete restoration to the airplane and the engine as long everything is together and working. So I flew the aircraft back to England and put the job in the capable hands of Andy McLuskie. After more than 5 long years the restoration now is in its final stages, the fuselage is ready to be painted, the wings are about to be covered. The original Lambert R266 Is again zero hours (by virtue of Vintage Engine Technology in Lt. Grandsen).
Pictures recently surfaced on the web of the aircraft in it’s newly restored form and they can be found below.