The first Monocoupe 1927, with 75-hp Detroit Air-Cat weighed 650 lb, 102 mph. Clayton Folkerts designed and built this airplane in a little over four months. Photo by Geo. F. Gibbs.
This photo is copied from an article by John Underwood in Sport Flying magazine, Nov 1969. The caption reads "Clayton Folkerts and the original Monocoupe, April 1927." This photo gives a measure of the size of the airplane. I had always pictured this one as being smaller than later versions. Although Clayton once told me that the airframe was never changed. Photographer unknown, perhaps Gibbs.
One of the first production Monocoupes 1928. The design changed little from it's inception to 1930 when the Monocoupe 90 was introduced. Photographer unknown.
First production Monocoupes. This photo is copied from John Underwood's book "Of Monocoups and Men." My original print is damaged.
Designer Clayton Folkerts and Test Pilot Douglas Harris (right at the controls) in the Original Production Monocoupe, 1927. Photographer unknown.
Monocoupe 90, 1930 with 90-hp Lambert weighed 859 lb, 116 mph. Lambert was an offshoot of the Viele Corporation which had acquired Monocoupe two years earlier. Photo by H. K. Williams.
Designer Clayton Folkerts and the prototype Monocoupe 90, 1930. The plane hanging in the background was built by Clayton and his brother Harold. It was single place, all-wood monocoque contruction and is now on display at the EAA museum in Oshkosh. Photo by H. K. Williams.
The 1928 Folkerts high-wing on display at Oshkosh. Restored by Robert Burkholz in 1965 and donated to the EAA museum. Nearly half of it's 210-lb weight was the 20-hp Henderson motorcycle engine. Top speed 75-mph. More about this aircraft at http://www.airventuremuseum.org/collection/aircraft/Folkerts%20Henderson%20Highwing.asp
From a different angle.
Monocoupe 110 Special with 145-hp Warner weighed 1,040 lb, 185 mph. Johnny Livingston was famous for his modified Model 110. That plane inspired Benny Howard to build the "Mister Mulligan," winner of the 1935 Thompson with Harold Neumann at the controls. Harold and Clayton were lifelong friends. Author Richard Bach said the title of his book "Jonatnan Livingston Seagul" was inspired by Johnny. Photo by Wm Yaeger. More at http://www.airventuremuseum.org/collection/aircraft/Monocoupe%20110%20Clipwing%20Special.asp#TopOfPagePhoto by Wm, Yaeger.
Mono Special 1930 with 90-hp Cirrus weighed 1,200 lb, 160 mph. Built originally for the Cirrus 7,500 mile Derby, flown by R. T (Stub) Quimby. He hit a rut while taking off at Douglas Arizona and had to withdraw. It was painted red which is rendered black by the orthographic film of the day. Photo by H. K. Williams.
Mono-Special "Matilda." The story Mother told was two ladies walked past one day and Clayton heard them mention their friend Matilda. That's a good name for the plane, he thought. Another version is that Harold Neumann's wife Inez named the plane. Photo by H. K. Williams.
The Mono-Special modified as the Folkerts Special (SK-1), 1933, weighed 1,000 lb, 190 mph. Photo by Wm. Yaeger.
Matilda as she last appeared at the nationals in 1937. Photo by Wm. Yaeger.
Folkerts SK-2, 1936 with 185-hp Menasco weighed 675 lb, 250 mph. Owned and flown by Harold Neumann in the 1936 National Air Races, he finished second in the Grieve and fourth in the Thompson. Harold's wife named the plane "Toots" Photographer unknown.
Aft of the firewall, the frame became triangular. The wing and stabilizer rested on the two top longerons, nearly on the line of thrust. Phogapher unknown.
The single lower longeron can be seen here. Photo by Wm. Yaeger.
That's Clayton behind the plane on the left. It's too bad they didn't use color film, Toots was painted a deep yellow with chocolate brown wing and accents. Photographer unknown.
I had forgotten about this photo of the SK-2 until Russ found it in Ed Marquart's papers.. I'd given it to Ed about twenty years ago so he could see the fuselage framework, in case a replica was planned. Taken at Canfield Airport, Waterloo, IA. Photographer not known.
At the end of the 1936 season Dad built a trailer to bring Toots home from Detroit, the arrangement seen here wouldn't work too well on the highway. The one piece wing was easily removed for transport. I recall seeing the plane being built that summer, and it was stored at Dad's shop the following winter. Photo by Wm. Yaeger.
Mines Field, LA 1936. Back row from left Herbert Shearer (Committee), Lee Miles, Clayton Folkerts, unknown, Inez and Harold Neumann, Gertrude and Art Chester.Front row from left Rudy Kling , David Elmendorf , Earl Ortman, unknown. Photo by Wm. Yeager.
Folkerts SK-3, 1937, with 350-hp Menasco weighed 840 lb, 279 mph. Owned and flown by Rudy Kling in the 1937 National Air Races, it was lost a few months later at Miami. Photo by Wm Yaeger.
Named "Jupiter" it was a lengthened more powerful version of the SK-2. SK stands for Speed King. All airplanes need an alpha numeric designation, (like DC-3 for Douglas Commercial.) Photo by Wm Yaeger.
The SK-3 was the only aircraft to ever win the Thompson using a wooden propeller. It was hand-crafted by Ole Fahlin, a lifelong friend of Clayton. Photo by Wm Yaeger.
"Winner 1937 Thompson Trophy." This photo, an early Kodochrome, was used for a Thompson Products ad on the back cover of a magazine of the day. Look closely and you can make out Ole's decal on the prop. Photo by N. R. Strohmeyer.
Kling passing Ortman at the finish. The camera crew had stopped firming, luckily this still was captured by a spectator. Kling turned the fastest lap of the race with only 350-hp vs.Ortman's 1,000-hp. Photographer unknown.
Folkerts SK-4, 1938 with 400hp Menasco weighed 950-lb, 350- mph. Built for Joe Jacobson, but never flown in competition. Del Bush was at the controls when the Menasco swallowed a valve on a test hop at Cleveland. Photo by H. R. Hale.
Like the SK-3, there was no bad angle to photograph the SK-4. I do admit to touching up a bit of rubbish on the tarmac. Photo by H. R. Hale.
Uncle Clayton, left, and Del Bush examine the SK-4 landing gear. Similar to the gear on SK-2 and SK-3, it was manually operated and tucked up under the pilot's legs. No need for warning lights. Photo by Wm Yaeger.
Clayton, left, and unidentified with the SK-4 at Cleveland, Sept 1938. This image is one frame on a DVD-Video made from a VHS conversion of a home movie. Not bad considering it's history. Photographer unknown.
Art Chester, a friend of Clayton's, at Cleveland 1938 in the Goon (Race number 5). This is also a frame out the DVD. Photographer unknown.
A page out of the 1938 National Air Race official program. I thought John Lyon might appreciate this.
Charles Lindbergh's personal Monocoupe on display in the terminal at Lambert-St. Louis International.
Tony LeVier's 1928 Monocoupe 70, serial number 133. Taken at the California Museum of Science and Industry, Los Angeles. For the year 1928, nearly 90% of all the light airplanes sold and 10% of all licensed aircraft in the United States were Monocoupes.
The beauty was in the simplicity. My personal favorite has always been the 110 Special but I was surprised how handsome the 90AL-115 is with it's flat engine.
A 1941 model 90AL-115 at Oshkosh in 1995. Not the oldest Monocoupe still flying then, but possibly the newest. Monocoupe's heyday was in the 1930's. It's interesting to see the changes over 14 years while so much remained the same.
A replica of "Mr. Mulligan," Benny Howard's "...biggest, most powerful, Monocoupe" is seen here. The red 'coupe in the foreground is painted to resemble "Little Butch." I shot this photo at Oshkosh in 1995 and added the palm trees later.
"Little Butch" on display at the NASM is a 1941, Warner powered Model 110 Special. Flown by W.W."Woody" Edmondson in aerobatic compitition throughout the 1940s. N36Y is still registered to John J. McCulloch, who donated it to the Smithsonian. Photo by Lt. Col. Anderson.
Elden Iler's 1935 Warner powered Model 90A 'coupe seen at the 1999 Flabob open house. Andy just happened to snap this photo as my son Doug and grandson Kevin were walking past the tail. Photo by Andy Andersen, I made a few adjustments
My cousin Jim spotted this 'coupe on display at the Quad City International Airport near Moline, Illinois. It's N6558, a 1928 Model 70, serial number 85. Moline was home to Monocoupe until 1931 when the factory was moved to a former Ryan plant at Lambert Field near St. Louis. Photo by Jim Meehan.
Uncle Clayton and Charles Lindbergh in front of Lindbergh's Monocoupe, the airplane now on display in St. Louis. This photo is from a 1934 newspaper clipping.
Another shot of Clayton and Lindbergh in front of the Monocoupe. Photographer not known.
Vern Roberts, an early Monocoupe owner and race pilot, became production manager and test pilot for Monocoupe in 1928. Clayton often spoke of Vern many years later. These next four photos are from The Vern Roberts Photo Collection, donated to The Monocoupe Club by Ken Roberts. The photographers are not known.
The caption reads Monocoupe Racing Team 1929. The photo is signed by Vernon L. Roberts, Phoebe Omlie, Stub Quinby, John Hinchey, and John Livingston. John Hinchey opened the first aircraft sales agency on Mines Field in 1928, to sell Monocoupes. Mines Field is now called Los Angeles International (LAX)
Stub Quimby with the Mono Special. The note reads, "May all my contacts be as happy as the one with Vern Roberts. Sincerely, Stub Quimby."
Johnny Livingston with his 110 Special as it appeared in the 1932 season.
Monocoupes demonstrate STOL characteristics circa 1928. Movies by Don Luscombe.
Clayton in the high-wing circa 1928. Movie by Don Luscombe.
A Monocoupe was entered in the 1934 MacRobertson Trophy Air Race. (Sadly, the newsreel clip was in this condition when I received it.)
I love these old posters! I found this one on the internet.
Pioneer aviatrix Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie with her Velie Monocoupe. Read the fascinating history of Phoebe at http://womanpilot.com/?p=13. Movie by Don Luscombe.
Phoebe with publisher Ralph Cramm, for whom the Davenport airport was named, on the occasion of her July 1928 altitude record flight. She took her 65-hp Monocoupe to 25,400 ft altitude, and still climbing, when engine trouble forced her down. Setting a world altitude record for women pilots. Movie by Don Luscombe.
I believe this is John Livingston, The photo of John in John Underwood's book shows him posing similarly, with the left arm behind his back. Movie by Don Luscombe.
The annotation on this image states, simply, "John Livingston, Cleveland, OH 9/2/34". This was next to the last day of the National Air Races that year. Photo from Davis-Monthan Register.
Pioneer aviatrix Aline (Pat) Rhonie Brooks flies the prototype Luscombe Phantom. She was also an accomplished artist. Learn more about Aline at http://www.opencockpit.net/aline/aline_1.htm Movie by Don Luscombe.
Don Luscombe, 1930. Photo by H K Williams, from the Vern Roberts collection.
Charles "Slim" Lindbergh, 1934. while his Monocoupe was being built. Photo from the Vern Roberts collection.
N38905, the 1941 model 90AL we saw at Oshkosh in 1995. Seen here 14 years later during the Monocoupe Club's 2009 reunion at Creve Coeur. Photo by Dale Folkerts.
This ad, circa 1928, offers the Velie 'coupe for $2,675.
John Hinchey with the Kinner-powered 1929 Monosport 2 (ATC 250). Vern Roberts collection.
Mark Lghtsey, Aerocraftsman, has a new airplane. I could have put these pictures in the Flabob album alongside his Caudron and Travel Air projects but I think they really belong here with the Monocoupes.
It's a 1936 Monocoupe 90A modified with a Lycoming O-320. You saw the prototype model 90 earlier in this album, Except for the re-powering and additional instruments, nothing has been changed.
The panel has a few more gadgets than were available in 1936.
Mark and Sheila were just leaving for The Air Show at Cable airport this morning, I've been promised a ride later.
Photo by Doug.
This weekend Elden Iler showed up at the Flabob Flying Circus with his new 1941 model 90AL, one of 11 manufactured. He still has his Warner powered 1935 model 90A that we saw in 1999. He must have spotted a bug here, you can't be too fussy showing it for the first time.