The Monocoupe

The Monocoupe

Monocoupe 90A. A Golden Age Classic and Racer

The first two-place cabin plane, Monocoupe compiled a lot of "firsts" in its time in C-racing, in economy,dependability and favor amoung private pilots.

Monocoupes were the most successful of all the stock plane racers during the Golden Age of Air Racing. They were consistent winners in the ATC classes (for certified aircraft)and often moved up to higher cubic inch classes and beat more powerful airplanes and even specialized racers.By the early 1930s, the Monocoupe was being promoted as an economical, easy to fly flight school trainer, with an average price of $4,750. Three models were produced, differing only in horsepower of engines - 60, 90 and 110.The fastest of all Monocoupes was the 110 Special , or "Clipwing" as it was commonly known.With a 23 foot wing span (compared to the original 32 foot span), new tail section with less area and span, smaller wheels, a new windshield, and a 145 hp Warner. The coupe could reach speeds of 220 mph.Developed originally by famed pilot John Livingston,who had the Monocoupe factory clip the wings of his model 110. The performance was so spectacular that Monocoupe later obtained a Group 2 approval for the conversion and went on to produce seven of them before going broke in the early 1950s.


A slick Clipped Wing Monocoupe at Oshkosh.

John Livingston and his Monocoupe Racer

Monocoupe Model 90A Specifications-
Wing span 32'.
Length 20'6",
Height 6" 11".
Weight empty 940 lbs.
Useful load 637 lbs.
Baggage 116 lbs.
Fuel 28 Gallons.
Performance-Powered with a Lambert 90 h.p. engine, the Monocoupe has a maximum speed of 130 m.p.h., a cruising speed of 110 m.p.h., and a range of 600 miles. Rate of climb 900 ft./min. Service ceiling 15,000 ft.

The "Ninety" was manufactured by the Mono Aircraft Corp, at Moline, Ill. Don A. Luscombe was president, J.A. Love was V.P., Clayton Folkerts was chief engineer. Discontent with airport conditions at Moline, a move was made by late 1931 to Lambert Field in Robertson, Mo. Reorganized into the Monocoupe Corp, Don Luscombe was retained as president, Frederick Knack replaced Clayton Folkerts as chief engineer. In 1933, Luscombe left for Kansas City where he busied himself developing the Luscombe Phantom . By 1935, Wooster Lambert was president of Monocoupe Corp; John Nulsen was VP and Clare W. Bunch was sales manager, Tom Towle was chief engineer. Sometime in 1939 or thereabouts, the company was dissolved, reorganized and moved to Orlando as a subsidiary of Universal Molded Products. After World War 2 the company was purchased by another group, also in Florida to carry on with limited production of the 90AF and 90AL series.

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Written & Edited by Darrell Graves


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