Velie Monocoupe

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Velie Monocoupe
VelieMonocoupe90USAF.jpg
Role Sport aircraft
National origin United States of America
Manufacturer Mono Aircraft Division of Velie Motor Corporation
Designer Clayton Folkerts, Don Luscombe, Jerome Lederer, Frederick Knack.
First flight 1928
Unit cost
$2,675 in 1928[1]
Developed from Monocoupe Model 22
Variants Monocoupe Model 90

The Velie Monocoupe was an American general aviation aircraft manufactured from 1927-1929 by the Mono-Aircraft Corp, a division of Velie Motors Corporation, (founded by Willard L. Velie, maternal grandson of John Deere).

Design & Development[edit]

The Velie Monocoupe was a wooden framed, doped fabric-covered monoplane, seating two people side-by-side in an enclosed cabin (hence the name).

Conceived by pilot/businessman Don A. Luscombe, who developed a mock-up in 1926, and developed into a flying airplane by farmer-turned-plane-designer Clayton Folkerts—first produced by Central States Aircraft Corp in Davenport, Iowa—the little plane was a revolution in personal aviation: small, relatively inexpensive, quick and efficient (70-80 mph on just 55 horsepower), and with an enclosed cockpit (protected from the weather) for two people. In an era of big, costly, lumbering, open-cockpit biplanes, the Monocoupe was like a flying sports car coupe.[2]

In all there were 350 Velie Monocoupes produced under the approved type certificate number 22.[3] Upon W. L. Velie's death, his son had planned to continue production of the aircraft but he died within months of his father. The company, and design, survived, however.

Company change[edit]

Upon the death of Velie's founder, in 1929 the Mono Aircraft Division was transferred to the holding company Allied Aircraft Co., which split the airplane division into Mono Aircraft Co. and Lambert Motors Co. Mono Aircraft would continue to produce the Monocoupe, in various versions—ultimately changing its name to Monocoupe Corp. The company producing the Monocoupe line changed ownership and location several times from 1926 to the early 1950s.[2][4]

Survivors[edit]

There is a Monocoupe on display at the California Science Center, on loan from the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian. Another example exists at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, and is being restored to airworthiness. Another in private hands in Texas has been restored and is flown regularly. A fourth, flown in 1928 by woman aviation pioneer Phoebe Omlie to set an altitude record,[5] is on indoor display in the passenger terminal there. A fifth survivor is located within the Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois. A sixth example is located at the Golden Age Air Museum in Pennsylvania and is in airworthy condition.[6]

Specifications (Monocoupe Model 70)[edit]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2 (pilot, passenger)
  • Length: 19 ft 9 in (6 m)
  • Wingspan: 30 ft in (9.1 m)
  • Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.9 m)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 100 mph (160 km/h)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "monocoupe". Liberty Magazine: 38. 18 August 1928. 
  2. ^ a b Harris, Richard, "Monocoupe: Speed for the Common Man", AAHS Journal, Vol. 56, No. 4 (Winter 2011), American Aviation Historical Society
  3. ^ "Monocoupe". Liberty Magazine: 38. 18 August 1928. 
  4. ^ "Mono, Monocoupe", summary data on Aerofiles.com
  5. ^ Longden, Tom (2009-02-07). "Aviator Omlie soared to success". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  6. ^ "1928 Velie Monocoupe 70". Golden Age Air Museum. Retrieved 5 February 2018. 

See also[edit]