Don Luscombe built the first Monocoupe in 1926, based on his desire for an airplane that was more comfortable than his open cockpit Jenny. Working with designer Clayton Folkerts, Luscombe’s Monocoupe would dominate the light airplane world for many years.
Production of the Monocoupe was sporadic until 1928 when the company became associated with Willard Velie, a former car manufacturer. The partnership with Velie brought the fledgling Mono Aircraft Company, initially a division of Velie Motor Corporation, a reliable source of engines.
The Monocoupe was powered by a 65-hp Velie radial engine. The fuselage framework was built of welded steel tubing, which was faired to shape with formers and fairing strips, and then was covered with fabric. The cabin roof had a large skylight for vision overhead. The wings were built of solid spruce spars and spruce and basswood ribs, which were also fabric covered.
The Monocoupe 113 was stable and considered easy to fly. By 1929, approximately 10 percent of all licensed U.S. aircraft were Monocoupes. The Monocoupe accumulated a good safety record and promoted longevity. Through the late 1930s it was not uncommon to see scores of Monocoupes flying all over the countryside.
The exceptional performance and sharp maneuverability of the 113 drew the Monocoupe to air races and other events where its pilot could show it off. During the 1929 air race season, many Monocoupes were the headliners. The 113 was also used in the primary phases of flight instruction by flying schools.
EAA’s Monocoupe was the first of the famous Monocoupe line, and among the earliest cabin monoplanes. The airplane was meticulously restored and was one of the last flyable examples of the type when John Hatz flew and loaned it to the EAA Museum in 1968. The airplane was put on permanent display in 1977.