In the previous post I noted that Don Schmidt’s Monocoupe is available. His daughter said that they would really prefer to find a home for the ship in a museum. That would be great.
When I bought my project in 2000, I contacted Don and he invited me down to see his project, which at the time, was in the EAA hangar at Camarillo airport. Ceil and I flew down from Palo Alto in the RV-6 and spent the day with Don. I was just starting on the ribs, and being able to see Don’s plane assembled but uncovered was incredible. As you can imagine, I took a ton of photos.
Don needed to build a wing from scratch, and decided to convert the plane to a clipwing. This resulted in a truly unique plane. In one way, this airplane is very similar to NC501W right after John Livingston clipped the wing. NC18642 retains the original 110 tail feathers (larger) along with the horizontal stabilizer jackscrew trim mechanism. This had been removed from mine by the previous owner and being able to see Don’s and take pictures was invaluable in getting mine back to original. Don even did a very detailed and highly accurate engineering drawing of this assembly for me.
Don modified the original longwing configuration forward of the door to the original Monocoupe factory drawings for the clipwing, including widening of the fuselage, adding the dishpan (reflector ring) and motor mount for the Warner 145 (instead of the original Warner 125).
I owe Don a debt of gratitude for his help and advice with my project. He is a real craftsman and has worked on a number of projects besides his own. From his daughters post on the Monocoupe Group on Facebook:
A little background….. my dad, Donovan Schmidt (retired Navy Commander), acquired the frame and parts in 1978 and spent about 25 years working on restoration before her first flight. He …is an artist and craftsman. He did metal work on the N9M Northrop Flying Wing for 13 years (which is now in the Chino Air Museum), metal, plastic and wood work on the Douglas M2 Mail plane which lives in the Smithsonian, metal on F8F, F7F and P51 in Chino Air Museum as well.
I hope NC18642 ends up in the perfect home.