Jim Harvey wrote the following story in a Monocoupe Club Newsletter from the early 1960’s. It’s absolutely incredible to imagine the experience of flying a Lambert powered ‘Coupe so much. It turns out that Mr. C.B.McMahan was quite an interesting guy. Here is an article about him (the article mentions the Monocoupe).
|Admin, 2006-07-30 00:00:00|
|History: 1935 Universal Moulded Products MONOCOUPE 90A, Serial Number (c/n) A-714 Cancel Date: 06/13/1952 Reason for Cancellation: Destroyed|
Here is Jim’s article:
While paging through the St. Louis Post Dispatch several months ago I happened upon an article about an aerial pipeline patrol company that had begun in the St. Louis area in the early twenties, operating out of Lambert Field. The founder being Mr. C. B. McMahan. It filled an entire page, telling details of the early days, the struggle to find backers and customers for this revolutionary operation and how the profession was finally accepted. The company, Aerial Pipe Line Patrols, Inc., is still operated by Mr. McMahan, from Monroe, Louisiana, and flies into Lambert regularly.
It named some of the early ships that had been used and some of the hours that had been logged. Of course, you must realize by now that a Monocoupe was one of these ships. The casual mention that one had flown about 4800 hours on patrol really brought me out of my chair. I immediately filed the article in a safe place for follow up and correspondence. After several weeks I found it again and wrote to Mr. McMahan. I wrote and received immediate response plus the only photograph of the airplane while in his service.
Mr. McMahan writes: “We purchased a Lambert Monocoupe, NC 11789 On October 27, 1935, and the first trip was made from St. Louis to Monroe, Louisiana, and return to St. Louis on this route, a distance of 940 miles and average time of 9 hours per round trip.” “I personally logged 4990:30 hours on this airplane. The average speed was 104.4 miles per hour at an average altitude of 200 feet. The last trip in NC 11789 was on June 22, 1940. During this ” time I logged 83:30 hours instrument time. The ship was flown through every kind of weather imaginable, flying two round trips per week on the above mentioned route. ” “It is interesting to note that during this time the only trips missed were due to engine overhaul. It is also interesting to compare an airplane built in 1935 with the “SO CALLED” modern airplanes for speed and durability! ! !
Mr. McMahan added that the ship as pictured had been in service 3 years and 8 months, had about 4000 hours at the time, and was two tone green color. They are pictured in front of the old Lambert Field terminal building. Engine overhauls averaged 500 to 600 hours! ! ! I have no record of NC11789 showing that it is still in existence. Has anybody heard of the ship? It would be most interesting to find that it is still around and being cared for and gently handled. Thank you again Mr. McMahan.
James H. Harvey