Richard Harris, Chairman of the Kansas Aviation Centennial, grins while sitting in the Monocoupe 90A/165 that came to the 2012 National Biplane Fly In. Harris had, ironically, just completed the cover story for the journal of the nation\'s leading aviation history organization -- the American Aviation Historical Society -- on the subject of Monocoupe history.
The AAHS had picked a photo of this very airplane, in flight, to illustrate the Monocoupe design, on the cover of the Winter 2011 issue of the AAHS Journal in which Harris\' article appeared.
Harris was ecstatic to find the plane landing right in front of him at the Fly In, and leaped at the chance to climb aboard, and examine it in detail.
The Monocoupe, more than almost any other production aircraft, posed a direct challenge to the dominance of biplanes in the lightplane world of the 1920s and 1930s, with its clean, sleek, speedy monoplane configuration and enclosed cabin, with sociable side-by-side seating.
However, its similiarty to biplanes -- radial engines and tube-and-rag construction -- succumbed to the 1940s advent of modern all-metal, hollow-shell (semi-monocoque) lightplanes (chiefly the Luscombe 8A, Ercoupe, and Cessna 120/140).