06:25 AM

Silvered Wings: Monocoupe 90A (1936)

Monocoupe 90A (1936) NC15431

  • Capacity: two
  • Length: 20 feet 6 inches
  • Maximum speed: 130 mph
  • Cruise speed: 112 mph
  • Range: 600 miles
  • Service ceiling: 14,000 feet

The gracefully curved Monocoupe 90 first turned heads at its debut by Mono Aircraft in 1930.

The high-winged cabin monoplane seated two side-by-side in a well-rounded frame with delicate lines that set the pattern for all variants produced over the next decade. The model 90 fuselage was built up of welded steel tubing, heavily faired to shape and fabric-covered. A large skylight provided overhead vision for the cockpit with its joystick flight controls. Power was provided by the 90-horsepower Lambert R-266 five-cylinder engine.

Civil Air Patrol flew more than 20 Monocoupe 90s during World War II, with NC15431 flying anti-sub patrols out of Coastal Patrol Base No. 5 at Flagler Beach, Florida, from May 1942-August 1943. Thanks to a handsomely detailed unit yearbook, we know this particular 1936 aircraft was identified as “Baker Fox 16,” owned and piloted by CAP 1st Lt. J. Lewis “The Baron” Rhodes.

Coastal Patrol Base No. 5, like many other CAP-CP bases, had its own unit emblem—albeit a puzzling one. The inspiration behind the image of a menacing wringer washing machine, spewing suds and bombs, seems lost to time. Also mysterious is the source for the initials “M-B-S” that appeared, then disappeared, over the base’s 15-month lifespan.

Maj. Ron Finger is a freelance illustrator and member of the Minnesota Wing’s Crow Wing Composite Squadron. Recently honored by the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame as Artist of the Year, he is an Air Force Art Program artist, where a select pool of artists are assigned “art missions” to document specific U.S. Air Force operations. 

Among his duties as Civil Air Patrol’s national artist, Finger researches and creates art that portrays our historical emergency service. A personal goal is to complete paintings documenting every aircraft type CAP has flown. 

This is the 13th painting in Finger's second series of depictions of vintage CAP aircraft. More of Finger’s CAP artwork can be seen at redpine.net.

Silvered Wings No. 1  Fleetwings Sea Bird F-401
Silvered Wings No. 2  Curtiss-Wright 15-D Sedan
Silvered Wings No. 3  Rearwin Sportster 7000
Silvered Wings No. 4  Cessna U-3B “Blue Canoe”
Silvered Wings No.  5  Aeronca C-3 (1932)
Silvered Wings No. 6  Rearwin Sportster 900-L
Silvered Wings No. 7 Travel Air C-4000
Silvered Wings No.8  Kinner “Sportster B”
Silvered Wings No. 9  Boeing Model 40-A/B
Silvered Wings No. 10  Brunner-Winkle "Bird," BK (1929)
Silvered Wings No. 11 Meyers OTW-125 "Out-To-Win"
Silvered Wings No. 12 Cessna 0-1/L-19 Bird Dog