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This information comes from the listings of Non-Prefixed and Non-Suffixed aircraft reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC.

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Monocoach NC8953

Registration Number NC8953

Born In Illinois; Died In Wisconsin

This aircraft is a Monocoach 201, S/N 5002 (ATC #GR2-109), manufactured May 16, 1929 by the Mono-Aircraft, Inc. Moline, IL. It had a 225 HP Wright J-5 engine S/N B-8927. It weighed 3,092 pounds as a four-place airplane. It was manufactured, “for exhibition purposes.”

It served its exhibition time for 135 flight hours, then was re-manufactured as of 8/21-22/29 under ATC #GR2-109. Fuselage members were re-trussed.

It was sold on June 23, 1930 to Robert A. Purcell of Alliance, OH. Purcell installed a “Curtiss ring” (17 pounds) on the engine. We find pilot Purcell (private license #11805) at Tucson with NC8953 on August 21, 1931. He was solo, headed west from Roswell, NM to Santa Monica, CA. Below is a photograph of NC8953 shared with us by Charlotte Cook (see below). Although the registration number is not visible on this photograph, its source has credible provenance.

Monocoach 201 NC8953, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Cook)
Monocoach 201 NC8953, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Cook)

This photo was probably taken before June 23, 1930, because the engine has no "Curtiss ring" installed.

Purcell accumulated 262 flight hours with it before he was killed in June 1932. The airplane was placed in storage for eighteen months before selling to W.P. Barnum of Youngstown, OH. Barnum had the airplane re-covered and installed a tail wheel. He flew the airplane less than ten hours during the first year he owned it.

Jay Burkholder, Left, Date Unknown
Jay Burkholder

Barnum sold it on February 3, 1936 to W. Edgar Leedy, Jr. of Wheeling, WV with 344 flight hours. Leedy replaced the windshield and skylight on June 4, 1937 with 405:40 flight hours. The airplane sold twice more, owned finally by Jay Burkholder of Galena, IL.

Burkholder (commercial license #14134; A&E #11009; not a Register pilot) crashed the airplane in Spring Green, WI on August 7, 1938. He was fatally injured and the airplane was “written off”. The registration was cancelled.

At left is the airplane's last owner, Jay Burkholder, in happier times with his family beside a different airplane. This image is contributed to us by Charlotte Cook, daughter of the infant girl shown here, born in February 1937, held in Mrs. Burkholder's arms.


UPLOADED: 08/16/05 REVISED: 03/20/07, 10/29/07, 07/19/17

The Register
I'm looking for photographs of this airplane to include on this page. If you have one or more you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.


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