Museum’s Newest Acquisition: Monocoupe 90AW145

The museum recently acquired Fred Ludtke’s 1940 Monocoupe 90AW145. The well known Fred Ludtke from the Pacific Northwest flew this Monocoupe in over 200 airshows up and down the west coast. The Monocoupe was discovered in California by Eric Minnis of Burlington, NC. Eric shipped the Monocoupe was sent to Burlington, North Carolina with hopes of restoring the it for a customer. Skagit Aero’s Jim Jenkins saw the airplane advertised on Barnstormers and contacted Eric with the hopes of acquiring the project and bringing it back home to the Pacific Northwest. Over a few phone conversations a deal was struck to acquire this historic Monocoupe for our collection.

The Monocoupe is scheduled to return to the Washington State at the end of Jan 2012. We hope to reunite Fred with his long lost steed. A complete ground up restoration will commence upon arrival at the museum.

Here is Fred taking off in his Monocoupe  from an unknown airport sometime during the 1980’s

Here is Fred standing with his son next to the Monocoupe.

3 Responses to “Museum’s Newest Acquisition: Monocoupe 90AW145”

  1. Eric Minnis January 1, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    Jim- I have to admit- I was very excited to restore this airplane. Of all the famous Monocoupes, this one seemed to have simply disappeared from existance. Woody Edmonson made “Little Butch” famous around NC and VA. I spent countless hours studying the lines of that airplane. To me it was more art than machine. I would go to the museum any chance I got and just sit and dream. Finding Fred’s plane was the result of months of searching and following up on dead end leads. I finally had a famous Monocoupe in my hangar.
    All too soon I realized that the financial requirements of starting my own restoration shop would mean that I had to sell the airplane- I had planned to sell it to a customer that wanted me to restore it in my shop. It was going to be our first complete restoration and I had planned a show quality job.
    When you called I imediately knew that the museum was the right place for the airplane. Over the last few months I got to know Fred and his sons Marc and Rick and really felt a certain connection with them. My shop will eventually get a chance to do a beautiful restoration, its just not going to be on this one. I’m happy it is going home.
    Blue Skies-
    Eric Minnis

  2. Rick Ludtke January 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    Hi Jim,

    I am thankful and exited that your enterprise has acquired NC18166. This is the airplane I grew up with from a very young age. I am the kid in the picture above taken at the Tacoma Narrows air show in 1969 at 4 years of age. This and the airplanes that followed (a piper J-3 and the Monocoupe 110 Special NC2064, to name a few) launched my aviation career and facilitated my dependency on all things airplanes.

    Please keep me appraised with your progress, and I would love to attend the first flight ceremony!

    Thank you,

    Rick Ludtke
    Flight Crew Operations / Flight Deck Design Center
    Boeing Commercial Airplanes

  3. Fred Ludtke January 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    My old Monocoupe will be humming the largo movement of Dovorak’s “New World” Symphony all the way from Burlington, NC to Concrete, WA.

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