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MONNETT MONI – N107MX

John Monnett designed the Moni in the early 1980s in an attempt to create a bridge between powered airplanes and sailplanes. The Moni combined the low initial cost and low operating cost of the ultralight with the aerodynamic sophistication, structure, and performance of the powered airplane and sailplane.

The Moni was a single-place, all-metal homebuilt. The wing was very similar to the one developed for the earlier Monerai, featuring an extruded aluminum spar, stamped ribs, and bonded-on, one-piece skins. The main landing gear consisted of a single wheel mounted on the centerline of the fuselage mounted to a fixed strut. The airplane had a steerable tailwheel with a streamlined fairing around it and each fiberglass wing tip had a metal-reinforced skid built in at the trailing edge.

The key to the entire design was the Moni’s engine. Neatly cowled in the nose was a tiny two- cylinder, horizontally opposed, air-cooled KFM 107 engine. The really significant thing about the engine was the fact that it was designed specifically for aircraft use; it was not a conversion.

The Moni was intended to be a quick, easy, and economical to build powered sailplane. After it was completed, the Moni was simple to store, transport, set up for flight, and knock down at the end of the day.

The Moni was equipped with its own special enclosed trailer. The airplane rolled out on its own wheeled dolly, which held the single-wheeled fuselage in place while the two wing panels were installed and pinned securely in place. The trailer doubled as a weatherproof hangar for the Moni and was short enough to fit in a normal sized garage.

The prototype Moni was ready to begin testing July 24, 1981, and the airplane performed flawlessly. After a few test flights for John to get the feel of his airplane and show off his ability for a one-wheel landing, the Moni was done for the day. The trailer dolly was rolled out, the Moni was backed up and over it, the wings were removed and stowed in their saddles alongside the fuselage, the whole shooting match was pushed up in the trailer, secured and doors closed in just a matter of minutes.

After testing, John sold the prototype and began working on his next design. Keith and Linda Doornbos acquired the airplane and donated it to the EAA AirVenture Museum in 1991.

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