The McCulloCoupe has flown! - click below to enlarge pictures.  (1 Mar 04)

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McCulloCoupe

After a short hop in John Livingston's Clipwing Monocoupe,  Benny Howard was convinced that Clayton Folkerts, Livingston and Don Luscombe had built a winner. Benny decided to upscale the Clipwing to handle a 450 HP Pratt and Whitney, with his Bendix Trophy winning "Mr. Mulligan" as the result. Today there are two "Mr. Mulligans". The most visible is the exact replica created by Jim Younkin. This all-white racer can be seen and heard quite often at major airshows. With coaxing and assistance from Bud Dake and Red Lerille, Jim Younkin set out to build a more faithful 25% up-scaled version of the Clipwing, still powered by the 450 HP P&W R-985 engine. The results are "Mullicoupes" -three of the most fantastic, fire-breathing thunder-birds in the air. To watch and hear Bud Dake perform in his slick black monster is a soul stirring, heart pounding suspension of reality. Now, we have heard rumors that Jim has a fourth "Mullicoupe" in works for another thrill seeker. We will deliver feedback on this later.

With this as an introduction, let's get to the "McCulloCoupe" and John McCulloch. John McCulloch is the highest time Clipwing Monocoupe pilot - ever. He surpassed Woody Edmondson a couple of years ago. He logged these hours in his NC36Y and more recently in NC101H, two very famous Model 110 Specials which he purchased as wrecks and rebuilt. John is single-mindedly Monocoupes, having owned and flown 'Coupes since the middle 1950's, though always the trickier ones - 2 Model D-145's and two Clipwings. He also has flown nearly every existing Clipwing - and there were only 7 built between 1932 and 1950! Now, having accomplished that which most aviators only dream about, John got the bug to go a bit further. He has long pondered aloud the virtues of the Russian Vedneyev M-14 radial engine, and the nearly 400 HP it cranks out. His favorite hangar flying topic was how to engineer that engine into a Clipwing. The doubters said "never", since that engine is very deep from the nose case back to the accessory section - it would just be too much to hang on the front of a 'Coupe without a ton of lead in the tail, or without changing the Monocoupe look altogether. Or so we thought! John has the tenacity to achieve his visions, he also has a close friendship with Jim and Kevin Kimball of Jim Kimball Enterprises. Jim and Kevin are the source of the new Pitts Model 12, top award winning restorations of Clipwing Monocoupes, Staggerwings, a GEE BEE, and others. Kevin is a whiz at designing dreams, and proved that a slightly up-scaled Clipwing would fit the M-14 and still look and fly like a Monocoupe. This version is smaller and lighter than the "Mullicoupes", while still cranking out over 400 HP. Their shop is well along with the "McCulloCoupe", with a target debut to be announced at Sun 'n Fun 2003. Meanwhile, we will follow construction details as we get them from John.

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Owner and inspiration for the McCullochCoupe - John McCulloch