1934 Monocoupe D-145
Owned by Charles Lindbergh
Manufactured by Lambert Aircraft Corporation
Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society
~ text from marker
The plane, a 1934 Monocoupe D-145 once owned by Charles Lindbergh, has been on display at the airport since 1979 and is one of three airplanes in the Missouri History Museum’s permanent collection. Until 1998, the Lindbergh Monocoupe shared the spotlight at Lambert next to the Ryan B-1 Brougham, a replica of the Spirit of St. Louis, Lindbergh’s trans-Atlantic plane, which hung beside the Monocoupe. That plane now hangs in the MacDermott Grand Hall of the Missouri History Museum. The third plane, a red Monocoupe 110 Special, manufactured in St. Louis in 1931, hangs in the newer East Terminal at Lambert. It was completely restored by pilot John Glatz and donated to the Missouri History Museum (MHM) by him in 1983.
Charles Lindbergh originally purchased the Monocoupe D-145 in 1934 from the Lambert Aircraft Corporation for use as his personal plane. He had several modifications made to the plane, including adding a 145-horsepower Warner engine (instead of a 90-horsepower Lambert engine), extra leg room, increased fuel capacity, a flat-panel windshield, a modified cowling, and a customized aileron arrangement that allowed them to be used as additional flaps in landing. After a cross-country flight with his wife, Anne, that year, Lindbergh used the plane very sparingly. He kept the plane in his possession until 1940, when he flew it to St. Louis to deliver it to the History Museum. He had written to MHM in 1938, offering the plane as a gift. “I do not intend to sell the plane,” he wrote, “because I am not well satisfied with its handling characteristics.”
The problem, he stated in his Wartime Journals, was that the factory had changed the wing curve from that which it had used on previous Monocoupes, and the new shape was less stable in the air. Lindbergh felt the plane could be dangerous to an inexperienced pilot. He also had the foresight to recognize that the plane would be an interesting piece for the museum to display 10 to 20 years down the road as an example of an early St. Louis–manufactured aircraft. When he flew the Monocoupe to St. Louis in 1940, he worked with Marjorie Douglas, an MHM curator, and Gregory Brandewiede, an officer of the Robertson Aircraft Corporation in St. Louis, to dismantle the plane and store it in the basement of the museum’s Jefferson Memorial Building. The plane remained in storage until 1962, when it was brought out and reassembled to display at a local air show. Over the next 15 years, Lindbergh’s Monocoupe D-145 was exhibited several times in the St. Louis area, including a number of years at the Museum of Transportation, and it appeared in a parade honoring the 50th anniversary of Lindbergh’s famous flight in 1977. After being moved, stored, and displayed several times, it was finally hoisted into its current position at Lambert Airport on April 17, 1979.
~ from Missouri History Museum Voices article "Midnight Mainetenance" (visit link