Wood Monocoque Fuselage

First seen on Louis Béchereau’s 1912 Deperdussin air racer, the monocoque, or “one shell,” fuselage was an innovative design. The single wooden shell facilitated a smooth, streamlined shape and the skin of the fuselage itself bore the structural loads and was internally hollow.  The fuselage was very different from the strut-and-wire bracing pioneered by the Wrights and used by the rest of the aeronautical community.

The Lockheed Vega and Sirius are examples of wood monocoque construction.

The Lindberghs flew the Lockheed Sirius to survey airline routes. A Greenland Eskimo boy named it Tingmissartoq —“One who flies like a big bird."