The History of M-18 Number One, N3199K

For providing this information for our archives, we are thankful for contributions by Fred Quarles of Charlotte, NC, Tim Shearer of Alpharetta, GA, and H. Harold Carter of Snellville, GA.

Tim Shearer (2007-01-27):

"I believe my uncle, Charles Shearer, purchased this plane and restored it and re-powered it with a new engine somewhere around 1968. The engine was delivered to my uncle's restaurant in Eastover MD. I remember my father, who was also a pilot, telling me it was serial number 1 when my uncle began restoring it."

Harold Carter (2010-06-01):

"On December 13, 1969, with 213 ASEL hours logged, I had my first solo flight in a retractable aircraft, the wonderful, fun to fly, economical, and sporty Mooney Mite. The aircraft had been purchased earlier that year by a generous friend of mine, the late James D. King of Decatur, Georgia. Jim had flown B-25s in WWII and we had worked together at the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. I say generous because I flew this aircraft without a check ride since it was a single place and Jim only charged me $10 per hour wet. I logged 14.5 hours in 99K while Jim owned it and at his invitation, I ferried 99K to the next owner, Mr. Ray Campbell, in Deland, Florida on May 16, 1970. I somehow felt that this was a special aircraft since it was pictured in the background of advertisements for the Mooney Mite Club which was appearing in aviation magazines at the time. I had noticed in the aircraft logbook that Al Mooney, the designer of the Mite had flown it several times and that a 25 HP Crosley Cobra engine was originally used in this aircraft. Little did I know then that 99K was the first off the assembly line especially since the serial number when I flew it was 201."

Fred Quarles (2001-08-31):

"After the NASM accepted it, they arranged for one of their trucks to pick it up in DeLand, Florida if I could get it disassembled and crated for them. Gene Olinger, myself, my wife Holly, and my two daughters Ashley and Ellen flew down in the Aero Commander and disassembled it, identified and bagged every nut and bolt so it could be put back together. When NASM picked it up, they took it back to the Silver Hill Museum and reassembled it and hung it up on a string there. I am told (but have never confirmed) that it is periodically rotated into the National Air and Space Museum on the Mall. It will eventually be on permanent display at the new Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport which opens December 17 2003? maybe 2002."

2010-09-19: Timeline: The Documented History of N3199K

We have acquired a CD from the FAA containing their documentation on N3199K, namely images of the Airworthiness and Registration certificates. So here is the "official" history of N3199K in the form of a timeline:

May 17, 1947: The original Application for Airworthiness Certificate by Mooney Aircraft, Inc. of Wichita, KS shows the date of manufacture of N3199K, Serial Number 1 with a Crosley CC-46-M-1 engine installed, as May, 1947. Subsequently, the "Mooney-Crosley" was certified as an experimental aircraft in six-month increments until Nov 26/49.

May 25, 1948: The Application for Airworthiness Certificate gives the registration number as NX3199K, an M-18 with the Crosley engine.

November 26, 1948: A Operations Limitation was issued for the Mooney-Crosley Model M-18, NX3199K.

December 22, 1949: An Application for Airworthiness Certificate was made for N3199K, SN 1, with a Continental A65-8 using the following wording:

“The Mooney Aircraft Inc. requests this license as an experimental license for the purpose of bonified (sic.) experimental flights to determine aerodynamic characteristics preparatory to type approval and for demonstration purposes.”

December 22, 1949: It was certified for an A65-8 Continental engine in the Experimental category, as follows:

“Certificated for the purpose of sales demonstrations. Flights limited to the continental limits of the U.S. Flights, except for take-off and landing, prohibited over thickly populated areas or large gatherings of people. The aircraft, or one identical shall have completed at least 10 hours of flying since any major change. The maneuvers performed shall be limited to those which have been satisfactorily performed by the aircraft or identical aircraft. No flights shall be conducted for hire or reward. This aircraft shall not be flown after December 22, 1950.”

April 24, 1950: The Statement of Conformity refers to the aircraft as an M-18C, SN 201, manufactured to conform with type certificate 803, with a number of deviations listed.

May 2, 1951: The application for an air worthiness certificate still shows the owners name as Mooney Aircraft Inc.

Aug 21, 1951: The aircraft was sold to The Solo Flying Club, care of Laverne W. Jones of Washington, DC. A Certificate of Registration was issued on August 29, 1951.

November 7, 1951: A Repair and Alteration form describes work done as follows:

“installed shock mounted instrument panel, additional instruments as listed on attached pages, generator, battery, lending and navigation and cockpit lights, transmitter, receiver, antenna, and propeller spinner.”

May 10, 1952: A Repair and Alteration form, on behalf of owner Solo Flying Club, describes the following work:

“installed Signal Corps radio receiver, removed Aeradio transmitter, replaced Aeradio receiver with Sonar receiver and whip antenna, installed Continental CE-85-12F engine and generator. Wind driven generator removed.”

May 12, 1952: N3199k was issued an experimental certificate:

“to permit research in the development of the sport type aircraft. No flights are authorized over contested areas or assemblages of people. Flights are limited to a radius of 50 miles from Bailey’s Cross Roads, VA. Only pilots who have been previously checked out in this aircraft shall be at the controls. This aircraft shall not be flown after July 12, 1952.”

August 4, 1952: it was reported that N3199K had flown more than 60 hours with the 85 hp engine installed without difficulties.

August 7, 1952: An experimental certificate was issued to permit necessary flight testing prior to and during engineering evaluation to obtain a type certificate. The entire aircraft was recovered with grade a fabric and “buyrate” (sic.) dope consisting of six coats of clear and eight coats of aluminum.

June 7, 1968: A Major Repair and Alteration form shows the Continental C-85-12 engine, Sonar receiver and antenna were removed. A Continental A-65-8 was installed, along with a Narco VHF transceiver, and a wind driven generator. At this time the aircraft was still owned by the Solo Flying Club, care of Charles D. Shearer. At that time, N3199k was flying with a standard airworthiness certificate rather than an experimental classification.

August 26, 1968: N3199K was sold by the Solo Flying Club to Theodore Shelbrack of Portsmouth, OH.

August 28, 1969: A major repair form indicates the aircraft topside, and left-wing were recovered with Ceconite and dope. This implies that the aircraft may have been in an accident.

October 23, 1969: The airplane was sold by Shelbrack to James King of Decatur, GA.

May 15, 1970: It was sold by King to Raymond Campbell of DeLand, FL.

February 16, 1977: It was sold to Pierson Aviation Inc. of Ormond Beach, FL.

February 5, 1981: The Certificate of Registration was revoked, due to failure to submit the required “Triennial Aircraft Registration Report.”

March 10, 1981: The aircraft was sold by Pierson Aviation Inc. to Johan Kala of Easton, PA.

The FAA database shows the aircraft still registered to Johan Kala.

As reported elsewhere in the Mite Site, N3199K was completely restored and is now hanging in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) annex at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia, USA.


H. Harold Carter took this photo just before taking off from Fulton County (Charlie Brown) Airport in May, 1970 on a ferry permit to DeLand, FL. He was delivering the airplane to the new owner, Ray Campbell on behalf of the previous owner, James D. King, Jr., who can be seen in the picture.

To see Harold Carter's pilot log book entries for all his flights in N3199K (between December 1969 to August 1970), click here.

To read Harold's journal recounting his first experience with retractable gear and subsequent flights, click here.



2013-08-26: For another personal recollection and another rare photo, see the article submitted by Frank Badalson.


"I have some information from my days hanging around the Deland FL airport with my dad [Bob Rabideau] way back when.

"My dad and Raymond Campbell [shown in the photo] always hung and flew together. He had a Mite once, too [N4057, 1971-1974].

"The candy cane spinner was a product of my dad's doing. I laugh to see it made it to the museum.

"I used to go around and clean bottoms of airplanes for pin money. I was little kid then.... I used to use a creeper and clean the bottom of this Mite too — 25 cents, HAHA.

"There is a Trade-A-Plane around here that has a picture and write up about the #1 Mite and Ray Campbell. Dad took the picture for the magazine." 

Robin Rabideau, Port Orange, FL


2016-03-17: Here is the Trade-A-Plane picture that Rob referred to above. It is taken from the February 3, 1971 issue: