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Father-Son Pair Win Prestigious Raspet Award

By James Wynbrandt

  • Raspet Award
    John Monett, Kate Monett, Miles (bottom left) and Brooks (bottom right)

July 25, 2015The 2015 Dr. August Raspet Memorial Award was presented on Tuesday night at Theater in the Woods to John and Jeremy Monnett for their two outstanding designs: The Onex and SubSonex. The selection of the honorees was made prior to Jeremy’s untimely passing in June.

The Raspet Memorial Award has been presented annually here at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh since 1960 to honor an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of light aircraft design. It is named for the late Dr. August “Gus” Raspet, a professor at Mississippi State University and avid light aircraft enthusiast.

Raspet was instrumental in elevating the aeronautical engineering program at Mississippi A&M College, as it was originally known, into one of the nation’s pre-eminent aerophysics research centers. Today the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory in Starkville, Mississippi, completed in 1962, reflects and pays tribute to his efforts.

The first recipient of the award was John Thorp, Lockheed engineer on the Little Dipper and Big Dipper, and designer of the Thorp Aviation Sky Scooter. The list of subsequent recipients is a who’s who of aircraft designers.

In presenting this year’s award, the EAA noted that since the organization’s inception one of its cornerstones has been providing access to affordable aircraft, an objective the Onex clearly achieves. Moreover, the Onex’s wing design not only looks really “cool,” but enables the wing to fold within seconds, allowing the aircraft to easily share a hangar with other aircraft.

The SubSonex, the second design recognized, represents the first practical jet within reach of homebuilders, both in its price and simplicity of construction.

“Jeremy was my partner, my son,” John Monnett said in accepting the award.

Kate Monnett, Jeremy’s widow, accepted the award for her late husband. “Jeremy has done more in 40 years than most of us could dream of in a lifetime,” she said.

“On behalf of myself, our sons Miles and Brooks, thank you to the aviation community for all the support you’ve shown over the seven weeks. You will never know how much that has meant to us. I believe that Jeremy is still flying. Cheers and blue skies, Jeremy.

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