Flight Training - May 2021 - 23

PREFLIGHT RAMP APPEAL

BY DAVID TULIS

QUICK LOOK

ERCOUPE

Looking to buy?
See how the Ercoupe
measures up

FUN, ECONOMICAL TWO-SEATER WAS
ORIGINALLY DESIGNED FOR SAFETY

How much:
$15,000 to $25,000
Buy it: If you want a
fun, economical, simple-to-fly conversation
piece. Plan on 100 mph
at 5.5 gph and annuals
of about $1,000.
Skip it: If you're
planning on going
anywhere fast, taking
more than a slender
companion, or loading
up with baggage.
Other options: Piper
PA-38 Tomahawk,
Beechcraft Model
77 Skipper, Cessna
120/140, Aeronca 7AC
Champ, Luscombe
8E/F Silvaire.
Ercoupe Owners
Club: ercoupe.org
facebook.com/
groups/42370012202.

ERCOUPE OWNERS TYPICALLY BUDGET A FEW EXTRA MINUTES OF TIME AFTER

landing to explain to curious onlookers the nuances and the allure of the two-seat,
twin-tail, spin-proof, pre-World War II budget buy.
Safety features designed by Fred Weick in the late 1930s include linked control surfaces, limited elevator travel, and an outer wing that refuses to stall. These
features were meant to keep pilots from cross controlling an aircraft and entering
an inadvertent spin, a common and deadly malady when the Ercoupe entered the
market in 1940.
Fuel-sipping 75-, 85-, or 90-horsepower four-cylinder Continental engines with
fixed-pitch propellers power the low-wing single to about 100 mph if the dual sliding canopy windows are closed-slightly slower with the windows open.
An aluminum fuselage that is often polished and unpainted is attached to either
fabric-covered or " metalized " wings with nearly full-span ailerons but no flaps.
Dual yokes control both ailerons and rudders, so the airplane lacks rudder pedals.
A bench seat, art deco glove boxes, and a single brake pedal further distinguish the
fun-to-fly 'Coupe.
The line was originally manufactured by the Engineering and Research Company, hence the name Ercoupe, in Riverdale, Maryland. Nearly 5,000 were built
immediately after World War II. Early 'Coupes have a gross weight of 1,260 pounds
and can be flown as light sport aircraft under sport pilot rules.
Landing is typically " over the fence " at 80 mph, with a flare at about 65 mph.
Pulling the yoke all the way back can make an Ercoupe sink like a stone over a reallife 50-foot obstacle; keep a touch of power in to cushion the nearly flat flare.
Because the airplane lacks separate rudder controls, needed for slips, landings
are performed by weathervaning into the breeze. Make sure you are over your
touchdown zone and you'll be all right after the landing gear's trailing link design
straightens things out once it contacts terra firma. In real-world conditions the
stout Ercoupe can handle more direct crosswind than a typical Cessna 172 or 182.
Climbouts are between 70 to 80 mph at 500 fpm solo, and less with a passenger,
especially on a hot day.
23  FLIGHT TRAINING MAY 2021

A revolving door of manufacturers
kept the brand alive through the early
1970s. Ownership changes include Forney's F-1 and F1A (1960-62), Alon's A-2
Aircoupe (1964-67), and Mooney's A-2A
dual-tail and M-10 Cadet single-tail
(1967-70) versions. Vintage aircraft
specialist Univair Aircraft Corp. bought
the type certificate in 1974 and vowed to
keep the little birds flying by continuing
to make parts available.
david.tulis@aopa.org

		
SPEC SHEET
415-C
Powerplant		 Continental 	
		 C-75-12, 75 hp,
		 fixed-pitch prop
Seats		2
Length		 20 ft 9 in
Height		 5 ft 11 in
Wingspan		 30 ft
Empty weight		 802 lb
Useful load		 458 lb
Max gross weight		 1,260 lb
Performance
Cruise speed		
Range		

100 mph
500 miles

AOPA.ORG/FT  23


http://www.ercoupe.org http://www.facebook.com/groups/42370012202 http://www.facebook.com/groups/42370012202 http://www.AOPA.ORG/FT

Flight Training - May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - May 2021

Contents
Flight Training - May 2021 - Intro
Flight Training - May 2021 - Cover1
Flight Training - May 2021 - Cover2
Flight Training - May 2021 - Contents
Flight Training - May 2021 - 2
Flight Training - May 2021 - 3
Flight Training - May 2021 - 4
Flight Training - May 2021 - 5
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Flight Training - May 2021 - Cover3
Flight Training - May 2021 - Cover4
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