Erco Ercoupe, Forne Fornair / Alon Aircoupe
1937
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Erco Ercoupe, Forne Fornair / Alon Aircoupe

The origins of the Ercoupe date back to 1930 and a company called the Engineering and Research Corporation. The importance of this monoplane was its ergonomic simplification of flight control systems, with no separate rudder controls (unless specified by the customer). Early models had a fixed undercarriage, but were mostly metal construction airframes. This simple design proved popular and many thousands were sold, particularly shortly after World War II. The Ercoupe was then often marketed as Aircoupe or Forney Fornair. In 1963 Erco ceased trading, Alon took over the assets and launched an improved version designated Alon Model A-2 Ercoupe, which remained available until 1967 when Mooney acquired the company.

Robert Jackson "The Encyclopedia of Aircraft", 2004


Specification 
 MODELErco Model 415-E Ercoupe
 CREW1
 PASSENGERS1
 ENGINE1 x 85hp Continental C85-12 flat-four piston engine
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight635 kg1400 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan9.14 m30 ft 0 in
    Length6.32 m21 ft 9 in
    Height1.80 m6 ft 11 in
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed196 km/h122 mph
    Cruise speed177 km/h110 mph
    Ceiling3660 m12000 ft
    Range724 km450 miles

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80
Ken Bost, 27.01.2017

I purchased my first ercoupe about 1972 and kept it a few years and really enjoyed flying the ercoupe. Family got bigger and had to have a 4 place plane. Nothing I have owned since has been as much fun to fly. Decided to look up my old tail # recently and found that in 1983, it was crashed on a ferry permit and the pilot was killed in the crash, plane was distroyed. Now all these years later I have aquirred another ercoupe within the past few months that belonged to a very good friend that passed away this past year and the family wanted me to have the ercoupe. This is another one I used to fly about 35 years ago. This plane has been in storage for the past 30 years so decided to do a complete restore which I am in the process of doing now. I am 71 and hope I have enough years left to finish and once again fly this ercoupe. Sure wish I would have hung on the the one I has back when. Enjoy Flying

Charles L. Rosenfeld, 05.08.2016

I've had 3 Coupes over the past 30 years...great fun, and the best Young Eagles airplane ever! Serial #10 is currently available as a project.

Tom Vorpe, 10.01.2016

Hey Guys......I have a 1500 grass strip on nearly level and smooth ground in Central Texas. I really want an ercoupe but I don't want to rent a hangar and I don't own an airport other than my farm strip. Please give me all opinions of the ercoupe's short field abilities. I am 185 lbs and any passenger will be the same of lighter... Thanks in advance

Jack Levering, 26.12.2015

I bought my 36 415 C from a fellow that did not have us of his legs..he would roll over to the plane in is wheel chair and crawl up on the wing and crawl into the cockpit and have a ball flying the coupe. He sold it to me and I have loved flying it all over the East coast and will probably be the last plane I fly, because I am about the same age as the plane.If you can get one don't pass up the opportunity.

Ben Yglesias, 08.12.2015

After over 400 aircraft sold in a 40 year career, I come to the Ercoupe. Mine took a year to reassemble, O SMOH after a 30 year disassemble. Flight testing it took more nerve than all the USAF planes I flew , and now, I can't image flying anything else. You can push it into every limit of other aircraft experience, and it just flies back out smiling at the others for lack of Fun. We'll be 75 and the coupe, 70 this coming March. If you save this one for last, you'll never miss the others.

John Knepper, 10.02.2015

First ride ever at age of 8 years old and I was hooked. I owned four planes since. two Stinson voyagers and two Cessna 172's and still like the ercoupe.

Charles H. Burk, 10.02.2015

In a 9/1/2014 post I alluded to a short field take-off method used by Fred Wieck with his own Ercoupe, but didn't describe it.

Mr. Wieck lived on a farm outside of Texas A & M and kept a car at Easterwood Airport to drive in to class, after he had flown in from the farm.

He extended the nose gear scissors and tied the strut in the extended position with a slip knot on a short length of rope. He routed the rope up into the cockpit. He took off with the nose-up at an angle of attack that minimized the take-off run. When airborn he pulled on the rope (with it's slip knot) and stowed the rope in the baggage bin behind the cockpit seats. Flying back and landing after class was just routine. CHB 2/10/2015

Bob Cory, 10.02.2015

I retired a few years ago after flying as a corporate pilot. I missed it. I bought N1210H, sn 3887, because of the LSA benefits. What a fun plane! I'm having more fun learning the Coupe than you can imagine. If you're an old timer like me...get one. It will enhance retirement years.

jack levering, 31.01.2015

No doubt about it the Ercoupe is a great little airplane and I will probably finish up my flying days in it that is for sure with 75 coming up this Spring. Have flown all the most of all the other small planes and have really enjoyed the coupe. It is well designed and built tough to have lasted all these years! If you can get the chance to fly one , don't pass up the opportunity. I need to hear from the fellow who learned the short field TO procedure from Fred Weick. Fly safe!!

J. Dockendorff, 01.12.2014

Ist airplane checked out in after Private Pilot license in 1958. Then flew 76 different makes and models for USAF and Trans World Airlines and private planes. After retiring from L1011 and KC10 I rented some Cessnas and Pipers and finally bought a 1946 Ercoupe which I flew LSA until 2013 when it failed the annual due to corrosion. Insurance sold it for salvage. You can find old airplanes by entering the N number at FAA.org.

Mike Zink, 22.04.2014

I am in the process of restoring a !946,415C,#99720 to it's original condition And hope to have it flying in a couple of years and will be flying it as a under LSA status, with max gross weight of 1320 lbs. I'm a big guy and need all the weight capacity I can get, It'll be tight. But so were the aircraft I learned to fly in, in the 1950's

Paul Gilman EAA#157, 16.02.2014

I now own a metal wing 415C that has proven to be a great airplane. Prior to this I owned an earlier Mooney which was great. Rudders were needed in the Mooney but not the Ercoupe. I generally don't fly in much of a crosswind but I always feel comfortable. I fly approach speed exactly like the Mooney..never less than 80MPH and all is well. If you want to experience it ..just fly your PA-28 with the rudder always centered and you get a similar experience. Both are about the same for flight characteristics..Have fun PBG

Larry, 23.01.2014

Great airplane, I fly young eagles, (kids age 8 to 17 via the EAA program, they get it after 10 minutes, I love the look on their face after they fly the coupe.

Charles H. Burk, 09.01.2014

I count that one of the very best days of my life occurred in 1947 when I was just out of High School and was up in an Ercoupe over Hobbs, NM at the same time a fellow flyer was up in a Cub Cruiser. We were playing "chasem" in the skies! I had good vision "up" and he had good vision "down". We never! came close at all to each other but the next day my neck was sore from twisting and turning looking for him! Oh what fun!!!!!!!! We're still in touch today. Later at Texas A & M I had Fred Weick for an instructor in a Flight Test class. Write me for his short field take-off technique in the Ercoupe! chjerryburk@mindspring.com

Jake Thorne, 31.12.2013

Howdy,

I have heard nothing, but good things about the Ercoupe. What kind of runway length do they need for landing and take-off? How are they on grass? Someday I'd like to have one. Thanks for being there.

Jake

Alfred J. D'Amario, 19.08.2013

I flew Ercoupes out of Baltimore Harbor Field (now a Port of Baltimore cargo terminal) from 1947 through 1950. The company had three of them but the one I flew most was tail number 008. I don't know the year , but was told that this was one of the hand made models before they went into production line operation. I took my Private Pilot flight check in it in August, 1947 and dazzled the inspector by making three spot landings in the top loop of the 8 on runway 18. It was a great little airplane, fun to fly.

deaftom, 03.07.2013

The old Erco factory building that originally built the Ercoupe (before production was taken over by Forney and other companies) still stands in Riverdale, Maryland, a close-in suburb of Washington, D.C., hidden behind a maze of residential streets and still retaining at least some of its original grass-field runway space. Sadly, aircraft haven't come out of that building or flown into or out of the field for many decades; it's presently home to a division of NOAA, the federal National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency.

Ron Knowles, 19.04.2013

Such a great plane. Owned both a 415D and and A-2 Alon
Imported both from Michigan to Windsor, Ontario.
The best time of my life flying these planes.

Garnett Stancil, 08.03.2013

Did the U.S.Army Air Aircorp use this aircraft for training purposes?

Greg Bierck, 21.01.2013

I have about 350 hours flying mine, currently in my museum, N99327, SN 1950. Quite a bit if fun to fly cheaply, as long as you didn't have to lift a lot and didn't mind being a bit cramped. Definately designed for two, 150 lb. occupants. Landing one can be scary at first, as one lands this airplane completely differently than taught. It will handle a large cross wind component. It was very simple to maintain. No flaps. The best glide path was simple to figure. Throw a brick out the window an follow it down. Many hours were flown topless or open cock pit. Really nice on hot days and really cold int he winter. It used 5 gallons an hour tops, and I usually tooled around in it at abouta little less than 90 MPH.

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