“The Ercoupe was designed in 1936-1940 by the Engineering and Research Corporation, or ERCO” explains Samuel Brozina. “That’s how the Ercoupes got their name – it’s derived from the company.” 112 Ercoupes were built before WW2, 5,000 were built right after the war, and 400 more were built between 1958-1969.
Samuel Brozina Discusses the Build of the Ercoupe
The Ercoupe was the first plane that incorporated original research completed by the designer – Fred Weick, assistant chief of the NACA aerodynamics division. These features included the tricycle landing gear, the inability to be held in a spin, a fully cowled engine, and rudders that were linked to the ailerons, which simplifies controlling the plane. These were all original innovations.
“Because of the natural geometry of a tricycle with a swiveling nose wheel, the plane immediately follows the direction of travel post-touchdown,” says Samuel Brozina, plane enthusiast. “Ercoupes have a cross-wind component of 25 mph. Some Coupers have been known to fly against even stronger cross-winds than that! It’s a steady plane.”
Are Coupes Suitable for Travel? Samuel Brozina Explains
“The Ercoupe planes work as well for cross-country trips as any 100-108 mph plane,” says Samuel Brozina. “If you can get a Coupe with no rudder pedals, you have much more legroom than with other, comparable planes which makes long trips that much more comfortable.”
“But more importantly,” continues Samuel Brozina, “Ercoupes let you handle more crosswind component than most planes – I can’t tell you how useful that is on cross-country trips. And everywhere you land, you make new friends – people are always curious about the Coupe!”
Samuel Brozina Talks Learning to Fly in an Ercoupe
“Obviously you can learn to fly in anything,” explains Samuel Brozina. “And the Coupe is an excellent plane to learn on. But you have to be careful not to restrict yourself – some pilots end up with their licenses restricted to the plane they use for their check ride.”
Samuel Brozina suggests doing 80-90% of your training in your Ercoupe, and then finishing up the last few hours in a Piper or a Cessna so you can go for an unlimited license. “This also helps you prepare for the switch between a two-control plane and a three-control plane more smoothly.”
Samuel Brozina has always loved airplanes and flying – especially WWII warbirds. This passion inspired him to earn his private pilot license and he even worked at a flight service in Atlantic City International Airport. He recently purchased his own airplane.