Pilot and aviation fan Samuel Brozina shares little known facts about the famous ERCO Ercoupe.
Touted to be the world’s easiest two-seater aircraft to fly, the ERCO Ercoupe was first produced in 1939. A licensed pilot and Ercoupe owner from Millville, New Jersey, aviation enthusiast Samuel Brozina reveals a number of little-known facts about the popular all-American, mid-20th century aircraft.
“The ERCO Ercoupe is, perhaps, best known among fans of aviation for its lack of rudder pedals or a tail wheel,” reveals Brozina, a licensed pilot from Millville, New Jersey, “both of which raised eyebrows among the civil aviation public at launch.”
Designed with so-called limited elevator movement and no rudder pedals, the ERCO Ercoupe was one of the very first aircraft ever to use what’s today commonly referred to as a tricycle undercarriage, according to the expert and Ercoupe owner. “A nose wheel, meanwhile,” he goes on to reveal, “simplifies handling on the ground and was, at the Ercoupe’s unveiling, said to make landing far easier than in other aircraft, such as those with a traditional tail wheel configuration.”
Officially launched in 1940, the original two-seater recreational aircraft boasted a 75 horsepower engine and a top speed in excess of 140 mph, according to Millville, New Jersey-based Samuel Brozina, a lifelong fan of the ERCO Ercoupe. “With a range of around 300 miles and a cruise speed of 95 mph, it was popular with recreational pilots at launch,” he explains, “and remains so with many aviation enthusiasts today.”
Among Samuel Brozina’s favorite little-known facts about the ERCO Ercoupe is that the aircraft is said to be almost impossible to stall or spin. Crosswind landings, too, are simplified, he says, in the Ercoupe, ideal for novice pilots. “This,” adds Brozina, “is thanks to the aforementioned combination of the Ercoupe’s tricycle undercarriage and linked controls.”
Thanks to its small engine and propeller, the Ercoupe also produces only minimal torque pull, according to Samuel Brozina. “Notable characteristics of the ERCO Ercoupe include a takeoff run which is long, and a climb rate which is slow,” adds the Ercoupe expert.
Production of the Ercoupe continued in different versions from 1939 until 1967, with the only break occurring during World War II. “Later aircraft,” Brozina reveals, “featured lighter and more powerful engines, as well as additional streamlining.”
“A grand total of 5,685 Ercoupe aircraft across all versions were produced,” he adds, wrapping up, “with around 2,000 still in existence, but fewer than 1,000 now registered to fly in the United States today.”