Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ERCOUPE, AIRCOUPE


1937–67



ercoupe
STANDARD DATA (Aircoupe): Seats: 2; Gross weight: 1,450 lbs.; Empty weight: 930 lbs.; Fuel capacity: 25 gals.: Engine: 90 hp Continental.
PERFORMANCE: Top speed: 129 mph; Cruise speed: 114 mph; Stall speed: 48 mph; Initial climb rate: 640 fpm; Range: 615 nm; Service ceiling: 17,300 ft.; Takeoff run: 540 ft.; Landing roll: 350 ft.

STANDARD DATA (Ercoupe): Seats: 2; Gross weight: 1,400 lbs.; Empty weight; 838 lbs.; Fuel capacity: 25 gals.; Engine: 85 hp Continental.
PERFORMANCE: Top speed: 125 mph; Cruise speed: 110 mph; Stall speed: 47 mph; Initial climb rate: 560 fpm; Service ceiling: 11,000 ft.; Range: 430 nm.

STANDARD DATA (Mooney Cadet): Seats: 2; Gross weight: 1,450 lbs.; Empty weight: 950 lbs.; Fuel capacity: 24 gal.; Engine: 90 hp Continental.
PERFORMANCE: Top speed: 118 mph; Cruise speed: 110 mph; Stall speed: 46 mph; Initial climb rate: 835 fpm; Service ceiling: 12,500 ft.; Range: 480 nm; Takeoff distance (50 ft.): 953 ft.; Landing distance (50 ft.): 1,016 ft.

In the late 1930s, the Ercoupe was designed as a stall-proof, spin-proof airplane that had no rudder pedals. An interconnection between the ailerons and limited-travel rudders made flying the Ercoupe as easy as steering a car. Prevention of stalls was accomplished by blocking elevator travel before stall angle was achieved. Dubbed the Model 415, the low-wing two-seater was produced between 1937 and World War II. None of the twin-tailed models were built during the war, but production resumed in 1945 with models 41 SE, F and G appearing between 1947 and 1949. Finally, in 1951, production ceased, but in 1955, Fornaire Aircraft resurrected the Ercoupe calling it the F-I Aircoupe. Air Products took over production between 1960 and 1962, and then it passed to Alon Aircraft in 1964.

Alon called its airplane—still virtually unchanged from the original Ercoupe—the Aircoupe A-2. The Alon version did, however, have rudder pedals and a modified landing gear, which on some models is a backward- bending, spring-steel gear leg rather than an oleo strut. The Alon A-2 also featured a blown sliding-bubble canopy instead of the lift-up type fitted on earlier models. Alon Aircoupes had extremely attractive upholstery, and all flight gauges were shock-mounted on a floating subpanel in front of the pilot. Dual toe brakes were standard, operated by a bar running across and above the rudder pedals. Alon wasn't the end of the line for the Ercoupe; Mooney Aircraft purchased the Aircoupe rights in 1968, changed the double tail to a single tail, and sold the airplane with as the Mooney Cadet. The A-2 Cadet and MIO Cadet were produced until 1970, when Mooney sold out to Aerostar.



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