Fearless Flying - The Ercoupe Story

Watch on YouTube

Show annotations

165,668

2,795

79

Genre: Sports

Family friendly? Yes

Wilson score: 0.9659

Rating: 4.89 / 5

Engagement: 1.73%

AbbottVP

Subscribe | 633

Shared February 5, 2019

A remarkable history of an innovative aviation design decades ahead of its time. Many said flying the world's first spin proof, two control, tricycle landing gear airplane was like "driving a car."

Late in 1931 Fred Weick, a young NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) aeronautical engineer, invited several of his friends and co-workers to join in a private hobby venture to design and construct a safe, spin proof airplane suitable for the private pilot. During the next five years of experimentation, redesign, and testing, a two control, high flying, pusher design with tandem seating emerged incorporating a unique but unconventional, steerable, “tricycle” landing gear.

In 1936, Fred was invited by Henry Berliner to join his newly formed Engineering and Research Corporation (ERCO) in Washington DC. There, Fred would apply his skills and knowledge to design a 100 mile per hour, spin proof private airplane that would be economical and comfortable.

Fred proceeded to create a two-place airplane with an all-metal structure featuring side-by-side seating, doped fabric covering for the outer panels of the wings, tricycle gear and good pilot visibility. After several modifications and different engines were tested, the Ercoupe Model 415-C evolved.

One hundred and twelve airplanes were built until production was halted in 1941 because of World War II. In August 1945 production of the 415C with a 75hp Continental engine was resumed. Almost 5,000 Ercoupes were built until 1950 when ERCO deemed the project no longer economically feasible.

Many other companies including Sanders Aviation, Vest Aircraft, Forney Enterprises, Air Products, Alon Aircoupe, and Mooney Aircraft tried their hand at manufacturing the Ercoupe. All failed, and the tooling was finally sold to Univar Aircraft who still manufactures parts for the various Ercoupe and Aircoupe models.

In February of 1946, Fred Weick received the Fawcett Aviation Award for the greatest contribution to the scientific advancement of private flying. He has since been recognized as a true aviation pioneer. His many aircraft innovations including the “tricycle gear” are incorporated on countless aircraft today; but of all his achievements, the Ercoupe is the most remembered.

FEARLESS FLYING – The Ercoupe Story – Written and directed by Don Abbott

Research & Editing by Gary Schlintz

Special thanks to:
The Board of Directors Ercoupe Owners Club
Bowling Green State University
William Bain
Kim Blackseth
Ed Burkhead
Skip Carden
Syd Cohen
John Cooper
Gene Gagliardi
John Wright Sr.
John Wright Jr.
Kurt Yearout, & Mike Jenkins
Skyport Ercoupe Services

Copyright 2010 Air Campers Association



24:43

Jim and I fly the Ercoupe

18K views

13:18

Spirit Of America Sonic Arrow (Formula Shell LSRV) - Craig Breedlove's Supersonic Challenger

650K views

10:49

Accident avoided Cessna Skylane versus F-16 at KTOL on the way to KOSH

201K views

40:38

Operation Backfire - A4 V2 German Rocket Documentary von Braun

397K views

18:51

An Inside look at the Mighty Luscombe!

95K views

45:14

Dangerous flights - Season 1, Episode 3 - Fuel Critical

58K views

18:23

SHELL OIL CO. "THE DIESEL STORY" RUDOLF DIESEL & DEVELOPMENT OF DIESEL ENGINE 48124

346K views

14:34

Ercoupe to Oshkosh 2019 - Part 1

10K views

11:16

[REAL ATC] Air China has LEFT ENGINE FIRE ON TAKEOFF from Dulles!

65K views

57:09

The DC-3: The Plane that Changed the World

31K views

27:36

The Secret Base Greenland Base of Project Iceworm

944K views

12:24

Flying and Slipping a hot climbin' ERCOUPE 415C at Morgantown, West Virginia Hart Field Airport 90's

13K views

23:10

Worst annual inspection ever!

73K views

15:53

Top 5 Best Kit Airplanes In The World

444K views

1:04:01

Battle Stations - SR-71 Blackbird Stealth Plane -Full Documentary

5.1M views

22:47

Flying a DC-3 to Greenland, Engine Won't Start

456K views

24:56

Ercoupe Trip with Dad to Boonville, CA

8.4K views

23:42

EMERGENCY LANDING IN A CESSNA 210 (KCGF to KBKW)

1.5M views

16:03

Fight For Your Life - Federal Express Flight 705

3.8M views