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1946 Ercoupe 415D

1946 Ercoupe

The Ercoupe was manufactured by the Engineering and Research Corporation (ERCO) in nearby Riverdale, MD, to be spin-proof, stall-proof, and slip-proof. It was marketed as simple, safe, and a plane that "anyone could fly." Designed by Fred Weick, it was a major departure from many contemporary airplanes. In all other airplanes, the control stick operates the elevator (up-down) and ailerons (left-right roll) while the rudder pedals control the rudder (left-right yaw). Weick’s control system lacked rudder pedals. In the Ercoupe, everything was linked to a control wheel so pilots could operate ailerons and rudder simultaneously, which virtually eliminated spins. A spin occurs when the rudder and ailerons are not coordinated in a turn, causing the airplane to enter an uncontrolled, downward spiral.

The Ercoupe also has a collar on the control column limiting elevator movement to help prevent stalls. Stalls occur when enough airspeed is lost that the wings no long provide lift to keep the plane airborne. Pilots attempting to ascend too quickly are frequently the cause of stalls. Limiting the elevator movement reduces the pilot’s ability to stall the airplane.

NC93942 is on loan to the College Park Aviation Museum by Pat Gravatt and Andy Gravatt (deceased). 

The "half" Ercoupe 415C, N99182, which is missing parts of its fuselage and wings, shows the distinctive lack of rudder pedals. It is located on the gallery floor.

Wingspan:
30 feet, 0 inches
Length:
20 feet, 9 inches 
Empty Weight:
845 lbs. 
Gross Weight:
1,400 lbs.
Powerplant:
85 hp Continental A-85 
Maximum Speed:
117 mph
Range: 450 miles