Ercoupe - pros and cons?

Talk about airplanes! At last count, there are 39 (and growing) FAA certificated S-LSA (special light sport aircraft). These are factory-built ready to fly airplanes. If you can't afford a factory-built LSA, consider buying an E-LSA kit (experimental LSA - up to 99% complete).

Moderator: drseti

User avatar
Hambone
Posts: 160
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:19 am
Location: Tucson, AZ

Ercoupe - pros and cons?

Postby Hambone » Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:05 am

I'm moving to Arizona, and am looking to pick up an LSA for my own personal use, and possibly to train others.

I'm intrigued by the Ercoupe. There seem to be many for sale in reasonable condition for $25-30K.

Any Ercoupe owners here? Pros and cons to ownership?

Thanks in anticipation!

User avatar
zaitcev
Posts: 618
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:38 pm
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Re: Ercoupe - pros and cons?

Postby zaitcev » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:21 am

I don't own one, but I looked into it. My research showed that it's an airplane in every possible respect inferior to Cessna 150 (except being an LSA). Useful load of 433 lbs is typical - and that is for "1320 lbs STC" airplanes (original was 1260 lbs gross). There were a couple around, and their pilots weren't enthusiasts. One told me "I'm only flying this because I don't have another airplane".

In any case, I found that I can only get into Alon, which has separate seats, but not into 415-C. That pretty much killed the deal, because if I cannot get an LSA-compatible Ercoupe, there's no point.

rsteele
Posts: 355
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:40 pm

Re: Ercoupe - pros and cons?

Postby rsteele » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:42 am

Look very closely at the history to be sure it's LSA compatible. Some sellers claim there plane is when in fact they are not because the seller just pencil whipped the gross weight from a formerly higher number to meet LSA number. This happened to a friend.

I think the no-spin/no rudder pedals idea is interesting and seems to be well done in the Ercoupe. And, many people seem to enjoy flying them with the windows down. They are tiny cockpits with minimal gross weight though.

Ron

User avatar
MrMorden
Posts: 1733
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:28 am
Location: Athens, GA

Re: Ercoupe - pros and cons?

Postby MrMorden » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:52 am

Typically low gross, but spin-proof (if rigged correctly) and honest-flying airplanes. The unusual landing gear and rudder pedal-less config allows them to land crabbed in very strong crosswinds. I have seen videos of them landing in 25kt direct crosswinds with little fuss.

If you like the Ercoupe, go for it. In the same price range I'd look at Luscombes and experimentals like the Avid/Kitfox. If you want a low wing with good performance (130mph+ cruise) and better useful load (but still a small cockpit), look at the Sonex.

Good luck!
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

zodiac flyer
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:42 am

Re: Ercoupe - pros and cons?

Postby zodiac flyer » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:46 pm

I had a 1946 415C, most fun airplane I ever owned or flew. I have owned five aircraft. Sadly sold it when I moved and could not get a hangar, it had rag wings.
Major consideration is CORROSION, get it fully inspected and checked. Go to the Ercoupe Owner Club online for information about doing a proper inspection. A mechanic who knows Ercoupes is very important. Many don't have a clue, never worked on them, they are "different"
If LSA is important to you, make sure the paperwork is correct, that it never was upgraded, as many were to 1400 pounds gross. If it ever was upgraded it's not ever going to be LSA approved.
Good luck, I fly a AMD Factory built Zodiac XLB, it's an SLSA that I switched to ELSA so that I can do inspections and modifications. I didn't pay much more than a nice LSA Ercoupe would cost. But I am always looking for another nice Ercoupe.
Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.
Dave dothetime@hotmail.com

User avatar
hirschr
Posts: 152
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:21 pm
Location: Chattanooga, TN

Re: Ercoupe - pros and cons?

Postby hirschr » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:32 am

Iv'e got a 1948 E model, it's not Sport Pilot eligible but with 1400 lb gross it does give a bit more cushion than the 1260 lb original Cs or the 1320 lb STC'd models (which is really the same as the conversion to a D with an 80 lbs less gross weight to keep it LSA). Zodiac gives some solid advise - corrosion needs to be checked by a qualified individual and metal winged versions seem to fair worse with corrosion than rag wings.

It is a hoot to fly, I love mine and wouldn't trade it for any other legacy type! If you are looking to check one out in AZ you might try Parrish Traweek at PC aircraft - I did my training with them and would highly reccomend them.

User avatar
FastEddieB
Posts: 2130
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:33 pm
Location: Mineral Bluff, GA

Re: Ercoupe - pros and cons?

Postby FastEddieB » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:51 pm

Here's a video!


Fast Eddie B.
Sky Arrow 600 E-LSA • N467SA
FastEddieB@mac.com

100LL
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:27 pm

Re: Ercoupe - pros and cons?

Postby 100LL » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:02 pm

I have about 65 or so hours in one. They are a blast to fly. Very easy to land, especially in calm wind. Super robust landing gear. Keep the airspeed up on final (70+mph) or you can develop a pretty high sink rate. The best climb I've seen in the 75 hp model I've flown is 500fpm. If you are at max gross in the summer, you might only see 300-400, or less. I'd only consider buying one in excellent condition. Condition is everything. These really are antiques, not just old airplanes. Is there a mechanic near you that is familiar with them? Consider finding one that is "stock" without rudder pedals. Keeps the "fly it like a car" feel.

Pros: Affordable. Fun. Only burns 5 GPH. Simple. Because they are so unique and fun, I'd pick an Ercoupe over a 152 if I had 25k to spend.

Cons: 70+ year old airplane. Age doesn't matter until it does. Find a partner or two and get a 10 year old Flight Designs CTSW for something designed in the 21st century. They are totally different animals.

eidolon
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:58 am

Re: Ercoupe - pros and cons?

Postby eidolon » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:57 pm

I have owned one since late 2012. Got my LSA license in it. Bought it for under 20K, but have invested another $15K+ (mostly for engine overhaul- which I am now doubtful it needed). Yes, the cockpit is small by today's standards, but works for me. I'm 180, 70". A similar size person will fit in passenger side, but it is cozy. The plane weighs about 815#. dry. Carries 24gal fuel. Wings are Ceconite which is fine by me. Everything else is aluminum. If hangered, Ceconite lasts many years and replacing it allows for close inspection of structure. Wing covering isn't all that costly compared to a full body covering. My climb with the 85hp version is around 1000 fpm. Big improvement over a 75 if you use the right prop with it. Replacing control pushrod ends, all control bushings and insuring the control column is tight are key refurb items to make the plane fly nice - which mine now does. If you fly the designated numbers, and MAINTAIN SPEED ON FINAL it lands easily. The plane does the worrying about crosswinds - a big plus in cross country or any other flying in my mind. Forward slips? Cant do 'em with no rudder pedals. If you are high, just pull the power and let the really lousy glide ratio do the rest - but don't wait too long before regaining that 70mph landing speed. Alternatively, you can simply "dive at the runway". You can land the plane at up to twice the normal landing speed. (Yeah, it's in the book). Use your brakes (hopefully, you have installed the Cleveland brake STC) Float? Ha! With the glide ratio of a brick, it plants like one. I flew a lot of different LSAs before I bought my 'Coupe and always had to fight the float. Not with this plane. Cruise speed? Fred Weick, the designer, said he built a "100 mph wing" on it. That seems about right, though I can get 105 or more if I crank up the RPMs. For a starter airplane, (or more) it is hard to beat - but you need to identify a mechanic that is comfortable with them. I have been fortunate in both N. Virginia and KY (where I live now). Univair maintains all the service data and parts on them and there is a guy in SC who runs a very reputable salvage yard devoted to nothing but Ercoupes. I got my Cleveland brakes, Control column, "E" type elevator and a replacement fuel tank from him. Engine parts and small critical parts such as bearings, bushings and the like, I get from Univair. Other advice given above (corrosion damage, STC above LSA Gross, etc) are valid warnings. Ercoupe Owner Club is also a wealth of info. They are on the web. Maybe more than anyone wanted to hear about. If not, feel free to PM me.

eidolon
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:58 am

Re: Ercoupe - pros and cons?

Postby eidolon » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:57 pm

I have owned one since late 2012. Got my LSA license in it. Bought it for under 20K, but have invested another $15K+ (mostly for engine overhaul- which I am now doubtful it needed). Yes, the cockpit is small by today's standards, but works for me. I'm 180, 70". A similar size person will fit in passenger side, but it is cozy. The plane weighs about 815#. dry. Carries 24gal fuel. Wings are Ceconite which is fine by me. Everything else is aluminum. If hangered, Ceconite lasts many years and replacing it allows for close inspection of structure. Wing covering isn't all that costly compared to a full body covering. My climb with the 85hp version is around 1000 fpm. Big improvement over a 75 if you use the right prop with it. Replacing control pushrod ends, all control bushings and insuring the control column is tight are key refurb items to make the plane fly nice - which mine now does. If you fly the designated numbers, and MAINTAIN SPEED ON FINAL it lands easily. The plane does the worrying about crosswinds - a big plus in cross country or any other flying in my mind. Forward slips? Cant do 'em with no rudder pedals. If you are high, just pull the power and let the really lousy glide ratio do the rest - but don't wait too long before regaining that 70mph landing speed. Alternatively, you can simply "dive at the runway". You can land the plane at up to twice the normal landing speed. (Yeah, it's in the book). Use your brakes (hopefully, you have installed the Cleveland brake STC) Float? Ha! With the glide ratio of a brick, it plants like one. I flew a lot of different LSAs before I bought my 'Coupe and always had to fight the float. Not with this plane. Cruise speed? Fred Weick, the designer, said he built a "100 mph wing" on it. That seems about right, though I can get 105 or more if I crank up the RPMs. For a starter airplane, (or more) it is hard to beat - but you need to identify a mechanic that is comfortable with them. I have been fortunate in both N. Virginia and KY (where I live now). Univair maintains all the service data and parts on them and there is a guy in SC who runs a very reputable salvage yard devoted to nothing but Ercoupes. I got my Cleveland brakes, Control column, "E" type elevator and a replacement fuel tank from him. Engine parts and small critical parts such as bearings, bushings and the like, I get from Univair. Other advice given above (corrosion damage, STC above LSA Gross, etc) are valid warnings. Ercoupe Owner Club is also a wealth of info. They are on the web. Maybe more than anyone wanted to hear about. If not, feel free to PM me.

User avatar
Hambone
Posts: 160
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:19 am
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: Ercoupe - pros and cons?

Postby Hambone » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:12 pm

Fantastic! Thanks for all of the great info.


Return to “Light Sport Aircraft”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests