The ERCO (Engineering and Research Corporation) Ercoupe is an all American low-wing monoplane aircraft, and was first flown in 1937.

It was designed to be the safest fixed-wing aircraft that aerospace engineering could provide at the time and included unique design features such as a large glazed canopy with as much visibility as a bubble canopy.

Lacking rudder pedals, the Ercoupe was flown using only the control wheel. A two-control system linked the rudder and aileron systems, which controlled yaw and roll, with the steerable nose wheel. The control wheel controlled the pitch and the steering of the aircraft, both on the ground and in the air, simplifying control and coordinated turning and eliminating the need for rudder pedals. 

The prototype featured an ERCO-made inverted four-cylinder engine, the ERCO I-L 116.

This engine was quickly dropped due to its high manufacturing cost, and the new Continental A-65 engine was selected for most models thereafter.

Several other manufacturers continued its production after the war.

The final model, the Mooney M-10, first flew in 1968 and the last model year was 1970.

The one and only Ercoupe on floats.

Ercoupe on floats

The Ercoupe couldn’t be certified it until it completed spin tests, and the only way ERCO could get it to spin was to install rudder pedals.

During the spin testing the pilot got into an inverted flat spin and he had to bail out…

End of the Ercoupe on floats.

Light Sport Use

The Ercoupe is a type certified aircraft. However, some Univair Ercoupe 415-C and 415-CD models meet the FAA requirements to be flown by sport pilots as light-sport aircraft

The characteristics of the Ercoupe helped Jessica Cox (who was born without arms) to become a qualified pilot.

DesignerFred Weick
First flight1937
Produced1940–1969
Number built5,685

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