Development of the ERCOUPE … An Airplane for Simplified Private Flying 410140
EVELOPMENT of a two-place airplane particularly suited to the needs of the private flyer was the aim of the design of the “Ercoupe.” This was done by making it unusually simple and easy to fly, quick to learn to fly, and free from the difficulties associated with stalling and spinning; it was also to have a good field of view for the pilot, and a cruising speed of 100 mph with a low-powered engine.
The development of such a plane began ten years ago, Mr. Weick reports, when a small group of engineers at the NACA Laboratories at Langley Field started a private study that resulted in the construction of the W-1 and W-1A experimental airplanes having the following unconventional features:
The tricycle landing gear with castering nose wheel, steerable if desired.
Suitable longitudinal and lateral stability with definitely limited upward elevator travel to prevent loss of control due to stalling and spinning.
A glide-control flap.
Two-control operation using pitching and rolling controls.
The problem in the case of the Ercoupe, he points out, was to produce a salable low-powered airplane of good performance and attractive appearance that incorporated the ease of handling and other special characteristics that had been developed in the previous experimental planes. Characteristics of the final design provided with a 65-hp Continental motor were obtained, he brings out, by a long succession of flight tests, modifications, and more flight tests.
In the remainder of his presentation, Mr. Weick describes some of the trials and the changes that have been made in the design in order to obtain the flying and handling qualities desired.