More on the Ercoupe
I was privileged to attend EAA 1114's breakfast meeting at the beautiful Cox Airfield (NC81) last Saturday. The speaker was Skip Carden, Executive Director of the Ercoupe Owner's Association, who gave his personal reminiscences of Fred Weick and the development of the 'Coupe. A couple of interesting tidbits. Several owners had their 'Coupes on display, so after the talk we all got to go look. Multi-modal knowledge sticks the longest...
[*] The 'Coupe was built back-to-fron and front-to-back simulataneously, meeting in the middle. Then the two halves were riveted together, just aft of the baggage compartment. That's why the rear section rivets over the front section. Look at one: it's true!
[*] The hat shelf was sloped so anything heavy on it would fall into the baggage compartment, preventing an aft CG. That's important: an aft CG reduces elevator authority and thus makes it harder to recover from a stall.
[*] A 1941 CalTech research project put JATO (Jet-Assisted TakeOff) bottle rockets under the wings. These weren't very powerful (I think it was 30 pounds of thrust for 12 seconds), so it wasn't the dramatic Fat Albert JATO takeoff you've seen at Blue Angels shows. But they still got interesting data.
[*] We got to see a film of the only twin Ercoupe: two airplanes bolted together with a center section replacing the left wing of the right fuselage and the right wing of the left fuselage.
I'm trying to put together a plan to fly into NC81 later this week. It will involve some luck, but I'm planning to try hard.