Episde #148: "You're not from around here"

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ChrisVon
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Episde #148: "You're not from around here"

Postby ChrisVon » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:26 am

Hi UCAP Gang!
First time posting here. Just wanted to say that I enjoy all of your shows, and agree (for the most part) with alot of your conversations.
I was somewhat puzzled though about the subject of the Ercoup, in particular, that the reason for having the linked aileron / rudder system was to minimize the chances of spinning the airplane. I seemed to remember reading somewhere (for the life of me I don't remember WHERE), that it was actually designed that way for people who lost the use of their legs, in particular WWII pilots who wished to continue flying, but had either lost their legs, or were injured badly enough that they couldn't use them effectively in conventional aircraft. But after doing just a bit of research, I see that production started in 1939, before WWII, so that seems to shoot down (no pun intended) the belief I had of it being designed for wounded Veterans.
Am I thinking perhaps of another "unconventional" aircraft that was designed or modified in such a way as to allow handicapped pilots a chance to continue flying, or is there SOME validity in the idea that having a coordinated aileron / rudder system did indeed attract pilots who otherwise could not fly due to the inability to use rudder pedals, before or after WWII?

Chris Vondenstein

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jackhodgson
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Re: Episde #148: "You're not from around here"

Postby jackhodgson » Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:04 pm

I'm no Ercoupe historian, but I've never heard that amputee story. And the 1939 kinda rules it out.

I always heard that it was simply marketing. Making it easier to fly the plane would make it more appealing to fly.

From talking with pilots over the years my impression is that, with the exception of the Ercoupe purists (an admirable, but I suspect, small crowd), most people found the difficulties of having no control of the rudder to offset any benefit.

-- Jack

PS. Welcome to the Forums.

ChrisVon
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Re: Episde #148: "You're not from around here"

Postby ChrisVon » Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:26 pm

I'd have to agree with that assesment as well (with no direct rudder control that is). My flight instructor said it best when he said, "Instructing someone in something like an Ercoupe would be a disservice to them." Of course, he was referring to the standard Ercoupe with the coordinated control surfaces, in which there was one located on the field in Abbeville, Louisiana, where I got my license from.

Oh, and thanks for the invite and welcome, Jack!

Chris

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PilotBillFromTexas
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Re: Episde #148: "You're not from around here"

Postby PilotBillFromTexas » Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:53 pm

I'm not so sure that I agree with the assessment about the ercoup. In my anecdotal experience, most people, especially the old-timer pilots seem to have an affection for the ercoup because it is kind of funky and cool yet a solid, simple plane. In the hot southern states especially it is really nice to be able to cruise around with the top pulled back and have the breeze in your face. The landing gear was designed from the beginning with the idea of having no rudders. So, it's pretty stout. Certain models of the ercoup qualify under the LSA rules.

From what I understand, the ercoupe doesn't have any real bad habits to bite you except for the unconventional cross wind technique which seemed to have been picked up by Airbus pilots landing the A-380 as OSH. Maybe they learned on an ercoupe? :lol:

I think that a well maintained ercoup would be a good way to convert avgas into grins. That said, I would still probably go with a plane with rudders to learn on then buy the ercoup as a time builder. You'll have to land every other airplane that you fly using crosswind technique..... until you get to the A-380.

Another huge benefit of the ercoup is that you can find really nice ones relatively cheap.

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Re: Episde #148: "You're not from around here"

Postby kbob » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:07 pm

Ditto to PilotBill's comments about the Ercoupe being fun. While looking for a plane several years ago I joined the Ercoupe Club and enjoyed their newsletter and online discussions so much that I remain a member, even though I've moved onto bigger and (in some ways) "better" things. The unnerving and growing trend of stall/spin accidents in the early 30s led noted NACA aerodynamicist Fred Weick to design the Ercoupe as a stall- and thus spin-proof design. Interestingly, elevator travel is restricted to make it almost impossible to stall, and the landing gear was designed to land crabbed. There are definitely two distinct camps of Ercoupe owners/pilots; the purists, who truly believe in the rudder/aileron interconnect, and those that refer to themselves as "real" pilots. You can probably guess how they feel about a plane with no rudder pedals.

kbob
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jschnud
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Re: Episde #148: "You're not from around here"

Postby jschnud » Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:20 pm

The fact of the matter is that while the Ercoupe is difficult to spin, it is not impossible. The record shows that there have been such accidents with an Ercoupe. As has been said before, "the Ercoupe may be fool proof, but it isn't damn-fool proof."

That said, I encourage anyone who has an opportunity to get some time in an Ercoupe to give it a try. It's different, and a lot of fun. Just remember Pilot's Rule #1.

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jackhodgson
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Re: Episde #148: "You're not from around here"

Postby jackhodgson » Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:46 am

Hmmm. All this talk about Ercoupes has piqued my interest. If I ever come across one, I'd love to get a demo flight.

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jackhodgson
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Re: Episde #148: "You're not from around here"

Postby jackhodgson » Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:47 am

From what I understand, the ercoupe doesn't have any real bad habits to bite you except for the unconventional cross wind technique which seemed to have been picked up by Airbus pilots landing the A-380 as OSH. Maybe they learned on an ercoupe?


Made me laugh.

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champguy
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Re: Episde #148: "You're not from around here"

Postby champguy » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:34 am

They are cool planes, there is one in my hanger that is stalled in mid rebuild. Another on the field is flying and giving good service. The panel looks like something out of a late forties car, and the windows can be slid down in flight so you can comfortably hang your elbow out. They fly quite economically and scoot along at close to 100 mph on 90 hp. Landing is commercial style, crab it in and drop it on. Only thin it can't do is slip if you are too high and fast.
There are a few places to look for intergranular corrosion if getting one to clean up and keep, and as with any 60 year old plane they are fun projects, but always a work in progress.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.
Image

ironchemist
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Re: Episde #148: "You're not from around here"

Postby ironchemist » Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:16 pm

Greetings all,

The answer to the zinc question is its just a lot of chemistry. Jeb, you are right, zinc metal is shiny, however in zinc chromate is an ion, and that ion paired with chromate is green. Similarly, lead metal is dark gray, but lead chromate is bright yellow, and was once used as paint pigment (lead paint anyone?). Thats the short short version, you can certainly get in a lot deeper if you like.

Enjoy the show, keep up the good work!

Chris
Terre Haute, IN


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