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European Ercoupe Newsletter

No. 10 November 2008

Welcome

Dear readers,

As the days get shorter it becomes a little more difficult to fly. But in the UK we had two good meet-ups in October, and I hope we can continue monthly through the winter.

I continue to receive interesting news and stories from around Europe, and also many thank you notes for preparing the newsletter. I am very happy to do this, but please do keep contributing. Anything is of interest, tell us about your flying or flying experiences, your jokes, or even mistakes as a warning to others. If you prefer, please send in French or German, and we will translate into English for you!

Mike Willis G-HARY mike@ercoupe.co.uk

Ercoupe News

German Meet-ups

Leider habe wir von den deutschen Ercoupers noch keine Vorschläge empfangen betreffs der Organisierung eines Ercoupe-Treffens in Deutschland.

Der Plan ist es bereits organisierte Oldtimer Tage oder Fly-ins zum Anlaß zu nehmen um als kleine Ercoupers Untergruppe teilzunehmen. Ähnliches ist bereits in England und Belgien erlfolgreich praktiziert worden. Man trifft sich zwanglos und stellt seine Ercoupes zusammen. Das ist alles. Die Teilnahme gibt natürlich auch Möglichkeit zum Austausch mit anderen Flugbegeisterten. Wichtig scheint mir die Diskussion mit bestehenden Organisationen - die anliegende Attacke der EASA auf die Zulassung von Pilot und Maschine sind ein Problem das auch uns Ercoupers betrifft.

Falls euch potentielle Treffmöglichkeiten zu Ohren kommen, schickt die Termine für 2009 an Mike Willis mike@ercoupe.co.uk.

Mit Freundliche Ercoupe Grüße, Robert Rombouts & Hartmut Beil

Ercoupe for sale

We have an Ercoupe for sale, a 1947 415-CD in Tipperary, Ireland – posted recently on the afors web site.  EI-CVL has been for sale for a while I understand. Link to ad


News from France

Bonjour Mike J’en profite pour vous féliciter ainsi que Robert Rombouts et bien d’autres pour votre implication dans EOC et dans la newsletter. Cela fait quelques mois que je n’ai pas donné de nouvelles alors me voilà. Suite à la fin de la certification française de mon 415cd (merci à Jean et à Robert pour leurs conseils et documents)  je vous informe que l’ercoupe a effectué fin Août ses premiers vols avec mon instructeur sous immatriculation française F-AZOV. Depuis sont arrivée dans le Sud Est en Mars dernier les dossiers techniques et administratifs ont pris beaucoup de temps et son finis mais son essai en vol (procédure de la DGAC) a été repoussé en Août car j’ai refait à neuf les freins (maître cylindre) maintenant tout va bien.

Je vais continuer mon entrainement en double avec mon instructeur (qui a découvert le vol sans palonnier !!) L’Ercoupe est vraiment un avion merveilleux ! A bientôt pour de nouvelles aventures
Amicalement Jérôme

Hello Mike,
 
I take the opportunity to congratulate you and also Robert Rombouts and all the others for the implication in the EOC and the Newsletter. It is already a few months that I didn't send any news so here I am. Following the end of the French certification of my 415CD (thanks to Jean and Robert for the help and documents) I inform you that the Ercoupe did at the end of August make its first flights with my instructor under the French registration F-AZOV. After its arrival in the South East last March the technical and administrative files took a lot of time and are ready now, its test flight (procedure of the DGAC) was postponed until August because I renewed the brakes (master cylinder) - now everything is perfect.
 
I will continue my training in dual with my instructor (who discovers pedal-less flying!!). The Ercoupe is really a wonderful aircraft! Till soon for new adventures. Friendly yours, Jérôme

Portuguese Ercoupes

Tony Smith writes: Hello Mike.  With reference to the report of the Portuguese Alon A-2A, I've delved into my notes for the following:

C/n 3542  Ercoupe 415C. Manufactured 20.9.46 as NC2917H. Reported sold in Portugal but no Portuguese marks traced; sale probably not completed. No further history of this aircraft known as yet.

C/n 4757  Ercoupe 415CD. Manufactured c12.5.47; no US registration allocated. Sold in Portugal and registered CS-ACO 8.47. Last known owner was the A.C.de Coimbra by 1.1.83. CoA expired  15.12.63 but still listed as current by BV in July 1995. However, the aircraft was destroyed prior to 1974.

C/n B-280  Alon A-2A. Manufactured February 1968 as N5480F.  Sold in Portugal 1968 and registered CS-AIG in the April of that year to A.Gomes and F.Hipolito, Tires.  Current, owned by Jose Monteiro.

Hope this is of interest!  All the best - Tony Smith

Mike: The photo was taken at FESTIVAL AÉREO DE VISEU 2008, Porto, September 5, 2008

Greek Ercoupe

Tony Smith writes: Hi again Mike. 

Whilst thinking about recent reports (LY-ALI, Italian, Portuguese, etc) I was wondering if anybody took their holidays in Greece? There is/was a Greek Ercoupe! Ercoupe 415-C c/n 1477   N94154 was exported to Greece in about September 1992 and registered SX-NAI on the 22nd of that month. According to my files, its last known owner was G.Zisis and it was reported based at Ioannina. It has not been reported recently so I'm wondering if it is still active - it has not been cancelled to my knowledge. Any 'Coupers taking the sun in Greece could keep their eyes peeled for this aircraft!

Cheers - Tony S.

Mike writes: Well Tony, No sooner do you ask than the current owner Kostas Vegas posts a message on the Ercoupe-Tech forum!

“Good day all.  Although I’m long time member in this forum it’s my first time posting and I need help from any one has an idea about my problem.

I own a 415 C s/n 1477 was registered in USA as N94154 now SX-NAI recently renovated with a newly rebuild engine C85-12F along with McCauley cm7148 prop and now flying in Greece.”

He then goes on to explain how his engine does not seem to be developing enough power.  He has had many replies and has some testing to do this weekend to try these ideas.

So Kostas, I have copied you this newsletter and I hope you will contribute and tell us all about Ercoupe flying in Greece!

Swiss-owned Canadian ‘Coupe

Röbi Kessler writes: Hi Mike, I live most of the time in Switzerland. However we have a "second home" in Vancouver B.C.; C-GJXD sits in a hangar at nearby Langley Airport.I had the opportunity to fly in to the Abbotsford Air Show (British Columbia, Canada). My Ercoupe and an Alon were part of the Static Show. We were parked between Heavy Metal (and got quite some attention).
I made some pictures. Maybe you like them too!

Cheers, Röbi Kessler  robert.kessler@usa.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

Norwegian pines for Ercoupe

Jennifer Chisholm-Høibråten writes: Dear Mike, I don’t have my pilot’s license yet, much less own an airplane, but I have just discovered Ercoupes and am dead keen to learn more about them. I just signed up with the EOC in America (actually, I am an American woman living in Norway and involved with the local aviation history society. I plan to learn to fly as soon as I in good conscience with respect to husband and children can give myself permission. Hoping to go for something like the sport license (or leisure license, if EASA comes up with anything like that…learning to fly costs a bomb in Norway, so may have to go home to America to do that if there is no sport option here!) The goal is to one day own my own plane…hopefully an Ercoupe or possibly a Cessna 150 (I also belong to the Cessna 150-152 Club!).

And I will also admit to having fallen head over heels in love…with a restoration project! I see her in terms of what she has the potential to be rather than the way she is now. But I am nuts to think that way, probably wouldn’t ordinarily if I were not a member of the building/restoration group at the local aviation history society and can consult these chaps. The group has just restored a Tiger Moth, one that was built in Norway in the interwar period under license to De Havilland. I am a complete greenhorn with more enthusiasm than useful skills to offer, but they seem to not mind having me around. My best service to them has been as a writer, I think…have managed to write the odd article for the Norwegian aviation mag Flynytt, and had a piece published in Pilot and one in Aviation for Women.

But speaking of restorations and Ercoupes in Europe, that is a good question: if one had an Ercoupe in need of restoration, are there any good people/mechanics in Europe to consult about it?

Did Sven Erik have any difficulty with the Swedish authorities importing an Ercoupe, in that many don’t have rudder pedals? I have wondered what would be involved getting the authorization to bring one in to Norway. To the best of my knowledge, there are not any Ercoupes here yet.

Jennifer C. Chisholm-Høibråten, Skedsmokorset, Norway 
hoibraten@c2i.net

So, can anyone answer Jennifer’s questions???

Trip reports

EMU 4 Headcorn EGKH October 18 2008

Mike Willis writes: I woke up to a beautiful flying day and once again we had an EMU!  Checking the Headcorn web cam I could see a little early mist, but in Cambridge it was very clear, which makes a change!  After an uneventful flight I arrived at Headcorn at 11:50 and landed immediately after Keith Peacock – the other way around to Popham.  David Hulks drove in all of 4 miles from his home and was soon there to meet us.  My brother Roger and his wife Trina drove over from Canterbury.  We all sat down and had lunch of “Belly Busters” (sausage, bacon, egg in large roll).  And then Andrew Gardner flew in and miraculously managed to park just behind the other 2 ‘Coupes. 

As usual we had a good chat, and before we knew it the time was whizzing fast.  Keith was the first to decide to depart for home.  Andrew, who flys non-radio, is based close to me at Bourn, so we decided to fly in convoy back home.  Andrew is used to flying at 2,200 rpm and 80 kts, myself at 2,300 rpm and 85 kts.  So this time I flew slower than normal so he could keep up.  The circuit at Headcorn was busy so I took off first in a gap, then a few miles away did a climbing orbit until I could see him getting close.  Then he was able to slot in slightly behind me and to one side.

But it got a little difficult for me, as I had to back off to 2,100 rpm to fly at an indicated 80 kts and at this engine speed the engine was occasionally popping.  And when I applied carb heat the power dropped right off, so I had to develop a technique of increasing the power simultaneously with applying carb heat and vice versa, trying to avoid changes in both speed and altitude in the process. 

We decided before we left Headcorn that I would be talking to ATC but I would not mention Andrew, as without a radio no communication was possible, and in any case I couldn’t always see that he was still with me.  With the narrow corridor around the top of the London TMA, and then through the Luton-Stansted gap he had to stay fairly close and in line.  However just North of the River Thames the Farnborough Radar controller warned myself and another aircraft to look out for each other.  The other aircraft responded “Traffic in sight, but there are two Ercoupes, not one”.  So the game was up and I confirmed this to the controller, who told me there was only one radar trace anyway.

The weather was clear coming back so we had a good view of London.  But there were a few clouds around and we both found we suffered a little from carb icing.

So, another great EMU! Mike

Vintage Aircraft Club Fly-In, Leicester 25 October

Mike Willis writes: There was no wind at my house, so was very surprised to see the forecast was for gusting 28 kts at East Midlands by midday.  The predicted wind at 2,000 feet was 220/35.  I soon got a call from Mark Gerrard at Goodwood that he had decided not to come. As I was doing my own flight planning at the time I checked his to – for the 106 nm direct route it would take him 63 mins to fly at 80 kts airspeed, but the return would take 123 mins!

Anyhow, it was still difficult to believe this wind forecast, but when I arrived at Bourn airfield in the open at around 9:30 the wind was already picking up.  I was airborne at 10:00 and arrived at Leicester 45 mins later.  The visibility was excellent, and until I reached Leicester I didn’t hear another plane on the radio or see anything in the air.

But at Leicester it was beginning to get busy.  Everyone like myself has seen the forecast for stronger winds in the afternoon, and possibly heavy rain.  As I turned on to finals there was one plane on long finals, but two others managed to fit in before him, the wind as so strong.  It was also gusty too.  Leicester were using one of their short runways 22 – 490 m long - as it was the closest into wind.  The short length was no problem as everyone had stopped within 100 m!

Taxiing to the parking it was great to see a ‘new’ ‘Coupe! There was G-ONHH and owner Richard Tarry already there.  The marshallers were wearing scary masks and I saw one plane with a witches broom tied to the struts – well, this was the All Hallows Fly-In (Halloween). Soon after I had landed, Sid Turner arrived in G-ARHB.  The three of us found a nice warm spot in the magnificent clubhouse at Leicester – in the first floor of the tower – with a beautiful view across the airfield.  Here we could watch the others struggling in with the gusty winds.

Richard has owned G-ONHH for 10 years, and keeps it at a strip on his farm near Kettering, so very close to Leicester.  He told us that the more accessible your aircraft is, the less you seem to use it, and regretted he has done little flying recently.

Richard had also been ‘spotted’ as he flew in, that is intercepted by a bright yellow biplane.  He had therefore been presented with a voucher for two cooked breakfasts.  However, both Sid and I declined the offer of the second portion – the thought of it made me queasy having just experienced a bumpy ride flying in.

We were still having a good chat, but also watching the antics as various aircraft took off.  One Cub dropped very suddenly from only 100 feet but managed to recover, even though one wing dropped.  But then we realised just about everyone was leaving, and it was only midday!  So we decided to join them.

Richard, Sid and myself all taxied and took off in sequence.  I lost sight of Richard, but caught Sid up after about 10 miles.  I tried to fly a little slower to stay with him, but had the same problem as the previous week – my engine doesn’t seem to like running at the 2,100 rpm necessary for flying at 80 kts.  So I speeded it up a little to 2,200 rpm and slowly left him behind.

Tech corner

Door conversions in UK

Tony Smith writes: Hello Mike.  I have a question for your readership!

"Coupe Capers" for December 2007 and January 2008 ran a couple of articles about the door conversion of an Ercoupe to make access easier for disabled pilots. Mention is made that there were at least 4 Ercoupes with this conversion, including one in England.

This is the first I've heard of this conversion and I certainly didn't know of the English aircraft.  Does anybody know which UK aircraft had this door conversion?

Power to your elbow; cheers - Tony S.

Speed Increase & Pedalless - OO-PUS 2008

Robert Rombouts writes: First I like to introduce - Ercoupe “OO-PUS” or Sweety II: (don’t think it is an erotic article when I start with “ho ho pussy”).  It is a 415D, originally it was a CD but lost his C somewhere, I cannot find any record of it.  Serial number: 4577 from 13June 1947 ex USA registration NC3876H.  The motor is a Continental C75-12 – propeller McCauley Model 1B90 CM 7351, with an empty weight of 890 lbs, gross 1400 lbs.

After different trips, reading all the Ercoupe-Tech discussions, and talking with other Ercoupe Owners convinced me to change some instruments on the “PUS”. The purpose is to reduce the weight that will increase the speed and reduce the fuel consumption. In addition I intend to take out the pedals to return to the original Ercoupe designed by Fred Weick in 1932.

The first changes I made in 2007, was to eliminate the ADF with his huge antenna and gain 1.9 kg of weight and also less drag, that was a very good advice from Hartmut Beil (Germany). He also convinced me to remove the balance weights under the ailerons (1.6 kg). I appreciate highly Hartmut’s skill’s and thank him for his help.

Then we had the big rush for the General Aviation (GA) to change the Transponder Mode C to S in March 2008. For the UK it was not necessary, Farnborough Radar could not detect me, London Information I don’t know, and perhaps they are pretending seeing me on the radar. For the Nederland’s you need it. In Germany you need it above the 5,000ft and in CTR’s. In France you will need mode S in 2010 (perhaps). In Belgium they follow France, and are happy if you have Mode S in the CTR’s of Brussels-Ostend-Antwerp. Conclusion, why did I change it after all?

My thought was, that with the Mode S you don’t have to enter a special squawk, and the radar will receive all the necessary information: Registration/Altitude/Position/Speed on the radar, or perhaps I am wrong? Still I am changing squawk everywhere. The good thing is that I lose again with this change some weight (1.2 kg), and will result in less consumption and better speed.

The next item was the two big venturies on both sides of the fuselage. If I take them off I will gain 5 to 10 mph and that’s a lot. But my Artificial Horizon and also my Gyro are connected to them. So I find at Wevelgem airport Lambert Aviation who sell the electronic Dynon EFIS-D10A, with all the gadgets I like: Artificial Horizon, Compass, Airspeed, Altimeter, Vertical speed, Gyro, Turn-Coordinator/Ball, Turn rate, Clock/ Timer, G-Meter, Voltmeter, Horizontal Situation Indicator in one word, Fantastic. Conclusion: No venturies, and no vacuum driven Artificial Horizon and big Gyro that I have to reset every 10 minutes. In addition I have a lot of gadgets, (I like that), not to use in visual around a congested airport.

It is not finished, the RPM with cable that leaks oil all the time on the motor will be replaced by a P-1000 from Horizon Instruments, an Electronic Digital Engine Tachometer with an STC and accepted by the Belgian Authorities, I could not believe it. This instrument includes also the continuous comparison of the left and right magnetos, and will detect the total loss of either magneto or an error on one, safety first, beautiful gadget again.

Finally I will take off the rudder pedals and the OO-PUS will be as imported to Belgium now 61 years ago, or the original design of Fred Weick, ailerons and rudder combined together. I know I will make some overshoots before I know how to land a real Ercoupe in cross wind, but each change has got a price.

Because I was flying for some time with all those improving ideas, I could not know that the International Financial situations will be so dramatic, because the cost about the changes will be a lot of bucks, but I am lucky that the Dollar was low against the Euro.

It was not easy to convince the Belgian Authorities and my wallet, but if you start something you must go till the dead end.  “The different between a man and a boy is the price of the toy”. (I like this statement)

After the Annual in December I will write the result, hoping I will not regret my changes.

Robert

Useful stuff

GA TODAY

One of Mike’s occasional co-pilots writes:

Last week we launched a new website exclusively focussed on the buying, selling and advertising of aviation related products and services.

GA TODAY has a number of features including the familiar auction, fixed price and classified advertising formats. Unlike some existing commercially run websites we do not bury the aviation section amongst a mass of motor vehicles.

Although interest in the website so far has been encouraging with many persons registering and listing items for sale, we need as many members as possible. So I am turning to you all to assist me in making www.gatoday.co.uk a known entity within the aviation community.

If you could all take a little of your time to forward this email to any and all of your colleagues, friends or family that have a keen interest in aviation.

Development will continue on the website, we have plans to introduce a commission scheme whereby flying clubs will earn money on the listings that them and their members submit. This is a little way off as all listings (and selling) on the website is currently FREE.

Visit the site, www.gatoday.co.uk if you have something you could submit then please register and list the item(s) or just register to show your support.

Thanks in advance, Mark Healey

Free Flight Planning

Mike writes: During a discussion at Headcorn I mentioned a web site I use for basic flight planning.  You can enter your route, flying speed, fuel consumption and wind and it calculates your flight times and consumption.  You can then easily create a Plog to print out with this information.  You can also (at least for the UK) check the en-route NOTAMS.  The planning works with an international database so for any country.

You can find the web site at : www.fly.dsc.net

Upcoming events

UK EMU's

These monthly Ercoupe Meet-Ups are designed as an excuse to fly! There is a separate email list consisting of UK owners and known Ercoupe enthusiasts who are updated 1 week and 1 day ahead so you know who will be there (weather providing). If anyone else would like to be included on the EMU email list then please let me know. mike@ercoupe.co.uk

EMU 5 November 22 or 23 White Waltham EGLM
White Waltham is a lovely grass field at Maidenhead and just on the west of the London Heathrow TMA. It has an excellent restaurant. The West London Aero Club also owned Ercoupes many years ago - including mine, so it is almost like home. The airfield web site is www.wlac.co.uk and you can find joinign instructions at here.

EMU 6 December 13 Duxford EGSU
This is Duxford's Xmas Dinner Bonus Day. Reduced landing field and museum entrance, plus a discounted Xmas dinner. We could all pull crackers together! Fly-in or drive-in.

EMU 7 January 3 North Coates or Tibenham
North Coates holds their annual Brass Monkey Fly-In. An alternative New Year event could be at Tibenham (close to Norwich), which I think runs one every year. I went last year and it was very busy.

Classified ads

For sale

I have a panel mount and cable for a Skymap II or III GPS. Email me if you are interested. Mike Willis mike@ercoupe.co.uk

Wanted

Ercoupe project wanted
Hilde van Haarlem writes: My father is very interested in finding a "project"; an Ercoupe which needs some restoration. Do you know any project available? Thank you in advance for your response. With kind regards, Hilde van Haarlem Netherlands hildevanhaarlem@kpnplanet.nl

Links

Ercoupe mailing lists

For a continuous discussion on Ercoupes, or a daily digest, do register for these Ercoupe mailing groups:

Social and general content http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ercoupe-flyin/
Technical information http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ercoupe-tech/

Ercoupe Web sites

Ercoupe Owners Club www.Ercoupe.org
Robert Rombouts' site www.ercoupe-be.net
Harmut's Ercoupe Maintenance & repair site www.ercoupe.info
Ernst Viehweger's German Ercoupe web site www.viehweger.org/deutsch/fliegen/erco-0.htm
Mike Willis' site www.ercoupe.co.uk
SoCal Ercoupe Owners site www.calcoupers.org/ 
Al DeMarzo's site which includes his 'Ercoupe swap page' www.Ercoupe.net 
Ed Burkhead's site http://edburkhead.com/Ercoupe/index.htm

Don’t forget – any contributions to the next newsletter very welcome – email them to me at mike@ercoupe.co.uk