Sunday, December 11, 2005

Things that Make Me Happy -- Flying my Own Airplane

After I learned to fly, I was an aircraft renter for while, and a flying club member. A friend and I decided we should own our own airplane. We used the club plane to take us from airport to airport checking airplanes for sale.

Finally we settled upon an Ercoupe. Barely twenty seven years old, it was, nicely restored and in our price range. Ercoupes are two-place, low winged monoplanes, built in 1946, featuring easy to fly two-control rudder pedalless open cockpits and powerful seventy-five horse power engines.

Neither of us had ever flown one, so AFTER we bought it, we looked around for an instructor, who took us each around the pattern three times on qualification flights. So, game and confident, we flew home, he in our new Ercoupe, and I in the club plane.

   The coupe was fun.  You could slide the canopy down into the fuselage, and fly along open cockpit with your elbow on the window sill, like a sports car in the sky.


   John Travola's first airplane was an Ercoupe. I met him one day  at a rural airport when he was flying with his instructor. We had a hamburger and talked about Ercoupes.      Fred Weick invented the Ercoupe way back in 1937, for people who were willing to study, who would enjoy flying, but needed a reliable, cheap to fly, plane to learn in.  They didn't really get into production until 1946 when they turned out thousands.  Ercoupes were sold in department stores, given away at gas station drawings. Soon they became available as cheap used aircraft.  My partner and I bought our 27 year old airplane for $3400, and flew it for years.


jckfrstross said...

Wow you are a pilot too:)


mavarin said...

So cool!  And that was about the price of a new car in those days.  Such a deal! - Karen

judypearllove said...

I always have thought I would be attracted to an airline pilot. lol I think it was the idea of the uniform and the ability of someone being able to fly a plane along with the salary as well as just having someone you love say lets fly here tomorrow. Anyway it hasn't happen yet but I loved reading about how much you loved it. I was also reading through some of your other entries and read the one about dreams here is a sight for dream intepretations if you would like it. I have looked up my dreams here and it always tells me it's about something going on in my waking hrs. that hasn't been dealt with and it is usually very accurate.

deslily said...

wow a man of many talents!.. I bet you loved flying, can tell by how fondly you speak of it.

I think Travolta went on to "slightly" larger planes lol..