VIEWS: 23 PAGES: 4 POSTED ON: 3/16/2010
View 81 detailed photos of this plane at: http://glendavis.smugmug.com/gallery/8909029_9rvAc/1/591154544_4aaL X N94828, serial #4942, is a remarkable example of an Ercoupe restored to nearly factory new condition by a master craftsman. This is a head-turner and a show-winner. I challenge you to find a more beautiful, mechanically perfect Ercoupe anywhere. She is a 10 inside and out. To make this plane even more interesting and desirable, I tracked down the gentleman who owned her from 1948 to 1988 (40 years!). It’s highly unusual to be able to talk to the former caretaker of a vintage aircraft, someone who cared for an aircraft for four decades and knows her intimate history. Yet, in the case of N94828, that is exactly what I was able to do! This aircraft has been hangared her entire life. N94828 was purchased from the factory in Maryland in early 1948 by a doctor. The good doctor, on his flight from the factory in Maryland to his home in North Carolina, landed long and ran her off the end of the runway, collapsing the nosegear. He sold her, with the damaged nosegear, to Mr. Melvin Moose who immediately had the damage repaired (all in the logs). Mr. Moose enjoyed his almost new Ercoupe (without another incident) for the next 40 years! He keep her hangared, logged every flight, every oil change, every inspection and basically every time he or his mechanic (same mechanic for 40 years, too) touched the airplane. Mr. Moose flew his entire family of four all over the east coast in this Ercoupe. (He had two small children and his Ercoupe had a small rear seat at that time). N94828 was part of his family and he treated her as such. Reluctantly, he sold her, forty years later, in 1988, to a gentleman in North Carolina who stored her indoors for the next 16 years. In 2003, she was purchased by Francis Deford, whose reputation for Ercoupe restoration is widely reknown in the Coupe community. Francis completely disassembled the aircraft, inspected every nut, bolt and rivet, and re-made her into one of the finest, original configuration Ercoupes I have seen (and that is quite a few). Two weeks ago we flew her from Indiana to Florida in comfort and style…and boy does she turn heads on the ramp! Some details: N94828 1948 Ercoupe 415E (NOT LSA). Total time airframe-1885. Total time since major overhaul-only 20 hours. Date of major overhaul 10/2004. In 2004 the entire aircraft was disassembled. The wings, which were metal, were de-skinned, cleaned, inspected, treated with zinc chromate to prevent future corrosion, and recovered with Ceconite Superflight. The fabric work is outstanding, truly show quality. They were then painted with Randolph Vestal White with all appropriate logbook and 337 entries. The leading edges have 3M leading edge tape which protects the paint and fabric as well as giving the plane an attractive appearance. At the same time, the fuselage was also treated with zinc chromate. NEW upper and lower cowlings were installed as well as all NEW windows, NEW window welting and NEW molding. NEW Camlocks were installed on the NEW cowling doors. A NEW custom interior (which meets all FAR 25.853 fire retardant standards) was installed. The interior is GORGEOUS! It is two tone beige and brown with pleated seats, a classic design and a fabulous finish. The sidepanels have deep map pockets long enough to hold several sectionals. The bottom on the seats has an extra flap of material which flips up over the seats to protect them when you step into the aircraft. NEW floorboards were fabricated and installed. The instrument panel was removed and restored to almost the exact configuring as it was from the factory in 1948 except with modern radios. A NEW trim cable was installed for easy movement and the battery box was restored, painted and reinstalled. NEW seat belts were also installed for safety. The plane was then stripped, prepped, primed and painted with Randolph Acrylic Enamel white with Lightsand Brown trim (very classic scheme which matches the interior). The McCauley prop, a 1B90/CM 7148, was sent to Aircraft Specialist in Louisville, KY for a complete overhaul ($550). Before the freshly overhauled engine was mounted on the airframe, the engine mount, as well as the nosegear, was painted. NEW wingwalks were installed with the rounded tops for a more original look. The brake master cylinder was overhauled with NEW o-rings and NEW hoses, as was the main landing gear. NEW rubber donuts were installed in the main gear and the tail height is right where it should be. NEW tires, tubes and hubcaps were also installed at this time. The entire nose gear assemble was overhauled with NEW bearings, seals and o-rings for tight, precise controls. The yokes and yoke tubes were replaced with Alon style parts making viewing of all the instruments easier. The Continental C-85 engine was overhauled. All steel parts were magnafluxed. NEW rocker arms and valve springs were installed as were NEW rod end and main bearings. The valves and seats were ground and NEW rings and NEW pistons were installed. Also NEW are the oil pressure relief spring, NEW rod bolts and nuts, NEW front seal, NEW thrust bearing, NEW oil pump gears and all NEW hoses, clamps and gaskets. The magnetos were overhauled with NEW coils. The carburetor was overhauled as was the fuel pump. Finally, an F&M model TAF oil filter was installed by STC. This was no shade-tree overhaul. Finally, the plane was rigged according to the Ercoupe manual for perfect hands off, straight-and-level flying. NEW radios were installed including a digital flip-flop Valcom 760 and a King KT76A transponder. A Magellan GPS 315 (instruction book included) with an Aviation database was installed via a custom mount and draws it power from a cigarette lighter plug discreetly hidden behind the instrument panel. An Ameri-King ELT is installed and has a fresh battery. The EAA autofuel STC was purchased for. A PS Engineering intercom, with input for music, provides effortless communication between the pilot and passenger. Every effort was made to keep this plane light, and it is. It was weighed after the restoration and weighed in at only 818 pounds! You have a useful load of 582 pounds. That means you can put a couple of 200 pound people, full fuel and still have enough left for 38 pounds of luggage! All AD’s have been complied with and are documented. The annual is not due until October of 2009. There is no corrosion anywhere on this aircraft. If you are looking for a problem free Ercoupe that you can safely get into and fly anywhere, with confidence, N94828 is for you.
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