Lifelong aviation fan and licensed pilot Samuel Brozina looks back on his recent purchase of a rare classic aircraft.
Now out of production for close to half a century, the Engineering and Research Corporation’s classic low-wing monoplane aircraft—the Ercoupe—is, today, an increasingly rare sight both in the skies and on the nation’s airfields. A lifelong fan of aviation, licensed pilot Samuel Brozina takes a brief look back on the purchase of his own Ercoupe, acquired recently from a seller less than 100 miles from his home in Millville, New Jersey.
“Even now, a while later, I still consider myself to be extremely lucky,” beams Brozina, a self-proclaimed fan of so-called World War II warbirds.
Among civilian aircraft, however, it’s always been the Ercoupe that has caught Samuel’s eye. “Drive by any small airport, and you’re bound to see any number of Cessnas, Pipers, and Beechcrafts,” suggests the licensed pilot, hobby artist, and landscaping service foreman, “but you probably won’t see any Ercoupes.”
Built in the United States until 1970, the Ercoupe is a low-wing monoplane aircraft which was designed by the Engineering and Research Corporation, or ERCO. “The final model first flew in 1968, but unfortunately, production then ceased just two short years later,” adds the expert.
At launch, the ERCO Ercoupe was marketed as ‘the future of travel,’ according to Millville resident and New Jersey native Brozina. “Affordable, easily handled, and readily available for purchase, it became a media sensation,” he explains.
Immensely popular with civilian pilots of the era, the Ercoupe was attracting up to 6,000 orders per year at its height. “Production, I believe, only ended when the bottom began to fall out of the civil aircraft market,” adds Brozina.
Today, only around 2,000 Ercoupes survive, with fewer than 1,000 of those still registered to fly. “With such a small number still in existence, I feel even more lucky to be the proud owner of my own Ercoupe,” suggests an undeniably enthusiastic Brozina, who acquired his private pilot’s license several years ago.
Samuel Brozina’s own Ercoupe came from Quakertown, Pennsylvania, around 50 miles north of Philadelphia and less than 100 miles from his hometown of Millville, New Jersey. “I was amazed to find one so close by,” he reveals.
Since collecting his purchase, enthusiast Brozina has even commissioned a unique Ercoupe jacket patch. “Now,” he adds, wrapping up, “I’m always ready for takeoff!”