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YO-55 (Ercoupe)

The ERCO 415C was designed in response to the Bureau of Air Commerce’s design competition for an easy-to-fly, safe airplane. The first ERCO 415C was built in October 1939 and was used for flight training. In 1941 US Army Air Force at Fort Still, Oklahoma, evaluated the ERCO 415C for target drone and observation and gave it the designation YO-55. The YO-55 was the fist aircraft to successfully test a Rocket-Assisted Take Off (RATO) on August 12, 1941.

Great Plains Wing YO-55

On 3 December 2022, our wing acquired a “barn find” 1946 Ercoupe. With an asking price of free, we could not pass up the deal of a century. We loaded up into two vehicles with two flatbed trailers and headed to Hastings, Nebraska. The forgotten Ercoupe, last noticed in the early 1980s, had already been disassembled and stripped of most of its original paint. We had to remove years of grime, animal infestation, and make a path through a warehouse full of made in China swag to load up our new acquisition. It did not take long when the Ercoupe was fully loaded, and the recovery crew sported new work gloves, ice scrapers and multi tools. With the project safely back at the Council Bluffs airport, disassembly and assessment started in earnest. The Continental C-90 engine was in great shape save some minor wear and a cracked valve lifter body while the fuselage and associated components were all present and for a 1946 aircraft, in excellent condition.

YO-55 Photo Gallery (Click Photos for a Larger View)

Hangar 1, Council Bluffs Airport, Council Bluffs, Iowa

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