New Release: BRSim ERCO Ercoupe 415C

Don’t be patronizing, please. (I’m sure that wasn’t your intent, but it rather comes off that way.) We know what models the BRSim renditions are supposed to represent, and we know what they’re supposed to look like, since as you say references images are readily available. The nose (among other parts) is still wrong. And “pretty close” is simply not good enough now, especially for something you’re charging money for.

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Easy folks. The factual pros and cons are good. Let’s just keep emotions in check. Thanks.

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Guess this will have to be a buy for me because . . .

Ercoupe1

This was me on the wing of my Dad’s Ercoupe in 1946 (I was 7 YO). Later traded for a new Beech Bonanza. I already have BRSim’s V-Tail and love it!

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Love this plane! Have a impossible time turning knobs using my mouse. I must be doing some thing wrong…also. How did everyone bind the fuel selector with a joystick or throttle? Thanks

Here’s AvAngel’s review - as usual, good-natured, but with some well-thought-out criticisms.

She also notes the pricing and comments that it’s a bit expensive for what you get. I agree. We’re used to thinking that a $20-$30 aircraft is inexpensive - at a price point where some flaws are OK and to be expected. But that’s changing. Leaving aside the Wing 42 Boeing 247D - which is a pricing experiment that could be game-changing, but the verdict is out - the Ercoupe competes in roughly the same category as the DC Designs Stearman and the new SWS Vans RV-14. The Stearman is much more polished and the Vans seems to be (haven’t yet bought it, I’m going by reviews and reactions). So I’m less forgiving than I used to be in the $20-$30 range. At whatever price, some devs are nailing it and others aren’t.

That said - I’ll give the Ercoupe more chances and see what it’s like after updates. Have been traveling and haven’t had a chance to get back to it since my first flight. But I will.

Hope all this helps if you’re on the fence.

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The fuel selector is left-click to turn - you don’t use the mouse wheel or left/right buttons. A slightly nonstandard convention. Haven’t tried binding - I just click with the mouse.

First update now available. Fixes the typo on the panel, and the olive paintjob now does the USAAF insignia correctly. (Left wing only.) The tablet is also no longer always-showing. (Though I can’t figure out how to turn it back on… :slight_smile: ) Vibrations feel a bit toned down.

Possibly some other tweaks too, can’t find a changelog.

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Quick video with update 1.1
Tablet no longer on the yoke, fixed opened window no longer visible thru fuselage.
Still very hard to land on short runways, it wont slow down on flare with idle power.

Personal Comments

Picked it up on impulse, not necessarily a bad decision. It’s pretty tame handling once airborne, a little finicky to trim.

I keep yellow-lining airspeed under 3,000’, even with RPMs pulled back to around 1800-1900.

This AOPA report describes my 1st T/O exactly:

Rotate at about 65 mph. If you are on a short field with obstructions, there is the nearly overwhelming feeling that you are tearing toward destruction (you are) and a desire to raise the nose too soon (resist it). Climb at about 75 mph, which will generate about 500 feet per minute. If you climb too slowly, the left-turning tendency will mean that you must hold a lot of right wheel, causing significant drag from displaced control surfaces and a loss of lift because the climb takes place with the right wing low, which does not help your climb rate a bit. An Ercoupe climbs poorly below about 70 mph. Most Ercoupe pilots have had experience watching things off the end of the runway get larger rather than smaller. This distressing state of affairs is only aggravated by raising the nose and ruining what leisurely climb is available.

And this is the interesting part about landing. Yes, it doesn’t drop below 1,000 RPM even with the throttle at idle. I guess we’ll have to get used to fast T/D’s but it is pretty eye opening on a short field.

Landings in an Ercoupe are experiences to be shared. They can be performed in many different ways. Should you be so inclined, and if the nose strut is correctly inflated, you may touch down at cruise speed. Yes, it is a design feature of the airplane. When the aircraft is rolling on all three wheels, the angle of attack of the wing is nearly zero, so the airplane will remain on the ground. Every owner seems to go out and confirm that the story is true, which it is, although such a landing has to be handled gingerly until you have slowed. Remember the wipeouts you had as a child on your tricycle? It is not a wise way to handle a crosswind. Far more pleasant is to approach at about 80 miles per hour, slowing to about 70 over the fence, but no slower or you may not be able to flare without power.

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Personal Comments

Well, I’m going to need a lot more time behind this aircraft. That was the first clean landing I’ve had - and it took by rough LNM estimate about 2,300 feet before I could get it down to below 20, and I did some unsafe flying by using the displaced threshold instead of honoring the TDZ markers.

And that approach is fast. Even with all the tricks I could pull, at the most your approach speed is about 70 crossing the threshold, and you honestly feel like it’s too fast.

But, good news is the long rollout let me solve the ground-loop problem - you’ve got to pulse the brakes. Just pouring it on will make you wipe out just as the AOPA article indicated.

Anyone manage to get a co-pilot avatar to appear? I tried tweaking the aircraft.cfg to align correctly with my sim preferences, but no dice. Always alone.

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I’m trying to tweak the flight model.
Changed those lines in flight_model.cfg

drag_coef_gear =0.01
parasite_drag_scalar =1
induced_drag_scalar =1.2
wingflex_scalar=1

Landings are better

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not sure about ‘wing flex scalar’ but the other three lines definitely effect drag and power off airspeed - just have to make sure the other flight parameters remain within spec…

Couldn’t take off from 2,300’ elevation field with these settings, could never get past 45 mph.

At sea level field, could not get past 60 mph or hold a 500’ fpm rate of climb.

try this new settings, added new line to change.

drag_coef_gear =0.01
cruise_lift_scalar =1
parasite_drag_scalar =0.8
induced_drag_scalar =1.2
wingflex_scalar=1

i was able to take off from 5,500 elevation airport, no problem with crusie speed and climb.

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These settings work perfectly, well done and thanks!
I’ve also been tweaking the engine & prop settings to get more realistic rpm, cruise speed and prop drag.
I can now land at a bush strip, over trees, at 45-50 knots without flaps or any other aerodynamic mods.
Here are my engine & prop mods:

Open the engines.cfg with Notepad and add or change the following lines as described below:

In the [PISTON_ENGINE] section, copy and paste this line over the original:

power_scalar=1 ; 1.4

The engine was over-powered at 140% - it’s a 1930’s design with only 65hp, it’s no fighter plane!

In the [PROPELLER] section, add ALL the prop_mod lines below:

prop_mod_use_modern = 1
prop_mod_use_absorbed_torque = 1
prop_mod_aspect_ratio = 4.5
prop_mod_lift_slope_cf = 2.0
prop_mod_aoa_twist_delta_deg = 6.5
prop_mod_aoa_lift_delta_deg = 4
prop_mod_stall_aoa_scaler = 2.8
prop_mod_stall_aoa_power = 1
prop_mod_beta_def_at_ratio = 0.75
prop_mod_lift_efficiency_cf = 0.2
prop_mod_zero_lift_drag_cf = 0.03
prop_mod_reverse_left = 0
prop_mod_reverse_right = 0
prop_mod_reverse_centre = 0
prop_mod_ang_offset_left = 0
prop_mod_ang_offset_right = 0
prop_mod_ang_offset_centre = 0
prop_mod_moment_scalar_pitch = 1
prop_mod_moment_scalar_yaw = 1
prop_mod_moment_scalar_roll = 1

These are the new prop parameters introduced in SU8, and the “silver bullet” for this plane is the line:

prop_mod_zero_lift_drag_cf = 0.03

This line creates more prop drag at lower rpm and limits the higher rpm to 2300.

Copy and paste this line over the original:

thrust_scalar=1 ; 1.1

Again, prop thrust was over-powered at 110%!

Copy and paste these lines over the originals:

beta_max=21 ; 34
beta_cruise=20 ; 34
beta_min=19 ; 17
fixed_pitch_beta=20 ; 22

These reduce the prop pitch for further decreased thrust. You should only need the fixed pitch beta line, but I’ve changed the others just in case.

With these mods/tweaks, you can set cruise rpm at 2000 rpm and get between 75-80 knots indicated.
Always climb at full throttle - you’ll need every one of those 65 horses galloping at full stretch!
When on crosswind for landing, at around 1000ft AGL, throttle back to around 1600 rpm and use your elevator to maintain 60 knots.
On final, throttle back to around 1200 rpm (no lower than 1000 rpm) and use your elevator to maintain 50-55 knots - don’t let the speed drop to 40 knots or under, you’ll lose elevator control for the flare.
At or just before touchdown (with practice!), set the throttle to idle for a smooth rollout.

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Couldn’t find this line in engines.cfg. Can you let me know where it is in yours? Thanks to everyone for their optimizations!

Mine’s in the [PROPELLER] section, about halfway down the list between gear_reduction_ratio=1
and low_speed_theory_limit=0.

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Looks like we did the same.
Here is my PROP section

[PROPELLER]
thrust_scalar = 1
propeller_type = 1
propeller_diameter = 5.9
propeller_blades = 2
prop_mod_use_modern = 1
prop_mod_use_absorbed_torque = 1
prop_mod_aspect_ratio = 6
prop_mod_lift_slope_cf = 3
prop_mod_aoa_twist_delta_deg = 6
prop_mod_aoa_lift_delta_deg = 4
prop_mod_stall_aoa_scaler = 1.75
prop_mod_stall_aoa_power = 1
prop_mod_beta_def_at_ratio = 0.75
prop_mod_lift_efficiency_cf = 0.2
prop_mod_zero_lift_drag_cf = 0.03
prop_mod_reverse_left = 0
prop_mod_reverse_right = 0
prop_mod_reverse_centre = 0
prop_mod_ang_offset_left = 0
prop_mod_ang_offset_right = 0
prop_mod_ang_offset_centre = 0
prop_mod_moment_scalar_pitch = 1
prop_mod_moment_scalar_yaw = 1
prop_mod_moment_scalar_roll = 1
propeller_moi = 5
beta_max = 0
beta_min = 0
min_gov_rpm = 0
prop_tc = 0
gear_reduction_ratio = 1
fixed_pitch_beta = 20
low_speed_theory_limit = 0
prop_sync_available = 0
prop_deice_available = 0
prop_feathering_available = 0
prop_auto_feathering_available = 0
min_rpm_for_feather = 0
beta_feather = 0
power_absorbed_cf = 0
defeathering_accumulators_available = 0
prop_reverse_available = 0
minimum_on_ground_beta = 0
minimum_reverse_beta = 0
prop_reverse_max_vel = 2
prop_governor_p = 0
prop_governor_i = 0
prop_governor_d = 0
prop_governor_iboundary = 0
prop_governor_dboundary = 0
prop_efficiency_table = 0.0:0.00:0.20:0.40:0.60:0.80:1.00:1.20:1.40:1.60:1.80:2.00:2.20, 15.0:0.15:0.40:0.71:0.86:0.72:0.50:0.34:0.23:0.15:0.11:0.08:0.06, 20.0:0.10:0.30:0.67:0.81:0.80:0.74:0.55:0.42:0.30:0.19:0.12:0.09, 25.0:0.08:0.23:0.49:0.72:0.82:0.87:0.82:0.60:0.41:0.28:0.18:0.13
prop_power_cf = 0.0:0.000:0.200:0.400:0.600:0.800:1.000:1.200:1.400:1.600:1.800:2.000:2.200:2.400, 15.0:0.032:0.029:0.025:0.022:0.009:-0.057:-0.188:-0.338:-0.522:-0.705:-0.915:-1.092:-1.220, 20.0:0.084:0.075:0.066:0.058:0.045:0.010:-0.074:-0.188:-0.338:-0.525:-0.726:-0.942:-1.120, 25.0:0.098:0.094:0.088:0.080:0.070:0.050:0.020:-0.040:-0.134:-0.272:-0.468:-0.717:-0.933, 30.0:0.138:0.132:0.128:0.120:0.110:0.099:0.078:0.040:-0.017:-0.110:-0.248:-0.468:-0.741, 35.0:0.206:0.198:0.188:0.178:0.163:0.150:0.130:0.105:0.070:0.023:-0.074:-0.254:-0.510, 40.0:0.250:0.242:0.233:0.223:0.214:0.204:0.190:0.175:0.150:0.118:0.072:0.019:-0.059
use_propeller_rpm = 0

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This proves what they say: great minds think alike, lol!

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Well, that depends… Yes, the prewar 415C’s were 65 hp. Postwar they went up to 75 hp. These days, it’s hard to find any Ercoupe with less than 100 to 125 hp (or more).