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ERCO I-L 116 In-Line 4

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This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.


In late 1938, the Engineering and Research Corporation (ERCO) searched unsuccessfully for a suitable engine for its new "safe" airplane, the Ercoupe. ERCO hired Harold E. Morehouse, former engineer in charge of small engine design at Continental Motors, to design a new engine. Morehouse had designed a horizontally-opposed, 4-cylinder engine, but Continental did not have plans to produce the engine at that time, and Morehouse left the company. He came up with the inverted, in-line I-L 116, which provided good pilot visibility and enhanced aircraft streamlining.

ERCO installed the I-L 116 in the prototype Ercoupe Model 310 in 1939. The engine performed well, but ERCO discontinued it when Continental introduced the A65 engine in 1940, which generated comparable horsepower at half the cost. ERCO manufactured parts for six I-L 116s but built only three. This one is believed to be the last remaining example.

Gift of Norman F. Carden III, Executive Director, Ercoupe Owner's Club.

Manufacturer: Erco

Designer: Harold E. Morehouse

Date: 1939

Country of Origin: United States of America

Dimensions: Length 88.6 cm (34.875 in.), Width 42.2 cm (16.625 in.), Height 51.3 cm (20.1875 in. )

Physical Description:Type: Reciprocating, Inverted, in-line, 4 cylinders, air cooled Power rating: 48.5 kW (65 hp) at 3,500 rpm Displacement: 1.9 L (116 cu in) Bore and Stroke: 82.55 mm (3.250 in.) x 88.9 mm (3.500 in.) Weight: 71.7 kg (158 lb)

Inventory number: A19860023000

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