Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This collection consists of over 45 cubic feet of material created or collected by Fred Weick, which chronicle his distinguished aeronautical engineering career from the 1920s to the 1990s. The collection consists of the following types of material: log books, patents, proceedings and lectures, lawsuits, brochures and publications, photographs, correspondence, memorandums, scrapbooks, technical reports and engineering data sheets. Most of this material relates to Weick's engineering designs with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and with the following aircraft models: Weick W-1; Piper PA-25 Pawnee; Piper-28 Cherokee; Piper-32 Cherokee; ERCO Ercoupe models; and Texas A&M College AG-1 and AG-3.

Collection Item Long Description:


  • Piper PA-25 Pawnee Family
  • Aeronautical engineers
  • Aeronautics
  • Weick W-1
  • Texas A&M AG-1
  • Texas A&M AG-3
  • Piper PA-28 Cherokee
  • Piper PA-32 Cherokee

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions on access


Weick, Fred E 1899-1993


Erco (Engineering and Research Corporation)

Physical description

49 cubic feet (47 boxes)

See more items in


  • 1940
  • 1940-1999
  • 1940s-1990s


Fred E. Weick (1899-1993) was an aeronautical engineer who had a profound effect on light aircraft development. While working for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) he developed the NACA low-drag cowling for radial engines (1928) and built a low landing speed aircraft as an independent project sparked by a series of light aircraft design seminars at NACA's Langley Research Center (1931). At the same time he coined the concept of "50 foot obstacle clearance" as a measure of aircraft takeoff performance, which has remained a standard measure ever since. In 1936 he joined Henry Berliner at the Engineering and Research Corporation (ERCO) to develop and market a commercial version of Weick's aircraft. Although the resulting Ercoupe faded in the general aviation slump following World War II, Weick moved to Texas A&M (1948-56) where he developed a series of agricultural aircraft which evolved into the Piper Pawnee series. He remained at Piper until he retired (1956-c.1970) and developed the Piper Cherokee with John Thorpe and Karl Bergey. After retirement, Weick remained active in aeronautics, assisting in design studies for Beech Aircraft as well as private projects in aircraft trim and control.

Cite as

Fred Weick Papers, Accession 2016-0016, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Repository Loc.

National Air and Space Museum, Archives Division, MRC 322, Washington, DC, 20560


  • Logbooks
  • Collection descriptions
  • Correspondence
  • Publications
  • Photographs
  • Technical reports

Local number