All about the immortal J-3 Piper Cub and L-4 Grasshopper, built by William Piper at Lock Haven, which evolved into the PA-11 Cub Special, PA-18 Super Cub, and the Legend Cub and other lookalikes of today

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revised and updated


The story of Bazooka Charlie, aka The Mad Major

As a high school history teacher in Kentucky, Charles Carpenter joined the US Army in 1942, became a light-plane pilot, and served as an artillery spotter in France in 1944, flying an L-4 Piper Cub. As other pilots had done, he equipped his Cub with six bazookas, each firing a 2.36-inch armor-piercing rocket. (Well, if the armor were thin enough, which was often the case on the topside of a German tank.) Major Carpenter was officially credited with six tanks destroyed. Medically discharged as a lieutenant colonel in 1946, he returned to teaching history, this time at Urbana High School in Illinois. I hope his students knew of his own contribution to American history! (A tip of the virtual hat to John Eastman for the YouTube link.) Blue skies! — Daniel Ford

Classic Cubs, from Taylor and Piper:

What's a Cub? (from the E-2 to the PA-18 Top Cub)
Production figures (from Taylor to Zlin Aviation)
Assembling Cubs at San Benito on the Gulf of Mexico
Restoring Marion Carl's J-2
Piper Cubs of the Luftwaffe
Four One Victor, all new, all over again :)
Meet Leah Jones, one of the original Piper crew
Liberty Girl: around the world in an L-4 Grasshopper
A Sentimental Journey to Lock Haven
San Diego to Lock Haven, 2003 (Len Buckel)

Cub wannabes of a later time:

The Legend Cub: a J-3 for the 21st century
The Tiger Cub Ultralight
The Savage, a lookalike with a Rotax engine
The Wall Street Journal salutes the Top Cub (Lynn Lunsford)
The Aviat Husky, another more-or-less Super Cub

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Some highly practical stuff:

Everything up to date: adding an ELT, handheld radio, and GPS to the Cub
The story of Cub Yellow
Inspection Reports for Classic Cubs and the Super Cub
Choosing the engine for a J-3 (John Renwick)
Getting Cub records and Airworthiness Directives
The case for a wood prop (Tim Kern)
A wind generator for a Piper Cub
Removing the gas tank on a Piper J-3 (Len Buckel)
Fixing the brakes on a J-3 Cub (Len Buckel)
That Marvel-ous Mystery Oil (Robert Parker)
Piper Cub instrument panel (Stu Bright)
Hand propping a Cub (Lynn Towns)
Recovering a Piper Cub (John Scott)
J-3 Weight & balance table; specs for the C3-65 engine
Pre-flighting a J-3
Clearing up the paperwork on a J-3 Cub

Books and suchlike:

A Piper Cub bibliography
Subscribe to Cub Clues newsletter
Taildragger Tales (Daniel Ford)
The Compleat Taildragger Pilot (Harvey Plourde)
Janey: A Little Plane in a Big War (Alfred Schultz)
L-Birds and the Brodie Device (Terry Love)

Piper Cub Forum Warbird's Forum

Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

Flying Tigers

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Posted August 2019. Websites © 1997-2019 Daniel Ford; all rights reserved. This site sets no cookies, but the Mailchimp sign-up service does. So does Amazon if you click through to that store.