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Encyclopedia > Piper Cub
Piper Cub.

The Piper Model J-3 'Cub' was originally designed by the Taylor brothers as a small, light and simple utility aircraft. It is one of the most popular and best-known light aircraft of all time, and its simplicity, affordability, and popularity invoked comparisons to the Ford Model T automobile. Its standard yellow paint job came to be known as "Cub Yellow."

Its predecessor, the Model E-2 Taylor Cub, first appeared in 1930. It underwent several changes and became the J-2, released in 1936, and William T. Piper bought out C. G. Taylor. Although sales were initially slow, about 1,200 J-2s were produced before a fire in the Piper factory ended its production in 1938.

After Piper moved his factory, the J-3 replaced the J-2. Powered by a 40 horsepower (30 kW) engine, in 1938 it sold for just over $1,000. Sales were boosted by the pre-World War II Civilian Pilot Training program, and the Cub was later modified to perform various military duties. An icon of the era, the J-3 Cub has long been beloved by pilots and non-pilots alike, with hundreds still in use today. Its military variant, used during World War II was designated Piper L4. Used primarily as a trainer and a surveilance plane, an L4 "Grasshopper" once found itself pursued by a German Messerschmitt Bf-109, outmaneuvered it and caused it to crash, and was credited for a kill.

Piper sold some 8,707 J-3s between 1938 and 1941, and an additional 5,673 L4s.

With a wingspan of just over 35 feet (11 m) and a length of nearly 22.5 feet (6.8 m), the J-3 was powered by a 75-horsepower (55 kW), four-cylinder, air-cooled engine and had a cruising speed of 87 miles per hour (140 km/h) with a range of 220 miles (350 km).

In 1949, the J-3 was replaced by the Piper Super Cub, which Piper produced until 1981 when it sold the rights to WTA Inc. In all, Piper produced 2,650 Super Cubs. The Super Cub had a 150-horsepower (110 kW) engine which increased its top speed to 130 miles per hour (210 km/h) and its range to 460 miles (740 km).

Modernized and up-engined versions are still being produced today by Cub Crafters, as the Cub continues to be sought after by bush pilots for its STOL capabilities.

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  Results from FactBites:
The Piper Cub (1230 words)
Piper effectively took control of the firm when he assumed the position of corporate secretary-treasurer, although he retained Gilbert Taylor in the role of president.
The Piper Cub was quickly becoming a familiar sight to the average citizen.
Piper Cubs, variously designated as the L-4, O-59 and NE-1 and generically nicknamed “Grasshoppers,” were used extensively in World War II for reconnaissance, transporting supplies and medical evacuation.
RC Piper Cub (671 words)
Indeed, the real life Cub was designed and built as a simple trainer for private pilots (and soon afterwards military pilots), and even nowadays is one of the most popular and loved private airplanes of all time.
Flying an rc Piper Cub is a very enjoyable experience - they are one of the most forgiving airplanes available because of their great stability in the air, combined with the slow flying speed (these are the exact reasons why they are so perfect for full size flying training).
Throughout the early 1930s, the Piper Cub evolved from the Taylor Brothers initial airplane design and was granted its type certificate and approved for manufacture in 1935.
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