A Cub with a chequered past….


Piper J-3C-65 Cub

This is a Cub with a chequered past – and a chequered present too! Seen parked at the Great Vintage Flying Weekend, Hullavington, this aircraft was formerly on the French register as F-BPYN and was first registered in Britain during 1979. A little ‘digging’ reveals that it was built to a US Government contract in 1943, and would have been one of the many J-3s built with military designations such as L-4 and O-59 for the US Army Air Corps, or NE-1 for the US Navy and Marine Corps – the type was almost universally known as the Grasshopper. The Civilian Pilot Training Program, which involved the training of hundreds of thousands of pilots in the US during WW2, also used the J-3 in huge quantities. Over 19,000 civilian and military Cubs were produced by Piper at Lock Haven, Pennsylvania from 1938 to 1947, and no less than 320,000 US military pilots were trained on them.

Mr Daryl Stubbs keeps this Cub in fine condition, although the chequered ‘racing stripe’ takes a little getting used to! Powered by a Continental 65hp A65-8F, flat-four engine, it shows that a Cub is still a viable ‘club’ aircraft today. As for the previous French identity – F-BPYN is now worn by a SOCATA MS 880 Rallye based at Cambrai.
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