Plane of the Week: Piper J-3 Cub

Plane of the Week: Piper J-3 Cub

By on Jan 27th 2017

The bright yellow finish of the Piper J-3 Cub is nothing short of immediately recognizable. In my opinion, it may be one of the most recognizable planes in the sky, or at the very least, the most recognizable single engine plane. My opinion is that it only competes with the Cessna 172, in regard to being easily recognized. 

The J-3 Cub is a small single engine plane that began production in 1938, and continued that production until 1947. There were about 19,888 J-3 Cubs built in the US and about 150 were Canadian built. 

Piper J-3 Cub Specification Table

Humble Beginnings

The Piper J-3 Cub was originally built as a trainer but quickly found its way into popularity in the general aviation scene. One of the major factors that propelled this plane to notoriety was its affordable price. When it was new, these planes sold for between $995 and $2,461. Which even when adjusted for inflation ($16,810.17 - $41,577.72) is still a bargain for an aircraft. 

The War Effort

During World War II, Piper Cubs joined in on the civilian front as part of the Civil Air Patrol, a newly formed organization tasked with patrolling the eastern seaboard in search of German U-boats. 

Piper also developed a military variant of the plane with the designation of O-59, L-4, and NE. Most of the Piper Cub variants are mechanically identical to the J-3 with the exception of some minor details such as a Plexiglas greenhouse skylight and rear window.

Inside the Piper J-3 Cub

Inside the Piper J-3 Cub you won't find the abundance of instrumentation you typically find on modern aircraft. You will find the basics such as the control stick, airspeed gauge, temperature, compass, cabin pressure, engine RPM and a few other items.

Due to the small size of this aircraft, as you might expect, things are a bit snug. The seats are positioned in a row with the passenger or pilot sitting one in front of the other, where, in a plane like the Cessna 172, the pilot and passenger are side by side.

Do you own a piper cub? Do you love it? Share your Piper cub photos and stories in the comments and as always, if there is a plane you would like to see featured let us know!

You might also be interested in:

Newletter | March 2024
by Aviation Oil Outlet on Mar 8th 2024

FINAL COUNTDOWN! We're counting down the days until Sun 'n Fu
monthly newsletter
Newsletter | February 2024
by Aviation Oil Outlet on Feb 8th 2024

We've Got Your Sky Covered Dive into the airshow season with
monthly newsletter
AeroShell Oil W100 vs W100 Plus
by Kendra Kuhar on Feb 7th 2024

 Maintaining your aircraft requires choosing a premier oil that promotes engine health. For tho…