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
Not your father's J-3, to be sure, but if you look closely you can see Li'l Cub painted just behind the exposed engine of Frank Knapp's experimental as it takes off from the runway at Valdez, Alaska, in the annual STOL-off competition. The judges will add his 35-foot landing roll to his 48-foot takeoff distance to get the winning score for the day in the "alternate" class of essentially handcrafted STOL planes. Of the aircraft entered in the more standard "bush" category, Super Cubs accounted for 11 out of the field of 13. See the great story in the June-July issue of Air & Space magazine.
Email from David Hourdequin: "Dan, enjoyed your Tales. I am a late-blooming aviator. Soloed on my 71st birthday and got my Sport Pilot rating soon afterward followed by tailwheel and towered airfield endorsements. Now I'm finishing my second kit plane: first, a Skyraider II and currently a "clipped wing Highlander" that Just Aircraft likes to call an "Escapade". I feel quite inspired that you flew till you were nearly 80. I'll be 73 in August when I'm looking forward to some cross country flying in my own plane, 'Five Alpha Delta' until my time is up. We're never too old to enjoy and share the passions of our life. Thanks for living that out and writing about yours."
David is referring to my collection of Taildragger Tales: My Late-Blooming Romance with a Piper Cub and Her Younger Sisters, which I put together a couple years ago from the articles and essays I've written over the years -- my hapless first lessons, a week of aerobatics in Arizona, bush flying in New Jersey (yes! New Jersey), and cruising the New England countryside in Zero Six Hotel. The little e-book has caught on caught on lately with cubdrivers and would-be cubdrivers. It's available at Amazon stores worldwide - at the Apple iBooks Store - at Barnes & Noble - at Inktera - at Kobo - and at Scribd. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford
Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford