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

Flying Tigers
revised and updated


The Flight in question is the roughly 4,000-mile jaunt from New York to Paris in May 1927 that made Charles Lindbergh the most famous man in the world. Dan Hampton's account is the fifth I have read, and the first to focus on the pilot rather than the man. It's a book for pilots, by a pilot, with relentless attention to the endless, tiny adjustments that must be made to fly an unstable aircraft. (Had Spirit been stable, I doubt it would have reached Europe, for even the disciplined Lindbergh would surely have fallen asleep.) Short of spending forty hours in a simulator, reading these 250 pages is the closest we can get to his ordeal through the two days and a night he spent in the air. It is, therefore, a bit of an astonishment to discover, toward the end, that a thief made off with Lindbergh's logbook soon after he landed at Le Bourget, and that it has was never recovered. So what did I just spend forty hours reading, a work of fiction?

I was surprised and pleased by the enduring success of Taildragger Tales, a collection of five essays I wrote about flying a 1940s Piper Cub almost as old as I was. Now it's been narrated by Kevin Theis, a Chicago actor who among other classics has voiced A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Charlie Wilson's War. Buy it for $5.95 on Amazon or get it free with an Audible subscription. If you already subscribe, download it from Audible. (And if you earlier bought the ebook from Amazon, the audio version is only $1.99.) 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 :)
Piper Cubs in Dutch service
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)

The Cub wannabes of a later time:

The Legend Cub: a J-3 for the 21st century
A weight & balance table for the Legend Cub
Cub Crafters introduces its Sport Cub at Oshkosh
The Tiger Cub Ultralight
The Savage, a lookalike with a Rotax engine
The Wall Street Journal salutes the Top Cub (Lynn Lunsford)
The Husky: a Super Cub for the 21st century

Flying Tigers

Some highly practical stuff:

Mounting an ELT in a J-3
The webmaster's guide to Cub-friendly airports
The story of Cub Yellow
Inspection Reports for Classic Cubs and the Super Cub
Choosing the engine for a J-3 (John Renwick)
Getting your aircraft's records from the FAA
How to find Airworthiness Directives for a Cub
Why a wooden prop?
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)
Some specs for a Cub with a Continental 65 engine
Piper Cub instrument panel (Stu Bright)
Using a handheld radio in a Cub (Lynn Towns)
Hand propping a Cub (Lynn Towns)
Recovering a Piper Cub (John Scott)
Doing a weight & balance calculation for a J-3
Pre-flighting a J-3
Low-tech mounts for your GPS unit
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)
F.E. Potts's Guide to Bush Flying (F.E. Potts)
The Compleat Taildragger Pilot (Harvey Plourde)
Low and Slow: a Liaison Pilot in WWII (Don Moore)
Janey: A Little Plane in a Big War (Alfred Schultz)
L-Birds and the Brodie Device (Terry Love)
Acceptable methods, techniques & practices (FAA pub 43.13)

Piper Cub Forum Warbird's Forum

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

Cowboy: interpreter, warlord, one more casualty

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Posted April 2018. Websites ©1997-2018 Daniel Ford; all rights reserved.