The Piper J-3 Cub – A Classic Light Aircraft

Piper J-3 Cub pic

Piper J-3 Cub
Image: science.howstuffworks.com

A successful businessman in the energy industry, Kenneth (Ken) Goggans has made several profitable deals with the acquisition of smaller oil and gas companies. Ken Goggans’ early contributions included a company licensed to manufacture the legendary Piper Cub airplane.

One of the Cubs’ best-known variants, the J-3, saw use as a trainer for pilots in World War II. The Piper Aircraft Corporation built some 10,000 Cubs, most of them the J-3 version, between 1937 and 1941.

Because those production numbers were so high, used Cubs are relatively inexpensive, costing roughly as much as a second car. Its simple design makes for low maintenance costs. The plane is suited for short trips, since its gas tank holds only 12 gallons. It consumes gas at five gallons per hour, but the engine can be tweaked for better mileage.

Although several Cub versions exist, the basic traits of the aircraft (i.e., flying characteristics, wings, and geometry) remain the same. With a ceiling of 11,500 feet and a maximum speed of 78 knots (90 mph) for the 1946 model, the J-3 is intended for low flight at a leisurely speed.

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