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History: This two-seat light observation
airplane began as Aeroncas Model 65 TC "Defender" high wing monoplane. By
1940, The US Army Air Corps had begun to see the very real need for a light plane that
could be used for rapid communications and in support of ground forces. After testing
planes from Piper and Taylorcraft, the Aeronca was chosen. With a single 65-hp engine, the
little plane had a top speed of 100 mph, a cruising speed of 70 mph and a range of 200
Aeronca Grasshoppers had a welded steel tube fuselage and
tail unit with fabric covering, while the wings were spruce and light alloy all covered in
fabric, making them easily repaired in the field. Visibility out of the large
Plexiglas windows was excellent.
Initially designated O-58 (for
"observation"), shortly after entering service it was renamed with an
"L" for Liaison. Over 1,400 Aeronca Grasshoppers were built during the war years
and served the Army in all theaters. Many ex-military L-3s are still flying today.
Engine: One 65-hp Continental O-170-3 or Continental A-65-8 flat-four piston engine.
Weight: Empty 835 lbs., Max Takeoff
Wing Span: 35ft. 0in.
Length: 21ft. 0in.
Height: 7ft. 8in.
Number Built: Unknown
Number Still Airworthy: 30+
Aeronca Aviators Club
General and detailed information for Aeronca pilots,
restorers, and enthusiasts.
L-3 Reference Page
National Aeronca Association (USA)
Sam's Airparts -- The Aeronca Specialists
Books: Browse a
selection of books about liaison aircraft.
Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper
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