wbalogo.gif (14066 bytes)

back3.gif (1979 bytes)
[Back to Warbird Alley Main Page]

Fighter / Attack:
   Bell P-39 Airacobra
   Bell P-63 Kingcobra
   Brewster Buffalo
   Chance-Vought F-4U Corsair
   Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
   Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
   Douglas A-1 Skyraider
   Douglas A-26 Invader
   Douglas SBD Dauntless
   Fairey Firefly
   Focke-Wulf Fw 190
   Grumman F4F Wildcat
   Grumman F6F Hellcat
   Grumman F7F Tigercat
   Grumman F8F Bearcat
   Grumman TBF Avenger
   Hawker Hurricane
   Hawker Sea Fury
   Lockheed P-38 Lightning
   Messerschmitt Bf-109
   Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen
   North American P-51 Mustang

   Polikarpov I-16
   Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
   Supermarine Spitfire
   Yakovlev Yak-3
   Yakovlev Yak-9

Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan (C-45)
   Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
   Boeing / Stearman PT-17

   Commonwealth CA-25 Winjeel
   Commonwealth CA-1 Wirraway
   DeHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk
   DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth
   Fairchild PT-19 Cornell
   Hunting / Percival Provost
   Meyers OTW
   Nanchang CJ-6
   Naval Aircraft Factory N3N
   N. Am. BT-9 / BT-14 / Yale
   N. Am. T-6 Texan / SNJ / Harvard
   N. American T-28 Trojan

   Piaggio P149
   Ryan PT-22 Recruit

   Scottish Aviation T1 Bulldog
   Vultee BT-13 Valiant
   Yakovlev Yak-11
   Yakovlev Yak-18
   Yakovlev Yak-52

   Avro Lancaster
   Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
   Boeing B-29 Superfortress
   Bristol Blenheim / Bolingbroke
   Consolidated B-24 Liberator
   Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

   Douglas A-3 Skywarrior
   DeHavilland Mosquito
   Fairey Swordfish
   Heinkel He-111 / Casa 2.111

   Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon / Ventura
   Martin B-26 Marauder
   North American B-25 Mitchell

   Beechcraft C-45 (AT-11)

   Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (KC-97)
   Curtiss C-46 Commando
   Douglas C-47 Skytrain / Dakota
   Douglas C-54 Skymaster

   Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
   Fairchild C-123 Provider
   Grumman C-1 Trader (S-2)
   Lockheed C-60 Lodestar
   Lockheed C-69 Constellation

Utility / Observation / Special Duty:
   Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper
   Aeronca L-16 Grasshopper
   Antonov AN-2 Colt
   Auster AOP 6/9
   Avro 652 Anson
   Avro Shackleton
   British Taylorcraft I-V
   Cessna L-19 / O-1 Bird Dog
   Cessna O-2 Super Skymaster
   Cessna T-50 / UC-78 Bobcat
   Consolidated PBY Catalina

   DeHavilland U-6A / L-20 Beaver
   Fairey Gannet
   Fairey Swordfish
   Fieseler Fi156 Storch
   Grumman S-2 Tracker (C-1)
   Grumman HU-16 Albatross
   Grumman OV-1 Mohawk
   Junkers Ju 52/3m

   Lockheed P2V Neptune
   Max Holste M.H.1521 Broussard
   Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun

   Noorduyn UC-64 Norseman
   North American L-17 Navion
   N. Am./ Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
   Piper L-4 Grasshopper
   Stinson L-5 Sentinel
   Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper
   Westland Lysander

   Aero L-29 Delfin
   Aero L-39 Albatros
   Aermacchi MB-326
   Avro Vulcan
   BAC Strikemaster
   Blackburn (BAC) Buccaneer
   Canadair Tutor
   Cessna A-37 Dragonfly
   DeHavilland Vampire
   DeHavilland Venom
   English Electric Canberra
   English Electric Lightning
   Folland Gnat
   Fouga CM-170 Magister
   Gloster Meteor
   Grumman F9F Panther
   Hawker Hunter
   Hispano HA-200 Saeta
   Hunting Jet Provost
   Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
   Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
   McDonnell-Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
   McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom
   Messerschmitt Me-262
   Mikoyan MiG-15
   Mikoyan MiG-17
   Mikoyan MiG-21
   N. Am. F-86 Sabre / FJ-4 Fury
   N. Am. F-100 Super Sabre
   N. Am. / Rockwell T-2 Buckeye
   Northrop T-38 Talon / F-5
   PZL / WSK TS-11 Iskra
   Saab J35 Draken
   Soko G-2A Galeb
   Temco Pinto & Super Pinto

[Back to Warbird Alley Main Page]


Piper L-4 / O-59 / L-18 "Grasshopper"

(Variants/Other Names: Piper J-3 Cub; AE-1; HE-1; See History below for others)

Piper L-4A Grasshopper OY-ECV
This beautiful Piper L-4A "Grasshopper OY-ECV, Serial No. 42-15272, nicknamed "Mistress," is owned and flown by Thomas S. Damm, an airline Captain in Denmark. Photo by Thorbjoern Brunander Sund.

History: Dating back to a 1930 design called the Taylor Cub, the Piper J-3 Cub design was vastly popular as a civilian trainer and sport plane for at least three years before the US Army Air Corps selected the aircraft to be evaluated as an artillery spotter/director platform. The first J-3s delivered, powered by a 50-hp Lenape Papoose 3-cylinder radial engine, were designated the O-59. 40 were delivered in 1941. Shortly thereafter, the Army ordered a new version powered by a 65-hp Continental O-170-3 flat-four engine. It was originally designated the O-59A, but due to an Army designation change, it was called the L-4A. 948 were eventually delivered, and the nickname "Grasshopper" was almost immediately applied.

Subsequent variants included the L-4B, with reduced radio equipment and a 65-hp Continental engine; the L-4H, which was almost the same as the B-Model; the L-4J, with a variable-pitch propeller; and the L-4C and L-4D, both of which were actually civilian J-3 models pressed into service at the beginning of WWII. The US Navy also purchased 250 Cubs for use as trainers, which they designated NE-1s (and later, NE-2s.)

The Piper J-4E Cub Coupe, powered by a 75-hp Continental A75-9 engine, was purchased by the US Army and designated the L-4E. It featured a fully-enclosed engine cowl, wheel pants, brakes, a fully-castoring tailwheel, and a slightly increased wingspan. The Piper J-5 Cruiser next entered service as the L-4F (75-hp J-5A) and the L-4G (100-hp J-5C), and the US Navy bought 100 modified J-5Cs and called them HE-1s. They were fitted with a hinged turtledeck fuselage, which allowed a stretcher to be loaded. (When the Navy realigned their "H" designation for their helicopters, the HE-1 became the AE-1.) An unusual variant, the TG-8 training glider, consisted of an L-4 fuselage with no engine or landing gear. In the 1950s, during the Korean war, the L-4 was reborn as an improved variant, the L-18, and it served in many of the same roles it had filled in WWII.

The J-3/L-4 not only introduced uncounted thousands of aspiring military aviators the basics of flying, it also became a versatile workhorse of the battlefields of WWII. Many hundreds of J-3s are still airworthy around the world, although it is not known exactly how many of these once wore Army colors as L-4s, since many true L-4s were later sold as surplus and repainted in familiar "Cub Yellow." Most Grasshoppers are highly prized and pampered by their owners, ensuring that their legacy will continue for many years.

Nickname: Grasshopper

Specifications (L-4B):
        Engine: One 65-hp Continental A65 flat-four piston engine 
        Weight: Empty 640 lbs., Max Takeoff 1,100 lbs.
        Wing Span: 35ft. 2.5in.
        Length: 22ft. 3in.
        Height: 6ft. 8in.
            Maximum Speed: 92 mph
            Ceiling: 12,000 ft.
            Range: 250 miles
        Armament: None

Number Built:
J-3/L-4:  14,125 Civil; 5703 Military
J-4/L-4:  17
J-5/L-4:  Unknown, at least 100 HE-1s

Number Still Airworthy: Unknown, probably over 40 original L-4s, plus hundreds of J-3s.

J-3Cub.com -- Active Cub forum.
Piper Cub Forum -- Lots of great information about Cubs.
Piper L-4 Page at Fiddler's Green -- A modeler's site, but has some interesting information.
USAF Museum L-4A Page

  [ Pilot Report by Bud Davisson ]
Featured Aircraft [ Featured Aircraft ]  A look at Steve Dunn's beautiful L-4E.
L-4 Cockpit Photo:

(Click for larger)



[ Click for more great books about Liaison aircraft,
including Piper Cubs and Grasshoppers! ]


[Back to Warbird Alley's Main Page]

All text and photos Copyright 2016 The Doublestar Group, unless otherwise noted.
You may use this page for your own, non-commercial reference purposes only.

wbalogo.gif (14066 bytes)