1941 PIPER J-3 CUB
The Piper J-3 Cub is now considered one of the most iconic Cubs, according to Piper Aviation, and it will be on display the 2023 Garmin KC Air Show.
(Piper Aviation) In its first year of production, Piper built 736 J-3s — a solid production year for a small, sporty aircraft priced at about half the cost of your average home at the time. Things picked up speed with the establishment of the Civilian Pilot Training (CPT) program, formed in anticipation of U.S. involvement in what would become World War II. The J-3 was chosen as the program’s primary training aircraft, with 75% of all CPT trainees ultimately training to fly on a Cub.
In 1939, Piper built around 1,300 J-3 Cubs — the following year, that number would jump to over 3,000. Soon enough, a Piper-J-3 Cub was being produced every 20 minutes. The entry of the U.S. into World War II saw the Cub reimagined for the frontlines. The Army purchased 5,677 modified J-3 Cubs — the L-4, O-59 and NE-1 — commonly known as Grasshoppers. Painted a nondescript olive green and sparsely outfitted, J-3s were employed as reconnaissance, ambulance and supply transport aircraft throughout the war. The planes were small and agile, allowing for quick movement among troops and across battlefields.