W. T. Piper formed the Piper Aircraft Corporation in 1937, and began production of the J-3 Cub, an aircraft that had originally been designed and manufactured by the Taylor Aircraft Company. In 1941, the USMC ordered a militarized version of the aircraft, which carried the initial designation 0-59A. This was later changed to L-4A (the "L" signifying "liaison"). With the advent of the Second World War, many civilian J-3s were pressed into service. These were given the designations L-4B, L-4C or L-4D, depending on how they were equipped.
The L-4E was based on the Piper J-4E Cub Coupe, which was slightly larger than the J-3; similarly, the L-4F and L-4G were based on the Piper J-5 Cruiser. The L-4H was similar to the -B model, powered by a 65-hp Continental horizontally-opposed flat four engine. It carried a crew of two in tandem in an enclosed cockpit that provided excellent visibility.
The U.S. Navy also bought Grasshoppers, primarily for use as aerial ambulances. These were given the designation N E-1 (later changed to AE-1). They were fitted with a hinged "turtledeck" fuselage, which allowed a stretcher to be loaded behind the pilot.
During the Korean War, an upgraded version, called the L-18, was tasked to perform many of the same roles the L-4 aircraft had in WWII.
Almost 20,000 Piper Cubs were built, military and civilian. Many of the wartime cubs were converted back to civilian variants following the end of hostilities. With the in- creasing interest in warbirds, many of these are being con verted back to military aircraft.
Manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corporation
Model: L-4H Grasshopper
Registration Number: N48679
Serial Number: 15353
Crew: 1 + 1 passenger
Max T/O Weight: 1,220 lb.
Span: 35 ft. 3 in.
Length: 22 ft. 5 in.
Height: 6 ft. 8 in.
Maximum Speed: 87 mph
Cruise Speed: 75 mph
Rate of Climb: 450 ft/min
Power Plant: 1 x Continental A-65-8 air-cooled horizontally opposed four cylinder, 65 hp