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Home »  Collection »  Flying & Static Aircraft »  Piper L-4H 'Grasshopper'

HISTORY

  • 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.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Status: Flyable
Manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corporation
Year: 1943
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
Range: 220 mi
Service Ceiling: 11,500 ft.
Armament: None

 

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