Changing the oil on this J-3 Piper Cub is a family affair. The three children help out when it’s time to do maintenance on the Beck’s immaculate Cub. (Although it looks like some people are working harder than others!)
Piper Cub J-3 History
The lineage of the J-3 begins before William Piper’s partnership with C.G. Taylor in 1930. Taylor and Piper worked together and ultimately parted ways. One of Taylor’s Cubs, the J-2, continued in production by the Piper Aircraft Corp. This was after the new company set up shop in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. Piper engineer Walter Jamouneau (who had previously worked for Taylor Aircraft) started in on an update to the J-2 in late 1937. That aircraft, with its extensive changes, became the J-3.
In the four years between late 1937 and November 1941, Piper built 10,000 Cubs. Most of them were the then-new J-3. J-3’s simple design and low hourly operating costs made them very popular. The J-3 meets the light-sport-aircraft guidelines. Because of this there has been a resurgence of interest in the airplane — both in the original and in remakes of the design.
About Piper Cub J-3
Most of the early, prewar J-3s were painted the iconic yellow with a black lightning bolt and bear on the tail. The yellow color originated with the predecessor J-2 model. To this day that remains the most popular color for a Cub. Other models followed, but this paint scheme wasn’t often altered. Then came the advent of the PA-11 Cub Special in 1947, its paint a primary blue.
The airplane burns at the very most 5 gallons per hour. And can be coaxed to use even less. This is why the standard 12-gallon header tank is adequate.
A review of the marketplace reveals a number of J-3s for sale. Those for sale vary from projects untouched for decades, to recently restored champions. A bigger engine commands more, as do upgrades such as generators and starters.
While the manufacturer no longer fabricates J-3s or Cub parts, the airplane is well supported by Univair and The Wag-Aero Group. These companies manufacture and vend parts for just about the entire airplane.
About The Prints
The 16″ x 21.5″ prints are available in Limited Edition sizes of 200 Signed & Numbered and 20 Artist Proofs. It’s a showpiece for house or hangar.