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Klaas Willem Jonker
(Wilko)
† April 30, 2018

On Monday 30 April 2018, Wilko Jonker died after a long illness at the age of 58. He leaves behind a wife and two children. The Dutch military aviation and plastic modeling were his hobby and on this website he shared all the knowledge he has collected over the years. His hobby has been able to distract him from the persistent disease in his body until the last week of his life. The contacts with other hobbyists were a major support for him.

This website will be maintained by different people for as long as possible, so that other enthusiasts can continue to benefit from extensive content.

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Friday, 22 November 2019 11:32

Piper L-4J Cub

History

The Piper L4 Cub basically originates from the Taylor E3 Taylor, which was built by Taylor Aircraft in 1930. W.T. Piper was the main investor in the Taylor factory and became the owner after the bankruptcy of Taylor Aircraft.
In 1936 the design was significantly modified by W. Jamouneau, creating a new type, which was designated as Piper J-2. Between 1936 and 1938 1200 examples were produced.

In 1938, the factory was burned to the ground entirely and a new one was built in Lock Haven. There Taylor Aircraft started building the J-3, an improved version of the J-2.
The J-3 could be fitted with different engines, the J=3C for example had a Continental A engine.

With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, a initially civilian training program was set up in the USA, where the Piper J-3 was used. Between 1939 and 1940, then were more than 3000 Piper J-3s built.
In 1941 a military version was released, called Piper O-59, in 1942 changed to L-4 and NE (US Navy designation). This hardly differed from the original civilian J-3.

The L-4 Grasshopper had a canopy with more glass panes in order to improve visibility.
Over 5400 examples were built, including 250 NE-1 and NE-2 for the US Navy.
All L-4 versions had a tandem cockpit and were, like the Taylor Craft L2 and Aeronca L-3 referred to as Grasshopper.
During the war the L-4 was used for a variety of tasks such as reconnaissance, light transport, artillery reconnaissance and also for medical transport (medevac)
After the war, many aircraft were sold as surplus, but many were still used in military service.

Versions.

J-3:
original version with a Continental A-40, A-40-2 or A-40-3 engine rated 28 kW.
J3C-40 :
Version built from July 1938 with a Continental A-40-4 or A-40-5 rated 30 kW.
J3C-50 :
Version built from July 1938 with a Continental A-50-1 or A-40-2 up to A-40 -9 rated 37 kW.
  • J3C-50S with an optional float kit.
J3C-65 :
Version built from July 1939 with a Continental A-65-1, A-65-3, 6, 7, 8, 8F, 9 or 14 rated 48 kW or a Continental A-65-14, A-75-8, A-75-8-9 or A-75-12 rated 56 kW or a Continental A-85-8 or C-85-12 rated 63 kW or a Continental A-90-8F rated 67 kW.
  • J3C-65S: with an optional float kit.
  • YO-59: Four examples of the J3C-65 for test and evaluation purposes for US Army.
  • O-59:: Production version for USAAC; later designated as L-4
  • O-59A: improved USAAC version with a Continental O-170-3 rated 48 kW; later designated as L-4A.
  • L-4B: as L-4A, but without radio.
  • L-4H: as L-4B, but with improved equipment and fixed pitch propeller.
  • L-4J: as L-4H with variable pitch propeller.
  • NE-1: US Navy designation of the J3C-65 with double steering; 230 examples built.
  • NE-2: NE-1 with minor changes of equipment, 20 examples built.
J3F-50 :
Version built from July 1938 with a Franklin 4AC-150 Series 50 rated 37 kW.
  • J3F-50S: with an optional float kit.
J3F-60 :
Version built from April 1940 with a Franklin 4AC-150 Series A engine rated 48 kW or a Franklin 4AC-171 rated 45 kW.
  • J3F-60S: with an optional float kit
J3F-65 :
Version built from Augustus 1940 with a Franklin 4AC-176-B2 or a Franklin 4AC-176-BA2 rated 48 kW.
  • De J3F-65S: with an optional float kit.
  • L-4D: designation of five examples of the J3F-65 for the USAAC
J3L :
built form September 1938 and equipped with a Lycoming O-145-A1 engine rated 37 kW or a Lycoming O-145-A2 or A3 engine rated 41 kW.
  • J3L-S: with an optional float kit.
J3L-65 :
built from May 1940 equipped with a Lycoming O-145-B1, B2 or B3 rated 48 kW.
  • J3L-65S: with an optional float kit.
  • L-4C: designation of eight examples of the J3L-65, initially referred to as UC-83A.
J3P :
Version with a Lenape LM-3-50 or Lenape AR-3-160 rated 37 kW.
J-3R :
Version with slotted flaps and a Lenape LM-3-65 rated 48 kW.
J-3X :
version built in 1944 with a cantilever wing and a Continental A-65-8 rated 48 kW
Commandre :
French version of the J-3 Cub
TG-8 :
Three seat glider version for training purposes, 250 examples built.
  • LNP: US Navy designation of three TG-8s.

 

Technical information
Dimensions:
Length: 6,83 m Wingspan: 10,74 m
Height: 2,03 m Wing area: - m2
Weights:
Empty weight: 345 kg Max. start weight: 550 kg
Performances:
Max. speed: 140 km/hr Climbing speed: - m/min
Cruising speed: 121 km/hr    
Range: 354 km Service ceiling: 3500 m
Miscellaneous:
Engine type: One Continental O-170-3 rated 65 hp
Crew: -
Armament: None