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Air Force Museum Foundation

Piper L-4A “Grasshopper”


The L-4A, originally designated the O-59, was the military version of the famous Piper J3 Cub. The U.S. Army Air Forces ordered the first O-59s in 1941 for tests in conjunction with its growing interest in the use of light aircraft for liaison and observation duties in direct support of ground forces. Between 1941 and 1945, the USAAF procured almost 6,000 Piper Aircraft.

During World War II, Grasshoppers performed a wide variety of functions throughout the world such as artillery fire direction, pilot training, glider pilot instruction, courier service and front-line liaison.

The L-4 on display is painted and marked to represent an L-4 that flew in support of the Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942. It was placed on display in April 1995.

TECHNICAL NOTES:
Engine: Continental O-170 of 65 hp
Maximum speed: 85 mph
Cruising speed: 75 mph
Range: 190 miles
Ceiling: 9,300 ft.
Span: 35 ft. 3 in.
Length: 22 ft. 5 in.
Height: 6 ft. 8 inches
Weight: 1,200 lbs. maximum


Click here to return to the World War II Gallery.