Note: This aircraft is located in the Presidential Gallery on a controlled-access portion of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Click here for requirements to visit this gallery.
This Piper J-3 represents the contributions of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) to the U.S. Air Force. The CAP was organized on Dec. 1, 1941, under the Office of Civilian Defense and in 1943 was transferred to the War Department. During World War II, CAP members flying their personal aircraft, such as the J-3, hunted for enemy submarines along the U.S. coasts, reported damaged ships, towed aerial targets, and delivered high priority orders of vital war materials. After the war Congress charted the organization in 1946 as a benevolent, non-profit organization and in 1948 designated it as a civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. It provides emergency services in times of local or national disasters, including search and rescue, courier service, mercy missions, and emergency radio communications. It also provides aerospace education and training for its members, supports the USAF, and promotes the development of aviation and aerospace technology.
The Piper J-3 Cub aircraft was designed in 1937 and produced continuously until early in 1942. Beginning in 1939, nearly 75 percent of the primary trainers in the U.S. government's civilian pilot training program were J-3s. In 1942 Piper ceased producing civilian aircraft and began producing the militarized version of the J-3, identified by the Army Air Forces (AAF) as an L-4. An AAF L-4 is on display in the museum's Air Power Gallery. The J-3 on display is further identified as a J-3C-65-8 indicating it is a J-3 aircraft powered by a Model 8 Continental A-65 engine of 65 horsepower. It is painted in the widely known Piper "Cub yellow". The aircraft on display was donated in 1971 by the Greene County Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol, of Xenia, Ohio.
SPECIFICATIONS: Span: 35 ft. 3 in. Length: 22 ft. 5 in. Height: 6 ft. 8 in. Weight: 1,220 lbs. Engine: Continental A-65-8 of 65 horsepower
PERFORMANCE: Max speed: 87mph/76 knots Cruising speed: 73mph/63 knots Service ceiling: 11,500 ft. Range: 220 statute miles