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Taylorcraft L-2M Grasshopper

DAYTON, Ohio -- Taylorcraft L-2M "Grasshopper" in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Taylorcraft L-2M "Grasshopper" in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Taylorcraft L-2M "Grasshopper" in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Taylorcraft L-2M "Grasshopper" in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The cockpit of a Taylorcraft L-2M "Grasshopper" in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The cockpit of a Taylorcraft L-2M "Grasshopper" in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The cockpit of a Taylorcraft L-2M "Grasshopper" in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The cockpit of a Taylorcraft L-2M "Grasshopper" in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- An L-2M that was used at the U.S. Army Air Forces Liaison Pilot Training School during World War II was flown to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Sept. 28, 2011. The pilot of the aircraft's final flight, Dick Valladao, completed the restoration of the aircraft to its original Army specifications and donated it to the museum. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeff Fisher)

DAYTON, Ohio -- An L-2M that was used at the U.S. Army Air Forces Liaison Pilot Training School during World War II was flown to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Sept. 28, 2011. The pilot of the aircraft's final flight, Dick Valladao, completed the restoration of the aircraft to its original Army specifications and donated it to the museum. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeff Fisher)

DAYTON, Ohio -- An L-2M that was used at the U.S. Army Air Forces Liaison Pilot Training School during World War II was flown to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Sept. 28, 2011. The pilot of the aircraft's final flight, Dick Valladao, completed the restoration of the aircraft to its original Army specifications and donated it to the museum. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeff Fisher)

DAYTON, Ohio -- An L-2M that was used at the U.S. Army Air Forces Liaison Pilot Training School during World War II was flown to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Sept. 28, 2011. The pilot of the aircraft's final flight, Dick Valladao, completed the restoration of the aircraft to its original Army specifications and donated it to the museum. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeff Fisher)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Lt. Gen. (Ret.) John L. "Jack" Hudson (center), director of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, addresses the audience after the L-2M made its final flight on Sept. 28, 2011. This L-2M was used at the U.S. Army Air Forces Liaison Pilot Training School during World War II. Also pictured are Dick Valladao (right), the aircraft donor and pilot, and Roger Deere, chief of the museum's Restoration Division. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeff Fisher)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Lt. Gen. (Ret.) John L. "Jack" Hudson (center), director of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, addresses the audience after the L-2M made its final flight on Sept. 28, 2011. This L-2M was used at the U.S. Army Air Forces Liaison Pilot Training School during World War II. Also pictured are Dick Valladao (right), the aircraft donor and pilot, and Roger Deere, chief of the museum's Restoration Division. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeff Fisher)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Dick Valladao signs the paperwork to donate the L-2M to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Valladao piloted the aircraft, which was used at the U.S. Army Air Forces Liaison Pilot Training School during World War II, during its final flight to the museum on Sept. 28, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeff Fisher)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Dick Valladao signs the paperwork to donate the L-2M to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Valladao piloted the aircraft, which was used at the U.S. Army Air Forces Liaison Pilot Training School during World War II, during its final flight to the museum on Sept. 28, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeff Fisher)


Adapted for military use from the commercial, prewar Taylorcraft Tandem Trainer, the L-2 initially carried the designation O-57. The "L" for "liaison" replaced the "O" designation for "observation." In the summer of 1941, the L-2 Grasshopper performed its service tests during US Army maneuvers in Louisiana and Texas, where it operated in various support roles such as a light transport and courier. The L-2 was not used in combat or sent overseas during World War II, and it was only used for liaison pilot training.

The L-2M (S/N 43-26592) on display was built in 1944 by the Taylorcraft Airplane Co. in Alliance, Ohio. The U.S. Army Air Forces used it for liaison pilot training at the McFarland Flying Service Contract Pilot School at the Atkinson Municipal Airport in Pittsburg, Kan. It is painted to represent another L 2M flown at the Atkinson Municipal Airport (S/N 43-26588) during the war.

In September 2011, Richard Valladao donated the restored aircraft to the museum in memory of U.S. Army Private 1st Class Richard Jerome Conway, who was killed in combat while serving with the 45th Infantry Division in France in 1944.

TECHNICAL NOTES:
Engine:
Continental O-170-3 of 65 hp
Maximum speed: 92 mph
Range: 227 miles

Click here to return to the World War II Gallery.

 

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