In case you hadn’t heard, this is the Year of the Cub…the 75th anniversary celebration of that wonderful proto-LSA, the *** Piper J3 Cub. *** All aircraft have their special places in our hearts. But was there ever anything quite like the wonderful Cub? If you haven’t had the pleasure, take some dual just to see what our forebears learned to fly in. You’ll not only gain appreciation for how much better your stick-and-rudder skills could be, but it will, I’ll wager, also infuse your soul with a real bit of love for flying, true grassroots Americana style. There just isn’t anything quite like the sensation of lifting off behind a Continental four-banger of varying horsepower (the one I rent is a Continental with 65 ponies) and struggling at a leisurely pace for altitude. *** Wikipedia has a tasty lead-off to its abstract that I want to share with you: it cuts through the flowery verbosity to capture in unadorned prose the essence of what the Cub has meant to generations of pilots: *** The Piper J-3 Cub is a small, simple, light aircraft that was built between 1937 and 1947 by Piper Aircraft. With tandem (fore and aft) seating, it was intended for flight training but became one of the most popular and best-known light aircraft of all time. The Cub’s simplicity, affordability and popularity invokes comparisons to the Ford Model T automobile.The aircraft’s standard chrome yellow paint has come to be known as “Cub Yellow” or “Lock Haven Yellow” *** As my pics, shot a couple winters ago, no doubt betray, there’s nothing in aviation *** EAA has put out a call to all J3 Cub owners to fly in to the big airshow later this month. There will be a big fly in to Wittman Field and prominent events including a zillion of them parked at the Antique section on the show grounds. *** And if you see someone putting their chin up against that wonderful Cub Yellow and making a wish, like we did as kids with buttercup flowers, please say hello: that’ll be me, unabashedly indulging my own version of Cub Love.
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