Piper L-4 Grasshopper
Piper developed a military variant (“All we had to do,” Bill Jr. is quoted as saying, “was paint the Cub olive drab to produce a military airplane”), variously designated as the O-59 (1941), L-4 (after April 1942) and NE (U.S. Navy). The L-4 Grasshopper was mechanically identical to the J-3 civilian Cub, but was distinguishable by the use of a Plexiglas greenhouse skylight and rear windows for improved visibility, much like the Taylorcraft L-2 and Aeronca L-3 also in use with the US armed forces. Carrying a single pilot and no passenger, the L-4 had a top speed of 85 mph (137 km/h), a cruise speed of 75 mph (121 km/h), a service ceiling of 12,000 ft (3,658 m), a stall speed of 38 mph (61 km/h), an endurance of three hours, and a range of 225 mi (362 km). Some 5,413 L-4s were produced for U.S. forces, including 250 built for the U.S. Navy under contract as the NE-1 and NE-2.
|Piper L-4B Grasshopper|
|L-4B||As per L-4A, but without radio equipment; 980 built|
|Lokalizáció||Travis Légierő Bázis Múzeum|
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|Piper NE-1 Cub Walk Around|
|Lokalizáció||Planes of Fame Légi show|
The Piper L-4 Grasshopper was a light aircraft used by the US Army Air Forces during World War II for various roles such as reconnaissance, artillery spotting, liaison and courier service. It was derived from the civilian Piper J3 Cub, a popular and simple design that had good low-speed handling and short-field performance. The Grasshopper had a Continental O-170 engine that produced 65 horsepower, and could fly at a maximum speed of 85 mph and a range of 190 miles.
The Grasshopper was one of the most widely used light aircraft of the war, with almost 6,000 units procured by the USAAF. Some Grasshoppers were modified with bazookas or rockets to attack enemy tanks and vehicles, earning them the nickname “Rosie the Rocketeer”. The Grasshopper was also involved in the Allied invasion of North Africa in 1942, where it provided valuable support to the ground forces. The Piper L-4 Grasshopper was a versatile and reliable aircraft that proved its worth in many theaters of war.
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