Piper J-3 Cub

Introduced 75 years ago, the J-3 established the idea of a simple, inexpensive and easy-to-fly trainer. In the 1940s and 1950s, more pilots learned to fly in J-3 Cubs than any other model. Even if you’ve never sat behind the controls of one, you understand the importance of the J-3 to general aviation history. If you have flown a Cub, well, you don’t need to be told it’s one of the best-flying light airplanes ever made.

This particular aircraft was built in September 1940 and has been immaculately restored to it’s original glory. 

Besides the mag switch, the Cub has a stick and throttle for each pilot, rudder pedals, heel brakes, carb heat knob, fuel shutoff and trim. In the panel, the only instruments are a wet compass, airspeed indicator, altimeter, rpm, and oil temperature and pressure gauges. The fuel gauge is a metal wire connected to a synthetic float that protrudes from the top of the cowl. In a Cub, you really don’t need anything else — and much of the time, even this sparse array of instrumentation is overkill.

Whether by design or luck, somehow it all comes together. The Cub has excellent harmonization in flight. It flies wonderfully. That’s what makes the Cub such a great trainer — and a great airplane.