Great Planes Piper J-3 / L-4
3 sizes to choose from, there's a Cub kit to suit any modeler's tastes and budget. But they all share the benefits
of Great Planes' advanced engineering, resulting in models that are amazingly easy to build and fly. And with
scale outlines taken from original Piper 3-view drawings, these kits boast a very realistic Cub profile, with
incredible attention to detail. All 3 Great Planes Cub kits feature computer-designed and drawn plans,
interlocking die-cut wood parts and straight, strong structures. Building is further simplified by pre-shaped
leading edges, pushrod routing holes and virtually all-balsa exteriors. The 40- and 60-size Cubs feature barn door
ailerons; the 20-size has strip ailerons.
My latest Great Planes Cub 20 was modified to produce an L-4
Grasshopper in D-Day invasion colors. It has scale barn-door ailerons (vs. the strip ailerons provided) and
observation Plexiglas in the rear.
micro servo was installed to trigger a small digital camera on the left wing struts. The stock version was covered
in red, white, and blue with a non-scale scheme.
to a decade ago, I built a stock GP Cub 20 in classic yellow, flew it a dozen time or so, then sold it.
More recently, I built and test-flew a GWS electric J-3 for a friend of mine. It uses a Hitec 3-channel radio.
Believe it or not, I'm putting the finishing touches on another GP Cub 20 that sports a red, white, and blue
Monokote job. On this version, I mounted the engine upright because I am tired of the fickleness of an inverted
engine. Sure, it's not as scale-looking, but then neither is turning the thing upside-down to start the engine.
Guzman, a friend and professional comrade (electrical engineer, owner of
RfTek) of mine from the Raleigh, North Carolina area, built and
flew model airplanes as a boy in Columbia. A picture of his Fokker DR-1 Triplane, one he build many moons ago, is
shown to the left. The J-3 Cub to the right is one he asked me to build and test-fly for him since it had been so
long since he had flown anything. I gladly took on the task.
He bought a Hi-Tec 3-channel radio for it. As
GWS Tiger Moth that I had bought for myself, the GWS J-3 Cub needed
some structural improvements to make it more durable. I cannot recall exactly what changes I made, but one was
definitely to NOT use the crappy glue that is provided in the kit. Reinforcing of the wing strut attachment points
was needed, and learning from the GWS Tiger Moth, about 5 degrees of down thrust was built into the motor mount.
The Tiger Moth had a severe tendency to climb in a when the power was advanced past about half throttle. It turned
out being a good decision, because even with the much down thrust, the GWS J-3 Cub still liked to climb at high
I took the J-3 Cub along to a small party that Dave and his wife threw at their house, and after eating, we all
walked across the street to for the maiden flight. The radio was range checked, a quick preflight on the
structure, and it was tossed into the air. Thankfully, the crowd was treated to a perfectly trimmed and flying
airplane. After a few trips around the field I put it into a dive and pulled up into a really bad loop, but
everyone was happy to see it. It flew around doing low passes until the battery ran out of power and made a nice
landing in the grass. It was getting really dark by then, but we stuck in the other battery and heaved it into the
air again. Dave flew it for a short time, but it was difficult to maintain visual orientation with the low light,
so he handed the transmitter back to be and I flew until the battery crapped out.
Great Planes J-3 Cub 20 w/O.S. 25 LA
is my non-scale covering of the Great Planes J-3 Cub 20. It was originally covered in an L-4 Grasshopper scheme,
but my lousy eyesight made it hard to tell what was happening due to the lack of color contrast, so I re-covered
it as shown. While at it, I turned the O.S. 25 LA engine upright to eliminate the need to turn the darn thing over
to start it (flooded otherwise). I also fixed the ailerons in place to make it a 3-channel setup - the ailerons
were not very effective, so I figured why bother.
the engine far enough out on the mount to reach front resulted in a lot of springiness, so I moved the engine back
close to the firewall and added a prop shaft extender from Fox.
The current setup is for a Futaba radio
with three S3004 standard servos. There is plenty of room for any radio. A 6-oz. fuel tank is installed and
pressurized by the muffler. I'm going to convert it to electric power.
Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain
some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey
through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which
all began in Mayo, MD. There
is a lot of good information and there are lot
of pictures throughout the website that you will probably find useful, and might
even bring back some old memories from your own days of yore. The website began life around
1996 as an EarthLink screen name of ModelAirplanes, and quickly grew to where more server
Copyright 1996 - 2022
BSEE - KB3UON
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Academy of Model Aeronautics