The simple design, appealing shape and fun flying characteristics of the Piper Cub put a glint in the eye of most pilots. Countless aviators trained and made their first solo flights in this beloved bird. But, being introduced in the 1930s, it’s no wonder the original Cub design could benefit from some improving modifications. Piper went through several iterations of the design, and a few companies have made a business of producing modern versions of C.G. Taylor’s ingenious little airplane.
Piper Cub Coupe
Introduced in 1939, the Piper J-4 Cub Coupe featured a door on each side of a wider fuselage that was able to accommodate a side-by-side seating arrangement. Despite an upgrade to Continental’s 75-horsepower engine in later versions, the Coupe’s cruise speed didn’t increase much over the J-3 Cubs’.
Piper Cub Special
To ensure that the new Cub Special really stuck out from earlier Cubs, Piper strayed from the J designators and called it a PA-11. The Cub Special was introduced in 1947 with a full-cover cowl and a two-tone paint job. The tandem seats were moved slightly aft, and the front seat was raised to enable solo flight from the front or rear. The fuel tank was relocated from inside the engine cowl to the left wing root.