AirVenture ‘Cubs 2 Oshkosh’ Event Celebrates J-3’s 75th Anniversary

Piper Cub

If you’re headed to Oshkosh later this month for EAA AirVenture, expect to see a lot more yellow on the grounds of Wittman Regional Airport -- specifically, Piper Cub Yellow. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the legendary J-3 Cub, the model that launched Piper Aircraft Co. in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, in 1937, and saw nearly 20,000 built before production ended a decade later.

To celebrate the milestone, the Experimental Aircraft Association is organizing “Cubs 2 Oshkosh,” an effort to coordinate the arrivals of more than 200 Cubs from around the United States and Canada and celebrate one of general aviation’s most iconic models.

Considering that the J-3 has an endurance of only about two hours and maximum cruise speed of around 85 mph, reaching Wisconsin will be difficult task for more far-flung owners. To make the journey more fun, EAA has established a website at where participating Cub owners can make plans with others to meet up at staging airports along the way.

Cub-related events at AirVenture 2012 will include a display of artifacts and memorabilia in the Cub FBO shack across the road from the VAA Red Barn, as well as a variety of Cubs on display around that building. On Tuesday, July 24, a variety of J-3s will participate in flying demonstrations, with commentary provided by Cub experts Clyde Smith Jr. and Roger Peperell.

Among the unique Cubs expected to make the journey to Oshkosh this year will be a rare J-3P Cub equipped with a Lenape Papoose three-cylinder radial engine. Owned by the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum (WAAAM) in Hood River, Oregon, it is thought to be one of only two Cubs still flying with this engine.

Also be sure to check out the August issue of Flying for a special 10-page tribute to the legendary J-3.


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