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United States' Piper Grasshopper liaison

Photos

  • Piper L-4 Grasshopper liaison
  • Piper L-4 Grasshopper liaison
  • Piper L-4 Grasshopper liaison
  • Piper L-4 Grasshopper liaison
  • Piper L-59 Grasshopper liaison
  • Piper L-59 Grasshopper liaison

Design

The Piper Grasshopper was based on the civilian Piper Cub. Four of the Piper Cub Model J-3C-65s were purchased, and designated the YO-59, for evaluation by the United States Army Air Corps in mid-1941.

The Piper Grasshopper was used as a liaison and artillery spotter.

The Grasshopper had high wings. The covering was fabric.

Production

  • Piper Cub Model J-3C-65, YO-59: 4
  • Piper O-59, L-4 : 40
  • Piper J-5C Cub, Piper HE-1, Piper AE-1: 100
  • Piper NE-1: 230
  • Piper NE-2: 20
  • Piper TG-8: 250
  • Piper XLNP-1: 3
  • Total: 5,000

In 1943 the HE-1 was redesignated the AE-1 when the HE designation was to be used for helicopters instead.

Variants

  • Piper O-59, L-4: No radio.
  • Piper O-59A, L-4A: No radio. Allow frame with a fabric cover. Cockpit area was expanded to allow for better visibility. Used a Continental O-170-3 (65 HP) engine.
  • Piper L-4C: Formerly civilian J3L-65 Cub Trainer. Had a Lycoming O-145-B1 engine.
  • Piper L-4D: Formerly civilian J3F-65 Cub Trainer. Had a Franklin 4AC-176-B2 engine.
  • Piper L-4E: Formerly civilian J4 Coupe. Had a Continental A75-9 engine.
  • Piper L-4F: Formerly civilian J5A Cruiser. Had a Continental A75-8 engine.
  • Piper L-4G: Formerly civilian J5B Cruiser. Had a Lycoming GO-145-C2 engine.
  • Piper L-4H: Had two way radio.
  • Piper L-59:
  • Piper J-5C Cub, Piper HE-1, Piper AE-1: Ambulance. Carried one stretcher.
  • Piper NE-1: Primary trainer used by United States Navy.
  • Piper NE-2: Primary trainer used by United States Navy.
  • Piper TG-8: Training glider. Engine and landing gear removed. Carried instructor and two students.
  • Piper XLNP-1: Training glider evaluated by United States Navy.

Usage

During the Army maneuvers in 1941 the Grasshopper was first used. It was to be used in all theaters of operation.

Specifications

  L-4 Grasshopper
Type Liaison
Crew 2
Engine (Type) Continental O-170-3
Cylinders 4, Flat 4
Cooling Air
HP 65
Propeller blades 2 wood
Fuel Capacity 12 Gallons
Dimensions  
Span 35' 2.5", 35' 3"
10.7 m, 10.74 m
Length 22', 22' 4.5"
6.71 m, 6.83 m
Height 6' 8"
1.9 m, 2.03 m
Wing area 178.5 sq ft, 179 sq ft
16.5 sq m, 16.63 sq m
Weight  
Empty 730 lb, 740 lb
331 kg , 336 kg
Loaded 1,220 lb
553 kg, 554 kg
Performance  
Speed 85 mph, 87 mph
137 kph, 139 kph
Speed - Cruising 75 mph
120 kph, 121 kph
Climb 450'/minute
140 m/minute
Service ceiling 9,300', 11,500'
2,835 m, 3,510 m
Range 190 miles, 260 miles
306 km, 416 km
Armament None
  L-59 Grasshopper
Type Liaison
Engine (Type) 1: Continental A-65
Cylinders Horizontal opposed
Cooling Air
HP 65
Dimensions  
Span 35' 2"
Length 22' 5"
Height 6' 8"
Performance  
Speed 87 mph
Landing speed 35 mph
Range 200 miles
  AE-1
Type Ambulance
Crew Pilot, passenger
Dimensions  
Span 35' 5.5"
10.8 m
Length 22' 6"
6.9 m
Height 6' 10"
2.1 m
Wing area 179 sq ft
16.6 sq m
Weight  
Empty 906 lb
411 kg
Loaded 1,426 lb
647 kg
Performance  
Speed 100 mph
160 kph
Landing speed 85 mph
136.8 kph
Climb 600'/minute
183 m/minute
Range 264 miles
422 km
Armament None

Sources:

  1. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  2. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  3. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
  4. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site