The Piper J-3 was introduced in 1937 and by the end
of 1941 some 10,000 had been produced.
They are still a relatively common sight on airports
across the USA today. This beautifully kept
photographed at the Franklin County Airport, North Carolina, in
2004. It displays
original livery. While other power plants were used, by far the
most common was
A65. During WW II many thousands of Piper J-3s were
used by various branches
of the armed
forces as air observation posts and liaison machines with extended
Although originally known as the O-59A, they were
re-classified into the liaison class as L-4s
in 1944. Many
restored L-4s appear on the world's civil aircraft registers. I
immaculate example on
a recent trip to England at Dunkeswell Airport in Devonshire (the County
of my birth).
This machine is, in fact, an original O-59A, having been built as
42-36767. It was re-
an L-4A and later civilianized in the US as N46454. It was
exported to France as
crossing the Channel to become G-BGSJ. Clearly it is not a
requirement in the
UK that the 'true'
civilian registration be displayed on the aircraft!