Classic Aircraft

Piper J3

Piper J3

1946 Piper J3-65

The Piper Cub certainly qualifies as a classic. It is the Model A Ford of aircraft. This particular beauty can be found at the Hampton Air Field, in North Hampton, New Hampshire, just off Route 1. It can be rented or used for flying lessons.

The Piper was produced from 1938-1947, and 14125 were produced. They still can be seen flying and many of them look as good as new. The powerplant in the Piper illustrated is a Continental engine. Many were made with Lycoming, and Franklin engines.

The Cub saga started in 1936 and continued to 1947. The Cub was used in the military and known as a L-4, O-59 and NE-1, and called a Grasshopper.



The next classic plane is the Douglas DC-3. This beautiful bird is also at the Hampton Air Field. It is in superb condition and flies on occasion. The DC-3 was known as a C-47, RD-4, and the Dakota. It was first produced in 1935, and many specimens are still flying today.

Four hundred fifty five DC-3 commercial transports were built for the airlines, and 10,174 were produced as military transports during World War II. The DC-3 proved to be tough, flexible, and easy to operate and maintain. During the war, the DC-3 became a legend. Today, more than six decades after the last one was produced, hundreds of DC-3s are still flying and carrying passengers or cargo.

    First flight: Dec. 17, 1935
  • Model number: DC-3
  • Wingspan: 95 feet
  • Length: 64 feet 5.5 inches
  • Height: 16 feet 3.6 inches
  • Ceiling: 20,800 feet
  • Range: 1,495 miles
  • Weight: 30,000 pounds
  • Power plant: Two 1,200-horsepower Wright Cyclone radial engines
  • Speed: 192 mph
  • Accommodation: 3 crew and 14 sleeper passengers, or 21 to 28 day passengers, or 3,725 to 4,500 pounds freight

    All photos by © 2001 Fred Sgrosso.

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