Building a Piper Cub!

Where do I start…   It’s been a while since we last made a post on the blog.  What can I say, we’ve been busy.  Lot’s of things have happened in our lives, some good and some not so good.  But, we are still here and have been flying, fishing and building as much as life allows.

Why a Piper Cub…  Well, we finished the RV9A over 5 years ago and have enjoyed every minute in the air with it (over 700 hours!).  But, on those rainy Saturdays for the first couple of years after building the RV, we would walk into the garage and wish we still had a project to work on, so the research began. We had the perfect long distance, fuel efficient and reliable plane with the RV, so why not “low & J3.gifslow”.   We didn’t want one of the main stream kit planes, mainly because they are fairly easy and quick to build and cost too much money.  We went plans / scratch built so that we could spread the minimal build cost over several years allowing us to take as long as needed to afford to build.  The Cub was the perfect plane for the mission, an inexpensive, “low & slow”, Sunday afternoon flyer!

Slow Progress…  We started work on the project a little over 3 years ago.  I have focused on the tubing and welding of the fuselage & tail feathers and Beth has been building the wood ribs.  We have collectively spent just over 400 hours on the project… contrast that with the 3,000+ hours we worked on the RV in just under three years and you can see why this is the perfect project for the rainy Saturdays 🙂

Really Neat Video…  After working on smaller components of the tail feathers for a while, I decided to do some time lapse photography of the fuselage build…  It turned out pretty good!  The video below represents about 14 months worth of work.  I have since made a good bit more progress, but have not prepared a video of the results yet.  The time lapse below has been compressed into about 8 minutes, so go fix yourself a glass of wine and come back!

So There You Have It…  who knows, it may be another two years before we post again, but I hope not!  In the mean time, please follow us on Facebook or “the” Twitter and keep the shiny side up!


Posted on February 16, 2016, in Airplanes, Aviation, Home Building and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Wow!! That is a lot of work!! I just want to ride in your plane!

  2. Very neat perspective, Paul.

  3. I sure admire what you have done and I’m envious of you up there in the sky. You are very talented to have built your own plane. I took lessons for awhile in a Piper Cherokee. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to travel and fly and travelling won out for the time being. However, I still have dreams of finishing my pilot’s licence some day.

    • Thanks Debbie… Flying has always been a lot of fun for us. It gives you a sense of freedom that you can’t get on the ground! We are fortunate to be able to combine flying with traveling, although it does keep our travels limited to the lower US.

  4. I love the time lapse… what camera, etc. did you use to capture it? Thanks!

    • It was a Brinno TLC200 that is designed specifically for time lapse. The capture rate was 1 frame per minute and for the most part I tried to put it in the same location every day that I worked. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Please share with me the source for the plans to scratch build a J3 Cub as you are currently building.

    • Bob,

      I am using the Wag Aero Sport Trainer plans that are based on 1946 Piper Cub. You can find the plans here:

      Have Fun!

      • Thanks for the helpful reply. I was not aware of the extensive product offering that Wag Aero offers. I’m in the process of considering building the J3 but I would look to factory welded components. I don’t feel confident to tackle the project as you have.
        PS, What engine are you planning to use?

  6. Bob, I found a used Continental O-200 (100HP) a couple of years ago. I plan to go through it and rebuild as necessary.

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