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Cub anniversary approachesCub anniversary approaches

Wisconsin event marks J-3’s 80th anniversaryWisconsin event marks J-3’s 80th anniversary

A gaggle of Piper Cubs—and their pilots—will assemble at Hartford (Wisconsin) Municipal Airport July 21 and 22 to mark the venerable Cub’s eightieth anniversary. Then they’ll depart beginning just after sunrise on Sunday, July 23, for EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, where they will be parked together on the flightline. AirVenture 2017 runs from July 24 through 30.

A Piper Cub taxis at sunset in Hartford, Wisconsin, the evening before the July 22, 2012, Cubs2Oshkosh flight commemorating the Piper J-3 Cub's 75th anniversary. Photo by Mike Collins.

Event plans for Cubs 2 Oshkosh mirror those of five years ago, when approximately 150 aircraft turned out for the first Cubs 2 Oshkosh event, which celebrated the Cub’s seventy-fifth anniversary. The first J-3 was built in Piper’s Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, plant on Oct. 8, 1937, and probably would have made its first half-hour test flight that Friday—or soon thereafter, if it was finished late in the day. 

The event is being organized because of popular demand, said Steve Krog, who operates the Cub Air Flight LLC flight school at Hartford. After the seventy-fifth anniversary celebration, “We had numerous participants contact us and said, ‘I hope you do this again in five years. This is really fun.’” So he and a small team have worked to do just that.

Event plans include several meals—grilled bratwurst Friday afternoon, a spaghetti dinner Saturday, and pancake breakfasts Saturday and Sunday mornings. Food trucks on site will provide lunch on Saturday, Krog said. There will be entertainment Saturday evening, and shuttle transportation into Hartford; there also will be awards and a raffle.

A wealth of technical information will be available to attendees Friday and Saturday. Clyde Smith Jr. of Lock Haven, Pennsylvania—a longtime Piper Aircraft employee better known today as the “Cub Doctor”—and Roger Peperell, the noted aviation author and Piper historian who wrote Piper Aircraft—The Development and History of Piper Designs in 1998 and co-authored Piper Aircraft and Their Forerunners in 1987, will be on hand at Hartford. “It's a real opportunity to meet both of these gentlemen and ask questions about your Cub,” Krog said.

Early on July 23, the Cubs will depart Hartford in trail, flying the 39 nautical miles north to Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh for EAA AirVenture.

Krog said it’s important that pilots register to be assured they can participate in the flight to Oshkosh. Registration is $125 per aircraft, which includes meals and T-shirts for both pilots, and a swag bag of giveaways. For more information or to register, visit the Cubs2Osh website or call Jamie Weber, the event manager, at 262/966-7627. Check the website or the event’s Facebook page for updates.

Mike Collins

Mike Collins

Technical Editor
Mike Collins has worked for AOPA’s media network since 1994. He holds a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
Topics: Taildragger, Vintage, EAA AirVenture

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