||Multipurpose light civil aircraft
The Piper J-5 'Cub Cruiser' was a larger, more powerful version of the basic Piper J-3 Cub.
It was designed just two years after the J-3 Cub, and differed by
having a wider fuselage with the pilot sitting in the front seat and two
passengers sitting in the rear seat. Equipped with a 75-hp Continental engine
the plane's cruising speed was 75 mph. Though officially a
three-seater, it would be more accurately described as a
"two-and-a-half-seater", as two adults would find themselves quite
cramped in wider rear seat. The Cruiser sold for $1,995 when it was
Production of the three models of the J- (-A, -B, -C), fall into two
categories that differ considerably. The obvious difference can be seen
in the landing gear. Early versions, of which 783 were built between
1940 and early 1942, have external bungee's. Those built from 1944 to
1946 included design changes developed for the United States Navy HE-1
flying ambulance, and these models have internal bungees. Currently over
500 J-5s remain on the FAA registry.
After the war, Piper dropped the J- designation system in exchange for the PA- system, and the J-5C became the PA-12 "Super Cruiser". The Super Cruiser was more popular than the basic J-5A, with 3,759 being built.
Piper also produced a four-seat variant of the Super Cruiser with a 115-hp engine. It was designated the PA-14 Family Cruiser. It was the least successful of the three Cruiser designs in terms of aircraft sold, with 238 being built in 1948/49, and only about one hundred remain in existence.