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Historical Piper L-4H replica

$20 of $47,000 goal

Raised by 1 person in 13 months
Our mission is to complete the process of building a replica from original drawings of a Piper L-4H nicknamed “Grasshoppers”, the military version of the Piper J-3 Cub, with the intent of displaying the plane by flying it to airshows, reenactments, and fly-ins and museums. There, we will be able to demonstrate the plane and teach the younger generations about the roles it played and the conditions under which they took place. We hope to memorialize and honor the men and women who flew these machines in service of their country getting the recognition and mention they so richly deserve.

It is an expensive and time consuming process, many hours of research, drawings, hand making of parts; painting and assembling are needed to complete this replica. We are looking for sponsors and donations to help complete this historical Piper L-4H replica. The donations will be used 100% to help cover the costs of obtaining, maintaining and restoring original parts such as original instruments, engine, covering materials, paint, with various other parts required to get it into the air. We will also accept useable part(s) donations too. This also includes obtaining and restoring many non-airplane historical items used in and with the L-4 when in service in the ETO (European Theater of Operations) such as original radio, parachutes, head sets, period fire extinguishers, and various other articles.

In the ongoing years much has been written about the brave exploits of World War II aircrews. Bomber and fighter crews experienced the rigors of high altitude flight; extended periods on oxygen, and temperatures of 20 - 40 degrees below zero. The fighters provided the air superiority that let the bombers achieve their strategic goal; destroying the enemy’s ability to wage war. All this taking place five to six miles in the sky over enemy cities. In contrast the L-birds flew at two to three thousand feet or at times tree top level or below over enemy troops, vehicle’s or gun emplacements in un-armed fabric covered aircraft.

Many of these L-Birds planes first took to the air in the hands of women. These women were members of the WAFS (The Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron), or the WASP’s (Women Airforce Service Pilots). They delivered many different types of planes being fighters, bombers or liaison from the factories to the fields where the planes would get “assigned” to their combat crewmembers. One historical flight was when six WAFS pilots flew six L-4’s from Lock Haven PA to be delivered to Mitchel Field; Long Island, NY for shipment overseas to the European Theater of Operations (ETO).

Once in the ETO they were then turned over to the small group of liaison/observation pilots who flew these L-Bird’s. They were attached to artillery batteries and General’s staffs. Their mission was to direct artillery fire, control convoy movements, carry messages and small light important cargo, as well as transporting VIP’s and occasionally acting as air ambulances. These planes, L-1s, -2s, -3s, -4s, -5s, powered by 65 and 75 HP engines, were based at small, forward fields. They had no “runways”, no hangars; maintenance/repair was done outside by mechanics working under the most primitive conditions. The pilots lived in tents and were armed with .45 caliber semiautomatic pistols and M-1 carbines (useful only when they got shot down). Their mission called for low and slow flying, which made them vulnerable to ground based small arms fire in addition to enemy fighters and low altitude flak.

In the tactical area, this small group of liaison/observation pilots braved serious rigors during the war and to many of the Wehrmacht generals; they caused more harm and worry than the “big boys”.

One captured Wehrmacht General stating:

 “We cursed the little dark green, high-wing aeroplanes. We knew that one of them in the area would precede a barrage and we tried our hardest to shoot them down. We dreaded those little observation aeroplanes- they were the angels of death to us.” -Captured German Officer, 10th SS Panzer, after Falaise.

Please do visit our web site to see the work we have done so far on this great project:  The Piper L-4H build.

If you too feel this is a worthy cause and would like to be part of this historical project, donating any amount to help would be greatly appreciate. Thank you from the L-4 build team.
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Joseph Haack
11 months ago
1
1

make a book on "How to build your own L-4" with references such as WAG-AERO etc. Fabricate/sell all the bits and parts for others who are restoring/building their own L-4s; funding your project. Contact the U.S. Army Field Artillery Association ( http://www.fieldartillery.org/ ) and ask them to assist in funding your program. They have lots of information that would be helpful for your project, also the USAF Museum in Dayton, OH. I look forward to your success... (and the HOW TOO book!)

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$20 of $47,000 goal

Raised by 1 person in 13 months
Created January 26, 2017
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$20
Joseph Haack
11 months ago

Retired Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Father and wife's grandfather were WW2 vets. Excellent project for education. You could create a book/manual on how to build your own L-4 Grasshopper and fabricate/sell all of the bits and pieces to fund your L-4 ! Best of luck, keep me posted.

Joseph Haack
11 months ago
1
1

make a book on "How to build your own L-4" with references such as WAG-AERO etc. Fabricate/sell all the bits and parts for others who are restoring/building their own L-4s; funding your project. Contact the U.S. Army Field Artillery Association ( http://www.fieldartillery.org/ ) and ask them to assist in funding your program. They have lots of information that would be helpful for your project, also the USAF Museum in Dayton, OH. I look forward to your success... (and the HOW TOO book!)

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