In association with Classic Wings Magazine

Piper L-4 Cub

NZD $79,000 (+GST if sold in New Zealand)
Perhaps the most iconic of all light recreational and training aircraft 'The Cub' has appeared in a great many interations since the release of the parasol Taylor E-2 'Cub', which in a couple of small steps, jumped from the Taylor J-2, and then the Piper J-3, considered by most to be the 'standard' Cub which was built in significant numbers through the 1930s.

During WW-II, and with very few modifications, the popular puddle-jumper became a military 'grasshopper'. An amazing 20,000+ of the 65hp aircraft were produced including over 5,000 during WW-II as the L-4, distinguished most readily by its extended plexiglas glazing for improved capability in the observation role.

After WW-II, the Cub was updated as the PA-11 Cub Special with fully enclosed cowling and increased horse-power, which proved a stepping stone towards the extremely capable 150 hp 'Super-Cub' (with flaps) which came to be considered the universal private bush-plane for many years. Piper continued to build these until 1981, by which time the basic Cub design was over half a century old!  But the story did not end there with several companies still building modernised variations of the design to this day.

This particular aircraft was fully restored 'from the ground up' during the 1990s, and whilst that work was carried out over two decades ago now, the aeroplane has been very well looked after by its LAME owner, always hangared, and remains in excellent condition.

The asking price is more than realistic at $79,000 (+GST if sold in New Zealand), making it the cheapest member of the Cub family to appear on the market in NZ for some time (reflecting the lower horse-power of the L-4). As most buyers will be aware, you'd have to pay more than twice that for a good Super Cub if you could find one within the country.

Hero images courtesy of Peter Lewis.

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General characteristics

  • Crew: one pilot
  • Capacity: one passenger
  • Length: 22 ft 5 in (6.83 m)
  • Wingspan: 35 ft 3 in (10.74 m)
  • Height: 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
  • Wing area: 178.5 sq ft (16.58 m2)
  • Empty weight: 765 lb (345 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 1,220 lb (550 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Continental A-65-8 air-cooled horizontally opposed four cylinder, 65 hp (48 kW) 


  • Maximum speed: 76 knots (87 mph, 140 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 65 knots (75 mph, 121 km/h)
  • Range: 191 nmi (220 mi, 354 km)
  • Service ceiling: 11,500 ft (3,500 m)
  • Rate of climb: 450 ft/min (2.3 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 6.84 lb/sq ft (33.4 kg/m2)