Is it possible for a J3 cub to be flown solo from front seat

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N918KT
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Is it possible for a J3 cub to be flown solo from front seat

Postby N918KT » Wed May 01, 2013 9:44 pm

Quick question. I was just wondering if a Piper J-3 Cub (the original one) could be flown solo from the front seat? That is one of the things I do not like about the J-3 Cub because I heard that you can only fly solo from the back seat. With an STC or some kind of modification, can I fly it from the front?

jnmeade
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Re: Is it possible for a J3 cub to be flown solo from front

Postby jnmeade » Wed May 01, 2013 10:23 pm

It's a weight and balance issue. You can't solo from the front seat. Some later Cub mods could be. I suppose you could ballast it and fly from the front, but that doesn't meet the letter of the law.

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RyanShort1
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Re: Is it possible for a J3 cub to be flown solo from front

Postby RyanShort1 » Wed May 01, 2013 10:53 pm

N918KT wrote:Quick question. I was just wondering if a Piper J-3 Cub (the original one) could be flown solo from the front seat? That is one of the things I do not like about the J-3 Cub because I heard that you can only fly solo from the back seat. With an STC or some kind of modification, can I fly it from the front?

Not if it's a stock aircraft, but there are modifications that can make it possible. I have flown one that has an 85 hp engine and a starter and wing tanks and it can be flown from the front seat because of the weight shift. The only problem is that the useful load is much reduced...
Also, frankly, the rear seat is more fun and the visibility is better (except upwards.)!

Image

If you ever get down in my way down here in Texas I'd be happy to try and get you in a Cub.

Ryan
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N918KT
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Re: Is it possible for a J3 cub to be flown solo from front

Postby N918KT » Wed May 01, 2013 11:44 pm

I didn't know that visibility in a Cub is better from the back seat. Why is the visibility better from the back seat?

jnmeade
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Re: Is it possible for a J3 cub to be flown solo from front

Postby jnmeade » Thu May 02, 2013 8:34 am

N918KT wrote:I didn't know that visibility in a Cub is better from the back seat. Why is the visibility better from the back seat?

Some claim you can land a tail wheel airplane as well or better from the back seat because you have what they consider a better perspective. It does mean you are using peripheral vision instead of looking over the nose, but on some you can't see much over the nose, anyway. I've had tail wheel instructors tell me they prefer to fly from the back seat.

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Re: Is it possible for a J3 cub to be flown solo from front

Postby Merlinspop » Thu May 02, 2013 8:46 am

.... this is second hand, but I'm told that those long of limb will find the intersection between fuel tank and shin to be less than ideal. Also, the rear seat is well behind the CG, which allows for more feedback from your Tushie Yaw Sensor.

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RyanShort1
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Re: Is it possible for a J3 cub to be flown solo from front

Postby RyanShort1 » Thu May 02, 2013 8:50 am

N918KT wrote:I didn't know that visibility in a Cub is better from the back seat. Why is the visibility better from the back seat?

Mainly because you have the huge door on the right, and a good window on the left to see to the sides. You can't really see the runway directly ahead of you on landing anyway from either seat, so the rear seat gives you more peripheral clues. I spend a LOT of time in the front seat of a Cub, but if I have my choice, I'll take the back seat.

Ryan
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Re: Is it possible for a J3 cub to be flown solo from front

Postby 3Dreaming » Thu May 02, 2013 9:28 am

A little story. I had a J3 Cub that I taught in for about a year in 2006-07. I did several tailwheel transitions during that time. One was with a flight instructor who had problems landing the airplane and keeping it straight on the ground. Because he was an instructor he insisted that it must be better to fly from the front seat even though I had told him he was better off in the rear. Anyway I let him try in the front, and after that flight he gladdly moved back to the rear seat and started listening to me.

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Re: Is it possible for a J3 cub to be flown solo from front

Postby RyanShort1 » Thu May 02, 2013 9:33 am

3Dreaming wrote:A little story. I had a J3 Cub that I taught in for about a year in 2006-07. I did several tailwheel transitions during that time. One was with a flight instructor who had problems landing the airplane and keeping it straight on the ground. Because he was an instructor he insisted that it must be better to fly from the front seat even though I had told him he was better off in the rear. Anyway I let him try in the front, and after that flight he gladdly moved back to the rear seat and started listening to me.

Yeah. It sounds like he was biting off more than he should have. I see that a lot with instructors - and have probably done it myself. Henry Plourde in the Compleat Taildragger Pilot recommends that one not instruct in tailwheel until one has 200 hours of experience. I'm not sure if that's not a bit of overkill, but I know that my mentor wouldn't let me fly as a tailwheel instructor until I had over 100 hours, and I'm glad he did. There were several situations that I have been able to get students out of mainly because of my own experience.

Ryan
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Re: Is it possible for a J3 cub to be flown solo from front

Postby 3Dreaming » Thu May 02, 2013 10:24 am

RyanShort1 wrote:
3Dreaming wrote:A little story. I had a J3 Cub that I taught in for about a year in 2006-07. I did several tailwheel transitions during that time. One was with a flight instructor who had problems landing the airplane and keeping it straight on the ground. Because he was an instructor he insisted that it must be better to fly from the front seat even though I had told him he was better off in the rear. Anyway I let him try in the front, and after that flight he gladdly moved back to the rear seat and started listening to me.

Yeah. It sounds like he was biting off more than he should have. I see that a lot with instructors - and have probably done it myself. Henry Plourde in the Compleat Taildragger Pilot recommends that one not instruct in tailwheel until one has 200 hours of experience. I'm not sure if that's not a bit of overkill, but I know that my mentor wouldn't let me fly as a tailwheel instructor until I had over 100 hours, and I'm glad he did. There were several situations that I have been able to get students out of mainly because of my own experience.

Ryan


It is a real balance between how far you can let the student go and not damaging the airplane. I know several that I have flown with couldn't believe how far I would let them go.

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Re: Is it possible for a J3 cub to be flown solo from front

Postby cogito » Mon May 06, 2013 9:56 am

I chatted with a J3 owner recently who said that if the Cub has any kind of electrical system, the battery can be moved to the tail to make solo front seat flying possible.

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Re: Is it possible for a J3 cub to be flown solo from front

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon May 06, 2013 10:21 am

My dad ussed to fly a tri gear J3 Cub solo from the front seat. I don't know if it was still placarded solo rear seat only. I think he felt more comfortable there because of learning to fly in a PA12.

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Re: Is it possible for a J3 cub to be flown solo from front

Postby N918KT » Mon May 06, 2013 8:08 pm

Since when does a J3 cub comes with a trigear? Are you referring to the Piper PA-11? I think I learned on this forum a while back that you can switch a PA-11 from tailwheel to nose gear with a few hours of converting it with an A&P mechanic.

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Re: Is it possible for a J3 cub to be flown solo from front

Postby 3Dreaming » Tue May 07, 2013 9:14 am

Kevin, Piper never built any that way it was converted in the field with a STC. There was even a STC bi-plane conversion for the Cub.

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drseti
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Re: Is it possible for a J3 cub to be flown solo from front

Postby drseti » Tue May 07, 2013 11:40 am

There was even a twin cub. Two J3 fuselages connected through a stub wing section, with the right wing from one and the left wing from the other still attached. Strange bird:

http://www.lockhaven.com/page/content.detail/id/544463/Twin-engine-Piper-Cub.html?nav=5062
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