Piper J3 Cub

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Piper J-3 Cub
Piper j3cub.jpg
Piper Cub cockpit in version 2.4
Piper Cub cockpit in version 2.4
Type Civil aircraft, Civil utility aircraft, Military utility aircraft aircraft, Glider tug
Configuration High wing aircraft
Propulsion Propeller aircraft, Single-engine aircraft
Manufacturer Piper
  • David Megginson (3D, FDM)
  • Jim Wilson (Instruments)
  • Don Lavelle (3D remodel, instrument mods, pilot mods, effects, livery)
--aircraft= Cub (YASim)
J3Cub (JSBSim)
Status advanced production
 Website The website for the Piper J-3 Cub developments.
 Repository The development repository of the Piper J-3 Cub.
Download Download the Piper J-3 Cub aircraft package for the current stable release (2020.3).
License GPLv3+
This aircraft is NOT available under the GNU GPL 2, the primary license of the FlightGear project. This means that parts cannot be reused in the official FlightGear repositories.

The Piper J-3 Cub is a small, simple, light aircraft that was built between 1937 and 1947 by Piper Aircraft. With tandem (fore and aft) seating, it was intended for flight training but became one of the most popular and best-known light aircraft of all time. The Cub's simplicity, affordability and popularity invokes comparisons to the Ford Model T automobile.

The aircraft's standard yellow paint has come to be known as “Cub Yellow” or "Lock Haven Yellow".

Aircraft help

172P 06.jpg


Key Function
d Open/Close door
s Start engine
Ctrl+o Start/Stop aerotowing


This section originally contained material which was suspected of not complying with the GPL and was removed.

The original Cub manual may be found by searching for "how to fly a Piper Cub" on the net. This link should also work - http://www.paragonair.com/N/70497/FLY_A_CUB.pdf

Pilot Check List

Pre start

  1. Chocks on
  2. Check fuel quantity
  3. Check controls movements


  1. Switch fuel on
  2. Check magneto off
  3. Swing prop
  4. Switch magneto to both
  5. Swing prop
  6. Chocks away
  7. Check oil pressure
  8. Check door close
  9. S-taxi to runway

Take off

  1. Check all clear
  2. Throttle to 1400 rpm
  3. Check tachometer
  4. Ease throttle forward
  5. At 100 feet ease tail up
  6. Stick to neutral
  7. Stick back pressure to 10 feet altitude
  8. Stick neutral again
  9. Climb
  10. Fly


  1. Prepare to land
  2. Ease throttle back
  3. Check carb heater
  4. Glide to runway
  5. Clear engine with throttle
  6. At 15 feet back pressure
  7. At 2 feet stick all way back
  8. No need to brake
  9. S-taxi
  10. Switch magneto off


FG 2.4 Default aircraft --aicraft=Cub

Having been familiar with the Piper cub model in earlier versions of FG, I was pleasantly surprised by the improvement in detail. Overall the model seemed more accurate and the cockpit was especially pleasing.

The aircraft starts with the engine ticking over, so increasing the throttle, rudder has to be used to keep the aircraft straight, but this brings the left wing low, and attempting to correct this immediately lifts the aircraft off in a second. Climb is good, and visibility is very good, enhanced by the view of the high definition model of the tire sticking out as seem from the cockpit.

An easy aircraft to fly, the instruments, although as clear as any, take some getting used to, but then we are flying VFR. The RPM reads right to left, and there is an ASI, altimeter but no VSI at all. There are no radios or other electrical encumbrances.

Landing was particularly easy, slowing down to 50 kt or so, and landing on the grass outside of KSFO which undoubtedly will not be permitted in real life.

Probably the original LSA, the Cub will probably never lose its charm, and is well worth checking out.

--Openflight (talk) 00:42, 8 February 2014 (UTC)


The J3Cub is capable of aerotowing over multiplayer by the glider pilot pressing Ctrl+o while behind the Cub. The Cub pilot can release the hook anytime by pressing Shift+O

Development status/Issues/Todo

The aircraft was fully remodelled in April 2010 and made available as the Cub. The original low resolution model is still available as the Piper J3 Cub in FGFS version 1.9.1 and older.


As of 6/2015, a livery system and three new liveries have been added.

3D Cockpit

  • No switches and levers available
  • Altimeter can't be adjusted with the mouse
  • While an inclinometer (slip/skid bubble) is optional in a J3 Cub, it's highly recommended, since we can't feel uncoordinated flight through the seats of our pants in FlightGear (it's right under the mag compass in this photo)


  • Engine sound in cockpit differs only slightly from outside engine sound


  • Pilot door is open and partly in the the wing rods - this is accurate, and how the J3 can be flown
  • Does this airplane have flaps? - no
  • No electrical system, therefore no cockpit, instrument, or aircraft lights - but there is an engine start to make it easy
  • No HUD