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J-3 Cub markings.

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J-3 Cub markings.

Old 09-06-2002, 02:19 PM
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Default Painting J3 Cub scale markings

For the J-3 type, I've been heavily involved in some past projects and the research says that the lightning bolt varies a lot from plane to plane these days... probably didn't originally, but absolutely does on "real" J-3s today... so if you want it exact and current, it'll have to be an exact match to a particular plane. If you're not going to compete, then good enough may be good enough -- since it is on the full sized ones.
Old 10-06-2002, 01:18 PM
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Default J-3 Cub markings.

Curioius thing about that black lightening bolt on the Cub. I went to work at Central Aviation Company in Birmingham, Alabama while I was a senior in high school. They had just bought 4 brand new J-3s and my boss gave me a can of black paint, a little brush and told me to number them right above the front of the lightening bolt. In other words, Cub 1...Cub 2...etc. In the process of performing this chore, I noticed that the black lightening bolts were all slightly different. Even on the same plane, one side would be different from the other side. A few years later Central Aviation hired an A & E mechanic who had worked at Piper in Loch Haven, PA and I asked him about it. He busted out laughing and told me that just about anyone who worked at Piper might have masked off the lightening bolts. He said there was no pattern for the marking, just the beginning and the end of the bolt was generally known. He said he'd even grabbed some masking tape and did a couple on his lunch break just for kicks.
I got my private license in a J-3, my commercial and instrument in a Tri-Pacer. (No VORs to track back then...just the A and N quardrants.) My my, how things have changed.
So, on your model, have your wife or girl friend or eight year old child do it. They'll be close....LOL.
Old 10-08-2002, 02:13 PM
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Default Painting J3 Cub scale markings

That definitely rings true. Before I went off to the Air Force I took a little fairwell road trip with the wife and included the Piper factory tour on the agenda.

By that time the Tomahawk was what we got to see and there were no patterns or templates for the stripes or tomahawk emblem... it was all measured by eyeball and masked by hand.

My recollection is that they told us that the Tomahawks were all masked by the same guy, which is possible, I suppose, but that each one is at least a little bit unique.

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