OSHKOSH - A big birthday celebration Tuesday at EAA AirVenture. One of the most popular vintage aircraft, that weighs less than a thousand pounds, turns 75 years old. Pilots have come from around the world to celebrate the Piper Cub.
The Piper J-3 Cub was built in 1937 through 1947. Right away the Civilian Pilot Training Program saw a use for the plane.
"There was a need for training planes and the one that seemed to do it the best for a reasonable price was the Piper Cub," said H.G Frautschy, the executive director of the Vintage Aircraft Association.
Frautschy told FOX 11 the cub became famous quickly.
"They were on cigarette packs, match kit covers, on any kind of popular advertising at the time, the Piper Cub became the plane everybody knew about," said Frautschy.
Pilot Steve Krog owns three Piper Cubs. He Told FOX 11 they are some of the most popular vintage aircraft.
According to Krog, who also runs a flight school using Piper Cubs, they are a safe, relatively easy plane to learn to fly. But it's not just these factors that make the planes popular.
"Many of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers learned to fly in cubs so there's a real connection to the airplane," said Krog.
Frautschy said Piper Aircraft built about 6,000 cubs around the WWII era, about half remain today. 181 came to AirVenture for the 75th anniversary celebration.
"We have never had that many Piper Cubs here on the field at one time, so it's really cool to see that much yellow," said Frautschy.
And why yellow?
"Old man Piper, when he was looking for for a color, looked for the cheapest he could find," said Krog.
This color came with the right price, 75 years later it's known as "cub yellow."
The plane is also known for a few other features.
The cub wasn't built for comfort, it's difficult to get in and out of and once you're up in the air, it's a little windy, but pilots say they love to fly it anyway.
"They're noisy, they're cold, everything vibrates in them and they're the sweetest, most fun airplane you will ever fly," said Krog.
A statement at least 180 other aviators agree with.
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