Warbird Information Exchange

O-59 Project
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Author:  pilotpiper [ Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:44 am ]
Post subject:  O-59 Project

This is my first attempt to actively participate in any type of forum, so please bear with me as I figure this out. I have a 1940 J-3 Cub that I am recovering. I want to commemorate the Cubs wartime service which reflects the entire country's conversion to a war footing so I want to repaint it as an early O-59. My research so far shows that the first 40+ O-59s were stock J-3Cs outfitted with radios. As production ramped up, the extra rear windows were added and they were redesignated L-4As.

My aircraft (N31035, sn 5271) left the factory in Sep 1940 as a J-3L (it was converted to a J-3C in 1950) and went to work as a trainer in Revere, MA. It was drafted into wartime service in late 1941 or early 1942. I know that by October 1942 it was serving with the 507th College Training Detachment (Aircrew) in Columbia, MO. That program ceased in Jun 1944 and the aircraft was surplussed out of government service later that summer. I don't for sure what it looked like then but it most likely retained its Cub livery with the addition of a large number on the side to aid in ramp identification and perhaps the insignia of the unit painted on the side. To me that's an uninspired paint scheme, so I want to dress it as a US Army O-59. This also commemorates my 28 years in the US Air Force.

My intention is not to roll out a aircraft that looks better than a factory fresh airplane, correct in every detail of a particular era. Rather, I want to roll out a good looking, airworthy craft that looks like a well cared for 75 year old airplane. I want retain other physical modifications it picked up during its lifetime. For example, after the war it was owned by the inventor of the Beech-Roby adjustable propeller and in the cockpit it still has the bracket that supported the control for the prop. It also has a one piece windscreen, Cleveland brakes, and a more modern tailwheel.

This has been a rather long introduction to say that if any of you have suggestions on how to use this forum, where to research authentic O-59 paint schemes and equipment, or other related information, I would appreciate it.

Thanks, Bob

P.S. I am the maintenance office for the Dixie Wing of the Commemorative Air Force in Peachtree City, GA (dixiewing.org). We have a flying collection of 8 aircraft and are open for visitors every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. You are welcome any of those days and it's free!

Author:  Cubs2jets [ Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: O-59 Project


Sounds like a nice tribute project.

There are upwards of 50 O-59 pictures in the Life magazine photo archives. This link will get you started


As you click on a picture, you will be given more related pictures to view.


Author:  pilotpiper [ Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: O-59 Project

Perfect! Many thanks for this link. Lot's of good information there! Bob

Author:  Cubs2jets [ Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: O-59 Project

A few pics I have collected...







Author:  pilotpiper [ Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: O-59 Project

More great pics! Thanks. These are really getting my juices flowing to get going on this.

Author:  Speeddemon651 [ Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: O-59 Project

Have you posted in the cub forums / L-4 section yet ? lots of good info on there also.


Author:  pilotpiper [ Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: O-59 Project

Just in a limited way. Thanks for the reminder to continue the search. The pictures from Cubs2jets reply provided most of the details I've been looking for. My search now is to locate Learadio AMT-12 and AMR-12 radios and the trailing wire antenna set it used. There's lot's more to learn though, so thanks for the tip!! Bob :drink3:

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