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Power for the Cub

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February 2005-

Piper's ubiquitous Cub—from the humble J-2 through the PA-18 and all the variants in between—has always been known as a design that could be successful when equipped with virtually any powerplant that happened to be available.
Unfortunately, in its early days there were not that many reliable engines from which to choose. The Cub had that problem when C. Gilbert Taylor developed the prototype in 1930. He had chosen the Brownback Tiger Kitten (hence the name Cub), an inverted two-stroke twin of 20-25 horsepower that would just barely get the airplane off the ground with a single pilot aboard, so a 9-cylinder Salmson AD-9 radial of 40 hp was substituted for its first successful flight during the winter of 1930 at Bradford, Pa.

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