Wednesday, March 24, 2010

a virtual j-3 cub

This J-3 Cub can be flown in the Google Earth Flight Simulator. Download the file, J-3 Cub.kmz from my web site. The instructions for installing and using the plane's image are the same as for the T-6 Texan as explained in the first post on this blog. (The prop is not animated on the J-3 as it is on the T-6.)

My J-3 Cub is a card model. If you would like to build one, the pattern is available as a two-page pdf file which can be downloaded from the New Mexico Aerospace Education web site. The model's parts print out nicely, and can then be easily cut out and assembled in a couple hours.

Here are the specs for the J-3 from Wikipedia:

General characteristics
Crew: one pilot
Capacity: one passenger
Length: 22 ft 5 in (6.83 m)
Wingspan: 35 ft 3 in (10.74 m)
Height: 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Wing area: 178.5 ft² (16.58 m²)
Empty weight: 765 lb (345 kg)
Useful load: 455 lb (205 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 1,220 lb (550 kg)
Powerplant: 1× Continental A-65-8 air-cooled flat four, 65 hp (48 kW) at 2,350 rpm

Maximum speed: 76 kn (87 mph, 140 km/h)
Cruise speed: 65 kn (75 mph, 121 km/h)
Range: 191 NM (220 mi, 354 km)
Service ceiling: 11,500 ft (3,500 m)
Rate of climb: 450 ft/min (2.3 m/s)
Wing loading: 6.84 lb/ft² (33.4 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 18.75 lb/hp (11.35 kg/kW)

In the interest of an authentic flight in Google Earth's simulator, you'll want to select the slower SR22 configuration, and maybe also cut back the throttle by about half.

If you happen to come upon an actual J-3 Cub gathering dust in your grandfather's barn, you can download Piper's detailed manual on how to fly the plane. In the 1940s you would have had to pay a dime for the manual, but thanks to the Internet you can have it free. As for the plane, if your granddad's barn doesn't have one, you can pick one up on ebay for around $20,000.


Anonymous said...

Oh, this is too good. Great fun. Still learning to fly, though!

Mike said...

I've been having great fun with the flight simulator. The landings seemed impossible until I figured out you have to cut the throttle back completely and set the flaps to 100%.

I'm just amazed with the capabilities of Google Earth and it's ease of use as a tool for all kinds of things.