General Information

  • Hourly Rate (dry): $71.84
  • Horsepower: 85
  • Seats: 2 People
  • Useful Load: 423 lbs
  • Fuel Burn: 4 gph
  • Ceiling: 12,000
  • Speed: 75 mph
  • Fuel capacity: 12 gallons


  • Continental C85
  • Micro Vortex Generators
  • 2 Position Headsets
  • Coms Radio
  • Student Pilot Certificate or Higher
  • Tail Wheel Endorsement 
  • Satisfactory Checkout with a Club Instructor

This aircraft has a density alltitude limit of 7000′.

Aircraft Description

The 1938 J3 Cub is a timeless aviation masterpiece that beckons enthusiasts to take to the skies with its nostalgic charm and unparalleled simplicity. With its sleek, classic design this vintage aircraft embodies the pure essence of flying freedom. The J3 Cub’s open cockpit invites pilots to experience the wind in their hair and the thrill of unbridled adventure.

Stepping into the J3 Cub is like stepping back in time, yet its enduring appeal transcends eras. Renowned for its gentle handling and forgiving nature, the J3 Cub offers a perfect introduction to the joy of flight. Whether you’re a seasoned aviator or a budding enthusiast, the J3 Cub beckons with promises of graceful maneuvers and the joy of low-and-slow exploration.

With its fabric-covered wings and unmistakable silhouette, the 1938 J3 Cub captures the hearts of aviation aficionados, invoking a sense of nostalgia for the golden age of flying. Pilots find themselves enchanted by the rhythmic purr of its engine and the responsiveness of its controls, fostering a connection between man and machine that is truly exhilarating.

For those who yearn for the romance of aviation history and the thrill of soaring through the open skies, the 1938 J3 Cub stands as an enduring symbol of the sheer joy and freedom that comes with taking flight.

Aircraft Documents

Summer Operation in a 85 HP J3 Cub 

  1. Consult the Aircraft’s Pilot Operating Handbook (POH): The POH for the Piper J3 Cub with a C-85 engine provides performance charts that show the rate of climb at different altitudes and temperatures. However, the J3 Cub is a simple aircraft, and detailed POH documents may not be readily available. In such cases, we rely on general data and rules of thumb.

  2. Determine the Standard Rate of Climb at Sea Level: For a Piper J3 Cub with a C-85 engine, the rate of climb at sea level under standard conditions (15°C, 59°F) is approximately 500 feet per minute (fpm).

  3. Adjust for Density Altitude:

    • Temperature and Altitude Effects: As altitude increases, the air becomes less dense, resulting in reduced engine performance and aerodynamic efficiency. At a density altitude of 7000 feet, the engine produces less power, and the propeller and wings are less efficient.
    • Performance Charts or Estimation: Use performance charts if available. If not, a general estimation can be made using rules of thumb.
  4. Estimate Rate of Climb at 7000 feet Density Altitude:

    • Rule of Thumb for Climb Rate Reduction: For every 1000 feet increase in density altitude, the rate of climb typically decreases by about 8-10% for small piston-engine aircraft.
    • Calculating the Estimated Climb Rate:
      • Sea level rate of climb: 500 fpm.
      • Density altitude increase: 7000 feet.
      • Percentage reduction: (7000 feet / 1000 feet) * 9% (average) = 63%.
      • Estimated reduction in climb rate: 500 fpm * 63% = 315 fpm.
      • Estimated rate of climb at 7000 feet density altitude: 500 fpm – 315 fpm = 185 fpm.


The estimated climb performance of a Piper J3 Cub with a C-85 engine at a field elevation of 4700 feet on a density altitude day of 7000 feet is approximately 185 feet per minute. This estimate assumes standard conditions and typical aircraft weight. For precise performance data, always refer to the specific aircraft’s POH and performance charts if available.


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