Facing the likelihood of being drawn into WWII, the United States formed the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) in 1939 to increase the ranks of America’s trained pilots. The CPTP adopted the Piper J-3 Cub as it’s primary trainer. Of the 435,000 new pilots who learned to fly in the program, three quarters of them were trained on the Cub. By the end of the war, 80% of American military pilots received their first flight training in Piper Cubs.
This Cub, painted in the famous chrome-yellow-with-black-lightening-bolt color scheme, soars in the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles, Va.