The Piper J-3 Cub is an American light aircraft that was built from 1938 to 1947. It was designed as a simple, inexpensive and easy-to-fly trainer but was also well suited for other military uses such as reconnaissance. After the war, it was highly prized as a bush aircraft. When production ended in 1947, it resulted in 19,888 Piper Cubs being built, including 150 here in Canada. J-3 Cubs and subsequent models are still found at fields around the world. The last J-3 model manufactured in Canada was assembled from parts at Leavens Bros. in Toronto in 1952.


The Cub housed in The Hangar is quite unique as it has the serial number 2369A. The four digit ‘A’ serial number is worth noting in that the standard Cub serial number is five numerals. According to Cub historians, this airplane was one of a group of only 14 Cubs to carry this unusual block of serial numbers. It appears that these airplanes were used for a variety of tests or modifications, likely at the request of the US military. This airplane as it exists today shows no signs of any variations from the standard J-3 model and may not have been used for any of these tests.

There is no known information on where or how the Hangar’s Cub was after the war, but at one point it was being flown by a bush pilot in Alaska. In 1977 it arrived to High River from Alaska and spent several decades in the Foothills area. Wayne Stier of Stavely, Alberta, was one of the original co-owners of the Cub who brought the plane to High River in 1977. That same fall, Alvin Hancherow bought a share of the Cub and relocated it to his farm, which had a small runway next to his fields.

In 2021, his son decided it was time to donate the plane and it was delivered to The Hangar by truck in July 2021. Despite being a popular and reliable plane during and after the war, the Cub travelled faster driving up the highway than it probably ever flew.


  • The success of this airplane made the name "Cub" a generic term for light airplanes.
  • Cubs usually come in yellow. This chrome yellow paint came to be known as "Cub Yellow".
  • The Cub is a very precise flier, so precise that pilot Peter Deck could land his plane on the “world’s smallest airport”—which was a car travelling at 80.4 km/h (50 mph).

Pilot Peter Deck landing his Cub at the “world’s smallest airport”. Photo credit: Chilliwack Museum. Image taken at Langley airport.

Pilot Peter Deck landing his Cub at the “world’s smallest airport”. Photo credit: Chilliwack Museum. Image taken at Langley airport.


  • Wingspan of 10.7 m (35 ft 3 in)
  • Height of 2 m (6 ft 8 in) 
  • Length of 6.8 m (22 ft 5 in)
  • Top speed of 129 km/h (80 mph)