Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser "City of Washington" - (scan - 1997)

After WWII, Piper Aircraft began production of Piper PA-11 Cub Special and PA-12 Super Cruiser, modification of earlier J-5 Cruiser. First production Feb 46. 4-place version known as PA-14 Family Cruiser featuring 115 hp Lycoming engine built 1948. Original J-5 was fabric-covered, 3- place, high-wing monoplane originally powered by 75 hp Continental engine. Lycoming engines of 75-100 hp were later available. PA-12 also fabric- covered over welded tubular frame and wooden wing spars, with Lycoming O-235-C engine fully cowled. Later models had slightly more powerful engine as optional equipment. Standard features on PA-12 included electrical starter, navigation lights, and cabin heater. Super Cruiser used in a number of roles from private flying to light cargo carrying. Also successful in export market; a number are still flying. Museum's specimen is City of Washington, one of 2 Super Cruisers to fly around the world 1947. Maj Clifford Evans and Maj George Truman, 2 USAFR officers, became interested in flight as result of offhand remark of Evans that a Piper Cub could fly around the world. Neither was wealthy, so they had to convince Piper, Lycoming, and other manufacturers to donate necessary equipment. Finally, able to arrange for 2 fully-equipped, second-hand Super Cruisers. Planes modified by addition of metal rather than wood, fixed-pitch prop; extra instruments and radio equipment; and extra fuel tanks. Morning 9 Aug 47, Evans in City of Washington, and Truman in companion ship, City of the Angels, left Teterboro NJ. Fight took 4 months and 22,500 mi. Weather was biggest problem; only mishap was damaged tail wheel on one landing. Successful arrival at Teterboro 10 Dec marked first successful around-the-world flight by airplane of its class. Span 35 ft 5 1/2 in; length 22 ft 6 in; height 6 ft 10 in; weight 950 lbs.

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