Used Aircraft Guide

June 1998 Issue

Taildraggers on the Cheap

For a mere pittance, you can buy a classic 1940s taildragger. To avoid nasty surprises, don’t skimp on the pre-buy.

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If you’re undecided about how to get the most from your mid-life crisis, consider the romantic possibilities of a taildragger. You’ll turn heads, make friends and spend surprisingly little money in the process. Unless you’re easily surprised. In this two-part series on airplanes with their tails where they belong, we’ll examine what’s available at opposite ends of the market spectrum, beginning with the almost affordable tailwheel airplanes of the 1940s.

There are lots of choices, from classic Piper Cubs to Stinson Station Wagons, but we’ll focus on five common variants of the lower horsepower, single-engine, two-seat types: The Piper J-3 Cub; Aeronca 7AC Champ; Luscom...

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