Used Aircraft Guide
August 2009 Issue
Used Aircraft Guide: Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser
If you’re looking for an airplane with more utility than a J-3 but not as high-toot as the Super Cub, the PA-12 may be just the thing.
While much of the recent chatter among used-airplane market watchers involves the seemingly bottomless price plunges for plastic and metal cross-country platforms, the rag-and-tube market isn’t down nearly as much. Part of the reason, of course, is these airplanes never appreciated like big-bore singles. Another reason is constant demand for simpler, slower, inexpensive fun airplanes capable, in a [IMGCAP(1)]pinch, of actually going somewhere, albeit sedately and only in good weather. The steady growth in light sport aircraft popularity demonstrates the depth of a market for new low-and-slow airplanes, even if many of them first see service as trainers. But the price point for a new LSA can easily scare away the buyer in search of a simple, fun airplane, leading them to consider older, classic airplanes of relatively simple fabric and tube construction. Any time fabric-covered airplanes are considered, Piper’s classic J-3 Cub and PA-18 Super Cub usually make the list. Sometimes overlooked is the PA-12 Super Cruiser, which falls somewhere between those two icons, yet provides a low-cost entry into the world of utility and fun flying. For many missions, the Super Cruiser is a reasonable and less-expensive alternative to the Super Cub, affording greater speed, comfort and flexibility than the J-3. One downside, of course, is these early Pipers are more than 50 years old—while parts availability is still good, finding a competent mechanic familiar with tube-and-fabric designs to stay on top of mechanical concerns is critical.
To continue reading this entire article you must be a paid subscriber.
Subscribe to Aviation Consumer
Aviation Consumer is the independent online source for impartial and uncompromising evaluations of aircraft, avionics, accessories, equipment and more.
Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.
Subscriber Log In
Forgot your password? Click Here.