Piper Aircraft, Inc., is a manufacturer of general aviation aircraft, located at the Vero Beach Municipal Airport in Vero Beach, Florida, United States and owned since 2009 by the Government of Brunei. Along with Beechcraft and Cessna, it was at one time considered one of the "Big Three" in the field of general aviation manufacturing.Between its founding in 1927 and the end of 2009, the company produced 144,000 aircraft in 160 certified models, of which 90,000 are still flying.
In late 1930, the company filed for bankruptcy and William T. Piper purchased the assets of the company for $761. Reorganized as the Taylor Aircraft Company, Piper effectively took control of the firm when he assumed the position of corporate secretary-treasurer, although he retained C. G. Taylor in the role of president. Piper, often called the "Henry Ford of Aviation", firmly believed a simple-to-operate, low-cost, private airplane would flourish, even in the darkest depths of the Great Depression. This aircraft was the E-2 Cub. In December 1935, after a series of clashes, William Piper bought out C. G. Taylor, who left the company and went on to form the Taylorcraft Aircraft Company. On March 16, 1937 a fire destroyed the Bradford factory and the company relocated to an abandoned silk mill in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. In 1937, it was renamed Piper Aircraft Corporation.
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The fuselage of the J-4 was wider than the J-3 and the aircraft had a fully enclosed rear decking to the fuselage top. The first J-4s had a Continental 50 hp A50 engine, with up[clarification needed] exhaust, an open cowl, oil and spring landing gear, a modified tail wheel system and many other changes. The early J-4 had a comfortable cockpit but was slower than most side by side aircraft of the day. The 1940 J-4A gained a fully enclosed cowling, a Continental 65 hp A65 engine, and aft auxiliary fuel. The J-4B was fitted with a 60 hp Franklin 4AC-171 engine. The final version was the 1941 J-4E which sported a 75 hp Continental engine and redesigned interior. The main fuel tank was moved to the wing along with a header tank. Performance was now on par with similar contemporary types, but the attack on Pearl Harbor sealed its fate as all civilian aircraft manufacture came to a stop with the entry of the United States into World War II. Some J-4s had another unique feature in the tail construction: the stabilizer was made of stainless steel tubing, riveted together with gussets.
- Walk Around Aircraft in Detail