1997 32¢ Piper Cub
Classic American Aircraft
Issue Date: July 19, 1997
City: Dayton, OH
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Highly sophisticated supersonic jets are so awe-inspiring it is easy to forget that the great majority of aircraft, at least in America, are small, simple machines.
William Thomas Piper was the first to manufacture airplanes for private use and is affectionately called “the Henry Ford of Aviation.” Since his small, economical two-seater Cub was introduced in 1929, many Americans have learned to fly. Today, more than a quarter of a million people own, and are licensed to fly, single- and twin-engine airplanes.
Although the low-wing Cherokee replaced the high-wing Cub in the 1960s, overall features remained the same. Both have a minimum number of parts to simplify production and reduce costs. Both are powered by simple piston engines, have fixed landing gears, unpressurized cabins, and relatively simple instruments. The Cherokee’s 1,200 parts are assembled in sections by three men with pneumatic hand tools. They can assemble the fuselage and cabin superstructure in four hours. With a few more hours, they can attach the wings and tail, install the engine, and wire the instrument panel.
Though “general aviation” aircraft are simple, they have all the system control features that larger aircraft do and can execute the full range of flying maneuvers.