A Cub Of A Fighter

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When pilots think of fighter aircraft, the first thing to come to mind is not likely a little two-seat taildragger. But American Legend announced on Tuesday that its Cub Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) is now available as the Legend Combat, painted in military regalia for like-minded sport pilots. The new design is reminiscent of the historic Piper L-4, L-18 and L-21 models, the company says, which were used as military liaison aircraft in World War II. The Combat, built in Sulphur Springs, Texas, comes with standard features including modern instruments and electrical system, doors on both sides of the fuselage, an aircraft electrical system with starter, fuel storage in wing tanks, and the 100-hp Continental Oľ200 engine, the company said. The L-4s, known as Grasshoppers, were flown by the Army Air Corps in the 1940s. Used as an artillery spotter, the small aircraft proved so valuable that German soldiers were given two weeks leave if they shot one down. Once, an L-4 outmaneuvered a pursuing Messerschmitt Me 109, causing it to fly into the terrain, according to the National Air & Space Museum. Another time, an L-4 crew engaged a Fiesler Storch, with each of the two-man crews shooting at each other with sidearms. The L-4 crew succeeded in shooting down the Storch, and captured the crew.