Organizers say they're expecting the grass next to the runway at William T. Piper Airport in Lock Haven, Pa., to be a sea of yellow starting Wednesday as the Sentimental Journey to Cub Haven Fly-In settles near the birthplace of the J-3 Cub. Although this is the 27th time Cub owners have flocked to Piper's original home, this is expected to be an especially busy year because it's the 75th anniversary of the iconic aircraft. Up to 300 aircraft, many of them painted in "Lock Haven Yellow," will be there, assuming good weather. "Hearing the hum of the planes' engines and seeing the airport filled with planes again brings back memories for many of us who had relatives and friends working for Piper," fly-in coordinator Carmen Banfill told The Morning Call.
The fly-in has been held since Piper closed in Lock Haven and operations were centralized at the current facilities in Vero Beach, Fla., which Piper has occupied since the 1950s. Piper also had a plant at Lakeland Linder Airport in Florida to build Navajos. The Cub was introduced in 1937 after Bill Piper had parted ways with C.G. Taylor, whom he'd financed in the development of the original Cub. The J-3 had several improvements, including a steerable tailwheel, redesigned tail and new window shapes. More than 19,000 were built before production ended in 1947.