Aircraft History, Specification and Information
Piper PA-12 "Super Cruiser"

The Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser is an American three-seat, high wing, single engine conventional landing gear-equipped light aircraft that was produced by Piper Aircraft between 1946-48. The PA-12 was an upgraded and redesignated Piper J-5.

Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser - NC86UF - SIngle Engine Propeller Aircraft
1946 Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser
NC86UF (sn 121596)
Image taken September 08, 2007
Hood River Ken Jernstedt Airport, Oregon USA (4S2)
Photo Copyright & Thanks to
Phil Gilston
Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser - WR Aviation Inc. N52TS with Alaskan Bushwheels / Tundra_Tires
Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser
N52TS (sn 12-1454)
WR Aviation Inc.
PA-12 with Tundra Tires
Picture taken September 10, 2004
Stigler Municipal Airport, Oklahoma USA (F84)
Photo Copyright & Thanks to
Jarrod Wilkening
Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser - TF-AKK - Single Engine Aircraft
Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser
TF-AKK (cn 12-3340)
Photo taken June 10, 2004
Mosfellsbaer Tungubakkar Airport, Iceland (BIMS)
Photo Copyright & Thanks to
Sigurdur Benediktsson


When Piper dropped the J- designation system in exchange for the PA- system, the J-5C became the PA-12 "Super Cruiser". The earlier J-5s had been powered by either a 100 hp (75 kW) Lycoming O-235 or a 75 hp (56 kW) Lycoming O-145. The newer PA-12 model was initially powered by a 108 hp (81 kW) Lycoming O-235-C engine, was fully cowled, and had a metal spar wing with two 19 gallon fuel tanks. A Lycoming O-235-C1 engine rated at 115 hp (86 kW) for take-off was optional.

The PA-12 is approved for wheels, skis, floats and also for crop spraying.

Cockpit accommodation is provided for the pilot in the front seat and two passengers in the rear seat, side-by-side. Unlike the J-3 Cub the PA-12 is flown solo from the front seat.

Operational use

Many PA-12s have been modified with larger engines. Wing flaps and a metal-skin fuselage can be added as modifications.

In 1947, two PA-12s flew around the world, and the worst mechanical failure they suffered was a cracked tailwheel.

Many PA-12s are still flown and the type is commonly seen in North America. In November 2009 there were still 1688 registered in the USA and 229 in Canada.


• Piper PA-12

Original model type certified 24 March 1947, with a gross weight of 1,750 lb (794 kg) in the Normal Category and 1,500 lb (680 kg) in the Utility Category

• Piper PA-12S

Second model type certified 11 August 1948, with 1,838 lb (834 kg) gross weight, Normal Category only

Specifications (PA-12)

General characteristics
Crew: One, pilot
Capacity: Two passengers
Length: 22 ft 10 in (6.96 m)
Wingspan: 35 ft 5.5 in (10.81 m)
Height: 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Empty weight: 950 lbs (432 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 1,750 lbs (795 kg)
Powerplant: 1× Lycoming O-235 4-cylinder air-cooled horizontally-opposed piston engine, 100 hp (75 kW)
Propeller Diameter: 76 in (1.93 m)
Wing Chord: 63 in (1.60 m)
Baggage Capacity: 41 lb (18.7 kg)

Cruise speed: 91 knots (105 mph, 169 km/h)
Stall speed: 42 knots (49 mph, 79 km/h)
Range: 521 nm (600 mi, 965 km)
Service ceiling: 12,600 ft (3,840 m)
Rate of climb: 600 ft/min (3.05 m/s) at sea level
Wing loading: 9.8 lb/ft² (47.9 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 17.5 hp/lb (10.74 W/kg)
Min. Take-off Run: 720 ft (220 m)
Min. Landing Roll: 470 ft (143 m)

Last updated June 15, 2011
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Piper PA-12".
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