Piper PA-18 Super Cub

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This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Boeing Aviation Hangar

The PA-18 Super Cub was a strengthened PA-11, itself a modification of the original J-3 Cub. With only a few minor changes and a 150-horsepower engine, the PA-18 still looked like a Cub, although it came in several paint schemes and lacked the familiar bear logo on its tail. About 8,500 Super Cubs were built at Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, and they proved popular as private and utility aircraft and as military trainers.

The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) used this Super Cub in its uranium exploration program in the West during the 1950s. The rough and sometimes inaccessible terrain made an airborne survey a logical choice, and the AEC's fleet of 10 low, slow, and inexpensive Super Cubs maintained an enviable record of safety and reliability. A scintillation counter used to detect gamma radiation is in the rear of the airplane.