View Full Version : O-235 on J3 converted to PA-11

Andy Meyer
08-23-2020, 08:56 AM
Iím looking at a 1947 J3 that was converted to a PA-11 quite some time ago. When converted it had the O-235 installed. The engine and cub have both been fairly recently restored and overhauled and therefore why Iím interested in the plane. It appears to be nicely done. My question for the group is if there is anyone with first hand experience flying either a converted J3 or an actual PA-11 with the O-235 installed? Lots of comments on various threads about them simply being heavier then the o-200 or C90 options, which raises concerns about useful load (which doesnít bother me), but I want to know if they are still perfectly fine flying machines with the O-235? Any first hand experience would be welcomed.


Cub Special Ed
08-23-2020, 10:25 AM
Whats the empty weight? Wheres the cg? Better have a knowladgable mechanic checking the logs on that one. As far as useful load goes, its a cub. Say a normal pa11, no mods with a c90, wheighs in around 800#s. Your max is 1100 #s. You do the math. Steve P. would be the man to ask. Ive got a couple hours in one and the career pilots in my family have owned them. I think youll find most people thats flown one with a c90 or c85 will tell you (with some biest) that they are the best flying in the cub line.

Crash, Jr.
08-23-2020, 12:03 PM
Max is 1220 on J3's and PA-11's.

I've never flown a O-235 cub but from my experience with a normal J3 they are already somewhat nose heavy and less is often more on small cubs. I'd probably try and find something not quite as "out there" if you're shopping for a cub.

bob turner
08-23-2020, 12:39 PM
Plus one.

One of the locals found this one for sale a while back and asked me. My advice - C-85 Stroker or C-90.
And if you are older and intend to continue flying, make it a dash 12.

While I am at it, a J3 will need an aux tank. Twelve gallons can no longer get you very far.

And I personally prefer metal spar. Wood is good, but it seems like they get spliced at each cover.

08-23-2020, 01:57 PM
I flew a stripped down J-3 converted to a -11 with Hendricks tips, Cal Center cuff and flaps on wood spars with (I was told a 0-320) no electrics in Alaska. Basically it flew great, in and out of very small spaces. It was a super airplane. Can't give you any more particulars.

Steve Pierce
08-23-2020, 03:27 PM
So if it was converted to a PA11 it would have the nose tank removed and 18 gallon wing tank installed which should center up the cg. I have flown PA18-105s and they flew very nice. I would probably prefer a C90 because of weight but if everything checked out good and a recent restoration I think it would make a good Cub for someone realizing the mission.

08-23-2020, 08:56 PM
You can even go with an O320, as long as you have 18 gallon tank in each wing the cg is fine, even flying solo in the front seat. There is a company that uses J-3 with extended wing span to tow flying bilboard signs over the beach in new jersey, they have O360 in them and fly them from the front seat. They use PA-18 also, but many are J-3 converted to PA-11 and have O360 engines and they only have a front seat, the back seat is removed.

08-24-2020, 04:41 PM
I had a couple of J-3's with O-235's and loved them. Flew like Gee Whizz!

46 Cub
08-25-2020, 10:40 AM
I have a 1946 J3C65 with a Lycoming 0235 C1, and it flies well. It does have 36 gallons in the wings, no nose tank, Supercub tail feathers, Supercub gear, Aft baggage cut out with cross tube like Supercub, Metal spars, and Supercub wing struts. It weighs #800 on wheels. No interior, no electrical system. All mods legal by STC or Field Approval.. maybe not possible now.
I bought it as a basket case when I was 15 so really had no choice... All I was hoping for was a Taylorcraft or Champ... felt pretty lucky to get any Cub! ($2200 with skis in 1976)
As to buying one now, I would say the wing tanks, metal spar, and big tailfeathers would be something I wouldn't want to leave out.
The things I missed when I flew it a lot were the lack of flaps, and I didn't like the spar in my face.
The flap part only mattered to me when landing on slippery short strips because it was hard to land slow enough and still see where I was going. The spar in the middle - well, the cotter pin on the aileron cable kept catching my hair - back when I had some there.. I always flew it from the front and control-authority always felt fine.
So I've always kind of thought an early PA 18 would be nice, to have basically the same airplane but with flaps and spar in the wing roots.
My Cub would perform right with a 150HP stock Supercub until any weight was put in it. From what I've observed, nothing beats a real Supercub for utility.
But I would say if the one you're looking at is the one that is within your reach, don't be afraid of it's flying qualities. It is a bit of a hot rod.