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Thread: Original Piper Data Tags From The 1940's

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    DesperadoPilot's Avatar
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    Original Piper Data Tags From The 1940's

    Maybe some of you older guys who've been around awhile can answer a question for me. Are these original factory data tags? The reason I ask is because the differences in the stamped numbers vs the engraved numbers have become the topic of a rather hot discussion between two different IA's who are both friends of mine and I would like to know which one of them is right.

    One IA says they are original tags that were stamped by the Piper factory, that Piper did not engrave data tags back then, that Piper stamped the numbers on the tags by hand with a stamping tool.

    The other IA says otherwise.

    I tend to believe the numbers on these tags were stamped by the Piper factory back in '43, but that's just my opinion only. Maybe somebody here knows something about original tags stamped by Piper back in those days and can help settle a disagreement between two very good IA's who have both been friends of mine for many years. Are these tags the real deal?

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    The Piper data tag has the correct patina and appearence of the stamped lettering to make me believe it is an authentic data plate from the factory. The stamping tool Piper used still exists (it is somewhat akin to an oversized manual typewriter).

    I am not as familiar with the AAC data plates, but they were supplied by the Army to Piper and thus would have a different appearance. They were stamped too, but not stamped on the same machine as the Piper plates. It too has a patina to it that suggests originality to me. The Piper S/N and the Army S/N coincide in my information.

    Piper never engraved dataplates at Lock Haven.

    John Scott

  3. #3
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    The lower data tag in your picture is not original and most likely from Wagaero. The Piper data tag does not have engine model on it. I believe at least the serial numbers were stamped because Clyde Smith still has the original tool Piper used.
    Steve Pierce

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    fly_cubs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    The lower data tag in your picture is not original and most likely from Wagaero. The Piper data tag does not have engine model on it. I believe at least the serial numbers were stamped because Clyde Smith still has the original tool Piper used.


    All of the J3 data tags I have seen have the engine model on it. Here is the one from my 1940 J3, which has the original data plate:
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  5. #5
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    This topic:

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Tim, Look at the data tag drawing for the post war aircraft and the engine model is not there. Wagaero sells these and is a dead giveaway of a bogus tag.

    Here is an early and late Super Cub Data tag. Early (1952) looks stamped and late (1981) looks engraved to me. But who knows, Clyde probably.

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    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    DesperadoPilot's Avatar
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    So I guess that means the bottom tag in the picture is a bogus tag, and that Piper never used a tag like that?

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    It looks like the original post war data tag Piper used but there was nothing about an engine on the ones I have seen nor the data tag drawing.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    Take the negative view. If there is any doubt, junk the airplane. Every fed in the country can spot a bogus tag, and you will then go to jail.

    Seriously, are your local IAs trying to ground you, or is this just curiosity?

  10. #10
    DesperadoPilot's Avatar
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    Bob,
    There is no particular airplane involved in this enquiry. A bunch of us were sitting around in the hanger last weekend and the conversation got off on old airplanes, N-numbers, registrations, paperwork, and somehow ended up on data tags, etc. Two guys (both IA's) got into a disagreement about tags, mostly whether they were stamped versus engraved back in the 1940's. One of them produced several pictures of old data tags in trying to prove his point. I remembered seeing something about this topic on SC.org sometime in the past, so I had him email me one of the pictures so I could post it on SC.org in order to elicit some more information about it from someone here who might know more about it. The main disagreement regarded stamped tags vs engraved tags.
    I have been in contact with someone through a back-channel source that has resolved the issue. The upper tag is in all probability authenic. The bottom tag was not used by Piper in 1943, and in such, is probably bogus. One thing I did find out for sure, though. Data tags had a boss on them for engine info up to 1946. In 1947, Piper quit putting a boss on the tags for engine info, and in the place on the tag where the engine boss was on the 1946 tags, in 1947 they started putting a boss in that spot for the TC number instead. No engine boss for engine info was put on any tag after 1946. This information can be verified through Clyde Smith.
    By the way, the tag in the picture is for a 1943 L-4B. I do not own a 1943 L-4B. I have no idea who owns the airplane related to the tags in this picture. The picture was used for illustrative purposes only in the hanger discussion by one of the guys who was only trying to prove his point. There is no airplane to junk, no IA trying to ground me or anybody else, and nobody is going to jail.

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Tony, good information and thanks for looking into it. I definitely learned something.I got into the bogus tag thing many years ago on my Dad's Clipper and discovered what the proper tag should look like and assumed all of that style pictured above were bogus. Now I know better. Thanks.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    I have a modified data tag in my 1940 J3....converted from Lycoming to Continental in 1954....paperwork (337) states data tag was modified...it is signed and approved so it's legal.... Since it was done in 1954 it becomes approved data. Most have to go through a painful process to get a new data tag.

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    S2D's Avatar
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    Since it is approved Data, it can be used on other airplanes. Care to Post a copy on here?
    I may be wrong but that probably won't stop me from arguing about it.

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    The AAF Tag on my '44 L4 is steel, does not have a acceptance date. Only the AAF number, Order number and a inspection stamp. ???

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    DesperadoPilot's Avatar
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    FreddyK, maybe the emblem you are referring to as an inspection stamp might be an old "Date Code" stamp? Just a possibility...
    The only place I could find a chart with the date code symbols on it was on this link. Click on this link and scroll about half way down and you will see the chart. Maybe the "inspection stamp" you have on your tag is actually one of the symbols on the date code chart.

    http://shortorderproducts.com/Metal_...er_Stamps.html

    I've never seen or heard of date code stamps being used on aircraft data tags though. But since it is an old Army tag, who knows.... One old Army air base might have done things differently from another old Army base back in that era when they "accepted" an aircraft from the factory? Since it is a stamp in the "Date Accepted" boss, it could be a possibility, I have no idea, but it is just a thought.
    Last edited by DesperadoPilot; 07-17-2012 at 02:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by S2D View Post
    Since it is approved Data, it can be used on other airplanes. Care to Post a copy on here?
    I will scan it and post it.

  17. #17

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    Here is the 337
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Quote Originally Posted by DesperadoPilot View Post
    FreddyK, maybe the emblem you are referring to as an inspection stamp might be an old "Date Code" stamp? Just a possibility...
    The only place I could find a chart with the date code symbols on it was on this link. Click on this link and scroll about half way down and you will see the chart. Maybe the "inspection stamp" you have on your tag is actually one of the symbols on the date code chart.

    http://shortorderproducts.com/Metal_...er_Stamps.html

    I've never seen or heard of date code stamps being used on aircraft data tags though. But since it is an old Army tag, who knows.... One old Army air base might have done things differently from another old Army base back in that era when they "accepted" an aircraft from the factory? Since it is a stamp in the "Date Accepted" boss, it could be a possibility, I have no idea, but it is just a thought.

    Thats a good thought, I had never considered anything like that. I went and dug the plate out of the file, It is difficult to see it is a "AN" stamp, "E 360" stacked in a square, up by the model info. I also got looking at my data plate, cleaned it a bit because it looked like it had been painted over, ( At some point ) unless someone had taken the black off of it before it appears to be OD rather than black.( I dont think much about it) ... It has no MFG Date stamped on it..... one of those things that makes you hummmm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DesperadoPilot View Post
    FreddyK, maybe the emblem you are referring to as an inspection stamp might be an old "Date Code" stamp? Just a possibility...
    The only place I could find a chart with the date code symbols on it was on this link. Click on this link and scroll about half way down and you will see the chart. Maybe the "inspection stamp" you have on your tag is actually one of the symbols on the date code chart.

    http://shortorderproducts.com/Metal_...er_Stamps.html

    I've never seen or heard of date code stamps being used on aircraft data tags though. But since it is an old Army tag, who knows.... One old Army air base might have done things differently from another old Army base back in that era when they "accepted" an aircraft from the factory? Since it is a stamp in the "Date Accepted" boss, it could be a possibility, I have no idea, but it is just a thought.

    I'll try this again the first time didnt show up.....I went and dug my plates out, its a AN inspection stamp, E360...? stacked in a square. Good thought though.....

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    Outstanding Dan.

    Anyone out there know if you have to follow specifically i.e. use a Lewis propeller to legally use this as approved data for such a change? I's love to see tha appoplexi some FAA inspectors would get into over the data plate change. By their own definition, this is now legal.

    John Scott

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    Any prop that is on the type certificate would be legal in my interpretation.

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    Thanks Dan !!!

    Interesting the part about changing the data plate to show model change Ie they changed the aircraft model.

    Dan
    Is the airworthiness certificate now a J3C or still a J3L ?
    A/W cert should have been changed when they changed the Data Plate

    Later 337's that just had a field approval for engine change never modified the data plate or A/W cert, so they are still technically F's or L's
    with an field approved engine change.
    Last edited by S2D; 07-17-2012 at 04:35 PM.
    I may be wrong but that probably won't stop me from arguing about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by S2D View Post
    Thanks Dan !!!

    Interesting the part about changing the data plate to show model change Ie they changed the aircraft model.

    Dan
    Is the airworthiness certificate now a J3C or still a J3L ?
    A/W cert should have been changed when they changed the Data Plate

    Later 337's that just had a field approval for engine change never modified the data plate or A/W cert, so they are still technically F's or L's
    with an field approved engine change.
    AW Cert says J3C-65 now.

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    Data Tag.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Tony, good information and thanks for looking into it. I definitely learned something.I got into the bogus tag thing many years ago on my Dad's Clipper and discovered what the proper tag should look like and assumed all of that style pictured above were bogus. Now I know better. Thanks.
    Is there a way to replace a lost data tag?

  25. #25
    T.J.'s Avatar
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    Yep. Piper will replace it for the paltry sum of $360 USD, a signed letter from the local FSDO and an application signed by an A/P mech.
    The FSDO has to inspect the airframe for the proper fuselage build number. This number was assigned to the fuselage by Piper, stamped on a small piece of steel and welded to the fuse in various places. This number is not the same as the aircraft serial number. If your fuselage has been replaced by an after market fuselage or the build number tag has been removed, you now own a very expensive flower pot! Piper will not issue a new Data Plate for a fuselage that is not theirs. Also, they will not issue a new Data Plate if the fuselage number does not match the "N" and Aircraft serial number according to their records.
    Here's the good part. Most of the new PC faa folks wouldn't know an original Piper Data Plate if it bite them on the butt. A/Ps and A/I are the same.
    My advice, which cost you absolutely nothing and is worth the same is, find the oldest grouchiest A/I and sorta/kinda explain your problem. He may be able to help you. Do not ask the faa!
    Be very careful. If the faa finds a plane without a Data Plate, they will red tag it as unairworthy. Unless it was removed for maintenance by an A/P.
    Good luck.
    Edit to correct Piper price.
    Last edited by T.J.; 04-02-2013 at 02:32 PM.

  26. #26
    cubunltd's Avatar
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    Piper instructions for ordering a new data tag
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    On my '52 super cub there is an etched "identification plate" on the left side of the fuselage just in front of the horizontal stabilizer, but no "Piper data plate" on the floorboard or anywhere else that I can find. Is this identification plate a legal data plate or is the plane illegal? I can't see anywhere in the logbooks that states that the original data plate was removed. The front floorboard appears to be original, but the rear one has been replaced.

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    The very first PA18's had the dataplate on the tailpost.

    John Scott

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    cubunltd's Avatar
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    The identification plate you refer to on the left side of your plane is the drug enforcement plate that was required several years ago. it is NOT the legal data tag. Check my previous post for Piper's instructions for obtaining a new tag.

    John

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    I looked on the tail post and the tag wasn't there either, I think I better start the process to get a replacement. Thanks for the help.

  31. #31
    Darrel Starr's Avatar
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    Here is the original Data plate from our 1950 Super Cub, 18-387. I had lost this one, went through the FAA and Piper to get a new one then found the old one. It originally was hung on a couple of pieces of welding rod back by the jack screw. The new one is screwed to the floorboard.
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    Yes that is the one as shown on e-vay, the Lock Haven print type looks just off a little in terms of font size, just a tad large-- hard to describe it. , but that could be the way my camera took the picture as compared to the e-vay picture.
    My tag id from a Feb 7,1947 PA-12,
    I know this plane and its history,
    That said , as of Feb7, 1947 on the PA-12's this is what the plate should look like . As for later dates and other models of the cub, I have know idea and will not enter into that swamp.
    Likes Brmoore liked this post

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    The regulations about what info has to be shown on the data plate has changed over the years as has the material requirements, so there are at least3 or 4 versions of Piper data plates.

    Should you follow FAA guidance about replacement data plates and ask Piper Aircraft Inc. for a replacement, the data plate you get from them will be WRONG! It will identify your aircraft as having been built by Piper Aircraft Inc. in Florida rather than Piper Aircraft Corp. In Lock Haven PA. It will show the Production Certificate for the FL facility, not the PC number for Lock Haven. In short it will show the wrong manufacturer, the wrong location, the wrong Production Certificate number, and depending on when it was built, may be missing required data (engine model).

    For what ever reason FAA has the entire data plate thing so screwed up its ridicules.


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  34. #34

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    When did the PC field appear on data tags? My original authentic '46 J-3 tag does not list PC.

    George

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    If this worked, there should be a pdf file with the regulatory history of data plate requirements from 1926 to present
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    All you need is a friendly Fed who will authorize you to make the plate. Then have Clyde stamp the Wag plate, and keep that letter in the aircraft permanent records. Done.
    Likes mike mcs repair liked this post

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