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Taylorcraft L-2

L-2 Grasshopper
Taylorcraft L-2M N52347
Role Observation and Liaison
Manufacturer Taylorcraft
Introduction 1941
Primary user United States Army Air Forces
Developed from Taylorcraft Model D
Interior of Taylorcraft L-2M N52347
Taylorcraft DCO-65

The Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper is an American observation and liaison aircraft built by Taylorcraft for the United States Army Air Forces in World War II.

In 1941 the United States Army Air Forces ordered four Taylorcraft Model Ds with the designation YO-57. They were evaluated in the summer of 1941 during maneuvers in Louisiana and Texas where they were used for support purposes such as light transport and courier. General Innis P. Swift, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, coined the 'grasshopper' name after witnessing a bumpy landing.[1] This led to a production order under the designation O-57 Grasshopper. In March 1942, the designation was changed to L-2 Grasshopper.

In World War II, the AAF began using the L-2 in much the same manner as the observation balloon was used in France during World War I—spotting enemy troop and supply concentrations and directing artillery fire on them. It was also used for other types of liaison and transport duties and short-range reconnaissance which required airplanes that could land and take off in minimum distances from unprepared landing strips.

Postwar, a number of L-2s were converted for civilian use and are operated by private pilot owners in the United States as the Model DCO-65. Several are still airworthy in 2011.

The L-2 series meet the standards for Light Sport Aircraft (other than the L-2M, which has a gross weight rating 5 pounds over the 1,320-lb limit), thus can be flown by pilots holding the Sport Pilot Certificate.

Contents

  • Variants 1
  • Operators 2
  • Specifications (Taylorcraft L-2A) 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Variants

YO-57
Military version of the Taylorcraft Model D, four for evaluation with a 65hp YO-170-3 and tandem seating, later became O-57 then L-2.
O-57
Production version with minor changes and a 65hp O-170-3 engine and tandem seating, 20 built, re-designated L-2 in 1942.
O-57A
O-57 with modified cabin and military radios and an observers seat that could face backwards, 336 built, re-designated L-2A
L-2
O-57 re-designated in 1942,a further 50 built.
L-2A
O-57A re-designated in 1942, a further 140 built.
L-2B
L-2A with modifications for artillery spotting with a 65hp Continental A65-8 engine and tandem seating, 490 built.
L-2C
13 Taylorcraft Model DC65 with tandem seating, impressed into Army service.
L-2D
One Taylorcraft Model DL65 with tandem seating, impressed into Army service.
L-2E
Two impressed Taylorcaft Model DF65s with a 65hp Franklin 4AC-176-B2 and tandem seating into Army service.
L-2F
Seven impressed Taylorcraft Model BL65s with side-by-side seating and a 65hp O-145-B1 engine, one originally designated UC-95.
L-2G
Two impressed Taylorcraft Model BFs with side-by-side seating and a 50hp Franklin 4AC-150-50 engine.
L-2H
Nine impressed Taylorcraft Model BC12-65s with side-by-side seating and a 65hp Continental A65-7 engine.
L-2J
Five impressed Taylorcraft Model BL12-65s with side-by-side seating and a 65hp O-145-B1 engine.
L-2K
Four impressed Taylorcraft Model BF12-65s with side-by-side seating and a 65hp Franklin 4AC-176-B2 engine.
L-2L
Single impressed Taylorcraft Model BF60 with side-by-side seating and a 60hp Franklin 4AC-171 engine.
L-2M
L-2A with close-fitting engine cowls and wing spoilers and tandem seating, 900 built.
TG-6
Model ST.100 three-seat training glider variant with enlarged fin area, wing spoilers and a simpler landing gear, 250 built.
LNT-1
U.S. Navy version of TG-6
UC-95
One impressed Taylorcraft Model BL65s with side-by-side seating and a 65hp O-145-B1 engine, re-designated L-2F.

Operators

 Haiti
 Netherlands
 United States

Specifications (Taylorcraft L-2A)

Data from Pilots Flight Operating Instructions, Army Model L-2, L-2A, L-2B, and L-2M Airplanes, T.O. No. 01-135DA-1, 1944 & The Taylorcraft Story, 1992

General characteristics
  • Crew: Two, pilot and observer
  • Payload: 425 lb (193 kg)
  • Length: 22 ft 9 in[2] (6.9 m)
  • Wingspan: 35 ft 5 in[2] (10.8 m)
  • Height: 6 ft 8 in[2] (2 m)
  • Wing area: 181 sq ft[2] (16.8 sq m)
  • Airfoil: NACA 23012[3]
  • Empty weight: 875 lb (397 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 1,300 lb (590 kg) [4]
  • Useful load: 425 lb (193 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 1,300 lb[4] (590 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Continental O-170-3 4-cylinder air-cooled engine, 65 hp (48 kW)

Performance

Avionics

  • RCA AVR-20A radio[10]

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References

Notes
  1. ^ *Graff, Cory (2003). Shot to Hell: The Stories and Photos of Ravaged WWII Warbirds. St. Paul, MN: MBI Publishing Co.  
  2. ^ a b c d Love 2001, p. 20.
  3. ^ The Taylorcraft Story 1992, p. 20.
  4. ^ a b Pilots Flight Operating Instructions, Army Model L-2, L-2A, L-2B, and L-2M Airplanes, T.O. No. 01-135DA-1 1944, p. 5.
  5. ^ Pilots Flight Operating Instructions, Army Model L-2, L-2A, L-2B, and L-2M Airplanes, T.O. No. 01-135DA-1 1944, p. 12.
  6. ^ a b Pilots Flight Operating Instructions, Army Model L-2, L-2A, L-2B, and L-2M Airplanes, T.O. No. 01-135DA-1 1944, p. 29.
  7. ^ Pilots Flight Operating Instructions, Army Model L-2, L-2A, L-2B, and L-2M Airplanes, T.O. No. 01-135DA-1 1944, p. 11.
  8. ^ The Taylorcraft Story 1992, p. 151.
  9. ^ Pilots Flight Operating Instructions, Army Model L-2, L-2A, L-2B, and L-2M Airplanes, T.O. No. 01-135DA-1 1944, pp. 26-28.
  10. ^ Pilots Flight Operating Instructions, Army Model L-2, L-2A, L-2B, and L-2M Airplanes, T.O. No. 01-135DA-1 1944, pp. 18-20.
Bibliography
  • Pilots Flight Operating Instructions, Army Model L-2, L-2A, L-2B, and L-2M Airplanes, T.O. No. 01-135DA-1. Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio: US Army Air Forces. 1944. 
  • Chet Peek (1992). The Taylorcraft Story. Norman, OK: Three Peaks Publishing. 
  • Terry M. Love (2001). L-Birds: American Combat Liaison Aircraft of World War II. New Brighton, MN: Flying Books International. 

External links

  • L-2 page at the National Museum of the United States Air Force
  • L-2 page at Warbird Alley
  • www.als-cannonfield.com - operates restored L-2s
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