The L-3 Grasshopper, used by both Army Ground Forces and Army Air Force, was a two-place metal frame, fabric-covered observation and reconnaissance aircraft manufactured by the Aeronca Manufacturing Company. It was the military version of commercial “Challenger.” Models ranged from “A” through “J”, excluding “I”. Originally the 0-58, the Army dubbed the L-3 the “Grasshopper”. All models had 65-horsepower engines; all but the “F” and “G” with side-by-side seating had tandem seats. 875 “B’s” and 490 “C’s” were purchased during 1942-1943 with total procurement being 1,465 aircraft.

The L-3 liaison aircraft, originally designated O-58, is the military version of the Aeronca Model 65 "Defender." This high-wing, light airplane could operate from small, hastily-built flying fields. The Army ordered the first O-58s in 1941 to test the use of light aircraft for liaison and observation missions in direct support of ground forces. Between 1941 and 1943, Aeronca Aircraft Corp. of Middleton, Ohio, built more than 1,400 of these aircraft for the Army--875 of them were L-3Bs. During WW II, Aeronca L-3s joined similar "Grasshoppers" in artillery fire direction, courier service, front-line liaison and pilot training. In 1942, Aeronca developed the TG-5, a training glider based on the O-58. The three-seat glider had a front fuselage replacing the engine, but retained the rear fuselage, wings and tail of the powered version. Aeronca built 250 TG-5s for the Army.

Span: 35 ft.
Length: 21 ft.
Height: 7 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 1,300 lbs. max.
Armament: None
Engine: One Continental 0-170-3 4 cylinder, direct drive, horizontally opposed, air-cooled 65-horsepower engine.
Propeller: “A” model: Freedman-Burnham ground-adjustable, two-bladed pro­peller with aluminum hub. The “B” & “C” models had a Sensenich fixed pitch wooden propeller.
Cost: $2,826

Maximum speed: 87 mph.
Cruising speed: 79 mph.
Range: 199 miles
Service Ceiling: 7,750 ft.

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