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  • Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper




    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.

    General Information

    In 1941 the United States Army Air Forces ordered four Taylorcraft 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. 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.


    For details of the 20 variants, click here.





    Two, pilot and observer
    22 ft 9 in (6.9 m)
    35 ft 5 in (10.8 m)
    6 ft 8 in (2 m)
    Wing Area:
    181 sq ft (16.8 sq m)
    Wing Loading:
    7.18 lb/sq ft
    Empty Weight:
    875 lb (397 kg)
    1,300 lb (590 kg)
    1 × Continental O-170-3 4-cylinder air-cooled engine, 65 hp (48 kW)
    140 mph (225 km/h)
    Cruise Speed:
    83 mph (134 km/h) at 2,150 rpm
    Stall Speed:
    43 mph (69 km/h,) power on
    303 miles (488 km) at 2,000 rpm
    Rate of Climb:
    395 ft/min, (120 m/min) L-2A
    Service Ceiling:
    12,000 ft (3,658 m)

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