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Piper (Taylor) E-2 “Cub”
Single-engine two-seat light high-wing monoplane

Archive Photos ¹

1932 Taylor (Piper) E-2 “Cub” (NC12628) on display c.2000 at the Virginia Aviation Museum, Sandston, VA (John Shupek photo copyright © 2000 Skytamer Images)

Overview ²

  • Taylor “Cub”
  • Role: utility
  • Manufacturer: Taylor Aircraft Company (later Piper Aircraft)
  • Designer: C. Gilbert Taylor
  • First flight: September 12, 1930
  • Produced: 1930-1936
  • Number built: 353
  • Unit cost: $1325 in 1931

The Taylor “Cub” was originally designed by C. Gilbert Taylor as a small, light and simple utility aircraft, evolved from the Arrowing “Chummy”. It is the forefather of the popular Piper J-3 “Cub”, over 20,000 of which were built.

Design and Development ²

In 1930, C. G. Taylor and the Taylor Aircraft Company embarked on the production of a two-seat tandem low-powered aircraft, designated the Taylor “Cub”. The “Cub” featured a design with wings mounted high on the fuselage, an open cockpit, fabric-covered tubular steel fuselage and wooden wings which used the USA-35B airfoil. It was originally powered by a 20-hp (14.9 kW) BrownBack “Tiger Kitten” engine. Since the young offspring of the tiger is called a cub, Taylor's accountant, Gilbert Hadrel, was inspired to name the little airplane “The Cub”.

The “Tiger Kitten” engine roared but was not strong enough to power the “Cub”. On September 12, 1930, a test flight of the Taylor “Cub” ended abruptly when the aircraft ran out of runway; the underpowered engine was unable to lift the monoplane higher than five feet (1.5 meters) above the ground. In October, a Salmson AD-9 radial engine produced in France was fitted to the “Cub” giving good performance, but it was expensive to maintain.

Finally in February 1931, Taylor introduced an improved “Cub” airframe, powered by the newly developed Continental Motors 37 horsepower (27.6 kW) A-40 engine. The new Taylor E-2 “Cub” was awarded Category 2 or "Memo" certificate 2-358 on June 15, 1931 and licensed by the U.S. Department of Commerce for manufacture (it was later awarded full Approved Type Certificate A-455 on November 7). Twenty-two E-2 “Cubs” were sold during 1931, retailing for $1,325; by 1935, cost had increased to $1475 and by the end of production in February 1936, 353 “Cubs” had been built at Emery Airport, Bradford.

Variants ²

  • Taylor E-2: Prototype first flown in September 1930 with a 20 hp (15 kW) BrownBack “Tiger Kitten” engine, engine changed to a 40 hp (30 kW) Salmson D-9 radial in October 1930. although the D-9 had enough power for the E-2 it was expensive and was built to metric sizes which would have caused maintenance problems.

  • Taylor E-2 “Cub”: Production variant of the E-2 with the Continental A-40-2 or in later production the improved A-40-3 engine, produced from 1931 to 1936.

  • Taylor F-2: Persistent troubles with the early A-40 engines on the E-2 led to a search for other suitable powerplants. First choice was the Aeromarine AR-3-40, a three-cylinder air-cooled radial engine which produced 40 horsepower at 2050 RPM. The Aeromarine-powered Cub was designated the F-2. One float-equipped aircraft was designated F-2S. Approved Type Certificate A-525 was awarded on February 16, 1934, and the F-2 had an initial price of $1495. Approximately 33 were made.

  • Taylor G-2: In another search for a replacement for the A-40, Taylor went to the extreme of designing and building his own 35-40 horsepower engine. This was fitted to serial number 149, registration X14756. The Taylor-powered Cub was designated the G-2. No information was published about the one-off engine, and no details are known today. With a new engine, this aircraft would become the Taylor H-2.

  • Taylor H-2: The G-2 Cub was re-engine with a 35 horsepower Szekely SR-3-35, another three-cylinder air-cooled radial engine which produced 35 hp at 1750 RPM. The Szekely-powered “Cub” was designated the H-2. Approved Type Certificate A-572 was awarded on May 28, 1935. Three F-2's were converted to this engine (serial numbers 40, 66 and 74), for a total of four H-2's. In 1937, Beverly Dodge and a passenger set the women's altitude record (16,800 feet) in a Szekely powered Taylor H-2.

  • Taylor J-2: The Taylor J-2 was the final iteration of the “Cub” series under the Taylor name, before the company renamed itself to Piper Aircraft in November 1937, production had moved from Bradford to Lock Haven, Pennsylvania earlier in 1937 following the destruction of the Bradford factory by fire.

  • Taylorcraft A: When C. G. Taylor broke with Taylor Aircraft and founded the new company Taylor-Young, its first aircraft, originally known as the Taylor-Young Model A, was little more than a refined “Cub” with side-by-side seating. Taylor-Young soon changed its name to Taylorcraft and the “Model A” became the Taylorcraft A, first in the Taylorcraft series.

Specifications (1931 Taylor “Cub”) ³


  • two-seat light monoplane


  • High-wing braced monoplane.
  • Wings supported above the fuselage by a system of steel-tube struts, which forms the framework of the cockpit.
  • Wing structure consists of spruce spars and aluminum-alloy rims, the whole being covered with fabric.
  • Narrow-chord ailerons operated by rods and torque tubes.


  • Rectangular structure of welded steel tubes, with fabric covering.

Tail Unit

  • Normal monoplane type.
  • Welded steel-tube framework, covered with fabric.
  • All surfaces unbalanced.


  • Divided type.
  • Consists of two side vees, and two half-axles.
  • Cast aluminum wheels on roller bearings.

Power Plant

  • One 35 hp Continental A-40 four-cylinder horizontally-opposed air-cooled engine.
  • Two fuel tanks in the wings, with a total capacity of 9 US gallons.


  • One cockpit, seating two in tandem, under the wing.
  • Dual control, with front control detachable.


  • Wing span: 35 ft 2 in (10.7 m)
  • Length: 22 ft 6 in (6.8 m)
  • Height: 6 ft 6 in ( 1.9 m)
  • Wing area: 184 ft² (17 m²)


  • Weight empty: 510 lb (231.5 kg)
  • Weight of fuel: 56 lb (25.4 kg)
  • Weight loaded: 925 lb (420 kg)


  • Wing loading: 6 lb/ft² (29.28 kg/m²)
  • Power loading: 22 lb/hp (9.9 kg/hp)


  • Maximum speed: 80 mph (128 km/h)
  • Cruising speed: 70 mph (112 km/h)
  • Landing speed: 26 mph (41.6 km/h)
  • Range: 225 miles (360 km)

Specifications (Taylor E-2 “Cub”) ²

General Characteristics:

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 1 passenger
  • Length: 22 ft 3 in (6.78 m)
  • Wingspan: 35 ft 3 in (10.74 m)
  • Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.9812 m)
  • Wing area: 184 ft² (17.1 m²)
  • Empty weight: 556 lb (252 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 970 lb (440 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Continental A-40-2, 37 hp @ 2550 RPM (28 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 61 kt (70 mph, 113 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 54 kt (62 mph, 100 km/h)
  • Range: 156 nm (180 mi, 290 km)
  • Service ceiling: 12,000 ft (3,700 m)
  • Rate of climb: 400 ft/min (2.0 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 5.03 lb/ft² (24.6 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 25 lb/hp (16 kg/kW)


  1. Photos: John Shupek, Copyright © 2000 Skytamer Images. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
  2. Wikipedia. Taylor “Cub”
  3. Grey, C. G. and Bridgman, Leonard. (editors). Jane's All The World’s Aircraft 1931, Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd., London, 1931, page 322c

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