EAA AirVenture Museum Receives Piper Cub Replica
Marv Hoppenworth built and donated a 1946 Piper Cub replica for static display at the EAA AirVenture Museum.
September 5, 2012 - The EAA AirVenture Museum received a tremendous gift this summer from a longtime EAA member and AirVenture volunteer. Marv Hoppenworth, EAA Lifetime 2519, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and EAA Chapter 33, presented the museum with a homebuilt replica of a Piper Cub on the 75th anniversary of William Piper's masterpiece.
Marv spent countless hours building a full-size Piper Cub replica for donation and static display in the museum and worked tirelessly to get it completed in time for AirVenture 2012. The replica contains parts from more than 20 different Piper Cubs and was built in the memory of Marv's very first airplane, a Piper Cub that he bought in 1948. "It was a Piper L4-H that I purchased from the pilot, Mt. Vernon Sandrock, who was flying it at the end of World War II," Marv said. "I have borrowed the registration number, NC9245H, from that Cub for this museum Cub."
According to Marv, a friend offered him one of two J-3 Cub fuselages he had in his hangar. When Marv got it home, he sent the fuselage number to Clyde Smith, "The Cub Doctor," who verified that it was indeed a 40-hp J-3 built in 1937, the first year of the Cub. Sometime later, Marv came upon a 1946 J-3 Cub fuselage. He brought in the 1937 fuselage, repaired it, and added all the features to make it exactly like the 1946 model, the last year of the Cub.
After a bit of trading, Keystone Instruments in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, refaced the Cub's instruments and refurbished the compass. "Even the compass correction card is dated 1946," Marv said. He ordered new sheet metal and a new cowling for the project. In the 1940s, Piper had bolts fabricated with "Piper Cub" embossed on the head; the replica includes 15 such bolts.
When it came to replicating the 1946 Continental A65-8 engine, Marv ran into some issues. "Every time, I tried to get Continental Gray, I wound up sending back gold-colored paint," Marv said. "So I took the data plate off the crankcase, polished that area, and took it to the paint store, telling them, 'Match that.'"
The replica aircraft is now at Pioneer Airport waiting to be moved into the museum to truly honor Marv's achievement and generosity for years to come. Marv and his wife, Cathy, are longtime volunteers at AirVenture, helping to make our international celebration possible. He has provided limitless entertainment for children with his famous pedal plane kits and plans. The pedal planes that are used at KidVenture to entertain our youngest visitors are of Marv's creation.
EAA sits on a foundation of dedication and commitment from Marv and members like him. To quote Marv, "There are two seasons in Iowa: Before Oshkosh and after Oshkosh."