The Aeronca L-3B is an example of the light planes used by the U.S. Army during World War II. Built by Piper, Taylorcraft, and Aeronca, the little observation and liaison planes, nicknamed Grasshoppers, were adapted from existing commercial airplane designs made before the war. Using established designs and proven airframes saved time and money and brought the Grasshoppers into service quickly. The Piper J-3 Cub became the L-4, Taylorcraft's Model D was the L-2, and Aeronca's Model 65TC Defender flew as the L-3. Aeronca's L-3 was a military version of the Model 65TC Defender and is equipped with a Continental A65-8 65 horsepower engine. Modified with a wider fuselage, bigger windows, and military equipment, the L-3B was used as a patrol plane, VIP transport, and artillery spotter and director.
This L-3B is one of about 8,900 Aeronca L-3s, Taylorcraft L-2s, and Piper L-4s made during World War II. It was purchased by Aeronca, Inc. in 1985, and was restored in its wartime colors for The Museum of Flight.