The L-2M affectionately known as the "Grasshopper" was manufactured by Taylorcraft. The L-2, adapted from Taylorcraft's pre-war commercial Model Tandem Trainer, was initially designated the O-57 at the time it was first ordered by the Air Corps. The airplane was given its service tests in the summer of 1941 during maneuvers in Louisiana and Texas where it was used for various support purposes such as a light transport and courier. Current research indicates that most (if not all) L-2s were used Stateside for training purposes. The aircraft is similar in apperance to the Piper L-4 Cub (especially from below) due to a common ancestry.
At the time American ground forces went into combat around the world during WWII, the U.S. Army Air Forces began using the Liaison Aircraft in much the same manner as the observation balloons were used in France during WWI—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 takeoff in minimum distances from unprepared landing strips.
Taylorcraft L-2M on approach to land at Cannon Field.
Taylorcraft L-2M on landing at Cannon Field.
Duty calls the Taylorcraft L-2M at Cannon Field.
Taylorcraft L-2M leads the departure formation at Cannon Field.
Alamo Liaison Squadron's Taylorcraft L-2M on a fly-by demonstration at Cannon Field.
Alamo Liaison Squadron's Taylorcraft L-2M awaits its next mission at Cannon Field.
Alamo Liaison Squadron's Taylorcraft L-2M on display at Midland International Airport.
Span: 35 ft. 5 in.
Length: 22 ft. 9 in.
Height: 6 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 1,300 lbs. loaded
Engine: Continental O-170-3 of 65 hp.
Maximum Speed: 92 mph
Cruising Speed: 83 mph
Stall Speed: 43 mph
Range: 227 miles
Service Ceiling: 12,000 ft.
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