Interstate L-6 Grasshopper / Cadet

Interstate Aircraft and Engineering Corp. entered the aircraft manufacturing field in 1940 with the S-1A , a tandem seat liaison airplane. The prototype delivered to the U.S. Army Air Forces (AAF) was designated XO-63 and has the distinction of being the last airplane to use the "O" designation. When the United States entered World War II, the AAF contracted with Interstate for 250 of the S-1B1 variant and designated them L-6A.

While the S-1B1 was faster, stronger, and could be operated in a more rugged environment than the comparable Piper L-4, the Interstate cost almost three times as much. Like the Piper L-4, the Insterstate was commonly referred to as "Grasshopper," and depending on its purpose "Cadet."

Later, the AAF designated the production airplane as the L-8A "Cadet." The aircraft, however, had significant overheating problems that were only partially solved. It had the dubious distinction that fewer L-8s were built than any other AAF liaison aircraft, with reportedly only eight ordered on behalf of the Bolivian Air Force. The AAF used the L-6 and L-8 as a utility transport, liaison, and training aircraft in the United States, but never shipped it overseas. After the war, the remaining aircraft were sold as surplus.



Wingspan: 35 ft. 6 in.
Length: 23 ft. 5 in.
Height: 7 ft. 3 in.
Empty weight: 1,103 lbs.
Max. takeoff weight: 1,650 lbs.
Wing area:
Armament: None
Engine: Franklin 4ACG-199-H3
Crew: Two (pilot and passenger)



Max. speed: 114 mph / 99 knots
Cruise speed: 105 mph / 91 knots
Range: 540 miles
Service ceiling: 16,500 ft.
Wing loading: 7.45 lbs./sq.ft.
Interstate L-6 Grasshopper


Alamo Liaison Squadron Interstate L-6 Cadet
An Interstate L-6 Cadet at Cannon Field with a Piper J3 Cub "Flitfire" and a Stinson L-5 Sentinel.

Alamo Liaison Squadron Interstate L-6 Cadet
An Interstate L-6 Cadet landing at Cannon Field.

See also the Interstate L-6 “Grasshopper” at the National Museum of the US Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB OH (near Dayton).

Photo courtesy of National Museum of the US Air Force.


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